Home' micenet eMag : micenet AUSTRALIA August September 2014 Contents Far more important, she says, than having a rip roaring
entertainer, or a stylishly themed gala dinner.
“Eighteen months out we start talking about what we want to
do and what we want to achieve. We’re running our next
conference in March 2015 and we’ve already started discussing
what we want to get out of this.”
Every aspect is analysed and measured.
“From our brand positioning to where we are with franchising, to
what our mix of delegates is going to be, we ask how do we
ensure we are delivering the right message to the right people?
“And often we have different audiences. Do we make sure we
have one message for our restaurant managers and then different
streams for our franchisees? What do they want to hear at this
point in time?
“Anybody responsible for organising their conference has to ask
themselves: what do you want to say? And how are you going to
measure the success or otherwise?
“If you’re spending so much money [on your conference]; if you’re
getting everybody together on a strategic message or new direction
it should already be integrated into what you are doing post-
conference. For example, we launched our Nando’s Compass at
the conference – our life and soul – and for the next 12 months
that’s been integrated into everything that we’re doing – training,
performance appraisals, how we do business, workshops for new
employees, etcetera. If you do stuff at the conference and you’re
not talking about it after you’ve wasted a lot of money.
“People go to another conference and they say I saw this really
good speaker or I saw this really good entertainment let’s throw it
into our conference. But if it’s not relevant to what you want to
achieve at your conference then why do it?”
Death by committee
“Don’t run your conference by committee if you can avoid it. Have
consultation along the way, but somebody’s got to own it. I’ve never
seen a conference delivered by a committee work because often the
key messages are diluted to try and address everybody’s needs.”
She also believes that the bigger your audience the more
succinct your message must be.
“I have a senior management meeting we’re doing for 25 people
coming up. We’re doing a lot of work and there are a lot of topics
that we’re covering during that meeting. Our annual conference for
350 people has to be run differently. I recommend having one
message said lots of different ways.
“From my experience some people make the mistake of thinking
that while they’ve got everybody together they should try and jam as
many things in as they possibly can. Invariably it doesn’t stick and
you get less traction. The more people, the less you tell them.”
She says a conference needs one gatekeeper – one person
who decides what gets in and what doesn’t.
“I’m lucky because I have a CEO who allows me to deliver the
conference message. He doesn’t get involved apart from what
those key messages are at the start. I give him honest feedback
on his opening and closing and he gives me honest feedback on
the conference progress and consultation.
“But he’s not micromanaging it. I think that’s where there can be
a problem with conferences. Because it’s a bit sexy, everybody
wants to put in their ideas.” m
Tax department irons out
NZ GST rebate rules
BY LAUREN ARENA
Confusion still lingers over changes made to New
Zealand’s GST rules back in April as not all international
business events qualify for the 15 per cent tax savings.
Tourism New Zealand, in partnership with Inland Revenue
New Zealand, recently held a series of seminars across
Australia to demystify the new rules surrounding the GST
rebate and gather feedback from Australian PCOs, event
management companies, corporations and associations,
all of which make up Tourism NZ’s key international
Seminars held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were
presented by Inland Revenue New Zealand’s principal
advisor – GST, Jared Otto, who explained qualifying
criteria, and the process for registering and claiming GST.
Mr Otto outlined the new rules are intended for overseas
customers of NZ businesses and NOT overseas suppliers
of goods and services which are received by customers in
Ultimately, the rules are designed to benefit the end-user,
which in most cases is the delegate, not the PCO.
However, in cases where association groups and
corporates do NOT charge delegates to attend their
conferences, they become the end-user and therefore also
qualify for the rebate.
“We want to make these rules work in the real world,” Mr
Otto said, and proceeded to explain the five key
determinants as to who can make a claim:
1. You must be registered as a non-resident for tax
2. You must be registered for a ‘consumption tax’ (i.e.
GST) in Australia.
3. Your first return must include at least NZ$500 of GST
(which equates to at least NZ$3834 in expenses).
4. You must not undertake ‘taxable activity’ in NZ (i.e. not
making supplies in NZ subject to GST).
5. You are not a business that supplies services received in
NZ by unregistered persons/consumers.
A main point of contention among attendees surrounded
the need to register (1) and the high spend threshold
required in the first return (3). Attendees at the Sydney
seminar said the rules present good outcomes for
corporates, but not for associations, as many are not
registered; and in cases where the individual delegate is
the end-user, they said the spend threshold is far too high
and that logistics surrounding a large group having to
make individual claims would not be feasible.
Nevertheless, both Tourism New Zealand and Inland
Revenue New Zealand are intent on making the tax
changes viable and hope to continue to educate the
Australian meetings industry.
For more information, visit http://www.ird.govt.nz/industry-
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