Centre celebrates 25 years

The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 4, marking a milestone for the Australian events sector.

Centre chief executive Ton van Amerongen said the silver anniversary was cause for celebration across the industry.
“The past 25 years have seen remarkable development in the national business events landscape,” Mr van Amerongen said.
“The opening of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in 1988 represented much more than just a Bicentenary project and a rejuvenation of Darling Harbour. It was also the catalyst for the growth and development of the entire business events industry, right across the country.”
Mr van Amerongen said Australia’s ability to host world-class events had benefited numerous local industries over the past quarter century, from medical and scientific professions through to the culinary world and sports sector.
“With a million people passing through our doors each year, the centre has formed part of the economic and social fabric of our nation.”
Close to 15,000 events have been held at the centre since its opening, including some of the world’s most prestigious meetings.
The Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre will close in December to allow for the creation of a new Sydney International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct, scheduled to open in late 2016.

New event space Macquarie Wharf No. 2 in Hobart opened its doors in mid-April. Overlooking the Hobart waterfront precinct, the venue is right on the doorstep of Salamanca Place and the Henry Jones Complex and is just two minutes’ walk from the Hotel Grand Chancellor. Catering for medium to large scale corporate functions and events of up to 1000 guests and an additional 100 event related staff, the new space is a welcome addition to Hobart’s business events infrastructure.

The Australian Dental Association has announced that the 36th Australian Dental Congress will return to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in March 2015. Brisbane has previously hosted the biggest Australian dental congress in history when the 2011 event attracted a record 4000 delegates. Australian Dental Association federal sales and events manager, Oscar van Elten, said Brisbane was a popular destination with great appeal to delegates. “Accessibility of the destination and location and suitability of the venue were major influencing factors,” he said.

Cairns has been named as the first regional destination to secure the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) when it will host the event in 2014. Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Rob Giason said the region’s popularity as a leisure destination and strong track record in the international events market helped Cairns win the bid to host the southern hemisphere’s largest international trade show. “Bringing ATE to Cairns in 2014 is an extraordinary coup reflecting the quality of the destination and its tourism infrastructure as well as the strong participation at ATE by the Cairns & Great Barrier Reef region over the past 13 years,” he said. “Cairns has an established reputation as an international contender in the events market having hosted the Pacific Islands Forum and ATEC Meeting Place as well as being selected to host the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting In 2014.

Leading child welfare charity Barnardos Australia is thrilled to announce Anna Cesarano as its new Mother of the Year Awards Business Ambassador and member of the awards’ judging panel. Now in its 18th year, Barnardos Australia’s Mother of the Year Awards is the charity’s flagship event, which honours and recognises the enormous contribution that everyday mums make in shaping Australia’s future through nurturing children. Of her new role with Barnardos, Anna says she is honoured and delighted to be able to contribute to this great cause. As a mother of two, Anna happily balances motherhood with her work as director and co-owner of the Doltone House Group.

QT Gold Coast has had a whirlwind start to the year with more than 70 events already taken place this calendar year. These include the ASP World Surfing Awards, which was held back in February and included surfing heroes Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore and Charlie from High 5; the National Paint Place Franchise Conference in March with 250 franchisees in attendance; and the BIC Oceania Sales & Marketing Annual Conference.

CWT Meetings & Events says it is continuing to reinforce its team to manage and support the strong growth of business. “We are seeing a lot of activity in the industry at the moment: expansion but also consolidation within the market as companies look for a one-stop-shop solution that incorporates everything from event strategy to sourcing and logistical support”, said Floyd Widener, global senior vice president of CWT Meetings & Events. “The beginning of the year has been very healthy for our business and we expect to see strong market growth for the first quarter 2013 on a global level. We have further strengthened our team to drive even greater value for our clients.”

Crown Chairman James Packer has signed a culinary partnership with internationally renowned restaurateurs Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahimi who have been appointed by Crown Melbourne to serve as culinary directors for the next three years. In their new roles, Perry and Brahimi will combine their expertise to influence all menus across Crown Hotels, events and conferencing, as well as overseeing some of Crown’s finest restaurants such as Rockpool Bar and Grill, Bistro Guillaume, Rosetta, Spice Temple and Silks. Ensuring all guests to Crown have a world-class dining experience, Perry and Brahimi will work with the company to support training and mentoring of the culinary team working across all Crown Melbourne venues.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel opened in May, boasting a range of unique functions and event spaces including three stunning rooftop spaces with views of the international runway, surrounding area and city skyline. The four-and-a-half star, 318 room hotel development, managed by Denwol Group, is Sydney’s first on site airport hotel and is expected to create a hub for business travellers as well as local business people looking for a convenient and unique new location to hold meetings and events. The 11 conference rooms, which hold between 10 and 190 people, offer state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, video conferencing facilities, broadband and Wi-Fi access.

Tiger Airways Australia is celebrating a return to Alice Springs with new services commencing from Sydney and Melbourne. The airline’s return to Central Australia comes as the Northern Territory industry is calling out for more flights off the back of growing demand from both local and international visitors. Tiger Airways Australia commercial director, Carly Brear, says the airline is responding to overwhelming demand for Tiger’s services to the Red Centre. “Alice Springs won our recent online voting poll calling for Australians to vote where Tiger should fly to next and we’re thrilled to be announcing not one, but two new low cost services to a community that currently lacks low cost options and also heavily relies on tourism,” Ms Brear said.

ENCORE INCENTIVES has joined arinex, one of Australia’s leading PCO, destination management companies and event management companies. In announcing the move, arinex managing director, Roslyn McLeod, said “The move is timely and an excellent fit for both ENCORE and arinex. The expertise of arinex and our strong international network will enable us to work together to grow the DMC business from the USA – the traditional market of ENCORE.” ENCORE was established in 2001 by Paulette Crowder and Deb Saunders and is a leading DMC operator into Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. Paulette Crowder said, “Joining arinex is a strong next step for us – we love what we do and want to continue to grow. This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our combined business for the future.” ENCORE’s North American representation company The DMC Group has welcomed the move and will continue to represent ENCORE-arinex DMC in the USA and Canada. m

Craft beers, luxury yachts, sunset cruises, seafood feasts, parasailing and quad bike rides on Australia’s biggest sand dunes feature in new itineraries released by MICE Port Stephens for the Hunter region’s conference and events market. Two and three-day itineraries have been drafted to offer corporate visitors – and their families – a mix of inspired work and ‘fresh air’ play in the blue water wonderland of Port Stephens, a short drive away from Newcastle and other areas of the Hunter Valley. “Our suggested itineraries in Port Stephens are designed as an antidote from the hustle and bustle of city distractions so delegates and their companies can gain fresh perspectives and clarity in a natural, uncluttered seaside setting,” said MICE Port Stephens manager, Rebecca Morley.

Visit www.portstephens.org.au/conferences to learn more.