2019 Club Managers Conference - Wrap Up

26 August 2019

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By now everyone will be back to reality and the cold following a few days of Aussie sunshine for the 2019 Club Managers Conference.

This year’s conference was attended by 82 pax (65 management & 17 partners), which is slightly up on the previous trips.  This year we took the opportunity to stay (& play) at Bankstown Sports Club and what an eye opener that turned out to be for those that had not visited this club previously;

  • 7 Restaurants
  • 5 Bars
  • 745 Pokies
  • An annual turnover of $110 million
  • And now also 5 other outlets

All of the above from a small Club started in 1959 with a membership of 300 (Now 75,000)…. guess some one had a vision!!!

After getting acquainted to the new surroundings and having a catch up it was down to work with a full day visit to AGE, checking out the latest and greatest in gaming machines and all things hospitality.  The workshops were there for attendees to go if required and it was a day of information overload.

If you think there is only 2 or 3 gaming manufacturers, think again.  The one thing you won’t find in Australia is a single manufacturer gaming site, diversification is the key and no one manufacturer has the 18 best machines (despite what they may tell you).  Not being up with the latest & greatest is going backwards…. Lightning Cash and All Aboard are very much in demand.

Returning to home base we were treated to some hospitality from the Gaming Manufacturers at the Brew house bar at Bankstown (yes they Brew their own beer!!)

Wednesday morning saw a return to AGE followed by a trip to Harbord Diggers over the bridge in north Sydney.  We were treated to a discussion from the CEO and heard about the developments at their site where they have diversified into fitness, residential & food focus with 1 central bar and 4 restaurants that can be accessed via one menu on their terrace development (the Bar on Anzac day took $175,000). Harbord Diggers is part of the Mounties group and the $220 million redevelopment of the site has already shown a profit. (the Top end apartment was $4.9 mill).

Back to home base and we were treated to some more hospitality from the Nightlife music system team before heading to Peking Square for a bite of Chinese.

Thursday saw everyone jumping on a bus and heading to the North side of Sydney again, stopping firstly at “The Alcott” a small Club in Lane Cove, with only 25 machines, it’s focus is on food & beverage and is aimed at the affluent market it is situated in, stunning, well done and almost a show home with a fantastic outdoor area. Next we travelled to “The Greens” an old Bowling Club with a fantastic view and outdoor area, which had only 12 machines (as old as ours, but not quite) and very much focused on food & beverage sales.  Back on the Bus to “North Sydney Leagues Club”, again we were lucky enough to get a tour through this facility with a strong community commitment through its offerings, fitness, food, family & gaming. The Norths group also owned the previous two clubs.

Then it was onto “The Fernery” at Mosman RSL with it’s rooftop bar and restaurant prior to heading back to Bankstown for the Club Managers Group AGM and the formal part of the trip. We had 3 speakers come to our meeting, 2 from ClubsNSW, discussing the importance of being political, getting to know those in power and making them understand who and what we are. We also had Mark (CEO of Bankstown Sports) talk to us about their club and how he started off clearing glasses as an 18 year old, their community involvement and their support of local junior sport and the 4 other venues now under the Bankstown Banner.

The Conference was finished up with a group dinner at La Piazza (which actually looks like an Italian market square) on the Thursday night before people made their way home or stayed on to enjoy Australia and watch the Wallabies get smashed in an Aussie sports bar….

A few photos from the week away have been loaded over on the Club Manager Facebook Page.

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