Dreamtime 2013, Tourism Australia’s signature business events trade activity, is taking place in Melbourne from 9 to 13 December, and helping to bring this year’s event life is the team from Peter Jones Special Events.
Peter Jones Special Events brings a wealth of experience to the event management of Dreamtime 2013, having organised a number of significant corporate and incentive events including Amway China 2008 and Corroboree Melbourne 2011, and most recently an incredible gala dinner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the 4,000 strong Amway India incentive group in 2012. Peter Jones Special Events was also involved in Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure, organising both the welcome public event at Federation Square and intimate farewell dinner for Ms Winfrey and her 300 ultimate audience members in 2010.
Tourism Australia caught up with Peter Jones, Managing Director of Peter Jones Special Events, to get his perspective on business events.
How do you feel about working on Dreamtime 2013?
It’s great to be working with Tourism Australia back in Melbourne for Dreamtime. We all know Melbourne is a great city for incentive events and we look forward to showcasing Melbourne and Australia as the ideal location for incentive events.
What inspires you when it comes to creating events?
Besides a good glass of wine and a vivid imagination, inspiration comes from many areas but is always hard to define. What may be a lovely building and the latest song to you is sometimes the catalyst for me in creating an event that has guests dining in black tie on the roof of the building to an amazing interpretation of that particular song performed by a symphony orchestra with a didgeridoo. It’s always easier to get inspired when you have a client that’s willing to listen to ideas rather than telling you this is the way I want it done. At the end of the day, we’re only as good as what we have to work with.
What is Australia’s point of difference in the delivery of events?
Besides an abundance of talent that is here to organise all these great events, it is the uniqueness of Australia that is the difference. Whether it’s the vast outback, rain forests, beaches or cities there is a different experience waiting for anyone coming to Australia. One of the great things about Australia is that there is no shortage of ideas and places to create these events. Often it just starts with an image or an idea that can then be transformed into a unique experience.
Events that you have produced, what is your favourite and why?
I know this will sound cliché but every event is a favourite as they are created specifically for a client’s particular needs. The ones that are truly memorable though are the ones that have a real impact on people and I can stand there and say “I was very proud to be part of this event”. Three in particular come to mind.
Centenary of Federation in 2001:
Celebrating 100 years of nationhood. The greatest gathering of dignitaries in our history. This event only happens once every hundred years and the next time this event will be staged will be in 2101 so it will be someone else’s job to look after it then!
Cadel Evans Welcome Home Street Parade:
Fifty thousand turned up to welcome him back after his win in the Tour de France and we virtually had to shut down the city. He was genuinely moved by the response having asked the night before if anyone will turn up! As an Australian, I felt very proud of what he had achieved.
Field of Women:
Thirteen thousand five hundred women standing on the MCG as one for all those touched by breast cancer. Truly an emotional experience that I’ve never seen replicated at any other event.
In Australia, what is the ultimate event you would like to create if you had an unlimited budget?
That’s easy. One hundred of my friends arrive at the airport ready for a weekend away, not really knowing what it is. The private jet arrives and off we go with the following in place:
- Breakfast at the Argyle Mine in The Kimberleys, with a shopping spree thrown in
- Lunch at Uluru with a personalised tour
- Dinner in the Grange cellar room in Adelaide – no food, just the Grange!
- Breakfast the next morning on a floating pontoon at the Great Barrier Reef after a dive
- Lunch on the main stage at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra playing background music
- Dinner in the middle of the MCG when we all arrive back in Melbourne with highlights of the weekend shown on the scoreboard
For some reason I’ve always wanted to do that, which is why a lot of my friends ask me when is it going to happen!