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Mice Net : February 2009
e-awards 2007 Corporate Event of the Year – runner up Hunter Regional Tourism Organisation – Corroboree – The Americas. Corroboree 2007 recruited more Aussie experts. 80 mice.net 80 mice.net The Hunter Regional Tourism Organisation was chosen to host Tourism Australia’s Corroboree – The Americas annual convention. The event is dedicated to the education and training of ‘Aussie specialists’, retail agents committed to marketing and selling Australia as a leisure destination to North American consumers. It involved a mega familiarisation and training workshop exclusively for the Aussie specialists and key wholesalers/tour operators in the US. More than 360 delegates attended the three-day event which commenced in September 2007. 165 delegates of the group were agents and the whole contingent included airlines, representatives from Australian states and territories and Australian travel product, North American based wholesalers as well as the Aussie specialists. The overall theme, created by Tourism Australia, was ‘What’s cooking Down Under’ and this was incorporated in 10 major events including a cocktail party, two dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts. As well as this, there was a Sponsor Marketplace, Experiences Marketplace and Showcase Experiences. There were many special touches which included staff wearing Corroboree t-shirts, incentives to increase registration numbers, and leading up to the Corroboree local operators were briefed to create awareness of the event. The registration incentive was an all-round success. Organisers were expecting 120 delegates to register but were pleasantly surprised with 165. The incentives included a private room upgrade for the first two Sydney and NSW specialists who pre-registered, a lucky draw to win a luxury spa experience for two at the Golden Door Elysia, a five-star Hunter Valley tour package for two including four nights accommodation as well as free pre and post Hunter familiarisations. All agents stayed at the Crown Plaza Hunter Valley and product representatives stayed throughout the Hunter Valley. There were many creative aspects to the three-day event which included an Australian themed picnic lunch beside a billabong, a spa breakfast which included a singing performance from a local school choir, and a cocktail dinner which was set by the pool. The evening’s events included grape stomping, which was made into wine and given to guests at the end of their stay. The itinerary also included a food and wine night which was a progressive dinner where guests could walk from stall to stall and take in the beautiful landscaped surrounds of the Hunter Valley Gardens. There was also a host of Hunter Valley activities that were an opportunity to promote the region to delegates. The activities included wine and food matching, modern Australian cooking school, Hunter hotel trail, gardens and galleries tour, horse and carriage winery tour, beer tasting and food tour and the Aboriginal Caves Experience. All of this hard work payed off for the Hunter Regional Tourism Organisation with delegates voting Corroboree 2007 as the best event in four years and 100 percent of sponsors voted 2007 as better than 2006.