Discovering New South Wales

Indian business event planners are reminded of the state’s diversity, from big city sights to countryside charms, during a Business Events Australia destination showcase

Sparkling Sydney and its scenic surroundings were central in a recent familiarisation trip designed for a select group of Indian business event planners who journeyed to Australia for the Business Events Australia (BEA) Asia Mega Famil Showcase in March 2023.

The Indian contingent was part of the first group of 50 international planners that were involved in the pre-show familiarisation trip led by host city partner Business Events Sydney (BESydney).

Fam trip participants went on quad bikes around Port Stephens’ sand dunes, bushes and beaches

Planners were introduced to Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley, where they went around on quad bikes and helicopters and explored the destinations’ natural landscapes, adventure options as well as wine and culinary draws.

Participant Sajin Nawshad, director, Akbar Holidays, said the countryside of New South Wales, which these destinations are part of, can feature well in an incentive programme that is paired with state capital Sydney.

Nawshad was especially impressed with the quad bike ride in Port Stephens, which took participants over sand dunes, through bushes and down a beach.

“Besides the beautiful route, the safety measures in place were impressive. In some of the markets, you are handed ATV bikes without supervision and safety equipment like a helmet,” he explained.

He added that the scenic helicopter flight over Hunter Valley is ideal for top achievers, due to the breathtaking views it affords.

Nirav Desai, head – domestic and international MICE business, WE Events, also sees promise in Port Stephens’ wildlife encounters, such as dolphin sightings and learning about koalas at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary.

“The glamping facility within the sanctuary can also be a unique accommodation option for incentive groups,” said Desai.

Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary offers a glamping option for corporate groups

Indian planners called at Brokenwood Wines and Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley, where they had wine tasting sessions. Both venues offer vast open spaces that are ideal for group lunches.

From the countryside, the group journeyed back to Sydney, where they had an adrenaline rush from Harley Davidson bike rides to Bondi beach.

A highlight in the city was the visit to Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), where the group got to meet and greet Australian cricket legend, Michael Bevan.

“SCG has a special place in (the hearts of Indians), as it has been a venue of many great sporting events. Such private tours where top achievers get to meet famed cricketers are always going to be in demand,” remarked Bindeshwari Prasad, associate vice president, FCM Travel Solutions.

Prasad sees potential in planning a lunch event with a private SCG tour and cricketer meet-and-greet for his Indian groups, utilising the stadium’s event venues.

Brokenwood Wines in the Hunter Valley offers wine tastings and open spaces for dining events

The BEA Asia Mega Famil Showcase was designed to play up Sydney’s best and newest event options. A welcome event was hosted at Taronga Zoo’s Gili Rooftop, from which participants observed the zoo’s residents, while a welcome dinner was held at the Harbourfront Seafood Restaurant, set against a backdrop of the iconic Sydney Harbour.

Even more of Sydney’s unique venues were showcased in the following days of the trade event, when B2B meetings were underway. The Jackson, Sydney’s newest luxury yacht venue, hosted a gala dinner for attendees; the Art Gallery of NSW presented its newly-opened North Building wing venues; while the Royal Randwick Racecourse showed off its new Winx Stand and entertainment potential.

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour outdoor opera provided a stunning finale for the BEA Asia Mega Famil Showcase.

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