They say the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and the same could be said for a small publishing company like us. Staffers from The InterContinental Sydney, including executive chef, Tamas Pamer, meetings and events business development director, Janine Pinto, and marketing manager, Abigail Murphy arrived with an array of specially prepared coffees and plenty of sweet treats for our team of 10 to showcase the property’s latest options for conference morning and afternoon tea breaks. Lamingtons, raspberry and rosewater macaroons, cranberry rocky road, and Malfroy’s honey tarts were all savoured and enjoyed. When served up to delegates (at no extra charge we’re told), staff also provide recipes of the delectable treats that delegates can take home. The goodies are part of the InterContinental Sydney’s Insider Breaks time-out suggestions for groups where delegates can incorporate interactive local experiences such as piping hot Harry’s Cafe de Wheels pies, yum cha from Chinatown, and freshly shucked oysters from the Sydney Fish Market. Visit our Facebook page to see a few more photos.

 When things go bad at events, like they did with tragic results in the 2011 Kimberley Ultramarathon, it really can have an impact on the industry as a whole. It’s about time for business event practitioners to take a stand and get some standard practices ingrained into the sector that everybody can adhere to so that tragedies like this one are avoided in the future.

A pat on the back to Crown this edition courtesy of its television commercial in which the affable concierge tells viewers about how good the Crown group is for the greater community. Okay, so it’s easy to tell everybody how good you are in an advertisement but there really are some startling facts in there. We especially like the talk of the number of staff the company now employs and mention of the word “conventions”.

The organiser of the Australian Business Events Expo and Sydney’s Event Showcase made a monumental blunder when it gave cheap last-minute rates to exhibit. The good news is that the new show director, Karen Krieger, has made it abundantly clear (see article page 28-30) that this is a strategy she does not support. The discounting in this instance was “directed by team members who are no longer with the business”.

Sometimes the seemingly insurmountable can be overcome by careful planning and plenty of creativity. j2 ideas & events proved that recently when it created the AirportlinkM7 Tunnel Charity Dinner. Turn to page 24-5 to read how they turned a tunnel into an event space.