Martin Winter & Karen Bolinger

MELBOURNE: The 36th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) held in Melbourne in July was an historic event, and garnered more media attention than any other scientific conference this decade, according to organisers MCI. On day one of the conference, the discovery of the Higgs boson was announced during a live link from Geneva, Switzerland. Thunderous applause broke out simultaneously in auditoriums on opposite ends of the globe. The conference is held every two years by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and with thousands of very excited physicists and just as many media stories being generated around the world, ICHEP 2012 is a significant event for all involved.

SYDNEY: A mission to boost the role of young people in the exhibition and event industry kicked off in July with the launch of the EEAA Young Stars Program at Luna Park, Sydney. The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) is targeting the under-35s with the new program which offers an opportunity to network, brainstorm ideas and have a say in the issues facing the industry. EEAA general manager Joyce DiMascio said the program had been designed to encourage young people to get involved with their professional association.

ADELAIDE: Emirates Airlines’ arrival in Adelaide will result in greater levels of investment in tourism accommodation infrastructure in South Australia, according to the Accommodation Association of Australia. The association’s CEO, Richard Munro, said Emirates’ commitment to Adelaide is the culmination of years of advocacy from the South Australian Government and the South Australian Tourism Commission, particularly during Andrew McEvoy’s time as chief executive.

GOLD COAST: Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter (pictured) has been appointed to the Newman Government’s Post-Forum Working Group to implement agreed actions signed off at the inaugural DestinationQ Forum held in Cairns in June. Mr Winter said the the Newman Government had moved swiftly and decisively in elevating the tourism industry as a key pillar of the economy and valuing the input of industry based leaders such as Gold Coast Tourism. “Delivering on the DestinationQ Forum actions will generate real progress for the thousands of tourism operators and the 221,000 Queenslanders employed in the state’s tourism industry,” he said.

SYDNEY: Destination Marketing Services’ Leila Fiedler recently announced the company has closed its domestic hotel division to focus on representing destination marketing companies and international hotels. “We are very focused on what we do and change with the trends but we also make sure that we don’t digress from our core strength which is business tourism representation work,” she told micenet AUSTRALIA. The company is also moving office after 20 years to a CBD location.

BRISBANE: The past financial year has been a prosperous and productive one for Brisbane, with confirmed bid wins totalling $71.9 million. Brisbane Marketing’s convention bureau director Annabel Sullivan said this impressive achievement included some significant international bid wins led by Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) with support from Brisbane Marketing. Some of the international bid wins include: the Annual Meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) 2013; SPE Unconventional Resources Congress 2013; the International Scientific Meeting of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) 2015; and the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) 2016.

MELBOURNE: The Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau’s (MCVB) CEO Karen Bolinger (pictured) unveiled the next phase of the organisation’s new positioning campaign, Melbourne IQ: The Intelligent Choice for Conferences at IMEX in Frankfurt recently. Aimed at the international associations market, Melbourne IQ is designed to promote Victoria’s expertise and track record in a diverse range of academic, scientific and professional endeavours, and highlights the state’s capabilities as an intellectual capital. The first stage of the campaign was the release of a brochure, with a number of other initiatives taking place over recent months, including: the establishment of a microsite; a mail out to key stakeholders; a presentation to MCVB’s and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre’s Club Melbourne Ambassadors; and the creation of a print advertisement which has already appeared in a number of association publications.


ICE Australia celebrates 20 successful years

Professional conference organising company, ICE Australia, celebrated 20 successful years in July.

Since 1992 International Conferences & Events (ICE) Australia has evolved from a small home office event management company to one of Australia’s leading PCOs, specialising in not-for-profit association events.
MD Christine Dorner said she never imagined the company would grow into what it has become today.
“The success of the company is attributed to the hard work of the team at ICE and also the very loyal clients we have worked with during this time,” she said.
ICE Australia initially catered to the corporate market offering event management services and then quickly moved over to conferences after many of her clients saw Christine’s keen eye for detail and budget management, and engaged her services for more complex events. With this success Christine was able to further develop ICE Australia to provide complete conference management services.
With continued success and exponential growth in Sydney ICE opened additional offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to cater to the company’s clients national rotations, providing a local service throughout Australia.


Business tourists the new breed

Business tourists have emerged as the new breed of corporate travellers, according to new research.

Australian business travellers want a ‘home-away-from-home’ when they travel for work and are shying away from using third-party online travel websites to book accommodation. Meanwhile, their employers, which are generally corporates at the big end of town, are increasingly turning to tailored client hotel programs to reduce the cost of accommodation.
These trends have been highlighted in a new research paper on the hotel sector, released by Australian corporate travel company FCm Travel Solutions.
FCm’s general manager of global product – corporate, Joe McCormack, said FCm’s research paper discussed how the corporate sector’s pursuit of more all-round value from their hotel investments was driving changes not only in the booking and buying process but for hotel owners.
“Corporate travellers are now being viewed as business tourists,” he said.
“They want rooms that have high-speed internet connectivity capable of supporting their personal devices. They want to be able to listen to their ipod through a docking station, watch Foxtel, download a movie or TV series, or exercise in well-equipped gyms while they travel.
“Because of this, hotels are starting to focus more on creating a ‘home-away-from-home’ for corporate guests, where they can more easily blend business with leisure, and access the same high-quality information and communication technology, as they would at home.
“Tapping into the trend of fusing business with leisure are chains such as IHG, which is developing EVEN – a new line of health and wellness properties. EVEN guestrooms are designed for workouts with coat racks that double as pull-up bars, luggage racks that can be used as a work-out bench, yoga mats and a circuit training guide with routines that can be done without having to leave the room.”
FCm’s whitepaper also points to industry research that says Australia’s domestic hotel market will see only a two percent increase in new hotel supply during the next five years.
Mr McCormack said strong demand for hotel accommodation around Australia and minimal new hotel supply now and in the next few years would put pressure on rates, forcing more companies to look for ways to increase ROI on their travel.