fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
24 September 2021
Windy Wellington’s capacity for business events has been given an almighty boost following news of an 18,000 square metre conference and exhibition centre which will begin construction this year. The centre, which has been designed by Pacific Architecture and will draw inspiration from the city’s harbour, is set to offer 10,000 square metres of dedicated convention space across its top two floors and 1650 square metres of exhibition space. Upon completion, an expected 272,000 people will visit the convention centre annually, generating an additional $3.8 million in visitor spend. On the announcement, Tourism New Zealand’s global business events manager Anna Fennessy said “International business events deliver a range of benefits beyond the significant economic contributions they provide to the local economy. They have the potential to generate long-lasting positive social change in our communities… The introduction of a large-scale conference venue for Wellington means these benefits will be absorbed across the region for years to come.”
• Following a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, Adina Apartment Hotel Coogee has unveiled a new look with nods to its beachside locale. Described as a ‘coastal escape to business and leisure guests’, the property now offers conference rooms and a lobby with earthy tones, 86 renovated studios, a modernised gym and a pool and hidden courtyard area.
• Essence Apartments and Suites Taringa, the nation’s first hotel located in the same building as a hospital, has opened its doors in Brisbane. The $65 million development encompasses 63 luxuriously-appointed studios, one and two bedroom suites, an exclusive guest lounge overlooking the city and state-of-the-art conferencing facilities.
• DoubleTree by Hilton’s first foray into the West Australian market, and first new-build property in Australia, has occurred with the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Northbridge. The 206-room property is situated in the vibrant Northbridge precinct, and boasts a 24-hour fitness centre, a scenic executive lounge and a meeting space with a capacity of up to 160 guests.
• IHG has opened its fourth Holiday Inn Express property in Singapore. Holiday Inn Express Singapore Serangoon offers 119 rooms and one meeting room with the capacity to hold eight people. The meeting room is fitted with a projector screen and video conferencing equipment, and offers complimentary WiFi.
• Less than a year since the launch of its upscale brand voco, IHG has signed the first new-build hotel under the brand in South East Asia: voco Bangkok Sukhumvit 11. The 300-room hotel, which is set to open in 2021, will offer a rooftop restaurant and bar, swimming pool and meeting facilities that can accommodate up to 400 guests.
A picture perfect meeting in the scenic Hunter Valley
Having a picture perfect meeting means having great views complete with a 30-minute post-meeting wine and cheese pairing session. Enjoy this unique meeting experience, one of the many that can be found at the 12 Crowne Plaza® hotels around Australia and New Zealand.
For an extra memorable meeting, start making plans with your dedicated Crowne Plaza® meetings director or manager today. Book before December 2019.
Let’s Meet.
The BreakOut Series - back in 2019 to offend and delight
All you event planners who struggle with understanding how one hotel brand differs from another, fear not. We interview “BRAND EXPERT” Sally Lane who gives a “REAL LIFE” example of the intricacies of hotel branding strategies.
Start the new year off right by watching it
Explore, Discover and Network at AIME
Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) opens in just over three weeks and registration to visit is now open.
A spirit of curiosity is building as the key elements of this premier AIME start to fall into place.
Touchpoints that drive networking are a crucial theme throughout the refreshed event. Meetings diaries between hosted buyers and exhibitors have been released, opening the way for the AIME community to reach out and start connecting with each other, and with the media, in anticipation of meeting in February. Multiple networking events are built into the structure of the program, creating an event that truly draws the industry together.
Register to visit AIME
A world of your imagination
It appears that Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, but didn’t fall. Rather, he soared and exceeded the expectations of the 400 attendees at the Great Humpty Ball, which was held in November at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney. The event was delivered by Encore Event Technologies, and took guests on a sensory journey through the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Touches included chocolate factory gates constructed of purple bricks and golden wrought iron, a grass-covered walkway with branded chocolate bars, giant gobstoppers and colourful windmills and a bubble ceiling installation above the dance floor paying homage to the ‘fizzy lifting’ scene from the film. Touches didn’t include turning guests into inflated blueberries or wildly terrifying boat rides through a tunnel.
Bringing the outside in
We’ve had word from the wise that 2019 will be the year of indoor plant displays when it comes to conference and event decorations.
As well as aligning with the perennial trend of sustainable and healthy living, indoor flora allows guests to feel the primal thrill of being at one with nature. Ferns, monstera plants, Japanese Maples, heart lead philodendrons and palms are set to be big, and, for those needing some extra oomph, custom-built botanical ceiling canopies.
Image courtesy of Funktionality.
As the end of January approaches, a lot of us return to work with fresh passport stamps, sun tans, souvenirs, and, most importantly, some new holiday epic fails in our ever-bursting arsenal. This one comes from our digital editor whose month-long tour of South East Asia culminated in a fleeting (but preventable) moment of panic. Moments before crossing the border between Cambodia and Thailand, suitcase packed and fastened, her tour guide casually mentioned that travellers are allowed to take one knock-off handbag into the country. She had five. (Hoi An sells them for really cheap, and she needed some presents for friends, okay?).
Luckily, her fellow travellers were happy to distribute the excess bags among themselves and transport them across without issue, but a simple mention in the tour travel notes (or just earlier than moments before crunch time) and she could have avoided opening a full-to-brimming suitcase in the middle of a hectic border crossing on a swelteringly hot day. Folks, remember to leave no stone unturned when it comes to destination research and communication with delegates.
 special deal 
Free stuff galore
Not quite over the post-holiday blues? Why not book an event on the ever-scenic Hamilton Island as something to look forward to? (Yes, you’ll be working, but pretty views are pretty views). If you confirm your event for June 2019, you’ll also be entitled to a complimentary cocktail function with 30 minutes of beverages and canapés, 10 per cent off day delegate packages for the Hamilton Island Yacht Club and Resortside venues and a complimentary lemon, lime and bitters station. Offer valid for events with a minimum of 50 guests or with a total of 50 room nights. Further conditions apply. Find out more here.
how to...
Judge whether you were a good marketer last year.
Were you a good marketer in 2018? If not, avail this read by Malcolm Auld immediately.
Click here to learn more.
 hot speaker 
Leave you wanting Moore
For more than 40 years Robyn Moore has worked the corporate presentation circuit, gradually earning the title of one of the country’s most in-demand speakers. Robyn’s presentations can be tailored to client briefs, and her punchy talks generally centre on a range of inspirational business superlatives: re-engagement, re-alignment, re-invention and restoration, to name a few. If you’d like to see Robyn in action, she’ll be speaking at the Make a Wish Foundation’s ‘Reframe Impossible’ event next month. Find out more here.
 entertain me 
Did that hedge just move?
Whoever came up with Living Topiary took the concept of green thumbs a little too literally. In case you’re utterly confused, Living Topiary are a form of strolling entertainment which appear at first to be stationary human-shaped hedges, but in fact turn out to be hedge-shaped humans. They’re guaranteed to cause a stir at any event and set social media into a spin, albeit with the slight chance of scaring the life out of everyone in the vicinity. So far Living Topiary doesn’t seem to have extended beyond the UK, but we could very well witness moving hedges at future events in Oz.
how to....
Shake up your event.
Peta Moore thinks conference 'sameness' is an easy trap to fall into, but it comes at the expense of delegate engagement.
Click here to learn more.
    Insta-worthy food.
    Loud music at networking events.
 learn about 
 quick fix 
• At the risk of sounding like a timeworn platitude, make 2019 the year you eat better. Event planners are often guilty of relying on power bars and vending machines for sustenance, or, worse still, forgetting to eat all together. Ensure your bag is packed with healthy snack options to avoid this.
• Holding an event in South East Asia? Make sure you pack plenty of clean water, tissue paper and wet wipes for delegates. Dehydration and exhaustion are common symptoms in a sweltering climate, so some packets of electrolyte wouldn’t go astray either.
• While on the topic of overseas events, make sure you research any medication or injections required before traveling to your chosen destination, and communicate these to your delegates. Imagine organising a life-changing incentive in Laos only for it to end in a group-wide malaria infection?
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The Business of Events
February 7 – 8, 2019
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February 18 - 20, 2019
Meeting on the Green
March 22, 2019
Hunter Valley
Cypress Lakes Golf & Country Club