Smarter conferencing in the recovery

APRIL 2010

Brisbane’s corporate events sector will see a resurgence in delegate numbers as financial conditions ease – though with budgets slashed amid a cautious recovery, the focus will be on delivering value.

To compete for clients starting to regain events funding yet more vigilant in how it’s spent, conferencing venues across South East Queensland are producing their best all-inclusive packages to remain an attractive option.

Don Goode, general manager of the Gold Coast International Hotel, says clients are now not only looking for quality, but placing more emphasis on value.

“Event organisers have been more savvy in finding the best deal and package to suit their needs,” says Goode.

“Customers are looking for value for money, great service and a venue which is flexible and one that works best with their requirements and needs.”

Goode has indentified an upward trend in conference numbers and activities not seen in 2009 and says it is a promising sign for the industry.

“The start of 2010 has shown some encouraging growth in enquiry levels and forward bookings, with larger companies returning to booking their annual events in the latter half of 2010 and into 2011,” he says.

“Some of the annual events that were not held in 2009 are slowly starting to re emerge. Within time the conference market will regain strength and business levels will exceed those of prior years.”

The Gold Coast International Hotel (GCI) has become a popular destination for Brisbane businesses looking for a beach location in its conferencing events.

Renowned for its exceptional conference, exhibition and meeting facilities, GCI can host up to 750 delegates.

With five-star service and a choice of 16 versatile function rooms featuring abundant natural light and stunning outdoor areas, the hotel is an ideal venue for conferences, meetings, exhibitions or gala events.

Goode says Brisbane’s southern neighbour is quickly regaining the numbers in ‘corporate tourism’ it’s renowned for.

“The Gold Coast is working hard to reposition itself in the market place and as our conference delegates are finding more and more, the region is much more than just a place to stay and play, it is now offers amazing value for money as a destination to meet,” he says.

GCI’s largest room, The Grand Ballroom, can accommodate 750 delegates theatre style and up to 500 banquet style and can be transformed to suit any theme from ice caves to a fully-functioning casino.

The hotel offers 16 versatile rooms with adjacent outdoor areas, state-of-the-art audiovisual technologies, a well-appointed business centre and internet access.

Special Offer

GCI is offering an exceptional special package exclusive to the readers of the Brisbane Business News. This one time only special offer for $159.00 per person includes: overnight accommodation in a mountain river view room, buffet breakfast and a full day delegate conference package.

This is inclusive of the plenary room hire, standard AV equipment, arrival tea and coffee, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. With the total value being $237.00 per person this offer is not one to miss out on.

This offer is subject to availability, for booking terms and conditions contact GCI’s conference sales team and be sure to quote Brisbane Business News when you call.

Conference at new heights on Tamborine Mountain

BEAUTIFUL surroundings and value corporate packages has seen Cedar Creek Lodges at Tamborine Mountain’s Thunderbird Park become an immensely popular conference destination.

Set on a magnificent 112ha rainforest location on Tamborine Mountain, the four-star property is less than an hour from Brisbane with corporate transport provided on request. All inclusive conference packages are priced at competitive rates and offer exceptional value.

Standard conference packages include tea and coffee on arrival, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Delegates have the use of an air conditioned conference room set up in a choice of styles. The latest technology conference equipment, high-speed internet, a two-course dinner or barbecue, twin share accommodation in newly refurbished rooms, breakfast with the birds barbecue buffet and evening entertainment are all included.

Delegates stay in architecturally renovated rooms and stylishly decorated lodges. Meetings and events can be held in stand-alone conference rooms with natural light or outdoors in cleverly designed pavilion areas tucked away in the rainforest.

Menus include gourmet food and Australian favourites with a range of dishes for people with special dietary needs. Enjoy the natural ambience while breakfasting with the birds, have a barbecue in the bush or choose a fine dining experience back at the lodge.

When not at a conference, delegates can bask in the scenery, hunt for gemstone-filled thunder eggs, play jungle games on Australia’s largest adventure ropes course at Adventure Parc, go bushwalking, horse trail riding or play laser skirmish.

Cedar Creek Lodges offers team building activities and entertainment including its own version of The Amazing Race, Best of the Best, raft building, archery, murder mysteries, trivia, MASH parties, live entertainment, and casino nights.

Choose to move up the to the Island Grade and take meetings into the heart of the rainforest beneath the tiered suspended roof.

Dine in style with a gourmet char grill around a roaring bonfire beside the creek within sight and sound of an illuminated waterfall spilling on to pebbled rock pools.

When it comes to venue options that combine professionalism with a real natural getaway – Cedar Creek Lodges take conferencing to new heights.

Customs House – the cultural choice

Owned and operated by The University of Queensland as a cultural, educational and heritage facility, the Brisbane Customs House is regarded as one of Brisbane’s premier function and restaurant venues.

Customs House oozes Victorian Free Classical style, with its grand colonnades and portico, and a dome which still manages to be a major feature on the landscape.

This heritage icon is in Brisbane’s CBD on the river and features exquisite boardrooms, a stunning ballroom, seminar rooms and a licensed restaurant behind the grand corinthian columns.

Customs House caters for both corporate and private functions and has facilities for all styles of events.

Professional catering is available for up to 300 people and the restaurant provides seating inside a beautiful heritage surroundings or outside on the terrace overlooking the river and the Story Bridge.

Rooms with natural light and the availability of all inclusive daily delegate packages plus a post meeting refreshment package streamlines the organising of seminars and conferences for clients while giving value for money.

Given the financial pressure businesses are experiencing, Customs House is happy to provide a quote for clients not wanting to take advantage of the daily delegate packages and is flexible in accommodating client requests.

Many delegates now have a preference for a ‘green’ venue for their conferences. In line with the UQ’s commitment to environmental sustainability, a sustainability statement for Customs House is located on their website.

All inclusive packages are available or alternatively the venue’s event co-ordinators can organise a quote to suit specific requirements. The kitchen brigade is also always happy to tailor a menu to impress guests.

With dedicated event co-ordinators on hand to assist with the organisation and a professional team with a commitment to excellence every function at Customs House is assured to be a great success.

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