May 11, 2021 | By Graeme Kemlo

Earlier this year Business Events Geelong was forced to cancel a face-to-face famil when the threat of COVID lockdown in Victoria meant a number of attendees were unable to take part.

But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. By enlisting the help of former international model, actress and national TV personality Nicky Buckley, Business Events Geelong is staging a virtual famil of Victoria’s second city and the nearby Bellarine region.

The glamorous Buckley, who first rose to prominence as co-host of television program Sale of the Century in the 1990s, guides virtual visitors through a series of 12 walk-through videos highlighting major business events options in the region, located about an hour’s drive from Melbourne.

With her husband, model Murray Bingham, and their three boys, Buckley has been a long-time resident and business-owner in the region, so was a great fit according to Business Events Geelong.

Buckley explains the different options for meeting planners at venues from waterfront spaces to a large scale stadium and from picturesque wineries to boutique retreats.

Without wanting to giveaway the answers to the questions you need to answer to win one of the prizes Business Events Geelong has on offer to encourage uptake of the famil opportunity, the regional venues covered by the virtual tour are quite diverse.

Over many years covering the region on behalf of micenet this writer has personally visited, written about and photographed the following venues:

Provenance Wines set in an old mill by a river where the century-old barrel hall can host 250 (standing) or 180 (banquet); a 1,397-seat auditorium in an old woolstore, now part of Deakin University; Mt Duneed Estate with its banquet hall for up to 359 with a dance floor or 500  standing as well as some smaller private meeting and dining spaces; and Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Estate offering residential conferencing with eight meeting spaces from a boardroom for 12 to a space for 150 theatre, plus a range of syndicate spaces indoors and out.

So what are you waiting for?  Better get cracking, because to win prizes including accommodation in Geelong, a helicopter flight for two over the city and regional culinary delights, you will need to watch all 12 videos then answer a questionnaire online before midnight Friday May 14. The videos are available to watch on the Business Events Geelong website.