CONFERENCE AND EVENTS GUIDE 2010

Written on the 18 March 2010

CONFERENCE and events venues all over Brisbane are preparing for a largely prosperous year as an influx of business people nation-wide flock to the ‘business tourism’ capital of Australia.

Meetings and Events Queensland chairman Liz Rivers says after experiencing a major downturn in 2009, industry professionals are ‘expecting a really good year’.

“Big business and corporate clients didn’t want to stop or cancel conferences and meetings, and instead relocated them to their head offices where the biggest number of delegates come from,” she says.

“When they’ve had to cancel conference contracts the venue would say ‘that’s totally understandable, but please come back to us when things are looking up’.

“From now or even around five months ago, everyone in the industry has been flat out with conference and event proposals.”

Rivers says as many companies had to cancel their Brisbane events and stay in Melbourne or Sydney last year, 2010 will see the city return to top form.

“The perceived leisure component of south east Queensland is what brings business events into this arena,” she says.

“When travelling to Brisbane for a business event, delegates can bring the entire family along for a Queensland holiday.

“People want to be able to have a different experience and not be held up in one location.”

With more focus on international and purely leisure-based tourism, Rivers says the economic contribution associated with business events and conferences is often overlooked.

“Generally people in business events know what’s going to happen. It’s a really good indicator on how finance for the rest of the country and other sectors are looking,” she says.

“The whole of Australia is going to be in a great position for 2010 and I think we can all look forward to a bumper year.”

BROOKWATER GOLF CLUB

RATED by Golf Australia Magazine as the best golf course in Queensland, Brookwater Golf Club is a Greg Norman designed 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course with signature bunkering and superb use of natural waterways. Situated just 40 minutes from the Gold Coast, the stunning layout with varied terrain, strategic design and landscaping makes it a course of outstanding character and the perfect environment for a day of premium golf.

Brookwater’s award winning clubhouse has also become a premier venue for corporate events, weddings and functions. Featuring intricate wood and stone designs, the clubhouse was built on the beauty of the sites natural surroundings.

Brookwater is equipped with two executive boardrooms where conference delegates can meet comfortably with full access to audio visual and IT support, remaining undisturbed whilst business is attended to. The function rooms cover a floor area of 217m2, with operable walls to enable flexibility with seating arrangements and the ability to accommodate up to 160 conference delegates.

Each event, corporate function or wedding involves a dedicated team of professionally trained staff who will ensure that every detail is carefully considered in tailoring a package to suit the exact needs of every function.

A garden marquee is also available for outdoor events where guests can enjoy superb dining and excellent service under a canopy of stars with a beautiful backdrop.

CUSTOMS HOUSE

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 is a fine example of 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 located 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 unique facilities for all styles of events. Professional catering is available for 6 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.

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 ensured to be a great success.

RACV ROYAL PINES RESORT

CONFERENCE with the experts at RACV Royal Pines Resort and you will enjoy high quality service from the award-winning conventions team.

RACV Royal Pines, one of Queensland’s largest resorts, is situated at the heart of the Gold Coast, midway between the magnificent beaches of Surfers Paradise and the rainforests of the Hinterland. The Resort's purpose-built convention centre has a range of facilities to suit any corporate needs and boasts 15 technology intelligent meeting rooms.

The Royal Benowa Ballroom is the centre point of the convention centre, featuring state of the art audio visual and network cabling technology and a ceiling with an impressive sky light.  The Ballroom features 1500m of column-free function space and a 1000m, pre-function foyer with both venues catering up to 124 exhibitor booths combined.

The superb Podium Lawns directly outside the ballroom foyer can also readily accommodate a Hoeckerdome up to 3000m catering for up to 150 exhibitor booths. This is also ideal for outdoor functions.

Another popular choice is Royal Pines undercover tennis courts which can accommodate up to 1800 guests in a cocktail style event.

Australia's leading in-house events provider Avantage takes care of all the conference production needs from the simplest of boardroom meetings to the most complex of functions with fully themed productions.

At RACV Royal Pines Resort, any corporate event will be in the hands a team committed to success.

DRACULA’S CABARET RESTAURANT

FOR corporate functions with a bite, Dracula’s Cabaret Restaurant is the ideal venue.

The unique dinner and stunning variety show featuring live jazz is perfect for your offsite activity or a gothic themed corporate night.  Catering for small groups of 20 to large groups of more than 430, Dracula’s theatre is a tiered auditorium perfect for opening and closing ceremonies.

From the moment of arrival at Dracula’s the entertainment begins. Fire twirlers (pictured) greet guests at the gates; entry is via the mausoleum and then the titanic staircase leads to the Van Helsing museum cocktail bar.  After an aperitif take a journey on the ghost train into the theatre of the vampyre.

Corporate parties will dine in gothic splendour, punctuated by the crazy antics of weird waiters and talented performers as they sink their teeth into a night of comedy, puppetry, magic and illusion.

Dracula's show is a professionally produced production that combines song, dance and spine chilling special FX that leaves participants breathless.  After the show dancing, souvenir Photographs, shopping and cocktails top off an unforgettable evening of Dracula’s unique “thrillertainment”.

O’REILLYS RAINFOREST RETREAT

O’REILLY’S is redefining the traditional conference into a unique corporate retreat where bird calls replace phone calls and delegates can think on a higher plane and climb to new levels, literally.

An escape from the office to the tranquil quiet of an environment free from the distractions of phone, fax and email provides the perfect opportunity to clear the head and think strategically about business growth and future directions.

Companies can commence their conference with clear minds by beginning with a short reflection, relaxation and focus session facilitated by the Lost World Spa staff.

Alternatively, for those who want a more rigorous start to the day, climb to new heights on an interpretive guided rainforest walk.

A unique O’Reilly’s conference often involves various outdoor team building exercises. Soaring through the air on the Flying Fox, Giant Drop and Leap of Faith adventure activities are great for pushing boundaries, conquering fears and building confidence.

From meeting fears high above the ground to meeting them face-to-face, conference groups also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with resident ‘locals’ at the ‘Roving Reptiles’ experience.

O’Reilly’s ‘Sunset Experience’ is the perfect way to broaden business horizons. The 4WD trip to the secluded lookout gives delegates a whole new outlook, with sweeping views of a spectacular sunset over the rolling hills of the Great Dividing Range inspiring limitless possibilities.

Watching the sun set from the private rainforest lookout while enjoying drinks and canapés, makes the O’Reilly’s conferencing experience social and inspirational.

STAGING CONNECTIONS

CHOOSING a quality event management team is often the most crucial decision in ensuring a successful event.

Having completed operations in Brisbane for the last 15 years, Staging Connections possess the extensive local knowledge and expertise needed to seamlessly deliver across all events types.

Staging Connections has a special events team of more than 90 staff that a range of services from technical production management, audio, vision and lighting through to styling, theming and design.

A popular webstreaming service has been recently added to Staging Connections portfolio to open an event or conference to a wider virtual audience. Company general manager Russell Bennett says utilising a professional event staging company takes the pressure of event organisers and ensures a successful outcome for all.

“We have a team of experience and enthusiastic technical and design specialists who collectively have one goal, which is to assist clients in staging their events seamlessly,” says Bennett.


“We assist in taking the stress away from clients in the organising of all the technical, design and production needs.”

Cementing Staging Connections reputation as a market leader are 12 quality venue partnerships in South-East Queensland including the Brisbane Marriott Hotel, Hilton Brisbane and The Sebel & Citigate King George Square.

No matter how large or small a corporate event, Staging Connections is an event management team that delivers professionalism, quality, reliability and trust.

PEDAL POWER

AS ENVIRONMENTAL issues and climate change shifts to the forefront of industry, Bicycle Queensland is encouraging the state’s business community to set the example.

Business leaders can make a difference to the environment and promote this healthy lifestyle activity by choosing to cycle to the next business event or conference.

The challenge comes as Bicycle Queensland, the state’s peak organisation for cycling, hosts the largest ever bicycle festival from Saturday March 13 in Brisbane. The Bike Week 2010 festival’s growth coincides with cycling becomes a major mode of transport in Australia.

Last financial year the non-for-profit organisation with twelve staff and 300 volunteers recorded a record high 10,000 members and an annual turnover of more than $2 million. Pedalling the message, ‘cycling is smart travel’, Bike Week 2010 will present a range of rides and free activities to demonstrate the numerous fitness, financial and fun benefits of the pursuit and encourage people of all ages to get in the saddle.

The BDO Brisbane Coot-tha Challenge, with its 70 kilometre track, famous hill climb and South Bank Parklands finish line will continue to be the signature event. More than 20 other events ranging from the corporate challenge of Scody Ride to Work Day to the leisurely riverside Goldcross Family Fun Ride are also open to all participants.

“We’re excited to offer so many activities for the whole family to enjoy together during Bike Week 2010,” says Bicycle Queensland manager Ben Wilson.

“We encourage locals and visitors to Brisbane to join in the Goldcross Family Bike Ride, Babes on Bikes or try something a little different like Bike Orienteering.”

Online entries are now open for the Great Brisbane Bike Ride and BDO Brisbane Coot-tha Challenge, which supports the Endeavour Foundation. Full program details are available at www.bq.org.au.

COURAN COVE ISLAND RESORT

AT COURAN Cove, nature and culture blend harmoniously together to create a truly Australian-styled resort.

Renowned for its flair and creativity in food design and theming, Couran Cove Island Resort has been awarded ‘Gold Coast’s Best Corporate Caterer’ by Restaurant and Catering Queensland four times.

Couran Cove’s conference professionals can create a personalised theme around any event, making sure that business functions are remembered by all delegates long after they leave the island.

Now in its 11th year of operation, general manager Scott Hayden says that Couran Cove has witnessed a clear change in the business conference market.

“Company shareholders and the general public are seeking socially responsible business practices along with a heightened sense of corporate social and environmental responsibility,” says Hayden.

"In the past, conference groups would come to the resort despite the ecologically sound principles of the property, however now they come because of them.”

Couran Cove Island Resort offers the perfect balance between comfort and amenity, and the magnificent natural environment of South Stradbroke Island.

Adding to the Resort's appeal are over 100 recreational and teambuilding activities, which makes it a popular venue choice with conference attendees wanting to clear their heads after a day of intense meetings. Relax, recharge and rejuvenate with a Couran Cove Island Resort experience tailored to suit you.

WARNER VILLAGE

FROM feeling like you’re in Hollywood to dining among marine life, Warner Village are the experts in live show entertainment.

With venues including Sea World, Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and the Australian Outback Spectacular, Warner Village events are bound to be special for any corporate, social and milestone occasion.

Years in the planning and $23 million to build and stage, Australian Outback Spectacular is an entertainment extravaganza like no other. Big, bold and breathtaking, it’s the ultimate event and backdrop for your next function. With a group booking of 100 or taking the venue exclusively, the Australian Outback Spectacular is a unique and exciting evening dinner and show capturing the grandeur of the outback, presented in a giant arena with seating for 1000 guests.

Choose Sea World and events can happen virtually anywhere within the park, from sunup to way after sun-down. All three of Sea World’s event venues are just as impressive for dinner and cocktails as the sun sets slowly over the Broadwater.

For those who prefer lights, camera and action, Warner Bros. Movie World truly is Hollywood on the Gold Coast, bursting with a stellar cast of screen legends ready to make your event an award winner.

From classic stars of the golden years through to the action heroes of today, Warner Bros. Movie World can call on some of the biggest names to add their unique glamour, style and personality to any occasion.

Or splash out on an event at Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World and delegates can soak up the action and atmosphere of Australia’s premier water park. Before the fun starts, kick off the day with one of two sumptuous breakfast choices.

A calypso beach breakfast is a totally laidback experience, complete with a delicious tropical feast and the soothing sounds of a West Indian band.

A more extreme start to the day can be found at an adrenaline rush breakfast. Race your colleagues on the Super 8 Aqua Racer, survive Terror Canyon 2 or Mammoth Falls, then re-charge with a hearty breakfast.

BRISBANE POWERHOUSE

FOR those planning an event with style, Brisbane Powerhouse provides an impressive alternative to conservative city venues.

The former power station has become a distinct, contemporary Brisbane landmark, both as a stunning industrial creation and as a hub for theatre, music, comedy, film, visual arts, festivals, ideas and dining.

Brisbane Powerhouse offers million dollar river views and unique spaces for boardroom meetings, exhibitions, conferences, product launches and all manner of events.

The Powerhouse Theatre is a contemporary studio-style theatre providing a flexible performance space seating up to 525.  It has various seating configurations allowing for end stage, theatre in the round, cabaret and a number of other permutations and it perfect for public lectures, seminars, conferences, and large banquets.

The most stunning river views in New Farm can be found on the Powerhouse’s Rooftop Terrace, a premier event space with an indoor area and adjoining servery accommodates up to 140 delegates. The room adjoins an outdoor covered deck for relaxing breaks from the meeting environment or to extend the reception area for cocktails or dining.

The Visy Theatre, Turbine Platform and Performance Lawn all offer unique solutions for medium to large event groups, while the Park Mezzanine and Graffiti Room offer more intimate meeting spaces for smaller companies. All of Brisbane Powerhouse event rooms are quite with data projectors, electronic whiteboards, ISDN lines and access to photocopiers and fax machines.

Highly skilled staff and caters compliment the beautiful, rustic features to ensure that any event at Brisbane Powerhouse is both memorable and enjoyable.

BACKDROPS FANTASTIC

SET the scene at the next company function with Backdrops Fantastic.

Backdrops Fantastic room sets are a series of backdrops that can be used in various sequences to create an impressive panoramic theme, surrounding the entire event space.

The hand painted backdrops are available in a wide range of themes to create a unique atmosphere for business functions, theme events, award nights, trade shows and any other corporate event.

The Gold Coast-based company has operations in New Zealand and Asia and locally works closely with Staging Connections, Warner Village and the major convention centres as well as providing backdrops for private business functions.

Backdrops Fantastic’s director Tom Brown says the company’s room sets can cost-effectively transform any event to ‘anywhere in the world’.

“We work directly with production companies and conference and events coordinators right across and Australasia,” says Brown.

“Traditionally, backdrops were painted for the background and then props and room pieces were set up to fully create a theme. With our products you have a cost effective, instant theme.

“You can pretty much hang one of our backdrops up, put lights onto it and you’ve virtually got your room dressed for less than the cost of the fine wine.”

Room sets are adaptable to any venue height and can accommodate door openings and other architectural features. Backdrops Australia products are the most efficient way to set the scene at theme functions and special events.


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