Destinations define value in different ways. We spoke with Paul Griffin, business events manager at Business Events Australia, to discover how planners are finding value in Australia. Here’s what he had to say.
Prevue: In what ways does the landscape and natural environment enhance the overall group takeaway?
Griffin: From beaches and islands to deserts and mountain ranges, Australia’s diverse landscape is one of the reasons many planners choose Australia for their incentive program. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth. Groups can explore this natural wonder in numerous ways, including a CSR activity that leaves a lasting impact on your group and the local environment. Small groups of up to 20 can assist in the rehabilitation and release of injured turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
For an Australian outback experience that features native wildlife and some of the country’s finest hospitality, head to Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley. Set in a 7,000-acre conservancy in the Blue Mountains, a three-hour drive or a 45-minute helicopter flight from Sydney, Wolgan Valley’s bespoke activities take guests into the natural landscape. Activities include horse riding, bike tours, 4WD excursions and Australian safaris to photograph kangaroos, wallaroos and wombats.
Are there any venues whose history, design or tech capabilities add value to meetings, events and incentives?
Australia has a number of unique venues that add value by providing an impactful space to inspire your group. The Sydney Opera House, a great architectural work of the 20th Century, is an excellent example of this. It is a world-class performing arts centre that sits at the edge of Sydney Harbour, providing endless photo opportunities. Planners have held functions in the Northern Foyer of the Concert Hall, which features floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.
Can you describe how you have used customized merchandise in a creative way to add meaning to MICE events?
We have used merchandise as part of Dreamtime, our signature incentive showcase held biennially. For the 2015 gala dinner at the National Wine Centre of Australia in Adelaide, more than 100 international buyers arrived to find a personalized letter box, which contained a welcome message in their native language. Other touch points included place cards that communicated how far each attendee had traveled to attend and a handmade miniature koala, which was a real highlight for guests. The result was a memorable experience that left a lasting impression on buyers.