Trends & Ideas

Another positive incentive outcome for Adelaide with Joymain

Following its largest incentive visit of 3000 pax in waves of 500 over 6 days from Perfect China in 2017, the Adelaide Convention Bureau’s  incentive marketing drive into China has paid dividends again with a 5 day/4 night visit in June by  750 employees of Joymain, one of China’s largest Science/Tech and direct selling companies.  The 750 pax in one wave was Adelaide’s largest single incentive group visit and is the second time the company has visited Australia with first being to Sydney in 2015.

Feedback from Joymain has been as positive as it was from Perfect China.   Adelaide, with the benefit of being a boutique city with major city infrastructure has the ability to engage all levels of support whilst providing a unique experience for guests in a destination that will be new and memorable.

“There were two reasons for choosing Adelaide as the destination for our event. First of all, the follow-up and assistance provided from the Adelaide Convention Bureau is the most important reason for us. Second, the comprehensive cooperation of the local government of Adelaide includes the Governor, the state government, the city hall and many other aspects….”

“Although Adelaide is a boutique destination, it has excellent resources for MICE events, such as the ACC, activities in the winery, Adelaide Oval rooftop climb. Personally, I think Adelaide is a great and a great destination suitable for direct selling incentive events. I hope Joymain will return to Adelaide again soon”.   Ben Fang – Joymain Director

“Interest in South Australia as a highly desirable destination for incentive groups is at an all-time high with companies and tour operators constantly seeking new destinations to visit as a reward for staff or clients.   We recognise that beyond the immediate economic benefits realised by the tour itself, Asian Incentive tourism represents a massive opportunity for the state from return visits with friends or family by group delegates as well as the chance for trade and investment by the host company.

The Adelaide Convention Bureau’s recently announced public policy includes a focus on attracting more incentive tours to South Australia and with the full backing of the policy by the new State Government, we are looking forward to further developing the opportunities at hand to attract more and larger groups.”  Damien Kitto – CEO, Adelaide Convention Bureau

Joymain group with Governer Hieu Van Le at Government House

Who Gives A Crap? Simon Griffiths does.

Simon Griffiths will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming PCOA conference in December. Simon’s presentation is sponsored by ICMI Speakers who sent along a little Q&A with Simon.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the Co-founder and CEO of Who Gives A Crap.  We sell good looking, forest-friendly toilet paper, paper towels and tissues in 36 countries and donate 50% of our profits to help build toilets for those in need. As much as I love toilet paper, the reason I started this business is the impact we’re having on the world—since starting in 2013, we’ve donated almost $2 million!

Why did you accept to speak at PCOA18?

I’m really passionate about embracing (and creating!) change, so this year’s conference theme is compelling.

Simon Griffiths

How will your presentation resonate with the PCOA18 conference theme, Embracing Change’ – How Agile Are You?’

Everyday I encourage my team to embrace change by testing out new ideas and learning from what works and what doesn’t work.  I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned from this approach, alongside some other lessons I’ve learned from running a Purpose-led business.

What are the three key messages delegates will take away from your presentation?

  1. Doing good is good business: consumers want to give back and are on the lookout for value-aligned brands that let them create more impact with every dollar they spend2. Doing good isn’t always easy: doing good is good business, but purpose-led businesses are held to a higher level of scrutiny than regular for-profit businesses.  So it’s important that you show customers that your company is true to its word. When you do this well, it helps to build an abnormally high level of brand trust… resulting in customers going above and beyond for the brands that they love!3. Everything is marketing: in the new world of hyper-connectivity where customers can share brand moments at the swipe of a finger, everything that a company creates can (and must!) be thought of as a marketing opportunity.

What advice can you give to those entering the ever-changing events industry?

Learn by selling: keep trying new things, then listen intently to your customer to find out what worked and what didn’t work so well. If you use this information to adjust your approach in the future, it will make you more successful with every sale. Never be afraid to get things wrong – it’s how we learn!

ICC Sydney pioneers plastic bottle waste reduction in events sector

International Convention Centre Sydney has today announced more than a million plastic water bottles have been saved through its partnership with Sydney Water, reflecting the venue’s ongoing commitment to reducing its ecological footprint.

By promoting the use of Sydney’s tap water at events and using co-branded, reusable glass bottles in all meeting rooms, the initiative has significantly decreased bottled water consumption on site while providing great tasting water to delegates and visitors. It has also saved the equivalent of 12,900 kilograms of plastic from being produced.

CEO of ICC Sydney, Geoff Donaghy said the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partnership between ICC Sydney and Sydney Water is delivering results for clients, the community and the environment.

“We follow a mantra of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and as a harbourside venue, we are very conscious of our environmental impact and particularly the potential harm of plastic to aquatic life.

“It’s imperative for large scale venues to operate in a sustainable manner for the sake of the environment and we are exceptionally pleased that we have already produced such positive results.

ICC Sydney saves 1 million plastic bottles from being produced by partnering with Sydney Water

“When you consider that saving a million plastic water bottles is the equivalent of filling 2,900 wheelie bins, the outcome is substantial. However, our work here is not done. We are constantly looking for ways to minimise our environmental impact and what else we can be doing to drive change,” Donaghy said.

Managing Director of Sydney Water, Kevin Young congratulated ICC Sydney on implementing the initiative across the venue’s operations.

“ICC Sydney is a great example of how organisations and their operations can deliver positive environmental outcomes through the use and promotion of tap water. Reaching this milestone number is a testament to ICC Sydney and the entire team’s dedication to reaching their sustainability goals.

“It is also a testament to our staff at Sydney Water who produce some of the highest quality drinking water in the world, day-in, day-out.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with ICC Sydney and delivering even greater results in the future,” Young said.

Since launching, the partnership between ICC Sydney and Sydney Water has also:

  • Saved more than 700,000 kilowatts of electricity
  • Saved 1.5 million litres of water and an estimated 150,000 litres of oil from associated activities in manufacturing the plastic bottles
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 500 tonnes, the equivalent of keeping 110 cars off the road for a year.

The results from ICC Sydney’s partnership with Sydney Water reaffirm the venue’s commitment to operating in an environmentally responsible and the role it has in setting a new industry bench mark for venue sustainability.

Honest Goodness – Adelaide Convention Centre teams with leading South Australian nutritional experts

A pioneer from the start, the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) will unveil its latest innovation next month (July, 2018) in the form of a fresh new menu, Honest Goodness. Developed in collaboration with leading nutritional experts from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the University of Adelaide, and CSIRO, Health and Biosecurity, the new menu is set to transform the convention centre dining experience with its emphasis on minimal intervention foods and conscious reduction of salts, sugars and preservatives.

“Innovation has been core to the Adelaide Convention Centre experience from the very beginning,” says Simon Burgess, General Manager, Adelaide Convention Centre.  “We’re thrilled to introduce Honest Goodness as our latest innovation. While a simple concept, we’re certain its focus on ‘feel good, whole food, made fresh’, will transform the event dining experience. We’re proud to support the public nutrition message, and view this heightened focus on mindful eating an important part of our community engagement.”

Designed with good nutrition in mind, Honest Goodness was created by the ACC’s Executive Chef Gavin Robertson in consultation with Professor Gary Wittert of SAHMRI / University of Adelaide, and Pennie Taylor of CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity unit. Brimming with nutrient-dense, whole foods sourced from local environments, ingredients are prepared, in-house, by the ACC’s chefs to make restaurant-quality dishes that are vibrant in colour and bursting with flavour.

Gavin Robertson

“Our team enthusiastically embraced the challenge of creating this menu as public nutrition is important to all of us,” comments Chef Gavin, who heads up the ACC’s team of 75 kitchen staff. “We listened to our clients, handpicked the best of regional produce, and engaged with local artisan producers to develop a menu that is not only distinctly South Australian, but full of flavour. The emphasis is very much on ‘house-made’ and replacing processed elements with whole, fresh ingredients.”

To deliver on this commitment, Chef Gavin and his team have reduced salts by replacing them with rubs and spices and swapped out sugar-laden drinks for house-made ice teas and fruit-infused waters. There’s also a strong focus on ‘preservative free’. Instead of using ingredients featuring nitrates, synthetic food preservatives or other additives, Honest Goodness uses natural rubs and house-made marinades to enhance flavour. In addition, cured and processed meats, which are traditionally high in nitrates, have been exchanged for in-house smoked and roasted meats.

Beyond its focus on minimal intervention foods, other standout features of the Adelaide Convention Centre’s new menu include:

  • Sensible Fats:  Processed and manufactured fats and related substitutes have been replaced with natural animal and plant-based fats to create more balanced dishes, free from preservatives.
  • Low sugar and sodium: Honest Goodness focuses on the conscious reduction of refined white sugars, salts and processed sauces and dressings. As an example, ingredients with traditionally high sugar volume have been replaced with house-made chutneys, sauces and dressings with lower sugar levels.
  • A Taste of South Australia: Honest Goodness reflects the ACC’s ongoing commitment to sourcing food from local, sustainable environments. 97 percent of produce used by the venue is sourced from South Australia.
  • House-made: The ACC’s in-house chefs are actively involved in preparing all dishes served at the Centre. Chef Gavin has worked closely with artisan producers – from cheesemakers to bakers, butchers and fishermen – to ensure any outsourced ingredients have been prepared in keeping with the Centre’s Honest Goodness

Professor Gary Wittert of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and University of Adelaide comments: “The new Adelaide Convention Centre menu shows that it is possible, even when catering for very large groups, to source and cook fresh, whole or minimally processed foods to make tasty, enjoyable and creative meals, while retaining choice. And best of all, we get to taste prime South Australian produce, wherever possible, farmed sustainably and with ethical practices.”

Wittert adds, “It seems to me this is science in action – open-minded collaboration between people from different professional backgrounds, achieving an outcome good for public health, good for business and good for South Australia”.

Honest Goodness will be launched as the Adelaide Convention Centre’s main menu from 1 July, 2018. To whet your palate, sample menu items include:

  • Poached free range Kangaroo Island eggs and poached salmon with watercress, rocket and pomegranate salad, saltbush tomatoes and house-made focaccia for breakfast;
  • Seared ocean trout with peppercorn crust, lemon and herbs, and sweet potato, green bean, almond and barley salad for lunch;
  • Braised beef cheek, sweet potato mousseline, grilled root vegetables and black pepper sauce for dinner; and,
  • Pineapple carpaccio, lime syrup, coconut gelati and mint oil for dessert.


Expansion to keep MCEC at the forefront of event tech

In advance of opening its new $200 million expansion space next month, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has invested in cutting-edge technologies offering the flexibility customers need.

MCEC’s new expansion space has been purpose built to leverage the venue’s original innovative approach to integrated audio visual and ICT technologies. The new expansion will feature 4k laser projectors, LED based theatrical lighting equipment and fully integrated rigging infrastructure, creating highly customisable event spaces.

Other initiatives include:

  • Introducing a specialised production team within the business, MCEC’s in-house specialist technology team offer services in: audio, rigging, lighting, vision, multimedia, network systems and production management. Building these skills in-house allows MCEC to deliver a more personalised and thorough technology offering.
  • Improving our Wi-Fi offering for customers with a $2 million investment, increasing our wireless capacity by 400 per cent and making MCEC the only convention centre in Australia to offer no data caps.
  • A $1 million investment in expanding vision and projection capabilities through the implementation of Barco, Panasonic and Roland hardware, enabling the delivery of visually stunning and technically seamless events.

Peter King

MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King said as a venue MCEC hosts over 1,000 events annually and each of those event experiences is unique.

“At MCEC we work in partnership with our customers to deliver tech solutions with the aim to inspire and transform delegates’ experience,” Mr King said.

“Rather than simply offering whatever’s newest on the market, we understand our customers want to be able to access expert advice and a range of technology options that allows for individual customisation.

“By investing in our employee skill-base, we have the knowledge to deliver complex events and offer solutions focused customer service.

“The new expansion has allowed us to future-proof our venue, we’re able to meet the technical needs of today’s customer and continuously adapt into the future.”​​

A testament to MCEC’s technology credentials is the calibre of events choosing MCEC as their host venue.

The recently announced 2018 Reimagination conference and Digital Disruptions’ Awards joins a growing list of leading technology and disruption events that have made the move to MCEC which includes: C2, Cisco Live, VidCon and the National iAwards.

Staging Connections announces exclusive Cumulus event app

Staging Connections have today announced their latest event app – Cumulus – a game changer in the events management marketplace. The exclusive mobile app allows clients to create a tailored solution with a range of features to streamline their management process and maximise return on investment for their event.

This innovative new app will provide event attendees with convenient access to important event information from a smart phone or tablet.

Event organisers can manage their own event-specific content via a user-friendly interface so that they can make changes instantly and delegates have access to the latest information.

Event information accessible on Cumulus includes venue details, floor plans, maps, event program, speaker biographies, transportation, sponsor information and exhibitor listings. The app is complimentary to all Staging Connections event services partners.

The 2018 Australasian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), in May 2018 was one of the debut events to utilise Cumulus. The app was central to the event providing attendees with the program, exhibitor listing, and enabling interactivity and feedback throughout every session at the event.

Lara Chrystal, Marketing Manager, Interpoint Events – a division of Intermedia, shared,

“We loved the new app because it provided a level of interactivity between the floor and the speakers never achieved before. It took audience engagement at our event to a new level.”

The modern design and practical user experience of Cumulus enables live polling during the event, links to social media channels and access to an event Bulletin Board to hear or download the latest happenings at the event.

Delegates can download Cumulus for free through the event organiser and create their own personalised profile to connect and network with colleagues also attending.

Delegates have direct access to the event program to bookmark sessions they wish to attend to ensure they don’t miss out. Sessions can be rated after the event and feedback downloaded instantly.

Tony Chamberlain, Managing Director of Staging Connections, shared,

“Cumulus empowers our clients to manage their own content and make changes instantly, so attendees always have the latest information.

The app is completely customisable for the event’s styling and branding to be added to the design. This is a game-changer – we don’t charge our clients for Cumulus when they partner with us for event services, so every client has the opportunity to offer an exclusive app to their attendees.”

ICC Sydney pioneering innovation with feeding your performance program

Announced at IMEX Frankfurt overnight, research released by University of Technology Sydney (UTS), reviewing International Convention Centre Sydney’s (ICC Sydney) all-encompassing Feeding Your Performance (FYP) program, has heralded the venue as a blueprint for innovation, delivering economic, social and environmental advances for Sydney and New South Wales (NSW).

Embedded across ICC Sydney’s operations, the FYP program strives to feed the performance of ICC Sydney delegates and visitors, team members, and the local economy, through a unique New South Wales-focused supply chain, a progressive sustainability approach and an industry-first Legacy Program.

The report noted ICC Sydney delivered a total A$8.3 million to the NSW economy in 2017 through its food and wine purchases. This represents a direct investment of more than $A4.3 million in a network of more than 85 NSW producers and farmers.

Overall, delegates attending events at ICC Sydney generated A$785 million in direct expenditure for the State in its first year of operation.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Regional Water and Trade & Industry, Niall Blair applauded ICC Sydney’s approach and said the research reinforced the venue’s reputation for innovation and excellence across the board.

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy and Sommelier William Wilson meet regional producers

“ICC Sydney is pioneering a commercial model which is driving a triple bottom line, delivering significant economic, social and environmental gains for New South Wales, and establishing a benchmark for best practice across sectors.

“For example, ICC Sydney’s approach to working hand-in-hand with local suppliers could be adopted by other venues to provide financial security for farmers and producers, driving employment and growth opportunities in regional areas. The culinary aspect of the FYP program is also showcasing the state’s outstanding produce on the global stage and creating new markets for agriculture and tourism,” he said.

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy believes it is vitally important that convention centres measure the full impact they have on their supply chain.

“We are immensely proud to be looking beyond the borders of Sydney to feed the business performance of our suppliers as well as the communities in which they’re located.

“As urbanisation increases, cities and their convention centres have a role to play in supporting the regional areas that feed them and support their event delivery. If our success is underpinned by delivering restaurant-quality produce, then we have an important role to play in supporting the supply chain that enables this.”

According to the research, key benefits of ICC Sydney’s FYP program include:

Economic development

  • Direct expenditure of $A4.3 million to NSW food and beverage producers in 2017
  • Supporting NSW producers and regional development
  • Providing demand for seasonal, fresh produce that counters market volatility inherent in the food industry
  • Driving employment growth opportunities
  • Increasing cash flow for farmers and producers, boosting production and supporting improvements to infrastructure.

Environmentally sustainable practices

  • Supporting local producers in alignment with state government sustainability strategies while endorsing CSR and stewardship
  • Reducing food miles and smaller carbon footprint while improving efficiencies
  • Partnering with OzHarvest to donate unused excess food to disadvantaged members of the community
  • Partnering with Sydney Water to save 775,000 plastic bottles from use, indirectly reducing gas emissions by 400 tonnes
  • Focusing on recycling, reduced use of chemicals, reduced waste and effective waste management.

Community benefits

  • Encouraging awareness and concerns for farmers and local communities
  • Supporting farmers to grow high quality, sustainable, and new and speciality produce
  • Building staff morale with inclusive recruitment program
  • Supporting local and diverse communities, including First Nations peoples and businesses
  • Collaborating with local producers and other firms in the supply chain
  • Unique multi-streamed Legacy Program providing event organisers with opportunity to partner with local organisations through four diverse streams – Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events.

Donaghy said key to the venue’s ongoing success will be driving continuous improvement.

“In the years to come, we are committed to continuing as we’ve started, supporting further investment in agritourism, building job opportunities and facilitating growth within our network of suppliers and beyond. This includes continuing to track impact across all sectors of the business and our supply chain so that the NSW community continues to thrive.”

Click here to read the full report.

Business Events fueling innovation with world first

Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) welcomes the announcement today of the partnership between Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and C2 International.

Melbourne’s business events sector is set to benefit from the partnership, which is a world first in the convention sector.

MCB is responsible for driving consideration of Melbourne as a first-choice business events destination, and the new partnership will assist in providing a compelling point of difference when selling Melbourne to global international association clients.

MCB Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger said “in such a competitive global landscape this initiative elevates Melbourne’s status as a business events leader and provides a unique point of differentiation not replicated in any other convention centre in the world.”

“Melbourne is renowned for our collaborative Team Melbourne approach, and this partnership provides a fitting example of the ripple effect of business events, and the partnerships and opportunities that can form through the business events platform.

“This partnership has set a new global benchmark in the sector. It will ensure Melbourne continues to maintain the lead and support MCB’s ongoing business development and bidding efforts to win more conferences for Melbourne and fill the expanded MCEC,” Ms Bolinger said.

Martin Enault, Karen Bolinger, Peter King

MCB secured the C2 conference for Melbourne, with the first C2 Melbourne event taking place 17 – 19 October 2018 at MCEC.

“By facilitating the entry of C2 into Melbourne we have opened the door for businesses to establish partnerships and create legacies.

“The C2 and MCEC partnership is game changing and we are proud to see the potential we initially identified in C2 come to fruition in such a creative and pioneering way,” Ms Bolinger said.

Ms Bolinger continued, “MCB’s strategy to diversify Melbourne’s business events portfolio is propelling innovation in Victoria, with business events identified as drivers of economic growth.

“MCB actively secures business events that have the capacity to grow the state’s economy in new and innovative ways. The MCEC partnership with C2 is a prime example of the ripple effect of business events secured for the state.”

The partnership will see MCEC granted exclusive access to C2’s experiential design platform and signature labs.

C2 has established its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Melbourne, strengthening the state’s reputation as Australia’s innovation capital, and highlighting the value of business events to growing the local economy.

MEA conference follow up – The Art of Business Drinking: 10 Essential Tips

Cocktail functions, awards dinners and after parties are the core networking opportunities at any conference and the annual MEA conference is no exception.

Ian Whitworth

Champion networker, marketer and well-known industry figure Ian Whitworth has published a guide to the art of business drinking.

It’s drawn from his book Kill All MBAs, out later in the year, which combines Whitworth’s dry humour with advice on how he and his partners built a large business, Scene Change, from startup.

“The presentations were outstanding, but the greater business opportunities occur after dark,” said Whitworth of the MEA conference.

“It’s not exaggerating to say Scene Change would be at least a third smaller without work that comes from cocktail party skills and late-night discussions in dark bars. So it’s vital to get it right.”

Business drinking offers so much scope to be charming and likeable, or to damage your business and personal brands beyond repair. Whitworth’s tips include how to lift your cocktail conversation skills, how to tell which of your staff should be allowed to represent your business in Loose Situations, and when you should pick up the tab.

Read the full story here: 

EU threat to stage lighting challenged by Robe Lighting CEO

Robe Lighting CEO Josef Valchar

Josef Valchar, CEO of Robe Lighting s.r.o is petitioning the Czech government and Czech Euro MPs to request that they exempt all stage lighting equipment (EN 60598-2-17, IEC 60598-2-17:2017) from proposed legislation that will prohibit its manufacture and sale immediately across Europe in 2020.

“I cannot stress the importance of this enough.” stated Josef.

“Every manufacturer, rental company, venue, LD, technician and other individual or organisation involved in any aspect of entertainment lighting or in producing events and performances should have a vested interest in opening a sensible and measured discussion about how it affects stage luminaires producing less than 85 lumens per Watt”.

“It is URGENT!!! We have only until the 7th May – that’s just 10 days – to get objections registered in Brussels! If we do this, then there will have to be a debate before the laws is passed.” underlines Josef.

He continues, “It is a vitally important time for the industry to unite and object to these proposals … to preserve tools at the very essence of our vibrant, diverse and creative industry!”

The proposed legislation – the Energy Directorate’s Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019 – will affect the entire industry, from lighting designer’s right through to manufacturers, rental companies and venues, technicians and everyone at all levels involved in the fabric and infrastructure of entertainment lighting.

Tungsten arc lamps will immediately become unavailable … so most lighting fixtures in most theatres Europe wide … will become obsolete.

Many more recent high quality LED lighting units will also be banned under the proposals which will bring the vast majority of quality theatre lights under the same rules that govern domestic, office and industrial lighting.

The impact of the proposals as they currently stand will be immediate and overwhelming.

The legislation relates to the amount of lumens output rather than the quality, and does not take into account lights utilising sophisticated optical systems which are geared to performance and entertainment lighting.

The entertainment industry will be left with virtually no tools with which to light concerts, festivals, events plays, musicals, dance events, television shows!

Many venues and production will go dark, others wanting to continue will have to be lit with equipment which is not appropriate or designed for the application.

It is as simple – and as stark – as that!

Josef is quick to point out that the Robe Company is among the greatest supporters of sustainable and energy efficient lighting. As a manufacturer, Robe has been committed to this philosophy and integrated it into its development process for well over a decade.

Josef’s statement concludes, “The technical production industry, and lighting and visuals in particular, has produced so many stunning and multi-award winning works worldwide and enabled numerous highly talented and skilled individuals to collaborate and has made important and invaluable contribution to our culture.

“It is imperative that EU industry leaders petition lawmakers in their own countries and urge them to start a dialogue on these proposals which will affect the industry so dramatically”

Other action that you can take includes signing online petitions.

In the UK the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) is running an online petition which contains over 14,000 signatures to date …

Please find the link to the ALD petition here – click on “sign and share the petition here” .. it takes only a couple of seconds!

“I strongly encourage everyone to get behind the campaign to change these proposals” urges Josef,

“Performance in all its forms is an expression at the heart of our numerous European cultures. Without moving, dramatic and spectacular lighting and visual effects, the experience will lack character and emotional engagement!”

with CX Magazine