A private rendezvous sparks big ideas
When FCM Meetings & Events wanted to host a small and sustainable event with a powerful message, they recruited the best event team around – themselves.
Small in size and footprint, but big on impact, Ideas Exchange 2.0 was an intimate invitation-only gathering of key business influencers and decision makers. The theme for the event, held at the Hyatt Centric Melbourne in September, was Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and FCM Meetings & Events were set to challenge, excite and engage the guests.
“Travel by its very nature can have a big footprint, but FCM Meetings & Events wants to be a leader in this space and to start the conversation around sustainability,” said Cathy Broaders, Leader of Creative Services for FCM Meetings & Events. “We also wanted to give our guests ideas that they could take back and use in their own business events.”
“While championing our values, our goal was to create an event with an element of surprise and mystery, so when the guests arrived, they had no idea what to expect,” added Erin Walsh, Project Lead. “Each were handed a hotel room key wallet, which contained a cryptic clue to help them work out where they needed to be for the first of the event sessions.”
Arriving at their secret locations, the guests discovered they had been broken into four different groups. “The idea was to turn the event format on its head, by creating small pods and running concurrent sessions with five guests in each,” said Erin. “Then at the end of each session, guests received another clue to help them get to their next location.”
The informative and inclusive 30-minute sessions were held on different floors and spaces throughout the hotel. From the lobby where guests engaged with Global Sustainability Officer for the Flight Centre Travel Group, Michelle Degenhardt; to the Level 25 restaurant kitchen for a hands-on cooking session with Head Chef, Jordan Monkhouse; and two luxurious room suites where they heard from respected sustainability expert, Neil Pharaoh and also Felicity Burke, Asia Pacific General Manager for FCM Consulting who shared an update on travel moving into 2023.
“Each session was small and interactive, so everyone could express their ideas,” said Cathy. “This complemented the Ideas Exchange format, because often in larger groups, one person can tend to drive the conversation, but this way, everyone was equally engaged.”
Partnering with Hyatt Centric was key in delivering this ESG focused event, as sustainability is firmly embedded in their values. “Food and beverage are a big part of any event and we wanted to show that it can be done sustainably,” said Erin. “It’s important for FCM Meetings & Events to showcase what we believe in, so the entire event was sustainable and plastic free. For example, the name tags were organic paper infused with daisy seeds, so guests could plant them after the event.”
On arrival, guests received an empty gift bag, which was progressively added to at each session with relevant goodies, which also served as clues to guide them to their next session. Gifts included a 100% biodegradable organic cotton apron and an empty jar, which they filled with salsa verde they made with the chef. They also received a Boston cocktail shaker and herb kit, to grow salsa and cocktail ingredients at home. Plus, each guest received a Social Dot, a sustainable solution for networking and exchanging contact details, without using paper business cards.