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Ottawa Tourism
sees large business events bookings up 220% in Canada’s 150th year.
meetings creates events, events creates meetings
Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre
in Gothenburg speeds up plans to extend facilities.
Aviation Industry
Swedish Aviation Tax to Cost 7,500 Jobs,
Conflicts with Global Carbon Agreement.
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Successful trials lead IMEX in Frankfurt
to fully-fledged roll out of Zenvoy networking service.
meetings means business
Business Booms
at ibtm arabia 2017.
food and meetings
KOKS wins
the Faroe Islands’ first Michelin star

MCI USA expands
through acquisition of Network Media Partners.
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Redesigned Association Day at IMEX
puts emphasis on peer to peer education & networking across all levels of the profession.

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Announces Strategic Partnership with ILEA.
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Slido wins Best Event Technology Award
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Accor Reaffirms Participation at IT&CM China 2015

Long-time exhibitor Accor has confirmed its participation at IT&CM China 2015 for the 4th year running. Bobby Ong, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing – Greater China said: “The IT&CM China platform allows us to build brand exposure for our new hotels. This is where we can secure new leads and businesses from the one-to-one appointments we have with these buyers.”

He added: “The Chinese market is important for Accor. We have been here since 1985 with our first hotel and we are still growing aggressively. There is a lot of demand in the second and third tier cities inline with business growth and travel, and hotels are predominately catering to the Chinese market.”

With over two decades’ of operation in China, Accor operates 144 hotels in 51 cities in the country. With a portfolio of 8 brands – Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis Styles and ibis – Accor covers the full spectrum of the hospitality market from economy to luxury.

IT&CM China 2015 will take place from 14 to 16 April 2015.

VisitDenmark Wins EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 for New Stand

VisitDenmark today received the EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 for its brand new stand design based on the principles of the Danish Meetovation concept and launched at this week's EIBTM expo in Barcelona.

The EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 recognizes and highlights industry suppliers' commitments and achievements within sustainability and targets exhibitors, agencies and suppliers who can showcase good examples of sustainability in their activities.

The sustainable Danish stand is based on a foldable furniture system designed and built by young Danish artist/designer Thomas Dambo who specializes in building from trash/recyclable materials. The box system created for VisitDenmark is based on a brief to create a sustainable, highly flexible and creative stand based on the principles of the Danish meeting design concept Meetovation and to stress sustainable living in Denmark. The system's 45 boxes can be stacked to make seating and tables in different sizes and all boxes as well as two magazine stands are foldable to fit inside the stand's mobile bar. In addition, the environmentally friendly box system takes up 40 per cent less space when transported to expos and business events worldwide.

Steen Møller, Head of Business Events for VisitDenmark explained: "The EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 is a great acknowledgement of our destination's tireless efforts to get sustainable meetings management higher on the agenda worldwide. The Danish stand symbolises everything that our Danish Meetings Industry believes in and builds on; creating MINDblowing Meetings via responsible thinking, flexibility, creativity, involvement and innovativeness in order to achieve the highest Return of Meeting Investment on any type of business event."

Inspire others within the industry

"In recent years, Denmark has shown great results within sustainable meetings management; We developed the CSMP – Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol methodology and used it for two pioneering sustainable events in Denmark, the COP15 Climate Conference and the ISO-20121 certified Danish EU Presidency. We also developed event sustainability strategies in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg, and have been part of creating the first ever 'ICCA Scandinavian Sustainability Index'. In fact, there are few countries in the world with such a high percentage of certified hotels and venues, catering companies and restaurants that serve organic food at parity prices, and agencies with such an indepth knowledge of sustainability, as there is in Denmark nowadays. We've also created tangible tools for Responsible Thinking in meetings, Meetovation style, and most recently the #Beesustain campaign was created by Copenhagen CVB and nominated for the ICCA Best Marketing Award 2014, and hopefully this helps to inspire others within the industry to follow suit too," Steen Møller added.

It is the second time in  five years that VisitDenmark has recieved an accolade for the destination's sustainable efforts; In 2009 the official national tourism organisation received a 'Sustainable Activites Initiative' Award at EIBTM.

European Sustainability Outstanding Achievement Awards 2014

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Project ICARUS recently announced the winners of the second European Sustainability Outstanding Achievement Awards at GBTA Conference 2014 Berlin.

The awards recognize travel buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and teams who can demonstrate outstanding leadership, innovation and commitment to delivering best-in-class sustainability programs, products and services across Europe.

“The quality of entries exceeded our expectation, once again, and clearly demonstrates that companies across Europe are seeing sustainable business travel and meetings programs as a sure way to optimize travel costs, and generate a significant return on investment," said Bernard Harrop, head of sustainability for Project ICARUS.

The winners in each category are:

  • Travel Buyer: Volvo
  • Travel Supplier: Scandic Hotels
  • Travel Supplier, Intermediaries: Portman
  • Travel Team: Scania, Global Meeting and Travel Coordination Team

The winners were presented with their Project ICARUS bronze trophy at the GBTA Conference 2014 Berlin held on 12-14 November at the Maritim Hotel in Berlin.

Digital Infrastructure Award for Top Venues

INCON, the global partnership of leading Conference Organisers has launched the 2015 Digital Infrastructure Award. The award serves to celebrate and inspire change in the digital infrastructure and services made available in meeting venues around the world. This year, INCON has opened the award to two categories and therefore there will be two winners for each venue: Convention Centres; Convention Hotels

The INCON Award rests on a simple principle that meetings are better when a first class digital infrastructure is made available along with applications and tools that enhance the delegate productivity and experience. Award judge Bob Heile explained: "Just having the right equipment is not enough - how to configure and organise it is the secret to success." Bob is a founding member of the ZigBee Alliance, having effectively written the rule book for wireless standards he is the perfect judge for the Award. He is also involved in more than six different conferences on WIFI and digital communications annually where he tests at first hand the quality of digital communications in venues across the globe. Bob together with an international panel of judges will review the nominations and the winners will be announced at IMEX Frankfurt in May 2015.

Roslyn McLeod, INCON Co Chair said: "Now in its second year, INCON looks forward to receive entries for this year’s award and encourages all venues to review the best practice case study from last year’s winner: the darmstadtium Germany."

Application forms are accessible from the INCON website. There is no entry fee. All it takes for a venue to be considered is to fill in an application with full details about your venue and return it by 27th February 2015.

About INCON

INCON is a partnership of the world’s leading conference organisers and event management companies. The partnership covers 170 destinations and employs a total of 3,000 staff. INCON has substantial purchasing power and organises annually 10,000 projects, serves 3 million delegates, and manages budgets in excess of €1 billion.

ICCA Elects First African President

Nina Freysen-Pretorius, Founder and CEO of The Conference Company, South Africa, has been elected as new ICCA President at the General Assembly of the 53rd ICCA Congress, taking place 1-5 November in Antalya, Turkey

Nina Freysen-Pretorius joined the ICCA Board of Directors in 2008 and has been 2nd Vice-President of ICCA since 2010. She is the first ICCA president from Africa, and the 3rd female president in ICCA history.

Nina Freysen-Pretorius commented: “With ICCA celebrating 50 years of industry involvement I am so glad an African leader is given an opportunity to lead. Now is the time for ICCA to extend its influence into new markets and developing countries, fostering continued growth that will provide jobs, assist in the alleviation of poverty and contribute to a better life for many."

“My objective is to ensure that ICCA continues to provide benefits which enable its members to generate and maintain significant competitive advantage. These benefits may mean different things in different parts of the world and we have to be in a position to respond accordingly. Future focus should be to increase the quality and professionalism of our members by educational tools and unique networking events.”

“ICCA and the conference industry are entering a critical new phase of innovation and growth and I am looking forward to build on the successes of recent ICCA leaders.”

After two terms of two years, ICCA’s current president Arnaldo Nardone is stepping down at this year’s ICCA Congress. For the first time ever, three presidential cadidates stepped up for ICCA’s presidential elections: Handan Boyce (Halic Congress Center, Turkey), Nina Freysen-Pretorius (The Conference Company, South Africa) and Martin Winter (Gold Coast Tourism Corporation, Australia).

The 2014 ICCA Congress attracts over 900 participants from 72 countries, making it the most global ICCA Congress ever.

Bella Center Invests Millions in Expanded Partnership with Comwell and Opens Denmark’s Largest Conference Centre

Bella Center has partnered with Comwell to open Comwell Conference Center Copenhagen. The new Comwell Conference Center will be Denmark’s largest conference centre, with the market’s greatest flexibility and capacity. Following a DKK 22m expansion, upgrade and renovation of the conference and congress facilities in the former “Copenhagen Congress Center” – which is also merging with the meeting facilities in Hotel Bella Sky Comwell – Bella Center Group is ready to unveil a new conference concept.

Renowned as a leader in the meeting and conference market for more than 40 years, Comwell’s countless awards and honours include the title of one of the best workplaces in Europe in 2013, and the company’s vision is crystal clear: Comwell strives to be the absolute leader in the Danish conference market.

This strength and experience is taking even deeper root in the expanded collaboration with Bella Center Group , which now includes the opening of Comwell Conference Center Copenhagen. In addition to investments in the expansion and upgrade, Bella Center Group is also establishing a separate organisation to oversee day-to-day administration and operation of the new conference centre. Meanwhile, Comwell will contribute expertise in development, sales and marketing of Comwell Conference Center Copenhagen. Comwell thereby establishes a dominant position in the Copenhagen conference market, where the aim is to challenge the market with Comwell’s well-known focus on high quality, service and dependability for events of all sizes.

“It is important for Comwell to be present in Copenhagen, as our customers have activities that must take place in the capital. Moreover, Comwell strives to be the country’s leading provider of meeting and conference facilities – this desire to be the leader throughout Denmark requires a clear presence in Copenhagen,” says development director Preben Nesager.

“We have invested more than 20 million kroner in a total upgrade of our existing meeting and conference product. A combination of ultramodern facilities, Comwell Conference Center’s unique location and Comwell’s expertise and knowledge of the market ensures that we are ready to challenge the market and capture the largest share,” says Allan L. Agerholm, CEO of Bella Center Group, who continues:

“With the industry’s best products and unique service, which provide stronger value for our customers, there can be no doubt that we are intent on becoming customers’ preferred conference centre in Copenhagen.”

The grand opening of Comwell Conference Center Copenhagen will be held on 18 November 2014.