Spice caught up with Carla Offord from The Conference Shop about a topic that is close to her heart.
Here are five reasons she is encouraging event planners to look beyond the city limits.
1. More affordable
Like many things in life, once you head out of the big cities your money tends to go a lot further. It is no different for regional conferencing and events. Money can be saved in many ways, such as day delegate rates, venue hire, accommodation and activities without compromising the quality of your experience. Regional NSW has everything from rustic, old school charm right through to 5-star seaside luxury for a lot less.
2. Food and wine
It is no secret that regional NSW is home to some of the best produce and wine in Australia, much of which finds its way onto the world stage. Not only is there an opportunity to sample delicious fare, you can also experience it straight from the source at the many vineyards, farms and boutique producers who reside in the regions. From east coast of NSW through to the Blue Mountains, Port Macquarie and inland through the Hunter Valley, Mudgee and beyond, every region has something to showcase.
3. Experiences that are specific to regional areas
In addition to the memorable experience of sampling food and wine at the source, regional destinations offer fresh air, generous hospitality and an opportunity to experience the picturesque great outdoors. Specific experiences to be had when heading out of the urban jungle include tree top walks, visiting iconic landmarks, riding the steepest train in the world, getting up close to a whale, hitting the open trails on horse back, just to name a few. These experiences make a lasting impression on delegates and are set against some of the most beautiful natural back drops Australia has to offer.
4. AV comparable to city venues, including WiFi
Regional NSW is home to many well-known hotel brands such as Crowne Plaza, Novotel, Mercure and Rydges who pride themselves on offering seamless conferencing and event experiences. With this in mind, they are well-equipped to offer AV services in line with those offered in their metro based sister hotels. Many regional destinations also offer independent staging and AV companies who are more than happy to tailor an AV package suited to your needs should you be hosting your conference at a stand alone or more unique venue. WiFi is imperative for business and to do business and, contrary to popular belief, WiFi is accessible throughout regional Australia thanks to the rollout of vast telecommunication networks in recent years.
5. Old fashioned country hospitality
Businesses regionally are found to be very flexible as they genuinely want the business and will work patiently with clients to ensure that their needs are met.
Service comes with a smile and there is no ‘stand in line and take a number’ way of doing business. It is personal and friendships are often forged.