fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
28 February 2020
Australia isn’t exactly short on ultra-luxe properties for corporate retreats, but hey, another one can’t hurt. Come December, the Adelaide Hills will boast a new six-star, $15 million secluded lodge with uninterrupted panoramic views. Sequoia will be set on the iconic 30-acre Mount Lofty estate and feature 14 contemporary guest suites with access to a private club lounge, gardens, sundeck and heated infinity pool. Also located onsite will be the three-hatted Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Arthur Waterhouse Lounge and Stables Day Spa. If all of that doesn’t quite meet your standards, guests also have access to a range of experiences not available to the general public, including behind-the-scenes tours with local winemakers and close encounters with native icons.
• First State Super has secured the naming rights to the 8000-seat theatre in the ICC Sydney. The venue will be known as First State Super Theatre for the next decade.
• Thailand’s very own Rose of the North is now home to a 202-room Novotel hotel. Novotel Chiang Mai Nimman Journeyhub boasts a signature all-day dining restaurant serving northern Thai and international cuisine, four meeting rooms and a pillar-less ballroom that overlooks the garden atrium and can accommodate 240 guests.
• The Roundhouse – Sydney’s first round building which was constructed in 1961 – has just completed a $11 million exterior renovation. The redevelopments have seen the installation of a rainwater harvesting tank, a new green space, a re-designed loading dock clad with ultra-strong bluestone and the addition of distinctive architectural features.
• For the first time in almost 20 years, Melbourne Airport is getting a brand new hotel. The ibis Styles/Novotel facility is slated to open by the end of next year, and will be located within a new 2.3 hectare precinct called The Hive.
• Marriott International will open a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Fukuoka in spring 2023. The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka will be part of a new 24-storey tower and offer 162 guest rooms, six food and beverage outlets, a ballroom and two meeting rooms.
There’s still time to register for Get Global!
Get motivated and inspired by fresh ideas and venues for your events, incentives and meetings at Get Global. Gary Bender and Donner Kessler invite you to spend a Friday with them at their award-winning show held in The Gallery, ICC Sydney.
On Friday, July 26, Get Global will showcase a fantastic array of exhibitors (40 per cent of which are NEW to the show!) from all corners of the globe, featuring great celebrity speakers from Saxtons, and on the spot networking opportunities, without the need to make appointments.
Don’t miss out! Register now
Create mindful meetings at The Westin Brisbane
With wellness predicted as the number one meeting trend for 2019, now is the time to book your next event with The Westin Brisbane.
At The Westin Brisbane, the team is committed to fuelling active ideation before, during and after meetings. As part of their Work Well Day Delegate package, delegates can enjoy a 30-minute signature wellness experience designed to create more energy, less stress and brighter ideas throughout the meeting.
Choose from their private run concierge, a mid-morning stretch, or the Heavenly Delegate Mini Massage Experience.
For more information on planning your event, contact the team at
Book a conference at Peppers Noosa and be rewarded!
Need to work on your hula? As a mahalo for booking your next event over $175,000, Peppers Noosa will reward you with a five night escape for two in Honolulu.* Includes return flights and accommodation at Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra.
As one of the region’s largest conference venues, your next event will be seamless and unforgettable.
Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Valid for new events only.
To find out more, email the team at
Applications for Luxperience 2019 closing soon
Luxperience invites premium business events specialists to Australia’s only luxury trade exhibition between October 7 and 10 at the ICC Sydney.
Luxperience recognises ‘Experience is Everything’ and is committed to providing you with access to more authentic, meaningful and unique high-end travel experiences ideal for inspired premium business events. Reserved places are now available for a limited time within dedicated participation packages offering flexible attendance options.
Taking final applications now. To submit your application to attend, click
Event inspo corner
Despite what some may say, events are all about the food. So you may as well make this element educational, interactive, aesthetically-pleasing, creatively aligned with the event’s destination and, well, delicious.
An incentive held in Port Douglas by Veritas Events ticked all of these boxes, calling upon celebrity chef Nick Holloway to prepare three offsite dining experiences in line with the local landscape.
The welcome event was held on the heritage-listed Sugar Wharf, with Nick serving up tender beef ribs and shucking oysters while regaling guests with local stories. A working cane farm was transformed for the awards night dinner, with a menu consisting of roast coconut pork ribs with pineapple caramel and yakitori prawns from a cane blade grill.
For the grand finale a secluded bamboo grove in the rainforest was the backdrop for an intimate five-course dinner paired with wines. Guests danced to a live band and star gazed with an astronomer.
Nick said the guests enjoyed hearing the stories behind the food and where it had come from, giving them a greater appreciation of the region they were visiting.
Hayman Island by InterContinental
Come on. Could we really have gone with anything else? The hotly-anticipated, 166-room island resort welcomed its first guests this month, sending waves of vicarious excitement throughout the business events community.
Located at the northernmost point of the Whitsunday Islands, the resort has just completed a $135 million refurbishment, and is the first of four InterContinental Resorts to open this year.
Its opening is indicative of big things happening in the Whitsundays region (despite what 60 minutes might say).
Our latest epic fail comes courtesy of a micenet associate, who had a not-so-luxurious experience at a five-star hotel recently:
After a relaxing bath, the room service option seemed appropriate and I went ahead and ordered one noodles with prawns, a cheese plate and broccolini. I was so looking forward to having a meal inside my villa, a movie and some wine. Sometime later there was a door knock. Seeing a young man holding up a paper bag, I said “Sorry, I didn’t order Uber eats”.
He replied, “No, Madame, this is your room service meal”.
Inside this paper bag was my small portion of noodles, cheese and veggies, all served in eco-friendly containers along with bamboo cutlery (this part was the only plus). The total price for this experience - $90!
Considering my room was just across from the restaurant, I expected at least plates and real cutlery for the price tag of a restaurant meal. All in all, Uber Eats would have been a far better option!
 special deal 
Thank you, Next
Next Hotel Brisbane has introduced its ‘Less Winter & More Warmth’ package for event planners. Simply book for a group of 20 or more and receive a free night’s accommodation or dinner for two at the award-winning Lennon’s Restaurant to the value of $100. Next Hotel Brisbane has 304 guest rooms and a rooftop pool terrace and bar which is ideal for functions and events.
To find out more, click here.
how to...
Turn social media users into brand advocates.
Events can live far beyond the days they take place. Just ask Amy Merriman.
Click here to learn more.
 hot speaker 
Make a racquet
Apparently something tennis-related is going on at the moment, so what better time to feature one of Australia’s tennis greats. Evonne Goolagong Cawley has been Australian Sportsman of the Year as well as Australian of the year, and has seven grand slam titles under her belt. She is also a best-selling author, International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and champion of women in tennis. To find out more about Evonne, click here.
 entertain me 
Life is like a box of chocolates
In light of World Chocolate Day, which fell on… last Sunday (if you missed it, don’t worry, you can make up for it today, or tomorrow, or today and tomorrow), we’ve decided to dedicate this slot to everyone’s favourite dessert. There are plenty of ways you can integrate chocolate into your event, whether it’s a masterclass – like the one our Helen Batt-Rawden attended at Swissotel Sydney last week – or chockies branded with your company's or sponsors’ logos. Include an aesthetically pleasing fondue fountain at your gala dinner and you’ll grace the pages of Instagram for days. The world is your oyster. Or should we say… chocolate.
how to....
Tailor your content to delegates’ personalities.
Everyone is different, and these differences should be embraced in conference designs, writes Peta Moore.
Click here to learn more.
    Pacific Rim cuisine.
    Canapes served in shot glasses.
 learn about 
 quick fix 
• If you’re serving up canapes, make sure they’re easy to eat. We recently attended an event dispensing large slabs of meat with only a fork to cut them up and eat them with. Although guests praised the nosh, the grumbles over this obstacle were louder.
• Networking may come easily to some, but the prospect will fill some of your guests with dread. This is why ice breakers are so important. Team games, trivia questions and an audience-involving speaker should do the trick. All of these boxes were ticked at Tourism New Zealand’s recent ‘New Zealand, You’ve Gotta be Joking’ event.
• Keeping your attendance numbers up in the chilly weather can be tough. Here are some things you should include on your invitation to get people out of bed and into the function venue: a sneak peek of the menu, prizes to be won, the fact there will be a heater or blankets and when they can expect to be home by (make it early).
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on everything relating to business events
Associations Forum National Conference
July 15-16, 2019
Get Global
July 26, 2019
ICC Sydney
October 7-10, 2019
ICC Sydney