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Kendenup Great-Southern, Fervor Food and Gilberts Wines

Conference & Events

Time for a cruisy meeting in the South West! Guests can be spoilt with the finest in food and wine experiences, get immersed in heritage or nature and learn from a local artisan. There are a feast of experiences through the region to ensure that ‘down’ time is as equally engaging as the meeting time. Australia’s South West is easily accessible from Perth and offers an incredible standard of infrastructure region-wide. The South West economy is strong with agriculture, mining and tourism being the lynch-pins embracing other industries such as the arts, education, science, and environment.

There's such an incredible variety of event opportunities in Australia’s South West and it can be a bit daunting as to where to start. So we've put together some tips from just a handful of well known locals in the industry, that regularly help people to create an outstanding meeting, conference or event.

10 Unique Conference Ideas You'll Love

Top tips from South West professionals to help plan a casual conference or event

#1.  "Events Grow Sales and Market Share! Promoting one on one and experiential marketing is a great way to get through the clutter of broad or social media. Choose the right event and you can get to your preferred market! Events provide a vertical demographic which means you can meet and talk to the clients who want to buy your product. “Touch it, hear it, smell it, taste it, try it, buy it!”  Richard Campbell, Director of CMS Events.

#2.  "Do you have newsworthy speakers or subject matter? Conference presentations often include groundbreaking research, topical subject matter or new technology presented by notable talent. Check the availability of your keynote speakers for interviews pre-event, and let local and industry media and influencers know to help generate awareness and buzz about your event."  Janine Pittaway, Principal, Bright Communications.

#3.  "Calculate Quotes With Care. Leads for conference groups are not always generated directly from the end client.  Travel Agents, in addition to PCO’s,  also handle conference and group enquiries and have expectations regarding pricing structures.  Calculations of supplier net costs to factor travel agent management, is important to consider and communicate accurately”  Karen Castiglioni, Managing Director, Distinctly Travel Management.

#4.  "Choose a venue that suits your needs, rather than changing your needs suit the venue. By choosing a venue that is capable of fulfilling all your conference or wedding requirements, from flexible and stylish meeting spaces to leading edge technology and award winning catering, it will allow you to get exactly what you want, seamlessly and within your chosen budget."  Garry Snowdon, Venue Manager, Albany Entertainment Centre.

Rose Maze Kojonup - by Elements Margaret River

Rose Maze in Kojonup by Elements Margaret River

Image by Elements Margaret River - Duckstein

Image by Elements Margaret River, Duckstein

#5.  "Exceed your delegate’s expectations. In the digital age the future looks bleak for events that rely on monotone lectures. Attendees are looking for unique event experiences, so embrace technology and include digital interaction which is a key element to encouraging audience engagement and enhancing the event experience."  Suzanne Clark, Events Manager, Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre.

#6.  "Pick your venue to suit your group. Don’t try and run a formal meeting in a casual café (no matter how spectacular the views!), and the same goes for the opposite. If you’re after a relaxing and casual event experience, make sure you pick a venue that has that vibe. Getting the right setting really sets the tone for your function.”  Lisa Hoskin, Event Manager, Functionality Events.

#7.   "Harness fresh ingredients, with a focus on locally sourced produce. Move with the seasons. Presenting food in a unique location creates an unforgettable dining experience. Crafted with passion we can bring out the taste and excitement of the region." Paul 'Yoda' Iskov, Chef & Owner of Fervor. Pictured at top of page in Kendenup, Great Southern.

#8.  "Have a play with handy digital tools and websites in the planning phase. You could look up polling, voting and competitions and sending through an event Facebook group. Using event apps like Eventtus, CrowdCompass or ShowGizmo and easily sell tickets through sites like Eventbrite. Incorporate widgets into your website like LightWidget for custom instagram feeds."  The team here at Australia's South West.

Tall Timbers Manjimup by Matt Blakers Photo

Tall Timbers in Manjimup by Matt Blakers Photo

Saint Aidans Wines by Henderson Photographics

Saint Aidans Wines by Henderson Photographics in the Ferguson Valley

#9.  "Preparation is essential when photographing corporate events. Making time to connect and receiving a photo brief prior is important to ensure the right people are captured, key moments and specific details are achieved. With efficient delivery of images to you, it allows you to maximise the moment through social media and advertising channels."  Russell Ord, Mark Boskell, Paris Hawken Principal Photographers for Elements Margaret River.

#10  "Incorporate activities promoting inclusion and movement. Events don’t have to be all about sitting down and listening to speakers – for small events, consider an icebreaker or speed networking activity to make sure everyone feels included. At larger events, you could consider including an after lunch stretching exercise to get everyone motivated, or a morning group breathing exercise for something a bit different!"  Emma Page, General manager, Tourism Council WA.

#11  "Whether you are showing video to your delegates or capturing the event for future use, it’s important to produce the work professionally.  Delegates will quickly switch off watching badly shot and edited videos played back in the wrong resolution from PowerPoint.  Remember ‘garbage in – garbage out’ so have good quality content for the event from the start.  Same goes when you are capturing the event, the keynote speaker shot from the back of the room with a smart phone, with no professional audio input, will not help you or your clients when they want to use it for grant applications or promotion of next year’s event.”  Dean Lomax, Lomax Media.



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