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In Geelong and The Bellarine

4 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Plan an Event


As temperatures drop, motivation levels often do too. People are often less engaged, not as willing to travel very far and more prone to social hibernation.

This is precisely why winter is a prime time to boost your calendar of events, says Barry Iddles, event management expert, chef and owner of waterfront Queenscliff restaurant 360Q.

Here he presents four great reasons to consider hosting a winter event.

 1. Keep up momentum and motivation

Staff can become more insular and less motivated through the cooler weather. So it is important to encourage staff to stay engaged and not allow their productivity to drop.

Barry does this with his own staff. Barry has deliberately kept 360Q’s general opening hours longer than expected - the restaurant is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner from Thursday to Sunday. And he has introduced a plethora of menu specials to engage his staff and customers and promote his restaurant as a reliable venue for year-round dining.

He says creating events with purpose, perhaps keynote speakers that are hosted further than a block from the office can inspire staff to get their mojo - and get back in the game.

“There’s nothing like a change of scenery combined with a fresh new perspective on the work you have been doing to kickstart your interest again,” he says.


Port Phillip Bay Queenscliff (56)

 Queenscliff Harbour - View from 360Q


2.  Winter is warming (and delicious)

Travelling somewhere with good food, great views and lovely wine should be a given when considering a destination event for a day or weekend. The Bellarine coastline is truly picture perfect in the chilly months, and the Bellarine Taste Trail is active all year round, offering great wines, cheeses and fresh produce.

“We develop a hearty winter menu from June onward each year to take advantage of seasonal, local produce,” says Barry. “It’s something we are becoming known for, as are other restaurants and cellar doors across the Bellarine region.

“Plus, our water views at Queenscliff Harbour and across the Bay are just as stunning during winter, especially on bright sunny days. You just get to admire them from inside the restaurant in heated comfort!”

360Q Pork Belly

 3.       Cheers to Santa

The old Christmas in July theme still has a few ‘legs’, but instead of making it a we-wish-we-lived-in-Europe-so-let’s-drink-eggnog-and-dress-up-as-Santa kind of soiree, consider a collaborative get-together of various business units, suppliers or customers.

Last year 360Q hosted a collaborative Christmas party, where small businesses could forgo an awkward celebration of three to four employees in favour of a large, gregarious celebration and networking opportunity.

“The winter months offer a great chance to connect with other teams or your customers in a celebratory manner that could also include workshops or even the a launch of a new product or service,” says Barry. “We had nothing but positive feedback from our local businesses who loved that collaborative connection, and didn’t mind a little local wine too!”


Flying Brick Cider House - Locally produced Cider 

4.       Get a ‘cool’ deal

As tourism slows, many venues start to offer specials to ensure their business can continue to be profitable year round. Hosting events at a lower rate is better than hosting none at all, so event organisers can often find a great deal from May to August.

Like many of his competitors, Barry has recognised this and offers incentives to encourage more bookings.

“We have waived the venue hire for our upstairs conference room through winter,” says Barry. “We are hosting quite a number of our own ticketed events through the inaugural Low Light Queenscliff winter festival, but we also want to maintain our high levels of private functions, and we find this is an attractive time for corporates to consider catered conferences, workshops and team-building exercises.”

360Q_Barry _CH_2

Barry Iddles, Event Management Expert, Chef and Owner of waterfront Queenscliff restaurant 360Q.



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