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c&i briefing Conference (2014); the Australian Lung Cancer Conference (2014); the Zoonoses Meeting (2014) and the International Congress on Traffic and Transport Psychology (2016). According to Quirk Brisbane Marketing’s strategic focus of attracting conferences that align with Brisbane’s key sectors has driven much of the city’s recent success.
A small group of professional conference organisers from Sydney and Adelaide experienced an up close experience with a tiger as part of a recent famil organised by InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, on the Gold Coast. The famil included a visit to Dreamworld’s Tiger Island for a special presentation followed by a tiger walk through and photo, as well as a helicopter trip over to McLaren’s Landing, a visit to The Marine Village Sanctuary Cove and a golf clinic at the Sanctuary Cove Golf Club. The resort’s director of sales & marketing Jayme Cuttriss said the famil was a fabulous way to showcase the resort and some of the terrific off-site venues and unique Gold Coast activities.
Rydges World Square, in Sydney, has been named Conference Venue of the Year at the recent Tourism Accommodation Australia’s (TAA) Awards for Excellence. Rydges World Square’s newly renovated 600sqm venue space has facilities twice the size of the hotel’s previous conference area with the ability to cater for up to 500 delegates theatre-style. “It is a fantastic reward for all of the effort our conference and events team have put in since the redevelopment of the conference centre,” said hotel general manager John McIlwain The Brisbane Event Planner has undergone a significant revamp to mark its first birthday. Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau director Annabel Sullivan said the online tool was now packed with even more useful features to assist event planners. “We’ve refreshed the layout and design of the website and enhanced the search engine to make it easier to locate venues, accommodation and other services,” she said. “There is also a live Twitter feed along with other social media tools and marketing collateral to assist with delegate boosting and attendance.” Event Travel Management has been recognised as the Best Business Events Travel Agency in Australia, claiming the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) award for a second consecutive year. The specialist event division of Corporate Travel Management was presented with the award at a gala dinner at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, with Event Travel Management
general manager Tracey Edwards accepting the award. Business Events Geelong has showcased its major hotels, resorts and venues, team builders and incentive providers to more than 120 conference and meeting organisers who braved a wet Melbourne evening to attend the show at Showtime Event Centre at South Wharf. Convention bureau manager Terry Hickey said he was thrilled with the success of what has become an annual event. “The Great Ocean Roadshow is a concept that is designed to connect the people who run our professional products and services, with conference organisers planning future meetings,” he said. Members of Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) can now access a free telephone advisory service specialising in workplace relations after the organisation entered into an arrangement with Employsure to offer employment and human resources advice. “No matter how routine or complex the situation, there is now an avenue for members to explore to obtain advice,” said MEA chief executive Linda Gaunt.
The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) has launched an inaugural online version of its dictionary of meetings and events terminology. In collaboration with the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service European Commission, IAPCO’s online dictionary, which can be found at www.iapco.org, has more than 1100 words in 15 languages covering topics such as functions, finances, technical equipment and technology. Eight international guests from the American Society of Associations Executives (ASAE) recently took part in a study tour of their Australian counterparts in Sydney held alongside the Associations Forum National Conference. Organised by the Association Forum and supported by Business Events Sydney, the study tour included an “Australian Familiarisation” session held at the NSW Trade and Investment office. ASAE chief global development officer Greta Kotler said the tour was “a great opportunity”. “We’ve found that Australians are particularly good at governance, in terms of ongoing training and best practice,” she said. The Regional Victoria Planner’s Guide 2013/14 has been released giving conference organisers a comprehensive planning resource for their upcoming events in Victoria’s regions. Business Events Victoria chair Brendan Maher thanked Tourism Victoria and the Victorian Government for their ongoing support of the event planner. “Regional Victoria has proven to be an attractive location
Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau has had a good start to the 2013/14 financial year, helping to secure seven new conferences for the city. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the conferences would inject more than $16 million into the city’s economy, while bringing 5600 delegates to Brisbane. The winning bids, all secured in July, include the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations
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for both tourism and work-related travel,” he said. Copies of the guide are available from email@example.com. Six months after the dissolution of Italy’s National Convention Bureau, a new agreement to both represent and develop the Italian meetings & events industry has been signed by a number of industry heavyweights. The agreement will see the regions involved in the project Mice in Italia, as well as other regions, undertake “synergistic initiatives to efficiently and effectively promote and develop the Italian meetings and events industry”. The Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) has earned South Australia an impressive $18.3 million in forecast economic benefit in the last few months by winning six major international conferences. “These six conference bid wins are an exceptional result for the Bureau – especially considering the ever increasing resources our national and international competitors have access to,” said Damien Kitto, chief executive of ACB. “In the challenging times we are facing in Adelaide with reduced resources, to win the right for Adelaide to host these six events is testament to the strategic direction and sheer hard work being undertaken by the Convention Bureau team, Team Adelaide industry partners and our Conventions Adelaide Ambassadors”. The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau and global event management company MCI recently teamed up for a CSR initiative which saw them build bicycles with children representing three local children’s charities. The bicycles were then given to the charities. The event was held in conjunction with the announcement that MCI has opened its 49th office, MCI Malaysia. More than 800 industry delegates recently attended the World of Accor expo at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel, which saw more than 90 Accor delegates representing some 3500 hotels on hand to discuss Accor’s newest product. The all-day event includes a dedicated business events session, a networking lunch for business event organisers, an exclusive high tea for key clients and a cocktail session. A highlight of the evening was a prize draw which saw Lisa Warnes, Travel & Ops Manager at Optus (pictured), win a $30,000 Peugeot Allure 208 car. The event also featured a special performance by multi-platinum band Human Nature.
Controversial cap ‘scrapped’… for now Treasurer Chris Bowen has announced a delay to the proposed $2000 cap on work-related education expenses claimed as tax deductions, as part of a Federal Government election-eve budget update. The cap, which was to be introduced mid-next year, will now be introduced on July 1, 2015, allowing for “further consultation on how best to target excessive claims while ensuring the impact on university enrolments and genuine continuing professional development is minimised”. The proposed cap has raised concerns within the meetings industry about the effect it will have on the industry, with delegates potentially unable to afford the cost of travelling to and attending conferences, negatively affecting the viability of many events and events’ venues. Professional bodies have also voiced their concerns, with groups including the Tax Institute, Law Council of Australia and the Australian Medical Association arguing that
professional development within their industries would be seriously hampered by the cap. In May the General Practice Registrars Australia launched a “Scrap the Cap” alliance, made up of more than 80 professional bodies, and social media campaign, which has attracted more than 23,000 signatures so far.
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The deferral has been welcomed by industry bodies including Meetings & Events Australia (MEA), with chief executive Linda Gaunt expressing the hope that the deferral will give the government time to “do their homework” and scrap it permanently. Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton said the decision by the Government to defer the introduction of the proposed cap until July 2015 would allow proper informed discussion that should lead to the removal of the proposed cap by the next Government.
Inside Sydney’s temporary facility I
Photo: Verve Portraits.
had the chance this month to get more of an insight into the proposed Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island development. The temporary venue is on its way from Belgium – it was previously used as part of the infrastructure for the London Olympics – ready for construction to start next month. The Centre will be up and running in time to host the Reed Gift Fair in February 2014. According to plans, the structure promises 20,000sqm of fully-serviced exhibition space, with the option for an additional 5000sqm for larger exhibitions.
It’s no secret that the exhibition industry has had many questions about the venue and its feasibility. However, from the discussion at an industry update this month, it
seems that those questions have been answered. Is this the perfect solution to address the lack of exhibition space in Sydney while the new centre is closed? Yes, I think it is. There are not many exhibition centres around the world that are so central to the city, and this one also has outstanding views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, city skyline and Anzac Bridge, and is literally on the water’s edge. And I have absolute confidence in AEG Ogden to run yet another successful venue.
Alexandra Yeomans, Publisher
www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 3
EEAA’s new awareness campaign Covering the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills the group experienced the finest food and wine the state has become renowned for. The official welcome cocktail event on the Riverbanks Lawns of the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) gave the group a bird’s eye view of the many developments currently under construction including the new Adelaide Oval.
From left: Domenic Genua, Joyce DiMascio and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner.
Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) has launched a new campaign to help build awareness of the business event industry as a driver of economic activity. Speaking at the campaign launch the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, Andrew Stoner, said the NSW Government “was proud to support the exhibition and events industry”. “They are major contributors to our visitor and knowledge economies and provide an opportunity to showcase our local talent and build our global reputation,” he said. EEAA president Dominic Genua said that the construction of the interim exhibition centre at Sydney’s Glebe Island was a timely reminder “that exhibitions and events are the lifeblood of our cities and regions”. There are two tiers to the new campaign – the first is about the effectiveness of exhibitions as a
marketing channel and the second is about their flow-on benefits, according to EEAA chief executive Joyce DiMascio. The campaign includes a video and brochure that showcase ambassadors for the sector, as well as a familiarisation program for politicians and major stakeholders to experience large exhibitions and events firsthand. “There is nothing like getting on that show floor and seeing the energy and vitality of the business being done whether it’s a food and lifestyle show, a mining and resources show or a gaming show,” said DiMascio.
Consumed by South Australia Fifty international and national hosted buyers have seen the best South Australia has to offer during Destination South Australia’s 10th event.
Speaking at the event, which was attended by Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell, Adelaide Convention Bureau chief executive Damien Kitto said Destination SA was the perfect showcase of the “flexibility and creativity of what Adelaide has to offer”. “Adelaide is really moving ahead,” he said. “In 2016 we will be the only city to have a convention centre, entertainment precinct and medical research centre in the one space. No other city can brag about that.” The ACC also hosted a Business Events Exchange Day giving the buyers a chance to meet a variety of venues and operators in prescheduled appointments. The group were farewelled in style at a gala dinner at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. See the full write-up in September’s CIM.
Glebe Island bookings in place Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has handed over the responsibility of managing Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island’s bookings and enquiries to the newly appointed general manager Malu Barrios but it will continue to
market the interim exhibition site. Barrios has confirmed that Reed Gift Fairs will be the first exhibition to be hosted at the interim site in February, 2014, which is in place during the construction phase of the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) at Darling Harbour. Describing Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island as her “new baby”, Barrios said the site had its “limitations” but that “innovation” was the key to its success. “I look at it as a blank canvas, where you have this great infrastructure where we can be very innovative and do lots of things to support whatever you would like to achieve with your exhibition, conference or event,” she said. The New South Wales Government is providing free ferry services from Darling Harbour and bus services from Central Station on exhibition show days. There will also be 1000 paid car parking spaces available on the site, which offers 25,000sqm of exhibition space. BESydney chief executive Lyn Lewis-Smith said the project had “really brought the industry together”. “BESydney has been working closely with the industry for many months on the new facility’s branding and marketing and we will manage the consumer awareness campaign until the operators, AEG Ogden, take over at the end of 2013,” she said.
Australian Event Awards introduces state awards For the first time the Australian Event Awards will name State and Territory Winners in each of its 10 “Best Event” categories, including the CIM Magazine Best Meeting or Conference award.
Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.
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“The national events industry is bigger than many people imagine,” said John Allen, founding director of the Australian Centre for Event Management at UTS and co-chair of the award’s industry judging panel. “There are literally thousands of individuals working around the clock to produce hundreds of excellent events across Australia each year. With the new State and Territory Winners the Event Awards are offering official recognition to a much larger
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(WGO) and Australian Gastroenterology Week, which will attract 2500 gastroenterology experts, will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in September 2015.
number of events and the people who work on them. In particular, there is now a real opportunity for smaller events to take centre stage in their State or Territory.” The new winners will be awarded using the existing national entry process which means that people who have already started their entry as well as any new entrants are automatically in the running to receive the State and Territory Awards. It also means there is no additional cost to be considered for the new awards.
Brisbane’s key convention partners led by the BCEC joined with the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) in bidding for the event. Chief executive of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) Elaine Siggins said there was particular enthusiasm for staging a joint meeting in Australia as Professor James Toouli from Adelaide will shortly take up the presidency of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), the first Australian to fill the role.
“It’s a fairly simple process,” said Ian Steigrad, managing director of the awards. “Essentially we take all the events entered in a category, and rank them by the score awarded by the industry judging panel with the category winner at the top. The event that ranks highest in each State or Territory will be the winner in that State or Territory. For example for Best Community Event, we’ll now have Best Community Event WA, Best Community Event SA etc as well as the National Winner.” State and Territory winners will be announced with their national counterparts at the awards night on November 19. Entries for the 2013 Australian Event Awards close on September 9.
Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre leaves ‘lasting legacy’ The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre has celebrated its 25th anniversary with a black tie dinner for more than 400 key industry players, many of whom travelled from interstate for the event. Centre chief executive Ton van Amerongen told assembled guests that the reason for the event was not only to celebrate the Centre’s milestone but also to “celebrate 25 years of success in the business events industry”. “You have all played a significant role in making business events successful for Australia – in making a cottage industry evolve to maturity and in making it a globally recognised success story,” Van Amerongen told his guests. Thanking the Centre’s industry partners including joint operators Accor and Compass, Business Events Sydney (BESydney) and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Van Amerongen said that the years of collaboration had built a “business events destination that’s the envy of world”. Following a panel discussion and video presentation in which
Siggins also cited Brisbane’s appeal for delegates and the BCEC as being major considerations in the selection process.
Ton van Amerongen with SCEC 25th anniversary guest Ros McLeod from Arinex.
industry heavyweights including Martin Sirk, chief executive of the International Congress & Convention Association, Lyn Lewis-Smith, chief executive of BESydney, and Joyce Di Mascio, general manager of Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, paid tribute to the Centre, guests were treated to a sumptuous meal featuring confit of ocean trout, marron tail and slow-roasted wagyu beef tenderloin Entertainment was provided by 2012 The X-Factor winner Samantha Jade and Timomatic, culminating in an emotional rendition of Alex Lloyd’s “Amazing” accompanied by a montage of memorable moments from the Centre’s history. Van Amerongen also spoke of the “lasting legacy” the Centre, which is due to close in December, will leave behind.
VEIC calls for more space in Melbourne The Victoria Events Industry Council (VEIC) has called on the Victorian government to commit to the expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), after it was revealed last month that the state lost the opportunity to host the Perfect China incentive due to lack of space.
BCEC general manager Bob O’Keeffe said competition for significant international scientific meetings such as the Gastroenterology event is intense and the benefits to Brisbane are exceptional. Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. “Each week we are missing out significant business opportunities simply as a result of lack of space to host these major events,” said VEIC chief executive Dianne Smith. “MCEC is an outstanding facility for conventions and exhibitions, and contributes approximately $212 million each year to Victoria’s economy. “The venue is currently being forced to turn away business due to a lack of exhibition space. The State Government missed an important opportunity in this year’s state budget to invest in Victoria’s future through funding the extension of this important Melbourne venue. “Events held in Melbourne have a positive flow on benefit across Victoria, with international business visitors generally staying for a number of days and often travelling outside of Melbourne.”
Brisbane secures International Gastroenterology Congress In a first for Australia, Brisbane has won the right to host Gastro 2015: AGW/WGO International Congress. The combined meeting of the World Gastroenterology Organisation
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“They substantiate the Centre’s reputation for hosting world class events and promote Brisbane’s leading science and research strengths and practices,” he said.
Canberra on target The Canberra Convention Bureau (CCB) has achieved its target of generating $41.6 million in confirmed business in the 2012/2013 financial year, delivering 66,400 nights of accommodation room occupancy to the Canberra economy. This represents an increase of 5 per cent in overnight stays generated by the Bureau over the previous year. Business tourism overnight stays represented 36 per cent of all stays for the year ending March 2013, representing 2.2 million room nights, according to Tourism Research Australia. “While room nights are seen as one constant measure of the economic value of business tourism and business events, one cannot overlook the intrinsic value of face-to-face meetings including collaboration, education and networking, which all benefit a host destination,” said Robyn Hendry, chief executive of the CCB. “We feel confident we are on track to achieve another 4 per cent growth in this financial year, which represents 69,000 room nights.”
The five star event for the business travel, meetings and events industry in China and Asia. CIBTM is officially endorsed by the China National Tourism Administration and the Beijing Municipal Government
For more details on exhibiting opportunities and the Hosted Buyer Programme, visit www.cibtm.com CIBTM IS ORGANISED BY
CIBTM IS CO-HOSTED BY
CIBTM IS PART OF THE REED TRAVEL EXHIBITIONS MEETINGS, EVENTS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL INDUSTRY PORTFOLIO
nz n ew s
Events and Venues Rotorua rebate well received Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines how they will work closely together to promote New Zealand as an international business events destination. TNZ’s general manager marketing communications, Justin Watson, says the organisation will invest NZ$200,000 in CINZ’s existing marketing activities to enable greater reach and effectiveness of the work, and ensure all potential opportunities are developed.
Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. Events and Venues Rotorua’s new Delegate Advantage Programme (EVRDAP) has proved popular with events planners, with the company securing eight new conferences since its launch at Meetings 2013 in June. The EVRDAP package offers organisations a rebate on all 2014/15 conferences booked and confirmed at an Events and Venues Rotorua venue before the end of 2013. The package includes a $10 per room, per night rebate when staying at participating Rotorua hotels. Conferences booked at the Energy Events Centre will get a further $7.50 per delegate, per day rebate off full day catering, plus an additional $5 per delegate rebate for the gala dinner. Organisers will also receive a free Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 for all
venue bookings confirmed before December 31, 2013. “We want to help associations achieve their goals and we think this is a win-win solution that will help association managers achieve their goals,” said Events and Venues Rotorua sales and marketing manager, Brett Jeffery. “By working closely with Destination Rotorua and our accommodation sector, we have come up with an offer that we think will help conferences organisers increase their numbers and maximise their revenue from their biggest event.”
“With this new MOU we can close those gaps and ensure all opportunities are captured.” The MOU will be reviewed in one year with a view to continuing the collaboration for a further two years.
NZ launches collaborative approach Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and
“CINZ’s existing programme of
Guiding lights Recently Conventions & Incentives New Zealand has been discussing a programme to actively mentor those keen to make a career in the business. Finding ways to pass on hard-won knowledge and enrich the future of the industry is a fantastic goal for a group of professionals.
“Previously, the targeting of resources has meant certain opportunities could not be leveraged and not all areas of the business events sector could be targeted.
Alan Trotter, chief executive of CINZ, says the increased coordination across the sector will deliver significant benefit for the New Zealand industry and the economy as a whole.
Mentoring offers huge benefits to the meetings industry, enabling those with experience to give something back, and giving those just starting out a significant leg up.
“TNZ and CINZ have a longstanding relationship however with the increased focus from Tourism New Zealand on international business events as a way to attract higher value visitors it was timely to put some formal context around it.
I’ve been privileged to mentor in a formal mentoring programme, and have witnessed first-hand how much the process benefits the person mentored (the “mentee”), providing inspiration and improving confidence. As a mentor, however, I’ve learned just as much as my mentees and enhanced my own skills in the process. Mentoring starts with careful discussion to identify the mentee’s learning needs, which can be
diverse. Areas of need may include improving understanding of what working in the business really entails, what skills are most useful and how to communicate in and about the industry. Mentees may require help developing selfmarketing strategies, tapping into industry media, establishing professional networks and selecting the right programmes for upgrading technical skills. The learning relationship needs to be well planned, with clear objectives for which each of you is accountable. Structure is also important, since neither of you wants to be overwhelmed by the
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work will be greatly enhanced by this agreement,” he said. “We can draw on the strength of Tourism New Zealand’s destination marketing and they can leverage the knowledge and experience we have, having been active in the business events sector for 20 years.” As part of the arrangement, the “100% Pure New Zealand – Beyond Convention” campaign will be used in all marketing activities as the overarching destination message. In addition to the joint activity, TNZ aims to significantly increase its efforts in the Australian market, promoting New Zealand as an international business events destination. “Our plans include the recruitment of new staff who will be dedicated to developing the Australian market,” said Watson.
Wellington venues given all clear Wellington City Council has completed checks on all of the venues in the Positively Wellington Venues portfolio, with all the buildings cleared for public use, following the earthquake that hit the New Zealand city recently. Wellington Town Hall, Michael Fowler Centre, TSB Bank Arena, St James Theatre and the Opera House are all fully operable with all events going ahead as planned. Construction work at Shed 6 was not affected by the earthquake, with the new venue still on track to open on August 21.
process. An intense programme for, say, four months, with contact for an hour a week and a meeting every second week could be the right balance. It may sound daunting but the time does fly! Mentoring can be enormously satisfying and beneficial for both parties. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor or being mentored, and are based in New Zealand, please get in touch with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings & Events Australia operates a mentoring program in NSW and Victoria and is planning to expand this to other states: www. meetingseventsaustralia.com.au.
By Jan Tonkin, founder and managing director of leading New Zealand PCO, The Conference Company and vice-chair of the IAPCO Training Academy.
i nte rn a tion a l n ews
UK meetings industry research launched Research undertaken by the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) from Leeds Metropolitan University and commissioned by the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Foundation, has revealed that the UK meeting industry delivers £58.4 billion ($99.6 billion) to the UK’s gross domestic product, three times greater than the value of agriculture to the country’s economy. The UK Economic Impact Study also found that the meeting industry is the UK’s 16th largest employer with more than 515,000 individuals directly employed. Including indirect employment, the meeting industry generates more than one million full-time equivalent jobs. The research is considered important as it will allow “the sector to shape policy and lobby at the highest levels moving forward”, according to ICRETH project director ShiNa Li. “We believe this research provides an invaluable tool for professionals in our industry to use to enhance the perception of the meeting industry in the UK – similar to how comparable studies have been utilised in the US and other countries,” said MPI president and chief executive officer, Paul Van Deventer.
HKCEC upgrades mobile app Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has recently introduced an enhanced version of its mobile app to celebrate HKCEC’s 25th anniversary. This latest version of the HKCEC mobile app enables users to find their way while inside the HKCEC by using the “Way Finding” function. Other new features include a “Today’s Events” included as part of the “Event Calendar”, as well as “Where to Eat”, “Floor Plan”, “Transportation” and “Announcements” sections, providing useful information and latest updates about the HKCEC. The Centre has also launched a “Unforgettable-
Collective Memories at HKCEC” campaign on HKCEC official Facebook page, inviting the public to share their memorable photos and stories about the Centre.
Japan makes comeback at IT&CMA Japanese exhibitors are returning to Asian business events expo IT&CMA with the largest delegation from the country since prior to the March 2011 earthquake which shook the country. Comprising of convention visitors bureaus, destination management companies, corporate companies and hospitality chains, exhibitors includes Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sapporo Convention Bureau, DMC Sapporo Co. Ltd, Pripress Center and Fujita Kanko Hotels and Resorts. Most are new to the event, with factors such as the falling value of the yen and the recovery of areas affected by the earthquake spurring optimism in the Japanese business events market. “Japan has been showing strong signs of revival having made its way into the 8th spot on ICCA’s global association meeting destinations 2012 ranking,” said Ooi Peng Ee, general manager of event organiser TTG Events. “We are confident that more local and international buyers will pick Japan as their choice destination.”
New venue has Impact Thailand’s Impact Exhibition Management has been chosen by Thailand Post to manage the recently restored Grand Postal Building, an iconic historical landmark in the Bangrak district of Bangkok. The historic building will serve as a venue for conferences, meetings, seminars, exhibitions, events, car launches and other events, according to managing director Paul Kanjanapas. The Grand Postal Building provides over
3000sqm of total floor space for meetings, exhibitions and events over two levels. The Postal Heritage Hall on the ground floor comprises 1054 sqm with a capacity of 576 classroom-style seating and 440 banquet style. An additional area is on the third floor and offers three mid-size meeting rooms, The Postcard, The Postal Theatre and The Letter. An 1000sqm outdoor area at the front of the historic building is also available.
Meet in Monaco The Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority is launching a new campaign to showcase the best of Monaco for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events sector. The new campaign is designed to change the perception of Monaco as a luxury leisure destination, instead focusing on images of delegates ready for work. The authority is specifically hoping to attract events from the medical, information and communication technologies, finance and environmental technology sectors. “Finance, health and information and communication technologies represent 50 per cent of our MICE business and they are also the pillars of Monaco’s industrial base,” said Sandrine Camia, director of the Monaco Convention Bureau. “But, we do not think that our expertise in these sectors and our convention centre infrastructure and assets, are as well known as they should be. Monaco should be a top of mind destination and the new campaign is designed to make us memorable.”
IBTM India first of its kind Reflecting the growing interest in India as a business events market, IBTM India, which is set to take place at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai from September 12-14, 2013, will be the first event of its kind to take place in India. The table-top event will be limited to 100 international and Indian suppliers of product and services to the business events industry; it is designed through pre-arranged meetings to place international and Indian buyers with suppliers in a one-on-one environment. “We are confident that our table-top format will deliver a low cost and high impact solution for all of our attendees,” said Shinu Pillai, IBTM India project manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Bangkok’s Grand Postal Building and The Postal Heritage Hall.
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cover sto r y
New horizon New Caledonia is set to welcome two new international hotel brands to the island heralding a new chapter in this South Pacific gem with a European touch. “New Caledonia has a European feel similar to the French Riviera with a very short flying time from Australia offering a totally different experience to other South Pacific islands,” says Suzanne Kenyon, director at destination management company Transat Tours. “Visitors, especially those travelling on incentive programs, enjoy fantastic quality French wines and food, high end international recognised venues such as the Tjibaou Cultural Centre and fabulous private islets for offsite dinners such as Duck Island. Groups are always very pleasantly surprised when coming to New Caledonia as it is frequently their first time over here and cannot believe how developed it is.” That development is about to enter a new phase with the imminent arrival of international brands Sheraton and Hilton on the island and a complete refurbishment of Le Méridien Nouméa. The Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa is expected to open in the first half of 2014 and signals the first time a resort of this scale and ambition is being built outside the capital Nouméa. “As the first resort of its kind in this location north of Nouméa, it was important for the owners that it be associated with a prominent international brand such as Sheraton in order to ensure its credibility and success in key target markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe,” says Daniella Tonetto, regional director of sales and marketing at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Located 175km north of Nouméa on the west coast, The Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa will offer 180 rooms, including
60 bungalows and 40 suites, a choice of food and beverage venues, a world class spa with six treatment rooms, business centre and 490sqm of flexible meeting space, including a ballroom for meetings, events and banquets. Combining Melanesian tradition and traditional French influence, the resort is perfectly set to offer incentive groups the best of the UNESCO World Heritage Lagoon to its west and the rugged country of the Grande Terre to its east, with some of the best hiking and horse riding available in the South Pacific. “In New Caledonia the west coast is cowboy and cattle raising country and is something completely different that does not exist anywhere else in the South Pacific,” says Jennifer Lee-Courtaux, director of sales and marketing of Starwood Hotels New Caledonia. “It is a completely different face to New Caledonia, in addition to the beach and ocean. The Melanesian culture, the tribes that live within the mountains and valleys, I don’t know of any other South Pacific destination today that can offer something like this.”
Capital developments In Nouméa, La Promenade Apartment Hotel, part of the GLP Hotel Group, will become Hilton Nouméa La Promenade Residences on November 1, 2013. Built in 2007, the hotel has 150 self-catering apartments ranging from studios to one, two and three bedroom apartments. “GLP Hotels will still own the hotel but the conversion to the Hilton Worldwide chain as a franchised residence will benefit us greatly in terms of the strong leisure and conference network,” says Julie
Cassin, sales manager Australia and New Zealand GLP Hotels. Hilton Nouméa La Promenade Residences has one main conference room which can accommodate up to 30 people theatre-style, but for larger conferences the hotel is located within walking distance of its sister property, Nouvata Parc Hotel, with its pillarless ballroom accommodating up to 1000 people for cocktails, making it the largest hotel-based conference facility in Nouméa. “The versatility of our accommodation range provides conference organisers with a one stop shop for accommodation, conferencing, pre and post stays, gala dinners and day excursions,” Cassin says. “Conference delegates can for example stay at La Promenade, conference at Nouvata Parc and enjoy a gala dinner or welcome cocktail at L’Escapade Island Resort located 20 minutes by boat from Nouméa, all of which can be organised through the same contact.” The capital’s first luxury hotel, The Méridien Nouméa, is also preparing for a full refurbishment program and is “just waiting for the green light to commence,” according to Lee-Courtaux. With direct access to Nouméa’s Anse Vata beach and the capacity
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10 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
to hold conferences up to 400 delegates in the largest of its four meeting rooms, Château Royal Beach Resort and Spa is another popular choice for those looking to mix conferencing with leisure. Small incentive groups are also spoilt for choice with a myriad of tropical island resorts and hotels either a short boat ride away, as in the case of the 4-star L’Escapade Island Resort with its 69 luxury bungalows, 25 of which sit over the water, or a short plane journey away, such as the Le Méridien Ile des Pins.
Unique destination Describing New Caledonia as a “sophisticated destination”, Barbara Lambert, deputy manager at destination management company Arc en Ciel Voyages, says that its “Frenchness” is one of its biggest assets. “We are spoilt for choice in terms of food and restaurants and also have many day excursions that can be organised from Nouméa,” she says. With so much available in terms of culture, activities and landscape, New Caledonia offers a compelling destination to “the business events delegate who has done it all within the region and is looking for something completely different in addition to the beach and oceans of the South Pacific,” according to Tonetto. “If you compare New Caledonia to French Polynesia, Vanuatu or Fiji, I’m certain that we are not that much more expensive, especially in the case of business events where all components of a program can be tailor made and negotiated,” she says. Offering so much and yet so close, just three hours from Sydney flying Aircalin, New Caledonia is a destination that is set to capture the imagination of business events and incentive groups from Australia and New Zealand. As Lee-Courtaux says; “Someone who is looking to go to Europe and doesn’t want to go through either the length or the cost of the trip can definitely get a shot here in a very short distance.”
View slideshow in the CIM iPad app.
China set for largest CIBTM yet This year’s China Incentives, Business, Travel & Meetings Expo promises to be the biggest and best one yet.
increasingly widespread use of technology within the industry, fuelling interest from buyers in integrating the latest innovations into their events.
Organisers of CIBTM, China’s leading meetings, incentives and business travel exhibition, which will take place from September 2-4, 2013, at the China National Convention Centre, say that they are gearing up for their largest show to date.
A popular part of CIBTM’s line up is the show’s education programme, CIBTM Knowledge, which provides a fantastic way for attendees to develop their careers and expand their knowledge on the latest industry hot topics, research and important market developments.
Since its launch, CIBTM has led the way in creating an annual forum that delivers business opportunities, professional education and networking events, which have been critical to the development of the meetings sector across China as a whole. The number of CIBTM attendees has steadily grown year on year, demonstrating a need for the business opportunities and education that the show provides. This year’s show is expected to attract more than 6327 regional and
international industry professionals. Not only have hosted buyer applications doubled this year, the show has also seen an increase in the amount of corporate and association trade visitors who have signed up to attend. International destinations who will exhibit at the show this year include the US, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Macau, New Zealand and Australia. Amongst the new features at the show this year will be pavilions dedicated to the US and Africa, introduced in direct response to research conducted following last year’s CIBTM, which showed an increase in demand for these destinations. Another new feature is the technology pavilion, reflecting the
This year’s program will kick off with “Business Travel: Trends, Potential, Features and Analysis”, a session dedicated to identifying business travel trends in China, with other highlights set to be the “Cross Cultural Competence in the Global Incentive & Meetings Industry” and “Standing out to win business in China” sessions. This year’s CIBTM will also feature the release of the 2013 China and Asia Meetings Industry Research report, produced by Reed Travel Exhibitions, which provides
valuable insight into the meetings and incentives industry in China and Asia as well as up to date market information on the latest trends and developments over the past 12 months. Rob Davidson, from the University of Greenwich in London, will also present the findings of the Chinese Meeting Planners’ Site Selection Survey, demonstrating the factors that are most important to Chinese meeting planners when they are deciding where to locate their events. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up for prescheduled business meetings with exhibitors, and participate in a number of networking functions. Jeffry Xu, CIBTM project manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions, says the increase in interest in this year’s show is “reflective of the confidence the industry has in CIBTM and awareness of its potential as a platform which allows all of our suppliers to secure international business”.
www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 11
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Garuda Indonesia returns to Brisbane Garuda Indonesia has officially returned to Brisbane after a five year break. The new route increases the carrier’s weekly services to 52 per week. Bagus Y. Siregar, vice president for Garuda Indonesia Australia, said that Australian travel to Indonesia is growing every year, with a 20 per cent increase in passengers in the South-West Pacific region in 2012.
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New Paraparaumu– Christchurch service Air New Zealand is expanding its services to and from the Kapiti Coast, with a new daily direct service between Paraparaumu and Christchurch from November. The new service will be operated by Air New Zealand subsidiary Air Nelson and provide more than 36,000 direct seats a year between the two regions.
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AirAsia X lands in Adelaide AirAsia X is set to launch a direct Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide route to begin in October this year. “We have been working hard to attract a low-cost international carrier and AirAsia X is a very welcome addition,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. “With more affordable international links, we also hope to see more conferences in Adelaide and more international students being visited
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Virgin Australia codeshares with airberlin Virgin Australia has announced a reciprocal codeshare and frequent flyer agreement with airberlin, Germany’s second largest airline. Virgin Australia will codeshare on airberlin’s daily direct services from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf and Berlin. airberlin will also codeshare on Virgin Australia’s Abu Dhabi to Sydney service, its Phuket to Perth service and on nine of its domestic services within Australia. As part of the new agreement, members of Virgin Australia’s loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer and airberlin’s topbonus program will receive reciprocal benefits, with the ability to earn and redeem points or miles, regardless of which airline is operating the flight. “We will continue to work with our partners to provide an expanded network for our customers and offer more opportunities to be rewarded and recognised through our Velocity Frequent Flyer Program,” said Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton.
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Two-way conversation The idea of four walls and a silent audience have long gone, with interactive audience participation moving beyond the venue and into the virtual world where everyone can have their say, writes Sheridan Randall.
When EIBTM introduced their first hybrid event last year in Barcelona, which was streamed online across the world, the concept of hybrid meetings officially came of age. Due to its success Reed Travel Exhibitions will be running an enhanced version at EIBTM 2013, putting into practice some of the lessons learned first time around.
“The second type of webcast is a keynote speaker talking to a collective group, which can incorporate social media tools such as Twitter feeds,” he says.
“Hybrid events are really just about extending the reach of a live event to a much larger audience,” says Tim Chapman, general manager – digital at Staging Connections.
Audience interaction is vital if the most is to be had from an event, with Oliver Bampfield, managing director – Australia and New Zealand at event technology company IML, saying the technology used to facilitate this has “come along leaps and bounds”.
“Taking the audience participation and allowing more than the just normal room full of people to be able to watch and interact with the content.” There are three specific types of webcasts that have seen large growth, according to Chapman. “The first one is corporate webcasts, where there would be a speaker and slides synchronised together, but people watching can also participate,” he says. “A question-answer box allows people anywhere to type in a question which can be fed to the speaker on stage.
The third type is a gala dinner or event award, with people that can’t make it able to participate on a digital platform that is “really easy to navigate around”.
“IML has been around for about 20 years now and specialises in enhancing audience engagement and interaction by getting people to text, vote and to talk using our handset devices,” says Bampfield. The devices, the size of a mobile phone, are handed out to audience members, and work off their own network independently from whatever internet is available at the venue, avoiding any potential download conflicts.
“Once the live event is over it can be turned into an on-demand version, so you don’t have to skip through hours to find what you what, you can simply navigate your way to the point you want.”
“What we are trying to do is increase that interaction between the speaker and the audience, so it’s not just a one-way communication,” he says. “You can have instant feedback and make sure people have understood the message.”
Chapman says that sponsors are beginning to see the value in picking up on-demand webcasts, as they get ongoing brand recognition, with people coming back to it many months afterwards.
Knowing what the audience is thinking, whether it is a simple evaluation of the session, to more interactive responses, such as a company launching a new strategy and wanting to find out what their staff think of it, can be a very
targeted way of maximising the return on investment an event has for a client. IML has also launched a new mobile service, Join In, that “allows people to vote if they are watching the session from a webcast in a different location” as well as incorporating a messaging function. “It’s like a private Twitter you can moderate yourself – you can control who is going into it in real time,” he says. “You give people a login and a password, with all the messages coming into a central server where it can be edited before it goes out. You want to be as open and honest as you can with the content but if anything comes through that is controversial you have the power to edit it. A [IML] staff member is there all the time, making sure that everything working.” With so many avenues for getting the message out, and so many ways to encourage a two-way conversation between speaker and audience, it does mean that everyone needs to be brought into the loop. Speakers need to know that the audience may be beyond the four walls they’re standing in. Promotion of the hybrid aspect of the event is also vital. If using Twitter get a hashtag out well in advance and monitor tweets to measure the response and feedback. Finally make sure the venue has the technical requirements necessary to support the event. “The server is not responding” is not the message any event wants to its delegates to take away with them.
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melbourne & beyond
Bespoke destination Tailor made events and a personal touch make holding an event in or around Melbourne more appealing than ever, writes Sheridan Randall. Melbourne has posted another record year, with the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) hosting 1131 events bringing more than $234 million in to the Victorian economy. But that doesn’t include the day-to-day business that is generated by the events held in the city, according to MCEC chief executive Peter King. “For example we have just had the Reed Gift Show for the last week and they write [approximately] $250 million worth of business on the floor during the week,” he says. For the MCEC, which is currently lobbying the State Government to fund a much needed extension of the Centre, this sort of positive economic side effect of the business events industry
does not get included in the number crunching that is done by Treasury when weighing up funding priorities. “When you are talking to government and treasury there is a whole lot of information that is not being provided to give a holistic view of the benefits of what we produce through these sort of venues,” he says. “You have to get the message through to the key people, such as the bureaucrats and ministers, but you also need champions within government to really get on board, understand the benefits, and fight the fight for you in the corridors of power.” Not that King is pessimistic,
adding that there is “great political will” to see it happen, with Premier Denis Napthine saying on a recent visit to the Centre that he was very supportive. “They have a great will to make it happen,” says King. “It’s just a case of coming up with a solution. We really should know something within the next few months. It’s a great opportunity for Melbourne to get something underway and launch in a similar time frame to Sydney.” While the waiting game continues, business keeps rolling in, with the MCEC running at capacity. For King, other than those events that simply cannot be accommodated due to their size, Melbourne venues have always been good at cooperating.
“One of the great benefits of Melbourne is that it is more cooperative than most cities and we do meet regularly with other venues,” he says. “Ultimately a lot of things that happen here are done for the greater good. We do a lot of work with Melbourne Showgrounds and Crown, in particular, [but also] with the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust [MOPT] and the Melbourne Cricket Ground [MCG].” With Melbourne hosting Tourism Australia’s Dreamtime 2013 in December, the Centre plans to use it to “showcase our capabilities”. “We will have a captive audience for a while and we will try to do things out of the ordinary,
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especially around technology and food and some of the creative theming we do,” he says. “Business events are no longer just around sitting in an auditorium and listening to speakers. It’s about the whole experience from when you first arrive and that sense of arrival, the theming and entertainment. Gone are the days where we just throw people the keys and say there are the four walls and a cup of coffee in the corner. We have to do so much more these days and we like to think we are leading the way a bit on some of these ideas. “We take that opportunity to work with a lot of the other partners around Melbourne to show off the ease of doing business here. It’s such an easy place to locate a big incentive group or business event and we work to together to make that experience visible.” Karen Bolinger, chief executive of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), describes Dreamtime 2013 as “a big deal” as it will be the first time the event has been held in Melbourne. “For us it’s about showcasing Melbourne as a destination and what we can do,” Bolinger says. “We work quite closely with
Tourism Australia to make sure that the right buyers are coming to town and the right suppliers are on the other end when they do their business appointments.” As part of that bespoke service that ensures everyone gets the most out of every event, the MCB has also launched its new Melbourne Insider newsletter, which is now tailored to different sectors. “We did a survey at the beginning of the year to find out what people wanted, what parts they were using and what was more relevant for them,” she says. “When we broke the survey down it gave us a clear understanding of what a member wanted. A client may have wanted some tips and tricks on conferencing and the latest information on the infrastructure and suppliers, whereas the suppliers were more interested in what was going on in the industry and what was going on in the city. We saw that we had three different areas we had to hit and so started to develop information tailored to them.” The Bureau is also busy preparing for next year’s Business Events Week after its inaugural showing in conjuction with this year’s Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings
Mural Hall in the Myer Store.
Expo (AIME). “With the inaugural one you do as much as you can and see if it gets traction, which it certainly did, so now it’s a great opportunity to build on that,” she says. “It was actually done to really communicate to the wider industry and get mainstream media involved to understand the value of the business events industry. AIME as the centrepiece of that was key because it showed that it was not just a domestic show but an international one with people coming from all over the world to showcase their wares and products
to the industry and as a result of that millions of dollars of business is actually conducted either at or post the show.” Another AIME initiative are the pre-tours, which put the state’s regional destinations in the spotlight for both the domestic and international market. According to a Bureau survey of this year’s AIME pre-touring program, which had 180 Hosted Buyers and media representing 25 countries participating in one of 13 pretouring options throughout the state, 83 per cent say they plan to bring business to Melbourne/
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But for those in Melbourne, the party lasts more than one day, with Derby Day, Crown Oakes Day and Stakes Day guaranteeing a week long Cup Carnival. “We could sell Melbourne Cup day three times over,” says Lisa Patroni, tourism and international development manager at Victoria Racing Club, who adds that for Melbourne at least “it really is a week of celebrations”.
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regional Victoria in the future, while 17 per cent say they may. “With the AIME pre-tours we go out to the regions and ask them if they would like to participate and how that would look,” she says. “We need to make sure the program looks right as it is pointless sending people somewhere they wouldn’t use.” The Melbourne Values You program, which launched at AIME 2013 and presents a series of special offers for incentive and corporate travel reward planners, is also growing in popularity. New partners include the MCEC, which offers a day delegate package, Crowne Plaza Melbourne, The Atlantic Group venues, The National Gallery of Victoria and
Sovereign Hill. “At the beginning we went to them and then our phone started ringing with people asking how they can participate,” Bolinger says. “It has been fantastic for us as this city does work well together and to have people proactively wanting to be involved and recognised for the value of that sector is great.”
Melbourne’s Cup runneth over Melbourne Cup – the race that stops a nation. There probably is not a workplace in Australia, and maybe a few in New Zealand, that doesn’t have a sweep and put down tools to watch the race on the first Tuesday in November.
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Victoria Racing Club is looking to entice more incentive groups, both interstate and international, to come for the entire Cup Carnival and enjoy all the extra cultural activities that go on in the city during it. The Victoria Racing Club is actively targeting the international markets of South East Asia, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, and India, which is an increasingly important market following the announcement of direct flights between Melbourne and Delhi with Air India. “On Monday the city comes to a standstill for the Melbourne Cup Parade,” Patroni says. “On the Wednesday after Cups Day we have the Ladies Oak Club Lunch at Crown [Melbourne], on Thursday its Oaks Day and then Stakes Day is on the following Saturday.
understand it – from the fashion, to the food, to the entertainment – it’s about celebrating the festival and celebrating Melbourne at an incredible time of year. No matter where you are in Melbourne you could not miss being touched by Cup Carnival.” Melbourne is not short of interesting and appealing venues but the thirst from organisers for new locations is a constant. Brenda Bailey, sales and marketing manager of caterer and venue manager The Big Group, says that for clients in the fashion and advertising sectors, “their expectations for finding unique spaces and having a unique experience is very much at the forefront of their eventing”. With a number of unusual venues available to The Big Group, including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, none has a story to match one space right in the heart of the CBD – Mural Hall in the Myer store on Bourke Street.
“We have had a lot of success with incentive groups because there are so many great incentive activities you can build around such as millinery and fashion tours and that sort of stuff.
“Mural Hall is an exquisite art deco ballroom that has been there for over 80 years,” says Bailey. “Over the last 20 years it was in a state of disrepair and it was only when Myer decided to do the redevelopment [of the store] that it was returned it to its former glory. Our role as custodians of the space was to fit it out and give it a sense of modernity so that we could take it to corporate Australia.”
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Launched in 2011, Bailey says that the response has been “amazing”.
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The fairy penguins on Phillip Island.
“It is a very beautiful, pillarless ballroom that can seat over 500 and to have it in the heart of the CBD is a bit of coup,” she says. The murals that adorn the walls were painted by Napier Waller, a muralist and painter who lost his arm in the Great War, but continued to work using his other arm after the war with many of his works on buildings across Melbourne and beyond including the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Museum in Canberra. Commissioned by Sidney Myer to decorate the walls of the store’s sixth floor café, the murals celebrate women’s achievements through history. “I think Sid Myer’s reasoning behind building the hall was that he was catering to the female shopper who was in control of the household funds,” she says. “Then it became the place where they did their couture collections and Christmas pageants and over time it was overlayed with all sorts of stuff. But all of that has been stripped back and now all that is left is one of the finest examples of an art deco ballroom in Australia.” With a commercial kitchen onsite and a license to 1am, the venue
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With so much of Melbourne’s cultural activity happening north of the CBD nowadays, it seems that for Bell City in Melbourne’s Preston it’s a case of right time right place. “Our location is key to us as we are in between the city and Tullamarine Airport,” says Anne Gottoli, director of sales and marketing at Bell City. “We also see Melbourne moving further north and we see a big opportunity where we are.”
is able to cater for a range of events, and depending on a client’s wishes, it can be accessed directly through the store or more discreetly through an entrance in Postal Lane. “The response we have had from women in ball gowns coming to a gala event through the department store has been overwhelming good,” she says. “We always have a joke with our client that if your stockings ladder or your shoes hurt you can go down and get a pair of flats.” Retail convenience aside it is the history of the space that sets it apart.
“There is a beautiful history with the space and it gives clients access to $30 million worth of art work that they can physically stand in front of with a glass of wine,” she says. “The way that we have designed the space, it’s all meant to create a walk in walk out experience without the need for anyone to bring in an event stylist. We also have access to amazing curators that can talk about the murals and sometimes we bring clients into the ballroom first and they can have a gallery experience in front of the murals with a curator and then they finish their event in the lounge bar.”
Melbourne’s burgeoning café, art and nightlife scene has been steadily moving north for a while, with Fitzroy, Brunswick and Northcote only minutes away. The hotel complex boasts three accommodation brands, a 4.5 star Rydges, 3.5 star Sleep and Go and a 2-star budget1hotel, with a combined 828 rooms, extensive meetings facilities and onsite parking for up to 600 cars. “We have the space and the land to have really extensive meeting and conferencing facilities,” says Gottoli. “Whatever your budget we accommodate it and all the delegates will always have use of the 4.5 star meetings facilities. The
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range of accommodation products works really well, while the big ballroom can host up to 500 people. We are unique in terms of the size of meeting facilities and our location.”
Out and about Victoria is one of the most compact states in Australia, making many of the regions around Melbourne easily accessible for pre- and post-conferencing trips, including Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley, less than an hour’s drive from the Melbourne CBD. “A lot of groups stay locally or in Melbourne and come out for either half-day or full day activities, with lunch and maybe a segway tour after,” says Faye Hendricksen, tourism, functions and events manager at Rochford Wines. With the ability to hold events from 10 to 600 people, Rochford Wines has a new covered outdoor exhibition space that can be used for team building activities as well as catering packages. “We do a wine blending team building activity and a wine games activity outside, as well as grape stomping, which is a lot of
Sovereign Hill near Ballarat.
fun,” she says. With the option of being shuttled from Melbourne, groups up to 12 are able to see the vineyards up close, with Segway Victoria running tours of the extensive property on their all-terrain segways, as well as team building activities such as Segway Olympics. “While our tour size is limited to a maximum of 12 we do have a range of team building activities called Segway Olympics for larger groups,” says Terry Smit, managing director of Segway Victoria. “It can be as structured or unstructured as the client wants.” The fairy penguins on Phillip Island is a must-see activity for many incentive groups, particularly
international ones, such as the 4000 Amway India delegates who arrived on the same day in 88 coaches earlier this year. Operated by not for profit conservation organisation Phillip Island Parks, the penguin parade “is the number one international attraction currently in Victoria”, according to Nicoleta Giurgiu, sales and marketing manager at Phillip Island Nature Parks. “We regularly host international incentive groups of between 200-500 every month,” she says. “The island has lots on offer and everything is close so people can experience a variety of experiences either in an afternoon, the whole day or overnight,”
With two properties on the island, the Ramada Resort Phillip Island and Silver Water Resort, both with conference facilities, the destination is becoming better known in the domestic market as well. Delegates can stay on the island and do team building activities, such as tree planting or beach cleaning with the Parks, or they can conference at the Parks own meeting facilities which cater up to 400. Penguins aren’t the only wildlife on offer, with a Koala Conservation Centre and the seals of Nobbies Centre also big drawcards. “Churchill Island’s Heritage Farm is also very popular for incentive groups as it doesn’t have any limitations in terms of capacity,” she says. “Across 75 hectares we can put up marquees and we have the capacity to hold 100 coaches there.” Sovereign Hill is another iconic attraction that is on the bucket-list for many international incentive groups, so much so that the open air museum has a dedicated sales office in China and an agent in India in place. An open air interactive museum that brings the gold rush of the 1850s back to life, it is capable of handling very large groups such as the two
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recent large international Amway events from India and China. “It’s an iconic attraction and completely different to what’s on offer anywhere in Australia at this scale as an outdoor museum,” says Garry Burns, Sovereign Hill’s director of marketing. Being just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, the Park is also equally happy to cater to smaller groups looking for pre- or post-conference activities who often leave Melbourne around 10am, stay for lunch then enjoy a four hour tour of the Park, according to Burns. “It’s a very hands on museum and not static like you get in the traditional museum,” he says. “We try to make a bit of fun for the delegates. We have a whole heap of activations throughout the day but we tailor make programs depending on the business event segment.”
Best of both worlds Geelong, just one hour’s drive west of Melbourne, provides organisers “a city offer but in a regional centre”, according to Terry Hickey, convention bureau manager at Business Events Geelong. With Geelong’s close proximity
to Melbourne and easy air access – only 20 minutes from Avalon airport and less than an hour from Tullamarine airport – “people are starting to think more about regional centres and what can be delivered,” says Hickey. “What is good about Geelong and the Great Ocean Road is that we have a good spread of product offer,” he says. “Torquay and Lorne are both appointed with hotel and resort style venues. As an incentive or team building destination it has always been popular and that is something a city experience can’t provide.” The Cumberland Lorne’s refurbishment of its 350-seat auditorium and the recently opened RACV Torquay Resort all add a vote of confidence to the region, which according to Hickey, “tries that little bit harder”. The Bureau is also working to expand a recent pop up dining event – The Latin Supper Club – held at the Cumberland Lorne and organised by local caterer Cater & Co, which saw Argentine restaurateur Jorge Guerrero joining forces with a local chef Sacha Meier to create a Latin-style grill. “It works two ways – once you get people to a region for a business
Lorne on the Great Ocean Road.
event and they have a good experience they might come back as a leisure tourist,” he says. “But also conversely if we are able to give people a good experience on their own time that also helps if we have discussions to bring people down for a business event.” Getting the word out is vital, with the Bureau’s Great Ocean Road Show showcasing the region to Melbourne organisers earlier this year and the inaugural Extravaganza Geelong, held at the Pier in Geelong, celebrating the region’s finest produce, wines, boutique beers and ciders. Business Events Geelong also rolled out its new website at AIME earlier this year, which Hickey says,
has had “a very positive response”. “It actually allows anyone going onto the website to completely check and find whether there is a venue of a service that can satisfy their needs in a number of clicks,” he says. “It then asks a series of questions that provides us with a request for a proposal which we can action on their behalf or at any stage in the process. Or if they wish to do business to business we’re quite happy for them to step out of the relationship with us and go straight to any of our partner businesses. “We have a great return rate to the website so we know that it is working for the people that have discovered it, so our key role is to keep selling that message.”
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www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 19
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Sydney’s China town appeal The recent Perfect China Leadership Seminar showcased Sydney’s ability to host large-scale incentives and what Business Events Sydney is doing to attract them, writes Ylla Wright. When more than 2100 Chinese distributors from direct selling company Perfect China climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge last month, it was the largest corporate group booking BridgeClimb had ever hosted. The record breaking climb, which more than tripled the previous record, saw the group granted exclusive access on the bridge for four days, with groups departing every 15 minutes from 10am to 2.30pm, and made headlines across the country. The distributers were part of more than 3000 who descended in Sydney for Perfect China’s Leadership Seminar 2013, arriving in three overlapping waves from July 9. The latest large-scale corporate incentive to be held in Australia, the seminar rewarded high performing members of Perfect China’s sales force. In addition to the BridgeClimb, the group took in Sydney’s famous Opera House and harbour onboard a Captain Cook Cruise; enjoyed a quintessentially Australian rural and outback experience at Tobruk Sheep Station on the Hawkesbury River; posed for a group photo in Darling Harbour; and enjoyed free time in and around Sydney. For Business Events Sydney (BESydney), the trip was the culmination of seven years work securing the event for the city. “BESydney worked with Perfect China from 2006 to bring this incentive to Sydney, and has hosted several smaller VIP
Speaking of the company’s decision to choose Sydney over other cities in the running to host the incentive, Perfect China’s chairman Yuen Kim Koo said, “Sydney and regional NSW offered huge scope for our delegates to experience unique activities that will make them feel appreciated and celebrated”.
The Perfect China group poses for a photo.
“We really liked the idea of literally sending our high-achievers to new heights by climbing a true Sydney icon,” he said. “BridgeClimb, like many other suppliers in Sydney, was extremely accommodating and professional when catering for our large group.” Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. incentive groups for the company in the past,” says BESydney chief executive Lyn Lewis-Smith. “Chinese corporate reward groups are attracted to Sydney’s climate, diverse team-building activities, iconic landscapes and unique Australian experiences. But, Chinese clients are also particularly savvy when it comes to selecting destinations for incentive and reward trips. Global destinations such as Sydney are not selected for their iconic beauty and attractions alone. It’s Sydney’s ability to deliver on company objectives, and ultimately return on investment, by motivating staff to achieve, which is considered paramount. “The Perfect China Leadership Seminar 2013 was no exception. The company was impressed with
Sydney’s “whole-of-city” approach to the delivery of the event. From the moment they landed at Sydney International Airport, delegates felt welcomed by the city. The group was treated to customised arrival signage, streamlined customs and immigration procedures and exclusive discount offers at duty free retailers. There was also a purpose-built marquee erected especially for the group at Tobruk Sheep Station, which contained produce and souvenirs sourced locally for delegates to browse and purchase. Sydney welcomed Perfect China delegates in true VIP style. “The NSW Government also contributed to the smooth and successful delivery of the incentive program.
With the Perfect China event estimated to be worth $21 million to the New South Wales’ economy, it’s little wonder that BESydney, in partnership with Destination NSW, was keen to secure the event for Sydney. China is currently Australia’s third largest market for business events with close to 65,000 arrivals in the year ending March 2013 – a 5 per cent increase on 2012. It’s also one of Sydney’s most important source markets for business events. In the past year, Chinese corporate incentive events secured by BESydney represented more than 50 per cent of its total economic impact secured for the corporate incentive market. In the 2012/13 financial year, BESydney secured 11 Chinese corporate incentive events, which will see more than 31,000 delegate nights spent in Sydney and throughout the NSW regions.
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“The Chinese market is growing at a rapid pace and is very important to Sydney and New South Wales as it delivers substantial benefit to our economy, with delegates staying, eating, shopping and touring the city and its regions,” confirms Lewis-Smith. “In the first quarter of 2013 alone, the state welcomed over 380,000 Chinese visitors, who contributed more than $1.3 billion to the NSW visitor economy. “In the last three years, 85 events from Asia have been held in NSW, contributing an estimated $190 million to the economy. There’s no doubting the potential of this growing market and we need to ensure we are in the best place to capitalise on these opportunities.” The NSW Government also recognises the importance of the Chinese market, releasing its China Tourism Strategy 2012-2020 strategy late last year, developed by Destination NSW, which will see $15 million spent over the next four years on increasing tourism from China in order to double visitor expenditure to the State by 2020. “Welcoming Perfect China to our shores is a fantastic example of the opportunities that the Chinese business event market offers our visitor economy,” adds Sandra Chipchase, chief executive of Destination NSW. “Through working strategically with Business Events Sydney, we will look to grow the number of these high-yielding events we attract – hopefully on a repeat basis – to Sydney and the diverse NSW regions.” Targeting the Chinese market is not without its challenges however, according to Lewis-Smith. “Changing global markets and business conditions mean that today companies are more risk averse than previously,” she says. “This is equally true for some of our Chinese clients. Everyone wants to make sure that their budgets are well spent and that the maximum value is delivered from each activity. Hence, BESydney must work hard to find strategic and sound event solutions to reassure clients that the Sydney event experience will deliver
on their objectives and mitigate common risks.” The first Australian bureau to establish an in-market presence in Asia when they opened their Hong Kong office in 2004, BESydney “prides itself on having a great understanding of the needs of the Chinese market”. “This being said we are constantly evolving our engagement, business development and communication strategies to best service our client’s needs and stay ahead of the competition,” says LewisSmith. “To this end, we have recently expanded our dedicated China team, appointing a director of Chinese operations. And we now have at least one Mandarinspeaking staff member in every department of the bureau to respond to the growing requests for more in-language information, material and activities.”
very exciting milestone for us, both for our relations with China and because it demonstrates our ability to create tailored experiences for large corporate groups,” he says. “Australia is a key holiday destination for Chinese visitors. With over 600,000 here last year BridgeClimb is investing more heavily in attracting more Chinese corporate incentive groups. We are committed to enhancing every climber’s experience, so when the opportunity presented itself to host 2100 people, we rose to the challenge.” “The Perfect China Leadership Seminar was the perfect opportunity for Sydney to demonstrate the strong connection between government and suppliers as well as the city’s ability to deliver tailored experiences to large corporate and incentive groups,”
says Lewis-Smith. From Perfect China’s point of view, the Leadership Seminar “was a success even before delegates arrived in the city”. “Following Perfect China’s announcement that the 2013 incentive would be held in Sydney, the company saw a 20 per cent growth in performance and a 20 per cent increase in qualifiers for the trip,” she says. “For many delegates, the incentive was the first time they had visited Sydney, so it was certainly a very exciting ‘bucket-list’ experience. Perfect China management has told us that many delegates said their time in the city had inspired them to work even harder to achieve their targets and bring their friends and family back to Sydney.”
It’s not only BESydney and its government partners that see the benefit of catering to the lucrative Chinese market. “Sydney venues and suppliers are focusing on offering key services tailored to the requirements of discerning Chinese event planners and their clients,” says Lewis-Smith. “We are seeing an increased number of Sydney hotels, attractions and suppliers up-skilling staff by providing Chinese language or cultural study lessons, integrating Chinese language tours into their offerings and re-thinking menu and media options.” Hotel chain Accor is one company which clearly sees the benefits of catering to the market. There are now 12 Accor properties across NSW that have achieved what Accor labels “Chinese Optimum Service Standards”. BridgeClimb’s twice-daily Mandarin language climbs, which were introduced in January of this year, have contributed to the 30 per cent growth in Chinese climbers seen in the last year, according to BridgeClimb founder and chairman Paul Cave. Having Mandarinspeaking climb leaders to facilitate the Perfect China climbs was a key selling point for the company. “[The Perfect China booking] is a
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A recipe for success A greater focus on domestic destinations from event organisers and a new team at Business Events Sunshine Coast looks set to spread the message that the Sunshine Coast has a surprising amount to offer those looking for an incentive or conference destination with a difference, writes Sheridan Randall. “Business Events Sunshine Coast (BESC) celebrated its third birthday in July this year and there are exciting times ahead,” says BESC’s newly appointed business events manager Lauran Hofman, who is replacing Pippa McCreery during her maternity leave. Heading up a new team that includes business events executive Tiffany Beal and business events assistant Cascel Rasmussen, Hofman says the fresh faces bring fresh inspiration that will be needed to deliver BESC’s marketing program in the coming financial year. “The team have the largest ever marketing program planned which will take the Sunshine Coast in a new direction and increase the presence in the global marketing place more now than ever,” she says. “We’re increasing our international activity, with a focus on Asia and New Zealand. Our digital
marketing program will target the high yielding corporate incentive groups and conferences.” The new team is set to increase its focus on corporate events from Sydney and Melbourne, with 67 per cent of business currently coming to the Sunshine Coast from corporate groups, half of which are from interstate. There will also be an increased focus on the association sector, which accounts for 16 per cent of conferences held on the Sunshine Coast. They also aim to double the number amount of international events held in the region to 6 per cent by 2020. With the Australian dollar softening, event organisers are once again turning their gaze inward, with Hofman saying “we are experiencing an upward trend in interest in the Sunshine Coast”. “Groups that have been travelling overseas for a number of years
are now looking to domestic destinations,” she says. “The interest in the Sunshine Coast is increasing due to the fact that it is a destination that offers a wide range of experiences that are safe, green, easy and offer value for money.” BESC is also representing the region at an increased number of trade shows in partnership with local tourism operators including the AsiaPacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, Pacific Area Incentives & Conferences Expo and Tourism Australia’s Dreamtime event. “We are privileged to have a very special destination with a sophisticated business event offerings,” Hofman says. “We look forward to working together with industry to roll out our most ambitious marketing program to date.” BESC has already launched a new website and new 2013/2014 planner guide, which was released earlier this year in both
a digital and hardcopy format, and contains all the information needed “to meet, sleep, taste and indulge on the Sunshine Coast”, according to Hofman. “We are lucky enough to have a stunning destination, so we have greatly increased the use of imagery on the new website and in the planner guide – if you’ve got it, flaunt it!” she says. “An exciting new inclusion features offsite event ideas to take advantage of the Sunshine Coast beaches, parks and foreshores. We have worked closely with our local council to access these fabulous open spaces for events – so we are very excited about the increased creativity made possible by these new offsite options. “A lot of effort went in to creating a content-rich, user friendly website that focuses on meeting visitor needs. The ever-evolving pace of digital
The famil group enjoying the Seafood Feast at the Barefoot Marquee on Main Beach Noosa.
Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. 22 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
technology has changed the way we research and organise events, but overwhelmingly feedback indicated that print reigns when it comes to the planner guide.” The website provides a “one stop shop” for event planners, with features including an interactive mapping tool, a news section, including blog articles, and a resource library containing image and video downloads. “The new website has been well received as a comprehensive tool for meetings planners around the globe,” Hofman says. “We are receiving very positive feedback from PCOs, who are using the website as a tool to discover what is available for their groups. The new website is also a great place to find hidden gems in the region and hear what the locals recommend.”
time from November 18-20, 2013, sits well within that framework. The conference will be held at the Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa and is expected to attract hundreds of delegates from around the world to discuss future opportunities and challenges relating to sustainable tourism. “The conference fits perfectly with the attributes of Noosa and within the vision of the Tourism Noosa Sustainable Destination Action Plan,” says Tourism Noosa general manager Damien Massingham.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Noosa to be the host venue for such an important international conference and highlights Noosa’s status as Queensland’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is also a clear recognition of our focus on a sustainable tourism future that balances the environment and business growth.”
One area the Sunshine Coast is looking to promote is its green credentials, especially for those meetings and events that want to incorporate a sustainable element into their agenda. The recent announcement that Noosa will host the 21st Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference for a second
Set in the lush hinterland, The Glasshouse Mountains Ecolodge is a boutique conferences and retreat with exceptional environmental credentials. Catering for groups up to 25 people that are looking for a quiet and relaxing location for a retreat or conference workshop, the Ecolodge provides a choice
From left: Lauran Hofman, Cascel Rasmussen and Tiffany Beal from Business Events Sunshine Coast.
of meeting rooms including a restored church and train carriage, while break-out facilities and team building areas include the train carriage, bamboo retreat in the forest and the fire pit.
Foodie favourite The Sunshine Coast welcomed the start of the second season of Air New Zealand return flights from Auckland in June. Longer than the inaugural season last year, the 2013 season has flights every Tuesday and Sunday until October
13 – offering an extra 3000 seats for Kiwis looking to visit the Sunshine Coast region. As part of the push to attract more business event and incentive groups over from New Zealand, BESC and Tourism Australia organised a recent famil which gave a group of prominent Kiwi professional conference and incentive organisers the red carpet treatment and showcased what the region had to offer. On the itinerary was a trip to the Noosa International Food and
everything in one perfect place Situated on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Palmer Cooloum Resort strikes the perfect balance between work and play. Spectacular natural surrounds, flexible venues and enthusiastic staff combine to make Palmer Coolum Resort an unrivalled choice for any event. Whether you’re after a night of lavish glamour or laidback fun, the possibilities are endless at such a unique venue. Talk to us about planning your conference, meeting or event today. Warran Road, Coolum Beach, Queensland Australia
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www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 23
Spirit House Restaurant & Cooking School.
traditional wine stomping as a team building activity.
The golf capital of Queensland For golf lovers the Sunshine Coast is heaven, with five championship courses on their doorstep – the world-class Palmer Coolum Resort course, the Greg Norman-designed Pelican Waters Golf Club, Noosa Springs, Peregian Springs and Twin Waters Golf Club. “We have about 30 corporate golf days a year, with a few coming from interstate,” says Emma McGee, functions coordinator at The Twin Waters Golf Club, which has two meetings rooms, the largest of which can cater for 200 cocktail or 120 banquet-style. “And now the direct flights, have started from New Zealand we are seeing more from that market as well, which is fantastic.” Wine Festival, where the group feasted on fresh seafood at Noosa Main Beach. The Festival is a big drawcard for the region, attracting large numbers of interstate visitors, but it isn’t the only event that showcases the region’s world class food, wine and produce offering. The Real Food Festival, held at Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on September 7-8 is another. “The Sunshine Coast has a surprising amount to offer those that are looking for an incentive destination with a difference,” says Hofman, with cooking activities a popular choice for both incentive groups and pre- and postconference groups. “Participants can sizzle, grill, flambé and roast in a fun handson cooking class set in an idyllic location,” she says. “They can learn chocolate making, create a superb Thai banquet, make their own
pasta, and take home great tips on using organic produce. There are several cooking schools on the Sunshine Coast from which to choose and many tailor classes to suit group specific interests.” These include Spirit House Restaurant & Cooking School, which is only 25 minutes from Noosa or Maroochydore and 15 minutes from Coolum. This Asian cooking school has hands-on classes which end with a decadent, banquet-style meal. Freestyle Escape, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, offers intimate cooking classes ensuring each participant one-on-one time with their head chef using fresh ingredients from their own orchard, herb garden and vegetable garden. Groups can learn the culinary secrets of executive chef Cameron Matthews from Spicers Clovelly Estate’s renowned two-hatted
restaurant Long Apron. Spicers Tamarind Retreat also offers intimate cooking classes in a purpose-built pavilion overlooking the rainforest with head chef Daniel Jarrett from hatted restaurant Tamarind. For wine lovers Flame Hill Vineyard offers a break from the usual meetings space with its 141 hecatre working cattle farm and vineyard, near the hinterland village of Montville, making a stunning backdrop for small to medium events up to 80. With morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea packages available, as well as exclusive use of the restaurant deck area and indoor and outdoor breakout areas all available, as well as wine tasting in the Cellar Door, Flame Hill Vineyard offers a refreshing change of scene for those who enjoy mixing business with pleasure. In February and March the winery also organises
The 324-room Palmer Coolum Resort offers a stunning 18-hole golf course that has challenged some of the best golfers in the world including US Masters winner Bubba Watson, British Open winners Greg Norman and Aussie favourites Adam Scott, Jason Day, Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby. The resort is also home to a large consignment of dinosaurs, with more to follow, set to make it the largest dinosaur park in the world with over 150 specimens, creating a realistic prehistoric environment that will be as entertaining as it is informative. In addition, the resort is also home to a new vintage car museum, showcasing 30 vintage cars from Palmer’s private collection including a 1954 Aston Martin. “I now own some of the rarest and most sought after vintage cars in the world, including a large Rolls-Royce collection and several cars dating back to 1900,” Palmer said at the announcement
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24 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
of the museum. These new additions are set to add a unique backdrop for events being held at the resort’s 16 flexible meetings and conference facilities, which cater for 10 to 1200 delegates.
Investing in the future In a vote of confidence for the region, a number of hotels on the Sunshine Coast have committed to major refurbishments. Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa has completed the finishing touches to a $10 million dollar renovation that began in March this year that incorporates all 176 guestrooms, suites and villas and eight conference spaces. The old Cato’s Restaurant and Bar has also been completely refurbished and is now under the helm of celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita. Called the Noosa Beach House Peter Kuruvita, the 126 seat restaurant can be booked in its entirety for events from breakfast through to dinner. A new fully automated three
Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa.
metre screen has been installed in the Noosa Ballroom, along with high definition projectors, all digitally controlled. Sheraton signature banquet chairs with laptop holders, new carpet and curtains have also been added. The resort’s general manager, Stephen Ferrigno, says the refurb “marks a whole new era for the resort and for Noosa”. Oaks Oasis, Caloundra.
“Sheraton Noosa Resort & Spa has enjoyed ‘iconic’ status for almost 23 years and was the first highend, upscale hotel to welcome guests to Noosa,” he says. “Over the past year, the resort has been completely updated and while it still retains its distinctive features and status as a feature of Hastings Street, it now offers guests a contemporary and fresh place to stay and visit.” Oaks Oasis, Caloundra has also unveiled a $2.8 million refurbishment to the property’s common areas, accommodation wings and leisure facilities. The 4-star property’s revamp includes extensive restorations to the reception area, Reflections Restaurant and Legends Bar, an indoor audio entertainment system and LCD televisions. Catering up to 250 delegates, the resort’s conference facilities were also a priority during the refurbishment, with the Oasis, Board, State and Verandah Rooms all receiving upgrades to the walls and carpet as well as featuring fixed data projectors, motorised screens, in-house audio systems and ambient lighting. The St George Room has also undergone soft refurbishments, in addition to
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housing a 70 inch LCD TV and a new air-conditioning system. “The positive response we have received from Caloundra locals in addition to the many families, business travellers and groups who have experienced Oaks Oasis’ new look first-hand is a genuine indication of steady growth for our town,” says Ty Malezer, general manager of Oaks Oasis. Describing Caloundra’s “natural beauty and laidback atmosphere” as a draw card for the area, Malezer says the investment will play “a pivotal role” in attracting business events. Oaks Oasis, Caloundra has also commenced work on a new onsite water facility, with completion expected by November 1, 2013. Set within the resort’s landscaped gardens, the 500sqm facility will include a heated splash pool and central multi-level water attraction complete with water slides, fountains and interactive activities. “Caloundra’s tourism, including business events, is going from strength to strength as travellers from near and far continue to learn of the area’s ideal combination of sun, surf, sand and a relaxed coastal atmosphere,” says Malezer.
Those who visit the Sunshine Coast return to the office feeling refreshed, invigorated and inspired. Bright blue skies and sunny smiles make the Sunshine Coast the natural choice to revitalise your people. So why not refresh your thinking on where to meet next?
www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 25
sin g apo re
Take a fresh look Singapore is a perennial favourite for business events but with new facilities, attractions and activities on offer, its well worth reacquainting yourself with this old friend, discovers Ylla Wright.
and other events. The Flower Dome indoor event space has a capacity of 700 for a sit-down dinner in a Mediterranean garden setting. For outdoor events such as cocktail parties, The Meadow and Supertree Grove offer panoramic views of the Marina Bay cityscape. Tucked beneath a cluster of Supertrees, Silver Leaf is a smaller outdoor space offering an excellent view over nearby Dragonfly Lake, that is ideal for more intimate occasions.
A view of Singapore by night.
Singapore has long been one of Asia’s most popular destinations for business events, with its reputation as an international business hub, strategic location offering access to key Asian markets, first-rate facilities and service, and excellent transport links, offering a compelling package to corporate and association clients.
Speaking recently at a Singapore Tourism Board “MasterMICE” event in Sydney, organised by CIM Magazine, Sharon Lam, Singapore Tourism Board’s area director Oceania, asked around 100 professional conference organisers what their perceptions of Singapore were, as a city and a business events destination.
The city-state was recently named Top International Meeting Country for the second year running and Top International Meeting City for the sixth consecutive year in the Union of International Associations (UIA) 2012 Global Rankings. In 2012, 952 of the meetings hosted in Singapore – almost 10 per cent of UIA’s database – met the stipulated qualifying criteria of being “organised or sponsored by international organisations or of significant international character”.
“What are your perceptions of Singapore today? Singapore slings? Orchard Road? The Raffles Hotel? Chilli crab? Yes, we are that, but we are more than that as well,” she said. “What if I told you we’re greener than you think we are? We have vast open spaces. What if I told you colour was more than just limited to food, but also part of our architecture? What if I told you could have a beach party at Sentosa Island?
Singapore also maintained its position as Asia’s Top Convention City in the most recent International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) city and country rankings to make it into the Top 10 Convention Cities list. In 2012, Singapore hosted a record of 150 eligible events (meetings must be held on a regular basis, have at least 50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries), representing a 5.6 per cent increase from 142 in 2011.
A fresh look at an old favourite Despite the accolades, the Singapore Tourism Board is keen to challenge Australians’ perceptions of the city, last year launching its “Get lost and find the real Singapore” campaign, which encourages people to discover unexpected and bespoke experiences across areas such as dining, nightlife, local culture and heritage, shopping, pampering and world-class attractions.
“If you scratch beneath the surface you’ll find that Singapore has a lot more history and soul than you think.”
Another unique venue is The Fullerton Bay Hotel’s floating event pods, situated on Marina Bay. Launched in October last year the pods are designed to be reminiscent of the traditional trading boats that plied the harbour. Each of the 44sqm pods is equipped with an adjoining balcony and a rooftop with panoramic views of Marina Bay, and can accommodate up to 40 people for a cocktail function, 30 people theatrestyle and 20 in a banquet configuration. Sentosa Island, a lush tropical island situated just 15 minutes from Singapore’s business and shopping district, is also proving popular with groups, providing a relaxed beach setting for meetings and incentives, while still having infrastructure capable of supporting events for up to 10,000 attendees. Options for off-site dinners include the Sky Deck, which can accommodate up to 120 guests for an intimate dinner reception; the spacious Images of Singapore Museum’s (one of the oldest colonial-style buildings on Sentosa) forecourt; and Tanjong Beach, a secluded stretch of beach which is ideal for casual beach barbecues as well as elegant dining, alfresco-style or under marquees, for between 200 to 10,000 guests. The nearby integrated resort complex, Resorts World Sentosa, is home to five different hotels, as well as a casino, Universal Studios theme park and Marine Life Park, which includes the world’s largest oceanarium.
One of Singapore’s newest attractions is Gardens by the Bay, a 101 hectare park less than a five minute walk from Marina Bay which is home to more than 250 thousand rare plants as well as the spectacular “Supertrees” which are fast becoming one of Singapore’s most photographed sights. These 16-storeytall vertical gardens collect rainwater, generate solar power and act as venting ducts for the park’s conservatories. A suspended 128m long walkway between two Supertrees, the OCBC Skyway, offers a bird’s eye view of the Gardens and the Marina Bay area. Gardens by the Bay also offers a number of facilities for off-site dinners
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One of Singapore’s more unusual offsite venues.
The iconic Marina Bay Sands development.
Along with perennial favourites such as the Singapore Night Safari and Universal Studios, newer options for activities in Singapore include the Wave House, which allows delegates to try their hand at surfing; iFly Singapore, the world’s largest wind tunnel for indoor skydiving and the Treetop Walk, a 25m high, 250m long wooden walkway bridge that offers a different perspective of Singapore, without a building in sight.
Where glamour meets culture Destination management companies such as Tour East can also tailor make exclusive experiences for groups. “We focus on two key areas of the incentive experience,” says Sean Lane, manager, conference & incentive – Australian sales office. Tour East. “First, showcasing Singapore’s ethnic and cultural heritage and secondly, Singapore as a sleek and fashionable city destination. The clients choose one of those two options and then build an incentive program around that. “One of our ‘sleek and fashionable’ city incentive experiences would be a full day of shopping, starting with a briefing with a fashion stylist. We spend some time talking about the latest trends and colours of the season, and then take guests to visit high-end boutiques and markets, before a nice lunch and some more shopping in the afternoon, and finally finish it off with sunset cocktails at a really swish venue.” A must-do on many Singapore itineraries is a visit to the iconic Raffles Hotel (celebrating its 125th anniversary this year) for an iconic Singapore Sling in the Long Bar. “One of our bartenders invented the recipe many years ago for the ladies but these days it’s one of the must-do things in Singapore, so we have a lot of people coming into the city that do come and visit us,” says Gillian Sellar, director, global sales – Australia/New Zealand, Fairmont Raffles
Hotels International. Other venues within the historic hotel are the bar and billiard room, which is best known as being where the last tiger in Singapore was shot under the billiard table, and the Tiffin Room, which is a popular spot for high-tea. With only 103 suites, and a deservedly high reputation as one of Singapore’s best hotels, the Raffles prides itself on its service. “The same dedicated service is extended not only to our in-house guests but to our meeting planners and to our guests attending functions,” says Sellar. “The teams within the hotel, be it the food and beverage or the meetings team actually strive to take care of all our guests and make sure the whole process of having an event at our hotel is looked after
Gardens by the Bay.
before, during and after.”
Green meetings option At the other end of the scale is Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s largest hotel, which has 2561 rooms and suites housed in three iconic swooping towers, most with sweeping views of the city and the bay, as well as firstrate business and meeting facilities, and a wide range of world-class hospitality and entertainment options. The complex is also home to Singapore’s largest meeting space, Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The Centre features more than 120,000sqm of flexible space, including six purpose-built expo halls, a full service business centre, 250 meeting rooms, Southeast Asia’s largest ballroom and the capacity for 2000 exhibition booths. Overall, it can host up to 45,000 delegates at any one time. In July Marina Bay Sands became the first event and conference venue outside the US to be certified under a new international sustainability standard in the business events space. The complex achieved Level One Certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. The venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. The ASTM Venue Standard outlines the procedural requirements for venue selection – the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an event. As well as specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners. To gain the certification, Marina Bay Sands was independently audited by iCompli, a division of BPA Worldwide, a non-profit international auditing organisation. Marina Bay Sands has been committed to
28 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
providing greener meetings options for some time. Earlier this year the complex launched the Sands ECO360° Meetings Program to provide environmentally preferable choices and options to clients. Under the Sands ECO360° Meetings Program, clients are assigned a Green Meeting Concierge to understand their goals and to craft a customised sustainable experience for their events. Green meeting options also include community volunteering programmes, donation of unused goods to local charities after the event, carbon offsets and “Harvest Menus” with sustainable food options. Organisers will also receive a Sands ECO360° Event Impact Statement after the event, which consolidates sustainable event metrics such as energy and water consumption, recycling rate, carbon emissions and highlights of sustainable initiatives. “Every team member at Marina Bay Sands plays an integral role in advocating sustainability. Sands ECO360° involves all facets of Marina Bay Sands’ unique resources, from sustainability to MICE, sales, guest services, food and beverage, procurement and facilities,” says Mike Lee, vice president of sales at Marina Bay Sands. “We conduct internal trainings to educate team members on the importance of sustainability, as well as how to communicate these messages to our stakeholders. Hence it’s no longer just another program – but one that is aligned with our company culture and vision.”
A hotel for every event Other notable hotels servicing the business events market include Meritus Hotels and Resorts’ Mandarin Orchard Singapore (formerly The Mandarin Singapore and Marina Mandarin Singapore. Inspired by the virtues and richness of its Asian heritage, Meritus prides itself on combining comprehensive business and leisure facilities with warm intuitive service. “We are not a global hotel chain; we are an independent Singapore chain so therefore we have to retain a very local personality within our hotels,” says Randall Lui, from Meritus Hotels and Resorts. “The Mandarin Orchard Singapore is an icon in the hotel industry. It has a very ‘old Singapore’ feel to it. It appeals to a lot of customers who want a hotel with character. The Marina
CIM Singapore feature_225x75mm_MICE_en.indd 1
Mandarin is the total opposite because is located in the Marina Bay area, which is a very young, trendy area, with a lot of IT and financial companies. It has a resort hotel feel to it.” Both hotels share the same overall philosophy however, adds Liu. “We understand your needs and we make sure you’re profitable when you stay in the Meritus Hotel Group,” he says. Located in Marina Bay and offering easy access to Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre and The Sands Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore also prioritises its service, according to Peter Hession, regional director of sales, Australia & New Zealand, Mandarin Oriental Singapore. “We have excellent function rooms, great business centres, a perfect club lounge for those that wish to have that extra level of luxury... but beyond that it comes back to the people,” he says. “For events, clients have a designated person looking after you all the way from planning, so we can execute the brief, right through to having the event, follow up and even billing for that matter, so they feel really comfortable with one point of contact.”
the Marina Bay area all within walking distance, really makes it a central hub for meetings in Singapore,” he says. Starwood’s Westin brand will also return to the Singapore in November this year after an absence of almost a decade, opening in the central business district of Marina Bay. Spanning the upper levels of the brand new Asia Square Tower 2, the 305-room hotel is currently one of the biggest construction projects being undertaken in the CBD. The property will also offer 10 individual meeting rooms spanning a total of 1350sqm, along with state of the art meeting technology. With so much on offer in Singapore, it’s no wonder that Lam suggests taking a fresh look at the destination. “Besides the excellent infrastructure that we have in place, we are ever changing,” she says. “Singapore really is a great offering for many different types of events that will meet your needs.”
The soon-to-open Westin Singapore.
The hotel also provides events’ organisers with a “Techno Butler” to ensure the smooth running of AV throughout an event. Following a $68 million (S$80 million) refurbishment in 2012, the nearby Pan Pacific Singapore now boasts a revitalised lobby, 790 redesigned rooms, innovative and new dining concepts and the Pacific Club on Level 38, with 24 hour service offerings and enhanced technology. In 2012 it was named the World’s Leading Business Hotel in the World Travel Awards. According to Jeremy Baker, director of business development – meetings and events, Pan Pacific Singapore, the investment is unparalleled in Singapore. The jewel in the hotel’s crown is the Pacific Club, which “has 360 degrees of the entire city all the way out to the China Sea; no other hotel can offer that sort of product”. Baker says the hotel’s overall success comes down to customer service and the “feeling of being a luxury business hotel that also appeals to the leisure market”. “The fact that it’s right next to Suntec, within the central business district, and also having
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New frontier Direct flights from Air India and favourable exchange rates are making India a more appealing incentive and business event destination than ever, writes Sheridan Randall. News that Air India is to launch direct flights from Delhi to Melbourne and Sydney from August 30 was greeted with enthusiasm by the local business events sector looking to capitalise on the increasing popularity of Australia as an incentive destination for one of the most populous countries on earth. However, India Tourism is also looking at this as the perfect time to increase exposure of India for incentive and conference groups here in Australia.
The flights, marking Australia’s first Dreamliner service, will operate on a Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne-Delhi route four times a week and on a Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney-Delhi route three times a week, providing daily connectivity between Delhi and Sydney/Melbourne. With a flying time of just about 12.5 hours, it will be a case of breakfast in Australia and dinner in India. After a 16 year absence, Air India has said it will do whatever it takes
to get Australian business market on board, with the aim of further expanding operations here if all goes well. As part of the national carrier’s push into the Australian market it is also launching a dedicated Australian website along with an advertising campaign. Familiarisations, incentive fares and a roadshow planned in the first week of September jointly with India Tourism are all set to push the message. Madhu Dubey, regional director at India Tourism Sydney, says that Australia “is an important source market for India”. “Now with the
introduction of direct flights from Delhi to Melbourne and Sydney on daily basis, India Tourism will aggressively promote India to the Australian market as a multiproduct year round destination,” she says. “While India is largely known for its cultural attractions, our current strategy is to promote the niche tourism products like adventure tourism, golf, wellness and business events tourism to India.” With many sectors in Australia forging closer ties with India, the new route is expected to provide a major boost to both trade and investment between the two countries, with the corporate, banking and medical sectors “the key segments” for attracting business events to India. “India has destinations which offer a backdrop of unmatched beauty and nature, style, splendour and warmth, making it an ideal choice for business and leisure,” says Dubey. “Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Srinagar have world class business event infrastructure and exotic tourist attractions, which make these destinations the most popular for incentive and business event groups.” For Susan Wallace, senior partner at corporate and incentive travel specialist Nemonic Concepts, news of the new flights is “fantastic”. “It’s just the best news we have had
Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. 30 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
walk through the walls rose petals fall on you and everyone is dressed up in kurta pyjamas – the theatrics are just amazing.”
in years,” she says. “The opportunity for business tourism between Australia and India is huge regardless of whether its conferences, incentive or study tours.”
Nemonic Concepts partners with India-based destination management company Designer Incentives, as it is important to work with “people who actually have that personal relationship” with the venues and hotels.
Despite the fall in the Australian dollar against the US dollar, Wallace says the timing works well, as the Indian rupee is falling even faster against the US dollar making it an affordable destination for Australian and New Zealand incentive and conference groups. “The minute the dollar moves, incentive destinations such as India come back into focus,” says Wallace. “For a window of time there is still great value to be had in India.” India’s recent economic surge has seen massive investment in some of its largest cities, as well as better infrastructure, “which means you can move around a lot faster”. “Mumbai is set to become the world’s largest city by 2020 and is a banking and financial powerhouse,” says Wallace. “Delhi put in a lot of infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games, including the metro, and there is a burgeoning business district called Gurgaon, with all the international hotel chains springing up in that section.”
But for many Australians the appeal of India is rooted in its multi-faceted history – the palaces and the remnants of the British raj – as she says, “they want to see the colour”. “They want to see the India they have learned about or seen in BBC period pieces,” says Wallace. “You go to Agra [home of the Taj Mahal] train station and you feel you are on the set of some BBC drama.
The golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – that’s what people want. “And things that you can do there that you can’t do anywhere else. Play a game of elephant polo – I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have the time of their life doing that. You do an event in the city palace in Jaipur, where everyone arrives on horse drawn carriages or on the back of an elephant. As you
A range of established hotel brands, such as Taj Hotels, Oberoi Hotels and Leela Palaces Hotels and Resorts offer a quality of service “unlike anywhere else”, according to Wallace. However, group sizes have previously been limited to between 60 to 80 people due to the small scale of many of the hotels until now. This is set to change with hotels such as the 255 room Fairmont Jaipur and Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi catering to larger groups and conferences. “Once this flight actually arrives and we see it happening on a daily basis the focus will go onto India, then people will see how well priced it is and then you’ll start to break down the barriers,” says Wallace. “It’s such an easy sell because it just offers so much.”
www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 31
as it happened
The world premier of The Hobbit in Wellington.
Welcome to ‘Wellywood’ The centre of New Zealand’s burgeoning film industry, Wellington is one of the country’s most exciting conference destinations, discovers Ylla Wright. If ever there is a city that punches above its weight, it must be Wellington. Recently called “the coolest little capital in the world”
by Lonely Planet, Wellington is not only at the heart of New Zealand’s political, cultural and culinary landscape but also its thriving film
Keep delegates fresh no matter how long your event.
industry, affectionately known as “Wellywood”. Home to the world-famous Weta Workshop, responsible for the stunning special effects in movies such as Avatar, King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and most recently The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, it’s the city’s connection to the film industry which is proving to be one of its biggest drawcards for Australian conferences, particularly those within the innovation and creative fields. And it’s a mantle that the city, which markets itself as the “Middle of Middle Earth”, is happy to accept. Arriving in Wellington fans of the movies will recognise the sweeping Middle Earth landscapes (many scenes were shot locally) but even non-fans can’t hope to
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32 Convention & Incentive ARM0466 Tic Tac CIM_150x110_Final.indd 1
Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com 2/05/13 1:28 PM
miss the equally dramatic 13m long Gollum suspended above the airport’s main terminal. While they can’t promise any reallife hobbits, Positively Wellington Tourism chief executive David Perks says “there is a huge opportunity for event organisers to leverage that interest – along with daily direct flights from Australia – through hosting their next event in the ‘Middle of Middle Earth’”. A highlight of any conference or partner program is sure to be a visit to Weta (named after a cricket-like insect unique to New Zealand). A treasure trove of props, sculptures and merchandise from the movies the company has worked on, the Weta Cave is available for small functions after 6pm, while groups can also go behind-the-scenes
Historic boatsheds in Wellington.
for a Window on Workshop tour. Led by one of the special effects technicians who works there, this fascinating tour explains the processes used to make convincing movie props, models and weaponry. The Weta team can also arrange customised presentations and performances by some of the artists, special effects technicians and actors who’ve worked on the films, as well as demonstrations of skills such as sword making, chain mail construction and prosthetics. The nearby art deco Roxy Cinema, recently rebuilt by owner, film editor Jamie Selkirk, who won the Academy Award for Best Film Editing on The Return of The King, is a great place to see more sculptures and artworks by a host of Weta artists and is also available for private screenings, special events and seminars. But it’s not all about the movies; over at New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa, New Zealand’s art and culture is the focus, with occasional high-profile visiting exhibitions making up the mix. Located on Wellington’s harbour front, Te Papa is situated at the very heart of Wellington making it an ideal spot for a conference
(the museum has 15 dedicated meeting rooms and a variety of exhibition spaces), cocktail and seated events. The museum’s marae (Maori meeting place) can be used for traditional welcomes, cultural performances and dinners, while events can also be held throughout the public spaces after hours. Private viewings of specific exhibitions, teamed with a cocktail function or dinner, are also available. Other key venues are those operated by Positively Wellington Venues, including the Michael Fowler Centre, which has a capacity of 2200; TSB Bank Arena and adjoining Wharf 6, which has been designed to replace the Wellington Town Hall, while it is closed for three years for earthquake strengthening, and is set to open this month. For a change of pace, Boomrock is a corporate day retreat around 30 minutes drive from Wellington, perched on a cliff top 250m above sea level with views over the South Island. Attractions include a purpose-built car testing circuit ideal for hot laps; rally car driving; clay target shooting; archery; and scenic helicopter flights. MasterChef-style experiences are also on offer, showcasing the
region’s best food and wine. Back in the city, urban wildlife sanctuary Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience showcases New Zealand’s native bushland and birdlife, making it popular with groups that have a strong scientific or conservation focus. Take a guided boat ride up the river, or explore its bush tracks with a picnic. Night tours offer the chance of spotting a Kiwi in its natural habitat. Factoring some free time into itineraries is also a must. Known for being the “perfect 10” (a common saying is that “Wellington is 10 minutes from the airport; 10 minutes from one side to the other; and 10 minutes drive from the country”), not only is the city very
walkable but most of the city’s population live within the central business district, with the result that it has a dynamic, exciting vibe with plenty of shopping, markets, dining and events to keep delegates entertained in their spare time. The compact nature of the city also means that transfer time between venues is kept to a minimum, and larger events can easily be accommodated across several hotels. “In our case proximity breeds collaboration,” confirms Perks. “Any event that comes to Wellington is good for everyone.” ● Ylla Wright was a guest of Positively Wellington Tourism.
More than meeting expectations CIM is now available as an iPad app, offering even more industry news and destination information. This exciting free app is packed with bonus extras including interviews, video footage and more photos. Updated monthly, the CIM iPad app is available for download at the iTunes app store.
www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 33
ve nu e u pd a te also be built near the airport in Williamtown, which is in the Port Stephens region. “These developments will certainly enhance our $400 million-plus visitor economy in Port Stephens, bringing more leisure and corporate business into the area,” said Destination Port Stephens marketing manager Tars Bylhouwer.
New Sofitel for Auckland
Novotel Christchurch re-opens Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square will re-open its doors on August 19, in a significant boost to the city’s tourism industry.
includes a new foyer featuring a purpose built registration area and conference secretariat.
The 154-room hotel is set to play a key role in the revival of Cathedral Square, following the removal of the Red Zone cordon around the city centre.
“The newly refurbished conference centre provides event planners with an extraordinary opportunity for hosting remarkable business and social gatherings,” said Liz Clarke, EPIC’s general manager.
“When we open the Novotel it will be instrumental in easing the critical shortage of central city accommodation and provide much-needed employment for local residents in Christchurch,” said general manager Carl Braddock.
“The new interior design creates a contemporary and stylish space that includes operable walls, allowing event planners to create enclosed rooms for conference sessions, or broad open spaces for exhibitions and breakout session.”
“We’re more than ready to spread the message that the city centre is well and truly open for business and we look forward to accommodating travellers in 4-star style and comfort.”
The conference centre refurbishment comes alongside a major capital investment in its technical inventory, including new high definition audio visual equipment and high speed internet access.
Exhibition Park in Canberra unveils refurb
Old is new again
Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) has completed the refurbishment of its meetings spaces. The new design
Boutique hotel operator, 8Hotels has opened its newest property, 1888 Hotel in Pyrmont, Sydney. The 1888-erected building that houses the hotel has
undergone a $30 million development over the last two years to offer 90 rooms, including a rooftop penthouse apartment overlooking the city. The hotel’s 1888 Eatery & Bar is also available for small meetings. “The property is just footsteps away from the city, the Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, the Entertainment Centre and the business districts of Pyrmont and Ultimo,” said Paul Fischmann, chief executive of of 8Hotels.
Hotel for Newcastle Airport
Sofitel Luxury Hotels has announced plans to open the Sofitel So Auckland in New Zealand in 2015. Sofitel So Auckland will become the fourth Sofitel branded hotel to join the expanding Sofitel network in New Zealand, alongside the Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa, Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour and the Sofitel Wellington, which is due to open in 2014. The 133-room Sofitel So Auckland hotel will be located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD in the old New Zealand Reserve Bank. Facilities will include a lobby lounge bar and rooftop restaurant, a range of meeting and conference spaces and a swimming pool. Sofitel So Auckland will also offer a Sofitel branded SoSpa with six treatment rooms.
Third Shangri-La for Shanghai Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has unveiled its third hotel in Shanghai, the Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai (pictured below). The 508-room hotel is
A new hotel is set to be built next to Newcastle Airport – the first accommodation at the expanding airport, which is the second busiest in New South Wales. The $8 million Mercure Newcastle Airport is scheduled to open late 2014 with 95 rooms, a restaurant and conference facilities for 200 people, while a 50-room motel in a new $11 million tavern and fast-food visitor development will
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Artist impression: ‘The Grandstand’
“We are also confident our conference and events centre, which occupies the entire third floor of the hotel and offers eight versatile spaces, will prove a real drawcard, along with the hotel’s location on Cairns’ Esplanade,” said Paul Kamsler, executive director of the Pacific International Cairns.
mid-size conferences for many years and this new centre will allow us to do business on a much larger scale.”
Conference centre for Sea World Resort
Meeting room at Club Med Guilin.
the centrepiece of the new 450,000sqm Jing An Kerry Centre and features a 1743sqm Grand Ballroom, the largest in West Shanghai.
Australia and will provide delegates with a unique cultural experience, set amongst one of the most spectacular landscapes in China.”
“The hotel is very Shanghainese in that it is a balance of the new and the traditional,” said Shangri-La president and chief executive Greg Dogan.
New Club Med in Guilin, China Club Med is set to launch a new resort at Guilin in China later this year. Club Med Guilin is located within a 46-hectare park that is home to over 150 sculptures, created by internationally renowned artists.
Makeover for Pacific International Cairns Pacific International Cairns has unveiled its $20 million refurbishment, featuring a new look porte cochere, foyer, lobby, Sugar Cane lounge, and public areas (pictured below), as well as extensive reworking to the front facade of the hotel. The hotel’s 176 guest rooms have also been completely refurbished.
A multi-million dollar state of the art conference centre, catering to 1000 people, will be built at Sea World Resort & Water Park on the Gold Coast. With 750sqm of space, dividable into three sections, the new conference centre is due for completion in 2015. This new facility will include the latest audio-visual equipment, a porte cochere with vehicle access, as well as a large al fresco style veranda ideal for coffee breaks, lunches and cocktail receptions. “This will be a unique conferencing venue in a world class location,” said Sea World Resort & Water Park general manager Bikash Randhawa. “We have been offering exceptional
Punthill Brisbane opens new venue The recently opened Punthill Apartment Hotel Brisbane (pictured above) has now launched its new meeting facility, the Green Room. The facility is a modern space offering natural light, open pillarless space, and indoor and outdoor breakout areas. Located in Spring Hill and close to Brisbane CBD, the venue also offers barbeque facilities, onsite car parking and wi-fi internet.
Stage 2 for Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast The Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast has unveiled the second stage of its major refurbishment with an additional $6 million spent on upgrading its meeting venues incorporating the latest in audio and visual technology, digital signage and with easy access for large equipment or vehicles.
Occupying a former Relais & Chateaux site, Club Med Guilin offers 330 guestrooms across two hotel wings: the 284-room modern Courtyard hotel and a boutique Chateau hotel with 46 exclusive rooms, as well as meetings facilities for up to 480 delegates.
The property is one of the first in Queensland to offer high definition Panasonic projectors and digital cable network for meetings and events. The resort also now offers the latest in webcasting technology and attendee engagement tools, including the IStageEvent phone app.
Brendon King, groups and incentives manager for Club Med Australia and New Zealand, said he believes the resort will be well received by the Australian and New Zealand business event markets.
The outdoor poolside venue has also been refurbished and is suitable for up to 400 delegates in a banquet setting complete with stage, barbeques and buffets.
“Guilin is the perfect resort for companies looking for a really inspiring, unexpected destination,” he said. “It’s easily accessible from
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www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 35
p co a sso c i a ti o n
Innovating your way to success is the future of events Innovative thinking is the key to surviving and thriving in the future for the events industry, writes Danny Davis. The events sector is changing. At the moment event budgets are down. Client organisations are shifting tone to more modest expression. And the ever increasing use of information technology is challenging the traditional communication role of events. People are increasingly moving their meetings online. Two questions that often get asked are: “Is there a future for the conference and events industry?” and “What is the future for you?”. In my role as “The Innovation Coach” I get to ask and help answer this question of executives across every industry, and in every size of organisation. I help organisations find, build and celebrate what makes them truly great, and I get to help them rediscover the core value and core strengths that make them uniquely who they are. For me, the “future magic” comes in when you can align an organisation’s identity, capability and passion with their “sustainable value issues”, the underlying drivers of their target market. Can they do more to understand and deliver on what customers are really after? Why do they buy? What do they really want? From there, the question becomes, what other things am I placed to do to help them achieve those goals? How can I find new ways of helping my client with their deeper issues and broader needs? Innovation thinking reframes the relationship you have with your customers. It opens up new areas of opportunity and creates new dialogues. At the PCO National Conference in Melbourne I’ll be discussing the innovation secrets that help you identify and deliver sustainable increased value in tough commercial times; how to adapt to create greater value for clients who come in saying that they have lower budgets to do what they did last year; and how to differentiate yourself to create sustainable business success in a changing market.
Together we are going to take a deeper look at the corporate communication requirement that generates investment in the events industry, and what is happening to drive changes in corporate communication. And finally, we will uncover your options to adapt to service these developing needs and provide leadership to clients who themselves are struggling with change. When budgets get tight, you, and your clients can either just try to work out how to do a little bit less of what you did last year – until you disappear with a whimper – or you can get on the front foot and re-invent the approach. The best events have always been those that demonstrate the client’s theme in action. If your client is trying to get their staff to do much more for less, they will value you living, breathing and demonstrating this theme. Not just more content, but more real inter-personal connection, and deeper, more effective, communication outcomes. The paradox of this reframing is that it can have huge benefits for you as well as your client. It moves the conversation from price to relationship. It often ends up that the solutions you can offer are not only higher value to the client, but higher margin business for yourself. I frequently see companies turning a client’s need to re-evaluate cost into a smaller, but more lucrative contract for themselves. It’s this form of win-win reframing, re-thinking and status-quo disruption that leads me to say that “having an innovation speaker at your conference is the new black”. It used to be that you couldn’t run an event without a leadership speaker or without a motivational speaker, but now it’s essential that every event has an innovation speaker.
PCO Association NEWS PCO 2013 National conference and exhibition The 2013 PCO National Conference will be held at Pullman Melbourne Albert Park from Thursday November 28 to Saturday November 30, 2013.
Sure, innovation is partially about leadership. But it is about leadership from where you are, from who you are. It’s democratised distributed “generation Y” leadership. It’s not only about leadership from the top, but the leadership of ideas, of thoughts, of improvements. Leadership from what you personally are able to do. Innovation is about self-empowerment. But it’s not just about self-empowerment in a motivational speaker sort of way – it’s practical. How do I identify opportunities for improvement? How do I make them happen? How do I overcome the obstacles in my own organisation? How do I change the ecosystem I live in? How do I create real and lasting benefit? More than this, innovation is about “How can I do more with less?”, and is there any sector, any organisation who doesn’t need to do more with less? Innovation speaking positions finding new ways of being more effective as something that people can be proud of, will get personal satisfaction from and gain a sense of personal development in achieving. And finally, innovation is about facing the future with confidence. Every organisation needs to learn to adapt at internet speeds. Someone somewhere is disrupting your market and revolutionising your business model. Is it you? If it’s not you then someone is doing it faster than you. Every organisation and every individual needs to develop the skills and the capacity for innovation. They need to engage in their future and be active players in their own destiny. They need to have less fear for the future and contribute more in the present. ● Danny Davis is an innovation coach and managing director of Vandis Advisory, and a presenter at the 2013 PCO National Conference.
the greater conference, meetings and events community. The PCO Association is pleased to welcome the following business to our Business Partner Program:
sponsorship and trade packages. H2Insurance Solutions & Beazley are offering a chance to win either up to $100,000 cash or a new car at this year’s conference – check out the details on the PCO website.
To find out more about the Conference Program or to sign up for an earlybird registration, visit the PCO Association website.
Business Partner program
Conference information, including the Sponsorship and Trade Prospectus, is also available on the PCO website. Business Partners receive a 15 per cent discount on selected
The Business Partner Program is available to organisations who supply to the conference and events sector. The program was developed to facilitate engagement between PCOs and
36 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
• Accor • Adelaide Expo Hire • Centium Software • CIM magazine • Coastal Productions • Crowdcomms • Dawsons Venue Selections • Executive Wisdom • Exponet
Smarter marketing techniques Many of the marketing techniques used these days belong in the
ice age, writes Ric Willmot.
The Russians periodically extract those ancient woolly mammoths intact from the Siberian ice; These specimens are perfectly preserved in time, much like many sales and marketing gurus, which seem perfectly preserved in time somewhere around 1970. The mammoths, of course, are items of special scientific and anthropological interest. Sales and marketing gurus, unfortunately, we’re not so sure about. Why are we still reading about the numbers of telephone calls made to prospects, call to appointment ratios and closing rates? Merely making telephone calls hardly qualifies as intelligent marketing activity. Most of the sales and marketing training and workshops that are vaunted today were originally developed in the 1960s in fields such as insurance, advertising, and the like. And, frankly, just aren’t valid today in a more mature, discerning and sceptical business environment. I once had a business owner complain to me that a saleswoman on his staff – who was producing more business than everyone else in the organisation – wouldn’t leave the office to make sales calls. “She stays at the desk talking on the phone all day”, he said. “What do you think I should do about her, Ric?” My answer? “Get her a more comfortable chair.” The war for business in the PCO industry is fiercer than ever with multitudes of providers offering discounts and incentives. In the past good PCOs were jealously sought-after and difficult to acquire. But as Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a changing.” PCOs are continually making compromises, adjustments and trade-offs on a regular basis. Furthermore, this frequently leads to lower quality, costing everyone not only money, but time, aggravation and repute. Professional PCOs who have a desire to deliver exceptional quality and build long-term, valuable relationships need to submit to rigorous additional learning, and invest in more intelligent, respectful marketing and sales processes. Success will reward the informed and astute
• H2Insurance Solutions • Joablue • Microhire • riskfacilitator Pty Ltd • Rydges Hotels & Resorts • TVP Law Interested in becoming Business Partner? Go to the PCO website and download the application form.
PCOs who can engage prospective clients with enthusiasm, intelligence and respect. Ironically, while lesser quality vendors are doing somersaults in an effort to superficially influence and manipulate their prospects, PCOs who believe in their value and charge appropriately for that value will be treated with far more respect and win far more business. Research undertaken by Executive Wisdom discovered that many professional services firms (PCOs included) are poor planners in regards to marketing strategy. Many rely on a single tactic, and most spend money on marketing activities that do not produce a return on investment. My strategy for “Willmot’s Whirlpool Marketing” is based on the premise that “selling without selling is the future of selling”. Implementing the whirlpool system to your marketing generates a vortex of client attraction because it creates gravitas by marketing in a small way, every day, in different ways that is appropriate for your own marketing strategy. Ellen DeGeneres has a fanatic viewer audience (customer base); Coca-Cola has a lock on the market; Gillette is willing to eat its young to maintain market dominance; and Maccas has the most incredible globally recognised brand. But they all continue to market every day no matter how busy or successful they are. Your marketing whirlpool requires invested energy on a continual basis and utilises its centrifugal force to move clients to a deeper level of relationship and investment as your brand and repute become dominant and command respect. • Get your strategy right before you implement the tactics and action.
• Speak to the client about their outcomes and results and not the features and benefits of your services. • Clearly articulate why it has to be you and not your competitors. I’m not advocating that you denigrate the competition, but stridently articulate the value you bring to the client. • Package your smarts and share your knowledge with the marketplace. • Understand specifically whom you can help and exactly how you help. Contrary to what you might think, not everyone is your prospect. • Dive in to your whirlpool activity and become known as the expert. Having general knowledge about everything is nice; having specific knowledge about a key issue makes you an expert in the eyes of your clients and prospects. • Remember, the treasure you seek is deeper than where your competition is trawling. Consistently move your target audience through the whirlpool and expose them to your distinct knowledge and become the dominant force to be respected. The ludicrousness of labelling marketing and selling as a “numbers game” is long past its use by date. Whirlpool marketing creates powerful attraction, a depth of relationship and an everincreasing vortex that leverages new business towards your organisation. PCOs must express their value and modernise their marketing approaches for today, unlike the French, who still use handwriting analysis in hiring new staff. But then again, the French do drink warm Coca-Cola. ● Ric Willmot is the managing director of Executive Wisdom and a speaker at the 2013 PCO National Conference.
PCOnline Wine Don’t forget to check out the PCOnline Wine Club specials on the PCO website in the “Service” section.
For more information, visit www.pco.asn.au www.cimmagazine.com Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 37
meeting people Scott Wallace has recently been appointed chief executive of event company Continental. He has previously been operations manager for Millennium in New Zealand and held positions with Copthorne and Kingsgate Hotel Group as well as being on the board for New Zealand Hotel Council and Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism. Simon Ambrose has recently been appointed the new chief executive officer of Sunshine Coast Destination Limited. He was previously chief executive of Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association; he has also been director of the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre and director of McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park. The Langham Auckland has recently announced the appointment of Franz Mascarenhas (pictured) as managing director. He brings 30 years of hotel experience to the role and most recently managed the re-opening of Park Hyatt Siem Reap in Cambodia. He replaces Jeffrey Van Vorsselen who will be managing the opening of Eaton Luxe and Langham Place Rio Carnival. Former general manager of Pullman Cairns International Craig Syphers (pictured) has been appointed general manager of Park Royal Melbourne Airport. He has 30 years experience in the hospitality industry managing various hotels in Australia under Mirvac Hotels and Resorts and Carlton Hotel Group. He replaces Michael
Johnson who has been appointed general manager of Park Royal Parramatta. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth has recently appointed Geoffrey Webb as the new director of sales and marketing. His brings to the role 25 years experience in the industry working in Australia, Canada and the United States. He spent 10 years working for the InterContinental Hotels Group, most recently as director of sales and marketing for Accor. Swissotel Sydney has appointed Ross Buchanan as executive assistant manager on top of his existing role as director of sales and marketing. He has extensive experience in the travel and hospitality industries and a career that spans 30 years. In this time he has held positions at Marriott, Mirvac, Park Royal, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels. Mercure Cairns Harbourside has appointed Paul Morton as general manager. He has worked for Accor since 2005 in various roles and locations including assistant manager at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and most recently general manager at Mercure Launceston. Prior to this he had a six year career with hotel company Whitbread in the UK. Chief executive of Julie King Associates, Julie King, will partner with GainingEdge to manager the operations of their new Sydney office. Her 26 years experience in the tourism and hospitality industry includes destination management and marketing, convention bureau
establishment and hotel openings. Natasha Du Plessis has recently been appointed director of sales and marketing MICE for Stamford Hotels and Resorts Adelaide. Most recently she has held senior sales and marketing roles with Quadrant Hotel Auckland and Scenic Hotel Group in New Zealand. Prior to this she was responsible for event sales at the Hilton Auckland and the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Malu Barrios has been appointed general manager of the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island. Most recently she spent five years managing Darwin Convention Centre and prior to this was general manager of Sydney Showground and event director at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. Hamilton Island has announced the appointment of Matthew Taverner as the general manager of luxury resort Qualia. His experience in the tourism and hospitality industry spans 28 years including 20 years of managerial roles. He has held positions in Fiji, Bali, Zambia and most recently Hong Kong. The Pacific International Cairns has announced the appointment of Lynda Marsden to the position of sales manager; she has been with Pacific for the past eight years. She has almost 30 years experience in executive assistant roles in Brisbane and Cairns. Simonne Shepherd has been appointed as Destination NSW’s general manager-industry
38 Convention & Incentive Marketing, August 2013 www.cimmagazine.com
partnerships and government policy. Her most recent role was as CEO of Canberra Tourism, and she has also worked for organisations such as The RitzCarlton Hotel Company, Fiji Visitors Bureau, Tourism Victoria and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Jennifer Dwyer-Slee has joined Sofitel Sydney Wentworth as director of sales, MICE. Prior to this role she was director of sales for Business Events Australia. The hotel has also appointed Stephanie Humphries as business development manager. Prior to this role she was business development manager events for Luna Park Sydney and she also spent 12 years working at The Star across multiple roles. Melbourne Convention Bureau has recently made new appointments to its team. Paul Williams has been appointed to the role of bid manager. Prior to this he worked for Regional Victoria Living Expo. He has held a variety of other operational roles in Australia and New Zealand. Justin Kelleher (pictured) has also joined the team as business development manager. Most recently he was brand and business development manager at Luda Productions and prior to this he spent two years as project officer with the Department of Business and Innovation. Business Events Sunshine Coast has recently made several new appointments to its team. Lauran Hofman (pictured) has been appointed business events manager having previously worked as business events executive for two years. Tiffany Beal will be stepping onto the role of business events executive; she has worked in business events, corporate travel and incentive travel, most recently at Unique Travel Group. Cascel Rasmussen has been appointed business events assistant to support the team.
1-3 Gold Coast Marine Expo, IE, Gold Coast; www.gcmarineexpo.com.au 2-4 World Conference on Acupuncture, IC, Sydney; www.acupuncture.org.au
4-7 World Travel Market, IE, London; www.wtmlondon.com 5-9 China International Industry Fair, IE, Shanghai; www.ciif-expo.com 8-10 Good Food and Wine Show, NE, Brisbane; www.goodfoodshow.com.au 10-13 Aged and Community Service Aust, NC, Melbourne; www.agedservices.asn.au/events 13-15 Australasian Association for Institutional Research, NC, Perth; www.aairconference2013.org.au 13-15 WAMEX Mining and Engineering Expo, NE, Perth; www.wamex.com.au 14-17 Taste of Melbourne, LE, Melbourne; www.tasteofmelbourne.com.au 16-17 National Laser and Cosmetic Medicine Conference, NC, Sydney; www.dcconferences.com.au/ lcmc2013/ 18-19 Australian Coal Conference, NC, Brisbane; www.coalscience2013.com 20-21 Institute of Public Administration Aust, NC, Canberra; www.ipaa2013.org.au 20-22 Australasian Society for Psychophysiology, NC, Sydney; www.asp.org.au 20-22 Radio Comms Connect, NC 1000, Melbourne; www.comms-connect.com.au 20-23 Medica World Forum for Medicine, IB 130,000, Germany; www.medica-tradefair.com 23-24 Sustainable Wellbeing Conference, LC, Melbourne; www.gawler.org/other-services/ conferences/ 24-27 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Drugs, NC, BCEC, Brisbane; www.apsadconference.com.au 24-29 Ecological Society of Australia, IC, Auckland; www.ecolsoc.org.au 25-28 AusRail Plus, IB, SCEC, Sydney; www.ausrail.com 26-28 Water in Mining, NC, Brisbane; www.ausimm.com.au/ waterinmining2013/ 27-28 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference, NC, Sydney; www.apsac.com.au 27-29 Creative Innovation Conference, IC, Melbourne; www. creativeinnovationglobal.com.au 28-30 Tattoo and Body Art Expo, 40,000 NE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.tattooexpo.com.au
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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.
September 2013 1-3 International Jewellery Fair, IE, SCEC, Sydney; www.jewelleryfair.com.au 2-4 China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, IE, Beijing; www.cibtm.com 2-7 25th World Congress of the International Society for Forensic Genetics, LC, Melbourne; www.isfg.org 3-6 Palliative Care Conference, NC, Canberra; www. dcconferences.com.au/apcc2013/ 4-5 Water Industry Operations Conference & Exhibition, NB, Bendigo; www.wioa.org.au 4-6 Global Event Summit, IB, Portugal; www.globaleventsummit.com 4-6 Expo Solar, IE, Korea; www.exposolar.org/2013/ 4-6 National Conference on Volunteering, NC, Adelaide; www.volunteeringaustralia.org 4-7 Food and Hotel Thailand, IE, Thailand; www.foodhotelthailand.com 9-12 Fine Food Australia, NE, SCEC, Sydney; www.finefoodaustralia.com.au 10-11 Total Facilities, NB, MCEC, Melbourne; www.totalfacilities.com.au 10-11 QLD Gas Conference, LC, BCEC, Brisbane; www. queenslandgasconference.com.au 13-15 The Digital Show, IE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.thedigitalshow.com.au
14-15 Gluten Free Expo, LE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.gfexpo.com.au 16-19 Accellos Annual Visions, IC, Chicago; www.accellos.com 16-20 Simulation Training Exhibition & Conference, NB, BCEC, Brisbane; www.simtect.com.au 16-20 Drinktec, IE 60,000, Germany; www.drinktec.com 20-22 General Practitioner Conference & Exhibition, NB, BCEC, Brisbane; www.gpce.com.au 21-24 Reed Gift Fairs, NE, SCEC, Sydney; www.reedgiftfairs.com.au 24 Retail Conference, NC, SCEC, Sydney; www.retailexpoandconference.com.au October 2013 1-3 World Gas Forum, IC, London; www.wlpgasforum-aegpl2013.com 2-3 International Cultural Travel Fair, IE, Mexico; www.cultourfair.com 5-6 Discover Europe Expo, NE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.discovereurope.net.au 5-7 Mind Body Spirit Show, NE, Adelaide; www.mbsfestival.com.au 7-8 Access Conference, IC, Vienna; www.access-austria.at 9-10 Australian Sustainability Conference, NC, MCEC, Melbourne; www.australiansustainability.com.au 9-10 Waste Expo, NE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.wasteexpo.com.au 11-13 Australian Bike Expo, NE, Melbourne; www.ausbike.com.au
Publisher Alexandra Yeomans Managing Editor Ylla Wright Journalist Sheridan Randall Sales & Marketing Manager Jo Robinson Account Manager Stephanie Rowen Design/Production Bin Zhou
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16-17 Office Show, NE, SCEC, Sydney; www.officeshow.com.au 16-20 Craft & Quilt Fair, LE, BCEC Brisbane; www.craftfair.com.au 18-20 Adelaide Home & Gardening Show, LE, Adelaide; www.kymjonesexhibitions.com.au 18-20 Pet Expo, NE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.piaa.net.au 18-20 Grand Designs Live, NE, SCEC, Sydney; www.granddesignslive.com.au 18-21 Tourism Indonesia Mart & Expo, IE, Padang; www.tourismindonesiamartexpo.com 23-25 International Tourism Board Asia, IE 8500, Singapore; www.itb-asia.com 25-27 Grand Designs Live, NE, MCEC, Melbourne; www.granddesignslive.com.au 27-30 World Conference on Lung Cancer, IC, SCEC, Sydney; www.2013worldlungcancer.org 28-31 Eco Expo Asia, IE, Hong Kong; www.ecoexpoasia.com 29-Nov 1 Mines and Money, IC, MCEC, Melbourne; www.minesandmoney.com/australia/ 31-Nov 3 Mind Body Spirit Festival, LE, SCEC, Sydney; www.mbsfestival.com.au
Professio na lC
The World Conference on Lung Cancer will be held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibtion Centre in October.
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