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Kyoto welcomes major new conference facilities

Kyoto Convention Bureau has welcomed the news that ROHM Theatre Kyoto (formerly the Kyoto Kaikan Hall) will be reopened in January 2016 as a venue for medium to large sized conference and meetings

ROHM Theatre Kyoto includes:

• The Main Hall, accommodating 2001

• A South Hall that accommodates 715

•  The newly constructed North Hall that accommodates 200

•  Two other small meeting rooms

As part of the development work the ROHM Theatre Kyoto has also added an area called the Park Plaza, which will focus on cultural and artistic projects. The Park Plaza will also be usable as a venue for receptions and conventions.

James Widgren, international marketing co-ordinator, Kyoto Convention Bureau comments: “As Japan’s leading destination for international meetings and events we welcome the arrival of the redeveloped ROHM Theatre. It will be a fantastic space for meetings and events, balancing our cultural and artistic creativity with excellence in the field of meetings events and incentives.”

Widgren continues: “The area surrounding the ROHM Theatre Kyoto is full of cultural resources such as museums, zoos, temples and shrines, giving delegates the chance to experience the genuine appeal of Kyoto’s culture, art, history and tradition, whilst attending commercial events.”

As part of the redevelopment the ROHM Theatre Kyoto will be reborn as a repository of culture, functioning as a theatre for opera, ballet, musicals, and plays as well as traditional Japanese performing arts while simultaneously meeting the needs of the MICE market.

Kyoto is consistently ranked as Japan’s second most popular city for meetings, conferences and events. Kyoto has international access, a contrast of modern and traditional facilities and rich culture. There are many conference venues available and 17 UNESCO world heritage sites many of which can be used for events.

Kyoto’s offering includes Japan’s leading conference venue the Kyoto International Conference Centre. Their incredible culture can be stretched to meet the needs of any event including the use of many of its 2,000 temples and shrines which can be visited on incentive trips or as part of an event or conference.

Kyoto was the capital of Japan from 794-1868 and was originally called "Heian-Kyo" - Capital of Peace. A thousand years as the capital city has left a legacy that combines modern facilities with history and culture that is best exemplified by the use of Geiko for hospitality during events.

Kyoto also has a wide range of hotels suitable for conferences and conventions, including the comfort of world- class hotel brand as well as popular national brands and traditional Japanese Ryokan Inns, famous for their Japanese quality and attention to detail in hospitality.

Kyoto is one of the most accessible cities in Japan thanks to its proximity to Kansai International Airport and its location on the famous Shinkansen bullet train line. The city has well established bus and train services that have signage and announcements in English for ease of use all of which makes travelling in Kyoto very easy.

Useful travelling information in Kyoto includes:

• Kansai International Airport is reached by direct express train in 75 minutes.

• Tokyo is just over 2 hours away on the fastest bullet train in Japan and places as far as Hiroshima are also comfortable day trips

• In Kyoto, the integrated subway, bus and rail networks allows travel between any two points in less than half an hour

• Public transport is easy to use with signage and announcements in English and other languages.

The residents of Kyoto are renowned for their pride in the city and their outstanding service, so whatever the event, a welcome demonstrating Japan’s warmth and culture is always given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Baggs

 

Soaring Worldwide

 

Tel. 01285 648248

 

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The future of the Congress industry was revealed in Prague
What are the current trends and key drivers for success in the meeting industry – those were the main questions to be answered at the third international educational seminar organized by Prague Convention Bureau. This year’s seminar, which took place in Designhotel Elephant’s meeting facilities on 11th March, attracted more than 110 representatives of local regional and foreign convention bureaux, professional congress organizers, local representatives of associations, public authorities, universities and media.

The seminar was opened by Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of German Convention Bureau, who introduced his study “Meetings and Conventions 2030”. “This extensive study defines 5 key megatrends that shape the congress industry. More than 40% of respondents said that technological development is the most important megatrend which will play the key role in further development of congress tourism and event planning,” said Matthias Schultze. “New forms of information and knowledge transfer will strongly influence all phases of event planning.” The study also showed that virtual elements are more frequently becoming integral parts of events, and we can expect that the number of virtual events will continue to grow. Other megatrends that were defined by the study are globalization, mobility, sustainability and demography. Especially the aging population and increasing number of women in this field will influence how the “typical conference participant” will change during the upcoming 20 years.

Jakub Dvořáček,CEO of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIPI) then spoke about the current issues of the pharmaceutical and medtech industry compliance codes and their impact on medical meetings. Participation of doctors in international congresses is often the topic of public debate. Since the beginning of this year, there have been significant changes in the conditions under which the pharmaceutical companies can sponsor scientific and educational events for doctors. High attention is paid to both quality of the conference and careful selection of speakers. In order to achieve greater transparency in relations between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, a public database where all necessary information can be found has been created. “We can expect that in the upcoming years the interest in participating in selected medical conferences will decrease due to stricter regulations, as the support from pharmaceutical companies will not be so strong anymore,” said Jakub Dvořáček. “Elsewhere in the world, however, such practice is quite common, and I believe that the overall impact of regulations on the congress industry will not be as noticeable. People will adapt over time.”

Christian Mutschlechner, Director of Vienna Convention Bureau, followed up on the topic of pharmaceutical regulations with his presentation about the current trends in the field of medical meetings. He pointed out that due to the regulations limiting pharmaceutical companies’ sponsorship, the length of medical meetings is shortening. “Incentive activities are disappearing from the programme of medical meetings, and their duration shortens, which leads to considerable savings. The destination itself does not play such important role as before. More attention is paid to quality content of congresses and contribution of the particular event to the development of the sector.”

The second part of the seminar focused on case studies on the importance of strategic partnership. Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, was the first to speak about the importance of strategic partnership and cooperation. “It is essential that hotels, conference facilities and other conference service providers closely cooperate with local convention bureaux and act together as one “city team”. It is also necessary to establish broader cooperation – on the national as well as international level,” said Martin Sirk. “In addition to collaboration and mutual support of regions within the country, alliances among different destinations are being formed as well. As an example we can mention Barcelona and Vienna who present themselves together in distant markets, while in the European region they act as two independent players. Similarly, Washington D.C. and Brussels, where many international associations are based, help each other, for example when organizing their business activities.” Martin Sirk also mentioned another current trend - associations are joining in order to find a sponsor for all of their events. Nowadays, it is becoming a necessity to look for suitable partners for particular activities and diversify those partnerships according to the purpose of these activities.

Juan José García, Director of Marketing & Sales of Barceló Congresos, delivered a presentation focused on creating strategic partnerships. He stressed the importance of destination branding, especially creating a great “story” which will sell the destination. Today, it is not necessary to spend much money to promote the destination; there are much more efficient ways how to increase the visibility of the destination at almost no costs. As an example he mentioned references from delegates and event organizers. He also confirmed another current trend – a necessity to provide free Wi-Fi to conference delegates.

Bruce Redor from Gaining Edge, who also moderated the entire seminar, at the end introduced models of partnerships that work in different European convention bureaux, including their models of financing.

The event was held under the auspices of the Deputy Mayor of Prague Mr. Václav Novotný. The main partners of the seminar were the City of Prague, CzechTourism/ Czech Convention Bureau, Prague Airport, Prague City Tourism and Designhotel Elephant, Mikenopa as the technological partner and E15, C.O.T. media publishing house and Event & Promotion magazine as media partners.

17 stars to Copenhagen sets a new Michelin record
Copenhagen has won 17 Michelin stars for 15 of its restaurants in the new ’Main Cities of Europe’ guide, which hits the streets today. That is more than last year, when the Danish capital won 15 stars. It is also rumoured that Michelin will publish an all-new, Nordic guide focussing on Denmark and the North.

Michelin’s ’Main Cities of Europe 2014’ guide has just been announced, awarding its coveted stars to restaurants in a number of European capitals. Once again, Copenhagen has set a new record with 17 Michelin stars divided among 15 restaurants in and around the capital - compared to 15 stars to 13 restaurants last year. As well as the prestigious stars, Copenhagen has been awarded 12 Bib Gourmands, given to good restaurants with affordable prices.

As well as beating its own record from 2013, Copenhagen is once again well ahead of the other Scandinavian capitals this year, maintaining its position as the Nordic region’s gastronomic capital.

The other major news of the day is the announcement of a new Nordic Michelin guide, dedicated to Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. The publication of the guide comes following weeks of speculation, started by the Swedish gastro-publication, Restaurangvärlden, which first broke the story in early February.

Previously, the Michelin guide has not awarded stars to restaurants in Scandinavian cities with fewer than 500,000 residents, but that all changes next year with the ‘Michelin Guide Nordic’, which also includes restaurants in smaller cities.

The new Michelin stars and guides augment an already packed gastro calendar in the Danish capital. The Copenhagen Cooking food festival, which is the largest of its kind in Northern Europe, takes place for the tenth time this summer.

The organisers of Copenhagen Cooking are delighted with the many stars that now shine on the city’s restaurant scene.

“We are already in the process of planning the most ambitious festival programme ever with over 150 unique events for the summer edition of Copenhagen Cooking. The fact that Copenhagen continues to have a major impact internationally in the Michelin guide confirms that the city has huge potential when it comes to gastronomy and, of course, is a major boost for us,” says Lasse Friberg Bilstrup, development manager at Copenhagen Cooking.

 

Photo: Geranium restaurant.

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The Launch of GRIF - Putting Dubai at the forefront of the global culinary scene

The launch of GRIF (The Global Restaurant Investment Forum), with an exclusive session hosted by Pierre Gagnaire at his new restaurant and Patisserie Choix, InterContinental Dubai Festival City, marks a significant step towards Dubai’s recognition as the world’s best ‘gastro-hub’. GRIF attendees gained valuable insights on Gagnaire’s recipe for success in the Dubai market including his reasons for choosing Dubai and the opportunities he sees in the region.

GRIF is the inaugural event for the restaurant and hospitality investment community and part of Dubai Food Festival. Hosted by Bench Events, GRIF offers a unique meeting place for over 200 attendees gaining insight from over 50 key industry experts and thought leaders who will share their knowledge and expertise on how to succeed in this rapidly growing industry, as well as insights into the hottest new developments within the restaurant, bar and franchise space.

Fast becoming recognised as a food lover’s destination, Dubai’s reputation for offering superior quality food and service has prompted the opening of boutique eateries alongside big brands and celebrity chefs - each worthy alone of a visit to the City. Competition in the hotel and food and beverage industries is at an all-time high, with the emergence of more concepts in the past five years than ever before and a greater importance placed on dining experience - now believed to rank alongside climate, accommodation and scenery in importance to tourists.

Providing a platform for investors, restaurant and hospitality influencers from around the world to share knowledge and contacts, GRIF promises to be an innovative new event and an industry must whilst also elevating Dubai’s position on the culinary map.

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About Bench Events and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF) Bench Events has been hosting hotel investment conferences for over 16 years, bringing together investors, owners, financiers, operators, advisors and architects to do the deals that drive the industry.

The Global Restaurant Investment Forum is the inaugural event for the restaurant and hospitality community. It is the meeting place for investors, hoteliers, owners, lenders, F&B brands, restaurant concepts, franchisors, franchisees, suppliers and other key industry professionals across the region to gain confidence in the market and share best practices with the industry.

Confirmed Gold Sponsors include: Dentons, Hodema, Horizons, Jumeirah, Puccini Group and Qbara. In addition to the Global Restaurant Investment Forum, Bench Events is one of the organisers and founders, alongside Questex Travel + Hospitality and MEED Events, of several well-known conferences for the hotel investment industry including Berlin (IHIF), Dubai (AHIC), Istanbul (CATHIC), Africa (AHIF) and Moscow (RHIC). www.benchevents.com

 

MCI’s Sumaira Isaacs elected to IAPCO council

MCI is pleased to announce that Sumaira Isaacs, Chief Operating Officer, MCI India, Middle East & Africa, has been elected to the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) council.

IAPCO is a leading association in the international meetings and events industry and represents more than 114 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events. The association is committed to raising standards of service among its members and other sectors of the meetings industry by means of continuing education and interaction with other professionals.

A true meetings industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience, Sumaira brings immense international knowledge and local insights into the IMEA market (India, Middle East and Africa) to the IAPCO board.

Driving the strategic growth of MCI in IMEA since 2006, Sumaira has been instrumental in building relations with local opinion leaders and is considered a key contributor to the development of the meetings industry in the region. Under her leadership, significant investments in staff and client services have been made and MCI has built up a strong network of corporate and association clients and an impressive record of successful events.

“IAPCO is a great platform to give back to an industry that's given me so much,” said Sumaira. “It is the premier industry standard for quality and knowledge for its members, and I am proud to be associated with it.”

MCI was previously represented on the IAPCO Council by Philippe Fournier, President, MCI France. Philippe recently stepped down after 8 successful years on the council, including 2 years as IAPACO President from 2010- 2012.

As part of the IAPCO council, Sumaira will help to guide IAPCO as the leading authority on professional congress organisation worldwide, ensure that the association’s quality standards are maintained and effectively serve the association’s members.

Malmö will be the host city for the World Wind Energy Conference 2017
The annual international wind power convention – WWEA’s World Wind Energy Conference – will be held in 2017 in Malmö. It is the first time ever for this event to be held in a Swedish city, and all of us at the Malmö Convention Bureau are exceptionally pleased to hear this news as the topic of the convention matches so well with the City of Malmö’s commitment to a green city and a sustainable future.

The World Wind Energy Conference is organised annually by the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) in cooperation with a national membership organisation, in the case of Sweden, the Swedish Windpower Association/Svensk Vindkraftförening. Since its inception, there have been 12 annual conventions – first in Berlin in 2002 and the most recent one in Shanghai in 2014. In 2015, Australia will be the host country, and 2016 the convention will be held in Tokyo, moving on to Malmö and Sweden in 2017. It will thus be the first time the World Wind Energy Convention is held in Sweden.

“We are proud that Sweden and the Swedish Windpower Association has been selected as the host country for the convention, as it is a convention with great opportunities. We have chosen to go with Malmö as the host city, which today ranks as one of the world’s most sustainable cities. Malmö has a goal of being supplied with renewable energy to the 100 percent level by 2030. This makes Sweden and Malmö at a very exciting choice,” commented Ulla Hedman Andrén, Director of Operations at the Swedish Windpower Association.

Conferences are an important source of revenue for the business community in Malmö. The World Wind Energy Conference, with its 1,000 delegates, is anticipated to provide an economic flow to the City of a value of SEK 9.6 million during its three days in Malmö. The total spending is estimated to provide employment equivalent to 6.9 full-time employees on an annual basis.

“To stand as a host city for congresses, conventions, meetings and events is an important step in order increase Malmö’s attractiveness as a meeting destination,” observes Hanna Lingvide, who is Section Manager at the Malmö Convention Bureau and adds, “Conventions may be significant bearers of value and with the World Wind Energy Conference, we get the chance to strengthen our commitment to sustainable energy while at the same time benefiting our local economy.”

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Quick facts:

The Malmö Convention Bureau is the tourism industry’s and the city of Malmö’s organisation for conventions and conferences. The Malmö Convention Bureau’s mission is to promote Malmö as a meeting destination, and to provide the customer with advice and assistance free of charge with the planning of meetings in Malmö.

Some 40 major conventions are organised in Malmö annually. In 2013, a total of 37 conferences took places in the city. The international and national conventions provided a value of SEK 119 million in economic flows to the city. Total spending gave rise to an employment equivalent to 85 full-time employees on an annual basis. www.malmotown.com

WWEA: The World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) is an international wind power association with members in 95 countries. WWEA works for the promotion of wind energy globally via national governments and international organisations. The association holds the World Wind Energy Conference (WWEC) annually in cooperation with a national membership organisation.

www.wwindea.org www.wwec2014.net

The Swedish Windpower Association is a non-profit and non-political organisation open to both private individuals as well as to companies, and currently has over 2,000 members. The association promotes the development and growth of wind power via the sharing of knowledge and the development of technology in collaboration with governmental agencies and private organisations. The association is active on both the nation and international level.

www.svenskvindkraft.org