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The Christmas Decision: To Ham Or Ham It Up


Dreamworld’s meetings and events team is bracing for an improved Christmas performance as the events business, a multi-million dollar sector funded largely by corporate spend, appears to be moving into recovery.

In 2008, government departments and corporations were ‘outed’ for channelling profits toward team building and lavish end of year corporate events however in 2009 businesses are once again seeing the benefits of treating their staff to a December celebration.


Andrew Chapman general manager at  Australian Tourist Park Management and Nicole Blackwood, Jindabyne Holiday Park hamming it up at Dreamworld

Dreamworld’s sales manager events, Jennifer Neville says that while businesses are still cautious, there has been a definite bounce back in end of year events and parties.

“There is still a lot of caution when it comes to spending corporate dollars, clients are still thrifty, but what we are seeing is that if we can deliver bang for their buck, the business is coming back,” she said.

The park is finding that businesses that missed out on holding celebrations last year are back in 2009.

“Some businesses are telling us that faced with finite funds they are choosing to either provide staff Christmas gifts or hold a wiz-bang event, not both. It’s a case of ham or hamming it up.”

Neville said Dreamworld’s Dream Challenge, is proving to be an excellent way for businesses to combine an end of year celebration with a team building element to help drive growth for the new year. Designed for groups of 20 to 100, with the average size of around 60, the Dream Challenge is a two hour contest that pits colleagues against each other in a ‘pace around the world’ scenario. A great ice-breaker and a fun day out, the program includes a banquet lunch with an awards ceremony and an afternoon relaxing and enjoying Dreamworld’s rides and attractions.

One such group who took up the Dream Challenge is Australian Tourist Park Management (ATPM) who brought together 28 park managers from around Australia with the company’s Coolangatta based head office staff.

ATPM’s general manager Andrew Chapman said his company has seen enormous benefits in holding team building events ahead of peak periods.

“As a company we combine our annual conference, end of year celebrations and team building activities to help our managers meet our head office team and to exchange ideas with people who are like minded and in a similar situation,” Chapman said.

“For us the return is ten fold. The staff tends to lose steam throughout the year and the team building really helps to gain momentum, sending them home with a positive and enthused attitude as they head into our busiest season.”

Chapman says his team are gearing up for a good year.

“From what I can see there is a big expectation that 2010 is going to be very positive and more people will be travelling. It will be a strong year for recovery.”