news
instant booking is here
Four Major Hotel Companies
Invest in Meetings Venue Tech.
urban transformation
ICC Sydney and Partners
Showcase First State Super Theatre.
increasing priority for travelers
CWT research reveals
business travelers are more health-conscious during trips.
2nd meeting city in UK
Conference & event organisers encouraged
to ‘Make it Edinburgh’ as city strengthens position as UK no.1 for hotel investment & development.
new job
New director appointed for Meet in Reykjavík
- Reykjavík Convention Bureau.
sustainability
The world’s first carbon-neutral constructed convention centre
- The CCD, attracts European clean electricity conference.
connecting the future
Ocean Science
fuel innovation and conferences in Victoria.
business Intelligence
Sixth consecutive record year:
Vancouver welcomed 10.7 million visitors in 2018.
Baltic Trade Show
Convene
returns to Vilnius in 2020.
AEG Ogden
Cairns Convention Centre
expansion great news for region, says CEO.
RSS
rss_icon
Links
Four Major Hotel Companies Invest in Meetings Venue Tech

Accor, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International have invested a combined $50 million in Groups360, a technology platform for searching meeting spaces and rates, according to Business Travel News. Each investor will have a seat on the board.

Groups360 will use the money to enhance its GroupSync platform and offerings. Currently, planners can use the platform to search destinations for hotels and future rates, which are determined by an algorithm that accounts for current rates and economic factors.

This means planners dont need to use RFPs to seek out rates and thus can request proposals from a narrower roster of venues. Groups360s road map, though, includes a booking solution for simple meetings, said president and CEO Kemp Gallineau. "Getting to instant booking is one of our focal points." The company has not determined a time line.

Groups360 also will use its new funds to expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams. "We currently have 30 people in the company, all employed in the U.S.," Gallineau said. "Over the next 18 to 24 months, we plan to have 100 to 150 people globally."

The companys database has more than 170,000 properties across 225 countries, representing Accor, Hilton, IHG and Marriott, as well as other brands and independent properties. Groups360 said it will continue to offer a variety of venues.

ICC Sydney and Partners Showcase First State Super Theatre

Newly named theatre plays host to exclusive event showcasing positive impact of local investment in driving economy and reputation.

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), First State Super, the Committee for Sydney and the Sydney Business Chamber have come together to showcase the newly named First State Super Theatre and highlight the important role local investment and the events sector play in driving the New South Wales economy and Sydney’s reputation on the global stage.

The evening opened with a musical Acknowledgement of Country from leading Sydney-based Aboriginal service provider, KARI, and stand-out performances by emerging artists from the Talent Development Project which showcased the theatre’s world class capabilities in action.

An address from NSW Minister for Property, Melinda Pavey, followed and highlighted the government’s pride in investing in ICC Sydney, alongside the venue’s success in delivering outstanding returns for the local economy whilst underscoring Sydney’s position as one of the most desirable destinations in the world.

At the heart of the event was a panel discussion moderated by Committee for Sydney CEO, Gabriel Metcalf. Panellists included ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy who was joined by Mirvac CEO and Managing Director, Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz, First State Super CEO, Deanne Stewart and Sydney Business Chamber, Executive Director, Katherine O’Regan.

Gabriel Metcalf said he was delighted to be part of the robust discussion about the importance of local investment to build brand Sydney.

“I’ve been lucky enough to witness urban transformations all around the world and there really are very few places that can match the scale of Sydney’s inner-city development. ICC Sydney sits at the epicentre of the State’s A$3.4 billion revitalisation project and has been an exciting catalyst for broader renewal. With the Fish Markets rejuvenation, The Ribbon development, Mirvac’s A$1 billion redevelopment of Harbourside Shopping Centre, the A$694 million Cockle Bay Wharf Tower and more, it’s clear the future of this city is bright.”

Speaking on the panel, Geoff Donaghy reiterated that ICC Sydney is a prime example of a bold decision by the government paying off.

“Our success is proof that the government’s decisions to knock down the old entertainment centre and invest in a rebuild was the right one. Since opening in December 2016, ICC Sydney has helped deliver major gains for the NSW economy. Earlier this week, we revealed that ICC Sydney has welcomed 1.4 million visitors to more than 671 core events, delivering an overall economic contribution to the State of A$902 million.

“But at ICC Sydney, we are not just about the numbers. We are more than a venue - part of the rich and dynamic cultural fabric of the city and the community in which we operate. We are also custodians of Sydney’s story, and are committed to helping ensure our city continues to build its reputation globally.

“Here, while Sydney has always been recognised for its supreme beauty, ICC Sydney is proud to be helping tell the broader story of our city, showcasing the creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of our home – a place of both beauty and brains.”

Katherine O’Regan echoed Donaghy’s sentiment and noted that good governance requires collaboration from the private sector to make great things happen.

“ICC Sydney is a prime example of government and private sector stakeholders working together seamlessly to build Sydney’s reputation as a place of community and opportunity. If you have a strong sense of community – something ICC Sydney is helping build – then business interest and opportunities naturally follow.”

Deanne Stewart supported O’Regan’s remarks, stating that First State Super is immensely proud to further its relationship with ICC Sydney and invest in the city.

“The First State Super Theatre sits firmly at the heart of the city and ICC Sydney has already demonstrated its ability to deliver great returns for NSW – and for our members. As we step into our role as naming rights partner, we’re looking forward to working with ICC Sydney and its network of stakeholders and partners to continue building the story of Sydney, while fostering long-term economic benefits for our members, the community and the economy.”

To find out more about ICC Sydney visit www.iccsydney.com or to share your ICC Sydney experiences on your social channels, tag @ICCSyd and using our hash tag #morethanavenue.

 

*First State Super holds a 45% equity investment in the consortium that delivered ICC Sydney in partnership with the New South Wales Government. The consortium members are Lendlease, Hostplus, First State Super, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless FM.

 

Photo: First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart and ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy.

 

CWT research reveals business travelers are more health-conscious during trips

38% eat healthier, 26% work out more, and only 7% do not maintain their wellness regimes.

Research by CWT, the B2B4E travel management platform, shows that awareness of maintaining healthy eating habits is growing momentum amongst business travelers. Overall 38% of business travelers eat healthier while on the road. Asia Pacific travelers are the most likely to eat healthier when traveling for business (46%) compared to travelers in Americas (35%) and Europe (29%).

“Maintaining healthy habits while traveling is nearing the top of the priority list for travelers around the world,” said Niklas Andreen, CWT’s Chief Traveler Experience Officer. “At the end of the day, being in tune with what matters to your employees is indispensable for retaining and attracting the best talent.”

Travelers in Asia Pacific are likely to work out more (33%) while abroad, compared to travelers in Americas (23%) and Europe (21%). On the flipside, Europe business travelers are less likely to work out while on the road (48%) vs. travelers in Americas (38%) and Asia Pacific (32%).

Meanwhile, only 7% of travelers do not adhere to health and wellness routines when traveling. The percentage is higher among Europeans (10%) and Americans (8%), while travelers in Asia Pacific are the least likely to steer away from their wellness routines (3%).

Since 2017, maintaining health and wellness routines while on the road has become an increasing priority for travelers. Across all regions, business travelers are striving to achieve their health and wellness routines regardless of where they are in the world.

CWT’s research also shows that hotel exercise rooms and equipment are the most common way for business travelers to adhere to their health and wellness routines (49%), followed by hotel swimming pool (40%), and in-room hotel equipment such as yoga mats and stationary bikes 
(27%).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the survey

The survey was created by CWT and conducted by Artemis Strategy Group between the 29th of January and the 9th of February, 2019. Responses were collected from more than 2,700 business travelers who traveled for business four or more times in the previous 12 months. Respondents were from the Americas (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States), Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK) and Asia Pacific (Australia, China, India, Japan, and Singapore).

 

About CWT

CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe and secure travel experience. Every single day, we look after enough travelers to fill more than 100,000 hotel rooms, while our meetings and events division handles more than 100 events every 24 hours.

 

About Artemis Strategy Group

Artemis Strategy Group is a research firm specializing in brand positioning, thought leadership and policy issues.

Conference & event organisers encouraged to ‘Make it Edinburgh’ as city strengthens position as UK no.1 for hotel investment & development

Hotel investment from global brands is reinforcing Edinburgh’s appeal as a world-leading conference, incentive meeting and events destination.

The city currently ranked 27thin the International Congress Association (ICCA) World Rankings and second in the UK, only to London, is also the number one ‘hot spot’ for hotel investment and development in the UK*.

YOTEL Edinburgh’s arrival as the brand’s first city centre hotel in Europe,follows InterContinental Hotel Group’s takeover of the Principal Edinburgh George Street, making the newlynamed InterContinental Edinburgh - The George, the first hotel in the group outside of London in the UK.

This comes after last year’s announcement that Sir Richard Branson will open the first Virgin Hotel outside the USA, in Edinburgh’s historic India Buildings on Victoria Street.

Coupled with its reputation as a unique centre of excellence, innovation and heritage, as celebrated in the city’s current Make it Edinburgh campaign, these developments further boost confidence in the Scottish capital as the perfect place to host conferences and events.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Convention Edinburgh comments: “Continued hotel investment from global brands gives conference and event organisers just one more reason to choose Edinburgh as a host city. Accessible, compact and beautiful, Edinburgh is renowned for its thriving knowledge economy and world-class academic credentials in sectors such as Technology, Life Sciences, Creative Industries, Food and Drink, Renewable Energy and Financial Services. These are huge drivers of business tourism.

“For the past 18 months, the Make it Edinburgh campaign, a collaboration of private and public organisations operating in the conference and meetings industry, has been striving to showcase these strengths to the business events market. So, it’s great to see Edinburgh gaining recognition globally as a place to invest. The more conferences we bring in to the city, the greater the opportunity for collaboration, innovation and lasting impact within these sectors, whether that’s through knowledge share, developing new technology or raising Edinburgh’s profile within these fields.”

Edinburgh’s reputation for innovation in technology specifically, was recognised by YOTEL, who’ve mirrored this by unveiling a number of tech firsts, including Imaginex - a state-of-the-art, 360-degree projection space providing a unique opportunity for film screenings, social events, product launches and meetings.

Stuart Douglas, General Manager at YOTEL Edinburgh, said: “A stay at YOTEL is all about intuitive service and technology driven experiences, offering an exciting alternative to the more traditional offering Edinburgh is known for.

“The city is thriving as both a popular tourist spot and a business hub and we’re incredibly excited about showcasing the YOTEL hospitality experience. Our hotel offers global travellers and in-the-know locals a stylish space to eat, drink, work, rest and play.”

Neil Ellis, Chair of the Edinburgh Hotels Association said: “Edinburgh presents an attractive proposition for hotel investors. It’s well connected, with direct flights from major long and short-haul destinations, offers a beautiful mix of history, heritage and contemporary flair, it’s friendly and inclusive as well as being innovative in its thinking. Major new developments like these provide an opportunity to shout about these truths, instill further confidence in Edinburgh as an events destination, while also increasing the variety of offering for locals and visitors alike.”

Launched in October 2017, Make it Edinburgh is a digital campaign, co-funded by flagship campaign partners: Marketing Edinburgh, Edinburgh Hotel Association, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. Their collective contribution of £40k was match funded by VisitScotland’s Growth Fund.

 

*Colliers International UK Hotels Market Index, 2019

 

Photo: Virgin Hotel in India Building in Edinburgh. Illustration. Opens 2020.

New director appointed for Meet in Reykjavík - Reykjavík Convention Bureau

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir has taken over as Managing Director of Meet in Reykjavík – Reykjavík Convention Bureau. She succeeds Thorsteinn Orn Gudmundsson, who led the bureau from its foundation in 2012. Sigurjóna has been with Meet in Reykjavík from the beginning in 2012, most recently as Director of Exhibitions and Events. She has an MBA from the University of Iceland and a BA in Acting from Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Arna Schram, Chairman of Meet in Reykjavík, said the Board was pleased that Sigurjóna accepted this new role and that she is the right person to continue the successful work of her predecessor. "Reykjavík has over the last several years built up a reputation for reliability, high-tech infrastructure, service excellence and convenient flight connections to and from North America and Europe, in addition to being known for the one-of-a-kind nature that surrounds us. We intend to continue on this journey."

Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir says that she looks forward to the months ahead. "There is a good reason for our optimism: MICE visitors continue to elevate the Icelandic economy. Last year, we welcomed an estimated 135,000 international MICE travellers. The number has been growing steadily since the opening of Harpa Conference Hall and Convention Centre in 2011, with a 14.4% average annual growth. We have also been climbing the ICCA country and city rankings; this year, Reykjavík moved up 30 places on the worldwide ranking from the previous year.”

The world’s first carbon-neutral constructed convention centre - The CCD, attracts European clean electricity conference.

The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) has been selected to host the Eurelectric Power Summit 2020, taking place from 25 to 26 May. With a focus on reducing energy consumption and a commitment to long term sustainability, The CCD proved a great fit for the summit.

As one of Europes most environmentally friendly venues, The CCD received the ISO 14001 accreditation just one year after opening.

The Eurelectric Power Summit is an essential arena where thought leaders, policymakers, customers and industry captains meet and learn from each other about key trends in clean electricity.

Speaking about the event, Eurelectric Director of Communications & Corporate Affairs, Koen Noyens said: “Eurelectric Power Summit is The Place for the clean power ecosystem to meet, share, explore, learn and exchange. Our summit has become the hub for electrifying your business models, digitalising your ideas and rooting them in the norm.”

Commenting on why Dublin and The CCD were selected, Mr. Noyens added, “Dublin was an obvious place to be. Ireland has played a key role in the history of computing and, in recent years, it is a hub for tech leaders to mature and upskill their technologies. The CCD was selected because of its great facilities and central location, being beautifully situated on the riverfront.”

Welcoming the news, Stephen Meehan, CEO of The CCD commented, “We are delighted to host the Eurelectric Power Summit. Sustainability is at the top of our minds here at The CCD, from the clever design of the building making use of natural light, to our comprehensive waste management policy, we all recognise that we have a part to play. We look forward to providing a green venue to host this clean energy event.”

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About The CCD

The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) opened in September 2010 and is Irelands first purpose-built international convention centre. Located in the heart of Dublin city, just 15 minutes from Dublin Airport, The CCD has won a total of 42 industry awards since opening.

About Eurelectric

Eurelectric is the association representing the interests of the European electricity industry. We represent the power sector in over 30 European countries, speaking for more than 3,500 companies in power generation, distribution and supply. Eurelectrics mission is to contribute to the competitiveness of the electricity industry, to provide effective representation in public affairs and to promote the role of a low-carbon electricity mix in the advancement of society. Our Vision includes a clear commitment to fully decarbonise well before 2050 and to serve as a fuel of choice for other sectors in need of decarbonisation strategies, such as transport and heating/ cooling. Read more about it here.

About the ISO 14001 Accreditation

ISO 14001 was developed to help organisations reduce their environmental impact. The standard provides the framework for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the environment. The Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Standard has been developed to help organisations identify, manage and control activities that have an environmental impact. In over 150 countries around the world, industrial companies, service organisations, utilities and public bodies have embraced ISO 14001 as their preferred model for environmental management.