The Annual Boat Cruise

Why an Annual Industry Boat Cruise?

Does anyone really require an excuse to gather socially with peers on a boat?

Well, in 2013, the now retired Internet Industry Association (IIA) thought it was a grand idea to gather members from the Australian telecommunications industry and talk about policy.

How many people though really want to spend even more time with their fellow industry acquaintances talking about the subject that their day job revolves around? … ok, you were close … there were actually four.

The question then was how do we attract more attendees? Make it a “social” event, call it a party.

Grand plan Stan, however most of the industry are relatively intelligent people and they would see straight through that the minute they walked into the venue and would promptly de-camp.

Faced with the prospect of deserters, and already checking that it was in-fact against civil society norms (not to mention venues OH&S obligations) the doors could not be locked once the rats were trapped. Disclaimer: not all members of our industry are rats, just a few, but you know the proverb about the minority being tarred with the rolling stone.

So what to do? Simples, put them all out to sea!

Now we know desperate times call for desperate measures and some have been known to attempt gnawing their own legs off to get out of interminable regulatory and policy meetings, but that’s their DAY job, this is a social occasion. A party if you will, and it was figured why not see how many may risk swimming with the sharks in Sydney harbour to get to shore.

With this chestnut of a plan the IIA Annual Nautical Policy Party was born.

For whatever sins Enex TestLab may have been involved in its earlier life it ended up hosting the party, covering the costs, organising and administering the events.

The rest they say is history, following the hand over of the IIA to Communications Alliance, the event quickly lost its Policy Party theme and became a most popular event on the industry calendar that it is today, a straight-forward opportunity for the industry to gather and network socially with their peers, yes, on a boat, no, no boring speeches. Over time it has evolved to encompass a significant after-party enabling the networking to continue once back on shore.

Now comes the rub, the annual industry boat cruise and after-party is at risk of becoming a victim of its success, with over 800 industry participants subscribed, the sheer cost to put on these combined event is not insignificant and while in recent years, (albeit not in 2020 with the events being cancelled due to the pandemic), there has been some support through informal sponsorships, the team has realised we cannot leave that to sheer goodwill and chance in the future. So we are going to make some slight changes to the way things are managed and the event is operated, starting with a more professional approach to recruiting sponsors.

If you work for an organisation that may be willing to help share the costs of the boat cruise and/or the after-party please contact the team via to receive a sponsor pack. There’s more in the pipeline which will be revealed over the coming months and years. But don’t fear, no more return of the Policy Party.

Matt Tett,
Managing Director (Party Planner)
Enex TestLab