fortnightly bite-sized news and ideas for the corporate event planner
28 February 2020
Parramatta is emerging as a hot MICE destination (if you don’t believe us, you can read more about it here), and the recent refurb of Novotel Sydney Parramatta serves to further its appeal. The $6.5 million upgrade is centred on its guest rooms, with all 194 given a new look with plush textures and soothing colours to create a sense of calm. Novotel worked in close partnership with interior design firm Stack Studio on its vision for the hotel's rooms and suites, with further touches including crisp new bed linens, soft spreads and desks illuminated by both natural and assisted light sources. In addition to its new look rooms, Novotel Sydney Parramatta boasts 11 function spaces, including the largest pillar-less ballroom in Western Sydney.
• Novotel Twin Waters Resort has launched a new name, Novotel Sunshine Coast Resort, to complement a fresh lobby and bar. The $2 million transformation of the spaces have been inspired by the Sunshine Coast’s surrounds, flowing out to the resort’s outdoor pool and private lagoon.
• Crystalbrook Collection’s second five-star Cairns hotel, Bailey, has opened its doors. The hotel is adorned with Australian artwork and features 255 guest rooms, three restaurants and bars, meeting spaces for 150 people, a rooftop mezzanine plunge pool and a 24-hour fitness centre.
• The top floor function and events space at the Pullman Adelaide Hotel will undergo a $1 million refurbishment from December this year. A complete makeover will take place, including new wall coverings, extensive use of stone, custom flooring, specialist lighting and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
• The ribbon has been cut to mark the unveiling of Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel. The five-star, $130 million hotel was opened by John Gandel, the Victorian Minister for Suburban Development, Marlene Kairouz, Vicinity Centres CEO and managing director Grant Kelley, and Chairman & CEO of Accor Asia Pacific, Michael Issenberg.
Future clean energy leaders take to the floor at ICC Sydney
Leaders from the energy sector returned to International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) for the second consecutive year of the annual Australian Clean Energy Summit, with student engagement and supporting the industry’s future professionals at the forefront of the event organiser’s minds.
Spearheaded by the Clean Energy Council and with record attendance, the two-day summit brought representatives together from industry, government and finance sectors for robust discussions on Australia’s future as the nation moves towards zero-emission energy.
To watch a video of the summit, click
Meet and be rewarded at The Westin and Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane
Plan an unforgettable meeting or event and immerse into extraordinary experiences at The Westin and Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane, specialising in events from 10 to 400 with up to 545 guest rooms spread across the two adjacent city centre hotels.
Book before 31 December and receive:
• Five per cent discount on master-billed rooms
• Complimentary welcome reception*
• Double points, and
• An additional 5000 signing bonus points
Terms and conditions apply. To learn more and book now, click
Choose one of the stunning PARKROYAL destinations for your next meeting or corporate event
Just moments from the Sydney CBD is Darling Harbour, perfectly located for easy, hassle-free meeting hire with seven well-appointed event and meeting spaces. Further west, Parramatta offers ample parking and easy access to one of the best hotels in Sydney for intimate or conference-sized events.
Melbourne Airport gives you access to sophisticated meeting rooms and professional facilities close to Tullamarine Airport. Whatever your needs or location, let PARKROYAL and their experienced event planners help your vision come to life.
Find out more
Celebrate the year’s end with a festive long lunch
Bring your team together for a joyous celebration of the holiday season at Swissotel Sydney, with an unforgettable Festive Long Lunch complete with holiday season classics such as honey glazed ham and stuffed turkey along with a complimentary welcome drink.
Let them make the dining celebration extra festive with an offer of three complimentary bottles of red, white or sparkling wine when you book 10 or more* guests for the long lunch. Available for $59pp.
• For bookings of 10 or more guests, please contact:
Find out more
Hosted buyer applications open for MEETINGS 2020, Auckland, New Zealand
April 20 – 24, 2020
For more than 20 years, MEETINGS has been the industry’s MUST-ATTEND event to meet everybody who’s anybody within the New Zealand business events sector.
Engage with your choice of more than 200 quality exhibitors from 20 regions. Australian hosted buyers are also offered the opportunity to experience more of New Zealand by participating in either a pre-famil or post famil to one of six exciting destinations.
To find out more, and apply to become a hosted buyer at MEETINGS 2020 – click
Stylish celebrations at The Westin Melbourne
Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering for your colleagues or a larger-scale end of year celebration, The Westin Melbourne offers an unrivalled central CBD location, sophisticated function venues and impressive food and beverage options for groups of up to 160 guests.
Christmas Event Packages include festive theming and specially designed menus. Their event specialists can assist with entertainment, audio visual requirements and special group accommodation rates for those looking to stay the night.
For more information, click
Greg Bogue answers our incentive questions
At the recent CINZ conference in Queenstown, we were lucky enough to chat with business events dynamo Greg Bogue.
As the chief experience architect at Maritz Global Events, a US-headquartered company that employs 1400 people and specialises in designing event experiences, we figured he was a suitable candidate for a grilling on the incentive market.
So grill him, we did. Read all of his answers to our questions
WIN a three day two night Singapore VIP getaway for two including flights, luxury accommodation and elite experiences.*
Contract an event at Pullman & Mercure Brisbane King George Square for your chance to win an all-inclusive luxury experience for two to Singapore, plus, be rewarded with up to 25,000 bonus rewards points.
Pullman King George Square boasts the largest hotel conference facilities in Brisbane and offers an impressive setting for hosting up to 1000 delegates.
* For events booked by December 15, 2019, and held by July 31, 2020. Terms and Conditions Apply.
Find out more
Edible centrepieces
Anything that involves food has our immediate attention, even more so when it contributes to sustainability. That’s why this week’s slot is dedicated to the ICC Sydney’s ‘Edible Centrepieces’, a community-driven service which supports the Matthew Talbot Hostel, a service run by the St. Vincent De Paul Society New South Wales which cares for men experiencing homelessness.
The venue is providing event organisers with the option of replacing floral arrangements with edible centrepieces comprising seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs sourced from its network of local suppliers. Post-event, the ICC Sydney Culinary Services team uses the produce to donate meals to the Matthew Talbot Hostel.
What a great sustainability initiative that doesn’t involve either drink bottles or KeepCups.
A lot of events are labelled the ‘worst ever’, and the recent RNB Fridays Live festival in Perth is just another to add to the mix. Attendees slammed Janet Jackson’s performance, which was marred by lip syncing allegations, audio problems, a 40-minute delay and an abrupt ending which plunged the crowd into darkness.
One festival-goer claimed that her paid seats were demolished and replaced with a staircase leaving her with nowhere to sit, while another said she left due to a claustrophobic standing area with a sticky and wet floor which posed safety concerns.
They say any publicity is good publicity, but this story makes us wonder.
 special deal 
Book your 2020 event before December and save
Take advantage of the all-inclusive Meet and Stay packages including accommodation and breakfast at PARKROYAL Parramatta from $255 per person or PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney from $245 per person. Book a day delegate package from $69 per person at Pan Pacific Perth and enjoy access to inclusions such as bar credit, complimentary organiser parking and discounted venue hire fees. Whatever your event, let the team meet and exceed your expectations. Find out more here.
how to...
Create engaging social media content
Annabel Sullivan provides five tips.
 hot speaker 
The best speaker at CINZ
You know a speaker’s good when they’ve got people laughing and crying in equal measure. This was the case when former Paralympian Liam Malone closed proceedings on day one of the CINZ conference. With dark humour, a booming voice and emotional anecdotes, Liam recounted his incredible journey from being born with fibular hemimelia and having his feet amputated, to losing his mother to cancer and finding refuge in drugs and alcohol, before turning his life around to win gold at the Paralympics, only to have his records stripped due to rule changes, and eventually establishing careers in both artificial intelligence and stand-up comedy. It’s been over a week, and we’re still thinking about him, which speaks volumes. Find out more about Liam here.
 entertain me 
Breathe in, breathe out
In order to succeed, sometimes we need to be energised rather than entertained. Brad Hook from The Resilience Institute is privy to this fact, and peppered his keynote at CINZ 2019 with some quick stretches and breathing exercises. We found that afterwards we were better able to focus on his content, and realised that we hadn’t spared a moment to take a deep breath and exhalation in weeks. To find out more about The Resilience Institute, click here.
how to....
Avoid common incentive mistakes.
Providing the wrong rewards is just the start of it, writes Mark McCowan.
    Speakers who are or were Paralympians.
    Generic conference themes.
 learn about 
 quick fix 
• If you’re hosting an event in a destination experiencing unseasonably cold or hot weather, let attendees know what clothes to pack. Organisers of the recent CINZ conference let delegates know to pack warm jackets due to Queenstown’s persistent chill this October. Thanks, CINZ!
• Hosting a gala dinner in an unconventional venue? Tie it in with the theme. The CINZ closing dinner was themed ‘high country’, which suited the venue - Walter Peak Country Farm - much more than, say, an 80s-themed bash would have.
• While we’re on a CINZ-loving run, the team also recycled each of the plastic name tags used by delegates during the conference. What a simple yet memorable way to make your event sustainable.
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on everything relating to business events
Dreamtime 2019
December 2-4, 2019
PCO Association Conference
December 8-10, 2019
ICC Sydney
February 17-19, 2020