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Spotlight on Melbourne Sunshine Coast: turning heads Teambuilding with a conscience

New wave The Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast


Give your conference a $5000 boost Confirm a residential conference in 2015 with a minimum of 300 room nights and 250 delegates and you will receive

$5,000 credit towards your conference* Please contact Naomi Dawes at naomid@crownhotels.com.au or call 02 9260 9645 for further details. *Only available for confirmed bookings by 30 June 2014. Event to be held by 31 December 2015.

*Terms and Conditions: Subject to availability and some black out periods or limited availability may apply to special event periods and public holidays. Not valid for any existing room blocks or existing meetings. The group must be booked, confirmed (conference and events contract signed) and 20% deposited by 30 June 2014. Event to be held by 31 December 2015. May not be used with any existing promotions or offers. Meeting Planner and PCO’s are responsible for disclosure to internal or external clients of any incentives received. The credit can only be used towards the total final accommodation and event costs. Non-transferable and non-redeemable for cash or other goods or services. Events are subject to Crown’s standard Conferences and Events Terms and Conditions which are available upon request. Any credit that is not redeemed during the conference is void and cannot be carried over.


CONTENTS

On the cover Three new meeting rooms have been added to the recently refurbished Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa offering organisers even more options at the Gold Coast’s only absolute beachfront resort.

20 REGULARS

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NOV 2013

04 Publisher’s note 06 News

28

10 New Zealand news 14 International news 19 Q&A Ashley Gordon, Carillon

Conference Management

52 Review 54 Venue update 56 Profile Victor Pisapia, VictorsFood 57 Meeting people

FEATURES 18 Cover story More options at Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa 20 Melbourne Collaborative focus for the industry 28 Dreamtime Showcasing ‘Restaurant Australia’ 32 Sunshine Coast Turning heads

58 PCO Association

54

36 Maritime meetings All aboard for your next meeting

Top End, top performer New look Adelaide Luxury on any budget cim1113.indd 1

Clear view New Zealand goes Beyond Convention 8/11/13 2:03:43 PM

To ensure you never miss out there are now more ways to enjoy CIM. As well as the monthly magazine, CIM is also available as a free iPad app, which is packed with exclusive extras such as extended interviews, behind-the-scenes video footage and virtual site inspections. The CIM app is available for download at the iTunes app store.

Subscribe to the CIM iPad app

Don’t miss

40 Teambuilding Active for a cause 44 Convene Q New business events expo for Queensland 46 Event reports

Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) Australia

Conference; World Indigenous Network

Conference (WIN Conference); CINP Special

Congress on Addiction and Mental Health

Look out for these topical news-based video stories on our website, www.cimmagazine.com, and in the CIM iPad app, to delve deeper into the issues behind the print stories.

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  3


PUBLISHER’S WORD

Big Data big news A

s we enter the new year we approach yet another new frontier for technology, production and innovation. The latest in a long line of developments, “Big Data” is not necessarily new, but many in our industry have only recently become aware of it and the need to harness it. We are all now grappling with big data – what to do with it; how to increase productivity with it. We’ve seen how successful it is for areas like the retail sector. But how do we capitalise on it in the business events industry? By capitalising on big data we have the opportunity to revolutionise our industry, and reinforce the need for meetings, conferences and events through an understanding of the movements, buying practices and knowledge consumption of the industry. This year during the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) there will be several sessions held on the subject of big data. I have been lucky enough to be invited to be involved with a couple of those sessions: one at the ICCA Youth Forum and the “Big Data for Business Events” session in the AIME Knowledge program. I am looking forward to some robust discussion, forward thinking and innovative ideas on how we, as an industry, capture the new frontier. I highly recommend getting along to one of these sessions.

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BEYOND THE AGENDA

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INDUSTRY NEWS NEWS BRIEFS Segway tours approved for Melbourne Changes in Victorian State legislation mean that tour operators will soon be able to apply for a permit to operate Segway tours around tourist attractions on the city’s perimeter. The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) welcomed the news. “Segway tours will diversify the tourism experience and make Melbourne an even more enjoyable place to visit,” said VTIC chief executive, Dianne Smith.

Air New Zealand extends Sunshine Coast services Air New Zealand will extend its seasonal flights between the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland, and Auckland for another three years after successful seasons in 2012 and 2013, with a total of 42 return trips between Auckland and Sunshine Coast Airport scheduled each year. New Zealand is the Sunshine Coast’s largest international market.  

New caterer for National Portrait Gallery Trippas White Group is the new exclusive catering partner of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, operating events and the Portrait Café. Home to the nation’s portrait collection as well as temporary exhibitions, function facilities comprise of three modern spaces that can accommodate corporate and private events for up to 500 guests.

ICC Sydney development underway Demolition work at the Darling Harbour site of Sydney’s $1 billion International Convention Centre Sydney development kicks off this month, with the project expected to be completed in December 2016. AEG Ogden’s director of convention centres, Geoff Donaghy, says the new venue is already “attracting significant interest and strong demand worldwide”.

Second Parkroyal Hotel for Melbourne Pan Pacific Hotels Group has announced it will open the Parkroyal Melbourne in Melbourne’s Docklands in 2016. The hotel will be located within the Digital Harbour Precinct of Melbourne Docklands, offering easy access to key business centres and landmarks such as Etihad Stadium. “Australia holds great significance for us as the home of the Parkroyal brand and as an important growth market for the Group,” said Craig Bond, area general manager – Oceania, Pan Pacific Hotels Group.

Lasting legacy to come from G20 As Brisbane and the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) ready themselves for the onslaught of the G20 Leaders Summit in November 2014, both the City and the Centre are determined to create a long-term legacy out of this once-in-alifetime opportunity. The G20 is the world’s premier forum for global economic cooperation and collaboration, bringing together world leaders and finance ministers from the 20 major advanced and emerging economies which represent 85 per cent of global economic output. In total the event will see around 4000 delegates and 3000 members of the national and international press converge on Brisbane for the event. With world leaders such as US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel set to be amongst their number, the international spotlight will well and truly be on Brisbane. Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has been very vocal about capitalising on the event and establishing international identification and recognition for his city and sees the event as a significant milestone in the city’s development strategy to double the size of its economy over the next 20 years. “We need to ensure our city is ready to capture the lasting benefits of this event,” he said. BCEC general manager Bob O’Keeffe says the Centre is well advanced in its preparation and planning for the Summit. “The G20 presents an extraordinary opportunity for us,” he said. “It will benefit Brisbane and the business events industry for years into the future and we intend to leverage this to secure a flow on of international events for the Centre and for Brisbane.” The Centre is currently gearing up for one of

6   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

the busiest years in recent times with more than 600 events already on its 2014 calendar including 120 conferences. Along with the G20 Leaders Summit, the year ahead will see a number of major conventions at the Centre, including the 29th International Horticulture Congress 2014 for 2000 delegates with some 17 additional symposia, World Congress of Audiology 2014 for 2000 delegates and Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver for 1500 delegates. At a recent briefing in Brisbane a visiting academic from the G20 Research Group based at the University of Toronto, Professor John Kirton, said he believes Brisbane will become “globally recognised” as a result of hosting the G20. “Brisbane will become a household name around the world,” says Kirton, whose G20 Research Group has tracked and monitored previous G20 events. “People will realise Brisbane is a great place to visit, to trade with, to invest in, to set up offices and even to move to,” he said. “In fact I think Brisbane is destined to do better than some previous host destinations.” One of the ideas suggested to create “a living legacy” for Brisbane from the G20 was to name an international achievement or outcome from the Summit as a Brisbane named initiative with education, medicine and research the hot favourites, considered appropriate because of Brisbane‘s science and research strengths.

Correction In the United Arab Emirates feature in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of CIM, it was stated that Etihad Airways is in partnership with Qantas. This is not correct. Etihad Airways is in partnership with Virgin Australia. We apologise for the mistake and any confusion it may have caused.


Incentive groups flock to Cairns region Tropical North Queensland has seen a steep increase in the number of incentive groups, with 116 organisers choosing the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region as the destination to reward top-performing employees in 20122013, an increase of 50 per cent. Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef director Rosie Douglas said the latest Queensland Business Events Survey figures showed the lucrative incentive market was up from 78 groups the previous year. “We experienced an overall increase in international business events delegates up from 10,075 to 11,068 and this growth was largely driven by international incentive groups,” she said. “Particularly pleasing was the growth in international delegate days which increased from 47,000 to 53,000.” Douglas puts the growth down to “the variety of unique venues showcasing the dual

World Heritage areas of the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest” which offer incentives “a natural wow factor”. “Just last week we hosted 12 United States and Canadian incentive buyers and media highlighting the variety of off-site events, world-class hotels and exclusive high-end touring options in the region,” she said. “They spent three days experiencing the Great Barrier Reef, Wet Tropics rainforest and attending functions such as dinner at Herbie’s Beach Shack, a private beach at Thala Beach Lodge, and Flames of the Forest, a rainforest dining experience. “The feedback from the group was extremely positive with a number of opportunities to follow up for business from 2015 onwards. “The interest from the incentive market reflects the growth the region has been experiencing from the US in the leisure market.”

BESydney delivers another ‘mega incentive’ Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has secured the Pro-Health China Annual Conference 2014, another “mega incentive” from China, worth an estimated $22.5 million in economic impact to New South Wales. This win follows on from the successful Perfect China Leadership Seminar 2013 (pictured), which saw more than 3000 delegates descend on the harbour city in July.

Plan to boost tourism to regional Victoria A new strategy to stimulate tourism in regional areas and ensure that regional Victoria will share the economic benefits of the growing tourism market has been unveiled by the State Government. Minister for Tourism Louise Asher announced the release of Victoria’s Regional Tourism Strategy 2013-2016 at the Puffing

Billy tourist attraction at Lakeside Railway Station Emerald. To be implemented by Tourism Victoria, the new strategy includes business events. “The Coalition Government is committed to ensuring that regional Victoria continues to share in the benefits of tourism growth across Victoria,” Asher said. Up to the year 2020, international tourism is expected to contribute approximately 70 per cent of Victoria’s growth of overnight visitor stays. “This strategy provides the foundation for regional areas to benefit from the growth of tourism into Victoria from overseas and includes a range of experiences that satisfy the aspirations and cultural interests of visitors from growth economies,” she added.

BESydney chief executive Lyn LewisSmith said that the growth in the number of incentive events secured for Sydney over recent years is a result of the state’s targeted strategies to attract business from this important market. “Over the past decade, we have developed strong relationships in Asia,” she said. “This has played an important part in the success that Sydney is now enjoying in the region. “We know that Asia is a relationshipdriven market and the long-term strategies we’ve invested in, including being the first Australian bureau to establish an in-market presence in Asia, have enabled us to build networks and trust, and convert business for Sydney. We now have representatives in Singapore, China and India (in partnership with Destination NSW), along with Mandarin-speaking staff across key departments in our Sydney office. Together, these strategies are paying dividends.” Lewis-Smith added that Sydney’s success could also be attributed to its ability to deliver real returns for companies that chose to reward their high achievers with a trip to the city. “Perfect China reports that it saw a 20 per cent increase in sales following the company’s announcement that the 2013 incentive would be held in Sydney,” she said.

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  7


Sydney’s Botanic Gardens to open up for events Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens could be utilised for events following a merger with the Centennial Parklands. NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced the amalgamation of the Centennial Parklands and the Moore Park Trust with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in January. The savings made by the merger will aid ''further development of systems and other initiatives to develop commercial revenue streams'' including the hosting of events at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Australian Botanic Garden, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden at Mt Tomah, Centennial Park and Moore Park, according to chief executive of Centennial Parklands, Kim Ellis. Ellis said that at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan there was a “terrific opportunity” to bring some events into western Sydney, including musical events, cultural events, food events, garden shows, while heritage facilities at the gardens being used as workshop depots might be converted to restaurants, cafes or event areas. ''That's what parks and gardens are about – bringing people out to engage,'' he said.

Events the key to bumper year the city”.

The recent Ashes cricket test has given Sydney’s hotel sector a bumper start to the year with the majority of Sydney CBD hotels experiencing occupancy growth of over 10 per cent for the first week in January compared to 2013, according to Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW figures. Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW director Carol Giuseppi said that while the New Year holiday period was traditionally strong for Sydney, this year was even stronger thanks to the Ashes and improved consumer sentiment. “When Australian cricket and tourism are both winners, you can’t really ask for anything more,” said Giuseppi. “Even the shoulder period leading into and out of New Year was strong right across the CBD area.” Giuseppi said that this shows “the power of events to attract tourists and business to

“Whether it be sporting, food or cultural, having highly visible and strongly marketed events can draw tourists in from around Australia and even further afield,” she added. “With airfares still relatively low, there are incredible opportunities to build tourism from centres such as Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta and, of course, China. “Sydney enjoyed a record level of inbound tourism from China in 2013, and with hotels providing enhanced services for Chinese guests, and with the prospect of increased air capacity, we have excellent prospects for growing the market even further in 2014.” Giuseppi said that a strong events calendar would help offset the impact of the closure of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the replacement venue not expected to be ready till the end of 2016.

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8   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com


NZ NEWS

New venue attracts business to Wellington Wellington’s newest venue, Shed 6, is attracting a new market of large-scale conferences and events, according to venue manager Positively Wellington Venues (PWV), which has just confirmed three major new wins for the New Zealand capital’s conference and events market. New large-scale conferences confirmed for the capital include the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) 2015 Congress at Shed 6 and the adjoining TSB Bank Arena, with 800 delegates attending from Australia and New Zealand; the New Zealand Aged Care Association Conference, to be held next year; and the joint New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology and Australian Institute of Radiography Conference for 2015. According to average spend figures from Positively Wellington Tourism, the new events will bring in an estimated NZ$2.65 million ($2.48 million) in delegate spending to the city – with some

“This is just the tip of a large and very valuable iceberg,” says PWV chief executive Glenys Coughlan.

and we have other ‘first time’ wins sitting in the wings whose organisers have also said that our new venue offering has made all the difference to bringing their business to Wellington.

“These new business wins are really positive for Wellington

“More than 150 events have been booked across the next

925 New Zealand out-of-town delegates and 700 international delegates staying in the capital.

two years for Shed 6 and the TSB Bank Arena. With the Town Hall out of service for seismic strengthening, we would have been at a significant disadvantage but Shed 6 has given us new opportunities to grow this high value market.”

Auckland wins Better Health Conference Auckland will welcome around 600 health professional educators and researchers from around the globe when it plays host to the ninth All Together Better Health conference, also known as the International Conference for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice, in 2018. Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) manager Anna Hayward says the bureau has been working closely with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) on opportunities for hosting international conferences across a broad range of sectors. “We worked with the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at AUT to put together this particular bid, which is estimated to bring [NZ]$1.04 million [$975,000] into the Auckland economy and generate [NZ]$1.02 million [$957,000] of tourism spend,” said Hayward. “This conference is all about 10   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

the benefits of collaboration and working together – very similar to the work of ACB. With our expertise in showcasing Auckland as an international conference destination and the knowledge of sector experts, we can help win these fantastic opportunities to showcase Auckland as well as specialist industries in New Zealand.” Acting director for the National Centre for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice, Dr Kirk Reed, says they have worked hard to raise the profile of interprofessional education and the benefits of collaborative practice. “I don’t think a better country could have been selected,” he said. “We are proud and honoured that Auckland and AUT University has been chosen as hosts and look forward to showcasing all that interprofessional education and collaborative practice have to offer.”


New Zealand’s rising star in spotlight Business event buyers recently converged on the Hamilton & Waikato region for a two and a half day familiarisation. The 2013 National Mega Famil, dubbed “An exclusive look at New Zealand’s rising star”, capitalised on the recently released Convention Activity Survey results which placed the Hamilton & Waikato region third highest in New Zealand for delegate days at

11 per cent, a 2 per cent increase on the previous year. The invitation-only event hosted by the Hamilton & Waikato Convention Bureau attracted key decisions makers from event management and corporate companies, associations and government agencies, with the aim being to increase post famil enquiries and bookings.

“Familiarisations like this are a great way to showcase the variety of products suitable for meetings, incentive and conference events to be held in our region, and really allow our operators to highlight what they have to offer to a large group of potential clients,” Bureau manager Jenny Tukiwaho Stokes said. Throughout the familiarisation the 22 buyers experienced a

variety of business event specific product including Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre, Novotel Tainui Hamilton, SkyCity Hamilton Mystery Creek Events Centre, Vilagrad Winery, Hamilton Gardens, Hobbiton Movie Set, Discover Waitomo, Waitomo Adventures, Hampton Downs, Waikato River Explorer and many more, leaving participants raving about the region.

Auckland shows off its diversity Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) has showed off the variety of venues available in the city’s CBD to more than 120 guests at the bureau’s annual showcase luncheon. ACB manager Anna Hayward says they purposely chose two very different venues for the luncheon.

SINGLE MOST Important detail

“We wanted to showcase the diversity of venues that are available in Auckland’s city centre,” she said. “With the theming, activities and extra special touches we also wanted to give people a taste of the many different services that the bureau can offer – all for free.” At Q Theatre a flower wall

by Vida Concept provided a spectacular entrance while opera singing Con Artists rallied guests to complete a quiz around the 40 exhibitors. Guests were then welcomed into the Great Hall of the Auckland Town Hall for an entertaining lunch, emceed by Urzila Carlson and featuring an aerial artist and string

quartet. Catering was provided by Urban Gourmet and theming by Event Smart. Event participant Natalie Charnock of Conferenz said it was “great to see the Town Hall and Q Theatre used as venues as these are not traditional venues for these types of events”.

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Whether it’s 12 or 1200 guests, this means that we can deliver whatever you need to create the impact you are looking for. To experience the benefits of original thinking and an approach that is completely focussed on the success of your event, call us on +64 7 958 5950 or visit www.claudelands.co.nz.

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Where every detail is the single most important detail

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  11


Hot pools proposal for Queenstown Watch the video in the CIM iPad app.

New attractions for Hobbiton The Hobbiton Movie Set in Waikato, New Zealand, where Peter Jackson shot scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, has seen visits double again for the fourth successive year, with more than 200,000 visitors expected to visit the set in 2013/2014. To capitalise on the interest, Hobbiton Movie Set tours are now taking the experience to a new level as they bring

Hobbiton “to life”, illuminating key landmarks such as the Hobbit Holes, the Party Tree and The Green Dragon Inn, adding audio and visual effects such as smoke billowing from chimneys and redecorating the whole set. Twilight tours are now available. Hobbiton Movie Set’s general manager, Russell Alexander said the developments are a great addition to an already impressive tour.

Ngãi Tahu Tourism (NTT) has confirmed it is in discussion with the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) with regards to leasing council land to develop a NZ$25 million Queenstown Hot Pools complex next to the city’s proposed convention centre. Ngãi Tahu Tourism Southern regional general manager David Kennedy said ongoing negotiations would centre on working in with the convention centre site and form part of a detailed council process to determine the best and most feasible uses for the site and the community beyond 2015. “Ngãi Tahu Tourism has proven expertise to realise a high quality development

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such as the proposed Queenstown Hot Pools, as seen with our multi-milliondollar Glacier Hot Pools at Franz Josef, which opened in 2008 and is a very similar operation albeit on a smaller scale,” he said. “Our research with visitors to Queenstown has identified that a similar pools product in New Zealand’s premier resort would be a very welcome addition to the many attractions already on offer. After a day out in the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, soaking in a hot pool and taking in the amazing lake and alpine views will be an unforgettable experience for domestic and international visitors.”


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Starwood continues global growth Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened 74 new hotels in 2013, representing approximately 16,200 rooms in 22 countries. The company signed 152 new hotel agreements in 2013, which represents an increase of 16 per cent over 2012 signings levels and marks the fourth consecutive year of increased signings and the highest number of new hotel deals signed since 2007. Starwood expects another strong year of global growth in 2014, with hotel openings and deal signings across all nine brands in more countries than ever before.  Almost 75 per cent of the company’s development pipeline and 60 per cent of the 2013 signings were in fast-growing markets, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. Starwood has also doubled its luxury portfolio over the past six years, with more than 160 luxury hotels operating under its St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W brands.

Strong year ahead for Marina Bay Sands Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands has reported a record-breaking 2013 with more than 70 trade shows held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, up from 51 shows in 2012. Since opening the integrated resort has become the venue of many international and regional conferences and tradeshows across diverse industries, including many that are new to Singapore and Asia, as well as notable returning shows. Management is expecting a strong first quarter of 2014, with a number of new-toSingapore events lined up including MEDLAB Asia (February 18-20), an innovative

laboratory exhibition and congress on the latest advances in the medical laboratory market; Maison Objet Asia (March 10-13), an international trade fair from Paris for professionals in the furnishings field; as well as Black Hat Asia (March 24-28), one of the most distinguished security conference series in the world. Returning trade shows include the IT Show 2014 (February 27 - March 2), Asia Pacific Maritime (March 19-21), World Retail Congress 2014 (March 25-26), as well as Singapore International Coin Fair 2014 (March 28-30).

14   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

“There is a global travel revolution underway, and the secular trends of rising wealth, rapid urbanisation and increasing digital interconnectivity make us as confident as ever about demand for high-end travel,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Japan even more accessible Victorians will be able to fly direct to Toyko from Melbourne with Jetstar from April 29, 2014, when the airline launches a new four times weekly direct service between Melbourne’s Tullamarine and Tokyo’s Narita airports. The Airbus A330 aircraft is scheduled to contain business and economy class seating. The new route will be supplemented by Jetstar Japan’s domestic connection, operating out of Narita Airport, which offers flights to nine other cities across Japan, making it more convenient for Victorian travellers to connect to destinations such as Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo.


Record year for LA destination,” said Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) president and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. “We are on track to reach the goal of 50 million visitors by 2020. The fact that 2013 visitation exceeded projections for organic growth shows the impact that LA Tourism’s ongoing marketing efforts, the efforts of our tourism partners, and the coordinated improvements in public infrastructure and major improvements at LAX Airport have on our economy. This is a huge achievement for the Los Angeles tourism and hospitality industry.”    Los Angeles welcomed a record 42.2 million visitors in 2013, a 2 per cent increase over 2012’s 41.4 million, beating mid-year projections by 150,000 visitors and breaking visitation records for the third consecutive year.  Total international visitation set a record with 6.2 million visitors, a 2.6 per cent increase over 2012, and LA’s hotel occupancy and hotel room nights sold both set all-time record highs in 2013. “The third consecutive record-breaking year for tourism underscores that Los Angeles has emerged as a leading global tourist

Preliminary forecasts indicate that visitor numbers will continue their strong growth. To keep the momentum going in 2014, LA Tourism is rolling out a new integrated consumer marketing campaign in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and China, as well as a new comprehensive media campaign focused on growing international meetings and conventions business in Los Angeles, and enhancing sales efforts around the world to bring meeting and convention business to LA in collaboration with the convention centre and its new private operator, AEG Facilities.

Japan launches new website for event planners Planning a meeting or event in Japan is now easier with the launch of a new website for international business events planners.  The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and Japan Convention Bureau (JCB) site, www.japanmeetings.org, is a handy tool for those planning conferences, corporate meetings and incentive trips. It provides information on what Japan can offer for international events; a search function that allows event planners to find cities and venues that best suit their events’ needs; a list of unique venues and activities that are only available in Japan; and a number of testimonials and case studies.   The comprehensive toolkits available for download give planners access to images, videos and destination guides. Planners can also submit event enquiries and proposals via the website.

Exhibition industry grew in 2013 The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI, has released the results of their 12th Global Barometer survey, which show that the exhibition industry grew in 2013. Reviewing the consolidated results over five years, the associations found a majority of companies in all regions reported an increase of their turnover since at least 2011. In addition, around half declared an increase of more than 10 per cent for 2013. However, 63 per cent of respondents stated that the impact of the “economic crisis” on their business is

not yet over and most of them expect that it won’t be until 2015. Residual effects of the crisis aside, most companies surveyed reported they are planning new strategic developments with 75 per cent planning new activities in either the classic range of exhibition activities (venue/ organiser/services) or in live or virtual events (or both) and 49 per cent planning to expand exhibition operations to new countries. “While we shall remain cautious about the

development of the global economic situation, the exhibition media continues to demonstrate its strength with growth over the last four years,” said UFI managing director Paul Woodward. “The industry remains remarkably dynamic with a majority of companies positively embracing the challenges of new ranges of activity or geographical development.” The 12th Global Barometer survey was answered by 178 companies from 57 countries. The Survey can be downloaded from www.ufi. org/research.

Keep delegates fresh no matter how long your event. With peppermint flavoured TIC TAC Pillow Packs on the table, attendees will be able to freshen up and stay focused with a simple tear of the packet. For sales enquires contact Ferrero Foodservice on 1800 199 183 or visit www.ferrero.com.au/foodservice/tictac

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17/12/13 3:51 PM


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COVER STORY

The Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast has been attracting a new wave of interest since its $26 million refurbishment in 2012, but that hasn’t stopped the resort from constantly refining and improving its facilities. To welcome the New Year,

welcome gatherings, working lunches or an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. In addition the 27sqm Chairmans Boardroom and 40sqm Directors Boardroom offer more intimate meeting spaces, with both also benefitting from the hotel’s contemporary and stylish light-filled design. Following the refurbishment of the central outdoor area, between Mirage Beach and Oasis pool, events in this area are suitable for up to 420 guests with another three outdoor venues available catering from 60 up to 550 people.

New wave of venues Three new meeting rooms have been added to the recently refurbished Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa offering organisers even more options at the Gold Coast’s only absolute beachfront resort.

Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast has launched three new meetings venues to boost their capacity to 10 indoor and four outdoor venues with a combined area of over 3000sqm. Leon Thomson, the resort’s director of sales and marketing, says that the opening of the new venues follows “an 18 per cent increase in demand for conferences in 2014”. The 350sqm Pandanus room features plenty of natural light with a luxurious and modern colour scheme which combines a customised carpet design, black granite, white walls and 4.6m high ceilings. A data projector, 3m screen and built-in sound system are fitted as standard. An impressive staircase leads from the lobby corridor and a second direct entry provides access from the hotel’s main driveway. Large 8m x 3m glass doors open onto a new 150sqm outdoor terrace which is ideal for

18   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

“The opening of Pandanus in particular has increased the flexibility and capacity to accept an increase in conferences and events held at the resort,” Thomson says. “The refurbishment of our outdoor areas also means that we can better utilise our absolute beachfront location, which is unique to us here on the Gold Coast.” The resort is also leading the way in technology with new high definition data projection in the Mirage Grand Ballroom, via a specialised digital cable network and the latest HD Panasonic projectors, providing the sharpest images and ensuring presentations achieve their maximum impact. Realising the importance of staying connected, free in-room wi-fi will also be available to all conference organisers and delegates in 2014.


Q&A

Winning recipe The 34th International Geological Congress, held in Brisbane in August 2012, was named CIM Magazine Best Meeting or Conference at the recent Australian Event Awards. Director of management company Carillon Conference Management, Ashley Gordon (pictured left, with brother and co-director Jonathon) lets us inside the winning event. Q Congratulations on your win. Can you tell us a little about the event and its goals? A The International Geological Congress (IGC) is quite likely the longest running international scientific congress in the world, having been held regularly since 1878, when 310 delegates from 23 countries each paid a registration fee of 3.26 grams of gold to attend the first IGC in Paris. Since then it has been held around the world and grown to be a major event attended by thousands of delegates representing scores of countries. The major aims for the 34th IGC in Brisbane were to enhance the relevance of the congress to the commercial sector of the global resources industry whilst maintaining the academic traditions of the event. Q How were you able to measure the success of the conference? A The 34th IGC has been judged an immense success by every

measure – it broke records in numbers of participants, value of sponsorship, number of exhibitors and importantly the size of its support program for delegates from developing nations. It also achieved a number of firsts, including the first IGC at which the majority of delegates came from new-world countries and the first IGC to be attended by a large number of international resource ministers and ambassadors.

economies which were less affected by the GFC, had a large private sector and which had currencies that were holding their value against the Australian dollar. Working with the organising committee, we then re-engineered the congress program to make the event relevant to the needs of these new delegates. With the very valuable support of Tourism and Events Queensland, we then launched a completely new marketing campaign into Eastern Europe, China, Asia and Latin America and doubled our marketing efforts in general. The results were spectacular; four of our new-market countries figured in the 10 largest national delegations. China alone provided over 1000 delegates, treble the number they had sent to previous IGC’s. Thousands of private sector delegates attended – numbers that had never been seen at an IGC before. I am also very gratified by the surplus we achieved – $2.5 million – which will be used to fund a variety of geoscience initiatives in the years to come. Q Carillon Conference Management has been around for almost 30 years. How have you seen the industry change in that time? A There is a degree of truth in the

Q What were some of the challenges involved in organising such as large and complex conference? A The 34th IGC was indeed large

and complex – revenue exceeded $9 million, the congress was attended by 6012 delegates from 125 countries; there were 3712 oral presentations and a further 1469 posters, 36 sessions running concurrently, 76 associations holding meetings and two complete halls filled with exhibitors… you get the picture! Apart from the usual logistical challenges involved with a project of this size, there were two immense challenges that threatened the very core of the congress. At virtually every IGC ever held, the vast majority of delegates had always been academics and government representatives from Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. When we launched the 34th IGC in Oslo in 2008 these markets were healthy and everyone was making plans to come to Australia in 2012 – and they were thinking it would be a relatively inexpensive trip as the exchange rate for the Australian dollar was then around US$0.60. Just months later the GFC tore these traditional markets to shreds. We were receiving emails from Europe and even the US asking for us – in some cases virtually demanding – to provide financial support for them to attend the congress. The exhibition was also under threat as most exhibitors were the geological survey offices of these same governments. By 2009 we were staring down the very real prospect that the 34th IGC would be attended by a few hundred delegates with virtually no exhibition or industry support. Q Are there any initiatives that you put in place for the event that you’re particularly proud of? A I think our response to the challenge represents the most significant contribution we made to the IGC. We realised that there was an urgent need to identify new sources of delegates. We looked for resource

statement that “the more things change the more they stay the same”. The mechanics of running a conference have seen enormous change, almost invariably for the better and largely the result of technological advances. The transition from manual to online processing of registrations, payments and content submissions has largely made today’s large and complex conference programs possible, just as better presentation technology has totally changed the way conference content is produced. What technology has not managed to do, despite many attempts, is to replace the need for physical conferences. Conferences are still about people with a common interest and like goals meeting to improve whatever it is they do. As more and more people work in de-structured workplaces and have less daily contact with their peers, conferences become even more relevant and much more valuable experiences. Conferences are also much more desirable – who ever got excited about an invitation to a “webinar”? Q What have been some of the highlights for the business over the years? A There have been many highlights, but there are three areas in which I think we have been very fortunate. One is the genuinely international nature of our business. Carillon has run large scale international conferences literally for decades and apart from the wonderful (though sometimes hectic!) travel opportunities, we now have a fantastic worldwide network of friends and associates. Another is that our business has made it possible for us to make important contributions to selected charities – we have supported many initiatives over the years for organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Lifeline and Brazilian Film Festival. Finally, managing conferences allows you get to meet some really remarkable people. By way of example, just the other month I had a very enjoyable conversation with Richard Armitage, former US Deputy Secretary of State in the Bush administration. Two hours of thought provoking conversation with a former top-level diplomat of global renown – not too many jobs give you opportunities like that!

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  19


MELBOURNE

Working together As Business Events Week returns for a second year, Melbourne is focused on shoring up its position as one of Australia’s premier business events destinations, by working collaboratively, writes Ylla Wright.

Business Events Week returns to Melbourne this month, reprising last year’s inaugural event which saw the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and partners put together a week-long program of activities that illustrated the value of business events to the nation's economy, knowledge base and tourism industry. Last year’s event attracted more than 5000 people who attended more than 50 key events held

throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. This year’s event will run from February 17-21, taking in the annual Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), now in its 22nd year. Other highlights of the week include the annual Associations Forum CEO Symposium, which will see up to 120 senior decision makers from domestic and Asia-Pacific not-forprofit organisations partake in

business sessions, and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre's Open House, a public event showcasing innovation in the business events space. The figurehead for this year’s Business Events Week is Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist for Australia, who was appointed to the role of official Ambassador for Business Events Week 2014 late last year, with a view to focusing discussion on the

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Melbourne’s mix of new and old is part of its appeal for conference and incentive organisers.

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reasons why conferences are held. "Conferences span the entire business and knowledge sectors, providing a major platform to collaborate, innovate and educate," says Karen Bolinger, chief executive of MCB. "The scientific community in particular is a major beneficiary of the legacies produced by conferences and who better to convey the significance of this than our Chief Scientist?”

Chubb, who was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for service to higher education, including research and development policy and to the facilitation of a knowledge-based global economy, is keen to be involved in driving awareness of “what business events can do to support the development of the research and knowledge sectors” via Business Events Week. "The long-term economic

benefits of business events are extremely valuable and varied; from attracting inward investment and generating knowledge economy jobs to securing research funding for academic institutions," he says. While business events are vital for developing Australia’s knowledge-based economy, they are also “pivotal in terms of driving the economy and tourism sector”, points out Bolinger.

“To put this into context, by 2020 the value of business events to the Australian economy will rise to $31 billion,” she says. “In addition, business events create a positive flow on effect for small to medium business; in Victoria alone, between 2009 to 2013 delegate spend during MCB-secured business events is estimated at $100 million on hotels $46 million on air travel, $23 million on sightseeing and

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The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is once again the venue for AIME 2014.

tours and $50 million on retail. “The significance of business events to the nation, and the jobs they provide, presents a strong argument for the ongoing investment to the industry.” The MCB enters 2014 off the back of a good year. In total, the bureau won 157 events for Melbourne and greater Victoria in 2013. These events will bring an

estimated 52,382 delegates to the state and generate $209 million for Victoria’s economy. Last year also saw 152 events held in Melbourne and greater Victoria, which had been previously secured for the state by MCB. These events brought approximately 60,700 delegates to Victoria and generated $253 million for the state’s economy.

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The city has recently hosted major events including the 22nd World Diabetes Congress (see story, page 27) and Dreamtime 2013, Tourism Australia’s signature event showcasing the outstanding incentive experiences on offer throughout Australia, which Bolinger says was a “tremendous business opportunity to showcase Melbourne as an incentive

To be held on February 18 and 19, 2014, the event will see more than 750 exhibitors from five continents and around 3500 Hosted Buyers, visitors and media descend on Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. Organisers estimate than more than $250 million of potential business will be done over the two days, with 12,000 business appointments scheduled.

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“Dreamtime was very successful for us, on a number of levels,” she says. “First of all we were thrilled to be selected to host the event. The feedback from buyers has been fantastic; people were really raving about. “The thing with Melbourne is there is a lot to do, but you can’t just put that in a sentence or a

What’s new at AIME 2014? This year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) promises to be as relevant as ever, according to Bolinger, with feedback from buyers regarding last year’s show driving many of the new features on offer.

A CELEBRATION OF STYLE

travel destination”.

Amongst the new initiatives prompted by feedback from the 2013 show are new Asian and European Pavilions which will provide the opportunity for buyers to meet with companies from the regions in two convenient locations, eliminating the necessity to

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spend time (and energy!) travelling to a number of stands on the show floor. “With such a high demand from Hosted Buyers to work with Asian and European businesses, we saw a great need to introduce a strategy to ensure we were reaching this important market,” says Jacqui Timmins, exhibition director for AIME. In addition to these new areas is the Event and Services Pavilion, which will showcase key event logistics companies. Another new initiative that has been launched is the AIME blog, which gives the business events industry a platform to stay connected to relevant news and information year-round, with content contributed by industry leaders such as Jo-Anne Kelleway of Info Salons and Martin Sirk, CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).


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elbourne is Australia’s most vibrant city, famous for its majestic architectural streetscapes, innovative culinary scene and eclectic cultural mix. Founded on the banks of the Yarra River in 1835, Melbourne was quickly transformed from a small township to the world’s richest city after the discovery of gold. Post World War II, waves of migrants have continued to flock to the city, bringing with them new culinary traditions that add to the rich social tapestry the city enjoys today.

Opening his European–style chocolate shop Gânache in Melbourne nine years ago, German born chocolatier Arno Backes describes Melbourne as the Paris of the southern hemisphere.

Also bringing a taste of something special to the city is Salvatore Malatesta, owner of cafe and roasting house St Ali, which offers those in the know restaurant quality dining in a converted warehouse off a suburban laneway.

“It has a very European feeling, the people are very open and I love that,” he says. “They’re excited about what’s new and it keeps you on your toes.”

“Melbourne is definitely leading the global coffee renaissance,”

“Melbourne is a great, colourful city that’s sophisticated. It’s so lush in the tapestry of choice.”

book Love Italy to take home. InterContinental Insider Breaks like More Melbourne give delegates the opportunity to sample hidden secrets as a local would, drawing on the knowledge of the hotel team to turn meeting breaks into memorable experiences. The perfect backdrop to this

Now a staple on the Melbourne food scene Gânache Chocolate is renowned for its speciality hot chocolate and delicate handcrafted pralines.

he says. “I travel five months of the year but my experiences overseas always remind me just how great the food and coffee in Melbourne is.” This summer, the pair – along with celebrity chef Guy Grossi – are collaborating with Collins Street hotel InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto to showcase the best of Melbourne’s vibrant culinary scene. The hotel’s Insider Break “More Melbourne” submerges delegates in a handcrafted Melbourne experience designed to celebrate the city in all its uniqueness. “Melbourne is a great, colourful city that’s sophisticated,” says Grossi of the impetus behind the collaboration. “It’s so lush in the tapestry of choice.”

Insider Break, InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto was built in Melbourne’s gold rush and is the city’s finest example of Venetian Palazzo style architecture. With a nod to the historic splendour of the building’s past, the property has been reimagined as a luxury hotel with sleek modern styling and an unlikely design that celebrates the site’s roots as a shipping warehouse. Preserving the original bluestone cobbled laneway below, a soaring nine storey glass atrium joins the Winfield and Rialto wings of the hotel, creating an authentic Melbourne location unrivalled by any other.

Delegates sample a taste of Melbourne with a morning coffee break featuring coffee from St Ali, a chocolate themed afternoon tea break from Gânache Chocolate and signed copies of Grossi’s new

For more information or to obtain a quote for your next meeting or event call +61 3 8627 1622 or email events.icm@ihg.com www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  23


Melbourne has something for everyone, from high energy activities to trendy cafes.

phrase. You have to spend time here and find what excites you; the activities that will make your incentive experience the right one. [During Dreamtime] there was a millinery session; there was coffee making; there was a

‘Hidden Secrets’ tour; one group spent a day at the MCG, where they got to meet Merv Hughes. They were all really quite different activities.” The importance of the incentive market to Melbourne was

underlined in December when the MCB extended its popular Melbourne Values You program until the end of 2014. Originally launched at AIME 2013, Melbourne Values You is a series of special offers from MCB and partners for incentive and corporate travel reward planners designed to make booking and planning an event in Melbourne not only seamless, but cost effective. Bolinger says that the expansion of the programme was due to the warm reception it had received since being launched. “As Melbourne Values You proved so popular for event planners, we decided to extend the programs for another year and expand it to accommodate more offers from our strategic partners and members so that corporate and incentive groups can get the

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best out of their experience in Melbourne,” she says. The programme has been expanded to present 108 valueadded offers from some of Victoria’s leading hotels, venues, attractions, team building providers and conference support services. According to Bolinger, all members who’d previously signed up renewed their offers, while nine additional members also came on board, including Melbourne Zoo, Icon Entertainment and The Colonial Tram Car Restaurant. “Melbourne Values You is a prime example of how Melbourne’s premier business events suppliers work collaboratively to ensure that the city and the state can continue to secure business in an increasingly competitive international environment,” says Bolinger.


Melbourne’s ‘unique character’ a winner Melbourne will welcome 1000 staff members from Taiwan’s Shin Kong Insurance Company in April for a four-day incentive program which includes the company’s 2014 Agency Summit Conference. The conference and incentive tour is designed to recognise and reward Shin Kong’s top sales people. It is the first time in 10 years that the company has decided to take such a large group outside of Asia. A Shin Kong spokesperson said the company had selected Melbourne because they believe Melbourne can impress and motivate its staff with the city’s lively and unique character. “Melbourne’s multi-ethnic community; its lifestyle, food and coffee culture; reputation as a safe and secure city; combined with the very strong support from MCB [Melbourne Convention Bureau] were the main reasons we chose Melbourne as the destination for the 2014 Agency Summit Conference and incentive

program,” the spokesperson said.

agents will never forget.”

“We are excited to come to Melbourne and learn why it was voted the World’s Most Liveable City so many times. We are positive that we will have an inspiring and rewarding time – a visit that our

The group will explore Melbourne’s laneways (pictured above), arcades and gardens; plant trees on Philip Island; and finish with a gala dinner at one of the city’s exclusive venues.

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Business Events Week highlights Associations Forum CEO Symposium The Associations Forum’s most prestigious event, the annual CEO Symposium, is heading to Melbourne for the first time on February 20-21, 2014. The event aims to connect chief executives and chairs of associations and other not-for-profits (NFPs) while discussing issues that are pertinent to their role and the “state of the nation”.

Associations Forum has also teamed up with Reed Exhibitions to hold an information session, “Developments and trends impacting association conferences and events”, as part of the AIME knowledge program. The session, to be held on Wednesday February 19, from 2.15-4.15pm, will feature a panel of association event specialists discussing their experiences, research and outlook for association events.

Speakers at the symposium include Assistant Treasurer, Senator Arthur Sinodinos; Jennifer Westacott, chair, Mental Health Council of Australia and CEO of the Business Council of Australia; Neil Thompson, CEO of Velocity Frequent Flyer; Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions; and David Murray, former chairman of Future Fund and ex CEO of the Commonwealth Bank.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Open House Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will welcome three of Australia’s most influential leaders in design, advertising and science to its Plenary stage on Thursday, February 20, for Open Space 2014. Visitors to Open Space will hear

inspiring and thought-provoking talks around the event’s theme of “innovation” from renowned designer and founder of agIdeas International Design Week Dr Ken Cato; leading scientist and chief of CSIRO’s Materials Science and Engineering Division, Dr Cathy Foley; and Todd Sampson, chief executive of advertising agency Leo Burnett and panellist on ABC’s The Gruen Transfer. Open Space will also highlight the creative use of MCEC’s spaces, showcasing the venue’s ability to transform for any event, as well as its technology, green design and award-winning food using local produce. MCEC’s chief executive Peter King says he is looking forward to the venue’s second Open Space.

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app.

“Last year our guests came along ‘expecting the unexpected’ and left genuinely surprised at what we can deliver and this year we plan to amaze and inspire our guests again,” he said.

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26   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

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Event snapshot

ICCA Forum for Young Professionals The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) will run its popular Forum for Young Professionals in Melbourne again this month. The two-day programme will be held February 16-17, immediately prior to AIME, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Forum targets young professionals under the age of 30 who are keen to boost their understanding of the global meetings industry. “The 2014 theme is ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ with a focus on changing strategies and practices in the meetings industry,” says Forum manager Elizabeth Rich. Senior industry speakers confirmed so far include Australian PCOs Roslyn McLeod, Stephan Wurzinger, Emma Bowyer and Sarah Markey-Hamm, Inge Hanser from Germany and Bannie Kim from Korea.

Zimmet, chair of the Program Committee and foundation director of International Diabetes Institute, was instrumental in helping to plan the Congress.

Fast facts: World Diabetes Congress Client: International Diabetes Federation Event: World Diabetes Congress Attendees: 10,300 registrations Date: December 2-6, 2013 The World Diabetes Congress (WDC) was held over five days in December 2013, attracting 10,300 delegates to Melbourne from more than 140 countries to hear over 400 speakers at 700 scientific presentations and 34 sub-events, with 15 concurrent sessions daily. The Congress is estimated to have injected $63 million into Victoria’s economy. The Western Pacific is a diabetes epicentre and this was only the third time in 20 years the Congress has been held in the region. Club Melbourne Ambassador Professor Paul

• The Congress was the biggest medical meeting to be held in Australia and the largest event ever held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). • MCEC’s sales team started planning the Congress with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2008 and event planning commenced in February 2012. • Along with the main event, the event planning team managed 34 Congress sub-events, which included satellite symposiums, ancillary meetings and sponsor hospitality suites. MCEC assigned one main event manager and then eight event planners to oversee the sub-events. • The event involved a three day bump-in and two day bump-out of 74 stands, including 30 that

were custom-built. • Due to the popularity of some Congress sessions, overflow of rooms occurred. MCEC’s technology team had to set up additional screens and speakers to stream sessions to a designated room where delegates could watch. • The WDC opening ceremony for 3000 people, held on Monday December 2, was the largest MCEC has hosted for a conference. • It was the first time MCEC’s technology team used in-room cameras to web-cast each session. • MCEC rolled out new public catering pop-up food stations and served more than 18,000 meals over five days. Surplus food was donated to charity SecondBite to distribute to those in need. • The event employed the highest number of technicians (37) from MCEC’s technology team operating each day plus numerous teams doing room changes overnight. • The event had the most concurrent wi-fi users ever at MCEC (over 6000 users in total) and almost 900GB of data used.

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DREAMTIME

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. Clockwise: Deconstructed pavlova at Shannon Bennett’s Vue de Monde; chefs Guy Grossi (left) and Tony Panetta get cracking at the Dreamtime breakfast; networking sessions in full swing; the Welcome Event at Alto; delegates getting out and about in style around Melbourne.

Food for thought Melbourne was the host city for Dreamtime 2013, and what better place to showcase Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ marketing campaign than the gourmet capital of the nation, writes Sheridan Randall.

Dreamtime 2013 was notable for a number of factors. It was the first time the biennial showcase of Australia’s high end corporate meetings and incentive product was held in Melbourne. It was Andrew McEvoy’s last formal function before stepping down as managing director at Tourism

Australia. And it coincided with the Australian cricket team taking their revenge on the English at the Ashes test match being played out across the nation. “It’s my final week at Tourism Australia and I can’t think of a better way [to finish] than

being with the business events community,” McEvoy said. Over the course of Dreamtime 2013, the international delegates would “see why Melbourne is the spiritual home of Australia’s culinary renaissance”, said Karen Bolinger, chief executive of Melbourne Convention

28   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

Bureau, with the two day programme kicking off with a sumptuous breakfast at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre created by the Centre’s executive chef Tony Panetta and Melbourne restaurateur Guy Grossi. A morning of networking at


the business sessions brought everyone up to speed with what is new across the country before another culinary highlight on the 54th floor of the Rialto Tower. Shannon Bennett and his team at Vue de Monde gave the group a masterclass in the best of Australian cuisine with a menu that included local delicacies such as tea tree smoked salmon pearls, emu jerky, salt cured wallaby and marron. “A lot of the corporate and high end corporate meetings and incentives are coming back, and they are coming back to Australia,” McEvoy said. “I believe that Australia’s credentials in this sector are quite high and we do this rather well. You look at Shannon and his team here. People love entertaining in Australia and in a high quality way.” The Welcome Reception at Alto, above the GPO building in Melbourne’s central business district, was attended by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who was an enthusiastic cheerleader for the city and what it had to offer the meetings and incentive sector. For Doyle, Melbourne’s lack of

natural highlights was one of the main reasons it had to try so hard in other areas, including sports, culture and creative events. “We don’t have a beautiful harbour, a great barrier reef, a big rock or a giant prawn, but the beauty of Melbourne for incentive travel is your clients can put together tailored packages that will be their Melbourne, and take away a highly individual picture of the city.” The two day programme ended with a Gala Dinner, with celebrity chef Luke Mangan overseeing a three-course menu featuring Tasmanian salmon and Victorian beef, before the delegates split up into different groups and headed off on their three day educational tours to Adelaide, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Northern Territory and Sydney. The final word went to McEvoy, as he bid farewell to an industry he had served for some 20 years. “It is with mixed emotions that I leave,” he said. “The fact that high end business is growing is testament to product we offer, to the people and talent and to the future to our industry.”

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DO YOU HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR NEXT GLOBAL EVENT?

• • •

Create world-class experiences at Australia’s best facilities for conventions, exhibitions and events Connect with innovators and entrepreneurs Collaborate with business and government Sydney is building an iconic, contemporary and versatile meetings precinct in the heart of the city and just five miles from the airport. Our new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) will open its doors in late 2016 and connect our educational, commercial, creative and multicultural precincts. Above all, it will have the character, dynamism and energy for which Sydney is renowned. Speak to Business Events Sydney at AIME (stand 1522) to find out how you can be part of a smart future.


Artist’s impression of ICC Sydney courtesy of HASSELL + Populous and Darling Harbour Live

Artist’s impression of ICC Theatre courtesy of HASSELL + Populous and Darling Harbour Live


SUNSHINE COAST

Naked ambition The Sunshine Coast turned heads at last year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo with their roaming body art ambassadors. Since then the region has had a stellar year seeing rising visitor rates across the board and is looking to mark another year of growth, writes Sheridan Randall. Having models stroll around almost naked at the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) is a very effective way of getting some attention and nicely summed up what the Sunshine Coast has to offer event organisers and delegates – getting back to nature. “Naturally refreshing” as that was, the region’s other well-known ambassadors, Richard Branson (owner of Makepeace Island) and Pat Rafter, last year called on visitors to ditch their mobile phones to better enjoy the landscape and connect with the natural world. But for those that cannot afford to completely let go of the rat race the Sunshine Coast offers a destination where delegates can definitely unwind and de-stress. In 2012-13 the Sunshine Coast recorded an 8.7 per cent increase in overall visitor numbers compared with the previous year, with visitor numbers from Sydney seeing a dramatic leap of 35 per cent. With the Sunshine Coast looking to meet its tourism revenue target of $3.9 billion by 2020, the region will be focusing on the lucrative business events sector in the coming years. Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) in collaboration with Tourism and Events Queensland held a tourism forum at the end of 2013 to develop a Destination Tourism Plan for the region. Expected to be completed in the first half of this year, the plan will consider the “needs and requirements of the broader visitor economy

including events, conferences, education, sports and leisure”, according to SCDL chief executive Simon Ambrose. “We have been working predominantly in the domestic and New Zealand market over the last few years, but we can see that particularly from South East Asia there is a real opportunity for us to get involved there.” Ambrose says. Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) is running an inaugural LinkedIn campaign targeting corporate and intermediary clients, such as professional conference organisers and event managers, in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. “We are confident that this will help to increase the activity from these particular areas,” he says. “Singapore and Malaysia in particular have great potential for the Sunshine Coast, but as we grow those markets the obvious choice is to focus on China. But we want to be very targeted in that region, looking at the tier two cities using the sister city relationships we already have with Sunshine Coast Council.” Participating in last year’s Dreamtime event, as well this year’s AIME and Tourism Australia’s South-East Asia Showcase is also set to pay dividends in the international market. “There is also a lot of potential in the region to follow up all the activity that is happening in the [domestic] health sector,” he says. “With the new Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital that is being developed and the relations that it will have

The crema of the crop Discover the secrets of a good bean with the Clandestino Roasters’ coffee cupping sessions. Run by the Taylor brothers, this Noosa Heads-based boutique roaster works directly with growers in Bolivia and Papua New Guinea and fly in some of the best specialty grade beans from around the globe.

with the university, we think that health sector conferences and professionals will be a really good market for us.” A new bid developer based in Sydney is also set to drive business from the east coast to the Sunshine Coast. “Business events is definitely a key focus,” says Lauran Hofman, manager of BESC. With an average conference size of 72 delegates the Sunshine Coast handles anything under 300 “really well”.

Relaxation zone The Sunshine Coast has a bevy of award-winning spas to choose from including the Noosa Spring’s Spa, Ikatan Spa Balinese retreat, Spicers Tamarind Retreat’s Spa Anise and the spa at Palmer Coolum Resort. Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. 32   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com


Fantasy island

Photo credit: Eurong Beach Resort.

Charter a light plane from Sunshine Coast Airport and land straight onto the beach at Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. A World Heritage-listed eco-paradise located just north of Noosa, delegates can stay at overnight or simply spend the day exploring the island’s rainforest or take a dip in Lake McKenzie, one of over 100 freshwater lakes. If flying doesn’t appeal for the journey back you can take to the seas on board a high speed catamaran that whisks delegates across the Great Sandy Strait, one of the largest breeding grounds for humpback whales in the world.

“We have three properties that cater to the 1500 mark but anything over that you would be looking at Brisbane,” she adds. “We are 67 per cent corporate conference and then after that is the incentive market and then a very small amount (16 per cent) is associations which is something we will focus on in the coming years.” Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are the key markets for the region for business events, with just under 5 per cent coming from overseas, mainly New Zealand. Having received additional funding from the state government, Hofman is also confident the region will see a rise in overseas visitors over the next three years, following the increaced focus on international business events. Ryan Newton, Mantra Group’s area manager Sunshine Coast and general manager of

Mantra Mooloolaba Beach, says that it has “been an exceptionally strong year” for the Group in the Sunshine Coast, which saw its three Sunshine Coast properties, Mantra and BreakFree resorts in Noosa, Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland, record a 10 per cent increase in occupancy year on year for the 2013 festive season with 90 per cent occupancy rates. “There is greater awareness for the Sunshine Coast,” he says. “The sporting events we have been able to secure over the past couple of years really catapulted that awareness.” These include the Sunshine Coast Marathon, the Iron Man 70.3, Tough Mudder and the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival. For Mantra Mooloolaba Beach the first six months of this financial year have been “very strong”, with Newton expecting the property

to record another year of growth by June. “We are coming off the back off a refurbishment of our conference facilities,” he says. “The property is in a fantastic location. You couple that with a fantastic refurbished conference venue, some really good value add-ons we have such as the delegate reviver zone, which is a combination of relaxation and rejuvenation activities that you can enjoy during the conference or during the breaks

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www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  33


Tee off Smack a ball around some of Australia’s most renowned and respected golf courses. Whether it’s the Greg Norman-designed golf course at Pelican Waters, the world class course at Palmer Coolum Resort complete with dinosaurs, the challenging Twin Waters golf course or the picturesque Noosa golf course, you’re sure to keep every golfing enthusiast happy.

[means] we have seen some really strong demand for this property.” Another key factor in that success has been the region’s increased air access, both domestically and from New Zealand, with four carriers servicing the region – Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Air New Zealand. “The interstate market is growing with Sydney and Melbourne our key feeder markets alongside Brisbane,” he says. “Mooloolaba is 10 minutes from the Sunshine Coast airport and only a 60 minute flight from Sydney and 90 minutes from Melbourne, so access to the Sunshine Coast is easier than it has ever been,” he adds. “The Kiwi market is a strong market for us and the direct service from Auckland has been just the tonic the region needed. There has been tremendous growth in that segment due to those flights, with some 47 per cent of those travellers coming over [from Auckland] on staying at Mooloolaba.” Kingfisher Island Resort on Fraser Island

is seeing an upswing in business events and incentive trips with the island’s WorldHeritage listing a real drawcard, according to Leonie Belbin, business development manager – C&I for Kingfisher Island Resort. “Since 2012 we have run a Carbon Neutral Meetings program where we automatically calculate and offset greenhouse gas emission sources,” she says. “Our clients love this service and the eco activities we offer (and have for the past 21 years), but it is not the sole driver for booking with us. “We’re extremely lucky to have Fraser Island as the backdrop to all of our conference and incentive activity, so we make it our business to design and personalise incentive events that showcase the pristine wilderness.” Events such as lunches on a sand bar called Pelican Banks – in the middle of the Great Sandy Marine Park – or bush-tucker dinners in the bush are very popular for groups. Touring in the Great Sandy National Park and options to go whale watching

re·fresh /ri’freSH/

Give new vigor, energy and spirit to; to reinvigorate and replenish.

Sweet treat Take a masterclass in truffle making at Sheraton Noosa Resort and Spa. Under the guidance of executive chef Tony Kelly (formerly of Stokehouse Brisbane) class participants refine the art of the perfect ganache, experiment with a variety of flavours and create their very own dream truffle. Groups can take part in a competitive, truffle off with the winner granted the coveted title of Trufflemaster.

(August through October) or sunset cruising on the Great Sandy Strait are also attractive options for groups. “Last year we also introduced skirmish in the bushland at the back of the resort, which has also proven popular,” she adds. “We are currently working with our new food and beverage manager and executive chef to offer client cooking classes, with a bush tucker twist – so watch this space.”

Those who visit the Sunshine Coast return to the office feeling refreshed, invigorated and inspired. Bright blue skies and sunny smiles make the Sunshine Coast the natural choice to revitalise your people. So why not refresh your thinking on where to meet next?

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34   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com


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BOATS

Sea change Australia and New Zealand are blessed with dramatic coastlines and spectacular harbours so is it time event organisers took more advantage of seaborne venues, asks Sheridan Randall. and a super yacht experience,” says Cameron Bray, director of charter yacht company Bray Management. With a large stable of luxury motor yachts and sailing yachts available across the country, Bray describes the vessels as the “ultimate” symbol of achievement. But the key is making sure that feeling of achievement is the same for every person who boards a vessel.

Left and right: Southern Cloud.

Whenever an international celebrity or dignitary visits our shores you can bet your bottom dollar at some point they will be whisked out on a yacht or motor launch to both see and be seen. Not only does being on the water give you unrivalled views of any port city, it also tends to make people from every walk of life feel both fabulously important and relaxed simultaneously. Such is the remarkable effect of salt water combined with some sleek maritime luxury. “We use the term super yacht

“The experience, whether it is royalty, rock stars or a corporate person chartering the boat, needs to be the same for every single person,” he says. “So we don’t change anything depending on who the person is. It is [about] the consistency of delivering the ultimate service and the ultimate experience that you could possibly have.” But luxury doesn’t mean stuffy in the yachting world. You may be glammed up to the eyeballs and feeling a million dollars but the chances are you will also be barefoot, as the general rule of thumb on boats is to take off your shoes when you come aboard, because of the teak decks. “I feel that once you take your shoes off you are all relaxed and on a level playing field which takes the formalities out of it, with a champagne in one hand

36   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014     www.cimmagazine.com

and canapé in the other you are forced to network,” he says. “But you don’t feel like you are in a conference room with a name badge, you are sitting down on a super yacht having a great time.” The 40-metre Southern Cloud is the sole sailing boat on Bray Management’s books, and with its three masts and classic good looks you can’t help but feel a little special when on board. Based in Sydney, but available for charter as far afield as the Whitsundays or the South Pacific Islands, Southern Cloud

boasts an impressive amount of deck space, as well as a covered dining area, which Bray describes as “the most exclusive private dining room in the country”. “People spend huge amounts of money to take key clients to a private dining room at the back


“We are a step on step off experience for the client. You bring the people and we’ll organise the rest.”

And if the weather decides not to keep its end of the bargain, rest assured that it will not dampen the experience.

New to Sydney, U Cruise is a French company that has relocated to sunnier climes, bringing with it a sense of European flair. Offering small pontoon vessels capable of carrying 12 passengers, the boats can be compared to luxury floating lounges.

“We can’t play god when planning for the weather but these boats are designed to cater for foul weather,” he says. “If it is raining then we have plenty of room inside and you are still sitting in the absolute lap of luxury.

The pontoon construction makes the boats very stable and due to their shallow draft enables them to pick up or land on the beach without getting your feet wet. A cunningly hidden toilet, and storage space for drinks and nibbles negates the need to go ashore at all if necessary.

Left: Pacific Mermaid Right: U Cruise

of a restaurant that might not even have a window,” he says. “You put 12-15 people on a super yacht with a private chef and have a dining experience moving around the harbour, you can’t get anything more exclusive than that. Most of the vessels have a dining table that will sit a minimum eight people and beyond that it’s a case of what we can retrofit, with the capacity of up to about 20 people.”

A UNIQUE VENUE COLLECTION

Organisers can simply use the boats for an informal but luxurious meeting space or a versatile and highly mobile way for small groups to spend a day seeing the hidden sights of Sydney Harbour. “The concept of this boat is that basically you get a group of people and whether they know each other or not they will spend a moment together – usually two to three hours,” says Emmanuel About, director of U Cruise Sydney. “You feel you are really on the water without losing that sense of luxury.” Boasting a convention centre right on the harbour’s edge, Darwin is another top spot for hitting the water. “Being so close to the convention centre and offering a venue with a difference has made cruising a ‘must-do’ option for the many groups we have coming to

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Exterior Grand Pavilion, Rosehill Gardens

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www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  37


with everything taken care of including the catering.

SYDNEY

“The best thing about arranging a cruise with us is that we plan all the details for your group – sometimes easier than a land based event,” she says. “We take care of all details from catering and drinks packages through to entertainment and Nothing beats seeing Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water. Check out the new Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island interim facility from the water. Take a trip to one of the many hidden harbour beaches. Stop off for a bite at Doyles Restaurant in Watsons Bay.

Darwin,” says Rachel BeaumontSmith, general manager of Darwin Harbour Cruises. The company usually operates from Stokes Hill Wharf, a short stroll from the Darwin Convention Centre, and can also drop off at Cullen Bay, where groups can go on to the selection of restaurants close by, or carry on to East Point. “The 45-pax Tumlaren is a 20-metre open air schooner which makes it perfect for the long dry season days where you

can soak up the wonderful weather we have from April to November. Our 25-metre tri levelled 270-pax catamaran, Charles Darwin, is the only vessel in Darwin that has two air-conditioned levels and a fabulous open air sun deck for the hotter and sometimes wetter times of the year. The security of having an all-weather vessel is really appealing for the large events that we host.”

Left: Watsons Bay in Sydney

Another benefit of taking to the high seas is the ease of planning,

38   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

decorating. We even have our 21 seater coaster bus to look after transfers to and from your hotel.” Auckland-based Pacific Mermaid Cruises has two super yachts available for hire, the 35 pax Activa and 80 pax Pacific Mermaid, which managing director John Winter describes as “a private lounge on a first


Auckland

Left: Mudbrick Vineyard. Right: Waitemata Harbour.

“You often start in the afternoon and finish off at night. Then you get to see the harbour lights at night, with continuous finger food and lovely wine. It’s like having cocktails in a nice venue except it’s moving and you see the harbour.”

class jet experience”. The boats operate for the majority of the time in Waitemata Harbour, with the option of island hopping or just twilight cruising.  “Seeing the city from the sea is a beautiful way to see it,” says Winter. “We are very blessed in Auckland. Beautiful islands are very close, within 30 minutes, 16370_CIM MAGAZINE HALF PG.pdf and you can be totally alone.

1

For those looking to spend a little more time on the water, you can explore the nearby 9/09/13 1:09 PM islands, including Waiheke

Explore the Hauraki Gulf and Great Barrier Island. Head to the nearest island with a white sandy beach and do some kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding and tubing. Step ashore at Waiheke Island to experience fine dining and vineyard options such as Cable Bay, Mudbrick or Man O’ War Vineyard. Then either come back on board or be helicoptered back to the mainland.

Island with its picturesque bays and world renowned vineyards. “You can do wine tasting ashore followed by lunch on board, before circumnavigating the whole island,” he adds. And with Auckland being the sailing capital of the southern hemisphere it comes as no surprise that people can be dropped off or picked up from

venues such as the Cloud, the Hilton Auckland or Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour which have berths nearby. Whatever the type of event there is probably a boat out there that can fit the bill. As Winter says, “People relax when they get on the water and so a lot of good exchanges and networking happens”. Anchors away!

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www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  39


TEAMBUILDING

Active for a cause Choosing the right teambuilding activity is a great way for companies to effect organisational and attitudinal change amongst staff, but they’re also an excellent way of giving back to the community, writes Ylla Wright. With corporate social responsibility now an integral part of many organisations’ core values, its little wonder that there’s an increasing demand for teambuilding activities that not only take participants out of their comfort zones and challenge them to work together to achieve certain goals but also give back to the community as well. One of the best known programs is Bikes for Tykes, which sees teams of participants complete a series of tasks and challenges in order to earn the pieces of a bicycle which they then build. After being checked by a qualified mechanic, the bikes are donated to a local kids’ charity. “Teams are led to believe at the beginning of the day that it’s the best bike that wins the day,” says Dwain Richardson, director of Corporate Challenge Events, which runs the program at locations around Australia. “It’s only after the bikes have been

checked by bike mechanics that we announce there is a bigger meaning. It’s very rare to have a dry eye in the room.” Richardson, who has been in the industry for 15 years, says he’s seen these style of programs become more and more popular “as the corporate dollar gets scrutinised more”. In 2013 the company donated more than 850 bikes, with the average group building five or six bikes. It is the most popular teambuilding activity the company runs. Another increasingly popular option is OzHarvest’s Cooking for a Cause, run in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales by the food rescue organisation. The program sees groups work in teams with professional chefs to prepare and cook hundreds of meals ready for distribution to charitable organisations by OzHarvest’s vans. An OzHarvest representative will

be present to share the OzHarvest story, educating your team about food waste, food insecurity, and the role OzHarvest plays in the community. Since launching three years ago, interest in the program has “grown tenfold”, according to OzHarvest founding director Ronni Kahn, with the organisation able to put on events for groups of all sizes (the largest has been 4000). In December 2013 alone, 33 corporations did the activity. “Cooking for a Cause is really about working together, producing good food made with love,” says Kahn. “Our groups enjoy themselves in a special way because what they’re doing is preparing something for someone else; knowing that what you’re putting together is going to be on the table of someone in need is incredibly powerful and transformative.” The teambuilding exercise

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has led to a spin-off event, OzHarvest’s CEO Cook-off, which is set to take place on February 17 this year. “We invite CEOs from around Australia, divide them into small groups, each working with one of Australia’s top chefs and together they will prepare and serve a meal for 1000 of our homeless, vulnerable people,” explains Kahn. “It is without doubt an extraordinary event but the twist is the CEOs have to pay to participate and raise money, which allows us to deliver millions more meals.” The Helping Hands program, licensed in Australia by Henricks Consulting, is another relatively new option that sees teams literally “give a hand” to the victims of landmine related injuries, by building a prosthetic limb. There are approximately 300,000 landmine-related amputees in the third world today, 20 per of which are children. The people


Opposite page, top: Bikes for Tykes is a popular teambuilding activity; Inset: A recipient of one of Helping Hands prosthetic limbs. This page, left: Kids celebrate their new bikes; Inset: Ronni Kahn (second left) with Cooking for Cause participants.

impacted are usually unable to afford a working prosthesis with the cheapest option costing about $3000 (in Australia prosthesis can cost up to $70,000). During the exercise participants work in teams of three or four to build the hands, while having one hand “disabled” themselves to better allow them to empathise with the people

by overcoming those challenges that they gain a really profound lesson about the power of purpose-driven work,” he says. “We spend too much time at work not to be inspired and pumped about what we’re doing, and this activity gives them the opportunity to not only see what it’s like to be super engaged in your work, but also to see how easily we can manage to cope with some pretty major challenges if we have to.”

they’re helping. While organisations are attracted to the activity by the community service aspect, those who participate also learn a valuable lesson along the way, according to Matt Henricks, director of Henrick’s Consulting. “We throw a whole bunch of challenges at people in our workshops and essentially it’s

So far more than 1380 hands have been built, and Henricks has orders for another 144 which are yet to be built. “Originally we set ourselves the goal of building at least 1000 hands by the end of 2013 but since we’d already surpassed that goal by July [of last year] we set ourselves another goal,” says Henricks. “Our

new goal is 5000 hands by the end of 2015 and I really hope that we can achieve that goal together with our clients.” Ausure Insurance Brokers participated in the Helping Hand program in August 2012, during a merger process which saw Ausure purchase another company, with group operations manager Graeme Lilley saying at the time that it was a perfect fit for the company’s goals. “Helping Hands was a superb way to get the two company head offices – situated in Newcastle and Brisbane – together on the Gold Coast to participate in a meaningful philanthropic task while strengthening their team work and engaging with company goals,” says Lilley. “Our head office teams are

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www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  41


essentially the helping hands for our insurance broking network, providing support for our 150 broking branches across Australia who in turn help to protect the interests of their clients. Lending a hand is core to Ausure’s values, something everyone in the company can identify with.” Key selling points for the company were that as an indoor, non-physical activity it meant all employees could participate without any apprehension; working in teams of three to four allowed them to mix the employee groups in order to build relationships; and it had a tangible benefit for those receiving the hands. “If you want genuine learning in the workplace and to challenge people’s working behavior, challenge people’s level of personal accountability, or challenge the extent to which they cope with change in the workplace, you need something really powerful and I think that’s why the Helping Hands program has been successful to date,” says Henricks, who is a psychologist by training. “It touches people at such a deep level that it enables us to have conversations in the work place that they wouldn’t let us otherwise.”

At the heart of things Corporate social responsibility is close to the heart of the Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) team, with team members seeing firsthand the positive mutual benefits that such activities can bring when companies or organisations decide to include a CSR component in their conference, incentive or event held in the Northern Territory. “We see so many benefits in facilitating engagement with our local communities for conferences and incentives held in the NT,” says Scott Lovett, director of Business Events for the NTCB. “CSR engagement can make a real difference, bring about positive change and leave behind a lasting legacy. It provides an unforgettable opportunity for event participants to engage with the local community, enjoy a one-onone exchange, learn more about

Australia’s ancient culture and make a strong connection with the land and its people. “It gives participants a reason to venture out into the

environment, sometimes a little off the usual beaten track, to gain invaluable insights and experiences through worthwhile and genuine teambuilding activities. They end up departing the NT happy in the knowledge that their time here has made a positive impact that extends well beyond the business event itself.” Amongst the NTCB’s partners

for creative teambuilding with a conscience are Bindi, an Alice Springs-based cross-cultural organisation which provides employment opportunities for adults with disabilities producing high quality corporate merchandise including handmade name badges, delegate satchels and bags, calendars, caps and shirts as well as table centerpieces and artworks for NT conferences and events. Another organisation also working closely with the business events sector is the Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation, known locally as The Purple House. This non-government not-for-profit organisation operates a kidney dialysis centre in Alice Springs which services patients and their families who come to Alice Springs for lifelong dialysis treatments.

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42   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com

68 Market Street, Sydney NSW, 2000


The pleasure of giving Christmas came early for 500 guests from the Salvation Army’s many programs when the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre opened its doors for its fifth annual Christmas Lunch on December 7 last year. The Centre’s chefs and a team of 30 volunteers, most of whom were Centre staff, as well as suppliers and corporate partners, worked all day to prepare and serve a festive Christmas lunch of glazed ham, roast turkey with chestnut

stuffing and cranberry dressing and a special chocolate pudding for the children. As the highlight of the Centre’s social responsibility program, many Centre staff volunteer for this event every year. BCEC general manager Bob O’Keeffe is a regular part of the service team along other members of the executive management team who line-up with staff from finance, operations, sales, food and beverage, marketing, rostering, customer services, building services, box office

and other departments. The Centre’s car park manager played Santa with every child receiving a gift bag bulging with lollies and gifts.

The lunch was the brainchild of the Centre’s food and beverage director, Kevin Gulliver, who took his idea to the executive management group.

As well as the staff’s efforts, the Centre received help from many long term suppliers, who all contributed to the magic of the day. For the third year, Village Roadshow provided 500 VIP passes entitling families to unlimited entry to Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild, which was a big hit with the families.

According to the Salvation Army’s Neil Dickson, who helps co-ordinate the event, the lunch is a great gesture and much needed support. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be able to involve our clients, people who are doing it tough every day and it helps make Christmas something special for them,” he says.

How an exquisite v i n e ya r d l u n c H l e a d t o a f r e s H ta s t e f o r success in tHe office

Discover the unique activities and surroundings, world-class venues, and friendly locals of Australia’s oldest wine making region that will make your next business event an overwhelming success. Situated just two hours from the Sydney CBD, the Hunter Valley eliminates distraction, stimulates better thinking and inspires productivity. With the experience and expertise of Hunter Valley Business Events - the official Convention Bureau, explore how the Hunter Valley can deliver a better return on your involvement today. Visit hvbusinessevents.com.au

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  43


CONVENE Q

New expo for Queensland New business events expo Convene Q will debut in Brisbane in July. CIM asks organiser Stu Freeman from ProMag Publishing why the event will stand out from the crowd.

Top left: Organiser Stu Freeman; Queensland exhibitors are expected to come out in force for Convene Q.

Q When and where is Convene Queensland being held? A The inaugural Convene Q

will be on July 29, 2014, at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Q What are the main things to know about Convene Q? A Convene Q is a one day exhibition which allows professionals who organise events (from the company Christmas party to a large conference) to source a diverse range of Queensland event products and services in one place at one time. Convene Q provides the opportunity for face to face interaction between buyers and exhibitors, widely regarded as one of the most effective ways to build business relationships and communicate in the marketplace. Q What sets Convene Q apart

from other expos aimed at the conference and incentive sector in Australia? A Convene Q will focus only on Queensland wide suppliers – bureaux, venues, accommodation providers, theme companies, speakers, activities, attractions and more. It will be Queensland wide rather than focused on a specific region. It will involve the State’s larger “players” but will also be priced in a way that smaller operators can be involved. This is an opportunity for operators of any size (and budget) to engage with interstate and New Zealand buyers. Q What kind of buyers are you hoping to attract to Convene Q? A This is the expo’s other major point of difference as it will heavily target local South East Queensland based buyers

but will also attract hosted buyers from Sydney, Melbourne and other centres, as well as key incentive and conference operators from New Zealand. Local buyers will include executive secretaries, personal assistants, corporate meeting and travel planners, association executives and professional conference and incentive organisers. Q Will there be a preappointment schedule at Convene Q? A Yes. Hosted buyers will need to commit to appointments before their applications are accepted. Local buyers will also be able to make appointments in advance, to ensure they maximise their time and see the exhibitors they need to. Q What is the format and programme for Convene Q?

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A The expo will be only one day in duration, following feedback from both Queensland suppliers and buyers who say a one day programme is best for their busy schedules. However, Convene Q is more than just an exhibition. It will include pre-show activity such as familiarisation tours and a cocktail party, while the day itself will also involve educational sessions such as seminars and entertainer showcases. Q What stage is Convene Q at right now? A We are currently approaching the marketplace and selling exhibition stands to suppliers throughout Queensland. We already have key players signed up, committed or interested. Buyer registrations will go live early in 2014. For more information visit www.convenequeensland.com.


Advertorial

Exploring Geelong and The Bellarine Business Events Geelong tells how Just out of the city is The Hill Winery, a stunning new conference venue overlooking acres of vineyards. The Hill Winery offers several function spaces and on-site team-building activities such as wine masterclasses. It is easily accessed from Geelong and an easy drive from Melbourne via the Freeway and Geelong Ring Road.

Conferencing is about more than just a venue, it’s about a destination and choosing the right location for your event is integral to its success. Easily accessible from Melbourne and well serviced by Avalon airport, the region boasts numerous quality meeting venues, from largescale resorts packed with leisure facilities to smaller boutique properties located at some of the region’s most scenic locations.

About 30 minutes from Geelong and just over an hour from Melbourne is the historic village of Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula. Offering stylish conference facilities, this compact regional town is renowned for its gourmet food, wine and stunning coastline.

When conferencing in Geelong and The Bellarine your delegates will enjoy quality food, excellent wine and can engage in a host of other activities. Geelong and The Bellarine provide a huge range of activities from team building to leisure, relaxation and adventure. It’s easy to get out of the boardroom and experience the stunning surrounds.

The Pier Geelong is located on the city’s iconic Cunningham Pier and has panoramic water views. From intimate business meetings for up to 50 people, a conference or dinner for 800, or cocktail party for 1300, The Pier offers a flexible floorplan, stylish décor and restaurant quality in-house catering. A multi-functional, versatile event space located only 50 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD and based on Geelong’s waterfront with numerous activities right at your door. Inspire your team with dolphin swims, fishing tours, a round of golf or wine tasting, or let them rejuvenate with a gentle coastal stroll or bike ride. Queenscliff’s iconic Vue Grand Hotel offers 32 boutique hotel rooms, bar and restaurant dining, four meeting spaces and the opulent Grand Dining Room, which caters for up to 150 and prides itself on presenting the best local produce, wines and craft beers.

Mercure Geelong is the largest conference hotel in the city; offering five function rooms, pool, gym and 138 spacious guest rooms including apartments and luxury suites. Mercure Geelong’s conference centre is ideal for sales meetings, training seminars, trade shows, cocktail receptions and formal banquets of up to 400 guests.

Look no further than Geelong and The Bellarine for your next conference, incentive or exhibition and Business Events Geelong can help facilitate with ease.

For more information on: Mercure Geelong – www.mercuregeelong.com.au

The Pier Geelong – www.thepiergeelong.com.au

The Hill Winery – www.peterrowland.com.au/venues/the-hill-winery

Vue Grand Hotel – www.vuegrand.com.au

Discover more at www.businesseventsgeelong.com.au

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  45


EVENT REPORTS

Client: World Indigenous Network PCO: cievents

World Indigenous Network Conference

Attendees: 1400 delegates Venue: Darwin Convention Centre Date: May 25-31, 2013

WIN Conference There are few places on earth where you can find Kalahari Bushmen and New Zealand Maori singing, dancing and laughing alongside Indigenous Australians and Mexican Comcaac people. However, that was exactly the situation that unfolded last year at the World Indigenous Network Conference (WIN Conference) in Darwin. Over six days, more than 1400 indigenous peoples and land

and sea managers gathered in the Northern Territory to take part in a celebration of some of earth’s most unique and resilient cultures. Professional conference organiser cievents was chosen to coordinate travel, accommodation, logistics, entertainment and production of the 2013 WIN Conference. An event like no other The concept of the WIN Conference was originally

dreamed up as a vision of indigenous land and sea managers coming together from across the globe in order to share knowledge and their unique perspectives. Less than a year later, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard officially announced the event to a global audience at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. Working closely with the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the

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National Advisory Group, the cievents logistics team realised early on that organising the WIN Conference would be no walk in the park. Many of the delegates attending had never travelled on this scale before, and the language and cultural barriers were significant, to say the least. There were also a number of unique indigenous tribal and cultural sensitivities to take into account, with some attendants refusing to travel with members of certain tribes.


Opposite page: The World Indigenous Network Conference attracted speakers and delegates from around the globe. Left: Delegates attending the WIN conference shared their varying cultural experiences. Inset: An Indigenous artist demonstrates his talent. Below: The interactive art space and marketplace was one of the biggest drawcards of the conference.

A cultural explosion of sound and light The event included a number of activities and performances for the guests, which were designed to showcase the best of Australia while also giving everyone an opportunity to interact and learn from each other. The opening ceremony showcased the diversity of indigenous performers from around Australia including Bangarra, Garry Lang NT Dance Company, Doonooch Dance Company, Baiwa Dance Company and One Mob Different Country. A special movie night on the Darwin waterfront served as a highlight for many of those who took part, while the cieventsmanaged interactive art space and marketplace became one of the biggest talking points of the conference. During the event, cievents also organised to take more than 800

of the delegates to the famous Darwin night markets. However, the most truly memorable and spectacular moment of the entire WIN Conference was almost certainly the closing ceremony, which was emceed by national advisory committee co-chair Melissa George and Native American actor Chaske Spencer. The ceremony featured a unique collaborative concert between the inspirational Wangatunga Strong Women’s Group and Australian Indigenous hip hop trio The Last Kinection. Singing, rapping and dancing together, the two contrasting groups had everyone out of their seats and dancing in the aisles.

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app.

Looking for highly flexible and innovative venues?  

Exhibition Park in Canberra   the backdrop for remarkable business events  

Make time to inspect the newly refurbished conference facilities  featuring integrated AV and purpose built registration area.   

Located ten minutes from the city : : Function spaces for 10 to 3,000 delegates  In‐house audio visual equipment : : Conference day delegate packages from $49.50   9,000m2 indoor clear span exhibition space : : On‐site FREE parking for 3,000 vehicles 

The verdict

 

Nearly half a year on from the 2013 WIN Conference, many delegates are still buzzing over having been able to take part in such an important and historical event.

Exhibition Park in Canberra  02 6205 5230 : : infoepic@act.gov.au   

exhibitionparkincanberra.com.au  

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  47


Client: Hart Energy Venue: Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane Attendees: 440 delegates Date: August 27-29, 2013

Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) Australia Conference The Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) Australia 2013 conference was run by Houstonbased company Hart Energy which stages a number of similar events in North America. In 2012, six DUG conferences in the US and Canada attracted more than 17,000 industry professionals. In addition to hosting conferences, Hart Energy also publishes and distributes print and online magazines and information services, and provides research and consulting services for the oil and gas industry. The 2013 Brisbane conference was the first time that a DUG series event had ever been held outside North America. The conference theme “LNG, Unconventional Gas and the Emerging Shale Boom in Asia-Pacific” focused on the challenges and opportunities in Australia for unconventional gas (includes coal-seam gas, tight-gas and shale gas), LNG and emerging shale resource development. Presentations were given by senior industry leaders from within the oil and gas

industry and included a number of international speakers.

A helping hand

A trade show ran concurrently with the conference and included displays by 36 exhibitors. An optional half day workshop was also held the day before the conference.

The Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau prepared the bid which gave Brisbane the right to host the DUG Australia 2013 conference, competing against Sydney, Darwin and Perth.

Conference delegates included those from the oil and gas exploration and production sector, financial investors, service companies, pipeline operators, policy-makers and regulators, attorneys and a range of other professional service firms.

Brisbane’s bid to host DUG Australia 2013 was prepared and submitted by the Convention

Why Brisbane? Brisbane is an important hub for the gas industry in Australia, with many international gas companies headquartered in the city. With more than $500 million expected to be spent on exploration in Australia over the next two years, Australia is expected to soon become the world’s number one exporter of LNG and will be the largest supplier to Asia.

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Bureau in record time, with just a three day turnaround from receipt of the initial urgent request through to delivery of the formal bid. This document included: • details of suitable venues and accommodation that met the event’s specific criteria • advice and assistance on staging this inaugural event in Australia


Opposite page: The Developing Unconventional Gas Australia Conference was the first international conference to be held at the Royal International Convention Centre. Opposite page, below: The conference featured a tradeshow with more than 30 exhibitors. Left: Technology played an important role in the conference program.

• information on Brisbane’s strengths and key contacts in the oil and gas industry

of the marketing and promotion in Australia for this inaugural conference.

• competitive quotations from key Brisbane venues and event suppliers

Considerable delegate boosting support was also made available via the Convention Bureau’s “Convention Support Toolkit”. This complimentary assistance package comprises a selection of promotional collateral, pre and post touring ideas, and visitor support services which are designed to assist with the attraction of delegates to conferences held in Brisbane.

• flight access and transport information • visa and immigration travel advice • Brisbane visitor and tourist information • letters of support from relevant key industry bodies and business leaders • specific funding and marketing support strategies to assist Hart Energy in promoting the conference to attract the maximum number of delegates As Brisbane Marketing incorporates not only the official Convention Bureau but also the city’s investment attraction, tourism and major events and central business district retail and export divisions, the conference organiser was able to access the 100-strong Brisbane Marketing team’s invaluable expertise and broad networks of contacts across industry, government and academia. The Convention Bureau assisted Hart Energy not only with their selection of conference venue, hotel and event suppliers, but also provided valuable introductions to key oil and gas industry players. This was achieved by leveraging the strong relationships already established by Brisbane Marketing’s Invest Brisbane team, via their strategic network of global resource hub connections. Brisbane Marketing also liaised with the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s office to provide Hart Energy with a pre-conference media release for DUG Australia, as part

In the case of DUG Australia, this included the provision of pre and post touring itineraries as well as general visitor information for lodgement on the conference website. A selection of Brisbane images was also provided to be added to the conference welcome video and additional oil and gas images arranged via the Convention Bureau’s contacts at gas explorer and producer QGC and also the Queensland Resources Council. Pocket-sized fold out city maps were supplied for insertion into all delegate satchels and an onsite Brisbane Tourist Information desk was set up at the convention centre for the duration of the conference for delegates seeking information about the city and beyond. “We were delighted that Brisbane was chosen as the first international destination for a DUG event, outside of North America,” said Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau director Annabel Sullivan. “It is undoubtedly a testament to Brisbane’s significance as a global resources sector hub with many oil and gas exploration and production companies headquartered here, and also an indication of the depth of capability of our meetings

infrastructure. This was a very prestigious and important event for our newly opened Royal International Convention Centre and is one of three international events held there in its first year of operation.” A first for the Royal International Convention Centre DUG Australia 2013 was the first international conference held at the Royal International Convention Centre (RICC), which opened in March 2013. The conference and trade show were run concurrently, enabling the centre to showcase its versatility, with delegates moving with ease as required from the plenary conference sessions in Hall C to the exhibition area in Halls A and B. The Welcome Reception on the opening night and the Networking Cocktail Function the following evening were both held in the Exhibition Halls, providing scope for delegates to mix and mingle with exhibitors. A number of small group off-site dinners were held in Brisbane’s CBD Riverside Restaurant Precinct and included the contemporary Japanese cuisine of Saké, Queensland seafood specialist Jellyfish and signature steakhouse restaurant Cha Cha Char. All of these venues boast panoramic riverfront views which include Brisbane’s famous landmark Story Bridge. The official conference hotel was the Brisbane Marriott Hotel and a shuttle bus was organised by RICC each day to transfer delegates to and from the Convention Centre. The role of social media Social media played an active role

in spreading the news about the conference. Twitter and LinkedIn were all utilised to spread the conference word prior to and during the conference, with several conference sponsors actively involved as well. Images of exhibitors, speakers and networking receptions were also posted to provide ongoing conference updates for those unable to attend the event. The verdict “We’re newcomers to Australia, certainly newcomers to Brisbane, and Brisbane Marketing has not only given us marketing support and helped us with site selection, but they’ve also introduced us to a number of key players in the industry,” said Michael Silber, managing director, Hart Energy Australasia. “Brisbane is the centre of the unconventional resources industry. All of the major oil and gas companies who are involved in drilling and exploring unconventional gas have a base here, so it made a completely logical choice to come for an unconventional gas conference. Additionally, Brisbane is very accessible to travellers coming to the conference from overseas, be it Asia, North America or Europe. “Brisbane is kind of an undiscovered gem for people coming from the outside and we think that it offers a lot of holiday options when the conference is over. We didn’t know the city. We didn’t particularly know Australia and without Brisbane Marketing we would have been hard pressed to find the accommodation and the conference hotel that we ultimately selected.”

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  49


CINP Special Congress on Addiction and Mental Health It’s a sad fact that substance abuse and addiction is a significant problem for many nations, ruining the lives of addicts and their families, increasing the risk of individuals contracting infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C, and placing a huge financial burden on governments. In many cases there are also extremely high levels of substance abuse amongst people with mental illness, which can complicate the illness and by doing so, impede treatment. In South East Asia opiod addiction is a particular problem, with many nations taking proactive and innovative steps to combat substance abuse and addiction, and as well as the problem of drug use by the mentally ill.

Tackling the problem head on recently was the CINP AsiaPacific (International College of Neuropsychopharmacology) Special Congress on Addiction and Mental Health, which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, in October 2013. Conference goals Presented in partnership with the Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA), the congress aimed to gather experts in addiction together in one spot to review advances in clinical research, efforts in the field to reduce substance dependence, and the link between addiction and mental illness. Featuring a wide ranging

agenda, the congress highlighted topics including the prevalence of chemical addiction such as amphetamine-like substances, alcohol and nicotine addiction, practices around substance abuse leading to increased risk of infections such as HIV, as well as the rising trend of internet addiction and gambling.   Local organisers MPA hoped the conference would enable Malaysian delegates to gather first-hand knowledge of the issues involved, and share their own research on managing heroin addiction. MPA also hoped that hosting the congress would highlight the potential of Kuala Lumpur as a hub for academic conferences to foreign delegates.

Iconic Venues Superior Events Exceptional Experiences Explore our unique venues events@trippaswhitegroup.com.au | 02 8023 7678 | trippaswhitegroup.com.au

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The three day congress attracted 322 delegates, mostly psychiatrists or scientists involved in the fields of addiction and mental illness, from 23 nations including Malaysia, Singapore, the Phillipines, China, Denmark, Peru, the Ukraine, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US. The verdict Since coming to a conclusion, the congress has been hailed as a success, having achieved its goals of creating a forum for discussion and an exchange of ideas. "The presentations at the CINP Pacific Asia and Malaysia Psychiatric Association Special Congress on Drug Addiction 2013 were of an extremely high standard across the full breadth


The CINP Special Congress on Addiction and Mental Health attracted more than 300 delegates to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Client: CINP Pacific Asia region, with the Malaysian Psychiatric Association Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia Attendees: 322 delegates Date: October 1-3, 2013

of topics from basic science to current treatment best practice,” said Congress chair Professor Brian Dean. “This high level of content was reflected in all sessions being well attended. The high attendance in each session meant that the discussions after each presentation were very interactive, had to be ended by

the Chairman in the interests of time, and were of a very high standard.  “Between discussions in each session and during the breaks there was a high level of interchange of information between delegates from different countries about the current best practice in both tackling the problem of

addictions and the biological basis of addictive behaviour.  “The CINP Pacific Asia and Malaysia Psychiatric Association Special Congress on Drug Addiction 2013 therefore achieved its goal which was to bring a focus on the many addiction problems faced across Asia and to stimulate

discussion on how to reduce levels of addiction, best deal with addiction when it occurs and the importance of treating mental illness with comorbid addiction as a special case." Alexandra Yeomans was a guest of the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

Camel riding in Uluru

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REVIEW

Pan Pacific Perth Why it’s worth a look Pan Pacific Perth boasts the largest convention floor of any 5-star hotel in the CBD; however it’s not just large scale events that will feel at home. The hotel’s world class facilities have been seamlessly paired with award winning service to ensure all events, regardless of size, are delivered with confidence and bespoke elegance. If you are looking to hold a boardroom meeting or smaller function, the hotel’s plethora of options won’t disappoint. On level 5, a dedicated suite of seven executive meeting rooms comes complete with all the bells and whistles, including a spacious lounge, custom menus, full AV support and meeting concierge services to complete the package. Venture to the main Conference Floor and you will discover even more options. The Boardroom, catering for up to 60 cocktail-style; Mt Newman, catering for up to 30 cocktail-style; and The Pilbara, catering for up to 25 cocktail-style. Other spaces cater for mediumsized events.

luxury, the Pacific Club Level doesn’t disappoint. Access to the lounge is the biggest drawcard, which serves superb breakfasts, evening drinks and canapés plus afternoon tea on weekends. There’s ample space to relax with views over the river, and books to browse if you’re after a little downtime. The hotel has 2120sqm of refurbished function space which includes 11 meeting rooms, two ballrooms and generous pre-function areas. The Golden Ballroom caters for functions of up to 700, while the Grand River Ballroom can accommodate up to 600 cocktailstyle or 350 banquet-style. Take a tour of the Convention Level and you will find bold, contemporary décor, utilising simple lines and rich colour palettes. Opulent black crystal chandeliers float amongst an impressive ’70s style bronze mirror ceiling, while the satin finished, custom created marble entrance further highlights the new design. The refurbished space showcases the latest in audio-visual technology, including integrated sound systems, HD-enabled projectors and wi-fi access.

The location

Extras for events

With views of the Swan River and foreshore parklands, Pan Pacific Perth offers easy access to everything Perth has to offer. All you need is close by, including transport, the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, the city’s theatres, shopping precincts, restaurants and ever growing small bar scene. If you’re looking to venture a little further, pristine Cottesloe Beach is a 15 minute drive and the boutique shopping and café strips of Leederville, Mount Lawley and Subiaco are a five-minute cab ride.

Pan Pacific Perth is currently offering bespoke day delegate packages from $79 per person including $1500 complimentary audio-visual. Terms and conditions apply.

The facilities

With more than 28 years industry experience, Burst joins the hotel fresh from his most recent appointment as executive chef of The InterContinental Hotel Hong Kong. Under his watch Burst headed the kitchen for seven outlets between 2009 and 2013 including The Steak House Wine Bar & Grill (one Michelin Star), Nobu by Nobu Matsuhisa, Spoon by Alain Ducasse (two Michelin stars) and Yan Toh Heen (one Michelin star).

If you’re looking to stay the night, the hotel offers a number of options with an impressive 486 guest rooms and suites. Guests will enjoy all the special touches you would expect of a 5-star hotel, including fabulous beds, 24 hour In-Room dining and high speed wi-fi so you can work in the comfort of your room. For the next step up in hotel

And finally… The hotel has recently welcomed new head chef, Graham Burst, who will be turning his hand to reinventing the dining experience throughout the hotel with a focus on the venues meetings and event catering.

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VENUE UPDATE

Privacy guaranteed Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort and Spa has launched a new corporate conference retreat to add to its extensive meetings facilities. The private executive-style Panozza Boardroom was unveiled in October 2013 and offers a private setting away from the resort’s main conference centre. The villa may be used exclusively for formal boardroom meetings for groups up to 18 or 30 for cocktail-style gatherings. Featuring sweeping coastal views and the latest in multi-media technology,

the Panozza Boardroom is also serviced by a dedicated full-time resort host. Outrigger Little Hastings Street is one of Noosa’s largest conferencing destinations, with meeting spaces equipped to host 350 theatre-style, or up to 600 cocktail-style. The addition of the Panozza Boardroom complements the resort’s existing facilities, which also include an 89-seat theatrette.

News in brief Anantara Bophut Koh Samui refurb Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort & Spa in Thailand has reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The resort’s lobby, ballroom, meeting facilities and public spaces have been refreshed and updated to meet the needs of business travellers. Business guests arriving prior to check-in time can access a hospitality room with shower facilities and are offered complimentary beverages and light snacks.

New Ibis for Seoul Ibis Ambassador Seoul Insadong has opened as the fifth Ibis property in South Korea. Facilities include three meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 70 guests for small to midscale functions and meetings, and come with audio-visual equipment and assigned staff. The Rooftop Garden, which offers panoramic views of the city, is also ideal for events.

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Marriott Mobile CheckIn available internationally The mobile check-in feature on the Marriott Mobile App has been launched internationally. Marriott Hotels is expected to complete the full global roll out of mobile check-in at all 500 hotels in the first half of 2014. Marriott Rewards members who have downloaded the app can check-in through a smartphone as early as 4pm the day before arrival, receiving an automatic notification when their room is ready.


Ballroom blitz for Amari Watergate Amari Watergate Bangkok in Thailand has recently launched a new 948sqm ballroom following a full renovation of the property. The hotel currently has more than 20 event spaces and capacity for up to 1500 delegates, making it ideal for meetings, trade expos and corporate functions. The ballroom is one of the largest in Bangkok and offers an open pillarless space ideal for a range of business events. In addition to the ballroom, the property also offers 19 further meeting spaces catering for events for up to 1200. The newly enhanced Sukhothai and Ayudhaya Suites provide contemporary meeting spaces with a shared break out area as well as direct access to the newly landscaped garden. There is also a dedicated floor for meetings with three separate rooms and spacious break out areas.

New facilities for Solar Springs Health retreat Solar Springs in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands has added new conference facilities. Situated on 2.4 hectares in Bundanoon, overlooking Morton National Park, the venue is ideal for smaller groups, with The Knoll Room designed for groups up to 12, and The Morton Room for up to 40.

Pullman’s playground Pullman Hotels have unveiled a new “business playground” concept. Designed to “stimulate creativity and reinvent international hospitality codes”, the rooms combine performance and pleasure with a modern take on the traditional aspects of a meeting, complete with a private area for informal conversations or breaks. The rooms will be rolled out across the Pullman network in 2014 with the aim of creating a new experience for business travellers.

Solar Springs offers conference delegates a range of food and beverage options created exclusively by hatted French chef François Razavet. The restaurant boasts picturesque views and can host up to 80 guests. Solar Springs also features a historic 1920s guest house, with 26 rooms, accommodating up to 40 guests.

Crowne Plaza Coogee upgrade Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach has completed a comprehensive $1.1m upgrade of its meeting and event spaces to complement the new AV systems installed last year. The spaces offer capacity of 350 for a cocktail function or theatre-style presentation in the refurbished Oceanic Ballroom. The beachside hotel’s new pre-function and breakout areas now have a lounge space for breaks and informal meetings as well as an event organiser’s office.

JW Marriott expands to Hanoi Marriott International has expanded into Southeast Asia with the unveiling of JW Marriott Hotel Hanoi in Vietnam. With more than 3600sqm of flexible meeting space built for large corporate and association events, JW Marriott Hanoi is well placed to cater to the growing market for business events in Vietnam. The hotel has a total of 17 meeting rooms including two ballrooms of 1000sqm and 480sqm, with extensive public foyers.

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  55


PROFILE

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app.

Cooking = humanity Food isn’t just fuel for Victor Pisapia, founder of teambuilding company VictorsFood, it’s at the heart of everything, writes Ylla Wright. When something offers “food for thought” it means it’s worth thinking seriously about and that’s certainly the case with the philosophy behind the Corporate Cooking Events run by Sydney-based teambuilding company VictorsFood. The brainchild of founder Victor Pisapia, the company specialises in creating memorable, interactive culinary experiences designed to foster relationship building. A renowned chef, former restaurateur, food writer and educator for many years, Pisapia believes that cooking helps build relationships because “cooking made us human”. “About four years ago a researcher at Harvard introduced the idea that cooking made us human in terms of our brain development and physical and social evolution,” he says. “I find this really exciting because it helped me understand a bit more about why cooking as a teambuilding strategy is such a powerful development tool. It’s part of our DNA.” Not only did cooking food release more of the energy and nutrients for early homosapiens, allowing our gut to do less work for the same return and freeing up a lot of energy needed for digestion, the Harvard team argued that the extra available energy led to a huge increase in our brain size. “Cooking also gave us time and community, things we all seem to crave more the world speeds up,” adds Pisapia. “As we spent less time gathering raw ingredients and chewing, we spent more time sitting around the fire creating language, families, communities, arts, rituals, dreams… cooking is part of our social fabric. This is why cooking together is

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important for building and developing teams. “By leveraging what naturally connects us to each other, a skilled chef with the right people skills and flair for presenting can maximise bonding among members of a team, increasing productivity, creativity, and the willingness and ability to transcend blockages. “Because cooking is primal, the right metaphor delivered at the right time touches something innate, revealing new ways to think about experience.” VictorsFood offers a number of standard formats that are designed around a specific set of criteria, such as the MasterChef Challenge for firing up some competition in sales teams, as well as bespoke events. “We use food and cooking to build physical metaphors for the client’s message or desired outcomes like professional networking and product launches,” he says. Amongst the most memorable events that the company has done recently was an “Interactive Catering” networking event for 600 people on Cockatoo Island, where they set up fete stalls where people could pop in and out of cooking as much as they wanted, and meet each other cooking and serving each other. “It took away all the typical awkwardness of ‘what do I say’ and ‘what do I do’ when meeting new people,” says Pisapia. For the VictorsFood team, the pay-off is “touching people’s lives in a way that makes them happier and more productive”.


MEETING PEOPLE Garth Solly has been appointed as group general manager across three Relais & Chateaux New Zealand properties – The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, and Matakauri Lodge. Solly has held a range of international hotel postings in senior management positions with the InterContinental Hotel Group, most recently in Thailand and India.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group has announced the appointment of Chris Lane as director of sales for Victoria. Lane has a strong tourism and hospitality background with more than 14 years’ experience in the fields of sales and marketing, business development and account management including four years with the Melbourne Convention Bureau as senior national account manager.

Grant Hunt has been appointed chair of the Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd. He brings extensive experience in tourism management and development to the role. He is currently the chairman of Tourism Tasmania and the Commonwealth Iconic Sites Task Force. Hunt spent 10 years developing the Voyages Hotels and Resorts brand as chief executive and managing director.

Whitsundays Marketing and Development Limited have announced the appointment of Daryl Hudson (pictured) to the role of destination tourism manager and Joaquim Wan to the role of digital marketing executive. Hudson was previously regional general manager for the Americas Brazil at Tourism Australia, and Wan was previously at Tourism New Zealand.

Ammelia Affendy will take up the role of deputy director for Tourism Malaysia Perth. Affendy has worked with the organisation for over 20 years. She joins the Perth office after completing her role as senior tourism officer in the Tourism Malaysia Sarawak office in Kuching.

Business Events Tasmania has welcomed a new chairman to the Board, Malcolm Wells, adjunct professor in the Faculty of Business at the University of Tasmania. Wells is also deputy chair at Destination Southern Tasmania, chair of the National Parks Advisory Committee and principal of his own project management consultancy.

Grand Hotels International has appointed Krishna Ramadugu as hotel manager for their newest acquisition in Palm Cove, Far North Queensland. With extensive experience in hotel operations and strategic management Ramadugu has worked for the Hotel Grand Chancellor group over the past six years.

Hawaii Convention Center has named Teri Orton as general manager of the facility. Orton’s 17 years of hospitality experience includes posts as hotel general manager, and director of sales and marketing at Outrigger Enterprises Group, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and the Huntington Beach Hilton Resort.

The Pacific Hotel Cairns has appointed Cathy Alexander as its new event manager. She brings more than 20 years experience in event planning and management to the newly created position. She has previously held roles at Events NQ, Flames of the Forest, Hannafords Special Events and Port Douglas Catering and Events.

AVPartners has appointed Marcos Morales as the audio-visual venue partner at the Swissotel Sydney. The role will see him manage technical production, audio, visual, lighting, event design and event styling at the venue. Morales most recently led the technical team at the Four Seasons Sydney.

Best Western Plus Launceston has announced Leon Wood as its new general manager. Wood has more than 20 years hospitality experience in the UK and New Zealand where he spent 10 years working for IHG. He spent the past two years in Sydney as a general manager for Stamford Hotels and Resorts before moving to Launceston.

The Perth Convention Bureau has announced new appointments to its board of directors including Michael Altieri, director events and conferences, Crown Perth; David Constantine, general manager, Parmelia Hilton Perth; Nigel Keen, general manager, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre; and Chris Pye, chief executive and owner of The Terrace Hotel Perth.

The Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island has announced the appointment of the exhibition facilities’ new management team including Adrian Slingsby as manager-events. He was previously manager event operations at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. Steve Mitsos joins the team from Darwin Convention Centre as financial controller, while Johnny Naofal has been appointed facility manager.

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PCO ASSOCIATION

How to use near field communication technology Near field communication technology is coming into its own and it could revolutionise your next event, writes Sam Lynch. Near field communication (NFC) and its cousin radio-frequency identification (RFID) is essentially a wireless, contact-less system for exchanging information. The technologies have been around for more than 20 years but their uses have been mostly limited to the manufacturing and logistics industries. Now NFC technology is moving into the consumer realm through innovative cashless payment systems – think of when you wave your credit card at a terminal and pay for goods, and ticketing and transport such as the Oyster card in London. Increasingly the technology is also included in new smartphones. Like most new, disruptive technologies, the consumer take-up of NFC hasn’t reached the critical mass required that will eventually rid us of the need to carry cash and coins, but the technology is certainly sophisticated enough to offer compelling reasons for including it at your next conference or event. Today NFC technology can be easily incorporated into an event badge from as little as $2 extra per badge. That investment creates an enormous array of creative options for engaging attendees in productive, fun and innovative ways. We know the second most valuable takeaway from a conference (after the value of the content) is the networking opportunities that arise when like-minded attendees meet for the first time or reconnect face-toface. An NFC-enabled event badge, when tapped near an NFC reading station, offers attendees the ability to instantly swap contact information without fumbling for business cards or having to type phone numbers and email addresses into their phone. By simply being at the same place at the same time and tapping their NFC enabled event badges attendees have instantly swapped their name, company, job title, phone number, email address, interests, birthday, even their various social media profiles if they choose to opt-in. With NFC now embedded in every attendee’s event badge they now have a productive way of interacting with their fellow attendees. But the power of NFC doesn’t stop there.

Exhibitors now have a ready-made lead capture solution by simply incorporating either an NFC capture station into their booth or using a more traditional hand-held scanner during the event. The exhibitor can make offers or run competitions; they can even utilise several capture stations to easily differentiate leads into different categories with all the captured lead data being sent to the exhibitor in real-time. NFC technology also introduces fun into your conferences and events. You can offer attendees the opportunity to vote on topics or register their feedback by simply tapping their event badge. NFC stations at the back of the room and throughout the lobby allow attendees to interact with the conference at the moments they want to, helping to capture the most candid and most useful feedback in real-time. Another innovative way to make use of the immense data you can now collect from attendees is to capture their movements throughout the conference areas. When an attendee enters a presentation room their presence can be recorded. Now you as the organiser not only know who attended which session (and for how long if you want to capture them leaving the room) you can

also anonymously display the information on screens outside the room or even within the conference app. This allows attendees to check for themselves if a workshop session is nearing capacity or if the keynote is already full. These examples of using NFC technology are just a few of the many options that are available today. NFC technology could be used to take photos of attendees and post them to social media, could become your inventory control system for handing out conference bags and gifts, restrict entry to premium sessions or offsite events, trigger personalised follow-up emails and communications, or help attendees compile a digital briefcase of relevant content during the conference. You could even use NFC technology to create your own version of a wireless wallet for meal management to avoid having to pre-order or guarantee minimums. NFC will take event technology to the next level and, if done right, will make events much more interactive and engaging. Sam Lynch is project manager and Jomablue and a consultant to the PCO Association.

PCO ASSOCIATION NEWS PCO 2013 National Conference wrap-up What a conference we had! With 344 delegates and 60 exhibitors our 2013 National Conference, held in Melbourne in November 2013, was the best attended PCO Conference yet.

Gelber, chief economist at Biz Shrapnel, to Professor David Weaver and the “Lifecycle of Destinations”; we discussed aviation, venues, global meeting trends and the continuing impacts of technology. New age marketing and the development of online business communities also proved popular with delegates.

The business program particularly received rave reviews from delegates, sponsors and exhibitors thanks to the energy, experience, relevance and professionalism of the presenters.

The updated social program gave attendees ample time to network, and to do business with exhibitors and sponsors. One hotel has reported signing up $500,000 in potential new business leads and bookings.

The conference covered a number of industry specific topics, from Dr Frank

The pre-conference owner/director Special Interest Group (SIG) was fully booked, and

58   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014    www.cimmagazine.com


Entering the cyber-warfare battle zone Good cyber security practices are vital to protect your business, writes Phil Kernick. In 1980 Atari came out with an amazing video game named Battlezone. In it you drive a wire-frame tank around a landscape, shooting enemy tanks, UFOs and missiles. The US Army even commissioned a version of the game as a training simulator. I remember spending many hours and a significant amount of my pocket money trying to defend against the enemy onslaught. Today I do much the same thing, but now it’s done by educating businesses on the cyber-threats that they face, and helping them develop the best-practice process and technology required to safeguard their people, productivity and profits. Good security practices are no longer optional or just “nice to have”. The age of naivety has well and truly passed, and businesses that continue to operate with a head in the sand attitude are not able to effectively maximise the returns on their assets – assets that are increasingly digital, portable, and greedily desired by competitors and developing nations alike. A recent Akamai State of the Internet report showed that together Indonesia and China represent 71 per cent of the global attack traffic. This is not stereotypical dysfunctional teenaged hackers; this is targeted, industrialised intellectual property theft. One of the biggest blockers to effective security management is the belief that it is an IT problem, and that IT will solve it. If this were true, then there would be no spam, no viruses, and no cyber-crime. Yet 20 years of the best minds in the best IT companies, developing the best products, has left us

Novotel on Collins hosted the themed SIG Dinner. Some of the initiatives the Association will put into place during 2014 on behalf of members include setting up a members buying group, establishing affiliate arrangements with other industry groups and launching a national advertising campaign to support Accredited PCOs.

where we are, heading upstream without a paddle. Security is a people problem, and until it becomes just business-as-usual, integrated into every business process, we will make little headway. We already know how to deal with safety: safety is everyone’s problem. We just haven’t realised that information security is business safety, and is also everyone’s problem.

help us to help ourselves. The intent is not to blame the victims, but instead give businesses incentives to protect their own assets, and break the culture of silence. A company director is more likely to support a security improvement programme if they are the one who will be held personally liable for a data breach, the average cost of which in Australia was $2.13 million last year.

The security foundations are able to deal with yesterday’s problems – patching, antivirus and firewalls – but they are no longer enough to keep us safe from today’s problems. Today we live in a portable world, where the ability to work anywhere, anytime and have complete connectivity whilst doing so has meant that the implied protections of the past no longer exist. Home networks are not as well protected as business networks. Portable devices are left unprotected in airport lounges. Social networks allow us to connect to our attackers in unimaginable ways. Every protection we have built can and will eventually be bypassed. It is no longer “if” but “when”.

Just like the Battlezone game, we need radar to tell us when attackers are approaching, not discover it when having to clean up the mess. Most businesses spend too much on protecting from attack, and not enough understanding the threat landscape they operate in, and detecting when the protections have failed. In a video game we can just insert another coin, press start and try again. We don’t have that luxury with our businesses. Phil Kernick is national director of information security firm, CQR, and a speaker at the recent 2013 PCO National Conference.

The planned Data Breach Disclosure legislation in Australia will

We will also be completing benchmark studies on PCO staff wage levels by State, business model project management hours, and social media use for individual conferences and events. Two new SIGs, Communication & Technology, chaired by Craig Rispin, and Innovation, chaired by Danny Davis, will be formed and will meet regularly during 2014.

Three PCO Association members were also awarded life memberships during the conference, two of our inaugural Councillors, Rob Bulfield and Robyn Johnston, and Foundation Association President Rob Henshaw. The 2014 National Conference will take place at the National Conference Centre in Canberra. See www.pco.asn.au for details.

www.cimmagazine.com   Convention & Incentive Marketing, February 2014  59


SYDNEY’S HOME FOR EVENTS Resplendent on the edge of Sydney Harbour with breathtaking views over the water to the city skyline beyond, The Star Event Centre is an event in itself. Launched in January 2013, the $100-million Event Centre boasts cutting edge AV technology and lighting and hosted nearly 200 events for more than 145,000 guests in its first year alone! The Star also offers exclusive private dining room options, as well as five-star luxury accommodation in three separate towers within the complex. So when you’re planning your next event in Sydney, make it The Star. Enquiries, call The Star Sales Team on +61 (02) 9657 8568 or email starsales@echoent.com.au

EVENT CENTRE

PRIVATE DINING

80 PYRMONT STREET, SYDNEY STAR.COM.AU

FIVE-STAR ACCOMMODATION

/TheStarBusinessEvents

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CIM February 2014 Issue