With the latest trend for creating ‘experiences’ in conferencing, there’s no wonder our picturesque hero property located at the Great Ocean Road can see up to 15 events a month! Able to accommodate up to 550 delegates, the beachfront venue offers 12 conference spaces and acres of opportunities for excitement. Breanna Alger , the new Events Manager at Mantra Lorne, shares her tips on effective event marketing, the big trends in events right now and her perfect recipe for spicing up an event at regional Victoria’s largest residential conference venue. Breanna, tell us about your career to date. Why did you decide to pursue this career? I have been with Mantra only a few months now, coming from a background of entertainment style events. I studied Event Management after high school. I really loved the idea of bringing a big event to life, and feeling like you’ve really achieved something. Tell us about some of the most unique or creative events you’ve worked on? We recently had a power tool conference in house. They definitely wanted to bring the ‘wow factor’! We were lucky enough to have the space to allow them to bring in a V8 Supercar which the delegates, (and the Mantra staff), loved! The whole display only ran for about ten minutes, but seeing the smiles on the delegates’ faces, and the intricacies of showcasing a V8 race car was truly something special. What do you think are the hot new trends in conferences and events right now? Thinking outside the square! A lot of conferences we have, they want a point of difference. It is important for delegates to be engaged and for them to walk away with an experience, as well as information. A more casual side to the conference is what we’ve been seeing. If a company or a celebrity decided today, "I want to host a big event," what would be the first step you suggest the client take? The first step would be to have a think about what you want your guests to feel when they leave. This really sets the tone for the entire event, and what the overall outcome needs to look like. Are there any things that can help guarantee the success of an event? Timings and checklists. The most important part of an event is organisation. There is always going to be things that pop up unexpectedly, so if you can control the finer details, by having time frames to tick them off, the unexpected tasks can be dealt with as they arise. What are the most important things to remember on the day of the event? Be calm, and taking a step back to see the event from an outsiders’ perspective. There are always last minute jobs, and things that come up on the morning of an event. So the most important thing is to stay calm and prioritise. Stepping away from the event and seeing things with fresh eyes can rally make a difference to how you see what you’ve brought together. Tell us about your hotel and its event space. What makes it unique? Here at Mantra Lorne, we are lucky enough to have numerous event spaces. From our beautiful Heritage listed Lawns, to our multi-purpose Convention Centre, we really can cater for any type of event, of any size. Delegates have the opportunity to not only be in more than one room, but to use multiple conference rooms and outdoor spaces. We encourage spreading the conference across the resort, as to keep the sessions fresh, and exciting. We also have the opportunity to have our guests dine under the stars with a BBQ buffet out on our Seagrass Lawn, looking over the spectacular Lorne Beach. Tell us about some of the unique experiences you can arrange at your property for C&I events. Mantra Lorne is situated along the iconic Great Ocean Road. We are very fortunate to be in a central position for some fantastic local wineries, and close to fabulous local produce that can all be brought on site. The best part about the property is that it is so large; almost everything can be done right here on our grounds! From having a 50m slip ‘n’ slide set up on our lawns, to wine tasting in our cellar, Mantra Lorne can adapt to the conference needs. What is your recipe for spicing up a conference at your property? Having some down time. It is important for delegates to be able to relax and have some time away from the conference. Something simple, like enjoying a massage at our onsite Endota Spa. We also encourage conference groups to have a welcome dinner on their first night, or a gala dinner on the final evening. It gives delegates a chance to unwind, and to mingle on a more social level. Relaxed delegates is the key to a successful conference! Our Lorne events team would love to welcome you on a site inspection. For more information on conferences and events at Mantra Lorne, please get in touch.