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Mice Net : December 2009
mice.net 11 news What they said New Zealand based HOT Events event director, Annette Pendergast was one of a handful of hosted buyers from New Zealand. She said following her experience that Dreamtime has always represented the ultimate familiarisation event. "... knowing the product focus was in the incentive market, I very much appreciated the opportunity to participate," she said. "I relished the chance to meet with the key players in the Australian incentive market, exhibiting in trade stands. I felt however, this was not as broadly represented as it could have been and I'm under the impression the high-ticket cost of participating as an exhibitor had excluded the smaller operators." Despite this, Ms Pendergast said she has come away armed with plenty of new concepts and some great product updates from the meetings she had. She said the clear highlight for her was the pre-event visit to the brand new Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa in the Blue Mountains. "Wolgan Valley proved to be a lot more than I anticipated and for those who cannot understand the attraction of this stunning Blue Mountains venue I urge you to reconsider -- take a second look," she said. "It's often a big ask for a tourism authority to step forward to become an event management company for trade events, especially in this case as Business Events Australia was charged with managing a relatively large number of delegates of multiple nationalities -- each with their own market demands and client expectations. I take my hat off to BEA for taking on this project, however, in the end I was a little under-whelmed with the Sydney showcase. "The Kiwi incentive market is very familiar with Sydney and to be convinced to visit we are looking for the new and excitingly different. The famil product showcase was somewhat generic, which appeared to cater for the multiple nationalities involved in the program. "I do have to acknowledge the exceptional level of service and hospitality extended to us through both the sales teams at Four Seasons Hotel and Westin Hotel, who both provided our accommodation in Sydney." Extraordinary Events' William Clint Upchurch from the U.S. said everything was top notch -- from his comfortable flight to Uluru "to my sad departure from Sydney." "The tradeshow was organised well and looked fantastic. All of our hosts excelled in their hosting abilities and helped to make the trip enjoyable. And the final night gala - what a treat! Thanks again and I look forward to bringing a group to my new favourite country." Hosted buyer Rery Tillutami of Panorama Tours in Indonesia was equally as impressed. "I had a great time and a great opportunity to know more about Melbourne [as a] destination, and for sure I will share to all my colleagues in Panorama Tours," he said. "The arrangements were running smooth without any missed." ABOVE: All smiles at Dreamtime 2009 with (top left) meeting a local indigenous performer; (top right) the exhibition, business forum component of the event was held at Luna Park overlooking Sydney Harbour; (bottom left) bottom's up at Ivy for welcome drinks; (bottom right) Business Events Australia's Joyce DiMascio (pictured left). OPPOSITE PAGE: Dreamtime 2009 at Luna Park.