fredag 6 december 2013 | Convention Centre
Important Milestone for Sydney International Convention Centre
Development of the AUD$1 billion International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) at Darling Harbour this week moved a step closer following the achievement of another important milestone.
The Australian Stock Exchange has been advised that financial close had been reached with Infrastructure NSW and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority for the Public Private Partnership (PPP) of the NSW Government’s project to revitalise the 20 hectare site.
The PPP is being delivered by the New South Wales Government in conjunction with the Darling Harbour Live Company comprising Lend Lease, HOSTPLUS, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless.
ICC Sydney will be operated by AEG Ogden, the leading venue management company in the Asia Pacific region and will feature a convention facility capable of holding four fully separated concurrent events of over 12,000 delegates and total exhibition capacity of 40,000 square metres.
Site preparation works will commence this month followed by demolition works in February 2014. Sydney ICC is due for completion due in December 2016.
AEG Ogden’s Director of Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy said the new venue, featuring waterfront facilities in a prime CBD location in Australia’s leading city, was destined to become one of the most exciting major convention and exhibition facilities in the world.
“Even at this preliminary stage, it is attracting significant interest and strong demand worldwide.
“Business Events Sydney has confirmed that five international events have been secured for the venue and there are a further 60 expressions of interest from national association events as well as major exhibitions.
“In addition, by utilising AEG Ogden’s international operational and marketing experience and global venue network, we plan on taking business events through this venue to a new level,” he said.
Donaghy, who has also assumed the role as Chief Executive Officer for ICC Sydney said the next step was to establish the pre-opening office and commence recruiting the senior management team in early 2014.
onsdag 4 december 2013 | Congrex
Einar Wanhainen: New Trustee in the Congrex Crash
Einar Wanhainen, from the law firm G Grönbergs Advokatbyrå in Stockholm, is the new trustee in the Congrex crash following the stepping down of Odd Swarting from the Settervalls law firm in Stockholm.
In a letter to the Stockholm District Court, Odd Swarting wrote:
"During the bankruptcy proceedings some creditors called for my disqualification on the grounds of the debtor company having been a client of Settervals. Therefore, I immediately requested the appointment of a co-trustee to manage the parts that could be considered questionable. Meanwhile, the creditors in question also called into question the selling of the Swiss subsidiary that I, in compliance with Chapter 7, Section 10 of the Swedish Bankruptcy Act, questioned them about in their capacity as creditors. As the present circumstances make it difficult for me to act efficiently, I have stepped down to allow a new trustee time to take over and oversee the proceedings.
Lars-Henrik Andersson is an excellent choice. He has lengthy Swedish and international experience and the resources required to become acquainted with all the parts of the proceedings quickly and efficiently. I have the full agreement of the SEB creditors on this. I also understand that Erik Selander was no longer available."
A meeting for the administration of oaths was held in Uppsala last week but the President of Congrex, Donald Hellstedt, and his vice-President daughter, Stephanie Hellstedt, failed to attend. So no administration of oaths took place and nobody could verify the economic circumstances. The meeting will be rearranged and a new summons circulated.
The lawyer representing the Uppsala company that is forecast to lose around SEK 10.5 million due to the bankruptcy proposed that Lawyer Lars-Henrik Andersson take over, which Odd Swarting also mentioned in his letter. But that did not materialise so Stockholm District Court instead appointed Einar Wanhainen.
According to the Grönbergs website, Einar Wanhainen has lengthy experience of business law with litigation and arbitration as his speciality fields.
Einar Wanhainen is listed as a recommended litigation lawyer and arbitrator in Chambers Global, Legal 500, PLC Which Lawyer, Best Lawyers and The Expert Guide to the World's Leading Litigation Lawyers. He is often engaged as an arbitrator in cases dealing with complex technical and economic issues.
Late last night we received an email reply to our questions from Einar Wanhainen:
Could you please update us on the current status of the Swiss subsidiary (previously AKM)?
– The subsidiary has been sold.
Our sources say it was a management buyout. Could you confirm that?
– It was a combination of investors and management buyout. They acquired it through a holding company.
What did they pay?
– The purchase price has not been made public. One should bear in mind that the subsidiary had used up its capital so the share value was insignificant.
When will the deal be signed off?
– It already is, and the shares have been transferred.
When do you expect the bankruptcy proceeding to conclude?
– I have no idea.
onsdag 4 december 2013 | buy-out
Congrex Switzerland: Management Acquisition Completed
Congrex Switzerland has announced that the management buy-out (MBO) was successfully completed on December 3rd, 2013. The company, which has been in the meetings industry for over 30 years, has found its way back into independency.
The company will continue to use Congrex in its brand name and will merge the two companies into Congrex Switzerland Ltd. within the next months. “We have gone through very challenging times during the last few weeks. But we are now even more enthusiastic and motivated to drive our clients to success,” said Alain Pittet, Managing Director of Congrex Switzerland.
Since the financial collapse of Congrex Holding the Swiss entities Congrex Switzerland and Congrex Travel have diligently focused all their efforts on safeguarding the funds of their clients and the future of their congresses. Thanks to the ceaseless support and trust of their long-lasting clients, partners and a dedicated management team, Congrex Switzerland will continue to deliver first class service as association experts globally.
“It has been a long and difficult time for the Congrex Switzerland Team to achieve their MBO. However, during that period we have always been professionally updated and backed up with clear answers to all our questions. This is of major importance for EASL as the current team led by the new owners is delivering excellent services. We believe in the further success of Congrex Switzerland,” said Grégoire Pavillon, Executive Director of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).
Congrex Switzerland is currently developing its new corporate identity and plans to launch its branding early next year.
tisdag 3 december 2013 | report
86% of Exhibitors Expect Orders After IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013
This year’s IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 has proved itself as a trade event that delivers strong business generation, with 86% of exhibitors expecting to receive orders as a result of their participation. In addition, 40% of buyers were polled to have confirmed purchases during the show, while 80% of 2013 exhibitors indicated that they will return to next year’s event.
“We successfully completed 60 appointments with buyers from around 20 nationalities representing different sectors. Most importantly, we received useful contacts and leads by being at the show,” said Melia Hotels International, China’s Director of Global Corporate Sales, Asia-Pacific – Zita Ng, highlighting that the event has certainly helped strengthen the hospitality chain’s position in the Asia-Pacific region over the few years of exhibiting at the event.
The 21st IT&CMA and 16th CTW Asia-Pacific was deemed as the best show to date, with the event scoring numerous highs to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. This includes some 14,000 business appointments generated over 2 days, an impressive buyer-to exhibitor ratio of 1.6 Buyers to 1 Exhibiting Company, fresh procurement opportunities with 60% new MICE Buyers and 47% new Corporate Travel Managers, attendance of relevant, dynamic and valuable buyer profiles across MICE, Association, Luxury Travel and Corporate Travel sectors, as well as the successful debut of the Association Day programme. The launch of the Online Diary facility also benefitted close to 1,300 exhibitors and buyers enabling them to schedule up to 100% of their business appointments ahead of the event. Collaborating with the best minds and expertise in the field, IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 delivered its strongest educational line-up featuring some 15 educational sessions and 35 speakers from across the industries – the show’s largest to date.
Strong support from industry exhibitors
The success of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 was also evident in the strong support from industry exhibitors, notably from new participants and destination CVBs. This year’s showcase featured 122 new exhibiting companies, including new participating countries Jordan, India and New Zealand. Japan’s private MICE sector chose IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific to stage a strong comeback to the MICE scene, while Taiwan doubled their confidence in the event with twice the booth space this year.
Host country Thailand with their new Thailand Connect brand launched at this year’s event, featured additional MICE cities Phuket and Khon Kaen amidst overwhelming response from Thailand’s private sector that resulted in 15 Thai spillover booths. This is on top of an already strong contingent of 66 organisations in the main Thailand pavilion led by Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
Said Thai exhibitor Sarinya Holloway, Groups & Events Manager of Go Vacation, “This year’s edition attracted more buyers and sellers than ever before. The show was a perfect platform for us to penetrate the MICE industry. We had an absolutely full schedule, 0 no-shows and benefitted from the good mix of buyers – and their commitment towards doing business. We also found the Online Diary facility extremely well-done.”
Other Corporates, National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) such as Tourism New Zealand, Airports of Thailand, Dusit International, sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck, Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, 3rd Planet Pte Ltd and Kenes Asia leveraged on the event as a springboard to reach out to the global MICE and Corporate Travel industry via the over 140 international and local Thai attending media with their latest announcements. More than 50 of the international media hailing from 25 countries around the world participated as part of the show’s hosting programme – the largest of its kind in the industry.
This year’s event also saw significant support from sponsors including Abacus International, Frasers Hospitality, Travelport, Sukosol Hotel Bangkok and Taiwan Convention & Exhibition Association.
Underscoring the show’s significance, Taiwan also coincided their exclusive MEET TAIWAN networking for local industry buyers and media with the show to maximise their already significant presence at the event. “We took advantage of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific’s robust platform to share about Taiwan’s myriad of cultural experiences, gastronomic delicacies, natural scenic locations, as well as its modern convention and exhibition venues, accommodation choices and strong infrastructure facilities and resources. The multitude and diversity of options that Taiwan offers makes it easy to create programmes and packages for a variety of MICE agendas. Taiwan offers unlimited advantages for both buyers and sellers looking for innovation, value and fully integrated supply chain networks. There is certainly something for everyone!” said Lily Su, Senior Manager of the MEET TAIWAN project.
Held from 1 to 3 October at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2013 culminated in a successful finish as the World’s Doublebill Event In MICE and Corporate Travel honoured its first decade of co-location.
Meanwhile, event organisers are gearing up for their next show in the IT&CM events series. IT&CM China will run from 15 to 17 April 2014 in Shanghai. Registrations for exhibitors, buyers and media will close in February 2014.
torsdag 28 november 2013 | Gamifying
Jönköping Recruits Gamers — Their Goal is to Gamify the City
Jönköping has played host to the world’s largest digital festival, Dreamhack, since 2001. Now the city wants to step up and solidify their role in the gaming industry. In May and June 2014 the city will employ two gamers assigned with the task of “gamifying” Jönköping.
Campagined as the ”Best Gamer Job,” Jönköping is now offering the job on the international market to two young gamers. The job entails two months of raising the city’s status as a hub in the international gaming community, whether it be through introducing potential gaming panels and conferences for the city to host or potential gamer profiles the city can collaborate with.
Workshops with Local Companies
The gamers will work with 10 different local businesses, sharing insights into the gaming industry and look at methods of gamifying to imbue their products, services and brand.
In addition to 5000€ and Dreamhack tickets, the two gamers will be provided with lodging and a workspace at Science Park Jönköping for the duration. The gamers will get to experience Jönköping and its surroundings and in doing so present Dreamhack’s host city to the world.
Expanding Worth and Reach
The goal of the campaign is to give Jönköping’s enterprises a competitive advantage through the gaming industry, with a long term goal of augmenting entrepreneurship and recruiting talent to Jönköpings employers.
“This is the start of a long term process to raise Jönköpings appeal through emphasizing its place in the gaming industry,” said Camilla Littorin, the Enterprise Manager of Jönköping Municipality.
The head of commerce hails gaming as an industry on the rise. In two years the turnover in Sweden has tripled, going from 1.2 billion SEK in 2010 to 3.7 billion SEK by 2012. Employment has under this period gone from 1200 to 1967 people.
“There are many cities looking to gain from the gaming industry and e-sports. After 12 years with Dreamhack in Jönköping, we’ve developed a symbiosis with the gaming industry, which we plan to take advantage of in future enterprises,” said Littorin.
The recruiting campaign is an initiative of Destination Jönköping in cooperation with Dreamhack and Science Park Jönköping. More collaborators are queued for the 2014 campaign.
Dreamhack is one of the world’s foremost hubs in the gaming industry. The conference is arranged biannually in Jönköping and generates 30,000 visitors from all over the world as well as millions of followers online. The bandwidth and connection speed established for the event is faster than that of many entire countries.
Gamifying is the implementation of game-patterns within areas not traditionally associated with gaming. It is a way to increase engagement and interaction, and in many cases can be used to reach a higher level of commercial benefit and efficiency. Gamifying is used to change and enhance behaviors.
torsdag 28 november 2013 | rankings
Denmark Once Again Ranked as Best Place in Europe to do Business
For the third time in a row, the World Bank ranks Denmark as the best place in Europe to do business.
“The Danish government continuously works to improve conditions for doing business in Denmark, and I am pleased that the work has resulted in yet another top ranking to Denmark in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report. This year’s report points to the fact that governments play an important role in creating a business-friendly environment. And Denmark is highlighted as a role model in this regard,” said Nick Hækkerup, Danish Minister for Trade and European Affairs.
Once again, Denmark is surpassed by Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States, but still ranks higher than a number of countries it's normally compared to, among these its Scandinavian neighbours.
“Recently, we launched a range of new initiatives which will improve the conditions for doing business in Denmark even further,” said the Minister.
“The growth plan we have launched entails lower corporate taxes, improved access to financing, more public investment projects and other elements that are all conducive to a propitious business environment,” he added.
Doing Business 2014 assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 189 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as setting up a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders. This year’s report data cover regulations measured from June 2012 through May 2013. The report is the 11th edition of the Doing Business series.
Read more about Doing Business 2014 and download the report here.