Posted 23 November 2015 11:52am

When Melbourne based Synchron Group held its NextGen conference in Canberra, the focus was on creating a program of activities that would challenge and entertain an energetic group of advisors and sales executives. The event organiser also wanted to give delegates an opportunity to explore a side of Canberra from a different perspective than a leisure tourist.

Synchron Group provided a brief that allowed the Canberra Convention Bureau sales team to arrange meetings with a number of suppliers and venues. The Bureau coordinated three days of site inspections and appointments that provided the event organiser, Josie Vella, with a raft of ideas for the program. “This was an extremely valuable exercise” said Josie. “We had no idea of the endless opportunities available and would not have been exposed to them without the Bureau’s assistance”.

The final schedule included dinner events at Old Parliament House and Australian War Memorial with accompanying tours of the venues. This was an absolute highlight for many delegates who had never before visited Canberra. There were a number of team building events across the city that delivered on conference goals while also introducing delegates to some of the many attractions of the city. These included a mock debate in the Senate Chamber at Old Parliament House, canoeing and bike riding activities on and alongside Lake Burley Griffin, and a Zumba class at the top of scenic Mt Ainslie. At a working pastoral property on the outskirts of the city delegates were put to work, rounding up sheep for a shearing demonstration, followed by a barbecue style dinner and listening to stories about the Australian bush.

Josie Vella described the conference as the best they have held to date, with delegate expectations exceeded. “We have established Canberra as a ‘must go to’ destination amongst our delegates, as they were all impressed and surprised by how exciting and quirky we found Canberra to be”.

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