IT'S a big opportunity and you have to make the most of it.
As preparations begin for Bathurst to host Sir Elton John in concert next year, that's the advice from a regional Queensland city that has been there and done that - and very successfully.
Teona Cousin, the economic development and tourism manager at Mackay Regional Council, was part of the team given the task of maximising Sir Elton's visit to the North Queensland city in 2017.
He played at Mackay's league ground (as he will in Bathurst), attracted a crowd of 15,000 (as is predicted in Bathurst) and brought people into town who would not otherwise have visited.
So what's the tip from Ms Cousin about hosting such a large event?
"Show them you can do it well and they will come back again," she said.
The aim in Mackay in 2017, Ms Cousin said, was to help businesses make the most of the event, ensure visitors saw the best of the city during their stay and to make sure locals, particularly those who could not or did not want to attend the concert, had a reason to enjoy the occasion.
Street flags, competitions for residents and a photo board helped get locals in the mood in the lead-up and a booklet, Hits Of The Region, was used to promote Mackay's attractions to the visitors who arrived knowing nothing about the area.
A key decision, Ms Cousin said, was to hold an event the morning after the concert to bring visitors back into the Mackay CBD.
"We closed part of the city centre for a Still Standing Street Party," she said.
A big screen showed Sir Elton concert footage and businesses that would normally close at lunchtime were encouraged to stay open.
"The city centre was booming that morning," Ms Cousin said.
A yellow brick road and Sir Elton mural created in a laneway in the city, promoted by the mayor, generated national media attention, Ms Cousin said, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of free advertising for Mackay.
And a business lunch in the lead-up to the concert, where tour producer Matthew Lazarus-Hall shared some of the stories he has picked up after years of working on Sir Elton tours, helped make the business community feel part of the event.
And the economic impact of the Sir Elton show?
Ms Cousin said a lot of the spending generated by the show cannot be accurately totalled, but visitation alone is estimated to have put $3 million into the Mackay economy.
The Sir Elton show remains the biggest event hosted by the North Queensland city.
"People still talk about it outside Mackay," Ms Cousin said. "It did pay off because we did think outside the box and did some quirky things."