(And don't forget to follow the links for more information and images on each of the venues featured this month...)
The last few weeks have been absolutely manic to say the least as between Corrie and Lisa, we’ve spent time in Terrigal, New Zealand, Sydney, Adelaide, Regional Victoria, Regional NSW and of course in our home town Melbourne, running various famils, attending trade shows, and generally helping clients source the best possible venues for the best possible prices for their conferences and events!
We kicked off for the month in NSW with a ‘Willy Wonka’ themed night at the beautiful, beachfront property of Crowne Plaza Terrigal. Nine clients from Sydney and their partners enjoyed overnight accommodation and a fantastic dinner, whilst also getting to see the conference space first hand. Rave reviews from everyone and we look forward to seeing some enquiries for that property come through soon.
From Terrigal, Corrie went to Rotorua in New Zealand to attend Meetings NZ – a trade show that highlights various venues and services from New Zealand specifically for the Meetings and Events industry. Every year she attends she gets a lot from it, plus walks away having made some great new industry contacts. Whilst Christchurch has taken a few knocks of late (to put it mildly) there are some great deals to be done, and with the Aussie dollar being so strong you get a lot more ‘bang for your buck’ across the pond! So please enquire now if you are interested in conferencing in NZ.
From New Zealand, to Adelaide……the City of Churches. Corrie attended an IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) familiarisation and stayed two nights. One in the 5-star luxury of the Intercontinental Hotel Adelaide, and the other in their brand new sister hotel – Crowne Plaza Adelaide. The weekend was a great opportunity to see these venues and get an update from the staff based there. Both are fantastically located, spacious, with their food and service being spot on.
From Adelaide, to a little close to home with the Rydges in North Melbourne. Unfortunately Corrie was sick on this day (two words of advice for all – ‘flu vaccine”!!) so she left our clients in the very capable hands of the General Manager, of this property - James Cavanagh. This venue is ideally located on Melbourne’s city fringe just off -Flemington Road, so within easy access to the Airport and offering excellent value with smaller, natural-light filled meeting spaces.
Later that week, and it’s off to the long-awaited ‘Business Chicks’ breakfast with special guest – Sir Richard Branson. This event was held in Crown’s Palladium, who did a wonderful job at getting 770 poached eggs on toast out in amazing time, and they were spot on - just how we like them! Which was unfortunately more than could be said of Sir Richard’s appearance. I believe most people walked away feeling quite deflated instead of motivated… I don’t think it was his ‘finest’ interview.
After a week of ‘recovery’ in Melbourne, it was back up to Sydney for both Corrie and Lisa, who both pounded the pavement visiting clients and also undertaking numerous site inspections with venues - with very special thanks to our various friends at the Sebel Hawkesbury Resort & Spa,Citigate Central Sydney and Sydney Marriott Hotel for looking after us so well this time around!
Whilst there, Lisa was guest speaker at an industry event hosted by the SMC Conference & Function Centre for the Sydney Unique Venues Association PLUS we also ran one of the most successful famil dinners we have ever done with the lovely teams at both the Sydney Harbour Marriott and the Sydney Marriott.
After meeting 40 clients at the Sydney Harbour Marriott property, we enjoyed martinis on arrival before heading off on a site inspection of the newly refurbished accommodation rooms, with some extra special amenities for the night including strawberries in chocolate waistcoasts, an abundance of bubbly and our very own live ‘James Bond’ who certainly caused quite a reaction. The rooms certainly are looking top notch and with some spectacular views over Sydney Harbour, they would have to be one of the best located hotels in Sydney.
After al fresco antipasto and drinks, the group was whisked off by coach to the Sydney Marriott overlooking Hyde Park. A perfect location for our 2-course ‘Christmas in July’ dinner which was enjoyed in the beautifully themed ‘Windows Restaurant’ – complete with edible gingerbread house centrepieces that were demolished in record time! (but we won’t name names…) This hotel will also be undergoing a refurbishment over the next few months, so they are keen to have everyone back to experience for themselves the upcoming changes to the accommodation. It was a lovely night, clients had an absolute ball, and we already have had several enquiries for both Marriotts following the night (and we certainly expect the pool deck in particular to get quite a work out in the warmer months!)
From Sydney, Corrie raced back to Melbourne to host an exclusive lunch at the beautiful Langham Hotel in Melbourne whilst Lisa had meetings atVibe Hotel Sydney and the Star Room.
Rated as possibly one of the best lunches in Melbourne, we showed the clients around the Langham’s stunning function spaces, accommodation rooms and Aria Bar (famous for it’s decadent high teas and “chocolate tiffin”) before relaxing and enjoying our ‘Interactive dining experience’ in Melba Brasserie. If you have a group of appropriate numbers, it is well worth paying the small upgrade cost to ensure the group eats in this wonderful setting for at least one day of your conference!
We finish July off with a divine dinner for an intimate group of clients at Crowne Plaza Melbourne – the overwhelming response being that all their expectations on that venue were exceeded! One client told us she walks past the property every day on her way to work and had no idea it was so good inside.
The conference spaces are relatively small, but can easily accommodate groups of 70-90 people with first rate service. One of the most interesting conference rooms is their new ‘Bridge Room 4’ – this is an ‘interactive’ room, designed to ensure people tap into their ‘creativity’ – there are lego blocks, mind games to get the inspiration flowing, a whole wall painted in whiteboard paint so you can draw/write over it, an ‘eno board’, a Nespresso machine, plus of course all furniture that is in the room can be moved around to create the perfect combination for your own conference style. Whilst only offered in this boardroom sized space currently, we look forward to hopefully more Crowne Plazas rolling this fantastic, original concept out!
We certainly have lots more happenings coming up throughout August-October already planned so keep an eye on our newsletters and upcoming eventsin case you can join us along the way… In the meantime, rest assured we’ve been keeping our Sara busy in the office pumping out our client quotes to ensure the ever professional and prompt ‘Ultimate’ service never wanes!