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March 3, 2021
In this issue
Associations should never waste a crisis, says John Peacock as it achieves a membership boom
How to avoid dead air and bring your event to life
Interactive virtual seminars in March – Japan
Courtyard by Marriott debuts in Brisbane
‘Absolutely fantastic’: Organiser commends NZ hotel for lockdown response


Associations should never waste a crisis, says John Peacock as it achieves a membership boom
 
By Joyce DiMascio
 
One of Australia’s most important “associations of associations” is enjoying a membership boom thanks to Covid.
 
CEO and founder of the Associations Forum, John Peacock AM, says the role of associations during difficult times has become very clear over the past 12 months as people have sought out “a stable force” and turned to their peak bodies.
 
This also applied to the Associations Forum which has had a membership boom.
 
The recently promoted general manager, Fatima Sunderji, said their organisations had picked up “a couple of hundred” new members over the past year.
 
Continue reading here. 
How to avoid dead air and bring your event to life
 
By Warwick Merry
 
Event professionals all know what dead air is… the awkward silences during speaker sessions that build a level of discomfort in the audience. As Warwick Merry says, one of the big traps for dead air is at hybrid events, where online delegates are often not being engaged, or, even worse… they are being forgotten.
 
In his latest article, our favourite virtual events expert has provided some tips for minimising this in your own hybrid events. Have a read of it here. 
Interactive virtual seminars in March – Japan
 
For group incentive programs that remain far from the ordinary, now is the time to begin plans to explore Japan - a country of contrasts, full of ancient wisdom and tradition, yet at the forefront of innovation and technology.
 
The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is running interactive virtual seminars with key partners on March 10 and 16, 2021, to help you discover the latest ideas for your incentive rewards programs.
 
Ask all your questions in one-to-one live sessions, participate in an interactive Matcha tea ceremony and win fantastic prizes.
 
Find out more here. 
Courtyard by Marriott debuts in Brisbane
 
Yesterday the 134-room Courtyard by Marriott Brisbane South Bank opened its doors, marking the brand’s debut in the Queensland capital. Described as a sophisticated-yet-comfortable environment for business and leisure travellers, the hotel is located a few steps away from South Bank, and is just a ten-minute walk from the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC).
 
In addition to its guest rooms, which include flat-screen televisions, work desks and high-speed internet access, the hotel offers an onsite, all-day dining restaurant and a flexible meeting and event space. This room can cater for 70 people and features high ceilings, natural daylight and an outdoor area that overlooks the Brisbane and South Bank parklands.
‘Absolutely fantastic’: Organiser commends NZ hotel for lockdown response
 
As reported yesterday, New Zealand is back in lockdown following a ‘mystery’ case of Covid that was discovered in Auckland last week. Until at least Sunday March 7, 2021, Auckland is at Alert Level 3, which means that business events must take place across virtual platforms, and the rest of the country is at Alert Level 2, which limits gatherings to 100 people per room with 1 m of physical distancing.
 
Initially, this was disappointing news for the Cattle Dog Consultancy, which had a 150-pax meeting planned for this coming weekend at Novotel Rotorua Lakeside. Almost half of the speakers for the event were from Auckland, so the committee decided to postpone the event until 2022.
 
Despite the unfortunate outcome, director of the Cattle Dog Consultancy Lyndell Wills said the way the hotel handled the cancellation was ‘absolutely fantastic’, so much so that she wrote into micenet asking to give them a shoutout.
 
“We had paid the Novotel for all expenses and were well within the contracted terms for cancellation fees to be imposed, and even under the restrictions, the Novotel could have run something, but they quickly and generously have confirmed that they are happy to roll over the monies paid to 2022,” she said.
 
“The lockdown is obviously no fault of their own, nor of the associations behind the meeting, but they have alleviated everyone’s worry and concern immediately with their quick response.”
 
This is a lesson in how to handle unanticipated setbacks, because, when things do return to normal, we bet many planners will look to Novotel Rotorua Lakeside for their event hosting needs.
 
 
 
 
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