Combine natural beauty with cosmopolitan cities like Sydney and Melbourne, along with indigenous history, and Australia makes for one inspiring destination. Once-in-a-lifetime experiences abound in this country, which boasts all the components to create a powerful and memorable meeting.
Sydney will host one of its largest incentive groups ever as qualifying salespeople from direct-selling company Nu Skin visit for five days this month. The 2016 Nu Skin Greater China Success Trip will include delegates from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. A highlight will include an event in Sydney Olympic Park, paying homage to this year's Summer Olympics.
Held biennially, Dreamtime is Tourism Australia's signature showcase for incentive buyers. Last year's Dreamtime was held in Adelaide, which might not have been as well known in some international markets as the country's largest cities, but made a big impression. Business Events Australia created the message, "Adelaide, welcome to our home," that highlighted the heritage of the people of Adelaide and South Australia.
The Dreamtime welcome function was held at the award-winning winery Penfolds Magill Estate, which recently underwent a multimillion-dollar redevelopment. The amazing views, tasting rooms, and caves that hold the Penfolds Grange impressed attendees. The next morning, an entire city street, Vardon Avenue, was closed to create a breakfast market that featured local artists and musicians. Dreamtime incentive buyers also had the opportunity to journey to Cairns, Gold Coast, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, and Sydney to experience the country's diverse destinations.
Where to Meet?
There is no lack of convention facilities in Australia and there are more coming on line. Opening in December, International Convention Centre Sydney will be Australia's largest and first fully integrated convention, exhibition, and entertainment center. It will feature convention facilities capable of holding four separate concurrent events of more than 12,000 delegates and total exhibition capacity of 131,200 square feet.
There is ongoing redevelopment of the Adelaide Convention Centre taking place as well. Increasing its multipurpose convention floor space by more than 14,000 square feet and providing a new public boulevard linking the Riverbank Promenade to the center, the redevelopment will conclude in 2017 with a brand-new multipurpose building, ballroom, and exhibition spaces.
The Four Points by Sheraton Sydney has embarked on an approximately US$150 million investment, creating a new tower and contributing to the revitalization of Darling Harbour as a premier Sydney destination. The redevelopment will deliver a brand-new dining precinct, over 39,800 square feet of meeting and event facilities, and an additional 222 guest rooms, for a total of 892 guest rooms.
The new Conference Centre at Sea World Resort in the Gold Coast has opened and can cater to up to 1,000 delegates. It features the latest A/V equipment as well as a large veranda. Sea World Resort features four restaurants, two bar areas, and 400 rooms and suites.
Aussies are passionate about their sense of place. With this in mind, Tourism Australia's new global ambassador is Aussie Chris Hemsworth, also known as Marvel's Thor.
"I have always been so proud to be Australian and it's a pretty special feeling knowing that I will have a role in promoting my country to the world and encouraging more people to come down under and experience our amazing beaches and landscapes for themselves," says Hemsworth.
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This article appears in the April 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.