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Ocean Room and Spice Magazine host industry roundtable


In order to keep up-to-date with issues close to the industry’s heart, Spice hosted a round table on Friday 1 November at Ocean Room at The Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay. 
 

Roundtable guests at Ocean Room
 
A group of nine top tier industry experts from cievents, Directions, Event Planet, Think Social, Wasamedia and Business Events Sydney discussed the nature of the industry as it stands. Some interesting findings were as follows:
  • Inbound visitors want to see the icons – Uluru, the Opera House, The Rocks
  • Indian visitors to Sydney like to stay at Blu (owned by Taj) and eat Indian food (ie Aki’s) 
  • Chinese and Indian groups are buying Australia through in-market Chinese and Indian specialists
  • Chinese visitors like staying at The Star because it has a casino and smoking opportunities
  • The Adelaide Convention Bureau is doing a good job of pitching cohesively – they bring the theming company, hotel, AV and ACB into the pitch so they give potential clients an idea of what they can do collectively. 
  • There needs to be more investment in hospitality staff training across the board
  • Regional areas need to be realistic – offer authenticity and personality; not ‘5-star’ 
  • Conference groups want to experience destinations, not just stay in the conference centre/hotel
  • Korea and Taiwan are the two MICE destinations to watch; Cambodia is emerging now too as has Park Hyatt brand expands in the destination
  • Taiwan is offering free WiFi to conference delegates from the moment they get off the plane
  • Venues are offering ‘green’ packages but they’re not being taken up
  • It’s still really important for people to meet in real life; nothing will ever replace face-to-face
  • IMEX is a great example of an exhibition that is still really useful
  • Technology trends include: free wifi for delegates, conference apps where you can see all the delegates that are registered (ie TravelMart where all appointments were made online)
  • Restaurant trend towards buying a ticket to the restaurant OR no reservations – two extremes
  • There’s a trend toward video content and a move away from webcasting
  • There is innovation happening around 3D hologram presenters
  • Some live feeds work really well – ie Condoleeza Rice event – and some don’t work at all – ie live surgery at event populated with surgeons
  • One of the big trends is toward a greater interest in F & B  – people want to watch Chefs do prep and know where produce comes from (ideally local)
  • The teambuilding area needs innovation – trends towards CSR  ie building dog kennels, building bicycles for orphanages – people want to have an emotional connection to what they’re doing
  • There is very little research done into the MICE industry (the last The National Business Events Study survey was done in 2003). As an industry we are rolled into Tourism, yet we are in the business of communication
Special thanks go to Ocean Room for hosting this lunch. If you would like to host or attend the next industry roundtable, please email egardiner@intermedia.com.au