fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
 
11 December 2019
 
 
“I just don’t really fancy an incentive in the Maldives”, said no person of sound mind, ever. The world’s quintessential paradise, with its turquoise waters, screensaver sunsets and abundant fauna, has been universally accepted as a magical place to visit, which is why news of Westin Hotels & Resorts making its first foray into the country has us squealing with delight. Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is nestled on a coral island in the Baa Atoll, and has drawn design inspiration from its azure water frame, with each of its 70 villas and suites (some of which are overwater) replete with an outdoor rainforest shower and eco-friendly double roofing. The resort also features a Heavenly Spa by Westin, a two-level WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio and a relaxed sunset bar lounge, which serves up tapas and cleverly crafted cocktails. We would keep going, but we’re pretty sure we had you at overwater suites. Find out more about the resort here.
 
 
VENUE NEWS:
 
• The ribbon has officially been cut to Westin Brisbane, a 260-room hotel with a dual focus on wellness and health. Among the venue’s ample facilities are a Heavenly Spa by Westin, a WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio and three dining facilities with nutrient-rich culinary options.
 
• Further north in Cairns, the doors have been opened to Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection resort. Riley features 311 rooms and suites, in-room iPad control centres and a 100 square metre swimming lagoon.
 
• Down south again, IHG has opened the very first hotel under its voco brand in Surfers Paradise. voco Gold Coast offers 389 rooms, two swimming pools, multiple dining options and 800 square metres of event space.
 
• In yet more Queensland hotel news, Ruby Apartments, Gold Coast has welcomed its first guests. Although the 243-apartment property has not yet completed each level, its first visitors had interim access to the neighbouring Paradise Resort.
 
• A little further away, Village Hotel at Sentosa and The Outpost Hotel will both open in April next year. The Far East Hospitality hotels will combine 1200 square metres of event space with a rooftop pool and bar, a banquet hall and plenty of room for outdoor gatherings.
 
• In one for the foodies, Cairns Convention Centre has appointed Benjamin Boudaud as executive chef. Benjamin has extensive hospitality experience, having commenced in the industry in the south of France at the age of 14, and has since honed his repertoire at a vast array of fine dining restaurants and vineyards.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Got a horror story you're itching to share?
 
 
Calling all micenet readers. Have you got a hotel horror story, conference mishap or an ‘I can’t believe they said that’ moment from the events industry?
We’d love to hear it!
 
For your chance to feature in some upcoming content (with your name and any specific information kept anonymous), email your belief-defying story to
digital1@btp.net.au.
 
 
 
 
 
Game-changing event space opens in Perth
 
 
After 36 months of planning and six months of building, Sandalford’s Swan Valley Estate is now home to a bespoke event space with a capacity for up to 460 guests.
 
The Estate Room is completely sans pillars, and offers sweeping views of a 178-year-old vineyard, vintage styling and a three metre screen with built-in audio visual capacity and an HD projector, making it an ideal space for car launches. The new function room is the first stage of a major expansion and re-development planned for Sandalford’s Swan Valley Estate.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Westin Brisbane open now
 
 
Revive your spirit and stimulate your senses at The Westin Brisbane. Located in the dynamic hub of the Brisbane CBD, this urban oasis style hotel is ideal for conference delegates, incentive guests and event planners alike.
 
The Westin Brisbane’s 930 square metres of versatile, integrated conference and event space is equipped with cutting edge technology, providing an airy and dynamic space for guests to thrive and engage. Take advantage of the hotel’s extensive pool deck, Nautilus, by extending your function beyond the ballroom to one of three designated poolside decks catering for events with up to 250 cocktail-style.
 
For more information please contact the team at
westin.brisbane@westin.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Entries are already being received for the 2018 MEA Awards
 
 
The MEA Awards Program is your opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements of the last 12 months. With just over seven weeks before the closing date, which is January 8, 2019, don’t leave it to the last minute to begin your submission.
 
Dates for the state and territory Awards events are already confirmed and tickets are on sale for most of these events.
 
National Awards will be presented on April 2, 2019, the final night of EVOLVE 2019 at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
 
To enter the MEA Awards Program, click
here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
AIME – Bringing Quality Buyers
 
 
Talk2 Media & Events are so busy sourcing and inviting quality buyers to next year’s AIME.
 
With a significant commitment to bring in more, carefully vetted buyers, our 250th Hosted Buyer is a Senior Event Manager from NSW who needs to contract inbound and outbound study tours and has delegations coming from China and India. She is looking to find new venues, DMCs and destinations and is excited that AIME offers so much under one roof.
 
Currently 64% of all Hosted Buyers are from outside Australia – and the spread of buyers is even across associations, corporates, event managers, incentives, PCOs and others.
 
Can you afford to miss AIME? Find out more about exhibiting
here.
 
 
 
 
Bespoke conference add-ons at The Byron at Byron
 
 
It’s no secret that holidaying in nature can benefit your state of mind, wellbeing and overall health. The team at The Byron at Byron believe it is important to conference in nature and that whisking your team away can improve productivity and the overall outcomes of your event. The venue’s conference facilities offer multiple locations, all flooded with natural light, and break out spaces that are situated on the edge of a stunning 45 acre rainforest.
 
To complement your stay, the team has responded to recent demand from delegates for healthier and fresher conference menus. There is a clear trend towards healthy menu options and optional add-ons for your group which complement your experience.
 
Let the team help you to create the perfect menu, energise your group with wellness add-ons or add the wow factor with sunset canapés or delights from the champagne and oyster bar. For a full list of the venue’s bespoke corporate menus, contact the conference and events manager at
conferencemanager@thebyronatbyron.com.au.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Conference chat bots
 
 
With chat bots now a mainstay of the hotel sector – such as AccorHotels’ integrated Facebook program ‘AccorBot’ which assists with everything from hotel reservations and customer service queries to city guide information – tech heads and futurists are now prophesising the next big step for our computerised companions: conferences.
 
According to COO of MCI Group Asia-Pacific Oscar Cerezales, the future will see conference delegates ask an automated chat bot everything from when dinner will be served to which room they should head to… which is superb news for the introverted, impatiently hungry and logistically-challenged among us, but perhaps not so much for staunch advocates of human interaction. Let’s see how this one plays out.
 
 
 
 
This week’s face palm moment comes straight out of the micenet office, which, following this unfortunate Melbourne Cup oversight, has been plastered with ‘read the fine print’ post-it notes. At around 2pm last Tuesday, with wines in hand, cheese platters at the ready and horses drawn for the office sweep, editor Brad Foster realised we’d mistakenly printed off last year’s competition draw. Suffice it to say that a frenzied re-print, re-cut and redraw effort ensued, with the words ‘epic fail’ looming large in our minds. Moral of the story, read the fine print.
 
 
 
 
 special deal 
 
Bonuses at the bay
 
On the heels of receiving One Hat in the 2019 Good Food Guide Awards, The Byron at Byron Resort is feeling generous. So generous that it’s offering three bonus offers for events booked before December 1, 2018. Options include a one-hour canapé and drinks package served on arrival or at the conclusion of the first day, a two-course dinner menu with complimentary dessert or a one-hour private group yoga or meditation class held in the rainforest. Find out more about the venue here.
 
 
 
how to...
Help delegates embed information.
 
 
According to Nigel Collin, this engagement tactic is making waves across Australia and the US.
 
Click here to learn more.
 
 
 
 hot speaker 
 
The thread that binds us
 
While a lot of conference talks explore what sets us apart, the inspiring women behind Sydney-based social initiative The Possibility Project are all about what we have in common. Having collaborated with slum communities across India to build enterprises, Kim Pearce and Kath Davis have learnt a lot about the problem-solving, creative thinking and common sense approaches that transcend cultures and unite us as human beings. The pair recently completed a talk for Vivid Sydney, and are available to impart their worldly take on mental resilience to corporate audiences. Find out more here.
 
 
 entertain me 
 
We will rock you
 
For a simple, free, un-awkward and effective conference ice breaker, we suggest a rock off championship. Allow us to explain. In a rock off championship each delegate challenges their neighbour to a game of scissors, paper, rock, and the victor then challenges the winner from the next pairing over. This continues until eventually two finalists emerge, who take to the stage for the ultimate decider. Sound a bit silly to you? Well, it was put into practice recently at the CINZ annual conference, set against a soundtrack of ‘Eye of the Tiger’, and attendees absolutely loved it. You’re welcome.
 
 
 
 
how to....
Juggle the many roles of event planning.
 
 
What do a psychologist, accountant and rock star have in common? At one time or other during an event you have to be one, says Peta Moore.
 
Click here to learn more.
 
 
 
In
   Projection mapping on tables.
 
 
Out
   Hotel rooms without power sockets next to the beds.
 
 
 
 
 learn about 
 
 
 
 
 
 quick fix 
 
• Gadgets, lights, sounds and other novel AV elements may be fun, but don’t go overboard and let them distract from speakers’ messages. Usually, audiences care more about stories than spectacles.
 
• That being said… there is something undeniably cool about holographics at events. Encore Event Technologies has created a number of mind-bending 3D illusions for corporate audiences, including stages with dancers and giant hanging bottles.
 
• Try incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) elements into your event through your choice of catering partner. In Sydney, non-profit organisation Wesley Mission offers a catering service, as does the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.
 
 
 
Visit our Daily News and Opinion for daily updates
on everything relating to business events
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PCOA Conference
December 9 - 11, 2018
MCEC
 
 
 
The Business of Events
February 7 – 8, 2019
Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
 
 
 
AIME
February 18 - 20, 2019
MCEC