Two of the Greater Hunter’s largest accommodation houses – Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Crowne Plaza Newcastle – have appointed a new Business Development Director, Donna Forbes, who will focus on building the business events market for both properties,
The appointment has been welcomed by Altogether Perfect – Greater Hunter Business Events, a marketing body tasked with promoting Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley as venues for conferences and other business events.
With a career spanning 20 years in the tourism industry and a proven expert in business events, Donna brings extensive and invaluable experience to the Hunter and will aim at attracting large, long-lead business to the region. Donna has spent 10 years in business to business (B2B) development, sales solutions and account management roles, and has a substantial background working with associations and professional conference organisers (PCOs). Donna will be responsible for securing business primarily within the meetings, events, conference and incentives (MICE) market, leveraging her wealth of knowledge and experience.
Her most recent role with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) saw her successfully drive impressive revenue results and forge close client connections to establish the NCC (National Convention Centre) as a top meeting destination in Canberra. Drawing from these successes, Donna will play a pivotal role in bolstering the profile of the Hunter Valley as a desirable destination to host large scale meetings, conferences and events.
Altogether Perfect specialist for Newcastle, Nerida Worboys, said her team looked forward to working with Donna to reinforce the position of the Hunter as a leading regional business events destination. “Crowne Plaza’s properties in the Hunter valley and Newcastle are large and iconic hotels that play a key role in shaping the appeal of the Greater Hunter in the business events space so we are eager to support Donna’s work in building this appeal,” said Ms Worboys from Newcastle City Council’s Newcastle Business Events unit.
Surrounded by vineyards, the 316-room Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley boasts the largest exhibition and meeting facility in the region, accommodating up to 1600 delegates, as well as an 18-hole golf course, while the 175-room Crowne Plaza Newcastle commands a centrepiece position on the Honeysuckle harbourfront. Visit www.crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au and www.crowneplazanewcastle.com.au .
Launched in 2014, the Altogether Perfect – Greater Hunter Business Events campaign is the name for the collaborative marketing efforts undertaken by regional partners in the Hunter Region to attract and secure business events tourism.
Backed by Newcastle City Council, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and Destination Port Stephens and supported by dynamic industry operators, the joint marketing group attends trade fairs and sales missions and host visits to the region by key conference organisers and media to build the appeal of the Hunter region as a leading business tourism destination. The campaign received funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) which is managed and administered by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.