By Matt Leedham @worldofleedham19 Sep 2016The Magellan Travel Group Members Conference held this year in Auckland has been hailed an overwhelming success by all that attended.It was around a quarter past eleven on Saturday night that Andrew Jones, Magellan Group Chairman took to the stage to deliver the Groups ultimate formalities of the three-day conference to around 200 frocked up members and suppliers at the Gala Awards Dinner held in the Hilton Ballroom.In his address, Jones spoke of “feeling the love in the room” and remarked that the feedback had been “Overwhelmingly positive” for the group’s first ever-offshore event in its eight-year history.Jones continued to say that one of the key elements delegates had echoed feeling the love for was that of the groups core values around “transparency” in their dealings and communication with their own members and suppliers alike. The outcome of which he said was that;“Trust and belief go hand in hand for win-win partnerships for all of us and are something we’re really proud of having achieved together at Magellan”.Jones’ address followed the annual Gala Awards dinner where twelve individual and supplier awards were applauded and handed out to the group’s top achievers.The Gala Award sponsors getting into the swing of thingsThe Gala Awards night, sponsored by The Travel Corporation, Qantas, American Airlines and Leading Hotels of the World was Emcee’d by the energy bunny and self proclaimed ‘Mistress of ceremonies’ for the night that is Catriona Rowntree with musical accompaniment from a live jazz band.Who took out the gongs this year? Read on… Jon Marshall (Etihad), Andrew MacFarlane (Magellan CEO) Nicole McMahon (Virgin Australia) & Andrew Jones (Magellan Chairman)The three-day event was attended by corporate and leisure members from all over Australia and featured an agenda that included Andrew Jones (Chairman Update), Andrew McFarlane (CEO update) and an unforgettable keynote presentation from Justine Troy, Co-founder of New Zealand Vodka global success story ‘42 Below’ that hilariously had some (Supplier!) delegates doing vodka shots on stage.On top of the usual and very well received quality time for networking, there was also a variety of interactive, practical workshops and forums, a preferred Supplier Business Exchange and member golf day sponsored by Royal Caribbean.Friday night was a major highlight of the conference with a truly fantastic New Zealand boutique and wine tasting session at uber cool waterfront venue Shed 10, followed by a sumptuous three course Kiwi inspired dinner.Susan Haberle, APTMore NZ boutique wine and cheese? Yes please!The night was sponsored by APT, Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways and culminated with after dinner speaker – Kiwi and Olympian Mark Hamill who had the crowd in tears of both joy and sadness with his life-changing story of rowing the Atlantic and overcoming some of his biggest demons along the way.Friday night, sponsored by APT was a key highlight of the weekendKiwi Olympian Mark Hamill shared his incredible life storyThe conference ran from Wednesday until Friday night at the Hilton Hotel and was the groups 8th conference since Magellan’s inception in 2008 and first ever offshore event.Next year the conference will return to home shores and the bright lights of Perth with dates and venue yet to be announced.Were you at The Magellan Conference in Auckland? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may likeBABY ALLOWANCE: Virgin Australia gives infants their own baggage allowanceCHUCK A SICKIE: Flights to New Zealand are on sale from $99HOT OFFER: Book an Etihad free two night Abu Dhabi stopover & WIN!