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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.

MEET TAIWAN

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.

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.

Compensation

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.

About Dreamhack

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.

About Gamifying

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.

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.

International Presidents and Directors Come to Maastricht

Today and tomorrow, during the Holland Association Symposium, NBTC Holland Marketing and the Maastricht Convention Bureau welcome 33 carefully selected Dutch, European and international presidents and directors in the city of Maastricht and surroundings to show them the region as destination for conventions.

NBTC Holland Marketing is responsible for the branding and marketing of the Netherlands nationally and internationally.

Via the brand “Holland”, NBTC recommends the Netherlands as an attractive destination for holidays, business meetings and conventions.

The Holland Association Symposium (HAS) is an excellent way to draw the Netherlands to the attention of (inter)national associations and branch organisations, which organise conventions regularly.

This is the fourth edition of HAS that takes place in the Netherlands. Previous editions took place in Amsterdam, the Hague and Rotterdam. The participants of the HAS are presidents and directors of (inter)national associations who are able to organise an international convention in the Netherlands within a short- or long period of time. By offering an interesting programme, the Maastricht Convention Bureau is hoping that a lot of planned conventions will take place in the city of Maastricht and surroundings.

For the presidents and directors, taking part in the HAS is interesting because of inspiring subjects, unique venues and the opportunities to broaden their network that are offered during the two days.

International speakers will inform the delegates about the new trends, developments, chances and threats for associations. Furthermore, attention is paid on the chances social media offers for associations and conventions. Next to that, a number of representatives of the Dutch convention industry will be present to discuss specific possibilities the Netherlands offers as a convention destination and the support they can offer the presidents and directors, taking into account their wishes. The presidents and directors will also meet “colleagues” of a select group of European and international associations during the exclusive symposium. This will result in meetings, where information can be shared between the Dutch presidents and directors and their international equivalent.

Incentive Support for Large International Conventions Held in Prague

After several years of Prague Convention Bureau (PCB) efforts, the incentive support for large international conventions held in Prague was finally approved by the Prague City Council on 1st October 2013. Grants (incentive support) are intended for non-profit organization congresses with 1,500 and more delegates, at least 50% of them being from abroad.

Other criteria are to spend minimum of 2 nights in Prague and recommendation from Prague Convention Bureau. Organizations can acquire 250 CZK (approximately 10 EUR per participant) up to 1 million CZK (approximately 40 000 EUR) per event. This subvention can be used towards the venue rent or welcome reception.

“Incentives for organizers of large international conferences and congresses are highly appreciated in today‘s highly competitive environment. Without them, it would be much harder for Prague to attract significant and lucrative events,” said Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau. “We are really pleased that the City representatives supported the development of Prague´s congress industry by this strategic step. Personally, I would like to thank Mr. Václav Novotný, Deputy Mayor of Prague, who helped push this incentive support through."

This significant subvention plan came two years after Prague City Council approved incentive for congress organizers in the form of free public transport for congresses with more than 500 participants.

Another important step

Another important step in the development of Prague as a congress destination is the approval of the takeover of the Prague Congress Centre´s debt by the State in return for 70% share. This will help the congress centre in its further development and modernization, which is necessary for keeping its international competitiveness and attractiveness for large congresses. Prague Convention Bureau considers the overall reconstruction and modernization of the Prague Congress Centre as crucial. Without it, it would not be possible to achieve the ambitious goals set by Prague Convention Bureau, specifically to get Prague to the top ten of the world's congress destinations by 2015 and top five by 2020.

“I am convinced that a modern convention centre will make the destination more attractive and help bring more significant events to Prague,” said Lenka Žlebková, Managing Director of Prague Convention Bureau, adding: “Meeting industry is very important for Prague as it contributes not only to its sustainable economic growth but also to overall competitiveness of whole country.”

World First for Scandic – Checking Out by Mobile at All Hotels

Scandic is the first hotel chain in the world to offer digital check-out at all its hotels. The system was tested in the spring and is now available at all hotels in the chain. With a few simple clicks on their smartphone or computer, guests can quickly pay their room, minibar and restaurant bill when it suits them, gaining a welcome bit of extra time in the morning. Scandic estimates that in the first year it will see half a million digital check-outs. In the following year, Scandic expects to see that number double. This is because the service is so simple to use that it gives guests immediate added value, not least since the people of the Nordic region tend to be so mobile literate.

Over the summer, Scandic conducted a pilot project at Scandic Park in Stockholm, where the new mobile check-out solution was evaluated and finetuned. The pilot project was warmly received and now the mobile check-out system is being rolled out at all Scandic’s hotels. All that is needed to check out with a smartphone is for the guest’s telephone number or email address to be registered at check-in. The night before check-out, guests receive a text message and can check their bill, add purchases from the minibar, update their address details and pay for their stay. The receipt is forwarded by email and the keycard can simply be dropped off at reception on the way out.

“It feels great to be the first to make this move, but the important point is that this is something guests have been waiting for,” said Frank Fiskers, Scandic’s CEO. “Checking out is seen by many guests as the tiresome part of a hotel stay and it is sometimes associated with queues and morning stress. Now we are offering guests a smart shortcut that gives them a more pleasant start to the day. They can check out when it suits them, and some guests will no doubt check out the evening before so they can enjoy a more leisurely breakfast.”

“It’s definitely time for us to give guests added value they appreciate by exploiting the almost infinite possibilities that digital technology now offers,” said Johan Michelson, Vice President Brand & Products at Scandic. “We will continue adding more digital services, and right now we’re looking at check-in and conference booking, although as I said, this is all at an early stage.”