Perth passes CHOGM test with flying colours

The successful staging of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October has enhanced Perth's growing international reputation as a premier business events destination

The successful staging of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in October has enhanced Perth’s growing international reputation as a premier business events destination.

This has been the overriding feeling within the local business events industry according to the Perth Convention Bureau’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Beeson.

The event saw the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen to Perth.

“The fact that CHOGM was such an outstanding success has demonstrated to the wider world that Perth is capable of handling large and challenging events with aplomb and to the highest international levels,” he said.

“The business events industry in Perth can feel especially proud about their service delivery. CHOGM has been a particularly demanding test of our ability and capacity to handle an event of this size and significance. By all accounts we came through with flying colours.”

More than 4,000 delegates attended CHOGM and related events during the week-long round of meetings, official functions and public participation activities.

Other industry leaders were equally upbeat about the impact of CHOGM on Perth’s international profile.

Bradley Woods, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive director of the WA branch of the Australian Hotels Association, said Perth hotel and hospitality businesses and their staff have proved to international and interstate visitors that Western Australia ‘can deliver world class events with excellent service’.

Perth based audio visual and presentation specialists Corporate Theatre Productions had a heavy involvement in many of the CHOGM related events.

Managing director Vaughan Emery said CHOGM had presented the company with unrivalled opportunities in designing, staging and directing many of the parallel events held in Perth over the four days of the summit.

Corporate Theatre was involved in an Empowering Women’s Forum hosted by Governor-General Quentin Bryce and involving Prime Minister Julia Gillard and six other world leaders as panelists. “This event was particularly demanding and required three months detailed planning,”  Emery added.

The company also designed and directed an unveiling ceremony involving the Queen at Clontarf Aboriginal College and looked after the meeting requirements for 14 of the international delegations attending CHOGM.

“Our background and experience gained from working on past international events such as the APEC Summit in Brunei and events associated with the handover of Hong Kong proved invaluable, especially in matters associated with protocol and presentation,” said Emery.

“CHOGM was an exciting and rewarding opportunity for the younger members of our team.

“I think the business events industry in Perth demonstrated that we can deliver world class events.”

Perth’s hotels also came in for praise for the quality of their service delivery from Prime Minister Gillard, WA Premier Colin Barnett and other world leaders.The Hyatt Regency Perth and Pan Pacific Perth, the two sole use CHOGM hotels, worked closely together to deliver an exceptional level of service.

Hyatt director of sales and marketing Parveen Kumar said the hotels “wanted to showcase Perth in its best light and exceed delegates’ expectations”.
As an example of the commitment to service delivery, a Hyatt staff member escorted a group of delegates on a personal shopping tour of Perth’s CBD after finishing his overnight shift.

The influx of CHOGM delegates provided a welcome boost to a wide range of local businesses. One of the many to benefit was Rockingham Wild Encounters which hosted a group of 35 delegates attending the Cultural Youth Forum.

The delegates enjoyed close encounters with penguins – a first for many – as well as dolphins, a huge stingray, sea lions, osprey chicks, many nesting seabirds and humpback whales. 

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