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Print Post Approved PP231335/00018

OCT 2013

South Pacific special Victoria: something for every event Top F&B trends for 2014

Perfect fit Pan Pacific Perth


A business event in New Zealand goes beyond expectation. Boasting world-class facilities, spectacular landscapes, friendly people, and a diverse range of activities within easy reach, New Zealand will take your next event from ordinary to extraordinary. Plan the conference they’ll never forget today. TOU0054R\CIM\TBWA


On the cover Offering the most expansive conference facilities of any hotel in the Perth CBD, Pan Pacific Perth provides versatility and convenience for any occasion.


SEPT 2013



04 Publisher’s note 06 News

Townsville’s new incentive itineraries South Australia on show 14-page New Zealand special

10 New Zealand news 12 International news 15 Q&A

Penny Lion, Business Events Australia, and

Peter Jones, Peter Jones Special Events

41 Review 42 Venue update 44 Profile

Lucy Perry, Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia

45 Meeting people 46 PCO Association

Features 14 Cover story Pan Pacific Perth stands out from the crowd 16 Gold Coast

Impressive ideas for gala dinners

22 Heritage venues

Bringing the past to life

28 South Pacific

New developments mirror rising confidence

34 Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s winning

culinary team

Odds-on favourite Royal Randwick

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

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Don’t miss

36 Regional Victoria

Diversity a key selling point

38 Event catering

Six experts identify the top trends for

food in 2014



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

Forging new relationships    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   3

Publisher’s word

Malaysia bound in 2014 I

have just arrived back from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabulu in Malaysia and I was very pleased to hear how excited the Malayasian business events industry is to be hosting the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Conference next year. While I was in Malaysia I spent some time with Ho Yoke Ping, the general manager – sales and marketing of the Malaysian Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), discussing the opportunities for the Malaysian industry which will come from hosting MEA. She believes the local delegates will get a lot out of networking and knowledge sharing with the Australian delegates. She was very humble in talking about how the Australian industry is very good at imparting it’s knowledge and best practices.

But this is also an opportunity for the Australian delegates to gain knowledge from a successful international business events destination about how to tap into the Asian Century ahead of us. The conference, to be held at the award winning Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), will be only the second time in the history of MEA that the annual conference has gone offshore. The KLCC is an industry leader that continues to win awards and events for its destination and I have no doubt that they will be wowing the MEA delegates next year. Speaking with executive chef Richard Lim while I was there, I learnt that his team of junior chefs had just cleaned up at the Culinare Malayasia awards. This is only the latest of the many awards they have won (too many for me to list here) but as I was lucky enough to dine at the Centre with general manager Peter Brokenshire and his team I can attest to the outstanding quality of the food. In fact, I was lucky enough to experience firsthand “Malaysian hospitality” throughout my trip, so I feel I need to warn all of the delegates heading to Kuala Lumpur next year – I hope you like your food. I ate so much fantastic food while I was there I was afraid I would have to book myself as excess luggage on the way home! Overall, these are exciting times for Malaysia, The same week I was there, the country’s Prime Minister, Seri Najib Razak, was in California meeting with high tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook, along with others, to sell Malaysia as an investment proposition. He was quoted as saying, “You can’t be at the forefront if you don’t innovate”. This is a destination on the move, with a government that’s on board to reach their goal of being a developed nation by 2018. Next year will also be Visit Malaysia Year so there will be a lot happening in the destination. After this recent trip, I’m really looking forward to attending next year’s MEA conference in Kuala Lumpur, and I am also hoping to take some time for a pre or post tour in one of Malaysia’s other amazing destinations, though it will be hard to choose with so many drawcards. The food in Penang? The wildlife in Sabah? The list goes on.

Published in Australia by Creative Head Media Pty Ltd Suite 202, 80-84 Chandos Street, St Leonards 2065 P.O. Box 189, St Leonards 1590 ACN 147 436 280 ISSN 1039-1029 Website:

Publisher Alexandra Yeomans Managing Editor  Ylla Wright Journalist  Sheridan Randall Sales & Marketing Manager Jo Robinson Account Manager Stephanie Rowen Design/Production Manager Bin Zhou Digital/Production assistant Xin Jin Editorial assistant Anna-Louise McDougall

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Copyright © 2013 Creative Head Media Pty Ltd. Opinions expressed by the contributors in this magazine are not the opinion of CIM. Letters to the editor are subject to editing.

This month’s top story

4   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

Official Australian publication for the PCO Association

CAB Audited Circulation 16,662 March 2013

Professio na lC

Nielsen Media Research July 2004 Readership 58,317 monthly

nce Organise rs fere A on


Inc. ation oci ss

The South Pacific is seeing a spike in investment from international hotel chains, making Australia’s island neighbours even more of a compelling offer for business events. Find out more about some of these exciting developments on page 28.


Meet and greet. More fun in the



industry news News briefs Business visitors on the rise Convention and conference arrivals to Australia during the year to July 31, 2013, remained unchanged at 180,700, however overall business arrivals increased by 2 per cent to 893,400, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Convention or conference arrivals from India increased by 21 per cent, China and Thailand 12 per cent, and Japan and Singapore were both up 6.6 per cent.

‘Restaurant Australia’ open for business

New business events expo for Sydney The Australian Business Events Expo and Sydney’s Event Showcase are to merge to create a new show, Inspire EX. Exhibitions and Trade Fairs announced the launch of Inspire EX following feedback from both shows’ visitors and exhibitors. Inspire EX will take place at the Sydney Exhibition Centre at Glebe Island on August 18–19, 2014.

Recognised for quality Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre general manager Bob O’Keeffe was awarded the Lifetime Achiever Award at the recent 2013 Restaurant & Catering Queensland Awards for Excellence. O’Keeffe received the accolade for championing the cause of quality and excellence in the catering industry.

New partnership targets US Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand have launched a million dollar partnership that encourages North Americans to tick Australia off their “to do” list by offering one low fare to six of Air New Zealand’s Australian gateways: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Coolangatta (the Gold Coast.)

Choose Brisbane campaign expands The next phase of the Choose Brisbane campaign has been launched in Hong Kong by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk. Brisbane cervical cancer pioneer Professor Ian Frazer and Fruit Ninja game developer Phil Larsen are two of the new faces of the campaign to promote Brisbane to the world.”The Choose Brisbane campaign is really getting us noticed in Asia,” Quirk said.

Watch the video in the CIM iPad app. Tourism Australia is set to ramp up the promotion of Australia’s food and wine experiences in its international marketing. Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the new approach to marketing Australia’s culinary experiences to prospective visitors was based on consumer research. “There is a growing appetite (literally) globally for food and wine as part of the travel experience and Australia has all the right ingredients to capitalise on this opportunity – with the finest array of produce served in the most stunning locations in the world,” he said. “Research across 15 of Australia’s key tourism markets shows that great food, wine and local cuisine is now a major factor in holiday decision making (at 38 per cent), ranking third ahead of world class beauty and natural environments (37 per cent).

“However, our challenge is that for people who have never visited Australia, only 26 per cent associate the destination with a good food and wine offering. For those who have visited though, Australia is ranked second for its food and wine experiences (60 per cent) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy (third). We are ranked as the number one destination for food and wine for people who have visited from China, USA, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia the UK and South Korea. “Clearly, we need to narrow the perception gap between those who have visited Australia and those who have not. This is a great marketing and communications challenge. “To do this we are evolving our global campaign with the idea that Australia could be the world’s greatest restaurant – Restaurant Australia – serving up the most unique food and wine experiences in remarkable locations every day.

Business calls for Australia Forum Business leaders in Canberra have called for government support for the construction of a world-class convention centre in Canberra, to be known as the Australia Forum. Fifty-four peak industry bodies, national institutions and research and learning organisations in the ACT all nominated the Australia Forum as their number one priority. Canberra Business Council chief executive Chris Faulks said that Australia Forum could generate significant revenue for the ACT and add 1066 new jobs to the Territory.

6   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

“We are expecting the public sector cuts the new Federal Government has announced to impact heavily on the ACT,” said Faulks. “The Australia Forum will help to diversify our economy, create jobs and grow Canberra’s tourism and hospitality sectors.” Robyn Hendry, chief executive of the Canberra Convention Bureau, agreed, adding that “there is also the opportunity, through conferencing, to showcase Canberra’s intellectual assets and to expand our business networks more than we are doing currently.”

Lack of science ministry a blow Last month’s revelation that the Coalition Government will not have a Science Minister has been greeted with dismay by many in the science community who say that Australia’s knowledge economy will suffer without support for innovation and scientific research.

said that “science reaches into so many areas of our lives and is so important to informing and shaping the world in which we live and work – it is integral to health, industry, food and water security, transport, defence, IT and much more.”

“Scientists around the nation are asking: where’s the science minister?” said Catriona Jackson, chief executive of peak industry body Science & Technology Australia.

“A scientifically literate society is a society which is equipped to hold informed debate and make intelligent decisions about big issues that affect us all,” he said.

“Science and technology are central to virtually everything government does, from industry to universities to agriculture to health to creating the kind of jobs that will ensure a prosperous future.”

With Australia’s knowledge economy, centering on economic investment, intellectual property and innovation, a key part of its attraction as a business events destination, it is feared that a lack of appropriate support from the Government may lead to a reduction in competitiveness for Australia.

Professor Les Field, secretary for science policy at the Australian Academy of Science

Melbourne in the spotlight at World Travel Awards

NSW ready for take-off Five super-growth sectors worth an extra $250 billion to the national economy over the next 20 years hold the key to Australia’s future prosperity, according to a new report from Deloitte Access Economic, with New South Wales set to benefit most of all. The report, entitled Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave, finds that the five super-growth sectors of agribusiness, gas, tourism, international education and wealth management are set to grow more than 10 per cent more quickly than the global economy for the next two decades, thanks to growing demand from Asia. Each of these sectors is bigger in NSW than in any other state or territories, providing an unprecedented opportunity for the state. While for Australia as a whole the five super-growth sectors could be as big as mining, for NSW they will outweigh mining by a factor of two and a half, the report finds. “The next two decades can be a good news story for Australia – but a great news story for our State,” said NSW managing partner of Deloitte, John Meacock. “The last boom didn’t play to NSW’s strengths – but the next one looks like being a perfect fit.”

Melbourne has been voted Australasia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination in the 2013 World Travel Awards, held in Dubai.

Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) also took out the title of Australasia’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre at the Awards for a second consecutive year.

Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events Louise Asher said that Melbourne’s “infrastructure, intellectual capital, professional services and aesthetics have once again proven superior to those of its Australasian competitors”, while Melbourne Convention Bureau chief executive Karen Bolinger said that the accolade “speaks volumes about the city’s capabilities”.

“The global acclaim MCEC continues to attract pays tribute to the team work and outstanding commitment of all those involved in supporting the Victorian Government’s investment in the business events sector and boosting economic growth,” said Peter King, MCEC’s chief executive.

In another boost to the city’s reputation as a leading conference destination, Melbourne

MCEC will now represent Australasia in a final round of voting to decide who will triumph at the World Travel Award’s global awards in December, 2013.

The NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, who was in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore recently promoting NSW’s agribusiness sector, has welcomed the report, saying that NSW is “well placed and ready to lead a national economic recovery”. “Increasing global demand for food, energy and skilled labour means that the world, particularly Asia, is turning to places like NSW to help meet that demand,” he said. “NSW industry is well placed to benefit from surging demand in regions like Asia, which is why international engagement with our trading partners is so important.”    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   7

NT Ambassadors mean business Sixteen leading Northern Territory business and community leaders have been chosen for the inaugural Northern Territory Business Events Ambassador program.

Melbourne office, Chen Min, chief representative of the China Council for Promotion of International Trade and mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

Launched by Chief Minister Adam Giles, the program is a joint initiative between Tourism NT, and the Darwin and Alice Springs Convention Centres.

Meanwhile, Tourism NT has launched a shift in its domestic brand messaging to “Do the NT” with a suite of new TV commercials, print and digital advertisements rolling out nationally. New visuals and messages in the $1.2 million campaign emphasise the destination as fun, active and social.

“They have a broad cross section of experiences and expertise and their single goal is promoting the Northern Territory both nationally and on the international stage,” said Giles. “These Ambassadors have been chosen for their influence at the highest level. Their mission is to bring business events to the NT in fields that have strategic importance to the economic, social and cultural development of the Territory.” The list of ambassadors includes former Australian of the Year Simon McKeon, executive chairman of Macquarie Group’s

“The NT is still the fun-loving, uncomplicated and down-to-earth place you’ve always been familiar with,” said Tourism NT chief executive Tony Mayell. “We’re just getting better at educating consumers about how much there is to do and [what] is on offer here.” Watch the video in the CIM iPad app.

Sydney launches International Advisory Board Business Events Sydney (BESydney) has launched its new International Advisory Board (IAB) at the inaugural International Advisory Board Forum held last month. The IAB brings together leaders in business events and related fields from North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific to guide and consult with BESydney on issues and opportunities currently facing both decision makers and destinations. It is hoped that the board will play a vital role in helping to cement the state’s position as a leading global location for international business events as the harbour city gears up for the development of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney). The IAB will meet approximately every six months in Europe, North America or Sydney, and will be facilitated by leading international meetings consultant and ex-president of the Vancouver Convention Centre, Barbara Maple. Maple has previously served as a member of the advisory panel that assessed the tenders for the Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct (SICEEP), which includes ICC Sydney.

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“This is a fantastic initiative by Sydney to establish a global advisory board in the lead up to the opening of ICC Sydney in 2017,” Maple said. “The leaders that BESydney has identified to form the IAB come from diverse backgrounds representing individual associations, industry groups and association management companies. It is a testament to Sydney that individuals of this calibre have agreed to join the panel.” While in Sydney, IAB members met with key government and industry stakeholders to gain an insider’s view of the multimillion dollar infrastructure projects set to transform Australia’s global city, including ICC Sydney and Barangaroo South, and learn more about the economic strategy and priority sectors set to drive growth in NSW over the next 10 years. Board members Rod Cameron, executive director of Joint Meetings Industry Council and International Association of Congress Centres, Sherrif Karamat, chief operating officer of Professional Convention Management Association, and Alessandro Cortese, president of European Society of Association Executives, also took part in a well attended panel discussion for industry regarding the major challenges and opportunities in an increasingly competitive global meetings and events industry. BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith said the forum was part of a strategy to “ensure our industry is well versed in the global market.”

Tourism portfolio changes ‘welcome’ Business events groups have welcomed the Coalition Government’s decision to make international tourism part of the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, saying the move recognises tourism’s role as a major economic driver for Australia.

“The change allows great opportunity for the government to leverage the business events industry legacy values and opens the door for business events to gain international support by working with agencies such as Austrade.”

The initiative is good news for business events as it brings the industry into the portfolio where it provides the greatest value, according to Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) executive manager Inge Garofani.

Andrew Hiebl, executive director of the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, also welcomes the new alignment and “whole of Government approach to tourism”.

“The business events industry is a key economic driver for Australia, attracting international trade and investment, promoting innovation and increased productivity,” she said. “The business events industry provides the platform for foreign trade and encourages global collaborations which lead to many flow-on benefits. The Coalition has recognised this with its decision to move responsibility for tourism to the Trade and Industry Ministries.

“We believe the move shows a real understanding of the business events industry and the benefits that international conventions and exhibitions bring to Australia such as stimulating innovation, attracting trade and investment, increasing productivity and encouraging collaboration through knowledge exchange,” he said. However, splitting international and domestic tourism across different portfolios is yet to be tested, warns Hiebl. Under the new arrangement, domestic tourism will be managed by Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   9

NZ News

Playing to our strengths Local experts have always played a key role in attracting business events to a destination. For New Zealand and Australia such expertise can be a game changer. Associations are increasingly selecting conferencing destinations for reasons which extend well beyond the attractiveness of a city and its surroundings. They want their delegates to learn from and interact with the very best in their field. As a result destinations which may have previously been overlooked are coming on the radar. We have our obvious strengths: New Zealand’s agribusiness skills, Australia’s mining know-how, but the search for our experts in other specialist fields needs to be broad and deep. Promoting these strengths – our local expertise – is emerging as an important priority for a destination’s business events industry. Placing even more emphasis on encouraging local experts to consider hosting will also pay dividends. Assisting them to assess the financial feasibility of the project and equipping them with marketing resources are part of the story while contributing ideas about innovative programming, maximising delegate attendance and securing sponsorship helps give them the confidence to put up their hand. Delegates want to rub shoulders with local industry specialists, join small group discussions, participate in technical visits where expertise is willingly shared and be exposed to fresh thinking. That’s just what local expertise can deliver. Let’s all sharpen our focus on marketing the specialist skills within our destinations and support our local experts to be a conference host. Jan Tonkin is the founder and managing director of leading New Zealand PCO, The Conference Company and vice-chair of the IAPCO Training Academy.

Heritage Christchurch officially opened Heritage Christchurch has been officially reopened by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Jerry Mateparae (pictured left). The opening of the hotel, which is set in the 100-year-old Old Government Building on Cathedral Square, “is a potent

symbol that Christchurch will be rebuilt”, said Mateparae. The ceremony was also attended by Heritage Hotel Management’s managing director, Jeffrey Tang (pictured right). “We are delighted to celebrate Christchurch’s ‘Heritage’ and the reopening of our beautiful

century old hotel building, restoring it to the city’s priceless inventory of working historic buildings,” Tang said. “We are privileged guardians of Christchurch’s architectural legacy and look forward to being part of a vibrant hospitality business future for Christchurch.”

Queenstown Convention Centre plan confirmed The management of Remarkables Park in Queenstown has confirmed a Convention Centre will be built at Remarkables Park. The proposed Remarkables Park Conference Centre will have a capacity of close to 1000 theatrestyle, feature a large exhibition area, and smaller break-out rooms. The site, which has the potential for future expansion, is located close to the Remarkables Park Town Centre, west of proposed tertiary education development and north of the future Remarkables Quay Resort and Ferry Terminal, which would

allow delegates to travel in and out of the CBD by ferry. It is also close to the airport, the Hilton hotels, the Remarkables Park future medical precinct, the Lakes District Hospital and other Frankton Flats development. Remarkables Park co-director Alastair Porter said the company’s plans did not require council funding, alleviating community concerns about a rates levy to underwrite operations and losses. Construction is expected to start in 2014, with the Centre available for use by early 2015.

10   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

“We recognise that timing is important for Queenstown, not only as there’s strong competition from Australia for conference venues but proposals for Auckland and Christchurch will also provide stiff competition,” said Porter. “We believe the quicker we can open this conference facility, the better this will be for Queenstown. “It will build loyalty for Queenstown as a conference destination and should also work for Auckland and Christchurch as a lead generator for future larger conferences in those cities.”

New Zealand targets Asia New Zealand’s attendance at the recent Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia and Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific 2013, in Bangkok, Thailand, is part of an increasing focus on the emerging business event and incentive markets of Indonesia and India, according to Mischa Mannix-Opie, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager of South and South East Asia. Mannix-Opie said that Tourism New Zealand will be targeting conventions and incentives from Singapore, and incentives from Malaysia, Thailand and India, with its new brand “100% Pure New

Zealand - Beyond Convention”. The Indian market is set to see a fourfold increase in the resources allocated to it, while a new office is being opened in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

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“People might think we are a small country… but what we have is fantastic infrastructure around New Zealand for both the conference and incentive market,” she said. “One of the things we offer is that we have a great variety of tourism experiences around the places where a lot of our business events happen.”

Auckland event caterer a ‘Conscious Consumer’ For all your Sales, Catering and Event requirements

Urban Gourmet is the first event caterer in Auckland to be accredited by the Conscious Consumers programme. Conscious Consumers is a business accreditation programme designed to make it easy for consumers to identify companies with ethical and sustainable business practices, such as composting food waste, using eco-friendly cleaners, and fair trade, organic and free range food and beverages. Businesses that join the programme can be accredited with 12 badges, with each badge representing a sociallyor environmentally-responsible “best-practice” standard. According to Blair Jagusch, Urban Gourmet’s general manager, the company made a decision in 2012 to reduce their environmental impact, and in addition to their

recycling programme, began composting their food waste with WeCompost, a Conscious Consumers accredited commercial composting provider. “Composting our organic waste has led to a drastic reduction in the amount of waste sent to landfill, therefore we have significantly lowered our impact on the environment,” he says. “Events are a short-term production, and it is important that every contributor to the event considers their impact on the environment.” Urban Gourmet is an official caterer for the Auckland Conventions Venues, including the Auckland Town Hall, The Civic, Aotea Centre Auckland Art Gallery, Viaduct Event Centre alongside being an official caterer at the Auckland Museum and Highwic House.

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International news

New cultural precinct for Hong Kong Construction on the West Kowloon Cultural District, one of the world’s largest cultural development projects, has begun with a ground breaking ceremony for performing arts venue, the Xiqu Centre (pictured).

ITB Asia partners with Marina Bay Sands ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market”, has announced a strategic three-year partnership with integrated resort Marina Bay Sands, starting in 2014. Marina Bay Sands will also be ITB Asia’s official hotel partner hosting international buyers, the opening receptions, VIP C-suite lunches, as well as offering free wi-fi to all delegates, providing a convenient and integrated experience.

“Marina Bay Sands offers ITB Asia a unique value proposition, including accommodation for attendees as official hotel partner and world-class conferencing facilities as official venue,” said Nino Gruettke, executive director, ITB Asia. “The venue’s prominence together with ITB Asia’s reputation as a leading trade show will help to attract and grow leisure, MICE and corporate industry partnerships.”

ICCA report shows 50 years of growth The number of regularly-occurring, internationally-rotating association meetings has been increasing by 100 per cent every 10 years over the last half century, according to a recent report by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). ICCA conducted a study of 50 years of association meetings data as the centrepiece of its new publication, A modern history of international association meetings, launched this month as part of ICCA’s 50th anniversary year. ICCA chief executive Martin Sirk said the study represented a “monumental

achievement,” with association meetings providing an insight into the world which “is undergoing a truly revolutionary period in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and innovation”. “It is also vital to recognise the massive improvements to society that individual associations and their meetings can deliver, and there are still enormous improvements to be made in that area,” he said. “This is something that every association should be doing: showcasing and shouting about inventions, discoveries, advances, solutions, collaboration and new pathways for the future.”

12   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

The West Kowloon Cultural District is the largest arts and cultural project in Hong Kong to date. Its vision is to create a vibrant cultural quarter for the city, a vital platform for the local arts scene to interact, develop and collaborate, and major facilities to host and produce worldclass exhibitions, performances and arts and cultural events. “The West Kowloon Cultural District has now come off the drawing board and is being turned into a reality,” said Michael Lynch, chief executive of West Kowloon Cultural District. “The city’s position as a cultural metropolis is being cemented as we lay the foundations for what will be a world-class arts hub for performing and visual arts.” The Xiqu Centre will be a world-class facility for the preservation, development and promotion of Chinese opera. It will be the first venue to open within the District, scheduled for completion in 2016. Spread across seven storeys and over 23,700sqm, the Centre will house a 1100seat main theatre and a tea house with a performance stage, in addition to 2000sqm of arts education facilities, and a generous public space which will be able to host small performances and events.

Thailand to connect with business events The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled Thailand Connect, a global marketing campaign designed to make it easier for corporate buyers and meetings organisers to sell Thailand as a business events destination.

KLCC wins at inaugural rAWr awards The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) has won the Purpose Built Convention & Exhibition Centre Award For Excellence award at the inaugural rAWr (Recognising Award Winning Results) Awards 2013. The awards are a collaboration between the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau and the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers to recognise excellence, leadership, professional standards, innovation and best practices within the business events industry. General manager Peter Brokenshire said the Centre was “elated to be on the

winners’ list”. “This recognition by our peers is an acknowledgement of our contribution to the growth and development of the country’s business tourism sector and further boosts our position as one of Asia’s leading convention centres ... a world-class facility offering innovative products and services to meet the evolving needs of local and international clients,” he said. The rAWr Awards cover 27 categories including Best International Conference, Best Trade Exhibition, Best Incentive Programme, Best Event and Best Environmental Initiative.

The campaign, which was announced at the recent Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia and Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific 2013, will focus on the diversity of Thai destinations, its business opportunities  and the quality of Thailand’s business event professionals. It is accompanied by a number of specific promotional packages that will extend financial support to overseas business events and delegates in Thailand, depending on their country of origin and duration. The new campaign is designed to help Thailand achieve a 2014 target of 987,000 international business events visitors. “We believe that Thailand can connect extremely well with global buyers by offering a combined package of three unique selling propositions,” said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, TCEB’s president.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   13


Grand River Ballroom.

Situated on Perth CBD’s eastern fringe, Pan Pacific Perth affords delegates and guests the advantage of easy access to the best of the city. The 5-star hotel has 486 guest rooms and suites, but it is the 2120sqm of refurbished function space including 11 meeting rooms, two ballrooms and prefunction areas that attract so many high profile event organisers. On any given day of the week, the hotel’s conference floor is a hive of activity with delegates visiting from all over Australia and around the globe.

Bespoke conferencing Offering the most expansive conference facilities of any hotel in the Perth CBD, Pan Pacific Perth provides versatility and convenience for any occasion.

View slideshow in the CIM iPad app.

Unveiled in March 2011, the bold contemporary décor of the Convention Level utilises simple lines and warm colour palettes. Opulent black crystal chandeliers float amongst an impressive ’70s style bronze mirror ceiling, while the satin finished, custom created marble entrance further highlights the new design. The refurbished space showcases the latest in audio-visual technology, including integrated sound systems, HD-enabled projectors and wi-fi access, while the visual design of the rooms closely mirrors the contemporary look of the Pacific Club Lounge, Pacific Club Rooms and “Meetings on 5” Executive Boardrooms. Offering the largest convention floor of any hotel in the Perth CBD, the centrepiece venue, the Golden Ballroom, caters for functions of up to 710 guests cocktail-style and can be partitioned into three smaller areas with state of the art LED lighting providing creative

14   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

scope to suit all events. Complementing this space is the Grand River Ballroom accommodating up to 350 guests banquetstyle or up to 600 guests cocktail-style, with Swan River views, full length windows and sweeping high ceilings. The hotel has also taken the time to cater for the needs of smaller, more intimate functions with a dedicated suite of seven executive meeting rooms on level five. Coupled with a Meeting Concierge service, nothing is left to chance and guests can be assured of a seamless meeting experience. One touch panels provide guests with the power to control everything from the data projector and automated screens to the boardroom lighting and air conditioning. Wi-fi, high speed internet access, mini bars and in-room safes feature in every boardroom for added convenience. When it’s time for a break, the custom designed menus with a range of delicious options offer the perfect dining option. “Meetings on 5” allows for boardroom meetings from six to 36 guests or from 40 to 100 guests for cocktail receptions. Moving into 2014, the hotel’s strong business events focus has been reaffirmed with the recent addition of two new account managers to the hotel’s sales force, dedicated to servicing their growing client base on the Eastern seaboard. Whatever the function or event, Pan Pacific Perth is able to cater to your needs, whether it is a lavish gala dinner, a conference or an intimate boardroom meeting. And with its CBD location, guests and delegates alike can make the most of the city’s entertainment and shopping precinct only a stroll away, or enjoy some quiet time on the Swan River foreshore or the nearby historic gardens.


Dream team set to inspire Dreamtime is Business Events Australia’s signature event for demonstrating Australia’s capabilities as a business events and incentive destination. Anna-Louise McDougall spoke with Penny Lion, head of Business Events Australia, and event partner Peter Jones, from Peter Jones Special Events, to find out what they have planned for 2013.

CIM: What can we expect to see from this year’s Dreamtime?

Melbourne and you can argue that’s it’s been a bit long overdue.

Penny Lion: Our focus for Dreamtime is basically to get business. Dreamtime is such a fantastic program and what we always talk about is the fact that it’s our “VIP incentive experience”. I think the element of surprise is a critical factor within the business events space and to really show the best practice of event management. The program is jam-packed and the main thing we’re focused on is ensuring the buyers can come and really experience what Australia has to offer by connecting with people in our industry, seeing the products and experiencing some of the actual business event services so that they feel that Australia is too good to refuse.

At the end of the day we are selling Australia, not just the host city, so whilst Melbourne is important it is about showcasing Australia as an incentive destination for international buyers to come here and bring their business to Australia.

CIM: What are the essential elements to consider when it comes to leaving a lasting impression on event attendees and delegates?

PL: We talk a lot at Tourism Australia about “people, product and place” and I think that is a really relevant topic for business events. By connecting the buyers with our own people, be it from the moment they meet us at the airport, or the first time they fly on any of our sponsorship airlines and finally get to Australia, it’s about providing that special experience.

PJ: When you’re trying to get back repeat business you just can’t keep dishing up the same old stuff. It’s got to be specifically tailored to the particular group and I think that’s something we as an industry need to do a little bit better, rather than just churn out the same old stuff. What I want to get out of Dreamtime is yes, we’ve got these great, iconic things to offer, but there are so many other things out there that we haven’t explored that may be right for a particular group. It’s the unique things that leave an impression, for example, holding Amway India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – that’s not right for the Americans or Germans, but for the Indian guests it created an impact.

CIM: What sorts of challenges arise when dealing with an event like Dreamtime 2013, and how do you overcome them?

CIM: What are some of the other largescale business and incentives events you’ve organised in the past?

CIM: How do you intend to inspire international incentive buyers to choose Australia for their next event?

PL: We’re taking a totally different approach this year where we’re not looking for Australian superstars, we’re trying to make the event interactive and more brand focused as it’s actually aimed to market Australia as an incentive destination. You’ll see a very different approach to the Dreamtime dinner this year, in particular the business sessions, which will be more interactive and more reflective of the brand of Australia as opposed to just going in to a trade show. I think we need to be better as an industry at selling ourselves – we need to be smarter and there’s a huge opportunity then to offer different experiences and the way Australia can be sold.

PJ: Our last large-scale event was the Amway India event; we’ve also been involved in Amway China in Melbourne which was four dinners of 2500 people. We’ve also done lots of other small incentive groups, so the good thing about us is that we’ve done events that have been ridiculously large to the ones that have been about 50 people, so you get a variety in there of what clients are looking at depending on the size of the incentive group, and it varies depending on which country – what you do for Chinese guests will be totally different to what you do for Indian guests, and what you do for the Americans.

CIM: How does Dreamtime differ from other large scale events you’ve run before?

CIM: Your motto is, “It’s the little things that count” – how do you apply this notion to large scale events?

PL: We’re a government funded agency so we’re very careful about how every dollar is spent, and we make sure it’s all about our industry partners getting the business connections – it’s not just to make a pretty event. Dreamtime isn’t thousands of people; it’s a group of business event buyers who we have very good relationships with and our biggest advantage is we understand the customer, and once you understand the customer that always helps ensure you deliver an event that is special – and that’s our focus.

PJ: It’s not just a set formula; you have to think what you can do to make this experience unique. They can be as simple as an entertainment piece. It can be how guests are seated, the schedule or what happens at certain times of the night. It’s giving the guests something they wouldn’t expect and those things can vary from a song, an act or something visual. We have to remember that these people have been to it all – there are lots of elements you have to consider for such a diverse group. Having said that we’ve got to work within the budget and it’s go to be practical. What do you do to make them all feel like it’s something they’re a part of? Dreamtime is probably the hardest group I can think of – and we have to create something that works for everybody.

CIM: What can Melbourne offer in terms of ‘wow factor’ for meetings and incentives? Peter Jones: I think it’s great that Dreamtime has come back to    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   15

Gold Coast

It’s time to party A popular destination for international and domestic delegates alike, the Gold Coast offers any number of oneof-a-kind venues for gala dinners and networking events, writes Ylla Wright. One of Australia’s most popular leisure destinations, the Gold Coast is no slouch either when it comes to attracting business events. Worth in excess of $270 million to the local economy, the Gold Coast hosted 1231 business events in the 20112012 financial year, according to Gold Coast Business Events.

attracts twice the average number of delegates than other destinations in Queensland, with the average delegate length staying 4.2 days, almost twice

delegate days in Queensland. While first-rate facilities such as the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), and wide range of accommodation options, are undoubtedly part of the attraction for events organisers, the Gold Coast also ticks all the boxes when it comes to organising networking events and gala dinners with real “wow-factor”.

“Dolphin Cove, home of Sea World’s marquee attraction, the Imagine Dolphin Show, is one of the most popular choices for groups of under 200 people.”

What’s more, the coastal city, which is famous for its golden beaches, picturesque hinterland and exciting tourism offering,

the average of other Queensland destinations. Overall, the Gold Coast hosts 45 per cent of all

“From the limitless theming possibilities of the city’s hotel ballrooms to the exclusive use of theme parks and outdoor venues providing a unique open air dining experience, the Gold Coast lends itself to the creation of one-of-a-kind gala events,” says Anna Case, director of Gold Coast Business Events. “This is one of the reasons why we attract more than 50 per cent more delegates to each event than any other destination in Queensland.

professional management in a unique beachside location. “You don’t need a massive budget to wow delegates when we’ve got the facilities and the skilled people you need to execute spectacular gala events.” Heading up any list of inspiring venues, are Village Roadshow’s theme parks, Warner Bros Movie World and Sea World, which are available for events of all sizes, and exclusive hire. Hollywood glamour reigns supreme at Warner Bros. Movie World’s eight themed dinner venues. Along with the Star Pavilion, which offers versatile, allweather alfresco dining for up to 1200 delegates with options of plated or buffet menus, options

“The Gold Coast offers quality, great value for money and

MEETINGS THAT MAKE YOU LOOK OH-SO-GOOD. ACCOMMODATION FROM $170* | DAY DELEGATE FROM $69* Book your 2014 event at Hilton Surfers Paradise before 31 Dec 2013 to receive 5 of the below options complimentary: · Parking · Internet · AV package · 1 in 15 delegates free · Drinks reception · Suite upgrade · Sun-Thurs room upgrades · VIP amenities · Prize voucher for a Relaxation suite For enquiries phone (07) 5680 8150 or visit STAY HILTON. GO EVERYWHERE.

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16   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

Garden paradise Overlooking Mirage Beach and surrounded by nature reserves and parklands, Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa is located 10 minutes from the heart of the Gold Coast. The resort has a number of outdoor and indoor venues catering for a range of events, including the East Pool Side Lawns (pictured) offering open-air dining adjacent to the beach. By night the tropical gardens and lagoons transform, accommodating up to 420 people for spectacular dinner events. Flexibility to incorporate clever use of lighting and build staging into the pool and lagoon areas provide ample opportunity for creative styling. The Mirage Grand Terrace is an indoor foyer overlooking the property’s sparkling lagoons suited to dinners of up to 220 people. Recently refurbished including a $100,000 high-tech audio visual upgrade, the Mirage Grand Ballroom seats up to 550 under ornate chandeliers.

Discover our new world of difference opening 2015 Sea World Resort is your gateway to unique day or night social events which can be arranged on site or at one of our sister properties. Whether it’s breakfast with the dolphins at Sea World, glitzy affairs at Warner Bros. Movie World, casual, chilled-out beach parties at Wet’n’Wild, bush themed dinners at Paradise Country or adventures your guests will never forget at Australian Outback Spectacular, the team at Sea World Resort is your one stop shop for a diverse range of venues and packages. We can tailor a package to suit any budget and will ensure your next conference is simply unique and unforgettable. Our new conference centre will cater for up to 1000 delegates and will be a welcome addition to our existing six meeting rooms and all encompassing conference facilities.

Sea World Dolphin Cove

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Sea World Resort

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Paradise Country

Work now, stay later

Top: Warner Bros. Movie World’s Star Pavillion. Middle: Jellurgal beach corroboree.

Make your meeting work for you. Confirm an event at Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa Gold Coast and enjoy a free night on us at the Gold Coast’s only absolute beachfront five star resort.

include ScoobyDoo Spooky Castle and Justice League Hall with capacity for 360 and 60 people respectively. Oozing mystery, gargoyles guard the ominous Scooby-Doo Spooky Castle, while the main parlour features a themed fountain with the option of exclusive use of the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster. The Justice League Hall meanwhile is an imposing marble structure whose courtyard is ideal to host pre-dinner drinks with a formal dinner served in the state room.

event called ‘Lights, Camera, Action’,” says Village Roadshow account manager Lisa Thomas. “It’s a really popular choice if delegates have been in a conference room all day. It’s a full red carpet arrival – we can even do screaming fans and paparazzi – and then if the client wants to open a few of the thrill rides at the front of the park, we can do that during pre dinner drinks. After drinks, Movie World characters like Austin Powers will escort guests through to the dinner venue, where they enjoy our Hollywood Legends show over dinner. After dinner we encourage guests to move through to SpookyCastle for an ‘after party’; that way they can have the music up as loud as they like right up until midnight.”

“We do a Hollywood themed

Sea World is home to six separate

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Following refurbishments due to commence in December at RACV Royal Pines Resort a 1000sqm glass wall will enclose the convention centre, providing a seamless line of sight from the ballroom, which can seat up to 1000 banquest-style, into the pre-function area and out across the golf course. In addition to the ballroom, the resort has a number of outdoor event spaces including a poolside area and an undercover tennis court (pictured), which is topped a white canopy making it ideal space for creative theming incorporating lighting and image projection. To accommodate larger groups the resort’s undercover car park can be transformed, creating a unique space with an industrial feel.

18   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

dinner venues with a maximum banquet capacity of 650 people, with Dolphin Cove, home of the theme park’s marquee attraction, the Imagine Dolphin Show, one of the most popular choices for groups of under 200 people. Dining along the edge of the lagoon, delegates are entertained with a private performance by resident dolphins and their trainers. “Again it’s a red carpet arrival, with tiki torches in the gardens, and guests can either have pre dinner drinks at Dolphin Cove or go straight into the venue where the tables are set up on the water’s edge,” says Thomas. “You literally have the dolphins swimming right beside you.” Corporate logos and images can be projected into the stadium canopy and a number of table theming options are available. For cocktail and dinner functions Shark Bay offers a one-off backdrop, where enormous glass walls encase the world’s largest man-made lagoon system for sharks. Delegates dine at banquet rounds and come faceto-face with tropical fish, sting rays and sharks. Other al fresco venues include

Metricon Stadium.

Island paradise Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, home to one of the largest collections of Australian native wildlife in the world. Aside from animal encounters of the furry, feathered and scaly variety, the sanctuary is home to a range of conference facilities and five spectacular themed dinner spaces, nestled amidst 27 hectares of natural bushland and rainforest. Blurring the lines between outdoors and indoors, Melaleuca Green seats up to 200 people and Village Green up to 120 people in banquet configuration with catering provided onsite. Gala events can become interactive nature experiences; there is the option to include an evening

A short calm water cruise from Main Beach, McLaren’s Landing on South Stradbroke Island is a private venue offering total exclusivity and a capacity of up to 1000 guests for a sit down dinner. The event starts on the docks with pre-dinner drinks and canapés are served aboard a luxury catamaran during the 40 minute cruise to the island. Once there, covered Balinese style terraces provide an all-weather location catering for a range of unique functions and events. All facilities are provided onsite including catering, luxury five star bathrooms and audio visual equipment. A complimentary water taxi service is on standby throughout the event to ferry delegates back to Main Beach as required.

For five star events, Jupiters Hotel & Casino, located on Broadbeach Island on the Gold Coast, offers you 592 luxury accommodation guest rooms and boasts spectacular conference and event facilities suitable for 20 to 1,800 guests. Enjoy eight bars, seven restaurants and a beautifully refurbished theatre holding up to 1,970 guests.

SPECIAL OFFER* Hold your next residential conference or event at Jupiters Hotel & Casino before 30 June 2014 and we’ll include a case of Moët & Chandon! Book before 31 December 2013 and we’ll include an additional case! Receive group rates from $185 per room, including buffet breakfast for one person at Food Fantasy. For bookings and further information, please contact our Sales Team on 61 7 55 92 8502 or via email *Conditions apply. Valid for new bookings made after 12 October 2013. Must book, stay and pay in full before 30 June 2014. Subject to availability, change and cancellation. Minimum accommodation and banquet spend of $75,000 required. Offer for additional case of Moët & Chandon valid when confirming your booking with the agreed minimum deposit before 31 December 2013. Jupiters Hotel & Casino practises the responsible service of alcohol.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   19

SkyPoint on top of the Q1 building.

works with clients to create tailor made event experiences at venues across the region. “We work closely with clients to conceptualise an event that fits their theme and budget,” says Susan Stewart, Staging Connections’ sales manager – Southeast Queensland. “By combining creative styling with audio visual and lighting technologies we help create unique event environments that deliver the wow factor and leave a lasting impression on attendees.”

Follow the white rabbit At the quirky QT Gold Coast, groups can experience a delightfully whimsical “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”-themed dinner. Greeted by the Mad Hatter, and trays of bottles labelled “drink me”, guests are introduced to Alice, the Queen of Hearts and a real-life white rabbit grazing on astro-turf, before being led to an themed dining area, complete with croquet lawn. Artisan ice-creams served from a retro combivan (with accompanying lolly bar), popcorn and a screening of Alice in Wonderland round out the evening.

visit to the kangaroo paddock, when the marsupials are at their most social, nocturnal tours or an exclusive visit to the sanctuary’s wildlife hospital. For larger events a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces can be used. Resident magician Nickleby and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance troupe Jellurgal provide entertainment including

corporate magic shows and Welcome to Country performances. Metricon Stadium, home of the Gold Coast Suns AFL team, has seven internal event spaces providing a variety of options to suit up to 1000 people. For special events the venue can devise an immersive AFL “match day” experience, with the action taking place centre field. Pre-

dinner drinks are served in the Gold Coast Suns locker room and the venue can arrange a “rev up” speech from the Suns assistant coach. Led by one of the Suns players and cheered on by the club’s official supporter group, the Sunscreamers, delegates storm the field via the home team tunnel to run through a personalised welcome banner. Dinner is then staged centre field with the stadium’s big screen providing the ultimate platform for corporate branding and multimedia presentations. Atmospheric lighting and music played throughout the stadium seating bowl create a truly corporate gala event feel. For on-site dinners, hotel ballrooms offer a blank canvas which can be transformed by a theming company such as Staging Connections, which

20   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

For their most recent gala dinner at Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino, building industry company BGW Group wanted to transport their guests to the Las Vegas’ Strip. In order to recreate the glamour and glitz of Vegas the Staging Connections team worked closely with BGW group to create an integrated solution covering everything from bespoke multimedia content and lighting design right through to the themed decor. “The focal point of the room was a custom-made 30m ultra wide screen which provided the backdrop to run the bespoke video content created by our design team,” says Stewart. “Throughout the evening the content was beamed onto the screens using 15m x 5m full high definition projectors. “To recreate the bright lights of Vegas the lighting design was crucial and we had 28 LED wash lighting fixtures and 20 moving head lighting fixtures. “The event also featured three bands, casino tables and fun centrepieces and decor to

A sanctuary for the evening Situated at the northern end of the Gold Coast, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort sits in the heart of the fully integrated Sanctuary Cove Resort. The resort’s one-acre Lagoon Pool provides a stunning backdrop for gala events boasting a capacity of 600 for a sit down dinner and 1500 for a cocktail event. Banquet rounds or long tables can be set up right along the perimeter of the pool with a stage in the centre of the lagoon itself. The vast area allows for a variety of creative theming, and the space recently received an upgrade including new LED coloured pool lights which can be used to create a spectacular sequencing of colour.

complete the Vegas look which set the scene for a great gala dinner.” Creative event theming and audio visual company Solution Red approaches theming as a creative journey, brainstorming “out-of-the-box” concepts and sourcing bespoke elements to deliver impactful events. “The Gold Coast’s diversity lends itself to the creation of spectacular events and memorable occasions, no matter the size or venue,” says Jackie Rouleston Stuart, general manager QLD of Solution Red. “The range of venue options and possibilities on the Gold Coast for Gala Events is considerable. We work with the in-house specialists at a variety of venue throughout the region to bring our client’s visions to life. The GCCEC is a favourite venue of Rouleston Stuart, which she says “offers a truly blank canvas where the possibilities for gala dinners, private events and spectacular launches are

endless”, along with SkyPoint on top of the Q1 building. “SkyPoint is a special venue, in a very special location,” she says. “Both level 77 and 78 offer unsurpassed views of the Gold Coast, providing that twinkling backdrop that we all crave for our events.

“The ease of working in this venue is a definite benefit for all event organisers – whether the event be elaborate and glamorous, or simple and stylish – each is straightforward to create and deliver the ‘wow’ effect for all attendees.” Gold Coast Business Events also has a wealth of information

available regarding products and experiences on offer in the destination, as well as recommendations for local suppliers to make it all happen. With so many options available, it seems the only limit to what you can do to create a show-stopping gala event on the Gold Coast is your imagination.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   21


by taking food and beverage and giving that a really quirky, modern feel. Our current chef James Knight is a really well regarded chef around town and really delivers that for us.” This also applies to the conferencing packages, with retro nuances in the presentation of the buffet and drinks.

From top: Hyde Park Barracks Museum in Sydney; The Menzies Hotel Sydney; The Fremantle Prison in Western Australia.

Retro cool Heritage is as much about what a community values as it is how old something is, and can include everything from industrial warehouses to lavish ballrooms, discovers Sheridan Randall. Opened by the Beach Boys back in 1964, The Menzies Hotel Sydney commemorates its 50th anniversary this October, and to celebrate the hotel decided to bring the past back to life, with staff dressed in vintage uniforms, a ‘60s inspired lounge room playing old school films and music from the era, and vintage inspired food and drinks in the hotel’s restaurant and Piano bar.

an affinity with the history that you can’t change that without getting their permission.”

with history, according to Smith, which requires a “balancing act”.

For Smith, the hotel’s history means “that it just has a soul”.

“What’s exciting in trying to manage that balance is something completely different to what everyone else is offering that is really cool and interesting, because you are trying to balance history with a modern take,” he says.

“When people walk into the hotel it just feels right… comfortable… and I don’t think you get that in modern buildings,” he says. However, the younger generation has less of affinity

“We have tried to do that here

When it came to planning what road the 50th anniversary celebration should take, the hotel’s management was careful to take into was consideration those regular guests that had grown up with the hotel and “had a connection to it”. “People have been coming three times a year for 40 years and anything you change to fit more with the upcoming trends – they don’t like that,” says general manager Michael Smith. “It’s their hotel. They have such 22   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

“We certainly do that at the One Four Bar on the ground floor, with the types of drinks we serve,” he says. “We are doing a classic prawn cocktail in the restaurant at the moment and they are flying out of the door.”

Although only lasting a month, Smith says that it would be nice to maintain some of the retro inspired touches. “We keep looking at the lounge room and saying we should keep that,” he says. “It allows you to build a relationship with people. You can’t believe the reaction from the guests. It’s always been about finding a connection, making people feel they belong here, and this does it.” Luna Park Sydney is also a venue that holds a special

for 2014


Luna Park Sydney’s Coney Island.

place in the heart of many Sydneysiders whose childhood is entwined with the history of this iconic site. With its famous mouth having undergone a few cosmetic changes over the years, Luna Park’s event facilities have also undergone somewhat of a transformation in recent years. However, its heritage spaces, such Coney Island, provide “an evocative offering when searching for a point of difference for your venue selection”, says Christopher Rich, Luna Park’s group sales manager. “The history of Luna Park and

its connection to both childhood memories as well the Sydney skyline most definitely play into people coming back,” he says.

and reflective emotion to their guests.”

says Ruby Chronis, ATP’s director of sales and marketing.

Once the site of the former Eveleigh Railway Workshops, Australian Technology Park’s (ATP) Conference & Events Centre in Sydney offers a number of highly unusual industrial spaces that are rich in history.

“Our heritage backdrop provides a certain edge, so we often attract creative clients who are looking for an industrial or gritty space that will act as the perfect foil for the beautiful clothes or sleek cars they are promoting.”

“Age is important but it’s not the only characteristic of heritage places.”

“The familiarity and emotive relationship Luna Park has shared often through generations with individuals and families definitely creates that connection and appeal to organisers and no doubt passes on that positive

“Clients come to ATP for all different reasons, but one of our big drawcards is the unique heritage aspect of the venue,”

Sydney’s most unique and versatile venue. 14,000 m2 of infinitely flexible event space set in stunning historic Locomotive Workshops. The Exhibition Hall This heritage listed 6800 m2 space is home to a diverse range of events - from large scale exhibitions, fashion events, celebrations and grand weddings. The Dining Room Sensitive design contrasts existing timber features with state of the art dynamic lighting technology on huge 7m x 4m backlit panels. The result, a great sense of scale with endless creative presentation and lighting options. • Caters for 10 to 5000 people • Minutes from the CBD and Airport • Great event spaces & multiple meeting rooms • Extensive catering and technology options Henderson Road, Sydney South, NSW 1430 Enquiries: 61 2 9209 4220

24   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

The venue also has a “dedicated team” of volunteers, often ex-workers from the railway yards, who are available to give talks and tours for events. “Often our clients want to learn about the old Eveleigh Railway Yards so they can get some scope on the venue and work their event into ATP’s industrial

heritage backdrop,” Chronis says. Though the heritage spaces echo technology from an era long past, ATP takes its audio-visual technology very seriously, with high-speed optic-fibre enabling limitless network configurations, internet connectivity, wireless LAN network and video conferencing. “Technology and connectivity is important at any venue, but as we are the Australian Technology Park it has even greater focus and we often attract events from the technology, science and IT industries,” she says. Sydney Living Museums has a

portfolio of 12 unique houses and museums across Sydney, with nine available for hire by event organisers including signature venues The Mint and its new Bullion Bar, the Museum of Sydney and the Justice & Police museum. “[The venues] bring history to life, allowing guests to interact with the house or museum and their collections in a different way,” says Rhian Thomas, Sydney Living Museums Venues marketing and communications manager – commercial. “Guests get a glimpse of how life was lived and experience a whole other life at our properties.” Popular culture also influences the themes and styling of events,

with Downtown Abbey and The Great Gatsby making their mark on organisers’ imaginations. “The Great Gatsby has certainly increased demand for events such as cocktails parties at Elizabeth Bay House and garden parties at Vaucluse House,” says Thomas. “The authenticity of ours venues allows event organisers to host themed events at our properties with minimal styling and give their guests a unique experience.” Defining heritage, especially in a country as young as Australia, is a relative exercise, but for Thomas, it’s about “value”. “Age is important but it’s not the only characteristic of heritage places,” she says. “It is not only the physical fabric of the place or object that is important, but also the associations, values and meaning for people that are tied up with heritage – indeed for many Left: Art Gallery of NSW. Below: Fresh Catering put on a spread at Elizabeth Bay House.

Hilton Sydney’s Marble Bar is celebrating its 120 years of history by introducing a signature “120 Cocktail” and offering live music every day throughout October. The anniversary commemoration kicks off with the unveiling of a history wall displaying newly recovered doors and souvenirs from the original bar. The original swing doors from the Adams Private Bar in the Tattersall’s Hotel have been donated back to Marble Bar by Tattersalls Group and are the main features of the history wall, also adorned with books, vintage games, news clippings and photographs from the past 120 years.

One of Sydney’s most iconic venues, on the edge of St Mary’s Cathedral, Hyde Park and Woolloomooloo Bay, the Australian Museum is truly a one-of-a-kind venue. Whether it is a conference for 40 people on The Terrace overlooking Cook & Phillip Park and St Mary’s Cathedral, dinner for 100 amongst the dinosaurs, or cocktails for 300 in one of the oldest parts of the Museum under the watchful eye of the sperm whale skeleton, an event at the Museum is bound to be memorable for your guests.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   25

people the associations are equally important or more.” Beyond the opportunity for some unique theming, a heritage venue’s full capacity is only fully realised when its history is shared with everyone at an event.

Sydney Living Museums also has a resident colonial gastronomer, Jacqui Newling, who has advised caterers for specific events on historic food habits and trends enabling them to create menus inspired by the past. One such event was The Artists’ Ball, a recreation of the infamous themed ball held back in 1933 in the ballroom of David Jones’ flagship Sydney store on Elizabeth Street, with food by Fresh Catering.

“We want people to have a personal experience and connection with each of our venues.”

“Sydney Living Museums loves storytelling,” says Thomas. “We want people to have a personal experience and connection with each of our venues. It’s this personal connection that brings our clients and visitors back to our venues time and time again.”

Following a refurbishment in

early 2013, the ballroom, now known as On Seven, has been transformed to its former glory featuring high decorative ceilings, original parquetry and marble flooring and travertine staircase. “On Seven has such an incredible story regarding its history that a large number of guests seem to have memories of the space at some point in their life, particularly those of the older generation,” says Madeleine Wilson, David Jone’ senior publicist. “Entering through the store on the ground floor and coming out the customer lifts on level seven creates excitement for the guests as it is very unique for an event space to be positioned above a department store.”

Curator led guided tours, private exhibition viewings and specialty performers who re-enact events, traditions and rituals specific to a given venue are all ways that the history is brought to life.

The Menzies Hotel was the first international hotel built in Sydney since World War II. The hotel hosted skating stars on a permanent, retractable ice skating rink a restaurant showpiece and local favourite. It was also the site of the city’s first ever Japanese restaurant.

Left: The Bullion Bar. Below: The Mint in Sydney.

Food is another great way to deliver a taste of the past, quite literally. Trippas White Group offers exclusive catering services at The Mint and the Justice & Police Museum, and is often called on to make the catering match a particular period. “We recently held an event for Club MEA at the Justice and Police Museum to tie in with the relaunch of the City of Shadows exhibition which included themed canapés such as smoked salmon blinis, hot tomato bouillon, and ale-braised lamb and potatoes,” says Angela Thompson, Trippas White Group’s marketing and communications manager. “The Bullion Bar at The Mint references the building’s history and the art deco design elements of the bar through its bar food menu with items such as orange and thyme scented chicken liver pate and a citrus poached prawns, avocado mousse cocktail.”

Agreat great place place for for business business and and play A Sydney Oval Oval North Sydney

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26   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

Given Australia’s penal colony past it comes as no surprise that some of its oldest buildings are former prisons. Hard though the times were for the unfortunate souls that found themselves incarcerated there, their stories are about some of the richest to be found in Australia and paint a vivid picture of our country’s past. Many of these former prisons are now historic sites and can be hired out as venues for a whole range of different events. Built by convict labour in the 1850’s, Fremantle Prison was decommissioned in 1991 and was used for functions the year after. Despite its gruesome past, being the location of many hangings including notorious serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke in 1964, the site’s historical importance is a huge drawcard for events, being Western Australia’s only World Heritage listed building.

in Western Australia’s development, guests enjoy stepping back in time and experiencing what life was like for convicts and modern day prisoners.” The option of a 30 minute Highlights Tour through the main cell block, solitary confinement and gallows at the start of a function allows for an insight into the history of the prison. “While some guests may feel a chill when they walk on site and see the looming main cell block most people enjoy seeing the beautiful limestone building that represents a significant part of Western Australian history,” she says. “Guests enjoy the novelty of being in a maximum security prison... and being able to leave at the end of the night!”

“Guests enjoy the novelty of being in a maximum security prison.”

“The prison’s unique history creates a dramatic atmosphere for a range of functions and events,” says Emily Mitchell, Fremantle Prison’s events and promotions officer. “Due to the significant role Fremantle Prison played

Above: On Seven at David Jones’ Elizabeth Street store in Sydney. Left: Dinner in served at Fremantle Prison.

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The prison sits on a six hectare site, with a number of different buildings on offer.

“We have seen some spectacular theming, from Murder Mystery nights to 1920 gangster cocktail parties to Jailhouse Rock dinner dances,” she says. “Function organisers can choose to go all out with the theme of their function or keep it simple and let the rich history of the prison be the star of the night.”

ensure your next function, exhibition, conference or banquet is truly spectacular. Our executive team of Chefs and Functions Managers work hard to ensure our menus are tailored to suit our client's needs. Minutes from the CBD and easily accessible by car or ferry, Luna Park Venues offer a range of venues and a dedicated team of industry professionals eager to help organise your next event with ease.

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Phone: +612 9033 7540 Web:    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   27

south pacific

Investing in

paradise The South Pacific conjures up images of pristine white sand beaches, tropical hideaways and idyllic resorts, but its cultural diversity is the region’s real drawcard. Comprising a multitude of islands and atolls stretching from our north through to the east, the South Pacific offers Australian event organisers fresh horizons, and with it a new perspective. While it has always been a magnet for adventurers and artistic mavericks, a new wave of investment by international hotel brands across the region looks set to attract much more in the way of business events and incentive groups, writes Sheridan Randall.

28   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

There are a total of 118 islands and atolls that comprise Tahiti. Moorea, “The Magical Island,” has been the location for many motion pictures, including Mutiny on the Bounty. Moorea is just a 30-minute catamaran ride from Tahiti. Bora Bora, “The Romantic Island,” is often called the most beautiful island in the world. This tiny island – just 18 miles in circumference – is encircled by a coral lagoon and is home to world-class resorts and quaint French-inspired restaurants.

Tahiti on the rise Since the GFC hit in 2008, Tahiti has been steadily luring travellers back with a 40 per cent increase in Australian visitors between 2009 and 2012. According to annual tourism figures, Australian visitor numbers to Tahiti increased 24 per cent in 2012 – the third largest increase experienced by any international destination last year. To service that rising demand Air Tahiti Nui has increased its flights between Tahiti and Australia to three weekly services as part of a global overhaul to give Australian travellers better access to this increasingly popular destination. “With this extra capacity on our newly configured wide body aircraft, we think Tahiti will become increasingly attractive to the groups and incentive market,”

said Air Tahiti Nui general manager New Zealand Australia Mark Hutchinson. Once there groups can choose from a large range of hotel brands including Hilton, Radisson and InterContinental. The Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti overlooking Matavai Bay offers one the largest range of conference and meeting facilities on the island, with its pillarless 507sqm Endeavour ballroom and its patio and garden, as well as 91 accommodation suites and rooms. Elsa Talibart, Radisson Plaza Resort’s market and group coordinator, says that the resort attracts “a good mix of international conference and incentive business”, but that the Australasian market “definitely has potential”.

“We try to have maximum presence at trade events, such as PAICE and AIME to promote Tahiti as a conference and incentive destination,” she says. Hilton has two properties in Tahiti, in Moorea and in Bora Bora. Ben Archambaud, sales manager groups and incentives for both properties, says that they cater mostly for incentive groups, but can host meetings up to 200 at Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa’s restaurant Tamure and groups up to 100 at the banquet room at Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. “The demand from Australia and New Zealand [for business events] is increasing and we have been receiving more and more requests for tailor-made incentive programs,” he says. “Most of that clientele has

already been to Bali and Fiji and done domestic programs and is now looking for another option for their programs.” Destination awareness has never been a problem for Tahiti, but Archambaud says that previously it has mainly been considered a “couple destination” by Australians. However, he is hopeful that viewpoint has shifted to include business events. “The Australian market understands now that we can offer much more than just honeymoon experiences and is ready to consider Tahiti as a suitable option for a business events program,” he says. “It is now our job to listen to their needs and propose them tailormade programs that can meet their expectations.”

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New Caledonia’s Gallic charm

Many islands in the South Pacific have a strong French heritage, but none can really say they are a small slice of France quite the way New Caledonia does. This Gallic neighbour of ours, just three hours direct flight from Sydney on national carrier Aircalin, is ramping up its presence in the Australian business events market. “New Caledonia is quite a new destination,” says Barbara Lambert, deputy manager at destination management company Arc en Ciel Voyages.

There are also many great day excursions that can be organised from Noumea. Usually groups are based in Noumea, but we can take them as far away as Bourail [a two-hour drive north of Noumea], which is the heart of the Caledonian cowboy country.” Jennyfer Jurion, managing director of event organiser Pop Events, describes it as “a French island with a French touch”, with “so many different opportunities” for Australian incentive and conference groups, whether on land or water.

New Caledonia is divided into “Most of the PCOs and three provinces, conference North, South groups have and Loyalty already travelled Isle des Pines is referred Islands. The to the South to as the “Jewel of the capital Noumea Pacific but Pacific” and is a popular lies in the haven’t yet day trip or longer activity Southern thought about for many small groups. Province and New Caledonia. Only 20 minutes away is where the We are an by small plane, Isle des majority of opportunity Pines was originally a hotels and to experience French penal colony. Not resorts are something a bad place to do some located. Hilton totally different hard time, it now boasts is about to and still be close a range of small hotels make its to home.” perfect for incentive presence felt in Describing New groups. the Territory for Caledonia as a the first time, “sophisticated with the GLP destination” owned La Promenade Apartment she says that the country’s Hotel being rebranded Hilton wealth, off the back of mining, Noumea La Promenade “shows in our infrastructure and Residences, and Starwood busy development”. constructing the Sheraton New “The city of Noumea is quite Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa cosmopolitan,” she says. “There in 8000 hectares of a national park facing an UNESCO heritage are plenty of activities related protected lagoon two-hour’s to food and all the French drive north of Noumea in the experiences and [groups] are Grande Terre. spoilt for choice for restaurants, This burst of investment is both as well as outdoor activities. 30   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

L’ Escapade Island Resort.

a ringing endorsement of the potential New Caledonia has yet to tap, and part of a long-term tourism development project put in place by the Caledonian government to ensure the economic future of the whole of the Territory beyond its strong mining sector. “The fact that it is associated with a large international brand

such as Sheraton is essential to New Caledonia’s success and international recognition in the overseas market,” says Suzanne Kenyon, director at Noumeabased destination management company Transat Tours. The Territory’s recognition in the eye of the Australian market is still relatively low compared

with some of its South Pacific neighbours, but New Caledonia is confident it has something of a unique proposition – its Frenchness. “Group participants 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,” Kenyon says. “If you want the beach resort feel then effectively Noumea may not be your first choice, however if you are looking for a quality experience with lots of restaurants, nice boutique shops, cafés, bars and nightclubs outside of the hotel, New Caledonia is a great option.”

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Vanuatu’s unspoilt attractions It comes as a surprise for many just how close Vanuatu is – just two and a half hours from Brisbane, three and a half hours from Sydney and four hours from Melbourne. Comprising 83 islands, it is the capital, Port Vila, which has most of Vanuatu’s accommodation properties.

indicative of the scale of event best suited to Vanuatu.

Australia is Vanuatu’s major market, and is one that the country hopes to capitalise on, with many properties attending the Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo earlier this year, including Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa. With 140 accommodation rooms, with maximum numbers of 280 guests sharing in double or twin accommodation, the resort is

“Usually when we host potential clients on famils, we hear the comment ‘we did not realise how much there is to do here in Vanuatu’,” she says.

Liza Walsh, Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa’s director of sales and marketing, says that while both the Australian and New Zealand markets are increasing, there is still work to be done to highlight how much is on offer.

Getting out and about in Vanuatu is encouraged, with Walsh suggesting a visit Mt Yasur in Tanna, to stand on the edge of a live volcano, diving world renowned sites such as Million Dollar Point, taking a tour

Left: Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa.

around Efate (from Port Vila) and stopping at the blue pools and Eton Beach. Adventure sports are also big in Vanuatu with many drawn for activities such as zip-lining, jet skiing and abseiling. Warwick Le Lagon recently hosted the 42nd PASOLS (Pacific Area Senior Officer Logistics Seminar) three-day conference during which the 120 delegates used half of the Events Centre as the main meeting room and then broke out into six plenary rooms. The resort’s 1000sqm Farea Pacifik Convention Centre is the largest air-conditioned venue in Port Vila, and can seat up to 700 people for banquets or 900 theatre-style.

“We encourage all our guests to discover the unique and raw qualities of Vanuatu,” she says. “It is not as commercial as neighbouring islands. There are many daily tour options, as well as discovering the outer islands on overnight trips.” Vanuatu is a new destination for many, which is much of its appeal especially for those groups that have been to the more established destinations in the South Pacific and want to try something new. “We need to promote the unique qualities of our beautiful unspoilt location in the South Pacific and encourage them to visit,” Walsh says.

Samoa’s warm welcome

Samoa is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance with both Australian leisure and business visitors, with numbers rising 25 per cent and 29 per cent respectively for the 2012 financial year compared with the previous year. These figures are higher than the overall trend in visitor numbers, indicating that the Australian market is set 32   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

to become even more important over the coming years. “There is a much closer relationship between Samoa and New Zealand than Australia,” says Michael Riddington, from the Samoa Tourism Authority Australia. “New Zealand does double the numbers Australia does but that means Australia

has more potential,”

Sands Resort and Spa as well as the much anticipated opening of Return to Paradise Beach Resort set to open its doors in early 2014, and the $60 million Taumeasina Island Resort, which is being built on a man-made island near Apia and will feature 80 rooms and 25 villas, which is expected to open in early 2016.

The rising popularity of Samoa as a business events destination is in part due to “all the good work we’re doing”. “It’s a relatively new destination surprisingly enough, given it’s been around for a long time,” he says. However, awareness of Samoa is rising, with a survey showing unprompted awareness up from 11 to 17 per cent year on year in 2012, according to Riddington.

“Samoa is not like anything else in the South Pacific because its culture is still intact.”

Although not officially confirmed, with contracts due to be formally signed this month, Sheraton is expected to enter the Samoan market, managing two of the well-known Aggie Grey’s Hotels in the capital, Apia, and Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort and Spa, which is being rebuilt to offer larger conferencing facilities in time for the United Nations’ Third International Conference on Small Island Developing State in September, 2014.

“We are building awareness and telling people more about the destination,” he says. “We know that 50 per cent of beach holiday travellers would prefer to go to a new emerging destination and that is what Samoa is.” There has been a surge in developments in Samoa, especially on the south side of the island, with plans of a new wharf and possibly an airport in the pipeline. Other new resortsMAGAZINE includeHALF thePG.pdf 4.5 16370_CIM star Aga Reef Resort, Saletoga


“Samoa is not like anything else in the South Pacific because its9/09/13 culture1:09 is still PM intact,” Riddington says.

Wendy Booth, the owner of Seabreeze Resort, which was recently named Samoa’s Leading Hotel at the 2013 World Travel Awards, agrees, saying “what makes our country so unique are its people and its culture”. With 11 air-conditioned villas, the boutique 4.5 star Seabreeze Resort caters to small incentive groups looking to get away from it all on a private secluded bay on Samoa’s south east coast of Upolu, with Booth calling it the “ideal place for winding someone down”. “With so many countries around the world being absorbed into

Western ways Samoa remains staunch in its values and its culture that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years,” she says. “This is a culture based on hospitality. If you visit a family in a village the first thing they will do is share their food with you.” Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Booth and her husband Chris moved to Fiji, opening the resort in 2005. “Samoa is a relatively new destination for Australia, but once you have been here, guests return again and again,” she says.


You’ll always find a warm reception in Samoa. Whether you’re hosting a board meeting or presentation for three hundred, our hotels, resorts and state-of-the-art conference centre make business a pleasure. Just five hours away in paradise.

Siva Afi or the fire knife dance    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   33


A winning recipe

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s culinary team have what it takes when it comes to awardwinning food, writes Ylla Wright. Building on its existing reputation for outstanding food, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (KLCC) culinary team has claimed their third consecutive “Most Outstanding Team in Culinary” award at the recent Culinaire Malaysia 2013 competition, which aims to recognise the country’s best culinary arts and food and beverage service skills. While previous competitions have seen some of the Centre’s most senior chefs step up to the stove, this year’s team (pictured above) was made up of junior chefs. According to executive chef Richmond Lim, the group’s six golds, 15 silvers and 17 bronzes reflects the success of the Centre’s in-house development programme aimed at mentoring its junior staff. “We are truly proud of the results; especially as we decided to showcase our junior chefs this year,” said Lim. “It clearly demonstrates that our junior team is on par with the rest in the industry. Their determination and level of commitment is commendable.” To prepare themselves, the 16 junior chefs began their groundwork six months before the competition with the help of their more experienced head chefs to ensure everything from conceptualisation to taste, texture and presentation were perfect when the time came. The win follows on from the launch of the Centre’s Culinaria food and beverage concept in July. The new concept aims to define and deliver the award-winning food and beverage of the Centre. According to Angeline Lue, KLCC’s director of sales and marketing, Culinaria embodies the Centre’s innovative approach to delivering food that surpasses standard convention centre fare and presentation, and delivers the promise of value, taste and experience. It also reflects Malaysia’s unique selling propositions, from its colourful multi-cultural mix to progressive national attitude, and the centre’s tagline of “Where commerce, culture, colour converge”. Culinaria is the perfect platform to showcase the talents of the Centre’s Culinary team, “in particular our chefs’ versatility in crafting creative menus that capture the exquisite taste of food enthusiasts,” she said. Under Culinaria the Centre offers a range of fresh dining experiences, from quarterly cuisine promotions to enhanced themed menus with flavours from throughout Asia such as “Greater China”, “Incredible India”, “Malaysia Truly Asia”, “Nyonya Heritage”, “Southeast Asia” and “Amazing Thailand, special dietary menus and more healthy options for its day conference packages and at its public catering outlets. “This is absolutely the year of culinary excellence for our team,” said Lim.

34   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

regional Victoria

Built on the back of a gold rush that began in 1851, many of the grand buildings in Ballarat funded by the new found wealth remain today. The ABC television show Dr Blake Mysteries was filmed in a number of locations in and around Ballarat, including the Ballarat Colonists’ Club, Lake Wendouree, Lydiard Street, Pax Hill Activity Centre and many other iconic locations that set the scene of Ballarat in the 1950s.

Spoilt for choice An abundance of food and cultural attractions, and a rich history that delegates can interact with is putting Regional Victoria on the business events map, writes Sheridan Randall. Awareness and affordability are key words when discussing regional Victoria as business events destination. With a diverse range of destinations to choose from, the historic Goldfields region of Victoria including the heritage town of Ballarat, are proving to be a popular choice for event organisers, from both a conference and incentive perspective. Their proximity to Melbourne, only a 90 minute drive, and central location in the state, mean that their historic sites, wide range of venues and incentive attractions. “Regional Victoria is positioning itself as the clean air alternative

to city destinations,” says Rachael Houtsma, marketing and PR officer at Ballarat Regional Tourism. “Regional Victoria offers vast open spaces perfect for team building, and an opportunity for delegates to escape the hustle and bustle of city events and is also very competitive with regards to residential package price points.” Ballarat is looking to always attract international groups, according to Houtsma, with attractions such as Sovereign Hill hosting huge incentive groups such as Amway China. “Ballarat’s point of difference is offering memorable venues with a historical backdrop perfect for

36   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

business events of all shapes and sizes, inspiring delegates to create their own history and indulge in Ballarat’s rich living history,” says Houtsma. Proximity to Melbourne is definitely a critical factor, especially for those incentive groups looking to come up for one of the many attractions in a day. “Research indicates that conference and event organisers are looking for destinations within one to 1.5 hours from Melbourne,” she says. “However, competition amongst regional Victorian destinations remains strong with more regional airports opening up linkages to destinations such as Mildura and Albury.” Craig’s Royal Hotel is rich in history, with the original building dating back to 1853, and having completed an $8 million refurbishment is raising the bar for its 41 stylish accommodation rooms and flexible meetings venue for groups up to 150. The George Hotel also boasts a rich history, and has recently undergone a multi-million dollar transformation “that will see it become a new entertainment hub in the centre of Ballarat’s art and historical precinct”. The George Hotel also offers meeting and conference facilities, with the Herring Room catering for up to 150 guests cocktail-style in a traditional style of room with a marble bar and adjoining balcony. Earlier this year, Ballarat unveiled its new $2 million Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (MADE). This interactive museum, which is home to the Eureka Flag, includes a 114-seat auditorium,

two education rooms for 25 and 55 and outdoor event space.

looking to boost its share of the domestic business events market.

Although the Murray region doesn’t offer the proximity to Melbourne as other regional Victorian destinations it does have two major fly in/out destinations at either end of the region – Albury and Mildura. There are daily flights by the three major domestic commercial airlines, from and to Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Albury Airport caters for over 150 fights every week following a recent $9.8 million dollar upgrade. In July 2013, Mildura officially launched its transformed airport and is now one of regional Victoria’s largest and busiest airports, with three of the major commercial airlines offering daily flights.

In June this year, the Murray Regional Tourism Board (MRTB) launched its Destination Management Plan to ensure tourism, including business events, adds value to the local economy and community.

With eight large conference venues on offer throughout the Murray, muti-function spaces such as The Mildura Arts Centre, as well as some unique meeting venues either on the Murray River, such as paddle steamers, or overlooking it, such as historical homesteads Perricoota Station and Willowbank, the region is also

One of the first regional tourism organisations in Australia to create a destination management plan, MRTB chief executive Mark Francis says that “sets the framework and the blueprint for tourism development for the long-term”. “It identifies the need to have a holistic and coordinated approach to events across all spectrums including business events,” he says. “Part of the Plan was about identifying what our assets were and what activities visitors were undertaking across leisure and business. In order to grow that visitation and that length of stay, we could see what investment was need to make that actually occur.”

Part of the thought behind the initial concept of the Plan was to gain a clearer understanding of the gaps in the market from the consumers’ point of view. “One thing that was very interesting was that people had become very complacent about the actual attraction of the river and that we needed to reinforce the types of activities that could be done on the river and what people were actually looking,” he says. “People wanted to engage with the river and we need products that enabled that to occur.” The Plan identifies business events as one of its key development opportunities for the Murray region, and is set to increase its awareness in the market and support the development of new conference facilities. “From the Plan we have identified a range of projects that are being prioritised from a regional perspective and we are now moving up to the next phase in developing investment opportunities and trying to attract the appropriate investors.”

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event Catering

Food for thought Creative catering could be the recipe for event success, so what’s cooking for 2014, asks Anna-Louise McDougall. Recent years have seen the rise of pop up bars, nostalgic dining, interactive menus and regional-specific cuisine as themes for cocktail and gala events. CIM asked six top chefs catering to the business events industry about the emerging food trends for the coming year, their most popular menu concepts, and how they create a lasting impression for attendees.

Garry Kindred, executive chef, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast Food tailored to look and taste like a particular era is very popular. Nostalgic dining and in particular the “roaring ’20s” theming and matching menu was something that we started doing more than a year ago thanks to shows such as Boardwalk Empire which spurred client demand – we had at least five requests for that style of menu prior to The Great Gatsby being released. Another trend we have identified is shared desserts – moving away from individual desserts to petite desserts/ individual servings of various items that clients pick and choose from. In fact 60 per cent of desserts that our clients request are now shared desserts and two years ago this certainly was not the case. Grazing has started to drop off as have buzz words such as “fusion cooking” – we’ve seen less demand for this type of cuisine.

Heiner Volkens, executive chef, Dockside Group, Sydney South American and Eastern European cuisines appear to be an emerging trend using Australian grown produce. Many chefs are successfully blending and embracing cuisines from east and west. This connection has had a dramatic impact on the way we dine and I think will remain as a trend for some time. Another trend is adding a bit of theatre to the cooking through molecular gastronomy and interactive menus. Chefs are providing diners with more opportunity to interact with the food offering individual tasting vessels so guests can have fun pouring sauces and adding their own touch to their meals. In addition, we might offer chocolate tasting, olive oil tasting or other fun options. Consumers want the food that they eat demystified. They want to be able to pronounce the names of all the product ingredients and they want to know where it comes from, whether or not it’s local produce or from another region or country and who the suppliers are.

38   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

Tony Panetta, executive chef, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne It’s all about public perception. If the public sees and loves a movie, for example, they’ll come to us and we’ll create a menu by researching the food from that era. We do a lot of themed events here and a lot of custom designed menus, as clients are trying to make their own function or gala dinner different and more personal. We always make sure we source local ingredients, which is our food philosophy, so that’s our own personal touch to the event. We’ve seen a drop off in interest in Mexican-style catering and there is a move towards menus from particular regions. For example the theme may be Italy and they’ll eat from the Calabria region. We’ve had an increasing number of clients who ask what we do environment-wise. We’ve also found more people want to know what’s going on in the kitchen, especially due to all the cooking shows.

Peter McCloskey, managing director and founder, Fresh Catering, Sydney I think casual, flavoursome and honest food is a lot more popular than fine dining and technical. We are seeing interest in more authentic cultural dining rather than Australian food being just influenced by cultures. One of the most exciting trends at the moment is pop up food stations and bars. Food trucks are also a great way to deliver quality and innovative food at affordable prices. We are also seeing a huge increase in the sharing of food and I think this is more of a cultural influence, offering lots more variety, sharing of bowls, boards and platters, rather than getting a plated main course. I think people want to do a lot of tasting rather than sitting in front of one large plated meal. We are moving away from paella and Asian-inspired dishes and there is also a big shift away from formal dining and even formal cocktail parties.

Jock Mitchell, executive chef, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin

Simon Sandall, group chef, Aria Catering, Sydney

Catering trends are not necessarily influenced by event themes. If we were going to serve a menu that has a concept of The Great Gatsby for example, we’ll look at the trends that happened in that era, particularly with food offered during that time and then mix that with present trends to come up with a unique flavour and style. Presentation will also be mix and match between present and past, depending on the event, and we may decorate with unique chinaware and specific table set ups.

Our clients are always looking for something new and unique and something a little less traditional. We have recently introduced a shared-style menu where the food is placed in the middle of the table for all to enjoy. We are finding this relaxed style of eating is becoming more and more popular.

What we think we’ll see more of is simpler, tasty food with more nourishing and healthy options where the presentation of the food is also simple. We’re seeing a decline in heavy meals and silver service style dining.

We are getting fewer requests for the formal three-course sit down dinner. People are looking for something a bit more relaxed. This may include roving canapés in place of an entrée, interactive food stations, shared dishes and platters of dessert canapés, rather than traditional desserts. I think people are definitely more aware of what they are eating and they are more concerned about traceability and suitability. Aria Catering has always used the best produce available and all of our suppliers are chosen because they farm or grow produce ethically.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   39


Two-way conversation CIBTM is going from strength to strength since its launch eight years ago, with both local and international buyers and sellers building their relationships, writes Sheridan Randall. As part of Reed Travel Exhibitions portfolio of IBTM global business events trade shows, the China Incentive, Business Travel and Meeting (CIBTM) exhibition has seen a tripling of its size since its inaugural show in 2006.

we have no plans to move from Beijing,” Moyes says.

Being held in Beijing is a big advantage for CIBTM, says Craig Moyes, Reed Travel Exhibitions portfolio director of IBTM, with the show signing another five-year contract to remain in China’s capital city.

“We are bringing in about 100 or so international buyers who

With a ratio of around 55 per cent international suppliers and 45 per cent domestic, the aim is to maintain a “balanced” event, according to Moyes.

“We have a very good relationship with the Beijing Municipal Government, we are in the seat of government, we are the only show in China approved by the China National Tourism Association and we are in the capital city, so

Australia had one of the largest showings out of the international destinations exhibiting with the Business Events Australia stand, which was attended by 13 partners including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef, Business Events Sydney, Perth Convention Bureau, Northern Territory Convention Bureau, Melbourne Convention Bureau and Gold Coast Business Events. Many of Australia’s bureaus have in-market representation in China well established, but it was Adelaide Convention Bureau’s first showing at CIBTM. The Bureau’s account manager, Daniel Porter, says there was “a really good mix of buyers and not just from China”. One of the Bureau’s main tasks was to begin the process of building South Australia and Adelaide’s brand recognition, with a map often being the first thing shown to potential Chinese buyers. “A lot of people didn’t know where Adelaide was in relation to Melbourne and Sydney,” Porter says. The next step was to connect the high awareness of some of South Australia’s premier brands, such as winemaker Penfolds, with the state and its capital city. “A lot of the challenge was [saying] ‘yes they are Australian, but they are also South Australian brands’,” he says.

are placing business in China, and then we have around 300 Chinese buyers who have both inbound and outbound business,” he says. “It’s really interesting what China has to offer [international buyers] and it’s not all about Beijing or Shanghai. It is spread out more and you are seeing more individual properties here and that is the key to it.”

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China has overtaken the US and UK to become New Zealand’s second largest tourist market, recording a 37 per cent increase in expenditure over the 2012/13 financial year. It is becoming a “very important market”, says Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand business development manager. “New Zealand has a really high recognition as a leisure destination through its 100% New Zealand [brand] but not as a business events destination, so there is a lot of work to be done,” he says.

40   Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013

The show’s new director, Jacqui Timmins describes the show as a “two-way conversation”. Plans for next year’s CIBTM are already being worked on. “It’s not one type of customer coming here, it’s multiple customers and what we have to do to grow the event is really understand what sort of exhibitors both international buyers and domestic ones want to see, and vice-versa,” she says. For Moyes, CIBTM not only helps facilitate business, it also helps “demystify” any cultural barriers and “break down those barriers”. “For people bringing their events to China they need to learn what it is they need to do to meet the expectations of their international delegates coming to China,” he says. “And Chinese suppliers need to learn what it is they need to do to make the experience for international delegates a good one.”


Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne Why it’s worth a look

and beverage selection, event theming, flowers and entertainment, the latest audio-visual technologies and in-house technical support, customised teambuilding activities, business services, and wired and wireless broadband access.

Built in 1913, this remarkable building was once the headquarters of the Commercial Travellers Club, and in 2012, the heritage-listed Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne hotel was meticulously restored to retain the feel and style of the 1900s whilst providing guests with 21st century technology and facilities.

Residential guests will also appreciate a 24-hour business centre, 24-hour in-room dining, fully equipped fitness centre, laundry and dry cleaning services, and concierge service.

As part of this refurbishment program, which was four years in the making, the unique charm and heritage features of this muchloved, iconic building have been preserved, whilst facilities have been upgraded to provide superior accommodation for travellers and conference organisers.

Extras for events The Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne is currently offering a reward for meetings planners who book a 2014 meeting or event at the hotel. Spend $2500$4999 and receive a $250 Myer Gift Card; spend $5000-$9999 and receive a $500 Myer Gift Card; or spend $10,000 or more and receive a $1,000 Myer Gift Card. Terms conditions apply.

The refurbishment included a significant restoration and refurbishment program of its guestrooms and suites, food and beverage venues and conference and meeting facilities.

And finally…

The location Located in the heart of the Melbourne’s central business district, Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne commands a prime position overlooking the tranquil Yarra River just threeminutes walk from Flinders Street Station. It offers easy access to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, key office building clusters, and many of the city’s famous theatres, shopping precincts, sporting facilities, galleries, restaurants and bars.

The facilities With an elegant ambience and plenty of natural light, the hotel offers more than 1100sqm of meeting and conference space over two levels, including 11 conference rooms for up to 330 delegates. Conference services include a dedicated conference service manager for events, pre and post conference activities, personalised menus

One hundred years on since the foundation stone of the building was laid by the Victorian Governor of the time, Sir John Fuller, the hotel oozes charm and history. Since that time, the building – at the time the tallest in Melbourne – has enjoyed great prominence as a city landmark and been privileged to count royalty, Australian prime ministers and leading military figures among its guests. Highlights of the hotel’s history include the 1920 visit of honorary member His Royal Highness Edward Prince of Wales to the clubrooms, and the Duke of Gloucester participation in the club’s tournament billiard table while in Melbourne for the opening celebrations for the centenary of the founding city of Melbourne in 1934. In 1959 the clubroom’s interiors featured in the movie On the Beach, directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   41

venue update

Novotel Barossa Valley ready to welcome Chinese The Novotel Barossa Valley Resort is Accor’s 50th hotel in Australia to be accredited to the hotel group’s Optimum Service Standards for Chinese Visitation program. This accreditation is set to pave the way for the hotel to attract greater numbers of Chinese visitors to South Australia and the Barossa region. The Optimum Service Standards include Mandarin speaking staff, translation of hotel welcome kits, business cards, area maps and in-room menus, adaptor plugs and Chinese newspapers will also be provided to guests. The hotel mini-bar will stock Chinese teas and the breakfast buffet will include congee, soups and noodles with Chinese utensils. The hotel also has two Chinese chefs who can cater to particular dietary requirements and tastes. In addition, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort will implement training for all staff on Chinese cultural practices.

Pullman Melbourne’s multimillion dollar refurb Pullman Melbourne Albert Park has officially opened following a multimillion dollar renovation of its 169 guestrooms, executive lounge, meeting spaces and public areas. Enjoying a location overlooking Albert Park Lake and the Formula 1 Grand Prix track, the former Sebel hotel has received a 5-Star Pullman make-over of its business facilities and meeting spaces ensuring it offers luxurious yet functional experience for travelling executives. With 28 event spaces under the one roof, Pullman Melbourne Albert Park is one of the largest hotel event venues in Melbourne. Hosting functions for up to 1600 people, the ballroom has been completely renovated, and new LED colour control lighting and pin-spot technology installed, as well as new curtains, operable walls and carpets. The Pullman Executive Lounge, a feature of every Pullman hotel, has been designed to create a space to do business or simply relax.

News in brief Wellington hotel to undergo refurb InterContinental Wellington is set to undergo a major refurbishment which is scheduled to be completed by mid-2014. The new-look hotel will feature a transformed Club InterContinental lounge with views of Wellington, a new deluxe category of accommodation, and state of the art electronic enhancements. The refurbished guestrooms are scheduled to be available from December 2013, while delegates will also enjoy a total refurbishment of The Lobby Lounge, Chameleon Restaurant and meeting rooms.

Whitsundays Resort joins Breakfree The Whitsundays’ award-winning Long Island Resort is set to join the Mantra Group in October 2013. To be known as BreakFree Long Island Resort, the 140 room property provides an ideal location for meetings and conferences. Guests can enjoy water sports, coral and fish snorkelling, bush walking paths in the surrounding National Park, mini golf, and tennis court facilities. Alfresco dining is on offer at Palms Restaurant or Café Paradiso and Pool Bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as cocktails overlooking Happy Bay, which overlooks one of the only sunset facing beaches in the Whitsunday Islands.

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Rimba Jimbaran Bali opens Rimba Jimbaran Bali by Ayana Resort and Spa has officially opened for business. The location overlooking Jimbaran Bay provides additional accommodation and event venues for conferences and meetings at Ayana. These facilities include an expanded ballroom, high-tech amphitheatre, and VIP boardroom. Rimba’s opening was strategically timed ahead of this month’s APEC Summit in Bali, to accommodate high-level APEC delegations and meetings at Ayana’s new business events facilities. Guests can enjoy priority access to the famous Rock Bar and private Kubu Beach, and convenient access to Ayana’s seven restaurants and six swimming pools.

The Westin Singapore set to open The Westin Singapore has announced that its Asia Square property will open in November 2013. The hotel will be located on levels 32 to 46 of the new Asia Square Tower Two development, overlooking Marina Bay in the heart of Singapore’s financial district. The 305 guest rooms have been fitted with floor to ceiling windows, offering views of the city. For business meetings and conferences the property also offers 10 individual meeting rooms spanning a total of 1350sqm, along with state of the art meeting technology for event attendees. The Westin Singapore will also offer a range of dining and entertainment options.

Princes Gate Hotel joins Distinction Hotels Group The Distinction Hotels Group has announced the Princes Gate Hotel in Rotorua as the latest addition to the hotel group. “After 27 years we know it’s time and feel Distinction has similar values to ours,” said Brett Marvelly, former owner of the 5-star property. “We are confident they will carry on with our philosophy of genuine hospitality with service and style that has become the hallmark of the Princes Gate Hotel.” Along with 50 modern luxury rooms, the hotel has conference facilities, newly opened Monarch function room, two on-site restaurants, a bar and thermal pool.

Best Western Plus for Newcastle Best Western Plus has arrived in two New South Wales regional destinations, with the opening of the Best Western Plus Apollo International Hotel, in Newcastle’s Charlestown, and the Best Western Plus HW Boutique, on Port Macquarie’s beachfront. The 4.5-star Newcastle hotel has a range of conference facilities, all with natural light and a long-established, restaurant onsite. Rob Anderson, Best Western Australasia chief executive said, “the new investment will make Newcastle a new meetings and events spot for regional businesses.”

Regal Sheung Wan Hotel adopts Mobile Check-in The Regal Sheung Wan Hotel, a new select-service hotel to be opened early 2014, will be Regal Hotel’s first hotel chain in Hong Kong to offer “iclub Mobile Key Check-in” service. Delegates will be given the options to use mobile device for check-in service or traditional key card or both to access their guestroom. The technology provides guest with convenience of accessing their hotel rooms using their mobile device that will automatically unlock the door. “We understand that busy business travellers are looking for travel convenience and dislike queuing up for check-in,” said Belinda Yeung, executive director and chief operating officer of Regal Hotels International.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   43


Advocate for change An expert on women’s health and maternity challenges in Africa, Lucy Perry, chief executive of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, hopes to challenge and inspire people with her public speaking. When former commercial photographer Lucy Perry watched a story about obstetric surgeon Dr Catherine Hamlin, co-founder of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, on the Oprah Winfry Show she found herself unexpectedly moved. “I was really touched by the story of obstetric fistula sufferers in Ethiopia and loved the fact that it was an Australian woman and her Kiwi husband who had pioneered the surgical technique and were transforming the lives of their patients,” she says. “I began donating to the organisation and then offered my skills as a creative, communicator and photographer. Eight years later, I was appointed CEO of a brand new entity in Australia raising funds and awareness for Dr Hamlin’s work in Ethiopia.” As chief executive of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, Perry soon found that she was asked to speak about the work the organisation does in Ethiopia, treating obstetric fistula (a medical condition that can develop as a result of prolonged, obstructed labour with no access to emergency obstetric care) and training local midwives. “My area of expertise is in maternal health and how ordinary Australians can make an enormous difference to the lives of women in Africa,” she says. While Perry is most often called upon to speak at conferences and events aimed at those with an interest in women’s health and the broader aid sector (diplomats, international rights lawyers, aid organisations, health administrators), she also finds herself in demand to “speak to women’s groups from breastfeeding counsellors to women’s rights activists, women’s religious networks, entrepreneurial women’s groups and businesswomen”. Although she admits her subject matter can be confronting, Perry says it can also be inspiring and motivational. “That’s the whole point,” she says. “We can’t just break people’s hearts with the tragedy of maternal health in Africa. “I have not done my job as a speaker if I have not inspired and motivated the audience to do something with their talents, skills and networks. They need to laugh and they need to cry; they need to hear stories of real people in current contexts. If I can take my audience on the ‘Hamlin roller coaster’, they are more likely to remember what I have said and act on it in their own lives. “I hope people take away [from my presentations] the sense that there is much to be done in Africa but it can be done by people like you and me with the skill sets we have. You don’t have to be a doctor to save the world. I hope they also see that it isn’t all tragedy and that working in the aid sector can be incredibly rewarding and dare I say it, fun.”

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MEETING PEOPLE Tourism Australia has appointed Katherine Droga as general manager destination development. Droga was previously Tourism Australia’s manager Australian marketing. She will lead a team responsible for industry development, investment attraction and aviation capacity as well as running Tourism Australia’s Indigenous tourism, national landscapes, Best of Australia and trade events programs.

Delwin Kriel has been appointed to the role of sales manager for Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo, bringing more than 17 years of business events and travel industry experience to the position. He will be the key contact for exhibitors, in addition to assuming responsibility for selling floor space and sponsorship opportunities. His prior experience has included working as event manager for Exhibition & Trade Fairs.

The Association of Australian Convention Bureaux has announced that Lyn LewisSmith, chief executive of Business Events Sydney, has been promoted from vice president to president. She will work with the Federal Government to enhance Australia’s proposition within the international business events market. Stuart Nettlefold, chief executive of Business Events Tasmania, has accepted the role of vice president.

Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific has appointed Nicole Hill to the role of business development manager. Hill brings 15 years of experience in the tourism, hotel and events industry to the role. She was previously general manager at a Victorian golf resort and director of sales and marketing at Phillip Island Nature Park, and will be based in Victoria in her new role.

Auckland War Memorial Museum has appointed Shelley Tomkins as event sales manager. Tomkins has a strong background in sales, business development, hospitality and events. Through generating new business, Tomkins will aim to increase the knowledge of the Museum’s functions as an events centre to the community.

Tourism New Zealand has appointed Anna Fennessy as marketing manager, business events, based in Wellington. She will focus on leading the business to business marketing activities in business events; building a business events ambassador programme, creating a business events hub on and setting up an advertising campaign to the global association market.

Tim Couch has been appointed sales executive, conferences and functions at Dunedin Venues. He has previously worked for Otago University Students’ Association (OUSA) for the past six years and has experience in print, radio, activations, rebranding and sponsorship.

Melinda Olah has taken on the role of event sales manager as part of Gastronomy Australia’s growing event catering team. Previously the social events manager for Novotel Sydney Manly Pacific, Olah has worked for Accor and the Compass group both in Australia and internationally. Last year she was awarded the NSW Rising Star Regional Sales Award by Accor.

The Pacific International Hotel Cairns has appointed Joanne Neill to the role of business development manager. Previously the sales manager at the Pacific International, Neill has 20 years experience in sales, marketing and product management from project management roles in the tourism industry to corporate sales management roles.

Gastronomy Australia has recently appointed Nicci Thompson as director of event sales, to lead the newly relaunched events catering department. She has previously worked with Park Hyatt Sydney, Belinda Franks Catering and Crystal Palace Luna Park.

Tourism New Zealand’s new office in Jakarta has appointed Christian Sidhartato the role of country manager commencing in November 2013. Sidhartato joins Tourism New Zealand from HRG Singapore, a corporate travel management company.

Singapore-based serviced residence provider The Ascott Limited has appointed Julie Avotins as assistant director of sales in Victoria. She has expertise in sales and marketing in the hospitality industry, with previous sales roles at Fairfax Media and Rendezvous Hospitality Group. In her new role she will be assisting with the development and implementation of strategic sales plans for the Australian arm of the company.

The Global Alliance has announced the appointment of Julie-May Ellingson as the new Chair. She is currently the chief executive officer of Durban International Convention Centre (ICC) and brings ten years of experience in major infrastructural projects and all large scale national and international events. Over the past two years she has lead a the ICC team in the delivery of over 800 events. By profession she is a town and regional planner and development economist.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   45

pco association

Fine tuning your sales skills Learning successful sales habits is the key to improving your sales record, whatever industry you’re in, writes Greg Stockwell. Today there would be few professions as widely misunderstood as sales. Once derided as being suspect and unprofessional, people involved in sales today still go to great lengths to label themselves with any title that explains their role without saying what they actually do, hence the creation of the business development manager, account executive and even the relationship manager. To some extent, and perhaps rather naively, there is a belief that by using any title as long as it doesn’t feature the maligned “sales” word you will be able to have unrivalled access and respect from your clients via the Trojan Horse effect and your clients won’t realise that you are actually involved in… sales. Sales turnover is the engine room of any business and it’s imperative that PCOs involved in this area are fully cognisant of the skills that are required to be continually successful. The need for sales to be constant is vital and business proprietors will tell you that inconsistent and erratic cash flow requires a lot of juggling and budgetary self control. So what are the common attributes of all successful sales people? When I ask this question at any sales-related workshop or seminar nationally invariably the answers are the same. Typically the more experienced sales person will focus on communication and

interpersonal skills with many experienced respondents also citing tenacity, drive etc. Inexperienced sales people usually proffer attributes that relate to having “the gift of the gab” and product knowledge. Whilst these answers are in part true, the overriding determinant of top level sales performance are “successful sales habits”. Tier one sales performers in any field, including PCOs, all have successful sales habits, but they don’t necessarily know it. Conversely the unsuccessful sales professional has a footprint of unsuccessful habits that lead to less than optimal performance but they also are not aware of these negative habits. There are no exceptions to the “successful sales habits” rule; irrespective of the industry, product or service that is being sold no other single factor will impact on sales performance in any market regardless of economic conditions. Successful selling is predicated on the ability of the sales person to utilise an amalgam of skills that enable the client to see what you are offering in a positive and balanced way. The result leads to what we refer to

PCO Association NEWS PCO 2013 National Conference and Exhibition workshops Michael Hann, from Deep Blue Learning, will present one of six workshops at this year’s conference to be held at The Pullman Melbourne, Albert Park, from November 26-28. Hann is known for developing conference themes and content and then facilitating the subsequent coaching of presenters

to deliver their content in an engaging and impactful way. His recent co-authored book, Humane Presentations, outlines how to structure and deliver a presentation in a way that will engage the audience in a natural way, making it easy for them to intake and process the content. “One definition of ‘humane’ is a commitment to the alleviation of suffering, and we could all concede that we have sat through programs and content that were anything but ‘humane’!” says Hann.

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as “sales acceptance”, and should the sales person omit relevant information, whether by accident or deliberately, the booking will invariably be lost or even worse still proceed but end up in litigation. Usually most sales people have self awareness on a number of points but are not fully aware of the impact that their not so positive sales habits have on their bottom line. Greg Stockwell is director of Sales Training Australia and a speaker at the 2013 PCO National Conference.

Often event planning is dominated by logistics, registrations, flights, gala dinners, logos and social events, all vital things. The “content” of the event however is sometimes left to the individual presenter who turns up on the day with a USB stick, hands it to the AV operator, and starts “clicking” through it; often to the dismay of the audience. “This workshop will be ‘humane’ and help you define for your clients what content direction is, why they should consider doing it and show you how you can help them through the process,” Hann says. “Ultimately adding value to your clients’ events and to your business.”

Stream of consciousness Webcasting an event allows people who can’t attend in person to still participate, writes Sam Lynch.

Many clients, marketing managers and content owners these days are asking, should I webcast my event? Firstly, what is a webcast? A webcast, a web stream and a live stream all essentially mean to broadcast a media presentation over the internet. A webcast can be either viewed live during the physical event or after the event, known as on-demand, or both.

an opportunity to increase revenue by selling live or on-demand access to your event, not to mention selling webcast sponsorship to exhibitors and sponsors. There is a myth surrounding webcasting that says “people won’t pay to attend if they can simply sit at their computer and view my event”. In practice this couldn’t

to scheduling conflicts and to also share the content with their colleagues who could be enticed to attend in-person next year. Online attendees have the obvious costsaving of the travel, accommodation and time expenses of getting to the physical event. They still engage with your event with rich and meaningful interactions using question

With advancements in camera and streaming technology, not to mention faster internet access to most people’s home and office, the quality of webcasting being demanded by viewers is rapidly increasing. The content of a webcast can be as simple as an audio recording – great for listening to when travelling to and from work – to a multi-camera angle video production making use of graphics, advertising inserts, live chat features and social media integration. So what are the benefits of webcasting and how do you ensure webcasting adds value to your event? For meeting and event planners the benefits of webcasting are many. From a sales and marketing view a webcast instantly provides a marketing tool for the physical event. Various surveys offer different percentages but almost all respondents agree that the webcast made them more likely to attend in-person the following year. Undisputedly true is the increase in reach you can achieve by webcasting your event to an audience that is unable to attend in person. There is

Other workshops to be held during the conference include: • Project management bites with Maja Kowalski, Beyond Projex • Mindfulness master class with Peter Bliss, Business is Bliss • Currinda Events & Association Management Software with Michael Gall • Managing risk in events and business, with Paul Chivers, Riskfacilitator • Streamline your Entire Online Presence with EventsPro, with Trevor Gardner Attendance at workshops is included in the full conference registration fee. Registration

be further from the truth. Eighty nine per cent of webcast viewers that couldn’t attend a conference in-person said they would attend next year. By delivering a webcast on-demand you are providing in-person attendees with more value for their investment in registration by allowing them to review content they may have missed due

is open to anyone with an interest in the meetings, events, and conference industry. Non member registration includes one year’s membership of the PCO Association for eligible PCOs. Full details, including the conference program, may be found on the PCO website:

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

and answer sessions and polls during presentations and networking opportunities with other online attendees through live chat. Perhaps the most relevant benefit of webcasting your event in today’s economic climate is the ease of which you can measure and demonstrate the return on investment to clients and decision-makers. Whether your webcast is live or on-demand, shown on a pay-per-view basis, accessed via a password or available free to all comers, by tracking who is viewing your webcast and employing other tools on the website you can measure the effectiveness of your event content. The registration page of the webcast also doubles as a great lead capture gateway for you to offer as add-ons to sponsors and exhibitors. Most importantly, by providing a webcast of your event you harness the knowledge, learning, discussions and experiences to create an event that never ends, providing value to all stakeholders for much longer than the duration of the physical event. Sam Lynch is a project manager at Jomablue and a consultant to the PCO Association.    Convention & Incentive Marketing, October 2013   47

A new look. Melbourne’s premier event hotel. To celebrate the extensive refurbishment of Pullman Melbourne Albert Park, a special day delegate package is available for a limited time, with over 20% discount and complimentary upgrades.

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CIM October issue  

In every issue of CIM our experienced editorial team brings readers the latest news affecting the industry, investigates the issues everyone...