Fireworks over the Brisbane River last night marked the end of the first day of Dreamtime 2017, Tourism Australia’s signature incentive product showcase which officially opened yesterday morning at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC).
The city’s bridges, City Hall and other sites will also mark the event during the week by lighting up in the silver and blue colours of Dreamtime 2017.
Ninety-four qualified international incentive planners and 19 media began their Dreamtime 2017 experience at BCEC with an opening ceremony that featured dancers from the Aboriginal Performing Arts College and innovative use of choreographed LED lighting.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said the focus of Dreamtime was to highlight Australia’s credentials as a modern business events destination.
“We are very excited to be hosting Dreamtime 2017 in Brisbane to demonstrate Australia’s strengths in delivering corporate incentive programs that encourage and reward high performance,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“To open Dreamtime this year, our guests were treated to an opening ceremony that introduced our delegates to the creativity, energy and professionalism of our business events industry.”
Following the opening ceremony, business to business pre-scheduled appointments took place between delegates and Australian business events products, destinations and experiences.
Throughout the Business Session guests had an opportunity to interact with creative technology at The Innovation Hub, featuring interactive virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Morning tea was another opportunity to showcase Australia’s food and service delivery, with a specially created menu of colourful treats that changed appearance under ultraviolet lights whilst also providing a dramatic setting.
Meanwhile the Dreamtime 2017 Media Program also provided plenty of surprises.
International and domestic media attending Dreamtime were provided with a behind-the-scenes tour of the new W Brisbane – set to open in March 2018 on the Brisbane riverfront. The five-star luxury hotel will offer 312 guestrooms and 32 suites, stellar views of the Brisbane River, and signature W comforts and amenities. W Brisbane features approximately 1,100 square metres of event space spanning 11 rooms, with configurations available to host events from 16 to 750 guests.
Next on the itinerary was a visit to the Howard Smith Wharves precinct. The historic riverfront site is undergoing a large-scale renewal that will transform one of Brisbane’s last working wharves into an entertainment precinct below the city’s iconic Story Bridge.
The site will include a five-star Art Series hotel with 164 rooms, function and event spaces to accommodate more than 1,000 guests, a craft brewery and a variety of restaurants.
The final experience on the Dreamtime 2017 Media Program was a networking reception at Eleven Rooftop Bar with some of Brisbane’s best-known identities who joined the group to share inspiring stories.
Internationally acclaimed dancer Li Cunxin, World Welterweight Champion boxer Jeff Horn and other advocates spent time with media and spoke about the reasons why Brisbane is their home, and why international incentives planners should put the city on their lists.
Mr O’Sullivan said the Dreamtime program sought to raise awareness and understanding of the possibilities offered by hosting business events in Australia, particularly corporate incentive programs.
“Our international business events media delegates have had a memorable experience today, getting to know the city through the eyes of the people who make it their home, and do incredible things in a diversity of fields, from boxing to ballet,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “By sharing the inspiration behind their love of Brisbane we hope to create further advocacy for the Australia as our media delegates share their experiences with their audiences around the world.”
Media and incentive planner delegates then regrouped for the welcome event at River Bar & Kitchen situated on the banks of the Brisbane River.
“Brisbane is Australia’s New World City with an abundance of Australian lifestyle experiences. We hope this welcome event gave delegates a taste of what Brisbane can offer,” said Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk.
Chef/owner Matt Moran – one of Australia’s most renowned chefs and restaurateurs – spoke to the group about his passion for showing the world that the Australian food scene has a wealth of top calibre dining and is worthy of international recognition.