Over 500 helloworld Owner Managers, staff and preferred suppliers travelled to Singapore from Australia and New Zealand to collectively bring to life this year’s three day conference and theme of “We’re all in this together”.

This years event featured a packed schedule of inspiration, networking and fun at Resort World, Sentosa Island. To get all the details you can read the wrap here.

Here’s our top 9 takeaways…


1. helloworld now own 50% of MTA Travel


CEO & Managing Director Andrew Burnes announced in his opening address on day one that the group had literally that morning got the nod from the ASX to announce the group’s acquisition of 50% of MTA Travel.

Instantly adding 350 Mobile Travel Agents to the group, it’s a move that Burnes said “Will only further the TTV (Total Transaction Value) growth and potential benefits for everyone”.

The deal also includes the option to buy out the remaining 50% in five years.

Read more


2. Who are the 5 awesome people in your life?

Keynote speaker and Aussie Magician cum entrepreneur Vinh Giang gave an inspiring and hilarious presentation that talked to the power of gaining different perspectives from other mentors to help you succeed.

Giang’s top tip? Make sure the top 5 people in your life are all individuals that can help you get to where you want to go in life.

So who are yours?

Think about what you want to achieve and start compiling your list right now.

And while you’re at it, why not tell your clients that they need you to be in their top 5 as their ‘Travel Mentor’ 🙂


3. helloworld members leave event as shareholders


All helloworld Owner Managers are now shareholders

What the? Yes indeed.

As part of helloworld CEO & Managing Director Andrew Burnes’ address, it was announced that “Every member will today become a shareholder in helloworld with all business owners to be given a share of $3.5m with 750,000 shares to be given out in individual envelopes today at morning tea.”

Come morning tea the rush for the envelopes at the helloworld booth in the networking lounge was akin to that of the Boxing Day sales with members excitedly getting their envelopes and working out their new stake based on the current share price of $4.69 (Up from $2.37 in Nov 2015 at the helloworld Wellington OMC Conference).

The shares were divvied up based on turnover delivered to helloworld and won’t be able to be sold for at least two years.


4. helloworld offer to invest in 25% of members business


Just one reason why it’s been such a big year for helloworld

If the shareholder good news wasn’t enough, CEO & Managing Director Andrew Burnes then followed on with more reasons to celebrate in his address by announcing that “helloworld will be offering to buy into an optional 25% stake of every members’ business in shares if they are agreeable to it”.

The offer was seen as a firm handshake to only strengthen the franchise partnership and ensure those members with soon to expire current helloworld contracts will indeed re-sign again another three-year term.

Read more


5. helloworld’s events for 2017 have been re-scheduled


The brand new Crown Towers Perth will host the Global Stars Reward weekend

More good news for Members and suppliers.

As part of the groups new focus, helloworld CEO & Managing Director Burnes announced that the 2017 Owner Manager Conference will be moving to May 17-21 for pre end of financial year planning purposes and be held on the Gold Coast with a vastly reduced price tag for members.

The helloworld for Business Conference will also be held on the Gold Coast as a two day conference and incorporated into the Owner Manager Conference with optional participation levels for members for those members that would like to attend both events.

The helloworld Frontliner’s Conference will be held from November 23-26, 2017 in Tasmania whilst the newly launched Global Stars (Previously Global Achievers) Reward weekend will take place in Perth in August 2017 (Dates TBC) at the soon to open Crown Towers Hotel.


6. The Singapore S.E.A Aquarium is the world’s biggest tank


Yes it really was that big

The event officially opened at The Singapore S.E.A Aquarium on Thursday night with the world’s largest tank as the backdrop to the ‘Hello Singapore’ welcoming formalities of long time favourite MC – Larry Emdur.

And what a backdrop it was, with delegates sipping their vinos whilst watching over 800 species of marine animals including Manta Rays and Sharks of all sizes perform a merry dance in helloworld’s honor in the world’s largest ‘Oceanarium’ with almost 12 million gallons of water.


Think we’ll give tank cleaning a miss today

The Aquarium actually houses the world’s largest collection of manta rays including the only Giant Oceanic Manta Ray in captivity. It also is home to 24 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Hammerhead Sharks and the Japanese Spider Crab.

We certainly wouldn’t fancy cleaning it. Inside or out.


7. Members are on a high right now


Globenet Travel GM, Dan Russell

All of the big news over the weekend seemed to create an increased sense of belonging for members of the group and a positive buzz that seemingly permeated every presentation and conversation.

Come the Qantas sponsored Gala Awards night on Saturday, it was only fitting then that two of the main award winners – National Associate Store of the year and Branded Store of the year echoed the collective member sentiment from the event in their acceptance speeches.

“We’re finally on a trajectory path with helloworld and Andrew at the helm”.

Dan Russell (General Manager, Globenet Travel – Associate Winner)


Claire Russell, Owner Manager helloworld Noosa Heads

“Andrew it’s just been amazing. We are all in this together and it’s working”.

Clare O’Keeffe (Owner Manager helloworld Noosa Heads – Branded Winner)


8. All Travel Agents are in the midsts of a defining time



We’ve heard that word an awful lot over the last few years across the industry.

The message here was that the quicker agents embrace change, the more opportunities there will be and the lesser chance of becoming irrelevant.

“Travel distribution is an industry subject to greater disruption than any other.
We need quality service but we also need speed and competitiveness – We need the best of both worlds.
What do travellers want? Someone to help put it all together, someone to help when things go wrong.
Greatness is everywhere we look in this group – by working together we can achieve a higher level of greatness.”

helloworld CEO & Managing Director, Andrew Burnes

The Groups mission Burnes conveyed, “Is to give you the tools to run the best retail travel agency businesses you can be”. Adding that, “We want to be the best multi-channel travel distribution business in the world”.

Where will helloworld be in twelve months time? We will watch on with interest.

Read the complete conference wrap here

Were you in Singapore? What did you think of the event? Share your thoughts below.