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Mice Net : December 2008
planners’ checklist cutting edge pco By Bryan Holliday Byran Holliday says meetings are much more than simply gatherings for like-minded individuals. the getting of Wisdom M eetings are the midwives to wisdom. When people gather to discuss how to improve the human condition, all of society benefits. Over the past 40 years a large and vibrant industry has grown to offer customised services to clients who choose to congregate for a variety of reasons. Health professionals share their research findings in the hope that cures for degenerative diseases will be found sooner rather than later. Scientists, driven by curiosity about the world at large, convene to marvel at their peers’ latest discoveries. In a period of relatively low unemployment, business owners spend far more time and money on harnessing the enormous creativity of their staff in order to ensure future success and improved productivity. Stakeholders in democracies assemble to inspire, inform and motivate their party members. As Rupert Murdoch said in his recent ABC Boyer Lectures, Australia has a 21st century economy with a 19th century education system. This is where meetings can offer continuous education for life and, as practitioners in this important sector of the world of work, we must always ensure that we’re doing our best to facilitate the most exciting learning environments that we can design. There are many factors that influence how adults learn. Consideration must be given to the message, the delivery environment and the profile of the audience. First, the venue has to be both appropriate and functional. It’s counterproductive to hold a meeting on world poverty in a six–star luxury resort. With some delegates who may be hard of hearing, a clear audio system is a must. PowerPoint is a good servant but a poor master so different information–delivery mechanisms must be used; interactive panel sessions, armchair interviews, audience response units, hypothetical performances and debates used creatively can add lustre to the most academically demanding program. For more information, contact Bryan Holliday at ICMS Australasia at 02 9254-5000.www.icmsaust.com.au 28 mice.net STORY BY ros Mcleod THe BenefiTs of HosTing international congresses are greater than dollars and cents. events with benefits average spend per delegate to guesstimate the worth of each conference but are dollars the only measure? The Business Events (BE) Strategy recently submitted to the Federal Government set out to describe the real worth of conferences and the benefit of BE to the general community. It is imperative that we raise awareness of our contribution and therefore our importance as an industry. It is exciting that the BE industry contributes significantly to the future fabric of our country, not just in export dollars but by increasing the opportunities for Australian organisations to grow and prosper through international connections, the exchange of concepts, research and business. By raising the profile of Australians, by providing the international conference experience here in Australia at a fraction of the cost of travel overseas, by exposing Australian innovation and research - amazing outcomes occur that may never have happened without Australia hosting the international conference. But how do we measure these outcomes? Tour Hosts is working on a survey strategy that we start with our clients in the lead up to their conference. What is it we are looking for? Following past conferences we have heard anecdotal stories of our clients gaining real benefits. Examples were the exposure of Australians through their presentations generated invitations around the world to speak at international meetings. One company in an exhibition did a multi-million dollar deal as a result of exhibiting as their Australian innovation was taken up by overseas markets. When we figure out the best way to capture the information we will be pleased to share the case studies, statistics and knowledge we glean. W Roslyn McLeod is the founder and managing director of Tour Hosts, a Sydney-based conference and event management company. hen our industry talks about benefits it talks in terms of export dollars earned from international delegates, exhibitors and sponsors. Surveys have collected the