Be Our Star!

The team at the Star Gold Coast certainly know how to turn a Professional Conference Organiser into a star for the night. Meeting our hosts at the Coolangatta Airport we were escorted to our waiting Limousine for the drive to The Star Gold Coast.  After enjoying some free time to settle into our Star Grand superior deluxe room we were advised to meet in the hotel lobby at 4.30pm. Our star evening included:

The Grand Hotel

Recently renovated with 596 accommodation rooms

Cucina Vivo restaurant – on the balcony sipping Aperol Spritz with Italian nibbles watching the sun set.

For VIP & board dinners there is a private dining room that seats up to 16 guests. The Balcony is also available for exclusive use and has capacity for 30 guests

Ocean Terrace accommodation room which has its own private bar and a large terrace – a great place to host bubbles for a VIP group.

Ideal for a small VIP cocktail function up to 20 guests

The Darling – “Hello, Darling”

All suite hotel with 56 suites from 70m to 328 sqm.

We had the chance to view the amazing Penthouse Spa Suite and Penthouse Deluxe Billiard Suite

An ideal swish suite for the blokes, large enough to cater for a small cocktail function  

Nineteen at The Star

Located on the 19 floor of the hotel with sweeping views over the Pacific Ocean. “Uber-chic” an ideal place for us to sit outside and enjoy more bubbles and elegant nibbles showcasing Australia’s finest produce.

A private dining room located on the mezzanine level above the main restaurant able to cater for 25 guests.

Event Centre

The main event was the spectacular dinner in the Event Centre. The first venue was our destination for our two-course seated dinner. A picture tells a thousand words and the theming for the night was truly amazing.

After the main a revel was dramatically opened to showcase dessert buffet stations with a fairy tale theme.

Entertainment during dessert included a pianist, harpist and violinist leading up to a private performance from Anthony Callea from Australian idol fame.



The 2017 Australian Men’s Shed Association Conference

Mantra Hotel on View, Surfers Paradise
29 September – 1 October 2017



Dianna Crebbin writes,

The Men’s Shed movement is an Australian initiative, with the primary objective to provide safe, friendly environments where men feel they belong and are able to work on meaningful projects in the company of other men –hence advancing the health and well-being of male members. There are now over 900 Men’s Sheds throughout Australian cities and country and the movement has spread to Ireland and Canada.

DC Conferences (DCC) has been involved in managing the biennial Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) Conference since the Association was formed in 2007 and it was a privilege to celebrate the AMSA ten-year anniversary at this Conference in the Gold Coast with the theme Onwards and Upwards – Share, Talk, Discover.

[Read more…]

Daylight Robbery

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Originally posted by MiceNet Magazine

A bunch of industry comrades and I watched helpless as a plenary presenter stole $15,000 from us, as surely as if he’d held us up at gunpoint and made us toss our wallets and purses into his bag. He seemed pretty relaxed about his thievery, prattling happily without a care in the world, drunk on the sound of his own voice, ignoring frantic wind-up gestures from offstage.

This is what happens when presenters think only of their own egotistical needs, with no thought for the complex commercial ecosystem that keeps conferences alive. If a conference consistently loses money, soon there’ll be no conference. Exhibitions are a core part of balancing the conference budget, and selling those booths is tough work.

The exhibitors only get limited face-to-face time with delegates: coffee breaks and lunchtimes. That’s a few hours over the course of the event. So those delegates had better be in that trade show area for the duration promised, or your exhibitors will be coming after you with pitchforks and burning torches.

So Plenary Thief went fifteen minutes over his allocated time, apparently believing that a shorter lunchtime was a fair price to pay for an extra dose of his awesome international knowledge. As an exhibitor, I was sitting there working out the cost of each minute that he went over time. Based on the number of stands, times the cost of each, divided by the total minutes of delegate face-time in the program, it was a shade over $1000 per minute. That’s $15,000 of measurable commercial value stolen by one presenter, and that’s not even considering the salary costs of all the people working on the stands.

The repercussions didn’t end there. Five breakout presenters had their sessions shortened, trying to bring the timetable back under control. Five people who put a lot of time and effort into preparing those talks, with high hopes for lifting their personal profiles, building their brands and raising the skills of the industry community. Instead they’re clicking through their slides at Morse code speed and chopping their material to bits on the fly. Then there’s the army of catering staff waiting around, stressing out. Radiating shockwaves of damage, all from one selfish man.

So if you’re a presenter, don’t be a dickhead. You’re not some beloved entertainer with an audience hanging out for an encore. You’re one small cog in a large machine. Use a timer and get off that stage on time. If drug-infused musicians can stick to rigid time schedules at every music festival on earth, so can you. As someone who has to smash through about 150 slides in 45 minutes, I set up fifteen-minute time checkpoints, so if I’m not up to the picture of the hippopotamus at the thirty minute mark, I hit the accelerator. Presentations must open and close strongly. Do what you like in the middle bit, but if your presentation ends on “… there’s a lot more I’d like to say but I’m out of time”, that’s a bad presentation.

Remember your time slot will be shorter than the conference timetable says. Those are drawn up as if the audience is instantly teleported into breakout rooms, rather than the minimum of ten minutes it takes a crowd to shuffle from room to room, particularly in large convention centres.

If you’re a conference organiser, invest in a plenary stage manager who can keep things on track. And foldback monitors so you can send a large visual signal to rogue presenters that they need to leave the stage NOW. Stage Timer 2 is a good app for this. These simple precautions will help you sell a lot more trade booths for next year.

Ian Whitworth is the co-founder of Scene Change, a national AV company

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