Our Story

 

The Conference Shop is a free venue finding service.  Our end goal is to find the best venue that fits our client’s brief. 

Our journey began in 2010 under the name of Southern Highlands Corporate Events.  After working successfully in the region for 4 years, due to demand from loyal clients for venue sourcing all over NSW and Australia, we underwent a rebrand and name change to The Conference Shop in 2014. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength and now also include international destinations. 

The success of our free service comes from having experience on both the client side and the venue side, making us a valuable resource for our end clients. Our key strength lies in our strong relationships with our clients and our ability to listen to their needs.  Communicating with transparency, every step of the way to deliver on their brief and providing the best outcome.  Together our team has combined experience of over 50 years in the industry.

We understand there is a bigger picture, not just a venue.

 

Meet the team

 

Carla Offord

Carla Offord

CEO & Founder

With over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Carla Offord knows venues. She has worked in hotels across multiple departments including Business Development, ran her own destination management company; Southern Highlands Corporate Events, which was then rebranded into The Conference Shop in 2014.

For the past twelve years, Carla and her team have been connecting corporate clients with the perfect venues for everything from incentive trips to conferences, board meetings, executive retreats and seasonal parties. What started out with a focus on regional Australia has now expanded into an international venue-sourcing business.

Considered a thought leader in the industry, she leads from the front and this, combined with her work in the events services industry, Carla is often invited to share her wealth of knowledge and experience at MICE industry events. A former Telstra Australia Business Woman of the Year nominee, Carla is absolutely passionate about building economic viability and prosperity in regional destinations, through business and collaboration.

E carla@theconferenceshop.com.au
P 02 4861 5973

Chris Offord

Chris Offord

DESTINATION RESEARCHER

Following more than 25 years as a business owner in the sales industry, Chris decided it was time for a change.  Having had experience in Southern Highlands Corporate Events for five years and being involved in the change over to The Conference Shop, it made sense that Chris should become a permanent fixture of the team.

Chris is responsible for researching new venues that come onto the market, and ensuring that all of The Conference Shop’s venue information is up-to-date. Chris is passionate about the growth and development of such a user friendly resource for conference organisers and looks forward to expanding The Conference Shop’s national and global network of outstanding venues.

E christopher@theconferenceshop.com.au
P 02 4861 5973

Lorna Greenland

Lorna Greenland

VENUE SOURCING SPECIALIST

Lorna brings 15 years’ expertise in conference and exhibition management, having worked with major brands including PCO Arinex and Reed Exhibitions, as the Asia Pacific Hosted Buyer Manager for IBTM’s Global portfolio, including AIME. With a wide skillset including strong strategic expertise in project management, conference organising and procurement, Lorna brings an encompassing approach to venue sourcing.
 
 
She is engaging, driven and focused to achieve the best outcomes for your venue finding with her in-depth understanding of conference operations and exceptional problem-solving skills. She consistently exceeds clients’ expectations with her commitment, positive and professional outlook.
 
 
P 0477401471
Mary-Jane Wardrop

Mary-Jane Wardrop

VENUE SOURCING SPECIALIST

Mary-Jane, or MJ to her friends and family is a Venue Sourcing Specialist at The Conference Shop. MJ has a wealth of knowledge and experience within the hospitality industry. As a hospitality specialist her career spans many years in Sales & Marketing, Conferences, Events and Management. MJ has worked with hotel brands such as Sebel and Peppers. She has held the position of Director of Sales & Marketing in multiple venues. The last 8 years MJ has worked within the Not-for-Profit sector in mental health.

She is a leader who takes the time to get to know you and holds exceptional relationships with clients, partners, venues, team members and her local community. MJ has an incredible passion for conferences and events and successful events for her clients is her aim. When she’s not venue sourcing for her clients she’s relaxing by a campfire down the south coast with her partner, daughter and pug.

E mary-jane@theconferenceshop.com.au
P 02 4861 5973

Larni Cain

Larni Cain

SOCIAL MEDIA CLERK

With a strong passion for all things media and digital, Larni is thrilled to bring her creativity, enthusiasm and skills to the wonderful team at The Conference Shop.
 
Larni has managed multiple social media accounts, overseen marketing plans, assisted in the launching of new businesses and has interned for notable organisations such as Forbes France. She has her Bachelors of Communications with a major in Journalism and is currently undertaking her Masters of Communication, specialising in Digital Media.
 
She is very excited to adapt her skillset to the event space and help The Conference Shop thrive.
 
P 0477044123

I have been working with TCS for many years now, and I can wholeheartedly say, you won’t find a better team of venue specialists.

TCS take all the hard work out finding the right venue, negotiating the best rates possible, and always on hand to support a stressed-out event planner! They are my first and only call when it comes to sourcing the right venues for my events.

Amanda Stapleton

EA to CEO, Australian Vintage

I have worked with Carla from the Conference Shop and her team for many years.

They are always extremely responsive, professional and efficient.  Carla has many contacts and an extensive knowledge of the events business.  

You can always count on the Conference Shop to provide quality service and advice, and cannot recommend them highly enough!

Mary Dimech

EA , Beiersdorf

Working with Carla and her team for nearly a year has been an absolute pleasure. Their expertise in sourcing top-notch venues for our various events, from business meetings to our end-of-year celebration, has been invaluable.

They are incredibly responsive, professional, and consistently provide tailored proposals for venues that fit our needs perfectly. 

Cecile Roulet

Events and Communications Manager, BNP Parabis

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