fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
 
27 May 2019
 
 
What’s better than one luxury hotel signing in paradise? Well, other than winning the lotto, becoming a famous rock star or consuming large quantities of garlic bread, the answer is TWO luxury hotel signings in paradise. Hilton has recently announced just that, with the signing of two hotels in Fiji: Hilton Garden Inn Suva, which is slated to open next year, and Hilton Suva, which will follow two years later. The former will be situated in Suva’s major mixed-use waterfront development, and will feature 178 guest rooms and a restaurant and bar. The latter will offer 120 stylish guest rooms, including five spacious suites, a restaurant and bar, a fully-equipped gym, a pool, an executive lounge and one meeting room of 200 sqm. Both sound pretty nifty eh? (Apologies if you now have a garlic bread craving).
 
 
VENUE NEWS:
 
• The eighth property by Art Series Hotels has opened in the Howard Smith Wharves precinct in Brisbane. The Fantauzzo is carved into the cliff under the Story Bridge, and boasts 166 suites over six storeys, an Italian eatery, a rooftop pool and bar and state-of-the-art function rooms.
 
• W Brisbane has launched a curated food experience. The new banquet menu has been developed by executive chef Robert Sauer, Chef de Cuisine Isa Hagstrom and executive pastry chef Nicholas Waring, and features both molecular canapes and show-stopping desserts.
 
• Following the completion of a multi-million-dollar refresh, Mercure Sydney International Airport has a brand new moniker: Novotel Sydney International Airport. The rebranded hotel is located one kilometre from Sydney’s airport precinct, and features new-look modular guest rooms as well as a refreshed grand ballroom which can cater for up to 400 delegates.
 
• Accor has partnered with Lewis Land Group to bring a new-build, 78-room Mercure Hotel to Sydney’s Rouse Hill in July 2019. Mercure Sydney Rouse Hill, which is currently under construction, will offer a fitness centre, swimming pool, new conferencing and events spaces and close access to dining venues within The Fiddler’s entertainment complex.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hong Kong launches new MICE rewards programme
 
 
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched its 2019/20 HK Rewards programme to entice organisers to host events at the destination.
 
The new resource includes extensive privileges and add-on benefits, such as a complimentary cocktail reception offered by 50 participating hotels, a complimentary lunch/dinner set at designated restaurants, free admission and food & beverage at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Tai Chi for groups with 100-pax and above.
 
View the full list of programme enhancements
here.
 
 
 
 
Should events be more introvert-friendly?
 
 
As you would have discovered while reading Peta Moore’s piece in the latest edition of micenet, successful conferences provide a sense of wellbeing for the full gamut of attendees, including those on the introverted side of the equation.
 
“New cultural attitudes celebrate the rise of the introvert, self-care and downtime,” she writes. “[You should] foster delegate interest in wellness by creating a space in the agenda for quiet periods.”
 
Rather coincidently, an email hit our inboxes last week detailing a Compare the Market study which revealed the best destinations for introverts to visit in 2019. The top three countries were Russia, due to its rich historical cities and serene countrysides, which are populated by approximately nine people per square kilometre; Canada, with its secluded mountains and sparsely-populated off-the-beaten-track villages, and Argentina, due to its wide offering of boutique hotels and guest houses. Definitely some food for thought for incentive planners.
 
What do you think about events of the future being tailored to the proclivities of introverts?
 
We’ve encountered planners on various famil trips who have commented on the unwillingness of their delegates to engage in photo booths, karaoke and boisterous entertainment, particularly those in the science and IT fields. Is a more inclusive approach on the horizon?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Take your EOFY celebrations to new heights at 55 George Rooftop!
 
 
Perched eight storeys above the historic The Rocks, impress and delight your team with cocktails, canapes and unrivalled harbour views from this stunning rooftop event space.
 
Book your EOFY celebrations at 55 George and not only will you receive DOUBLE IHG Rewards Club points, you'll also enjoy your choice of one of the following:
 
- Premium beverage upgrade
 
- Accommodation in a Superior Room on the night of your event
 
OR
 
- A $350 Westfield voucher
 
Terms and conditions apply. Accommodation subject to availability.
 
Find out more
here.
 
 
 
 
Event planners enjoy Safari-themed soiree in Geelong
 
 
On March 22, 80 of Melbourne’s top event planners, EAs and PAs were treated to a safari-themed event at the Werribee Open Range Zoo to celebrate Business Events Geelong’s biennial mystery dinner. In the months leading up to the soiree, guests collected jigsaw pieces etched with clues about the exclusive dinner. Once arranged in their entirety, details emerged on where and when the event would take place.
 
The night kicked off in South Wharf, Melbourne where Business Events Geelong convention bureau manager Mark Day greeted guests as they boarded the transfer to a mystery location. Upon disembarkation, attendees were greeted by performers dressed as large cats who led them to Hippo Beach, where they enjoyed champagne and canapes. Dinner was served in the Meerkat Room, complete with long tables and live entertainment. Looks like it was a roaring success, and who said kids can’t be lions when they grow up?!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Events in libraries
 
 
Psst… libraries are no longer spaces for the outcasts to sit during lunch hour. In fact, they’re the spaces all the cool kids are using to host corporate events. Just take State Library Victoria, which took out the unique venue without accommodation accolade at the MEA national awards on Tuesday. The library’s La Trobe Reading Room was used for the PCOA18 networking function, and its towering shelves, high-domed octagonal ceiling and heritage furniture created a charming point of difference.
 
Over in Christchurch, there’s the five-level modern library Tūranga, which offers a range of spaces including TSB which can hold 250 people, and a medium-sized area for groups of 65.
 
We imagine it would feel strangely liberating eating and talking freely in a space where you’re traditionally told to zip it.
 
 
 
 
This edition’s epic fail has gotta go to the British Airways flight that flew by mistake from London to Edinburgh instead of to Dusseldorf in Germany last Monday. “Wait, what?” you ask. Well, the story is about as straightforward as that.
 
Passengers felt as though they’d entered the Twilight Zone as the pilot announced that the plane was soon touching down in Edinburgh, 800 kilometres away from their intended destination. After the crew realised their colossal mistake, the plane was refuelled and flown to Dusseldorf. This whole situation is basically the face palm emoji materialised.
 
 
 
 
 special deal 
 
Free espresso martinis for delegates
 
We’re willing to bet that every millennial opened this newsletter because of this title. After all, Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific is offering the Gen Y cocktail of choice to every delegate when a residential booking is made this year. Why the generosity? Well, the team is just THAT excited about the major refurbishment to its conference and event facilities which will take place in June and July. The makeover will result in modern-look meeting and breakout areas, upgraded bar and coffee facilities, new carpets and interiors and state-of-the-art AV equipment. The venue is also considerably excited about taking out the meeting, exhibition or event venue for less than 500 at the MEA national awards for the third year in a row. Find out more about the offer here.
 
 
 
how to...
Give delegates what they really want.
 
 
For the second time in this newsletter, we're offering up this Peta Moore-penned piece (it really is that good).
 
Click here to learn more.
 
 
 
 hot speaker 
 
We love Lucy
 
Given that half the micenet team is venturing to Melbourne next weekend to watch stand up show Judith Lucy vs Men, we figured it’d be remiss not to give the curly-locked comedienne a mention. For the uninitiated, Judith Lucy is an Australian performer and best-selling author, whose 20 years on the comedy circuit have seen her perform to sell-out shows, feature on ABC TV’s The Late Show and star in The Sapphires. To summarise, she’s basically just really, really funny, and who doesn’t enjoy a bit of laughter courtesy of a speaker or MC? Find out more about Judith here.
 
 
 entertain me 
 
The road less travelled by
 
Event royalty Peter Jones AM has the unique ability to make a room full of event profs hang off his every word. So, when he effusively recommended poet Rupert McCall as entertainment for corporate gala dinners at a recent conference, we were straight onto Google looking him up. Rupert is the author of six anthologies of verse that have collectively sold more than 100,000 copies, and is oft described as ‘the poet of our generation’. Peter recommends employing his services to poetically delineate the history of a company or cause, and while the thought of poetry at an event admittedly conjures an image of yawning delegates, we think Rupert may be a little different. Find out more about him here.
 
 
 
 
how to....
Be grateful.
 
 
Ngahihi o te ra Bidois is here with a timely reminder to count your blessings.
 
Click here to learn more.
 
 
 
In
    Interactive experiences.
 
 
Out
    Having delegates sit down and listen to speakers the entire conference.
 
 
 
 
 learn about 
 
 
 
 
 
 quick fix 
 
• Whether you’re serving up canapes, three course meals or food on a share plate, the inclusion of a written menu is always a good idea. Delegates at the recent Top Secret famil in Canberra commended the venues who did this, as it allowed them to determine how much stomach room to leave.
 
• Still on event food, if you DO opt for canapes, make sure there are enough of them to go around, and regularly change up the food you’re serving. We can’t count the times we’ve seen delegates’ eyes light up at the sight of an oncoming platter, only to discover upon closer inspection that it’s the sixth serving of pate-infused cherry tomato that night.
 
• This is a bit of a no-brainer, but when selecting speakers for your event, make sure to include some from outside your industry. Someone humorous, timely or who offers an insightful story can inspire your delegates in ways that a speaker rattling off a list of sector updates cannot.
 
 
 
Visit our Daily News and Opinion for daily updates
on everything relating to business events
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meetings New Zealand
May 29-30, 2019
Auckland
 
 
 
Associations Forum National Conference
July 15-16, 2019
Gold Coast
 
 
 
Get Global
July 26, 2019
ICC Sydney