Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Meetings & Events Industry Awards for 2008

What an excellent night.

The Adelaide conference committee went all out to ensure we had a great conference this year and they topped that off with an excellent awards night.

Following his very vocal criticism of last year's awards presentations Meri Took was invited to produce this year's event. Meri has produced a great number of high profile events over the past few decades and this was a no-brainer for a man of his experience.

The event was tightly scripted and with the excellent Toby Travanner MCing the night all went very smoothly and even finished ahead of schedule.

The Adelaide Convention Centre staff showed great technical flair and expertise including projections onto spheres and portrait screens.

Ding Entertainment provided the floorshow in the form of their very tasty "come to the cabaret" production that bookended the conference - their "bandstand" show opened the conference.

Full list of award winners
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

MEA conference casual dinner at Adelaide Showground

Adelaide turned on great variety in the weather department during the conference. The weather for the outdoor party at Adelaide Showground was rather chill and then the rain came right on cue as the event wound up.

Unfortunately the event was designed for summer and this was not a summers night. The event was spread out around the event space making it very difficult for any chance to keep warm.

Fortunately though the band really got the guests warmed up and there were some fancy demonstrations on the dancefloor.

Maclaren Vale wineries provided sampling of their products and I’m sure did a good trade with follow up orders. While there was plenty of wines to keep us going the queues for food were totally unacceptable.

The after-party for this event was held a nightclub called Swish On Terrace - certainly did not have the ambiance of the previous night and with no DJ on duty it was left to the guests to pump up the music - much to the chagrin of the manager.

The interaction with a couple of Sydney detectives who happened to be in Adelaide for some reason was interesting to watch.

ASE Out & About for this event

Sunday, April 05, 2009

MEA conference welcome reception at Adelaide Town hall

The MEA conference welcome reception was held at the Adelaide Town Hall and featured performances by Opera singers Antonio Villano and Kate Lara followed by the Town Hall's resident organist - all quite fitting in this venue.

South Australian food and wine was enjoyed by the guests courtesy of Epicure Catering.

The welcome address to delegates was presented by Martin Hamilton-Smith MP, who gave us a very long winded preview of a wonderful plan that he was to announce at a media conference the following day. Riverside West is a plan for an entertainment, sporting and cultural precinct between the River Torrens and North Terrace. However, Mr Hamilton-Smith is the leader of the SA opposition – so unless he can topple the Rann government pretty soon his marvelous plan is nothing more than a pipe dream and quite frankly wasted on the delegates at this event.

The after party was a hoot as delegates cut loose on the dance floor at The Cavern Club - Adelaide's centre of Beatles memorabilia

Social pix from this event are in the ASE social events section

Penfold's Magill Estate

The MEA annual conference curtain raiser event for accredited members was held at Penfolds Magill Estate on the outskirts of Adelaide where the suburbs meet the hills.

Exploring the cellars and drooling over huge vats of Grange was a great experience.
The estate was established in 1845 and although the vast area of plantings has gradually been reduced there are still around five hectares of vines and historical buildings.

Our palettes were tantalized by a selection of wines that included the Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz – often referred to as the poor man’s Grange – well it is made in the same winery.

However the surprise of the night was when I commented on how much a bargain Koonunga Hill Shiraz is. So a bottle was produced and offered to the “wine buffs” among the guests who insisted it was a fine drop and probably worth in excess of $20 per bottle (it can be picked up for around half that)

Sue Pearce is impressed with the Koonunga Hill

Photos from this event