Name: Dreamtime 2015

Type: Incentive product showcase with a dedicated day of business meetings.

By: Business events Australia with assistance from industry partners, notably host city bureau, Adelaide convention bureau, and Belle Laide events (welcome and gala dinner).

Client: International buyers of incentive travel product and business events media

Venue(s): Adelaide convention centre (business session) and various other venues within Adelaide.

Pax: Over 100 qualified buyers and media

No. on organising team: 4

Background: Held biennially, Dreamtime is Tourism Australia’s signature incentive showcase, that brings together incentive buyers and media from international markets to discover first-hand why there is nothing like Australia for business events. The 2015 event saw Business Events Australia, Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit, along with host city partner Adelaide Convention Bureau, design a program which provided buyers with the platform to build relationships with Australia’s business events industry, and to learn more about the country’s business events offering and diverse experiences.

What you did: Following the official opening at the Adelaide Convention Centre, with a Welcome to Country by the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains of South Australia, the Australian business events industry hosted dedicated one on one meetings with international buyers at the Business Session. After morning tea, which was delivered to the centre of the room in a beautiful display of wicker picnic baskets and miniature hot air balloons, hosted media set off to meet some of Adelaide’s most passionate advocates to learn why they call Adelaide home. This included chef, owner and TV personality Jock Zonfrillo at his restaurant Orana where he plated up a degustation menu featuring native ingredients to bring the taste of Australia to life. While back at the Adelaide Convention Centre, delegates were presented with a feast of Adelaide produce, fresh seafood and for dessert, individual Haigh’s chocolate mousse cakes alongside wattle seed cake and South Australian cheese.

After the Business Session, Australian business event sellers joined the media at Penfolds Magill Estate for a casual yet stylish Dreamtime Welcome Event overlooking the vineyards at sunset.

Day two started with a breakfast that stopped traffic, at the trendy inner-city street, Vardon Avenue, which was closed especially for Dreamtime delegates. After sampling food and beverages from local providores, delegates were then split into their countries of origin for a range of activities in and around Adelaide. Buyers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Korea met local traders and discovered the history and vibrancy of the Adelaide Central Market before visiting the Botanic Gardens of South Australia for lunch. This was followed by a tour of the Cleland Wildlife Park and the chance to pat kangaroos and koalas. While buyers from Greater China visited Seppeltsfield Winery in the Barossa Valley, driving around the gardens by Segway and later embarking on a helicopter flight across the valley. New Zealand and USA buyers visited Jacob’s Creek Heritage Vineyard where they split into teams to cook their own delicious lunch, while buyers from the UK and India rode in a fleet of vintage vehicles to Port Willunga for some beach cricket, fishing and sand art team-building, before enjoying a blending experience at Wirra Wirra Winery in the McLaren Vale.

Day two concluded with the Dreamtime Dinner at the National Wine Centre of Australia, created by Belle Laide Events. The dinner celebrated South Australia through the stories of its people, a common theme that was threaded throughout Dreamtime. As the night unfolded, the entrée was introduced to guests via a vignette featuring Dr Hagan Stehr AO, founder of Clean Seas Hiramasa Kingfish in Port Lincoln and Australia’s only commercial producer of Kingfish. Ben Bryant, Chief Winemaker of Jacob’s Creek, spoke to attendees of the heritage of this iconic winery, and took them through the tasting notes of Centenary Hill Shiraz. Lastly, Chocolatier Steven ter Horst spoke about his passion for quality, for South Australian produce, and for chocolate, before guests were treated to his impressive degustation dessert table.

F&B: A key highlight of Dreamtime 2015 was the emphasis on Australia’s ability to produce high quality food and wine. From the delicious lunch served up at the Adelaide Convention Centre, to local produce sourced for the National Wine Centre dinner and the premium wine that was poured to accompany dishes served at the wineries in the McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley, the delegates had the opportunity to taste outstanding produce from Adelaide and around the country.

Challenges: Adelaide is not well known in some international markets. The challenge for Business Events Australia was to build awareness and desirability around the host city to attract high quality buyers and media to the event.

Overcoming challenges: The Business Events Australia team created the positioning ‘Adelaide, welcome to our home’ that highlighted the heritage of the people of Adelaide and South Australia, and their connection to the land and what it produces. This positioning statement was weaved through communications with the buyers and media in the lead up to the event, from the Dreamtime invitation which featured a stylised map of Adelaide highlighting key attractions, hotels and the close proximity to surrounding regions; to edms that included vignettes featuring leading South Australian food and wine personalities, Peter Gago, Maggie Beer and Jock Zonfrillo, welcoming them to their home. The positioning was used not only to drive awareness around Adelaide and what it has to offer but to bring the city to life through its people.

Special touches:

  • The Business Session was designed to represent the Australian landscape, with theming featuring bespoke watercolour graphics evoking the vastness, beauty and diversity of the Australian continent.
  • The Opening Ceremony and the Gala Dinner at the National Wine Centre, where every guest had a personalised mailbox which contained a welcome letter in their national language, and at the end of the evening their mailbox had a crocheted koala hand made in Adelaide.
  • The Gala Dinner’s dessert course featured live cooking from Chocolatier Steven ter Horst.
  • Closing down an Adelaide thoroughfare for the day two breakfast created a marketplace-style experience for delegates and demonstrated the can-do attitude of the city for the international incentive market.
  • The farewell gift to buyers was a beautiful cream and gold silk printed scarf featuring the stylised map of Adelaide for the ladies, while the men received pocket squares in the same design.

Client’s comments:

“Dreamtime gives me a new and fresh outlook on the unique and extraordinary resources of business events in Australia. It’s really helpful to recommend to our potential corporate clients, and hopefully they have the opportunity to visit and experience Australia.” – Dreamtime buyer

“Tourism Australia delivered yet another outstanding trade event that provided the right balance between business and networking. Adelaide should be proud of the showcase they put on which really highlighted the extraordinary food and wine offering of the city and the surrounding regions.” – Dreamtime seller