Alex Robertson writes….
I recently spent a couple of days in the Gold Coast, scouting out and visiting venues for the 2019 Australian Pain Society 39th Annual Scientific Meeting. Yes, a conference that is 2 years away!
First up was a site inspection of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), we had recently secured this space and I wanted to make sure the rooms we had hired were the most appropriate for the conference. The centre is light and airy – as you would expect being on the beautiful Gold Coast. It is easy to get around and very user friendly. Thank you to Peter Haywood, Event Manager and Lee Robinson, Technical Event Manager, for the walk around and delicious lunch!
The afternoon was spent viewing accommodation options. If there is one thing delegates won’t be short of in the Gold Coast, it is somewhere to stay within walking distance of the GCCEC! The Star (formerly Jupiter’s) rooms have recently had a beautiful make over, enjoy gorgeous beach views at the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, Peppers Broadbeach are a perfect option if you’re looking for an apartment the whole family will fit in – at a 5 star level, Meriton Serviced Apartments are spacious and fresh and the Mantra Broadbeach on the Park are perfect for those looking for somewhere on a budget.
That evening, I was dropped at Miami Marketta, a creative hub for art, music, design and culture. Set in an open air, undercover, private laneway precinct, Miami Marketta is the original and first street food market on the Gold Coast. Each weekend, and Wednesday evenings, the space comes alive with food stalls from all around the world, a bar that serves boutique wine, locally brewed beer and delicious cocktails. The food on offer is absolutely delicious and I enjoyed watching friends meet after work for a catch up over shared food and families with young kids enjoyed a quick dinner. There is something for everyone and this is a truly unique experience, I urge anyone heading to the Gold Coast to include a visit to Miami Marketta into their trip. Just make sure you have space in your luggage to purchase a few of the locally produced wares that are on offer!
That night, I cherished a perfect night’s sleep in one of the beautiful rooms at the Sofitel – there really is nothing like a Sofitel bed!
The next day I worked my way through the theme parks, visiting Dreamworld – and Tiger Island, before the park had opened to the public was a real treat. Hosting a cocktail reception there would be a very unique and memorable event!
As I made my way through the back lot of Warner Bros. Movie World I received friendly waves from a golf buggy of super heroes – Batman, Wonder Woman, Super Man, to name a few – certainly not something you see every day!
Seaworld included a dolphin show, a walk through Shark Bay and a visit to the polar bears.
I made my way back into the Gold Coast and up to Skypoint at the top of Q1 for my final site inspection – what a view! The APS Committee are going to have a hard time deciding where to hold their Gala Dinner, there are some truly fantastic and unique options in the Gold Coast!
The afternoon was spent in Broadbeach, sticking my head into the numerous venues to get a feel for what is around and what might be popular with the delegates – there’s a lot of funky restaurants and bars and I hope they’re all still there when we come back.
It was a whirlwind tour of the Gold Coast and I am grateful for being able to visit all these venues – it makes our job a lot easier as we begin to put the conference together and ensures when we choose the venues we know exactly what kind of experience we are setting up for the delegates.
Thank you to everyone at the above venues who hosted my site inspections, to Neil and Kathy from Australia Meet and Greet who drove me around during my stay, the Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach for hosting me in one of their beautiful rooms and especially Samantha Thompson from the Gold Coast Business Events for putting together my itinerary and organising the trip for me.
Gold Coast, we will see you in 2019!