The third annual Meeting On The Green event organised by Tourism Portfolio and micenet AUSTRALIA, and held at Mercure Kooindah Waters on the NSW Central Coast on October 5 was hailed a great success with golf played under sunny skies, and plenty of great prizes shared by the 150 business event professionals.
And it wasn’t just those out on the course who enjoyed themselves far too much, with around 35 non-golfers enjoying the 50 Shades of Grey, Matter workshop with special guest speakers Bettina Arndt and Dr Helena Popovic, courtesy of the Saxton Speakers Bureau.
The 2012 Meeting On The Green had more of everything: more players (buyers), more sponsors, more workshop attendees, and plenty more prizes. And there was certainly more sunshine, with golf played under spectacular spring weather.
For those who decided to make a full day of it and partake in the many wondrous beverages on offer throughout the day, a bus from the Sydney CBD was available early in the morning.
When visitors arrived they were met with a hearty breakfast and French champagne courtesy of Lanson, for those who wanted an early morning kick starter.
Breakfast courtesy of the platinum sponsor Accor, was served on the outdoor balcony of the Mercure Kooindah Waters clubhouse, with entertainment provided by the band in residence for the day, SongDivision (who also created a Meeting on the Green song that captured the essence of the day which the attendees enjoyed over lunch).
After some quick instruction to players on the rules of how the ambrose game would be played, golfers set off in their motorised buggies for five hours of golf, laughter, and interaction with sponsors, many of who went to great lengths to offer something different on their holes. Workshop attendees meanwhile went to do their thing.
Hawaiian Airlines and Hawaii Tourism generously co-sponsored a prize of a trip to Hawaii that was auctioned at the luncheon and which raised $6000 for charity organisation LAM Australasia Research Alliance (LARA) – Meeting On The Green’s charity of choice for 2012.
Other major supporters were Oneill Photographics which took photographs of the day, and Rob Vass from the Show Production Institute, who acted as MC (and by his own accounts a keen golf hacker).
Australian professional golfers Grant Mitchell, Aaron Townsend and Andre Stolz, two times winner on the Asian golf tour last year, were on the course throughout the day to assist players with a shot or two.
Following the workshop and golf guests enjoyed a superb buffet lunch where freshly shucked oysters and seafood appeared to be the pick of the day.
The winning golf team was Sue-Ellen McTaggart, James Croll and Buddy Nagi from the Sane Event Group and Trevor Le Breton from Irrigation Australia.
Meeting on the Green organisers, Donna Kessler of Tourism Portfolio, and BT Publishing’s Helen Batt-Rawden, said they were extremely happy with the event, especially the support they had received from sponsors and the venue, the Mercure Kooindah Waters.
“We’ve held this event at Kooindah Waters for the past three years. The course is fantastic and the resort conference facilities really are outstanding, it works extremely well with an event of this kind,” Ms Kessler said.
“We’ve been able to cater equally well to golfers and non-golfers in a setting that really does take you away from it all and yet in reality is less than 90 minutes from Sydney.”
“We’re also surprised and thrilled at the level of sponsorship support we’ve had from day one, and we saw an increase in this again this time around,” Ms Batt-Rawden added.
“Many sponsor participants really went out of their way to entertain and impress the buyers. Feedback so far is that they have already received solid business for them in the future. This is the only golf day/ workshop for the business event sector in Australia and the industry has really embraced it which is pleasing to see.”
What participants said…
Participants in this year’s Meeting On The Green, on and off the course, were extremely happy with the event.
The Axis Group’s Kim Waterhouse said as soon as she returned to the office she started raving to her staff about “the wonderful time spent at Meetings On The Green and sensational Kooindah Waters Resort (which Accor should be very proud), on the Central Coast”.
“What a great day, the Accor meeting was amazing and I would love more time with such an inspiring group of MICE leaders. The workshop was a sensational investment in time for me personally and [I] cannot thank you enough for making such a huge effort in accommodating the non-golfers. We have so much fun!
“Truly a great event and looking forward to next year,” she said.
Planbook Pty Ltd’s John Thompson said it was hard to pinpoint any one thing that he liked best “but meeting new people and seeing what the sponsors and their products have to offer is interesting.”
General manager of Irrigation Australia, Trevor LeBreton, who was part of the winning golf team on the day, said Meeting On The Green gave him “the chance to mingle with new people and play in the very best organised golf day I get the opportunity to play in for the year”.
“Simply well done!” he said.
South African Airways Australasian country manager, Tim Clyde-Smith, said the tone for the day was set right from the get-go “with an atmosphere carried by the live band and a breakfast menu to arrest a hungry stomach”.
“With a course location just over an hour outside of Sydney, it was a simple drive and well worth it to get the golf shoes back onto to a beautiful course that despite the hard effort of multiple golf pros on the course, I could not hit a straight ball for all the tea in China,” Mr Clyde-Smith said.
“Meetings on the Green is the most constructive corporate golf day I have participated in given the effort made by the exhibitors to engage with us as we carted through the day. Those of them who made the effort will have received optimum results.
“Thank you to them, Donna Kessler and Helen Batt-Rawden for the effort, and I look forward to next time for more of the valuable networking that goes part and parcel with a day like this.”
Gold sponsors for the day included:
- Mercure Kooindah Waters
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
- Staging Connections
- Club Med
- Millennium Hotels & Resorts
- Crown Melbourne
- Shanghai Tourism
- Marriott Australia
- South African Tourism / South African Airways
- Meeting and Events Australia
- Destination Rotorua
- Oman Ministry of Tourism
- Sun International
- Air Tahiti Nui/Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti
- Saxton Speakers Bureau
- Maui Jim
- Lanson Champagne