Sydney holds the mantle as AustraliaÆs most picturesque and cosmopolitan city, and it is also internationally recognised as having some of Asia's finest clubs and bars. In the lead up to Sibos, exhibitors and sponsors picked out the best of the venues to hold their annual celebrations. The parties give delegates and selected members of the press a chance to mingle and network outside of the conference centre.
Although it was impossible for FinanceAsia to take up every invitation, the ones we did attend were of a very high standard.
At the close of business on Monday, we headed to JPMorgan's annual press party which was held at the renowned Sydney eatery Wildfire. With the backdrop of a full moon rising over the Sydney Opera House, members of the international press sipped on Australian wine and chit-chatted with executives of the bank from Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.
Once the JPMorgan party wrapped, the crowd headed down to the Cargo Bar for the Metia party. Metia is a provider of integrated technology-based marketing solutions and its bash was a loud and rowdy affair that didn't really get pumping until 10pm. As the clock ticked past midnight, it soon became apparent that most of the delegates attending Sibos are musically challenged, participating in some of the worst karaoke singing outside of Tokyo.
On Tuesday night, CheckFree invited a large number of guests to the Sydney Opera House where they were able to get up close and personal with koalas, wallabies and pythons while admiring the view of the harbour and chowing down on Aussie BBQ specialties.
After this very civilised event, a large number of Sibos delegates headed over to SunGardÆs party at a bar in the CBD called The Establishment. The highlights of this immensely popular party were the delicious tapas, the beautiful staff and the great music. The venue was also top notch, decorated with contrasting Roman pillars and ultra minimalist furniture.
By Wednesday night we were warming up and delegates headed to FundTech's party at Cru Dining in Circular Quay, and then on to the bash held by fellow technology firm Misys which was in the trendy Loft bar.
All of these parties were fantastic, but in terms of pure atmosphere and sheer turn-out, our vote for best party goes to SunGard. The technology firm planned its bash meticulously, sparing no expense and keeping the champagne flowing until the early hours. It will be a talking point of Sibos 2006 attendants for some time.