NewBook hosted the Tourism Innovators Conference on the Gold Coast from June 18-21, 2019. Labelled by attendees as the “most innovative, thought-provoking and educational conference of 2019”, the event attracted nearly 200 attendees from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. Founder and CEO of NewBook, Brad Illich, launched the conference in 2017 and was excited to see the event come together for the second time…
“A lot of hard work went into creating this conference and I was so pleased to see everyone enjoying themselves, learning and networking with one another. It’s evident that everyone is so passionate about their business and they genuinely want to learn and implement new innovations to gain that competitive edge – and that’s what this conference is all about.”
The huge three-day event attracted some of the most determined and forward-thinking delegates who were hungry to discover the latest trends in tech and travel products and services, to take their businesses to new heights. The keynote line-up featured inspiring and captivating speakers who motivated delegates to identify new opportunities, stand out from their competitors and try new things. Futurist and Trend Forecaster, Michael McQueen had everyone engaged from the moment he stepped on stage with his discussion on how to, ‘anticipate, prepare for and pre-empt disruption’. Former Director of Lonely Planet and avid explorer, Gus Balbontin was a standout with his entertaining stories of his own travel ventures, his twist on the importance of adapting to change and how certain systems and products could be preventing future success. Dr Jason Fox, Wizard Rogue and Leadership Adviser enthralled the audience with his quirkiness and intriguing perspective on how default thinking can create a ‘delusion of progress’, leaving delegates scratching their heads and craving more. Other insightful speakers included representatives from TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Expedia, HomeAway, Village Roadshow Theme Parks, major Australian Holiday Park groups, Xero, BDO, Travello, US Outdoor Hospitality specialists, Government and lots more!
23 sponsors and exhibitors supported the conference, offering delegates innovative products and services that can streamline their back office operations including online payment gateways, POS systems, power metering and business intelligence, as well as products and services that will enhance guests’ experiences, such as Wi-Fi, streaming services, accommodation, facilities and laundry solutions.
With the motto – conference by day, party by night, there was plenty of entertainment with fun-filled night events featuring dodgem cars, live music, DJs, food trucks, comedians, hip hop dancers, world-class entertainment and exclusive access to Movie World, with the use of two exhilarating roller coasters!
Tourism Innovators Recognised at Gala Awards Dinner
On the final evening, delegates were treated to a night of glitz and glamour at the black tie Awards Night and Gala Extravaganza, providing the chance for everyone to get dressed up, have a great time and celebrate some of the leaders in the industry. The prestigious Tourism Innovator Awards recognise the hard work that properties are doing to not only transform their business, but the industry as a whole. The crowd were on the edge of their seats as the lucky winners were announced, taking home a total of $12,500 in cash prizes for their excellence in Innovation, Automation, Rapid Growth and our top award – the Trailblazer Award.
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
Automation Award – Park Lane Holiday Parks Innovation Award – Tathra Beachside Rapid Growth Award – Solitary Islands Marine Park Resort Trailblazer Award – BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort There was tough competition this year, with lots of entries and we congratulate everyone on their efforts.
This year’s runner ups were:
Automation Award – BIG4 Beacon Resort Innovation Award – Stay With Us Pty Ltd Rapid Growth Award – BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort Trailblazer Award – Holiday Haven Parks
The night also included a stellar line up of world-class entertainment with LED Dancers, the world’s fastest speed painter Brad Blaze & eclectic entertainers, Dr. Groove, who kept the good times rolling with live tunes until late.
After a hugely successful event, Founder and CEO, Brad Illich, announced the biennial conference may be back for a third time! The feedback NewBook has received so far has been really positive with 9/10 attendees stating they will be attending the next Tourism Innovators conference which NewBook has promised will be bigger and better than ever! Until next time… Click here to check out all the photos!