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Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau

Rising star

Official Australian publication for the PCO Association

Winning formula

Sporting venues

Life aquatic

New Caledonia

CAB Audited Circulation 16,663 September 2012 – Readership 58,320 monthly Nielsen Media Research

c&i briefing World to establish a presence in this market”.

Two new group experiences for the business events sector have been launched in Port Stephens, NSW, following the establishment of a new body, MICE Port Stephens. Sailing trips to Newcastle and a deserted island and a new MasterCook kitchen challenge are being offered by Blue Water Sailing (pictured) and Shoal Bay Resort & Spa. “These exciting new MICE products enhance the appeal of Port Stephens for groups seeking a variety of experiences by the seaside close to Sydney and Newcastle and a short, direct flight from interstate centres,” said MICE Port Stephens manager Rebecca Morley.

Encore Incentives has merged with leading PCO, destination management company and event management company arinex. In announcing the merger, arinex managing director, Roslyn McLeod, said “the move is timely and an excellent fit for both Encore and arinex. The expertise of arinex and our strong international network will enable us to work together to grow the DMC business from the USA, the traditional market of Encore”. Australia’s biggest transport event, The Brisbane Truck Show, delivered an 8 per cent increase in visitor numbers when it returned for its second outing at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) last month. The four-day event is expected to boost Queensland’s economy by around $58 million. The show is the fifth largest transport equipment show in the world. Singapore’s largest meetings venue Max Atria @ Singapore Expo has celebrated its first anniversary. The venue has staged more than 300 business meetings and events at Singapore’s newest convention centre over the last 12 months including Fuji-Xerox Docu World 2012, Singapore Health and Biomedical Congress 2012, the inaugural Tank Storage Asia 2012, IBM Asia-Pacific Industry Solutions Workshop 2013 and Urofair 2013. The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) have announced a new global partnership. The partnership provides an opportunity for both IAPCO and PCMA to collaborate on programs, education and products and services intended to advance both organisations and the industry. “This is an excellent opportunity for both

associations to work together, to share their combined knowledge and expertise, for the benefit of, not only the members of each association, but also of all those outside the associations that draw on the materials and knowhow that is publicly available,” said Gonzalo Perez Constanzó, president of IAPCO. Mantra Hotels and Resorts across Australia have introduced breakout sessions with a difference to reinvigorate conference delegates, with inspiration from Mantra ambassador Pat Rafter. Director of MICE for Mantra Group, Paul Wilson, says the “Pat’s Pick Me Up Stretches” offered during conference breakouts are an easy but effective set of exercises to re-energise even the most PowerPoint-weary delegate. Names given to the stretch poses include “the over achiever” and “the micro manager”. Port Stephens, in NSW, has been announced as the host of this year’s Australian Institute of Tourism Officers (AITO) Conference, which will be held next month. This year’s conference will build on digital strategies and destination management planning. “The ability to attract events like the AITO Professional Development Conference to Port Stephens is a clear indication of the growing Port Stephens meetings, incentive conferences and event’s market,” says Tars Bylhouwer, marketing manager Destination Port Stephens. Global DMC and PCO Pacific World has expanded its operations in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, servicing business clients in the Gulf region. The expansion follows a strategic partnership with DMC Travco Group. Harsha Krishnan, strategic development director at Pacific World, said the Gulf region was experiencing “tremendous growth in inbound travel” making it “critical for Pacific

2   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

The Vienna Convention Bureau’s 2013-2015 Meeting Planners’ Guide has been released as an iPad app for the first time, as well as in print. The app was launched at the recent IMEX tradeshow in Frankfurt, where the bureau’s team set up a wall of 135 iPads which gave trade visitors the chance to test the app. One of Japanese city Kyoto’s earliest kabuki theatres, the Minamiza, which dates to the early Edo period (1600-1868), is opening its doors to meetings, incentive travel and event organisers. Kabuki is one of Japan’s most internationally famous forms of theatre. The theatre will offer VIP tours and private kabuki performances for incentive trips, as well as hire for meetings, ceremonies and product launches. Organisers using Minamiza can apply for the Kyoto Convention Bureau and City of Kyoto cultural grant. The 17th edition of Meetings and Incentive Travel Market (MITM) Euromed will take place in Seville, Spain, from December 2-4, 2013, sponsored by Seville’s Convention Bureau and Alcora Hotel. Seville was the venue of the first MITM Euromed in 1997, and again in 2000. MCI Australia has acquired creative events agency Off-Site Connections Event Solutions Australia (OSC). The company has been operating in Australia for 18 years, producing high end events for local and international corporate clients and industry sectors. “MCI Australia has found in OSC a creative partner who matches our client-centric ethos and constant quest to provide outside of the box solutions,” said MCI Australia managing director Stephan Wurzinger. Fresh Catering has taken over the reins as venue caterer at the Sydney Theatre Company’s home base at The Wharf. The venue joins Fresh Catering’s stable of other notable arts and cultural venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art’s rooftop venues and café, Sydney Living Museums’ Vaucluse House Tearooms and Elizabeth Bay House, and North Shore arts hub The Concourse at Chatswood. The company also launched a new venue, Cornerstone Bar & Food at Carriageworks, Redfern, last month. After a highly successful inaugural year, the Australian Gas Technology Conference & Exhibition has announced its return in 2013 with a conference program focusing on Australia’s $200 billion liquefied natural gas industry. In 2012 the

event attracted more than 3200 industry visitors and the award for Best Trade Show Under 10,000sqm at the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia Awards for Excellence. This year’s event, to be held at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 1-3, will include a two-day conference program exploring the theme of challenges, innovation and transformation in the Australian gas industry. The Sultanate of Oman has been selected as a finalist to host 1500 delegates at the 37th annual congress of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research in 2017. If the bid is successful it will become one of the first large-scale international congresses to be held at the new Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat, due for completion in late 2016. Oman is competing against destinations including Turkey, Singapore, India and Malaysia to host the event. A design concept from Tanzania, Africa has become the official logo of AIDS 2014, which will see around 18,000 delegates from around the world descend on Melbourne in July 2014. The winning concept, designed by 22-year-old artist Yohana Longinus Haule from Dar Es Salaam, depicts two pairs of stylized human footprints in a shape of the iconic “AIDS red ribbon”. The choice reflects the fact that the International AIDS Conference is a truly global event which brings together countries and continents in the effort to overcome the HIV epidemic worldwide.

Crown Melbourne has signed up chef/ restaurateurs Neil Perry (pictured) and Guillaume Brahimi to serve as culinary directors for the integrated resort for next three years. The pair will combine their expertise to influence all menus across Crown Hotels, events and conferencing. “With over 1.5 million meals served each year, across Crown Melbourne’s 14 premium restaurants and extensive events and conferencing space, the culinary directors’ expertise will be an invaluable resource for the Crown food and beverage team,” said Crown chairman James Packer.


MCEC expansion ‘still alive’ Peter King, chief executive of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), has expressed disappointment that funding for a proposed 12,500sqm expansion of the Centre’s exhibition facilities wasn’t included in last month’s announcement of the 2013 Victorian State budget, however he says the project is “still alive”. “We had a very business compelling case but ultimately it comes down to the finances of the state,” he said. King has previously said that MCEC is running at 100 per cent capacity and is turning away about 30 per cent of potential business. Both 2013 and 2014 are expected to be record years for the Centre. “Philosophically the government, including the Premier and Minister Asher, who has been very supportive of us, really want this but we need to find a different funding model we can put together that makes it a bit more palatable from a financial perspective to government,” he said. “The good news is that it is still alive and we’re looking at all the alternatives.”

Exhibition and Events Association of Australasia (EEAA) general manager Joyce DiMascio said the Victorian Government risks “compromising the growth of the Victorian industry and its flowon economic benefits to the state” if funding for the infrastructure project can’t be found. “Many events organised by EEAA members are venue-bound,” she said. “The size and availability of space has reached capacity and Melbourne risks turning away new business and larger exhibitions.” Victoria’s peak tourism industry body, Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), has also warned that “the failure to support the development of MCEC will have flow-on affects to the $16 billion Victorian tourism and events industries”.


Industry news


International news


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Cover story — Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau




In the air




As it happened: Phillip Island


As it happened: New Caledonia


Sporting venues


Tropical North Queensland


Venue update


PCO Association notes


Meeting people



Phillip Island

“The Government should be nurturing the tourism and events industry by investing in projects such as the MCEC extension to ensure the industry contributes to grow and contribute valuable to metropolitan and regional economies and communities,” said VTIC chief executive Dianne Smith.


Government fails education test

Photo: Verve Portraits.


Publisher’s word

n another short sighted decision the Federal Government has announced that it will implement a $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses.

to reach $31 billion by 2020. Can you imagine the growth if the government actually supported our industry, instead of trying to undermine it?

Industry bodies such as the Professional Conference Organisers Association and Business Events Council of Australia are against the plan, saying that it will directly affect the business events sector by reducing travel and expenditure by Australia’s pool of potential delegates.

With other industries faltering, it’s industries like ours that will cement Australia’s place in the world in the decades to come, and it’s about time that the powersthat-be learnt that.

What’s it going to take to drum it through the politicians’ heads that this industry is worth more than $24 billion a year to the Australian economy? Based on current growth levels that figure is expected

Alexandra Yeomans, Publisher    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   3

industry news

Glebe Island negotiations break down Infrastructure NSW has terminated negotiations with Sydney Harbour Expo for the creation of temporary exhibition facilities at Glebe Island in Sydney, saying that “despite lengthy negotiations” they were “unable to conclude satisfactory arrangements”.

The announcement of Kuala Lumpur as the host city of next year’s MEA Conference.

NSW project director Tim Parker has however assured the industry that temporary facilities will be in place for the start of the 2014 exhibition season. Planning approval for the temporary facilities was received in May, with site work due to start at Glebe Island this month. Infrastructure NSW (INSW) has since begun negotiations with international events company GL Events to build the new temporary facility, as well as discussions with AEG Ogden to operate it. AEG Ogden has been confirmed as the operator of the International Convention Centre Sydney in Darling Harbour when it opens in December 2016. In making the announcement, Parker thanked the industry for its patience. “I know the industry is excited about the new state-of-the-art facilities that will be delivered at the end of 2016 and we are keen to support the industry during the redevelopment period,” he said. Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) general manager Joyce DiMascio said that while “alarmed by the news” the association had received assurances from INSW and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner that the government would deliver the interim facility on schedule. DiMascio said that “while this assurance is welcomed”, the association remains “concerned for the industry and businesses who depend on it opening” in January 2014, as planned. “There is no more time to waste,” she said.

Malaysia to host MEA Conference 2014 Next year’s Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Annual National Conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur from May 15-17, 2014. It will be only the second time in the conference’s history that it will be held outside of Australia. The bid was put together by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), in conjuction with partners including Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Kuala Lumpur

Convention Centre, Malaysia Airlines and Radius Malaysia. “Choosing Malaysia is very timely as Australia looks to strengthen its trade and economic ties with Asia,” said Linda Gaunt, chief executive of MEA. “Malaysia is certainly an appropriate choice for the MEA 2014 Conference as it has an excellent track record for hosting international conventions.”.

ICCA rankings rate Sydney Australia’s best Sydney has been recognised as the number one city in Australia for conferences and congresses in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Country and City Ranking Report, which assessed the number of regularly occurring international association meetings with 50 or more delegates held in 2012. The harbour city came in at number 24 on the list, 10 places up on 2011. Sydney was also number six in the Asia-Pacific region. The number of meetings held increased from 57 in 2011 to 86. Last year’s star Australian performer, Melbourne, placed at number 29, down eight places on 2011. The number of meetings held dropped slightly from 62 in 2011 to 54. In the country rankings, Australia came in at number 13, up three places from number 16 in 2011, having played host to 253 international association meetings in 2012.

Best of the best rewarded The national winners of the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Industry Awards were announced in Darwin recently, with the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre (SCEC) the big winner, coming away with four awards.

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The SCEC picked up awards in the categories of Banqueting and Catering, Event Manager of the Year (Emma Rutledge, who was also crowned Meetings or Events Professional of the Year) and In-House AV Services. The venue now enters the MEA Hall of Fame in the Banquet and Catering and In-House AV categories, having won both categories for three consecutive years. Other notable winners included Verve Creative Events, which collected two major crowns, ExpoNet, Victoria Park, Stadium Events – Delaware North and Business Events Sydney. MCI Australia project director Cindy-Lee Bakos was named Meeting Manager of the Year while Peter Jones of Melbourne-based Peter Jones Special Events was honoured with the Outstanding Contribution Award. “These awards have grown over the years to a highly competitive level, primarily because they encourage industry professionals to excel in the achievement of their business and personal goals,” said MEA chief executive officer Linda Gaunt. “As in previous years, the latest awards will reward those who achieved outstanding results.”

New Canberra convention centre a priority says Bureau

in the Australia Forum Scoping Study in 2011, and suggested that the government should develop financial and procurement models to deliver the convention centre in the shortest possible time frame and prioritise the building of the new convention centre as the first stage of the City to the Lake Plan. The Bureau also said that the construction of a new convention centre on West Basin should begin as soon as possible; or if the new convention centre is to be built on City Hill, that convention centre consultants be engaged to undertake testing of the proposed site to meet the Study’s brief, which called for a convention centre of “the scale, security, design and character that is appropriate for hosting major meetings of international and national importance”.

Australian push at IMEX Tourism Australia and a delegation of 16 partners from the Australian business events industry attended IMEX Frankfurt last month to showcase the country’s latest developments for meetings, incentives, conferences and business events. A key focus for the delegation was highlighting Australia’s ongoing investment in business events infrastructure and services including the redevelopment of Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct which will be home to Australia’s largest convention and exhibition facility when it opens in 2016. Penny Lion, head of Business Events Australia, said that the Australian business events industry was evolving as a major factor in the growth of key European market with business arrivals from the United Kingdom increasing 2 per cent in the year ending March 2013. “These numbers show that Australia’s commitment to delivering professional events which are supported by first class service delivery and event infrastructure is paying off,” she said.

New ambassadors for Sydney

The Canberra Convention Bureau has submitted a response to the ACT Government’s City to the Lake project, which identifies a potential location for a new convention centre, as part of the public consultation process.

Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has formally welcomed 20 new Ambassadors and four new Future Leaders to its Ambassador Program at a formal dinner held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Bureau said it was mindful of the recommendations made

Speaking at the annual Ambassador Dinner and Investiture, Patron of the

Accor hits 2000 mark Ambassador Program NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner congratulated the ambassadors for their assistance with generating almost $400 million in economic impact for NSW before announcing the new recruits, drawn from medicine, science, business and the arts. “The NSW Government acknowledges that business events play a valuable role in helping us to raise the global profile of Sydney and NSW, collaborate to drive innovation and competitiveness and to demonstrate leadership,” Stoner said. “The Ambassador Program brings together some of Australia’s, and the world’s, industry leaders from a wide range of disciplines including medicine, science, agriculture, arts, and business. Their support is key to the success of business events in our state.” The bureau now has 78 Ambassadors and eight Future Leaders, with plans to expand the programs even further over the next year.

Tax deduction cap dubbed ‘misguided’ Industry bodies have labelled the Federal Government’s decision to cap

tax deductions for work-related selfeducation expenses as misguided and called for the move to be reviewed. Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) executive manager Inge Garofani said the $2000 cap announced last month was far too low and would directly affect the business events industry by reducing travel and expenditure by domestic visitors. “On one hand the Federal Government has set a business events target to achieve delegate expenditure of $16 billion by 2020, but on the other they are risking our ability to achieve that target by capping the tax deductable level on expenses,” she said. “Domestic business events visitors, including overnight and day visitors, contributed $10.15 billion or almost 79 per cent of total delegate expenditure,” she said. “It is these domestic visitors and this expenditure which are directly targeted by the new Federal Government cap.” Many professionals such as lawyers and accountants relied on work-related self-education to ensure they stayed at the forefront of their profession, she added. “Continued education is delivered

through business events and provides an opportunity for professionals to improve their skills and knowledge enabling them to better provide for clients. “To implement such a tight cap which will impact on our industry and the knowledge economy of Australia is misguided.” In a letter sent to Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan’s office, Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Association general manager Jennifer Milward stated that the reforms will “impose an additional dis-incentive” for potential delegates wanting to invest in their professional development by attending business events and “is a cause of major concern throughout the sector”, which has already been hit by various state government cutbacks on conference attendance. Milward added that the move would be a “retrograde step” and lead to a “decline in the overall skill levels of Australian employees”, as well as “adversely affecting the viability of PCO businesses throughout Australia”. Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) has also suggested that the cap will lead to a decline in skills in the events industry.

Accor has announced that it now has a total of 2000 meeting and event facilities across its global hotel network. Accor plans to extend its business event offering to 2250 hotels by 2015, as it prepares to open 250 hotels over the next two years. The group’s future openings of meeting facilities will be mainly located in high growth markets: 64 per cent in Asia Pacific, 11 per cent in Latin America and 6 per cent in Africa and the Middle East. In total, Accor has more than 10,400 meeting rooms in 90 countries, with Australia one of the fastest growth areas for business events venues, especially since mid-2012, when Accor added the Mirvac Hotel portfolio to the network. “Accor not only has the most extensive MICE networks in the Asia Pacific region, but through our events teams are able to offer clients access to a staggering 2000 venues worldwide, ensuring whatever the size or specification of the event, we can cater for all tastes and eventualities,” said Jenifer Dwyer-Slee, director of sales business events.

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intern a tio n a l n ews Yokohama launches new convention city brand Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau (YCVB) has announced new branding for Yokohama as Japan’s premier international convention city. The city will now use the tagline “Japan’s First Port of Call”, referring to the city’s history as the first Japanese port opened up to the world in 1859. “Our city council currently adopts an Open Yokohama brand, and it is important that the convention brand not only supplements it, but strengthens it,” said the bureau’s Kana Nomoto. “From being the first Japanese port to open up, to hosting first-time-in-Asia congresses, and the first in innovation and research and development, our open, ‘can-do’ approach has made this city Japan’s first port of call.

Malaysia to host ICCA 2016 Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia, is to host the 2016 ICCA Congress. Kuching pipped the Czech Republic’s capital Prague in the final decision, with International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) president Arnaldo Nardone saying “both delivered strong presentations”.

“a unique opportunity for these association buyers and corporate travel executives to network with like-minded professionals and share issues and concerns they have in their own organisation, and learn best practices from experts in the field”.

“Kuching however stood out in terms of presenting themselves as a role model and inspiration for other second-tier cities, based on how they have used ICCA’s educational and marketing platforms to build their professionalism and creativity, so that they are now regularly winning prestigious international congresses in a wide variety of fields,” he said.

Association Days will also be held at IT&CM China and IT&CM India.

“But this was also a whole country bid involving all our Malaysian members, and clearly presented as part of a sophisticated national development strategy.” Bidding destinations are required to address eleven different decision-making factors in their bids, from “value for money” to “ICCA business development opportunities” and “creativity”, and must demonstrate the professionalism and enthusiasm to host one of the toughest groups of delegates that any destination can imagine.

MCI supports inaugural IT&CMA Association Day Leading association and event management company MCI Group has teamed up with TTG Events to present the inaugural Association Day, as well as an education segment on incentive travel, at this year’s Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings (IT&CM) Asia show, to be held in Bangkok in October. MCI Group will lend its expertise to two halfday educational tracks. Topics will be tailored specifically to association buyers and corporate travel professionals, focusing on incentive travel and performance improvement. Robin Lokerman, president Asia Pacific and Americas of MCI Group said the sessions offer

New resource for international association meeting planners The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has launched a new Association Portal, designed to assist association executives in organising quality meetings. Qualifying association executives can register on the site,, to access a password-protected section in the ICCA website, drawing together ICCA’s data and specialised resources. The Portal enables association meeting planners to access their own meeting profile in the ICCA database and share insights with colleagues; search for leading specialists in handling, transporting and accommodating international events; and access meetings resource publications on topics such as contracting with major congress and convention venues. Other resources available are the ICCA Statistics Reports, case studies and hosted buyer event information. “The ICCA Board and my management team are all delighted to be able to launch this new service for associations in this celebratory, 50th anniversary year of ICCA’s existence,” said ICCA chief executive Martin Sirk. “It marks an important new phase in our efforts to connect ICCA members and associations as part of a single, organic, business community, and to provide association executives with easy pathways to their peers, something that has previously been missing but much needed.”

6   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

“And, for any international meeting organiser who wants to bring their event to Yokohama, the YCVB is, of course, their first port of call as we are a full service bureau.”

Abu Dhabi rockets up convention cities list Confirming its increasing popularity for international association meetings, Abu Dhabi has improved its placing in the latest International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) 2012 global city rankings by 134 places, up from 234th place in 2011 to 100th place. The United Arab Emirates capital hosted 22 association meetings last year, up from eight meetings in 2011. “This is a welcome endorsement of Abu Dhabi’s credentials as a recognised destination for the meeting, incentive, conferences and exhibitions industry,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi). Earlier this year TCA Abu Dhabi launched the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau to drive forward the emirate’s business events ambitions. Business tourism has been identified as a key economic diversification driver in Abu Dhabi. Research suggests the economic impact from business events in the emirate is expected to increase by approximately 7 per cent per year.

Telegram from Sarawak The Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) in Malaysia has launched a new international marketing campaign – a “Telegram of Borneo”. “Now in its 7th year, the Bureau has managed to transform a virtually unknown meetings destination to a potential global player that will open up more opportunities for the local industry in its quest for higher yield events and knowledge exchange,” said Sarawak’s Minister of Tourism. Among the marketing tools launched are the latest edition of SCB’s Meeting Planner’s Guide, brochure and corporate video, Discover a New You, Where Business & Adventure Meet, which can be accessed on the Bureau’s website,

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New Auckland convention centre gets nod News that the New Zealand Government has signed an agreement with SkyCity Auckland to build a new international convention centre has been welcomed by business events and tourism groups. Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Alan Trotter said he congratulated the government “for their innovative and pragmatic approach to the challenge of building an international convention centre in these tough economic times”. “An international convention centre is something we’ve sorely needed for many years and it is fantastic that finally we’re making headway,” he said. “What we need to do now is keep the foot on the accelerator and get this facility built as soon as possible.” It is estimated an international convention centre will boost New Zealand’s economy by more than NZ$100 million a year, with international convention delegates spending around NZ$365 per night, compared to an average spend of NZ$200 per night for international leisure visitors. Convention delegates are also valuable to New Zealand because of the knowledge and expertise they bring to the country, according to Trotter. “The types of international conferences we will be able to host in the new convention centre tend to attract the best and the brightest in their fields,” he said. “Those people will bring a wealth of knowledge with them, which we will be able to tap into. You can’t put a dollar value on that but it’s something that will bring us

benefits in the long term.” Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O’Riley said the new international convention centre would also stimulate investment in new infrastructure and services, including hotels and new attractions. “It will allow Auckland to compete strongly against other international cities and secure major conventions that we would otherwise miss out on,” he said. Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon also greeted the news positively. “As an airline based in New Zealand, which has relatively small volumes of business traffic, the conventions market is very important to us and one which we actively target in Australia, Asia and North America,” he said. “The 33,000 extra delegates a year the centre is predicted to attract is a significant increase.”

Shed 6 attracts major Australasian conference The refitting of Shed 6 in Wellington into a multi-purpose venue has enabled the city to secure a major Australasian conference for next year, despite the temporary closure of Wellington Town Hall for earthquake strengthening. The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) Conference 2014 will take place in Wellington from September 2-4, 2014, with about half of the expected 650 delegates likely to come from Australia. Positively Wellington Venues

Trans-Tasman Talk

The Perfect Venue When it comes to selecting a venue, it’s not always the obvious things that seal the deal from the point of view of an organiser. What constitutes the perfect venue? It’s tempting to focus on location, capacities, room specs and packages, but these aren’t the only elements that make an organiser recommend a venue – or bring back their repeat business. Details like plain-English contracts,

carefully customised to the event rather than rolled out cookie-cutterstyle, can make all the difference. Pricing should be transparent, with no hidden costs such as cleaning and electricity charges. Sometimes it’s the little things. Lighting that can be readily adjusted to turn a meeting room into a cocktail or dinner space in no time and at no cost. Efficient loading

8   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

chief executive Glenys Coughlan said the conference and events industry has welcomed the Shed 6 facility development, which is due to open in late August. “AFAC’s decision validates all of the work that was done to make sure that Wellington could still compete for major international business events by having the right events infrastructure,” she said. “The Town Hall is expected to be out of service for three years, but as AFAC’s decision shows, as long as we continue to wave the flag in Australia and other key markets, Wellington is well equipped to serve the conference market that is such a pivotal part of our city.”

Strong interest in South Island’s Convene expo South Island suppliers to the meetings, incentives and functions sectors have thrown their weight behind Convene South, which will be held at the Air Force Museum, Wigram, on September 3, 2013, according to organiser ProMag Publishing. The event is expected to attract hosted buyers from Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and other centres, as well as “walk in” buyers from the local Christchurch and Canterbury market. The Christchurch and Canterbury Convention Bureau is a partner in the event and will be helping to encourage buyers to attend with

docks and circulation to allow for fast event turnaround and ease of access for packing in and out. Then there are the big things – the dealbreakers. Today, wi-fi is a critical example: it must be high-speed, high-capacity, failsafe and supplied at no cost. As well as working with ISP specialists on specifications and installation, venues should ensure they have staff onsite capable of quick-fix troubleshooting. Food quality is also vital, regardless of budget. It must be appetising, healthy and beautifully presented, but it can still be simple

Shed 6.

familiarisation tours in the days leading up to Convene South. Event manager Allyssa Eastaugh said the format allows not only major players but also smaller operators to take part in the inaugural event. Buyer registrations open this month.

Government may help fund Queenstown Centre The New Zealand Government may help fund a proposed convention centre in Queenstown, according to a report in the Otago Daily Times. Speaking at tourism trade event Trenz in Auckland, Prime Minister John Key said government funding would not be ruled out. The proposed centre is estimated to cost about NZ$50 million. “The council [Queenstown Lakes District Council] has identified land and it looks like it could be consented quite quickly,” Key is reported to have said. “They haven’t formally come to the Government for money yet, but my guess is they probably will.”

and inexpensive. What the “big things” are changes over time, especially in this rapidly evolving market. Venues need to keep in touch with their customers’ priorities, stay responsive to their needs and better still, predict them. Organisers are hugely appreciative when venues make proactive suggestions about how to get the very best out of their facilities. Investment in facilities is important, but just as crucial is a venue’s commitment to ensuring that its offering is constantly being refined – and staying ahead of the game.

By Jan Tonkin, founder and managing director of leading New Zealand PCO The Conference Company and vice-chair of the IAPCO Training Academy.


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Jessica Vandy m. +64 21 244 1637 | e. Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand |

cover sto r y

Rising star Located at the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is poised to become a global hub for the international business events sector, with its mix of world-class convention facilities, affordable accommodation options and diverse culture. Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

Petronas Towers.

Malaysia is a country that has its eyes firmly on the future – and the future is looking bright, with the county increasingly viewed as the first port of call for international meetings.

seats 2000 diners, a Banquet Hall for 500, a Conference Hall for 1800 and 20 other meeting rooms, totalling 22,659sqm of function space in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

In 2012, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) successfully secured 26 association meetings for Malaysia, to be held in the country over the next five years together with 109 corporate and incentive meetings. In addition to the other coming events supported by MyCEB – 255 business events, comprising of 50 per cent of corporate and incentive meetings; 44 per cent association meetings and 6 per cent exhibitions – Malaysia is looking forward to welcoming more than 120,000 international delegates to the country.

An upcoming expansion by 2017 will see the Centre’s exhibition floor capacity grow by more than 20,000sqm and enable it to host events with over 6000 delegates. Other worldclass convention centres include the Putrajaya International Convention Centre and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, which is located in Sarawak and can accommodate up to 3500 delegates at one time. The Subterranean Penang International Convention & Exhibition Centre is also soon to be completed, which will be the first convention centre in Malaysia built partially beneath the ground.

Malaysia has hosted a number of prestigious global conferences in recent years, and this year will celebrate a prominent milestone as the first Asian country to host the Women Deliver Conference 2013, as well as hosting the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention. Future conferences such as the International Dragon Award Annual Conference 2013 and the Million Dollar Roundtable Experience 2014 are both expected to attract 5000 delegates each. Often heralded as a “microcosm of Asia”, Malaysia is strategically located at the centre of Southeast Asia between the booming economies of India, China and the Middle East. Arrivals into Malaysia are further boosted by its easy air access, with 56 airlines providing direct access from Malaysia to over 100 destinations worldwide. With five international airport hubs – Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Malaysia is also wellserved by 16 domestic airports. Malaysia has an extensive range of purpose-built convention centres and meeting venues, with the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre the most well known. The Centre comprises two auditoria seating 3000 and 500 respectively, 12,310sqm of Exhibition Halls including a 2600sqm standalone marquee, a Grand Ballroom which

Malaysia also has a wide range of competitively priced accommodation across both international and national hotel brands. Doubletree by Hilton, Grand Hyatt, InterContinental Hotel, Le Meridien, Mandarin Oriental and Shangri-La Hotels can all be found in Kuala Lumpur, while national branded hotels include the Sunway Resort & Spa, Royale Chulan, The Majestic Hotel and Swiss Garden Hotels. New properties are also in the pipeline – among them, the 6-star St Regis which is set to open in 2014.

Khoo Kongsi clanhouse in Penang.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

With its blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous culture that is reflected in its diversity of food, language, architecture, festivals and lifestyle, it is often said that Malaysia is the perfect blend of Asia. And with 130-million-years old tropical rainforests, idyllic island resorts, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites and the cosmopolitan bustle of life in a metropolis, delegates looking for that special pre- or postconference tour will have plenty of experiences to choose from. The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s tag line, “Malaysia – Asia’s Business Events Hub”, says it all. For more information, visit or email or

10   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

Multicultural dancers.

tec h no lo g y

Mobile Apps for Events. Smarter, Friendlier and More Affordable.

ACC launches new web streaming packages The Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) has launched two new web steaming packages to give clients an opportunity to use their events as a platform to reach a larger audience. ACC was the first Centre in Australia to install new web streaming capabilities in all its major meeting venues and continues to lead the market in web streaming services.

“Conference clients will certainly be impressed by the exciting new facilities,” said general manager Kym Carter. “We have spent the last year listening to our conference clients and their needs and are confident this technology will be well suited to their requirements.”

Technology on the rise in China

Web streaming allows delegates to participate in sessions from anywhere in the world via remote access, including active participation such as asking questions, voting and completing questionnaires.

In addition to this, 41 per cent of respondents said that they regularly use audience response systems, and a further 30 per cent use mobile apps to provide information for their attendees.

“It’s particularly useful for clients with stakeholders in remote or regional areas who’re unable to physically attend a conference but are interested in the content.”

Touchscreen control Watermark Hotel & Spa on the Gold Coast has recently installed new iPad controlled AV across its entire conference floor. The new AV has been installed in every conference room and features wireless technology, high powered data projectors, motorised screens and wireless microphones. The system includes an instant messenger facility so conference organisers can contact hotel event


staff at any time during the event for assistance.

The two packages have been tailored to suit events held in both the larger meeting halls and smaller meeting rooms and include a camera operator (Hall Package) or fixed camera (Meeting Room Package); nine-hour web cast; 10-hour web cast technician; data upload, IntraCast – available via the ACC in-house intranet; WebCast – available via the internet; video on demand – available for viewing up to seven days after the event; and video content supplied on USB or hard drive for ongoing use.

“Technology cannot replace the experience of attending an event but it does allow for greater participation and engagement,” said ACC chief executive Alec Gilbert.


Research conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has highlighted the increasing prominence of technology within the meetings industry in China. The survey of buyers who attended last year’s China Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM) in Beijing found that 77 per cent regularly use social media as an events communication tool and 50 per cent said that they would begin using virtual meetings technology within the next 12 months.

“Over the past few years the use of technology has become more and more widespread within the industry, fuelling interest from our buyers in integrating the latest innovations into their events,” said Jeffrey Xu, CIBTM project manager, RTE.

Social media may have hit its peak


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A new survey of online consumer behaviour by global information services company Experion has found that social networking may have reached its peak. The insights found that out of every hour online in Australia 14 minutes is spent on social networking and forums, nine minutes on entertainment sites and four minutes shopping. Only one minute is spent on emails. The proportion of time spent on social media has declined from 27 per cent to 24 per cent over the past year.

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New Zealand    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   11

in the a i r

Air New Zealand teams with Google Air New Zealand has recently teamed up with Google to showcase its Air New Zealand Fairy website at Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, in San Francisco.

domestic business trip. Jane Ianniello, international director of tourism, travel and leisure, Roy Morgan Research, said competition between Qantas and Virgin Australia for the business traveller “is most evident on flights from Perth to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane”.

It was one of just 70 companies in the world to be invited to show its product at the event, which was attended by more than 5500 web, mobile and enterprise developers. Air New Zealand’s Fairy website has been built for optimal performance in Google Chrome using the latest Google+ social sign-in to connect to the site.

“During 2012 business travellers responded favourably to the launch of Virgin Australia’s Business Class, with an increasing amount considering using the airline for their next domestic business trip,” she said.

Jodi Williams, head of global brand development at Air New Zealand, said the carrier “is the 36th largest airline in the world but is one of the leading airlines when it comes to social media”.

However, this growth has stalled in recent months as Qantas regained some of the ground it lost with domestic business travellers after all its planes were grounded in late October 2011.

Claire Hatton, industry director travel, Google Australia and New Zealand described Air New Zealand’s Fairy site “as one of the most creative and innovative sites we’ve seen”.

QantasLink goes business class

Master plan for Melbourne Airport The release of Melbourne Airport’s preliminary draft Master Plan for public comment has been welcomed by Victoria’s peak tourism industry body the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC). The draft Master Plan includes provisions for additional road infrastructure, an airport rail link and a proposed third runway. “Melbourne must ensure our airport infrastructure is of a world standard to retain the competitive advantage we have over many Australian cities and attract greater visitation by both international and domestic visitors,” said VTIC chief executive Dianne Smith.

Qantas back in business Qantas has seen a rise of three percentage points in the number of travellers who would consider using Qantas for their next domestic business trip, according to the latest Roy Morgan Air Travel Survey. The survey showed 71 per cent of travellers would consider using Qantas for their next domestic business trip for the 12 months to March 2013, up from a low-point of 68 per cent in October 2012.

Vivienne Westwood joins Virgin Virgin Atlantic has announced it will partner with British designer Vivienne Westwood to redesign its uniform. The collaboration between the two British brands is a long term partnership which will see a total re-design of the uniform across all areas. Westwood said she wanted to create a futuristic look which references her interest in 40s French couture, with the new look to launch in 2014. “Virgin Atlantic has a distinct spirit and from a design perspective we continually try to challenge the norm and stand out from the crowd,” said Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic.

QantasLink will upgrade the interiors of five Boeing 717 aircraft to include business class and in-flight entertainment for all passengers. “QantasLink will introduce a full Business experience on these aircraft, including marketleading seats, premium food and drinks and exceptional onboard service,” said QantasLink executive manager John Gissing. “The continued investment in our fleet shows the commitment and confidence that we have in the Australian domestic market and regional Australia.”

Darwin international airport expansion welcomed Virgin Australia has welcomed the announcement that Darwin International Airport will be investing $60 million in new and upgraded facilities.

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. Consideration for Virgin Australia among domestic business travellers was at 58 per cent over the same time period, up from 52 per cent in March 2011, but slightly down from its peak of 59 per cent in November 2012. Air New Zealand was the top choice for trips across the Tasman, with 83 per cent of business travellers considering the airline for their next

The redevelopment includes relocating the Virgin Australia check-in area to a new part of the terminal with streamlined security processing, and is expected to be completed by mid-2014. “We recognise the increasing importance of Darwin in line with the growth of the Northern Territory as a business and tourism destination,” said Virgin Australia’s chief operating officer, Sean Donohue.

rEGistEr noW to be a part of Australia and

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12   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013


New VIP Buyer platform launched at ABEE This year’s Australian Business Events Expo (ABEE) promises more than ever with a revised format, new floor plan, new seminar program, new speakers, new networking functions and a much broader marketing plan. The Expo has “undergone a complete overhaul during its development this year”, according to Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) event director Karen Krieger, and will provide delegates and exhibitors alike with the opportunity to see and experience the latest in industry products and services, destinations and event technology. “We never forget that the number one reason people attend the Expo is to find new products, new people and new ideas, and for exhibitors to increase their brand awareness and build solid sales leads,” Krieger says. “‘The intelligent place to meet’ is the Expo’s new theme, and will provide domestic and international

visitors the unique opportunity to conduct business and experience a taste of what this great continent has to offer.” Following the launch of this year’s new VIP Buyer Program, Krieger says that exhibitors and buyers will have the power to choose their own appointments, meaning no exhibitor will have scheduled meetings with uninterested buyers. “We’ve heavily reinvested in this year’s VIP Buyer Program to provide a more modern, memorable and effective twoway program that directly links qualified buyers and exhibitors,” she says. “We are also creating and managing the ‘buyer experience’ – in the form of memorable activities for buyers to participate in and

the extensive range of exceptional networking opportunities on offer – exclusive to the 2013 program.” This year’s VIP Buyer Program is also equipped with new software – PresdoMatch from Info Salons. PresdoMatch has never been utilised in Australia before and offers cutting-edge technology in event networking. Jo-Anne Kelleway, CEO of Info Salons Group, says she was inspired with the possibilities of creating private social networks for events after meeting the co-founder of LinkedIn, Eric Ly. “The concept of private event communities has been made easy for exhibitors and the 2013 VIP Buyer Program will be the first tradeshow in Australia to trial this all new platform,” Kelleway says. “You’ll be able to invite your

When & where

a bee

The Australian Business Events Expo is co-located with Sydney’s Event Showcase and is being held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on August 14-15, 2013, with over 200 exhibitors and 5500 decision makers from the corporate events world expected to attend. For more information visit the website at

networks and create a qualified and captivated community of business people – who will be able to meet each other and build real relationships. That is, after all, the core of the events world.” VIP Buyers will be treated to a two-day program including flights and accommodation, and to qualify will need to be a decision maker and have at least two pieces of business to buy for. To be involved in the VIP Buyer Program email Karen Krieger on or call 02 9556 7984.

If you create, manage or lead business events, the Australian Business Events Expo is your one-stop-shop • •

• • •

Meet with new suppliers Have one-on-one unique access to ground breaking event technology at the Technology Village Compare and buy the latest products Explore Australia and its destinations all under one roof Learn from industry leaders at the Event Seminars


Interested in exhibiting? Contact a member of the team today on 02 9556 7984.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   13

as it happened

Island gem With its mix of high-octane thrills, unforgettable wildlife encounters and fantastic food and wine experiences, Phillip Island has something to offer everyone, discovers Ylla Wright.

Ask a fan of motor sports what Phillip Island is most famous for and chances are that he’ll say the world-class Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, home to the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix; for nature lovers, it’s the nightly “Penguin Parade” of Little Penguins who call the island home. While the two might seem poles apart, they were just two of the options presented to a group of Hosted Buyers attending a familiarisation tour of the island ahead of this year’s Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME). One of AIME’s most popular pre-tour destinations for many years, Phillip Island is part of Victoria’s picturesque western port region. Super-fast motorbikes and cute penguins aside, its attractions include breathtaking scenery, rugged coastlines and an abundance of marine and wildlife. For events planners Phillip Island is an ideal option for pre tours, partner programs and incentives, with great domestic and international recognition – and

appeal – all within 90 minutes drive from Melbourne. For the Hosted Buyers invited to sample Phillip Island’s attractions, the fun started straight away with team building company BeChallenged keeping the group entertained throughout the coach transfer with a version of their “Domino Effect” program, culminating in teams building a domino obstacle course that would successfully pop a balloon when knocked down. With the island just 26km long and 9km wide and conveniently connected by a bridge to the mainland, it’s easy to pack a lot into a short itinerary on Phillip Island. Amongst the most popular attractions for groups is the Koala Conservation Centre, located in Phillip Island Nature Parks, which covers around 25 per cent of the island. Established in 1991, the Centre is dedicated to koala research and conservation and has played a vital role in ensuring the survival of the koala population on Phillip Island. Two elevated

14   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

boardwalks allow visitors to view 40 wild koalas in six hectares of the natural bush habitat. The Centre is also home to many other species of native wildlife, including swamp wallabies, ringtail possums, copperhead snakes, echidnas and more than 150 species of birds. Nearby Churchill Island Heritage Farm, a working farm dating back to the 1800s, offers an authentic farming experience which offers sheep shearing, cow milking and working dog demonstrations, as well as “hands-on” activities including learning how to crack a whip. A ride in the farm’s tractor drawn cart is a leisurely way for groups to survey their surroundings. The farm is also a great spot for groups to enjoy a traditional Aussie barbie under the gum trees. Once dusk falls, the only spot to be is the Summerlands Peninsula, on the south western coast of the island, home to 32,000 Little Penguins and the famous Penguin Parade. It’s here that, every sunset, thousands of Little

The Penguin Parade up close.

Penguins emerge from the sea after a hard day’s fishing and waddle ashore on their way to their sand dune burrows. Tiered seating provides a surprisingly close-up view of the passing parade, while an eco-ranger is on hand to answer questions. For the more adventurous, the Ultimate Penguin Tour allows you to have the penguins all to

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. yourself on a private, secluded beach away from the crowds. The walk back to the bus offers more opportunities to see the birds making their way to their homes in some of the more distant dunes. Drivers leaving the car park after the nightly parades are advised to check under their vehicles for penguins who’ve wandered off the beaten track (a quick check of guests’ bags for the irresistible critters might also be advisable!). For a change of pace, head skyward for another kind of birds’ eye view of the island’s spectacular coastline, courtesy of Phillip Island Helicopters, which also offers sky diving, Phillip Island circuit HSV laps packages, transfers and charters. As well as offering the largest meetings facilities in the region, with capacity for up to 1390, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit also offers groups a range of high-adrenalin thrills including go karting slot racing (on an exact replica of the Grand Prix track), circuit tours and hot laps in a HSV V8 with a race car driver. The circuit’s hospitality suites can cater for up to 800 for an off-site. Food and wine lovers are well catered for with options including a wine tasting courtesy of local winery Phillip Island Wines, which

produces a wide variety of cool climate wines. Local produce is also on the menu at the Spice Island Cooking School, which runs handson cooking classes for groups, inviting participants to show-off their skills, enjoy a glass of wine or two, and finally enjoy the fruits of their labour for lunch. Those with a sweet tooth will love the informative, interactive chocolate tour at nearby Panny’s Phillip Island Chocolate Factory, led by the delightfully Willy Wonkaish owner Panny. Highlights include a “Penny Arcade” of chocolatethemed games, the world’s largest chocolate waterfall and the opportunity to create your own chocolate bar (vegemite and white chocolate, anyone?).



save the date: october 15-17, 2013 The largest meetings industry trade show in the u.S. is expanding again—and already buzzing with the energy of global business, key players and career-boosting education. Mark your calendar and connect with the power source for the industry.

Accommodation options with meetings and functions facilities on or near the island include the 170-room Silverwater Resort, which offers facilities for more than 200 delegates, and Ramada Resort Phillip Island, set in 65 acres surrounded by bush land, which can easily host up to 300 delegates. With so much on offer for groups, it seems the question is not why should consider it for your next event, but why wouldn’t you.


pulse of the meetings industry.

● Ylla Wright was a guest of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and Destination Phillip Island.

Publication: CIM Australasia_HP Size: 110mm x 304mm Job#:773-3052 Run Date: May 2013 Dana Communications 609.466.9187    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   15

as it happened

Oui love it A taste of France that is only a couple of hours away, New Caledonia offers the best of French culture combined with a warm South Pacific welcome, discovers Sheridan Randall. Love or hate the French, as the English seem to have done simultaneously for centuries, there is no doubt the world would be so much poorer without French culture. Quite simply no one does it better. Does what exactly? Why life itself, which is why for many a 24 hour flight from Australia is a small price to pay for total immersion in all things Gallic. However, simply head east instead of west and you can be enjoying a taste of France in New Caledonia in under three hours – just enough time to enjoy a couple of glasses of a fruity Bordeaux red aboard a direct flight from national carrier Aircalin. The name this French island territory was bequeathed by

Captain Cook in 1774 doesn’t scream Gauloises and croissants – more haggis and bagpipes. Such is the fickle nature of early exploration. Cook sighted the main island one rainy day on his preamble through the South Pacific and thought it looked like the rugged shores of Scotland. The French came along a few years later, and unable to come up with a name themselves they simply made it sound better. Nouvelle-Calédonie. Just saying the words out loud causes an involuntary pout and insouciant shrug of the shoulders. That’s more like it. It even looks like a baguette on the map. Unlike many of its volcanic neighbours which arose out of the sea, New Caledonia split off from

Australia around 60 million years ago and floated to its current spot some 1400kms off the Queensland coast. The archipelago shares more than just a genetic lineage with its Aussie neighbour, as their recent histories also tread a similar path, with both used as penal colonies by their respective European settlers. Today New Caledonia shares another common bond with Australia – both are rich off the back of mining. In New Caledonia’s case it is nickel that lines the territory’s pockets. New Caledonia’s capital in the Southern Province, Nouméa, has been a holiday playground for the Japanese and French for donkey’s years, with a good range of hotel infrastructure well in place. And with a sharper focus on luring international business events, the majority of hotels have a good selection of meeting facilities as well. With many of Nouméa’s hotels located in or around Anse Vata Bay, the GLP Hotel Group offers the biggest range of accommodation options in New Caledonia. The Nouvata Parc Complex has the largest meeting space of the group with its Venezia room catering up to 1000 theatre-style

Keep delegates fresh no matter how long your event.

or 500 banquet. La Promenade Apartment Hotel in Nouméa, which is due to come under the Hilton brand later this year, features 160 premium self-catering apartments and meeting space for up to 30, while L’Escapade Island Resort is a 4-star resort in a 200 hectare marine reserve accessible only by boat. L’Escapade offers 69







With peppermint flavoured TIC TAC Pillow Packs on the table, attendees will be able freshen up and stay focused with a simple tear of the packet.

Our sparkling new look banquet floor has been transformed into an elegant, flexible and vibrant space offering a fresh and energised environment. And when you book and hold your residential conference, meeting or event between 1st June - 31st August 2013, you can select from one of the following upgrades:* • $1 Breakfast for delegates • Complimentary internet • One complimentary day delegate package for every 15 paid • Complimentary arrival catering from our enhancement menu The stunning venue and location are only part of the experience with our dedicated team bringing a sense of professionalism, efficiency and innovation to your next event. For further information contact the Conference & Events team. Phone 07 3221 1999 or email

For sales enquires contact Ferrero Foodservice on 1800 199 183 or visit

Stamford Plaza Brisbane Cnr Edward & Margaret Streets Brisbane, QLD *Conditions apply. Subject to availability. Minimum numbers apply.

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Marketing, June 2013 2/05/13 1:28 PM

beach, which combined with its strikingly modern décor makes it a popular choice. It has 108 selfcontained rooms and four meeting rooms catering up to 400 theatrestyle in the largest. Ramada also have a strong presence in Nouméa, with the 180-room Ramada Plaza Nouméa featuring Le 360º Restaurant, New Caledonia’s only revolving restaurant. The restaurant can be booked for private functions, from breakfast to dinner, while the hotel’s three main meeting rooms can be combined to accommodate 90 theatre-style.

luxury bungalows, 25 of which sit over the water, with the resort’s private setting, bar and restaurant, and access to a myriad of water activities making it ideal for incentive groups. Le Méridien Nouméa was the first luxury resort hotel in the city, and impresses immediately with its relaxed colonial charm. Part of the

Starwood Hotel Group, Le Méridien is set for a total refurbishment later this year incorporating all of its 245 accommodation rooms and meeting facilities which cater for up to 400 theatre-style, promising to bring a very contemporary look to this classic stalwart. Château Royal Beach Resort and Spa has direct access to Anse Vata

Reception staff across all the major hotels speak English and are unrelentingly patient with attempts to converse in broken French if you’re game. And it comes as a refreshing surprise that all the hotels offer complimentary wi-fi.

Life aquatic Like a geological time capsule from the time of Gondwana, much of New Caledonia’s flora and fauna are unique. The Blue River National Park, under an hour’s drive from Nouméa, is home to magical fresh water rivers, waterfalls and the drowned forest, an eerie symbol

of the reservoir created by a huge dam some 25kms away. The effusive and utterly charming Francois Tran, from Caledonia Tours, offers guided day tours of the national park for small groups, allowing for an intimate view of the emblem of the island territory – the kagu. Endemic to New Caledonia, this flightless bird is somewhat of an evolutionary “sitting duck”. So much so that only 60 pairs were left until a breeding program boosted numbers into four figures. But for many it is the water surrounding the archipelago that is most striking. New Caledonia is surrounded by a UNESCO-world heritage listed lagoon, creating one of the world’s largest, natural water playgrounds. With the reef protecting the lagoon from the pounding Pacific swell this is a water sport heaven, even for those who didn’t do nippers as a kid. Everyone seems to own a boat of some description. Canoes, paddle boards, windsurfs and kite surfing abound all the year round on the warm tropical waters that are thankfully free of the many stinging or biting beasts that make the waters of northern Australia a bittersweet offering. Diving is |


Be quick - offer ends June 30! Just book a conference for twenty passengers with a minimum 10 rooms for 3 nights and you and your partner or client can go to New Caledonia for FREE! PLUS: Take advantage of Aircalin‘s 2013 Special Group Airfare. From only $599 inc taxes and levies. Ex Sydney or Brisbane. Call 1300 655 737. How to claim your reward: Simply call New Caledonia Tourism on 02 9460 0441

Conditions: Valid for deposited bookings of 20 pax with minimum of 10 rooms for 3 nights. All bookings subject to availability. Offer valid for deposited bookings made between 01 September 2012 and 30 June 2013. Only 1 dinner per group booking. Extensions of travel at your own costs. Offer not transferable. Flight must be booked on Aircalin flight number. This $599 initiative is valid for sale to 30 June 2013, and for the following travel periods: 16 Jul-2 Aug 2013, 30 Aug-18 Sept 2012, 4 Nov-13 Dec 2013 and 19 Feb-28 Mar 2014. For conditions relating to this fare initiative and travel outside the travel periods listed please call 1300 655 737 or email:


Inclusions: Air tickets for two (ex Sydney or Brisbane) including fuel levy and taxes. Dinner for two at the restaurant of the hotel selected for your group booking. Transfers airport/hotel/airport in Noumea. One nights accommodation at the hotel chosen for your group booking.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   17

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. also spectacular, with a plethora of companies such as Abyss Plongée offering trips into the deep blue to witness the cacophony of marine life and coral up close, although much of the aquatic hub-bub can be seen only metres from the beach with a mask and snorkel. For those groups looking for an easily accessible day trip, Amédée Island offers the perfect desert island escape. Well-established tour operator Mary D can take groups up to 300 across its fleet of three vessels to this small palm fringed island which is known for the 56 metre lighthouse designed by Monsieur Eiffel himself that stands proudly against the azure sky. The 256 step climb is worth the view, while back on the sand Mary D’s team organises plenty of activities for those who aren’t content snorkelling and fossicking

Le Roof restaurant.

among the volcanic stones on the white sand beaches. Traditional dancing, coconut tree climbing and reef tours on their glass bottom boat are all available.

Amuse bouche The French don’t eat to live, they live to eat, and New Caledonians are no exception. For those that want to escape the confines of their hotel and explore the city, there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from in Nouméa, offering everything from a traditional French bistro to haute cuisine with a Pacific touch as is found at Le Roof, a popular eaterie that sits right over the water, allowing diners to feast on the best French seafood cuisine while watching tomorrow’s dinner swimming below. Le Méridien Nouméa hosts an

18   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

annual cheese festival with over 100 types of cheese up for tasting under the guidance of cheese master Gerard Poulard, while Harold Mary, of Blue Cab Tours, can lead small incentive or pre- or post-conference groups on a gourmet trail of Nouméa, introducing them to hidden delights such as artisan chocolatier Patrick Morand, who brings a sublime artistry to his chocolate creations that need to be tasted to be appreciated. A trip to Nouméa would not be complete without seeing the striking Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Named after the charismatic leader of the Kanak independence movement, Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the cultural centre rises out of the foliage on a small peninsula eight kilometres away from Nouméa’s city centre. Designed to resemble a Kanak Grand Hut, Tjibaou is home to an art centre, museum, hall, performance spaces and a specialised library. Tjibaou also has small meeting rooms indoors or an outside pavilion, Kâmi Yo, which accommodates up to 3500 people. Despite Nouméa looking and feeling very much like a town on the French Mediterranean, this is the South

Pacific, with the friendliness of the local Kanak people embedding itself into the territory’s DNA. In fact the warmth of the welcome is a little disarming for those expecting to be kept at arm’s length by a Gallic sense of superiority. With numerous waves of migrants drawn to the island territory over the last 200 years, it packs a lot of culture into a small space. In theory it shouldn’t work at all, but in practice it creates an absurdly charming tapestry of ethnic diversity and multi-cultural “joie doe vivre”. New Caledonia must decide its fate in the next few years, with a referendum on independence looming. But for now it is best to view this South Pacific neighbour of ours as a small piece of France – smoking is still a national sport and they are partial to going on strike at the drop of a hat, but these are all part of its charm. You can do all the team building you want here against a vivid, tropical setting and come away feeling you got your money’s worth, but that would be missing the point. New Caledonia isn’t about team building, it’s about life building. Bon voyage! ● Sheridan Randall was hosted New Caledonia Tourism and Aircalin.

Incorporating Luxury Travel

The 21st IT&CMA and 16th CTW Asia-Pacific 1 - 3 October 2013

Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld Bangkok, Thailand

It is definitely worth while being an exhibitor at IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific.

2012 Event Highlights

Tammy Piatti of OPTIMUM Thailand

“many new exhibitors

An excellent event! Appreciated the opportunity to meet with and learn about new venues that we can consider for our future events.

Unparalled Business Generation

More than 85% of exhibitors expect orders of up to USD 750,000 in value per order, 6 to 12 months after the event.

Am very satisfied with the numerous new contacts I made at the event as well as new ideas and knowledge on destinations gained.

Top Quality Exhibition Showcase As rated by 90% of buyers

Agnieszka Kaminska, Project Manager of Impuls Travel, Poland

High Quality Business Appointments

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sporting venues

Winning formula Stay in the game with your next event by holding it at one of Australia’s iconic sporting venues, writes Ylla Wright. When it comes to choosing the ideal venue for an event, it pays to decide what the key messages are that you’d like people to take home from the event about your organisation or association. Is the company’s goal to reinforce their reputation for innovation and cutting-edge thinking? Scientific authority? Political acumen? Creativity? For those organisations whose key messages revolve around the themes of being at the top of their game, kicking personal goals, good sportsmanship and all-round “success”, sporting venues are an obvious choice. In a nation where watching sports is an almost universal pastime, Monday morning water cooler conversations revolve around weekend fixtures, and sportsmen and women are

revered, sporting grounds are inextricably linked with “winning”. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is arguably Australia’s most evocative venue, conjuring up more than 150 years of memorable sporting moments that resonate with Australians decades after the cheers have faded, such as Donald Bradman’s courageous unbeaten century leading Australia to victory in the 1932 “Bodyline” test match, Trevor Chappell’s infamous under arm delivery versus New Zealand in 1981, and Gary Ablett’s final quarter heroics that nearly lifted Geelong to victory in the 1989 AFL Grand Final. Combining sporting history with spectacular surroundings, the MCG has 29 different function spaces, managed by Epicure, including

the Members Dining and Olympic Rooms which have a capacity of more than 700 theatre-style and more than 500 banquet-style. A 2012 $55m refurbishment of one half of the MCG also included a new outdoor function space, “Tower 6”, suitable for cocktail parties of up to 350 guests or conference lunch. Late last year the venue played host to the largest Indian incentive group ever to come to Australia when 4000 Indian delegates descended on Melbourne for the annual Amway India Leadership Seminar. The gala dinner saw guests rub shoulders with some of Australia’s cricket greats on the hallowed turf, as well as enjoy Bollywood performances, a marching band, cheerleaders and

fireworks display. “As the home of Australia’s National Sports Museum and MCG guided tours, there are many additional activities that can be easily incorporated into a conference program or gala dinner,” says James Gilham, Epicure’s MCG sales manager. “Aside from the MCG’s ability to host an event in a practical sense it is the intangibles that separate the MCG from competitor venues. The uplifting feeling delegates experience upon entering the MCG places guests in a positive frame of mind, making the job of the conference manager and presenter so much easier to engage with their audience.” Sydney also has plenty of memorable

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20   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

sporting venues catering to the business events market. At the multi-sport ANZ stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, originally built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, events can be held on or overlooking the arena where Cathy Freeman memorably won the 400m; overlooking Sydney Olympic Park; or even in the players’ change rooms and warm-up areas of the stadium. The venue currently holds around 180 corporate events a year including meetings, cocktail functions, gala dinners and teambuilding activities. Also in Sydney, the Australian Turf Club (ATC) recently showcased the first phase of its $150 million redevelopment of Royal Randwick at David Jones Australian Derby Day in April, unveiling the first two levels of the Grandstand as well as the Owners Pavilion and an outdoor tiered amphitheatre, known as the Theatre of the Horse. When completed (in August 2013) the Grandstand will feature three additional levels containing corporate suites, a multi-functional ballroom, members’ and public dining, and bars. The ground level of the grandstand will offer more than 2100sqm of flexible floor space, ideal for exhibitions and large cocktail parties, while the level two ballroom will offer more than 1300sqm of space which can be divided into five separate rooms by movable walls. With bookings for the venue being taken from September 2013 Casey Rogers, business and events marketing executive for the ATC, says the sales team “has been inundated with the requests to be the first through the doors”. While Rogers acknowledges the rich history of the racecourse is a major drawcard for events, she says Royal Randwick is much more than that. “The business and event markets played a key part in the architectural development and design of the new venue,” she says. She anticipates that the venue will find its place amongst the current market leaders in the business events market in Sydney.

“At the end of the day, we are more than a racecourse; we are a leading business and events destination with world class facilities,” she says. The historic Adelaide Oval is also undergoing a $535 million makeover, which will see an 18,000-seat Southern Stand open in October 2013 with the 16,000-seat Eastern Stand following in early 2014. Once completed, the Adelaide Oval will be able to offer 22 function rooms including the City View Room in the Southern Stand, featuring facilities for up to 1200 people in cocktail configuration, and offering commanding views over the River Torrens, and the 200-seat Cathedral Room which will overlook St Peter’s Cathedral. For fans of “The Don”, the muchloved Bradman Museum will also be reopening in a new home in the Southern Stand in October 2013.

a result of the City View Room which will be our flagship space at the new oval.” WIN Stadium at the WIN Sports and Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, New South Wales, last year opened a new Western Grandstand, with facilities including two new meetings and functions spaces. Part of a $31 million redevelopment of the stadium, the Winners and Victory rooms have a private lobby entrance, can accommodate 200 seated or 400 standing, feature built-in projector and screens, and floor to ceiling views of Wollongong’s City Beach, and the stadium itself. The Stadium’s Northern Grandstand features a number of other flexible function spaces,

“Adelaide Oval is an iconic venue steeped in history,” says Shelagh Stanbridge, Adelaide Oval functions and events sales manager. “It offers a unique and picturesque setting which, for many years, has already been providing an unforgettable experience for guests. Once the redevelopment is complete, and the new rooms and spaces become available, the experience will be even better. “We will also offer a number of unique elements, such as our red carpet experience – where guests can walk across the Oval with a glass of champagne on arrival – or the ability to put a personalised message or company name on the heritage cricket scoreboard. These, combined with the famous Bradman Collection and an embedded museum incorporating historical football and cricket memorabilia throughout the stadium, will all be part of the special event experience at Adelaide Oval.” The response to the new events facilities has “been overwhelmingly positive” so far, adds Stanbridge, with bookings being taken for late 2013 and beyond.

available for conferences, meetings and smaller events, while there are additional facilities in WIN Entertainment Centre next door for larger conferences. Groups can also do teambuilding in the arena. “The whole basis of building the new grandstand was not only to facilitate sport but also to make sure we can operate as a function, event and conference centre as well,” says Stuart Barnes, general manager, WIN Sports & Entertainment Centres. “We do a lot of different types of conferences but if you’re bringing an event here you can’t fail but want to accentuate the fact that you’re in a sporting venue and that’s about success and winning.”


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“There is certainly a lot of excitement about our offering from all segments of the industry,” she says. “We’ve had particularly strong interest from conference and convention organisers as

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tn q

Riding a wave Increased investment and a reputation for working together as a region are some of the factors behind Tropical North Queensland’s continuing ability to punch above its weight in the business events sector, writes Sheridan Randall. “Cairns is riding the crest of a wave” is how Cairns Convention Centre (CCC) general manager Ross Steele describes news that the city will host both the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) and G20 Finance Ministers Meeting in 2014, putting “our region in the international spotlight”. The Centre posted a record number of forward bookings for December last year, while this April was a record month in terms of business held, making Cairns “very much on the up”. Following a decision made some years ago to “go after the international market in a big way” international events are looking to overtake domestic business, with the Centre looking at around 70 per cent of its business coming from overseas this financial year. “We knew that the national market was finite, with new building and extensions coming on line all around the country our piece of that pie would shrink on a rotation basis,” he says.

Being selected to host ATE is significant beyond the economic impact the event is set to have on the city and region, as it is the first time it is being held outside a state capital city. It is also an endorsement of Cairn’s ability to cater for large and complex logistical events, with an estimated 725 overseas travel buyers from 39 countries to meet with around 1500 Australian delegates from 470 companies from every state and territory. There are plans for additional temporary venues to be built around the Centre to alleviate capacity issues, with Steele calling it an “outstanding opportunity for our region”. “The finer details are still be worked out but it will be more than adequate to handle ATE, slightly different than before but very exciting for us,” he says. “Around Cairns Convention Centre there are around 7000 hotel rooms across the range so from that point of view we are totally covered.”

22   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

Queensland’s long standing support of ATE and being one of Australia’s largest destinations for leisure tourism outside of Sydney and Melbourne helped swing the decision for Cairns, according to Business Events Cairns & Great Barrier Reef (BEC&GBR) director Rosie Douglas. “I think the organisers recognised that holding it in a leisure destination is a great way to showcase what there is on offer for the region, rather than having it in a capital city where the delegates might just go into a conference centre and then go off on famils afterwards,” she says. “Having it in Cairns gets it away from that corporate environment. The way that everything is laid out in Cairns works very well for conferences as all the hotels are very close to the convention centre and the cruise liner terminal. The whole city can really get behind it. There has been huge support from the Chamber of Commerce and the

Council about the event coming to the region.” Never resting on its laurels though, Cairns has recently launched its new Cairns Delegate Advantage Program. A joint initiative of BEC&GBR, CCC and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, “the Program is designed to welcome delegates to our region and ensure their stay is enjoyable”, says Douglas, who adds that it is “further evidence” of the region’s reputation for working together. “Delegates receive a flyer in their conference satchels with details on how they can access the offers on a variety of goods and services, which will be made available to all conferences held throughout the city,” she says. “We have gone out to the Chamber of Commerce members and Tourism Tropical North Queensland members who offer a value-add or discount to a conference delegate. And when a delegate comes into their business all they have to do

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went to AIME this year.” Sixteen event organisers saw the best of Port Douglas recently for Tourism Australia’s mega familiarisation from the UK and Europe, Corroboree, which included a dinner at Flames of the Forest, a trip along the Daintree River and a visit to the Mossman Gorge Centre. “We are doing the Cairns roadshow which travels to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in July and August and we have a lot of Port Douglas operators travelling as part of that, which is followed up with Sell TNQ giving the region great exposure towards doing a busier year in 2014,” she says. Sell TNQ is being held in Port Douglas this November, with 35 buyers given the opportunity to see the best of the region firsthand.

Tour the reef with Quicksilver.

is show their lanyard. It’s mainly retail, restaurants and touring and is the first time we have offered it. It’s not a complicated program, and has been taken up well with convention delegates since its launch in April.”

International focus Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef region hosted 102 international meetings over 2011-2012, according to the latest Queensland Business Events Survey, helped by increased aviation access with direct flights from China and stronger links to Asia. Business Events Australia, in conjunction with BEC&GBR and GBR Helicopters, recently hosted 10 Korean companies to Port Douglas, who experienced a range



of activities including a Quicksilver Outer Reef cruise, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and dinner at Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, with accommodation provided by QT Port Douglas Resort. While China remains the number one target market for international visitors, the Japanese market is picking up, according to Douglas. “The challenge from a business events perspective is with the low cost airline model which doesn’t work well with incentive and conference groups,” she says. “It’s okay with association business as they are paying themselves but when you are talking about incentive and corporate groups the low-cost carrier model is not friendly.” Issues with low-cost carriers aside, Flames of the Forest in Port Douglas


has just had a busy April, with back to back events held including two international incentive groups, from the US and Germany. However, Natalie Johnson, sales manager for business, events and leisure at Flames of the Forest and chair of Port Douglas Incentives, says that this year has “been quieter”, putting it down to the destabilising effects of the looming federal election. Johnson also says that “currency plays a large part”, describing Port Douglas as “very cyclic”. “Back when I started [10 years ago] we were doing upwards of 50 high end international incentives,” she says. “The groups that we do out of the US now are more scaled back than they were. However, there has been a resurgence of quoting to the US… and there was still great interest in the region when I



“Any opportunity we have to get people into the region and meet the suppliers gives people more confidence in booking a destination,” she says. “We still are the only destination that has such [direct] access to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Forest.”

New investment Following its temporary closure for its annual refurbishment, Flames of the Forest has installed new decorative lighting as well as updating its menu and dining option with executive chef David Spencer upping the presence of tropical produce as well as native Australian kangaroo and crocodile dishes. QT Port Douglas has opened the group’s signature spaQ, with the facilities including five treatment rooms and a relaxation lounge. And in keeping with the QT brand


Consider Cairns for your next meeting…

Serious Business in Australia’s Most Stunning Location 24   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013


the spa design is “definitely lighthearted and fun”, says Naomi Gregory, spaQ development and operations. The Ramada Resort Port Douglas is reaping the benefits of last year’s $7.8 million refurbishment, after recently being awarded a Certificate of Excellence by travel review website TripAdvisor for consistently earning high ratings from TripAdvisor travellers. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures has teamed up with a well-established heli-charter company to create a new concept for the corporate and incentive market – the HeliScenic and Big Croc Feed package. Helicopters take groups from Port Douglas on a scenic reef flight including views of Low Isles before landing at Hartley’s for an exclusive Big Croc Feed guided tour with an experienced crocodile keeper, where participants can pole feed a huge saltwater crocodile under expert supervision. In another important development for the region, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, which is currently undergoing a $12 million refurbishment, is looking to become the site of Australia’s first national Indigenous museum. “We propose building Australia’s most comprehensive exhibition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history using state-of -the-art interactive technologies, drawing on artefact collections across the globe and involving traditional owners from

around Australia,” says Tjapukai board chairman Bruce Glanville. “We believe a national Indigenous museum could be central to the reconciliation process by becoming a centre of learning, engagement and interaction that would give all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a place where they can proudly celebrate their culture and display it to a wide audience. “A national museum is a perfect fit as it would have an immediate global audience, complement the authentic cultural experiences at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and provide more employment for Indigenous people.” The Shangri-La Hotel La Marina Cairns is also slated to undergo a $30 million upgrade, while a new $35 million three-level aquarium in Cairns is due to open in 2016. Tourism Queensland recently showcased its latest tourism campaign, “1 Day in Paradise”, in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, which challenged 20 filmmakers to make a two minute film that highlighted the appeal of Tropical North Queensland. The end results, which can be viewed on YouTube, perfectly capture the region’s natural beauty, and with so much investment going on across the region it is little wonder Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy described TNQ as an “incredible regional destination” when announcing Cairns as the host for next year’s ATE. Feed the crocs at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   25

ve nu e u pd a te

Doltone House’s new Hyde Park venue The hotel also has an outdoor pool, a country-style restaurant, an Englishstyle pub and a mini vineyard containing chardonnay vines planted by nearby Camden Estate.

Mercure for Echuca Accor has increased its network in regional Victoria with the addition of a Mercure in Echuca on the Victorian border, becoming the port town’s first internationally branded hotel.

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. Sydney’s Doltone House has opened its new meetings and events venue on Elizabeth Street, Doltone House Hyde Park. The heritage venue includes the Hyde Park Ballroom, which has 5m high ceilings and uninterrupted views to Hyde Park, and Manhattan and Avenue Rooms. The venue blends heritage features including arched windows, sandstone fireplaces and a sweeping staircase with contemporary décor.

Fourth Crowne Plaza opens in Oman

five restaurants and lounges, and a 780sqm event centre, which includes four meeting rooms, two ballrooms, a boardroom and a business centre.

Pimms and croquet at Camden The Camden Valley Inn in Macarthur just outside Sydney has launched “Pimms and Croquet” afternoons for groups in its award-winning gardens. “Pimms and Croquet” is available for a minimum of 20 people and is suitable for corporate groups.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has increased its presence in Oman with the opening of Crowne Plaza Duqm. The new hotel will join the IHG’s three existing Crowne Plaza hotels located in Oman’s major cities – Muscat, Sohar and Salalah – as well as InterContinental Muscat.

Formerly the Quality Inn Port of Echuca, the 62 room hotel has been rebranded to Mercure Port of Echuca and features an on-site restaurant, lobby lounge and bar, outdoor resort style swimming pool, and meeting and conference facilities that can accommodate a private meeting for 12 to a fully catered function up to 200.

A new venue for Sydney Crane Bar Restaurant on Sydney’s Bayswater Road has opened offering event space for between 15 to 350 people, as well as Japanese fusion cuisine. Crane Bar Restaurant offers a range of event spaces including The Garden and The Hidden Fortress, with all rooms equipped with audio-visual technology.

Fraser Suites opens its doors

district and offers various types of accommodation – Deluxe and Executive studios and Deluxe and Premier one-bedroom apartments. There is also a pool, sauna and 24-hour gym as well as a bar, a restaurant offering al fresco dining and three flexible meeting rooms.

Adelphi Grill opens at Parmelia Hilton Perth Parmelia Hilton Perth has announced that its Adelphi Steak House & Bar has moved to a new space and been renamed the Adelphi Grill, following a $1 million renovation. The new restaurant includes the Reserve, a space in the bar dedicated to wine that seats 14 people for a private meal or 40 for drinks.

Mercure Sydney’s new look The four-star Mercure Sydney (pictured below) on George Street is completing the final stages of a major renovation, with each of the hotel’s 517 rooms set to be refurbished later this year. The hotel’s general manager, Greg Brady, said the refurb was “very well timed”. “The transformation of the hotel comes at a time when the Central Station area of Sydney is undergoing a remarkable renaissance,” he said.

Fraser Suites Perth, the first 5-star allsuite apartment hotel to be built in the city in over a decade, has officially opened. The 19-storey property in East Perth is the third opening in Australia for Frasers Hospitality and features 236 5-star residences. Fraser Suites Perth is situated close to the city’s central business

The 213 room Crowne Plaza Duqm offers uninterrupted views of the Arabian Sea, and features

royal randwick

r g

The highly anticipated relaunch of Royal Randwick will see world class racing and event facilities on offer for gala dinners, conferences, product launches, cocktails, festivals and more in 2013.

W sp sc re

World class facility opens in 2013


Theatre of the Horse, opened April 2013

For bookings and enquiries P 1300 729 668 | E |

26   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

Artist impression: The Grandstand

Crowned Australia’s best Two Crown properties have taken top honours at the 2013 International Hotel Awards for the Asia Pacific region. Crown Towers Melbourne was named “Australia’s Best Hotel” while Crown Metropol Perth (pictured) was named “Best Hotel Renovation for Australia” at the gala awards ceremony held at Kuala Lumpur’s ShangriLa Hotel.

Minor to expand in Qatar Minor Hotel Group is to open its first hotel in Qatar in early 2014. Anantara Doha Island Resort & Spa will be a 141-room 5-star resort in the Arabian Gulf, just off the coast of the country’s capital Doha. The resort will become part of the Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas portfolio, which is already well established in the UAE with three properties in Abu Dhabi. The resort will offers four restaurants and bars, and a range of events spaces including a ballroom accommodating up to 250 people for a banquet, two meeting rooms for up to 50 delegates and an outdoor event space with a capacity to host up to 100 people.

Amari Pecatu.

Amari Resort debuts in Indonesia Thailand-based Onyx Hospitality Group has been appointed to operate a 435room property in Bali, Amari Pecatu. The resort is Onyx’s first step for expansion into Indonesia for the Amari brand and is scheduled to open in 2015. Amari Pecatu will be part of the 400-hectare Pecatu Indah Resort, an integrated development with planned facilities including a shopping mall and conference venues that can accommodate up to 12,000 people.

business centre, and event staff.

QT opens in Falls Creek QT Hotels and Resorts is to rebrand Victoria’s largest ski resort, Quay West Falls Creek, as QT Falls Creek. QT Falls Creek Resort offers 63

one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, all redesigned by Nic Graham, who was behind the look of the other hotels in the group. The redesign will feature QT Hotels & Resorts signature interactive marketplace Bazaar, cocktail bar Stingray Lounge and spaQ.

New Méridien for Bali Starwood Hotels has announced the opening of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran in Bali (pictured, right). The hotel has 118 guest rooms, four distinct dining venues and a rooftop Celebration Pavilion and Bale Banjar Ballroom and a 600sqm conference centre with audio-visual technology, a

rosehill gardens

Delivering award winning events With over 30,000m2 of flexible, indoor and outdoor space for gala dinners, conferences and large scale exhibitions and events, Rosehill Gardens really is the event planners’ venue of choice. Grand Pavilion    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   27

p co a sso c i a ti o n

Sign of the times Digital signage has become a key component of a successful event, writes project manager Matt Hnatojko. Imagine the familiarity of PowerPoint but with the dynamic features of a costly signage system at a fraction of the price. Cost effective digital signage is a real possibility for your next event. Digital signage (DS) has become a key component to any successful event, allowing you to display room information, session schedules and provide directions around a venue or to broadcast important information. In most cases venue signage can be frustrating due to limited flexibility and lack of customisation options, however DS systems can be flexible enough to include Twitter tweets and be managed by efficient, single-click, venue-wide updates. There is a large range of DS solutions on the market with many different models meaning the functionality, ease-of-use and features of those systems can vary widely. Venue signage is often template-based, usually incorporating the venue’s own branding, colour scheme and theme. You may have the option to provide a title and logo to the venue for inclusion in their signage, and generally speaking this is as much customisation as you are offered. Unfortunately for you as a professional conference organiser (PCO), this is not very helpful if you have an image loop or sponsor logos you would like to display throughout your event. This often leads to the installation of additional, supplementary digital signage sometimes adding unnecessary expense. The addition of supplementary DS throughout an event is not uncommon. The supplementary signage is placed at key areas of the event – as opposed to key areas for the venue – drawing attendees’ attention and providing the event information where it is needed. The supplementary signage is usually mounted on a truss or “City Stand” (a large sturdy base plate supporting a two metre vertical stand that

a display panel is attached to) with a laptop hidden behind the panel somewhere running a looping PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint based digital signage is great. You know how to use it and you can easily insert text, graphics and set the slides on a 10 second rotation. Although PowerPoint appears to be a cost effective DS solution, it is an “expensive process” to maintain and update. It often requires an event crew member for the duration of the event to manage the content of each sign’s PowerPoint slide deck and also involves them manually moving these updated PowerPoint presentations by physically walking between computers and copying the files using removable media (such as USB flash drives). Not only is this a resource-heavy task for the event crew member who could be more efficiently employed elsewhere in the event, it also displays an unprofessional appearance when attendees see the signage being updated manually. We often see the frustrations of event crew when faced with the tedious and repetitive task of updating the many PowerPoint signs placed at every corner of the building while attendees mill around wondering what the update will show. With that being said, there are additional benefits to using a digital signage software solution. Given the ability of these types of systems to schedule, amend, update and create new signage from a centralised webpage it is easy to see where the efficiencies lie. No longer are event crew required to walk around the entire venue to update the signage in one mouse click updated information is distributed to all the appropriate signs throughout the venue leaving them free to focus on other tasks. Another excellent feature of these signage solutions is their ability for external information to be fed into the signage system. For example, if you use any type of registration system, agenda

builder, schedule planning software, etc. there is the ability to display the information already saved in those systems. This way, if you have changes to the agenda or schedule, by simply updating your scheduling, agenda or event system you will in turn automatically make those changes on the digital signage. All this is done completely autonomously and changes are seamless. No longer is there a need to update the PowerPoint presentations, load them on to USB flash drives and walk to every screen in the building. These digital signage software solutions are simple, secure and an extremely efficient way to manage signage at your event. Obviously venues can each have a different type of signage system so the integration of your systems into the venue signage can vary and it may not be an “off the shelf” feature of many systems. Often there is software development required in order for the two systems to integrate seamlessly. If your only option is to install additional digital signage at your event and you don’t have the ability to use signage software then the resulting scenario tends to be the use of PowerPoint and assigning a team member to manually update the content and then distribute the new files (for reasons we mentioned earlier). This is less than ideal for most events, so Jomablue has developed a dynamic PowerPoint signage system, BluePoint, tailored and designed specifically for events. This solution allows you to create your PowerPoint signage, incorporating your event theming and styling, with the added benefits of centralised management – the ability to update any of the digital signs from a webpage. For the first time you can use PowerPoint as a cost effective, efficient and centralised digital signage solution. The solution consists of the PowerPoint presentation created by your client or your event team, bundled with Jomablue’s back-end management solution and a webpage. Once some additional “behind the scenes” features have been implemented into your PowerPoint presentations they are loaded on the signage at your event. You will then be able to manage and update each digital sign from a centralised webpage from anywhere you can connect to the internet. ● Matt Hnatojko is project manager at Jomablue, a Business Partner of the PCO Association.

PCO Association NEWS

services, so check out the website. Full details of the Business Partner program may be found online at

Business partner program

• Dawsons Venue Selections

PCO 2013 Conference and exhibition

Since the launch of the program earlier this year, the following organisations have so far confirmed their commitment to the meetings and events industry by becoming Business Partners to the PCO Association:

• Executive Wisdom

The 2013 PCO National Conference will be held at Pullman Melbourne Albert Park from November 28-30.

• Exponet • H2Insurance Solutions • Jomablue • Microhire

• Accor

• riskfacilitator Pty Ltd

• Adelaide Expo Hire

• Rydges Hotels & Resorts

• Centium Software

• TVP Law

• CIM Magazine • Coastal Productions • Crowdcomms

Some of these Business Partners are offering PCO Members special deals on products and

28   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

The theme of the conference, “Business Events: New World Management Strategies”, will include a program addressing the challenges and opportunities, trends and issues currently facing our industry – from new government legislation, the rising expectations of conference stakeholders, delivering best outcomes in an environment of ever-changing technology, and the impact of globalisation and the web. The program is currently under construction

5 keys to the art of engagement Working with companies on their trade show and expo presence has shown Warwick Merry and Danielle Storey how many people are lacking in the art of engagement. Exhibiting is like speed dating. If you are lucky you have about 90 seconds to convert someone from slightly interested to the second date (or “qualified prospect” in business parlance). Here are the five key ways to engage with strangers at your next show:



It seems obvious but many people on stands, or even at your front desk, don’t want to be there. One of the simplest things for the team to do is smile. Not a fake, cheesy “looking like you are a little insane” smile but a relaxed, pleasant smile. It will make them appear more pleasant and approachable, and they will feel better about themselves. Some people don’t want to just smile for no reason but remember you’re speed dating – a smile may attract your prospect or at the very least, it won’t scare them away.


Be interested

When you first speak to someone it is easy to dump on them everything you know about the product or service you are selling. Sometimes it is not until the end that you find your “prospect” is not interested. So be interested in them. What are they here for? What are they looking for? How were they thinking of using your product or service? This enables you to find our more about their needs that you can satisfy and about any issues they may currently be facing.


Have some ‘one-liners’

Just like trying to get the attention of someone on the speed date, you need a snappy statement that captures the prospect’s attention and engages their curiosity.

“Excuse me sir, can I make you pregnant?” (Empathy Belly pregnancy vest for dads.) “Would your child like to be the star of the show?” (Dressing room stars for kids’ bedrooms.) “Would you prefer to stay in a 5-star hotel or a hospital” (For a maternity hospital hotel service.) “How would your business cope with a full system failure?” (IT offsite backup services.)

to a “date” when they are working at a tradeshow. It may be to find out about certain products or services, to discover something new, or it could just be to get a bargain. Whatever it is, these five keys will help you engage with visitors and be the one to help them achieve their goal. Warwick Merry and Danielle Storey are the founders of The Exhibiting and Sponsorship Institute and consultants to the PCO Association.


Have a crowd

Nothing builds a crowd like a crowd. So have something that attracts the crowd and gives your message at the same time. Options can include comedians, magicians, wire bending or even a television showing the cricket. While the crowd is there watching the show, your team can start engaging with them.


Be the host

Check on potential prospects needs while they’re at the show. Advise them where the food and toilet areas are. Help them find the booths they want to see. Ask them what they want from the show and help them try to achieve it. This reflects incredibly well on you and your organisation and keeps you top of mind when they are discussing your products and services. Everyone wants to move on

Conference information, including the Sponsorship and Trade Prospectus, is now available on the PCO website. Business Partners receive a 15 per cent discount on selected sponsorship and trade packages.

PCOnline Wine Don’t forget to check out the PCOnline Wine Club specials on the PCO website in the “Service” section.

Photo by Felix Atsoram.

and will be released in the coming weeks. Scott Williams will emcee the conference, and speakers confirmed as we go to print include Ric Willmot, Executive Wisdom; Phil Kernick, chief technology officer and co-founder, CQR Consulting; Corrine Kemp, chair, The Australian Women Chamber of Commerce, and director of DKC International Conference and Event Management; Rhys Roberts, director, Viridity; Craig Rispin, futurist; Paul Chivers, riskfacilitator; Danny Davis, entrepreneur, strategist, consultant and mentor; Dr Brent Coker, department of managing and marketing, The University of Melbourne; Dr Crispin Butteriss PhD, managing director, BangtheTable; Simon Pryor, CEO, Mathematical Society of Victoria; Roger La Salle, La Salle Matrix Thinking; Belinda Moore, executive officer, AuSAE; and Maja Kowalski, director, Beyond Projex.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to stand out so try different things that suit your image, product and brand. Here are some that I have heard:

For more information, visit    Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013   29

meeting people Heritage Hotel Management has appointed Scott Rees as their new marketing manager. Most recently he was marketing portfolio manager at IAG New Zealand. Andrew Houey has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort. Prior to this he worked for Adelaide Convention Bureau. He brings more than nine years experience in sales marketing to the role and has a strong knowledge of the meetings, conference and events industry. Rebecca Murdoch has joined Moreton Hire’s corporate sales team as national corporate sales manager. She comes to the role with 25 years experience in management, sales and operations with 16 of these spent in the exhibitions and event industry. Kathy Nicholls has been appointed sales and marketing manager for Rotorua Museum. She has 15 years experience in the conference and incentive industry, most recently working for Rotorua Convention Bureau. She has also held positions as event manger for Event Impressions and conference manager at Millennium Hotel Rotorua. The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre has recently made new appointments to its audio visual team. Paul Wilson (pictured) has been promoted from audio visual sales manager to audio visual manager and brings 20 years experience to the role. Russell Baker will be stepping into the role of audio visual sales manager; he brings to the role 10 years experience in the events

industry and has held positions across Australia and the US. Daniel Lourenco has been promoted to head of production, Sydney for Staging Connections. He joined the company in 1998 as a trainee and has progressed from crew member to technical director. During this time he has worked on events for organisations including Telstra, Microsoft and Westfield. Wyndham Hotel Group has recently appointed Tony Gothard as group manager revenue, sales and marketing. Most recently he was director of tourism partnerships for Ignite Travel and prior to this he was national account director at Accor. Displayways New Zealand has recently appointed Sarah Metcalfe (pictured) as their new exhibition and event coordinator. Previously she was conference sales executive at James Cook Hotels and has worked on the London Olympics Organising Committee and the Rugby World Cup 2011. The company has also appointed Mari Tanaka to the role of sales and marketing coordinator. Outrigger Enterprises Group has appointed Sean Dee as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. He brings to the role a strong background in marketing, sales and management. Most recently he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Anschultz Entertainment Group. The Melbourne Convention Bureau has announced the appointment of Jaclyn Weinstein as director of business development, North America. Prior to this she spent seven years at BSC Management as executive director and senior

30   Convention & Incentive Marketing, June 2013

conference manager for the American Radium Society and the North American Skull Base Society. She has also held business event roles with Tourism Australia and Carlisle Incentives. Reed Travel Exhibitions has announced the appointment of Jacqui Timmins as the director of Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) and the China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM). She brings to the role 25 years of industry experience and was most recently general manager of Travelscene American Express. She has held senior management positions at Stella Travel Services and Qantas Airways where she managed various events. The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney has appointed Hansni Bhagani as director of public relations. She brings to the role seven years experience in media, public relations, events and promotions. Prior to this role she was marketing communications manager for Best Western Australasia. InterContinental Sydney has recently announced the appointment of Jörg Böckeler as general manager. He has 27 years experience in hotels and hospitality which includes executive roles at several of the hotel group’s properties in Europe, Africa and Australia. Most recently he was general manager of InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto. In addition to his general manager role, he has been appointed as general manager of Mulpha Hotels Australia (parent company of InterContinental Sydney). Wyndham Hotel Group has recently appointed Mark Fletcher as general manager of Ramada Resort Phillip Island. He has been in the industry for more than 30

years during which he has held positions in Australia, the South Pacific and the Middle East. Previously he was management consultant for a New South Wales resort and general manager at the Melanesian Hotel and Apartments in Papua New Guinea. Accor has recently appointed Erkin Aytekin as general manager at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. Since he joined Accor in 1997 he has held several leadership positions in operations, sales and marketing including his most recent role as general manager of Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. Llewellyn Wyeth (pictured) will be stepping into the role of general manager of Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. He has held a variety of roles with Accor since 1996 including regional director of sales for Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Virginia Edwards has been appointed marketing manager of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park as it undergoes a $12 million redevelopment. She brings to the role 20 years experience in sales and marketing in the Tropical North Queensland tourism industry. Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise has recently appointed Victoria Thornton as its new distribution and relationship marketing executive. She brings more than six years experience in marketing and account management to the role where she will be responsible for all marketing aspects for the hotel. Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa has recently appointed two new business development managers. Evi Knoeckel and Kerry Fowler will step into the newly created roles to look after corporate business in the domestic and international markets.

30-Sept 1 Franchising Expo, LE, Melbourne; September 2013 13-16 Stormwater Industry Assoc. of QLD, LC, Townsville; 14-15 Australian Business Events Expo, NE, SCEC, Sydney; 15-19 Hong Kong Food Expo, IE, Hong Kong; 20-23 Asia Pacific Int. Mining Exhibition, IE, Sydney; 21-23 Aust. & NZ Spinal Cord Society, IC, SCEC, Sydney; www. 24-25 QLD Education Resources Expo, LC, BCEC, Brisbane; 24-29 Int. Congress of Pediatrics, IC, Melbourne; 25-26 Spa & Beauty Expo, IE, SCEC, Sydney; www. 25-27 Bags & Accessories, NE, Melbourne; 25-27 Fashion Exposed, NE, MCEC, Melbourne; 25-28 Int. Council on Alcohol, Drugs & Traffic Safety, IC, Brisbane;

1-3 International Jewellery Fair, IE, SCEC, Sydney; 2-4 China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, IE, Beijing; 2-7 25th World Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, LC, MCVB, Melbourne; 3-6 Palliative Care Conference, NC, Canberra; www. 4-5 Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition, NB, Bendigo; 4-6 Global Event Summit, IB, Portugal; 4-6 Expo Solar, IE, Korea; 4-6 National Conference on Volunteering, NC, Adelaide; 4-7 Food and Hotel Thailand, IE, Thailand; 9-12 Fine Food Australia, NE, SCEC, Sydney; 10-11 Total Facilities, NB, MCEC, Melbourne; 10-11 QLD Gas Conference, LC, BCEC, Brisbane; www. 13-15 The Digital Show, IE, MCEC, Melbourne; 14-15 Gluten Free Expo, LE, MCEC, Melbourne; 16-19 Accellos Annual Visions, IC, Chicago; 16-20 Simulation Training Exhibition & Conference, NB, BCEC, Brisbane; 16-20 Drinktec, IE 60,000, Germany; 20-22 General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition, NB, BCEC, Brisbane; 21-24 Reed Gift Fairs, NE, SCEC, Sydney; 24 Retail Conference, NC, SCEC, Sydney; www.

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KEY: L, Local; N, National; I, International; C, Conference; E, Exhibition; B, Both. Figures are of expected attendance. Contact details are included where available.

July 2013 3-4 Materials Handling and Logistics, NE, Auckland; 3-4 National Safety Show, NE, Auckland; 3-5 Clean Energy Expo China, IE, Beijing; 5-7 Travel and Tourism Fair, IE, India; 6 European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Congress, IC, Dublin; 7-10 Australian Conference of Economists, NC, Perth; 14-18 World Renewable Energy Conference, IC, Perth; WREC_2013/ 15-17 WineTech, NE, SCEC, Sydney; 16-17 Associations Forum National Conference, NC, SCEC, Sydney; 17-19 Ticket Summit, IB, Las Vegas; 18-21 Furnitex, NE, MEC, Melbourne; 22-23 Tourism and Events Excellence Conference, NC, Melbourne; 23-25 Entech, NE 4500, SCEC, Sydney; 24-25 Digital Security Summit, NC, Canberra; 24-26 Security Expo, NE, SCEC, Sydney; 29-31 Aust. Grains Industry Conference, NC 850, Melbourne; August 2013 1-5 Sydney Int. Boat Show, IE, SCEC, Sydney; 3-6 Home & Giving Fair, LE, MCEC, Melbourne; 3-7 Australian Gift and Homeware Association, IE, MCEC, Melbourne; 7-9 Marketing & Advertising Global Forum, IC, Sydney; 8-10 Asia Pacific Autism Conference, IC, Adelaide; 12-13 Lunch Show, LE, MCEC, Melbourne; 12-14 Iron Ore, NC, Perth;

Publisher Alexandra Yeomans Managing Editor Ylla Wright Journalist Sheridan Randall Sales & Marketing Manager Jo Robinson Account Manager Sofia Alexander Design/Production Bin Zhou

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Professio na lC

The Associations Forum National Conference will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre next month.


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