fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
24 September 2021
If you quizzed a bunch of event profs on the incentive theme of the moment: ‘wellness’ would no doubt come out on top. For this reason, news of MGallery’s latest wellness sanctuary, Legacy Yen Tu, opening on the sacred Yen Tu mountain in Vietnam, should have you cranking up the Enya and getting into the rejuvenation mindset. Located near UNESCO World Heritage site Ha Long Bay, the 133-room oasis is chock-full of the good stuff, like hand-crafted interior décor made of traditional materials, wooden-slabbed rooms built with ancient methodologies to maximise peace, an open space area for meditation, yoga and Truc Lam Zen practices and a lobby bar with picturesque mountain views. Once your group’s aligned their chakras, they can make their way to the 800-pax ballroom for any conference or meeting needs. To find out more about the sanctuary, (or to check out the Pinterest-ready pics), click here.
• The doors have been opened to W Hotels’ first ever property in Malaysia: W Kuala Lumpur. Located in the heart of the city and surrounded by lush greenery, the hotel boasts 150 guest rooms and suites with traditional Malaysian designs, a striking grand staircase encompassing steel-mirrored panels and a check-in area with a jungle design.
• Century Group’s luxury brand St Regis Hotels & Resorts is set to make its first Australian mark with the opening of a Melbourne property in 2022. Located in the Flinders Bank precinct, the hotel will span 33 storeys and include 168 luxurious guestrooms and suites.
• A six-suite luxury hotel designed by Sri Lankan-Australian entrepreneur Paul Harding will cut its ribbon on September 15. Located in Ahangama, the property will feature suites with private balconies and views of the Indian Ocean, a roof terrace wrapped in foliage and be located close to UNESCO World Heritage Site Galle Fort.
• Husband and wife duo Chris Norman and Alex Liddle will take over the pans at Emporium Hotel South Bank later this month as executive chef and executive sous chef respectively. The duo was previously at the helm of Palazzo Versace Gold Coast’s kitchen, and both have extensive backgrounds with luxury food.
Runway event makes a landing
After four years of development, the first dinner event held on an airport runway – nationally, and possibly worldwide – has taken place at Alice Springs Airport. On August 25, more than 200 delegates for the conference of the Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine coalesced beneath the stars and upon the tarmac of a secondary runway for what ASAM President Dr Kate Manderson deemed an “amazing experience.”
The ground-breaking event involved months of liaison with government agencies, airport stakeholders, event organisers, caterers and even the Guinness Book of World Records. Because one question is no doubt itching away at you, markers were placed on the runway to warn pilots to not use it… and they were adhered to.
Loungin’ about
Event profs and airport lounges are like James Bond and luxury penthouses. Eric Clapton and classic cars. Oscar the Grouch and trash cans. Okay, that’s a terrible comparison. Essentially, you people like them, and have experienced enough of them to know what makes a good one. The Goldman Group has released a list of the best airport lounges in the world, and as connoisseurs, we think you should play a little airport-lounge-bingo to see how many of them you’ve visited (and whether or not you agree with their listing).
First up is the Etihad Residence Lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Since visitors get a private butler who can organise haircuts, this one’s hard to disagree with. The next cabs off the rank are the four-level SilverKris Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport, the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul (with its 5000 square feet of TVs) and the American Express Centurion Lounge at San Francisco International Airport which includes a Napa Valley wine tasting experience. Last but not least is our very own Qantas First Class Lounge at Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney. It DID just undergo a multimillion dollar re-build, but it’s beaten out some stiff competition from France, Frankfurt and Bangkok. But hey. We’re no good at soccer, so we’ll take it.
Brisbane's hot new(ish) haunt
Customs House has long been a go-to for event planners, but until now its restaurant’s been called… um… “Customs House Restaurant”. Not very inspiring, but fear not, fancy name lovers. The curtain has just been drawn to reveal a swanky new space, equipped with a fresh name (Patina), fresh aesthetic (striking light installation, marble bar top and blue, black and gold colour scheme) and a collection of paddock-to-plate delights to sink your fangs into.
The menu – curated by executive chef John Offenhauser, has nods to its locale, with pan-fried gnocchi with roasted pine nuts, kale and ricotta and chargrilled ocean king prawns with black pepper, curry leaf and sugarloaf making up some of its delectable offerings. For events, the restaurant can do book outs on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights and host 140 standing and 70 seated outside, and up to 50 seated inside.
Where’s my jet pack?
The BreakOut Series – Ep 1 – The Future of Meetings
micenet editor Brad Foster has never forgiven the writers of The World Book Encyclopedia in the 70s when he read that kids like him would one day soon be travelling to school with a jetpack on their back. When that never came to fruition he vowed to always question what self-appointed futurists said was likely to happen. In the first of a new video series he interviews a “futurist” about the future of meetings.
The annual ‘Sell TNQ' education program provides an exclusive opportunity for qualified meeting, event and incentive planners from Australia and New Zealand to visit the diverse and unique region.
Participants will enjoy an exciting program full of networking opportunities, touring options and social functions. The main program will take place between November 15 and 18 in Port Douglas, followed by an optional post-touring program in Cairns and Palm Cove between November 18 and 20.
And the winner is…
It’s been the question on the entire Australian business event industry’s lips. Just who among us owns the cutest four-legged friend? We’re pleased to announce that it’s Janene Wardrop. Her little kitty Bailey has won her a photo shoot with Oneill Photographics.
It looked for a while like Tania Rauhihi’s pooch Georgie could make a comeback, but he ended up taking out second place (which is nothing to sniff at, as he’s just won himself and Tania a one-night stay at Pier One Sydney Harbour). Our coveted reader’s prize ended up going to Alex Hunt, who successfully matched every single pet to its correct owner. Well done Alex. We’re not sure how you did it, but your unique skill has also won you a one-night stay at Pier One.
Someone from the micenet team will be in touch with the winners to organise prizes.
Now enough fawning over cute pets, you lot. Get back to work.
Events By Luxperience Showcase
Luxperience invites you to participate in Events by Luxperience on September 19, 2018. This is your unique opportunity to access an enhanced and tailored meeting program curated for the business events market, providing you with an intimate and focused appointment program designed to connect you with premium events suppliers and experiences.
Registrations close soon. For more information, please click
Queensland Art Gallery
Next time you’re headed to Brisbane, swap the hotel conference room for an awe-inspiring event within The Queensland Art Gallery. With towering ceilings and walls, floor space surrounded by evolving artworks and a permanent indoor water feature, the venue’s Watermall space is ideal for high-profile occasions, gala events and corporate groups.
Up to 200 delegates can feast on produce-driven menus for a banquet-style event, or, if you’ve hopped aboard the cocktail-style trend, you’re looking at a capacity of 1000*. Pictured are the attendees for last December’s Tourism Australia Biennial Dreamtime event gala opening dinner (Try saying that six times, fast). Image courtesy of Tourism Australia.
* Venue capacities may vary depending on exhibitions.
This is less of an ‘epic fail’ and more of a ‘something to be mindful of’. At an event recently attended by a member of our team, quite a few of the attendees made disapproving remarks about the venue’s owner sticking their hands into the food laid out for guests. Addressing this at all may seem a touch pedantic, but if it made enough of an impact for a few people to comment, it’s probably something to avoid doing. Make up a little platter for the kitchen, perhaps?
 special deal 
O’Reilly’s complimentary offer
Give me a conference among the gumtrees, with happy attendees. A speaker or two and… Oh, sorry. Back to the point. O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, located in World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park two hours south of the Brisbane CBD, is offering a complimentary morning or afternoon tea experience for groups that make a booking at the venue. The retreat’s ‘Billy Tea and Campfire Experience Conference Package’ allows delegates to take a step back in time with billy tea and damper and listen to cultural and historical tales told by the local guides. Find out more by clicking here.
how to...
Make sure delegates show up
More and more of your audience opting for the live streamed video? Ian Whitworth has uncovered how to keep them attending in the flesh.
Click here to learn more.
 hot speaker 
An opportunity not to be wasted
Digging the ABC’s War on Waste? Want to get in on the whole ‘sustainable conferencing’ trend? Still reminisce about the good old days of The Chaser? Simply want an intelligent, charismatic and hilarious speaker to feature at your next event? These are all viable reasons to employ the services of Craig Reucassel. Get onto it here.
 entertain me 
Rock around the paddock
Attendees at this year’s Darwin Showcase couldn’t help but be charmed by Tom and Anabel Curtain – the husband and wife duo behind the Katherine Outback Experience. As a two-time Golden Guitar winning singer-songwriter, Tom can provide contingents with a bona fide taste of the NT, including trust-building team activities with working dogs and horses, keynote deliveries and saddle-back musical performances. Groups can either visit the duo’s 120-pax venue in Katherine, or the show can travel to other NT locations. Click here to find out more.
how to....
Turn conflict into a positive
An overly-harmonious workplace can lead to a disengaged team, writes Lynne Schinella.
Click here to learn more.
   Breakouts in unique and invigorating locations.
   Breakouts in four-walled, non-descript rooms. Yawn!
 learn about 
 quick fix 
• You could blow your budget on the hottest new venue, or you could dedicate it to something truly unforgettable. Colourful performers and engaging keynote speakers are sure to leave more of an impact than refurbed decks and lobster mornay.
• Floral displays are lovely, but if they're on a table where people are eating, perhaps it’s wise to stick to fakies – dining amongst the ants is never a pleasant experience.
• We’re feeling like a broken record here, but GET DELEGATES OUT OF THE CONFERENCE ROOMS. An event prof we recently met recommended breakout sessions on massage tables with screens underneath, or on boats with headsets.
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