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Mice Net : October 2008
news leads from south australia the front More than 50 international and interstate convention and incentive organisers converged on adelaide for aCta’s annual showcase recently. and they liked what they saw. Over three days event buyers had the opportunity to experience South Australian product first-hand, and to meet face to face with an array of local business tourism operators. Adelaide Convention & Tourism Authority (ACTA) director of sales and marketing, Martin Radcliffe, was upbeat about the impact the 2008 showcase had in terms of new business for the state. “Destination SA 2008 attracted an exceptional quality of event buyer, and most pleasingly has been a record number of international visitors,” he said. “Judging from early feedback, both buyers and exhibitors were extremely satisfied with their experience. Over the last four years Destination SA has generated almost 50 business events to South Australia. This year’s showcase looks set to confirm up to eight events in the coming months, with a further 15 strong opportunities now in our sales pipeline.” With a number of the invited guests having already confirmed business for South Australia, Destination SA also enabled ACTA members to discuss these events in more detail, and to promote their products in relation to the client’s wider event program. International and Australian guests spent the days leading up to the show enjoying hosted South Australian familiarisation experiences. Local operators supported these activities with a view to incorporating their product into the visitors’ future event programs. Asian buyers were treated to a traditional Kaurna welcome at the National Aboriginal Museum, ‘Tandanya’, which included a unique bush tucker morning tea. They then experienced some of the best food and wine the state has to offer at venues such as the National Wine Centre, Hilton Adelaide and Windy Point Restaurant. Their experience culminated with a personal cooking class and wine experience in the Adelaide Hills, followed by some retail therapy on King William Road. Accompanying the group was Adelaide City Councillor and managing director of DMC Encounter Australia, Francis Wong. He said the quality and professionalism of the four buyers from Singapore and D 36 mice.net esigned to entice future business events to South Australia, the Qantas Destination SA event attracted hosted guests from across Australia, Singapore, China and New Zealand. China was a real asset for the future development of incentive groups from Asia. “It is a wonderful investment of time and money. Congratulations to ACTA and the team,” he said. After a sumptuous welcome lunch, visitors from New Zealand visited iconic art establishment The Jam Factory, where they got to try their hand at glass blowing. As well, the New Zealand contingent enjoyed gourmet experiences in the city and across the Barossa Valley, with the climax being an exclusive helicopter ride over the Barossa Valley. Managing director of New Zealand event company ESP Venues, Liz Maxwell, said she appreciated the opportunity to participate in the program which gave her a fresh perspectives on the range of activities available. “[Particularly] all the wonderful gourmet and wine tasting that reinforced the image we all have of South Australia, and in particular to network with such a professional group of suppliers,” she said. Interstate visitors were introduced to the varied and outstanding fresh produce available in SA on a guided tour of the Adelaide Central Markets, followed by a welcome lunch at the National Wine Centre. Guests were then whisked to Penfolds Magill Estate for a personal tasting and tour, experiencing first hand just why South Australia leads the world with its wine. Giselle Baker, meetings buyer with Pharmaceutical giant Wyeth was particularly taken with her experience “From the moment I arrived in Adelaide I was amazed at the beauty and grace of such a wonderful city. I have been able to take away so much valuable information and it will certainly assist me with my future conference planning,” she said. Destination SA’s exhibition and trade component was hosted by the Adelaide Convention Centre. Thursday was dedicated to state business, while Friday was for national and international business. Each buyer conducted up to 17 face-to-face appointments with exhibiting ACTA members, taking the opportunity to learn more about the products, venues and services available in South Australia. ABOVE: Windy Point chef (left) with Priscilla Sun and Valerie Yee (centre).