Cairns’ innovation movement

Allan Woo | Marketing Coach | WooMarketing

‘Our business is the king of innovation’.  If only that was true.

I manage a small photography business in Cairns.  Many years ago, we thought we were innovative when we moved from print to CD, then to DVD.  A while back we thought we were revolutionising the industry by introducing custom made flash drives shaped like a NEMO to package our digital photos.  Today, we use services such as Hightail to connect our customers with their images.

As much as we would like to think that we are innovative, in reality, it is our customers whom are behind the forces of innovation.

The world is going through a revolution.  TheSPACE is leading Cairns’ innovation movement.

Recently I attended one of their ‘Start-up Weekends’.  Designed to facilitate entrepreneurialism and innovation, this one had the theme of ‘Tourism & Hospitality’.  In the course of 54 hours, we pitched and pivoted, hypothesised and validated, and tested our patience and perseverance.

As a young leader in the Cairns tourism industry, I thought what I brought was youth, innovation and a fresh way of thinking.  It took working with team-members half my age to realise how naïve I was.  When I was their age, the idea of virtual reality was virtually a dream; now it is a reality in which I do not yet grasp.

Participants go for a multitude of different reasons, some of whom would like to build the next Air BnB or Facebook.  I, on the other hand, attend for five reasons:  To meet people whom I would never normally meet, to stay current in the latest innovations, to learn how others think, to teach others and to be inspired.  One day soon, I will be inspired to create something wonderful, and it is from this community from which my team will be built.

Businesses in Cairns and the tourism industry can compete.  We are no longer in an era where competitive advantage can be achieved through reducing expenses or through creative marketing campaigns.  Compete through innovation.  Cairns has an innovative community.  Join up and come along for the ride; or sit back and wait for our postcard.

Allan Woo is a marketing coach in Cairns, located in Tropical North Queensland.  To connect with him, visit his site, Facebook, twitter, google +, and Linkedin.

To learn more about TheSpace and their community, visit their site at

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