fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
23 August 2019
We’ll be honest. The main reason we featured SO/ Auckland this week is because its citrusy décor complements our banner… but that’s not to say that the luxury lifestyle brand’s upcoming New Zealand debut is any less exciting. Slated to open next month and command the former Reserve Bank building in the city’s heart, SO/ Auckland, like all of its worldwide counterparts, will encompass a design in keeping with its locale. Kiwi fashion innovators WORLD were appointed to weave their artistic magic throughout the property, and, after three years on the job, have revealed a hotel emblem, rooms and communal areas with nods to Auckland’s volcanic history, and prints, artwork, wallpaper and cushions that combine to pack an energetic and playful punch. SO/ Auckland will feature a French-inspired restaurant on its 15th floor helmed by former owner of L’Esprit de la Violette Marc de Passorio, 130 rooms, a signature club lounge, a spa, and, to sate our love for all things up high, a HI SO rooftop with views out to Rangitoto Island.
• InterContinental Sydney Double Bay has premiered a revamped Rooftop Bar in preparation for summer. The colourful new space features summer prints, an anemone flower motif designed by Chicago-based artists Luftwerk and a light seafood menu created with the warmer months in mind. Rooftop Bar can hold 80 people cocktail-style, and is available for private bookings between Monday and Wednesday until 12 pm.
• Pullman Tokyo Tamachi, a 143-room hotel set to open this month, will bring AccorHotels’ property count in the Asia Pacific region to 1000. The group hopes to further increase its presence in the region, outlining a three-year goal to open a new APAC hotel every two days.
• IHG has announced plans to bring the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand to Bangkok. Opening in 2020, Kimpton Bangkok will offer 349 rooms, two dining establishments and seven meeting rooms with a combined capacity of 200. The hotel will also feature Kimpton’s signature innovative and playful design.
• After much hype, The Calile Hotel in Brisbane has opened its doors. Located in the James Street precinct, the hotel, which purports to offer an ‘urban resort experience like no other’, boasts 175 rooms, a variety of event spaces with a capacity of 500 and a modern Greek restaurant spanning 600 metres.
• Come 2020, Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter will be home to a 154-room TFE-managed Travelodge Hotel. The property will provide the precinct with a much-needed mid-tier accommodation option, and, with the opening of the NZICC next year, is expected to bolster the city’s MICE appeal.
Interview two in our satirical BreakOut Series
Like a seasoned 60 Minutes reporter “investigative journalist” Brad Foster asks the hard questions about payments to professional conference organisers. He probably wishes that he hadn’t in this second interview in our BreakOut Series – Zen and the art of meeting planning.
Give it a watch here, if you dare.
Exciting opportunity to work at Get Global 2019
Annual trade show Get Global is looking for a part time project manager to join the team in preparation for its 2019 event. The role will suit contractors with previous experience in running trade shows and events, with primary responsibilities including planning and executing the event, building the brand and marketing and executing the communication strategy.
The successful applicant will be required to work with stakeholders and internal teams to deliver within timelines and in line with overall revenue directives, and will need to thrive under pressure, possess a high level of attention to detail and be proficient with logistics management.
If you are interested, contact either of the following:
Fruit is going online
“What are you talking about? Fruit Splash has been online for years!” You may spat, indignant at our shoddy reporting. Well, you can calm down, because we’re not talking about Candy Crush knock offs this week but professional speaker Lynne Schinella’s acclaimed fruit workshop. Fruit centres on dealing with people you ‘just don’t get’ in the workplace, and is now available in a video training package for businesses.
What’s more, Lynne is on the hunt for volunteers to trial the program for free. Ideal candidates will be small businesses or teams within larger businesses, have two hours to spare and be able to complete the program within the next month.
If our reporting is indeed shoddy and you have no idea what we’re on about, find out more
Byron at Byron’s exclusive bonus gift
Book your residential conference at The Byron at Byron with a value over $10,000 and you will receive a complimentary gift voucher stay package valid for 12 months from your event commencement date. The package will include:
• Two nights’ Superior Suite Accommodation.
• A full buffet breakfast for two days.
• Dinner for two in the restaurant during your stay to the value of $130.
• A complimentary daily morning yoga class.
• A gift voucher valued at over $1100.
Use this gift to reward an attending delegate, for your own relaxing break or as a prize or incentive within your organisation. The choice is yours. Just book your conference before November 30, 2018 to take up this offer. Terms and conditions apply. For more details, click
Is Emporium’s new rooftop bar worth the hype?
“There is absolutely nothing in Australia that compares to this. From the moment you arrive, you are completely captivated by the extraordinary view and design aesthetic.”
If this resounding endorsement from Emporium Hotel South Bank’s Charles Martin didn’t prick your ears, you’re incredibly jaded or have trust issues. Or both. Charles was speaking on Emporium’s new 150-pax rooftop bar, The Terrace, which paraded its unrivalled river views and subtropical ambience to guests for the first time this week. As with any rooftop bar, to understand its magic is to experience it firsthand, but as a teaser, imagine an enchanting mosaic of green walls, custom lighting, a backlit onyx bar and mature date palms. The fresh, open vibe extends to the menu, which includes a range of locally-sourced produce with an emphasis on seafood.
Now go and check it out, and let us know whether we've just fallen victim to clever marketing.
A trip down memory lane
Nostalgia is the unequivocal trend of the moment, with gallery, catwalk, app and event designers hitting that ‘home sick for another time’ nerve with audiences worldwide.
Depending on your delegates’ tastes and demographics, there are endless ways to let them do the time warp again, including 60s girl group cover bands, 'grandma’s house' décor and even illuminated roving acts based on The Replicants from Blade Runner (pictured).
Just, you know, don't make the present day seem too bleak by comparison. Time machines haven't been invented yet (even though we're still holding out hope).
Picture, if you will, the following tableau: A luxury cruise ship boarded by its typical clientele of families and holidaymakers. Around 1300 boisterous male employees from a tobacco company joining the vessel for a conference, flooding its bars, pool decks and buffets, and blocking access for other passengers. Burlesque and Playboy Bunny-clad performers dominating the main stage area, while parents desperately shield their children’s eyes. Conference delegates filming young passengers en masse and without, of course, their consent. We would point out everything wrong with this scenario, courtesy of Royal Caribbean Australia… But, nah. We won’t insult your intelligence.
 special deal 
I’m dreaming of a wine Christmas
Two of Victoria’s most coveted retreats, Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley and Bendigo, have done their bit to nudge the masses into Christmas-think by announcing two exclusive Corporate Christmas Packages. Starting at $165 per person, the versatile deals include a range of dining options, such as a roast or three-course dinner, and a bunch of yuletide add-ons, including festive decorations and black label beverage packages. To find out more about the estates, click here.
how to...
Re-brand your business.
An ever-evolving market necessitates constant brand updates, writes Stu Katzen.
Click here to learn more.
 hot speaker 
Shaking things up
We’re bravely bending the ‘hot speaker’ rules this week to bring to you not a person but an oratory trend. Gone are the days of event chefs being holed up in the kitchen, sparing nothing but a perfunctory peek to ensure guests are satisfied. These days, culinary creators are taking centre stage, regaling delegates with tales of the inspiration behind their courses. Good food always trumps self-professed ‘motivational speakers’, so, this month, they can put a fork in it.
 entertain me 
Lip Smacking treat during IMEX Las Vegas
Highly recommended if you want to get the fine dining lowdown on Las Vegas for yourself and your clients is the exclusive Lip Smacking Foodie Tour being offered to those attending IMEX in Las Vegas between October 16 and 18. The three-hour dine-a-thon allows access to some of Las Vegas’ hottest restaurants at prime time on Monday, October 15 at 6pm. With your VIP status, enjoy three to four signature dishes at each acclaimed restaurant, along with cocktails prepared tableside and a personalised greeting from the chef. What’s more, at each stop is the opportunity to sit next to a different IMEX key industry partner.Warning: Be hungry, be very hungry! To find out more, click here.
how to....
Stop thinking you're doing it alone.
Feel like an upcoming event is lying squarely on your shoulders? This pick-me-up by Nigel Collin should lift your spirits.
Click here to learn more.
   Rooftop bars.
   Speakers that use events to plug their business or product.
 learn about 
 quick fix 
• Table centrepieces can add a bit of creative flair to awards nights, just make sure they’re low to avoid blocking sight lines.
• While on sight lines, make sure no one gets stuck behind a pillar. Better yet, opt for a pillar-less room.
• Delegates will be hoping they’re seated behind a pillar if the speakers are boring. All the better to sleep without suspicion, my dear. Keep speaker sessions fresh and engaging through TED-style talks, campfire sessions and fishbowl conversations.
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