The Busiest Time of Year in the GEMS House
Spring is definitely one of the busiest times for our event operations team and as we deliver this newsletter, our team has working hard to support and deliver national and international conferences in Canberra, Hobart, Cairns and Shanghai (China) over a four week period. No wonder... this is a great time of year to conference, when we welcome daylight saving and make the most of the shift to warmer weather and the multitude of outdoor function spaces and experiences on offer.

If you are considering a spring time conference or event for the year ahead, why not consider what outdoor spaces your preferred destination and venues have to offer? We can assure you, your delegates will appreciate getting outside of the four walls and making the most of this stunning weather.

In This Newsletter:

Destination Spotlight
Michelle Discovers What Makes Hobart a Great Conference Destination

Business Events PD
2020 PCMA Convening Leaders Conference - What Does Condoleezza Rice have to do with Event Management?

What's New
Introducing GEMS New Event Essentials Package

Thought Starter
Dietary Requirements - Where do we Draw the Line?
Destination Spotlight
Michelle Discovers What Makes Hobart a Great Conference Destination

It doesn’t get much better than Hobart for unforgettable conferences and events, if you want your delegates to experience landscapes of natural beauty and the world-class food culture that's on offer beyond the session room.

I was recently lucky enough to be hosted on a familiarisation tour of the Hobart region, conducted by Business Events Tasmania; and for someone who has seen her fair share of destinations, conference rooms and function venues, I was genuinely surprised and inspired by the array of unique venues, experiences, history and vibrant arts culture that Hobart oozes. There is no shortage of wonderful experiences that you can offer your delegates. Look beyond the city centre and you will be amazed.

Not long after arriving and starting the 4-day long tour, it became very apparent that the event suppliers in this region are very passionate about their island and work in partnership to make this destination an easy choice for both small and large groups.

Article Author: Michelle Glasson
Michelle's Top 5

If you are considering a conference in Hobart, be sure to take a look at some of my favourite venues and experiences from the tour:

Fat Pig Farm

Frogmore Creek Cambridge

Glen Albyn Estate

Palawa Kipli - Aboriginal Inspired Food

Willie Smith's Apple Shed
New Hotels to Open in Hobart

There are multiple hotels opening in Hobart over the next 6 months:

The Tasman, Marriott Luxury Collection
129-room boutique 5-star hotel (due to open September 2020)

Crowne Plaza
278-room 4.5-star hotel by InterContinental Hotels Group (due to open March 2020)

Hyatt Centric Hotel
196-room 5-star hotel (due to open early 2020)

Vibe Hotel
142-room 4.5-star hotel by International Hotelier (due to open mid-2020)
Business Events PD
2020 PCMA Convening Leaders Conference - What Does Condoleezza Rice have to do with Event Management?

Each year the Professional Conference Managers Association (PCMA) host more than 3,000 event planners, suppliers and venues at the Convening Leaders Conference. For the first time, GEMS Event Management will be attending the 2020 Convening Leaders Conference in San Francisco in January.
While the keynote speakers promise to deliver in terms of new innovations in conference management, it was the addition of former US Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice to the Conference Program that generated the most excitement.
After letting the news of such an exciting keynote speaker sink in, we then started to question why we were so excited. What could a presentation by Condoleezza Rice bring to our professional practice – probably nothing? Were we excited just because we could say that we had heard her speak? Was it because she bought a level of prestige to the Conference that didn’t already exist? Was it because of her level of celebrity?
The answer was yes to all of those questions. Business storytelling has become such an important element of communication that as professional conference planners we need to remind ourselves that our delegates need a combination of networking activities, professional learnings and unique experiences that frame the stories they take away from a Conference. 
So look outside the box and try and include one speaker that inspires and excites your delegates. Be brave, be bold, be different.
What's New
Introducing GEMS New Event Essentials Package

Our Event Essentials Package is the ideal solution for in-house event planners, professional associations and volunteer groups who require a secure, professional and streamlined online registration management service, including the option for secure e-commerce payment.

This package has been developed by our team as a cost-effective and simple one-stop solution for delegate registration, where full conference management and operational support is not required by the convening party.

Let us take care of your delegates by providing a personalised and professional registration management service, so that your team can focus on managing the logistics of your event.

For further information about the Event Essential Package and pricing, please email Michelle Glasson on mglasson@gemsevents.com.au . 1 2 9744 5252
Thought Starter
Dietary Requirements - Where do we Draw the Line?

In the early days of GEMS Event Management, special dietary consisted of a few vegetarian delegates. Vegetarian then expanded to vegan, gluten free and allergies that caused an anaphylactic reaction.

In the interests of health and safety as event organisers, we took these requirements very seriously. Having a daughter who ha s an anaphylactic reaction to seafood that has caused a number of emergency ward visits, I recognise the risk to some of our delegates is enorm ous.

However, in our attempts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our delegates, and with our duty of care being at the forefront of our mind, where do we draw the line with dietary ‘preferences’?. The plethora of ‘food preferences’ now being requested from Keto or Paleo to Low Carbohydrate and more, are becoming overwhelming and in some cases, not being taken seriously by venues.
In the last 12 months, we have started to see an increase in the number of venues who are adding surcharges to their delegate packages to cover the cost of these requirements.  On a regular basis we see venues who now provide delicious food covering the special dietary requirements, only to have plate after plate being returned to the kitchen because the special dietary meals are not as luscious as the chocolate brownie or the freshly baked scones that were also put out for the catering break.
While ensuring that our delegates with medical or religious issues are properly catered for, the long term future of delegate catering will be impacted by the multitud e of preferences now being expected by delegates, and ultimately the price will increase or the quality will diminish. 5

Article Author: Julie McGraw
Would you like to know more about our conference and event services?

If you are planning a conference for 2020 or beyond, - let us help!

We would love to provide you with a customised Event Management Plan to meet your needs. Whether you require full conference management support or simply assistance with your online registration services, we have the team to deliver.

Please contact Michelle Glasson, Director of Marketing and Business Development to discuss your event support needs on +61 2 9744 5252 or email mglasson@gemsevents.com.au