Friday, August 27, 2010

Marriott luncheon at Sirromet

Earlier in the month I was lucky enough to get an invite from the Brisbane Marriott (thanks Nicole!) to attend their luncheon at Sirromet Winery. They had the same event 3 years ago so I was looking forward to it ever since I received the invitation.

The day started with coffee & juice in the lobby at the Marriott where I got to talk shop with Jago, the hotel's Director of Sales & Marketing, who I haven't seen for a few years. We then boarded the buses for the trip to Sirromet where we had bubbles on the balcony before sitting down to lunch in Restaurant Lurleen's (voted Australia's ‘Best Restaurant in a Winery').

The best thing about Sirromet is the restaurant and their food. The wine was better than I remembered it from a few years ago ... I stuck with the sauvignon blanc and the bubbles. For lunch, my date for the day enjoyed the duck sausage entree, then beef wrapped in bacon with roasted mushroom and creamy potato and then an individual lemon meringue pie. I had a prawn and avocado entree, salmon main and a chocolate pudding dessert.

It was a beautiful day finished with drinks at the cellar door (pictured below) before jumping on the bus back to the Marriott. Thanks to the team at the Marriott for the invite and for looking after us during the day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

U2 confirm tour of Australia & NZ

Great news over the weekend that U2 have confirmed that they're bringing their 360 world tour to Australia and New Zealand.

Great news, not because I'm a U2 fan (sure, I like their earlier stuff but they lost the plot with Achtung Baby & Zooropa) but its sure to be fantastic for business! Last time they were here (touring with Robbie Williams) was back in 2006 and it again coincided with the Ashes and was one of the busiest times we've seen. I'm of course hoping this upcoming tour will be along the same lines.

Dates confirmed so far are:

Auckland Nov 25
Melbourne Dec 1
Brisbane Dec 8
Sydney Dec 13
Perth Dec 18

U2 doing 360 of Australia - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Rock juggernauts U2 have announced they will be bringing their 360 world tour to Australia at the end of the year.

The band last toured here in 2006 and the latest tour dates have been announced after U2 were forced to cancel the north American leg of their show when Bono underwent back surgery.

Their 2006 tour here had to be rescheduled because of an illness in a band member's family.

They will play in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth in December.

"U2 has always been at their best when surrounded by their audience, and this extraordinary production makes that happen in stadiums, said U2's manager Paul McGuinness in a statement.

"It was important to the band that we were able to bring the whole 360 production to Australia and New Zealand so fans could experience the latest of U2's legendary productions."

U2 are renowned for their stage shows and the latest tour was called 360 because fans surround a giant circular platform complete with LED panels, a 150-foot steel structure and rotating bridges.

It was predicted to become the highest-grossing tour in history.

Tickets go on sale September 3.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bledisloe Cup - Sydney

There's not a great deal of events happening in August, which is a little strange because its usually a very busy month around the country. So with not much to prepare for this month, earlier in the week I started looking at September.

There are conferences, there are sporting events and the first big one will be the Bledisloe Cup in Sydney. There are a number of factors that will make this a big night for the city. Firstly, its on a Saturday night and they're always busy in Sydney. Secondly, its the Bledisloe Cup ... and despite the Kiwis already having wrapped it up, plenty of people will have already bought tickets and any contest between the two countries will always be a spectacle. Third and finally tho is the cross-over event that not everyone knows about ... the Reed Gift Fair also starts in Sydney on the night of the 11th.

A gift fair may not sound like much of an event but if you saw the demand and the damage that the Reed Gift Fair did to the Melbourne market two weeks ago you'll know this one is different. Combine that with the other two factors I mentioned above and September 11 is a night to beware of for Sydney hotels.

So here's the summary of how things look. With a month to go a number of hotels are already fully booked and a number of other hotels are already charging through the roof! There are however a few hotels that are still well-priced so last week I had Tara grab a few allotments to make sure we don't miss out.

If you need accommodation for the Bledisloe Cup in Sydney, I know its still a month away but now is the time to get in. As mentioned, we have a few of the best deals up our sleeve (one bedroom apartments for around $200/night, 4.5 star hotels for under $250/night) so call or e-mail us and we'll let you know what we can do.

And of course ... go Wallabies!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Great Entrepreneurs Have Vision, Not Just Ideas

Thanks to Robert Kiyosaki on Twitter for pointing out the article attached below.

It raises a good point that great entrepreneurs aren't just "ideas men". To create successful businesses, its less about the great idea and more about putting a plan together and assembling a team that can turn the vision in to reality.

(Click on the title below to read the full story)

Marty Zwilling: Great Entrepreneurs Have Vision, Not Just Ideas

A popular approach for aspiring entrepreneurs these days seems to be to corner anyone who will listen with a dialogue on their current hot 'idea.' The initial outburst usually ends with the question 'How much money do you think this is worth?' In my humble opinion, ideas are a commodity, and are really not worth anything, outside the context of a vision and plan.

Over the past couple of decades, experts have perfected the art of brainstorming and other idea-generation techniques. Executives and investors are now increasingly exposed to a wealth of ideas. The result is that ideas are no longer in short supply, and no longer a differentiator in competition.

Visionary leaders, on the other hand, are not so common. A visionary is someone who can make sense out of the wealth of ideas, and weave together a plan for implementation that will make a difference in the world. Steve Jobs, for example, probably gets millions of ideas from his friends, but he seems able to focus a few of these into initiatives that show real innovation.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Palazzo Versace - August Special



For August only, book our very exclusive Family & Friends rate and receive a complimentary upgrade!
For personal assistance please call
07 5509 8000 and QUOTE 'Family & Friends'.

Accommodation FROM $300
Palazzo Versace

For more information, check out the hotel's website.