Lawn bowls + cocktails: 4 tips for successful conferences in Sydney

Conference in the morning, bowl in the afternoon. The team at Rydges North Sydney knows that people are looking for something exciting and different for their meetings and corporate events. Today, they share their top tips for successful conferences in Sydney, the trends they’re seeing in 2017, and a delightful lawn bowls + conference offer. 

It’s official – we’re all sick of boring meetings. Read as many articles detailing the ‘top ways to make your meetings more efficient’ as you want, they’re just… an at-times necessary evil. What does that mean though? It means businesses and event planners are moving away from the stodgy office boardroom and the same old soggy sandwiches, taking meetings to inspiring settings, and pairing them with activities that are actually – gasp – enjoyable.

Today, Rydges North Sydney share their top tips for event planners with a conference, workshop or meeting on the horizon. What’s trending? What are businesses asking for from their event spaces? What overlooked elements of the event planning process are oftentimes overlooked?

First, the easy stuff: have multiple dates in mind

Conferences happen all year round. Some industries see a spike in February and March, others in September and October. Some will KNOW they can get a preferential deal in the ‘slower’ months, so they’ll bide their time.

What does that mean? The first tip for successful conferences is: be flexible with your dates. Send your ideal venues an enquiry with plenty of time to spare, and have a few dates in mind. At Rydges North Sydney, the most popular days for meetings are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, so they tend to book up ahead of time. Being able to move to a Monday or Friday means more availability and – you didn’t hear it from us – likely a better deal.

tips for successful conferences Rydges North Sydney

NEWS FLASH: Your guests will have dietary requirements

Perhaps surprisingly, dietary requirements is one of the aspects that Brittany finds people commonly overlook or leave to the last minute. “Asking for dietary requirements at the time of registration, then passing the details to the hotel or venue with plenty of notice will result in a much smoother process.”

In other words, make sure no one’s stressing about what anyone’s eating – and don’t leave your token vegan crew eating celery sticks and nothing else.

Don’t be scared to ask for something completely unique

A key tip for conferences: if you need something amazing, ask. If the venue’s worth their salt, they’ll be able to put something breathtaking together.

Brittany and the team at Rydges North Sydney name a progressive cocktail party leading into the main event as one of the more enjoyable and memorable events the venue has hosted. Guests were led through six accommodation rooms, each styled in a different theme and featuring a selection of matching cocktails and canapés. After a brief stint in each room to build anticipation and excitement, guests were ushered into the Jacaranda Ballroom for the evening’s main program and celebrations.

Venues are also able to partner with the unique spaces and business in their local area. Rydges North Sydney is located in close proximity to Luna Park, Kirribilli Club and the Greens North Sydney (more about that in a sec), so the possibilities of surprising and fun-filled activities to break up the day or bond the team are pretty much endless.

tips for successful conferences Rydges North Sydney

Two (conferencing) birds with one stone

An increasing amount of event planners in 2017 are looking to combine conferencing and team building into one action-packed day. And of course, that means the day’s remembered for the fun had in the afternoon rather than the list of action points and the meeting agenda.

That, essentially, is what inspired Rydges North Sydney to partner with their local bowls club, the Greens North Sydney. A two minute stroll from the hotel, it’s also regarded as one of the best lawn bowls locations in Sydney – with views of the harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge to boot. Conference in the morning, spend the afternoon bowling with the grass under your toes and the sun in the sky (and those bowls club beer prices at the bar, right?).


Being a densely populated area, Rydges North Sydney specialises in corporate day delegate packages. It’s true, that most corporate clients head to the hotel to conference in order to get their team out of the office and into a new environment. So why not pair a conference with an afternoon of sun and bowls? The package has already proved to be popular for upcoming end of financial year conferences.

According to Brittany this is one of the most exciting parts of working in the meetings and events industry: “The industry is always changing and evolving, which forces us to be more creative. Creating an event with a real ‘wow’ factor is super rewarding, as well as truly fun.”

Inspired? Feel like some lawn bowls? Book Rydges North Sydney for your next corporate event >>

tips for successful conferences Rydges North Sydney

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