Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Conference wins a positive for the Brisbane hotel market

Its been a very, very quiet year for the Brisbane hotel market, especially compared to what we're used to. So it was nice to see some positive news for the year ahead with this update from Brisbane Marketing (below).
My guess is that the Austmine conference in 2015 will be a big one.

Conferences booming in Brisbane

Brisbane has won the right to host 16 conferences worth more than $30 million in a stunning September quarter for the local business events industry.

The September quarter bid wins led by the Brisbane Marketing Convention Bureau include a number of prestigious medical, education, resources and IT conferences:
  • Joint Australasian Society of Aerospace Medicine, Aeromedical Society of Australasia, and Flight Nurses Australia Conference 2014
  • Australian Association for Research in Education – New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2014 Conference
  • WCO IT Conference & Exhibition 2014 (World Customs Organisation)
  • Australia and New Zealand Society of Nuclear Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting 2015
  • Austmine 2015 International Conference and Exhibition.
Other bid wins led by the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) - done in partnership with Brisbane Marketing – have also contributed to the outstanding September quarter result.

These events will inject more than $30 million into the city’s economy, while bringing 11,500 delegates to Brisbane.

It puts Brisbane on track for a bumper year for conferences in the lead-up to the G20 Leaders Summit in November 2014.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Night at Palazzo Versace

My year of 5 star hotel stays continued with a night at Palazzo Versace on Sunday. I visited the resort shortly after it opened and have made numerous bookings for clients but was yet to actually stay there myself.

One of my friends e-mailed me on Wednesday asking me to make a booking in one of their two bedroom condos for him and his family for the weekend. With some skills and some contacts, I managed to pull some strings and get him a 15% discount from what was being offered on Wotif, which is a sizable discount when you see what the resort charges for their condos.

My friend then invited me to join him on Sunday to catch up and watch the NRL grand final so I jumped at the chance. I got down in the afternoon, had a swim in the plunge pool with his kids and then we ordered some room service, watched the league and had a few drinks.

I was catching up with some friends at Broadbeach the next day so I enjoyed breakfast at the Versace breakfast before leaving the resort.

Here is the view from the patio of the condo overlooking the plunge pool and the Southport Spit:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

First-ever Resident Running Concierge

I made a post a couple of month's back about some of the oddest hotel professions and this morning came across this press release about another first in hotel roles ...

Westin Hotels Names Veteran Runner as the Brand’s First-Ever Resident Running Concierge

Christopher Heuisler, Experienced Marathon Runner and Running Coach, Selected from a Pool of More Than 1,000 Highly-Qualified Applicants
It’s the job runners have been training for all their lives and today, Westin Hotels & Resorts announced that Christopher Heuisler, a veteran runner who has competed in 25 marathons in 20 states, was chosen as the winner of its nationwide search for the first-ever RunWESTIN Concierge. Earlier this year Westin launched a search for an experienced, passionate runner to join them on the road and serve as the on-site running expert for Westin VIPs participating in select Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series events. Christopher beat more than 1,000 applicants to the finish line for the dream job after a month-long selection process that vetted final candidates through a series of application reviews and in-person interviews.

“After an extensive search for the ideal candidate, we are thrilled to have Christopher join the Westin team as our first RunWESTIN Concierge,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Not only does he have the marathon experience and impressive credentials we were looking for, but he is also an impassioned individual who will seamlessly connect with our guests and ultimately help them achieve their goals.”

Christopher will make his first official appearance as the RunWESTIN Concierge this weekend at the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. On September 21-22, Westin guests participating in the Montreal Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon will have the first opportunity to take part in the VIP Marathon Package with Christopher as the official on-site running expert. As the RunWESTIN Concierge, Christopher will provide training tips through social channels, lead runners in a pre-race tour of the route and the routine warm-up run, greet runners at the finish line and provide race-recovery instruction and tips in the VIP Recovery Tent. In addition to Montreal, the resident RunWESTIN Concierge will appear at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons in Denver, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

From pre-race training to the finish line, Christopher will act as a personal marathon coach, engaging with runners and sharing expert training and race advice, in addition to leading warm-up runs and offering recovery tips for sore muscles. The Boston-based trainer will be responsible for sharing his in-depth knowledge of marathon running and training to improve performance and build and maintain rapport with Westin guests through social media outlets. In addition to his extensive marathon experience, the happily married father of two was most recently a tier-4 coach at Equinox Fitness Club – an honor bestowed only to 80 out of 1,800 personal trainers nationwide and indicating the highest level of client coaching. Serving as the tier-4 team’s marathon expert, Christopher successfully coached over 20 clients in completing their first marathon.

Apart from his duties as an on-site coach for runners, Christopher will engage with Westin guests via social media, offering nutrition and training tips, setting race goals and providing inspiration for novices and veterans alike. Christopher will be connecting with guests across a variety of social platforms including Facebook, Instagram (@ChrisHeuisler) and Tumblr.

For more information on Westin Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.westin.com, Facebook or follow Westin on Twitter.