Home' micenet eMag : micenet April 2018 Contents He spoke about his food, his philosophy about food, and his passion for sustainability and
food. The foodies in the room – and there seemed to be plenty – were rapt with his informality
and genuine honesty. What hotel group wouldn’t want to link itself to such a legend?
So why was it risky? As mentioned, IHG was competing with other industry events being held
on the same night. Booking out Vue de monde (or a large part of it) wouldn’t be cheap. It was,
however, a drawcard, and in this instance it worked.
What also worked was that there were no speeches about how wonderful IHG was, except
for a small welcome downstairs prior to guests sitting down to dinner.
And no speeches were needed. Attendees were pretty quickly thinking IHG rocked.
The other risk was that there was no professional MC. Maybe IHG had busted its budget and
couldn’t afford one, but it wasn’t necessary anyway. A few simple questions to Shannon and he
was off. He was engaging and interesting and fit perfectly with the audience demographic.
IHG topped off the night by presenting all attendees with a cool-looking black box that
contained a special card announcing they were the recipient of 30,000 IHG Business Rewards.
No doubt, they’ll all be looking for the IHG invitation for next year’s event and are hopefully
booking a few events into IHG properties in the interim.
EVENT: You’ve gotta be joking - Tourism New Zealand
@: Showtime Event Centre, Melbourne
PAX: Around 100 PCOs and association executives
This was, in this journalist’s humble opinion, the riskiest event of all three. In its recent
research of the Australian business events market, Tourism New Zealand found there were
some barriers and misconceptions about holding events in New Zealand.
To change those misconceptions, Tourism New Zealand created (with the assistance of an
Auckland-based company), an event they called “You’ve got to be joking” that played out like a
late night talk show.
“Guests” were invited to be a part of the “live” audience.
The room was suitably themed with a limited number of chairs, on-stage lounges for some
“special guests”, and a great colour wash that added to the different set-up and style of event.
Well-known New Zealand comedian, Jeremy Corbett, was the MC and all ‘round show host.
Early on he gave the audience examples of misconceptions in a UK Graham Norton-style
There was plenty of audience participation and it was great to see the invited guests get into
the spirit of the night. Maybe the chance of winning the major prize – a trip for two to NZ – had
something to do with that.
Creating something like this was risky. But in
saying that, those working in the business
events and travel sectors really do expect our
kiwi cousins to be risk-takers. You only have to
hop on an Air New Zealand plane and watch
their safety videos to see them in action.
And who wants to wander around a room
with a fake passport that you get stamped at
each tabletop presentation you stop at with
the hope of a prize at the end? Those events
have been done to death and should be put
out to pasture forever!
I attended the Melbourne event and was
glad to see that the rustic Showtime Events
Centre had been chosen as the venue. It
definitely added to the mood.
I was, however, a little embarrassed – even
though I’m from Sydney – on seeing the
number of left over badges at the end of the
night from the “no shows”. As I have said
many times before, what’s wrong with some
people? You’re in events, you know how
much work goes into them, and you still
don’t show up when you’ve said you would?
And more than that... how can you get
ideas for your own events if you don’t see
what other people are doing?
So did it work? Of course it did. It was
risky and different and everything that an
event should be.
Will it result in more Australian PCOs and
association executives taking their business
over to New Zealand in the future? Well it
wouldn’t have hurt any and, in such a
competitive industry, you can’t ask for much
more than that. m
Risky business... Tourism
New Zealand’s event.
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