NEWS: Devices stay switched on with Qantas

Qantas announced this morning that customers can now use their smart phones, tablets and music players during take-off and landing without having to switch off, providing uninterrupted access to work and entertainment. Qantas was approved to revise its personal electronic device policy by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority yesterday following new guidance on the safe use of personal electronic devices inflight. Until yesterday, devices in Australia were required to remain off until the seatbelt sign turned off, meaning passengers were unable to use them while the […]

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NEWS: Auckland’s winning streak

Auckland recently won a bid to host the 4th World Journalism Education Congress in 2016, a win that comes after a successful start to the financial year for business event in Auckland. The congress, which will be held at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), is expected to attract 300 delegates from more than 30 academic organisations worldwide making an estimated contribution to Auckland’s regional GDP of more than $350,000. Auckland Convention Bureau (ACB) – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – worked with AUT to […]

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NEWS: BCEC keeps busy

In the lead-up to the G20 summit in November, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is as busy as ever, hosting back-to-back conferences worth $21 million to the local economy. The world’s leading language and linguistic specialists descended on the BCEC this week for the 17th World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA 2014). The six-day AILA congress, which brings some 1400 delegates from 80 countries to Brisbane,  is one of 11 consecutive conferences hosted by the centre this month alone. In total, these […]

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NEWS: Christchurch centre good for tourism

Tourism leaders have welcomed the recent announcement to develop Christchurch’s new convention centre, after international investment was confirmed this month. “We’re thrilled to have confirmation of the development and operation of Christchurch’s new convention centre, set to open in 2017,” Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism CEO, Tim Hunter, said. The Convention Centre Precinct (CCP) will be located on the block defined by Armagh Street, Oxford Terrace, Worcester Street and Colombo Street; and Gloucester Street will become part of the precinct itself. In this location, the CCP will connect […]

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NEWS: Albury gets an Atura edge

A fresh approach to mid-market accommodation will soon be launched in regional NSW as Rydges Albury prepares for a major overhaul to become Australia’s second Atura-branded property. An extensive renovation will begin mid-August to transform the property into the edgy, design-inspired Atura Albury. Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (AHL) managing director, David Seargeant, said the Atura refurbishment will offer something new and unique to regional NSW. “The focus is on delivering design, personality and great value with travellers increasingly seeking value-driven experiences to take them out of the everyday – a specialty of Atura Hotels. “There are a […]

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NEWS: MCB highlights value of business events

The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) this week reported an impressive $246 million boost to the local economy from the 175 business events it secured in the 2013/2014 financial year, 32 per cent increase from the previous year. Bureau chief Karen Bolinger said the organisation’s performance for the 2013/2014 financial year was a remarkable achievement in what was a challenging, yet rewarding year. “The competition to secure business events for Melbourne is now stronger than ever before, so to finish the financial year up on the previous year […]

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NEWS: Boat Show sails get carried away

Fine weather, the lure of a free ferry ride on the harbour and new location proved a winning formula for this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, with one eager buyer even walking his new boat out of Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island’s front door. After visiting the show over the weekend, Howard Piggott, immediate past commodore of Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, arrived back at the venue on Monday (August 4) to take delivery of his new Walker Bay 275R with Walker Bay 8 […]

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NEWS: Lirrwi launches tours in Arnhem Land

Lirrwi Tourism will introduce two new tours of Yolngu homelands this spring, inviting small groups to experience Indigenous traditions and culture as part of a long-term vision for tourism in Arnhem Land. From September, groups of between 8 and 14 people will be able to travel through remote Arnhem Land and stay with Yolngu families in their ancestral lands, providing an intimate encounter with the world’s oldest continuous living culture. Guests will learn first-hand about the customs, skills and ceremonies of the Yolngu people, while taking part […]

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NEWS: Mantra’s green conferencing sprouts new life

Mantra Group’s green conferencing solution is sprouting some new life with 10 hotels in the group now part of the program, which launched earlier this year in March at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach. The initiative pledges that a tree is planted for every delegate who attends a green conference.  Since the program was piloted at Mantra Mooloolaba Beach a total of 433 trees have been planted at the property. The program is operated in conjunction with Carbon Neutral, a carbon solutions provider and reforestation offset developer.  Trees […]

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NEWS: Industry executives join OCEC

The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) continues to attract a high level of experienced industry professionals as it prepares for opening in 2016. OCEC general manager, Trevor McCartney said he was delighted with the quality and standard of the venue’s latest recruits, including the appointment this week of internationally respected industry executive, Gillian Taylor, as the centre’s director of business development. “This centre is one of the country’s pillar projects and I’m confident that the team we’re presently assembling will contribute to Oman’s economic diversification by […]

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NEWS: ICC Sydney team expands

The management team at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) continues to grow with the appointment this week of  Samantha Taranto (pictured) to the position of communications director. A senior communications and public relations professional, Ms Taranto’s 14 years of experience spans communications consulting and in-house corporate affairs with companies including AMP Capital, The GPT Group and Weber Shandwick. Chief executive officer of ICC Sydney and AEG Ogden Group conventions director, Geoff Donaghy said Ms Taranto’s appointment would continue to build the growing momentum and interest in ICC Sydney. […]

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NEWS: AIDS conference pays tribute to MH17 victims

Tributes were paid to the six delegates who lost their lives aboard flight MH17 at the opening session of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne over the weekend. A one minute global moment of remembrance was held in their honour with eleven former, present and future presidents of the International AIDS Society onstage together with representatives from those organizations who lost colleagues, the World Health Organization, AIDS Fonds, Stop AIDS Now, The Female Health Company, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and members of […]

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NEWS: iVvy launches real-time booking system

Event management software provider iVvy, this week launched the world’s first real-time booking platform for the hospitality and MICE industries at the HotelsWorld Conference in Sydney. The new cloud-based software will enable event organisers to connect with venues real-time to search, compare, and book online, and has the ability to connect multiple properties and give live reporting across all venues. Live bookings are connected to back-end automation processes – allowing properties to drive and manage events more synergistically and with a shorter turnaround time. Mantra Group will be one of the first to roll out the […]

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BREAKING: AIDS delegates on Malaysia Airlines MH17

The International AIDS Society has expressed its sadness at news that a number of colleagues and friends en-route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference beginning in Melbourne on Sunday were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today. “At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy,” the statement on the www.AIDS2014.org website said. The 20th International […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Bistro Mint

Paris comes to Sydney in the latest dining space to open in the CBD, Bistro Mint. Located on the first floor of Sydney’s historic Mint building, the bistro offers a modern take on French cuisine for breakfast and lunch. At the official opening of Bistro Mint this week, heritage minister Rob Stokes said the new space presented an engaging way for locals and visitors to experience Sydney’s heritage. “The opening of Bistro Mint in Sydney’s oldest public building is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and protect the […]

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NEWS: Adelaide invests in health sector

The Adelaide Convention Bureau is increasing its push to attract conferences from the health sector in a bid to capitalise on the government’s recent investment into health industries with two new events announced this month – The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority Conference 2015 and GE Health conference 2015. Adelaide Convention Bureau chief executive Damien Kitto said while the bureau had already been relatively successful in attracting events within the health and medical genre, this new level of investment from the state government has enabled a more […]

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NEWS: Sydney to host world’s largest financial conference

Sydney is set to host the world’s largest and most influential financial conference, Sibos, in 2018, as announced today by NSW premier, Mike Baird. Hosting Sibos will bring 6000 delegates to Sydney and is worth an estimated $50 million to the NSW economy. “Sydney is home to Australia’s finance sector and we’re delighted to be hosting the world’s financial heavyweights in 2018,” Mr Baird said. “Visitors to Sydney for Sibos 2018 will meet in the new $1.1 billion world-class convention facilities at Darling Harbour and be able […]

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VENUE UPDATE: What’s in a name?

Trippas White Group has launched a competition to name its iconic event space and bar at the top of the Westfield Sydney Tower to coincide with a million dollar refurbishment to be completed late August. The revamped space, formally Sky Venue, will accommodate all styles of events for up to 200 people, including conferences, cocktail functions, formal dinners, team-building activities, weddings, celebrations, ticketed events and bar nights. Elements of the modern New York loft inspired-design will include timber panelling and furnishings, mood lighting, and window […]

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NEWS: Hunter Valley centre pays homage to SCEC

The new $4 million Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre – the biggest convention centre in NSW north of Sydney – will open later this year with pylons recycled from the recently demolished Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre (SCEC). Construction is currently underway at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley resort in Lovedale and the four recycled pylons will be placed at each corner of the new centre, which will offer a combined 2012 square-metres of pre-function, meeting, exhibition and convention space. “SCEC played such an […]

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NEWS: Escape the daily grind at Aroma 2014

Attention all coffee-loving meeting-planners – the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual coffee festival, The Rocks Aroma Festival, is around the corner and in the lead up to the event on Sunday 27 July, there’s a host of activities and workshops available throughout July:   COFFEE APPRECIATION COURSE Do you love coffee and thirst for more? Or do you wonder what so many people rave about? Understand the magic as you travel through the exotic world of coffee and learn the art of coffee tasting. For more […]

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NEWS: Exhibitions on the rise in Brisbane

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) will host nine new exhibitions this year. The centre’s busy exhibition calendar this year covers a diverse range of interests, from food and lifestyle to travel and entertainment, demonstrating a vibrant and healthy industry sector. Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) chief executive, Joyce DiMascio said the association’s most recent ‘Market Monitor’ showed exhibitions are a strong dynamic within the business events sector. “With the spotlight on Brisbane for the G20, it comes as no surprise that the city […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Luxury hotel for Hobart

Tasmanian firm the Vos Group and tourism operator, Federal Group, are teaming up again to build a premium hotel development on Hobart’s waterfront, set to open in 2015. The Macquarie Wharf No. 1 redevelopment project will involve building a luxury hotel together with 3000 sqm of retail space incorporating restaurants, cafes, provedores and galleries. The Vos Group recently announced an agreement with Federal Group to operate the new 113 suite luxury hotel and will soon be seeking expressions of interest for the lease of the ground floor […]

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NEWS: MEETINGS kicks off in Auckland

More than 600 business events professionals and conference organisers will converge on Auckland this week, as Conventions and Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) flagship MEETINGS tradeshow kicks off for another year. Some 185 New Zealand exhibitors will be on show at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds, with more than 6,000 meetings scheduled over the next two days. “MEETINGS is two days of non-stop networking where we get to showcase the very best of what New Zealand has to offer,” newly appointed CINZ chief executive, Sue Sullivan, said. “MEETINGS […]

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NEWS: Vivid breaks records

Sydney’s 18-day festival of light, music, and ideas has smashed previous attendance records out of the park, NSW deputy premier, Andrew Stoner announced this week. A record 1.43 million people attended Vivid Sydney this year, an increase of 79 per cent compared to 2013. Mr Stoner said visitors came from across the state, throughout Australia, and from around the world to take part in the event. “There were more than 19,500 international travellers on Vivid Sydney travel packages, up 74 per cent on 2013, which is fantastic for […]

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VENUE UPDATE: Fresh CBD restaurant & bar

Fresh Catering is set to open a new restaurant and bar, The Governors Table Bar & Dining, at The Museum of Sydney. Due to open next week on Monday June 16, The Governors Table Bar & Dining has been touted as a foodie’s haven – open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The new restaurant and bar draws inspiration from its remarkable historical connection as the site of the first Government House in Australia. The space has been completely transformed by leading designer inochi DesignLife. Inspired by […]

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NEWS: Macau moving at incredible pace

Cranes, cranes and more cranes are everywhere in Macau, with the city undergoing an incredible amount of development right now. As construction continues on the 29.5km Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge, to open at the end of 2016, ground has been broken in a number of hot spots on the Cotai Strip, reclaimed land linking the islands of Taipa and Coloane and home to large entertainment precincts as the City of Dreams, Sands (The Venetian) and the Galaxy. Such is the building boom in Macau that the […]

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