Aesthetic pursuits: Australasia’s premier event for non-surgical aesthetics returns to the Gold Coast
Now in its 10th year, the Non-Surgical Symposium (NSS) provides an opportunity for all cosmetic physicians, plastic surgeons, nurses and practice staff working in the aesthetic medicine industry to meet and discuss the latest industry trends.
“The event essentially covers any treatments that don’t cut the skin,” explains Gina Samuels, General Manager of The Production House Events (THPE) and the organiser of NSS. “That could be anything from injectables through to skin care, hair transplants and body contouring equipment. The industry is constantly changing and evolving, but it’s really about any treatment you can have that doesn’t require any downtime.”
Presented by the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in conjunction with the Australasian Society of Cosmetic Dermatologists and the New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine, the event celebrates innovation, education and patient safety.
This year’s event utilised a number of spaces throughout the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC), including the arena, which hosted more than 90 exhibitors showcasing the latest non-surgical devices and techniques; the central rooms and foyer spaces, which hosted plenary sessions, workshops and breakout spaces; and the meeting rooms and green rooms, which hosted media, hairdressers, models, entertainers and speakers.
The 800 guests in attendance also enjoyed a Greek-themed cocktail reception to remember, and a three-course gala dinner with a Middle Eastern theme.
“Everything we do is all about being better than last year, and just continuously evolving,” Gina says. “We’re always upping the ante and we’re always on the hunt for new ideas and looking at global trends. Whether it’s the presentation themselves, or the technology on display, or the food that’s being served, we’re always looking to innovate, and I think that’s what lifts it year on year.”
All that glitters is Gold
The glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast provides the perfect setting for NSS, so it’s no surprise that the event has become a regular at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“We absolutely love it here,” Gina says. “The service that we receive here is second to none. It’s top shelf. We’ve actually never experienced anything like it anywhere else. And it just makes it a lot easier when you’re dealing with an event of this size, with multiple moving parts, to have the support of a venue like GCCEC.
“There’s something special about the Gold Coast. It’s got everything for everyone – it’s got accommodation for all types of delegates; it’s got great restaurants and great nightlife in the Broadbeach precinct; there’s great shopping at Pacific Fair. It’s the perfect place for people to get away from their lives for a few days; where they can relax and exhale and take part in this learning experience.
“The international keynote speakers are delighted to be here, too. A number of them haven’t been to Australia before, let alone the Gold Coast, and then they walk into this sunny, happy convention centre with lots of open spaces and natural light… it’s a great way to welcome them to the country.”
For delegate Dr Aliaa Yusof, a cosmetic physician and aesthetic trainer at the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, it’s the proximity to the Broadbeach precinct that sets GCCEC apart.
“Everything is so close,” she says. “All the hotels are close to the venue, there are lots of fantastic restaurants across the street, and of course it’s close to the beach – and you just can’t get better than that.”
Face to face
This instalment of NSS was originally scheduled for 2020, before COVID restrictions necessitated a move to a virtual event. That made this year’s event a long-awaited reunion for the close-knit cosmetic medicine community.
“Virtual events just aren’t the same,” Gina says. “People need to be around other people, and feel the energy of other people. We had actually planned to take the event to a hybrid model this year, but we realised that our audience really just wanted to get together.”
For delegate Shaun Connolly, National Sales Manager for Cryomed Aesthetics, the event’s absence over the past two years had created a gap that badly needed filling.
“This is where we show what we have to offer to the industry,” he says. “This is where a lot of our leads come from. It’s crucial to our business, because with the type of products we have, you really need to see them and experience them in person – and this is where doctors and nurses and people in the industry come to see what’s new, what’s happening and what’s available.”
Delegates had plenty of opportunities to catch up and network at this year’s event, with all sessions and social events hosted within GCCEC itself, including the Greek-themed cocktail reception held in the foyer.
Gina and her team worked closely with GCCEC Executive Chef Garry Kindred on the food for the cocktail reception, and for the gala dinner the following night, which featured a delectable three-course menu. The GCCEC kitchen also served morning and afternoon teas and lunches throughout the three-day event.
“Chef Garry is an absolute legend,” Gina says. “We’ve worked with him for many years now, and he delivers every time.
“He uses fresh, locally grown produce, which is important to us. We’ll come to him and say, ‘We want to do a Greek theme’, and he’ll go away and create a beautiful bespoke menu. He’s passionate about his food, so he always puts his heart into it, and I think that filters through to his whole team in the kitchen, because the quality of the food is superb.
“Our delegates’ expectations are very high, because these are people who travel around the world and eat at all of the best restaurants. They’re not easily impressed. But what’s on offer at GCCEC meets those high standards.”
Ultimately, Gina believes GCCEC is the right fit for this event because the Centre is aligned with her organisation’s values.
“I think if there’s any organisation I can say we’re aligned with, it’s GCCEC, because they care,” she says.
“When people care, it changes the whole experience. It’s in every single detail. They care about each individual delegate’s experience. They care about our sponsors. Every stakeholder is looked after and made to feel great.
“We want people at our events to be happy, and we want them to feel cared for. And when you can provide that like GCCEC can, then it becomes a much better experience for everybody.”