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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
australia amway celebrates IN MELbOuRNE After AlreAdy holding events in sydney and the gold Coast in previous years, the Amway China leadership seminar Program experience in melbourne in April had to be different. event, visits to regional Victoria and a full-day business session. The program also had to be one that could be replicated four times over to cater for the four groups of 1800 Mandarin-speaking delegates. For inbound operator PTC Express Travel, a company experienced in handling large groups out of China, including Amway, it was important to have enough resources. With more than 100 staff and interpreters, representatives at arrival and departure airports and at all eight hotels in Melbourne, PTC left nothing to chance. They set up a command centre in central Melbourne where they and Amway staff worked closely to ensure everything ran like clockwork. Just transporting 7200 delegates to Melbourne on four, five-day visits, is logistically challenging. Cobb & Co, who coordinated all the transport, used up to 75 buses a day to move delegates to and from city hotels, more often than not while negotiating peak hour traffic. So enormous were the bus requirements throughout the month of April that Cobb & Co called on other Melbourne bus companies to assist. Language and cultural differences also had to be catered for in the hotels. Crown Towers and Crown Promenade hotels, where more than 2000 delegates stayed, translated their room service menus, mini bar, laundry lists and signage around the hotels. Special welcome packs were printed, featuring a VIP card, information on the Crown Entertainment Complex, discounts, vouchers and retail offers. The VIP cards also alerted Crown staff to guests who might need assistance. Delegates also stayed at the Grand Hyatt, Langham, Sofitel, Marriott T 58 miceAsia.net he program needed to present a different Australian experience. It had to include a spectacular gala dinner, fabulous world-class entertainment, a large team-building and Crown Plaza hotels where Mandarin signage and bi-lingual staff featured prominently. Big Stick Adventures brought together 200 staff and suppliers to stage four of the largest team-building events in the world. The four health runs saw more than 1500 Chinese delegates at a time run or walk around Melbourne’s famous Royal Botanic Gardens. For Big Stick Adventures the event entailed two days of onsite training for its staff, plus special signage, sandwich vouchers in Mandarin and water stations. Though not called a “fun” run, fun was a big part of this event. Video cameras rolled, excited delegates jockeyed for key positions at the start, and warmed up to exercises from larger-than-life AFL footballers. More than 5700 delegates participated in the health runs, each donating $10, resulting in more than $57,000 being presented to the Melbourne-based children’s charity, Berry Street. Big Stick Adventure’s Brett Hollis said that while not following a formal team-building structure, the runs promoted a healthy lifestyle, brought Amway delegates together for a good cause and helped build strong bonds between participants. Amway president, Audi Wong, said that the company was proud to be able to support a charity that assisted children who have been denied a good childhood. City tours of Melbourne, shopping trips including special discounts at Myer, and a night left free from organised activity allowed Amway delegates to soak up some of the city’s sophisticated atmosphere and also sample its wide choice of restaurants. But regional Victoria was where Amway delegates really immersed themselves into Australian culture. Delegates visited Phillip Island Nature Park’s Churchill Island, the site of the first European