By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News
The 2016 Liquor Marketing Group (LMG) Conference in Sydney came to a close last night as 400 delegates from around the country celebrated with a gala dinner at the Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour.
Wayne Bayfield, the Chairman of LMG, told delegates at the gala event that he was “blown away” by how successful the conference had been.
"I am blown away by how well this conference has gone. We obviously struggle with how we can get more people to our conferences and more people to the sessions and we decided to take what we thought could have been a risk, and decided to hold the conference in Sydney. I said on the first day that Sydney is probably the best city in the world, so it wasn’t that much of a risk. The weather has been kind to us and I think what Doug and the guys have set up has just been amazing,” he said.
In what was one of the largest gatherings of independent liquor retailers in the country for years, the message being delivered was a positive one, with LMG in the best shape it has ever been.
"The theme over the last few days has been largely about the position the group is in, and that is the best position it has ever been in,” said Bayfield.
Earlier in the day, Bayfield had broken the news that following almost a decade of service, Doug Misener, the CEO of LMG, had decided to step down from his post, handing the reigns over to Gavin Saunders, the current Finance Director of the group.
In his speech at the gala dinner, Bayfield thanked Misener for his service and said that he is confident Misener has set the group up for the future.
"I know there was a bit of disappointment today with our announcement, but I know Doug and myself are very confident that he has set this group up for the future. He has set it up not just financially and where we are with suppliers, but also with personnel, and the guys that he has left to carry this group through will do him honour, I’ve got no doubt. Doug, we wish you all the best."