November 17-19 in Orlando
GBTA Announces New Dates
for 2021 Convention.
Austria Center Vienna Bags Coveted Gold and Silver Stevie Awards
Best B2C event and rapid testing lanes most valuable company response to the Covid-19 crisis category.
hotel news
First Radisson Individuals in the Baltics Opens Its Doors in Tallinn
Palace Hotel Tallinn is a monument of national architectural heritage built almost 100 years ago and respectfully renovated.
€300+ millions
The Economic Impact of Messukeskus Helsinki Melted By 80 per Cent
Pandemic damage radiates over the business life of the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area.
sleep congress is awakening
World Sleep Congress 2022 to Be Held In Rome
EGA Worldwide Congresses & Events formally contracted as DMC service provider.
digital move
ICC Sydney Expands Broadcast and Hybrid Event Solutions with Media Studio
The studio features green screen technology which allows for visual integration of presenters into customisable background content.
21–22 October 2021
Union of International Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific 2021
Hosted by Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB) live and online.
hotel news Scotland
Virgin Hotels to Open in Glasgow
Pack your kilts, Virgin Hotels opens brand new Scottish property in 2022.
CB Italias platform
Convention Bureau Italia Premieres Box IT,
The Free Networking Online Platform for International Buyers Interested in Italy as a Mice and Wedding Destination.
new roles
Imex Group Invests in the Team With Nine New Appointments
Several new roles have been created within the business with significant investment in systems, marketing and design.
GBTA Announces New Dates for 2021 Convention

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the world’s largest business travel association and worldwide leader in education, research, networking, and advocacy for the industry – has shifted the dates of its GBTA Convention 2021 to November 17-19 in Orlando, Florida. The decision to change the dates of The Business Travel Event of the Year® was made after taking into consideration feedback from members, exhibitors and sponsors and in recognition of the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global travel sector.

This year’s Convention will be the first of its kind, providing attendees firsthand experience on how to travel post-Covid that they can bring back to their respective organizations, plus insights around the future of work and what travel and mobility will encompass coming out of the pandemic. Programming will include new and different ways to learn together and opportunities to share best practices, educate and be educated, cultivate new opportunities and solve looming challenges to help the industry recover and rebound.

“Ensuring this year’s Convention - our first large-scale meeting since 2019 - is a valuable experience for all attendees is a top priority, and we are ‘upping our game’ to provide practical and strategic tools to help attendees get business done in the new, post-pandemic normal,” said GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang. “This shift allows us to better accommodate all our members, especially those traveling from outside the U.S., and to send the important message that global business travel can be accomplished safely, as vaccination programs gather momentum and as Covid-19 testing becomes easier and less costly.”

A special virtual event with valuable content is being planned for July 20 and is expected to include a mid-year Association update and Business Meeting, valuable education sessions and the announcement of the election results of the new Board members. Further details on these sessions will be released soon.


For more information on convention 2021 click here.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations across four continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA delivers world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth, visit

Austria Center Vienna Bags Coveted Gold and Silver Stevie Awards

The Austria Center Vienna claimed a brace of Stevies at the 2021 German Stevie Awards: for Spielefest 2019 – which was named best B2C event – and for its rapid testing lanes pilot project, which was singled out in the most valuable company response to the Covid-19 crisis category. The winners will receive their prizes on 20 May at an online awards ceremony.

“We are delighted to have won two international awards at once. It’s a great honour that our first proprietary event – Spielefest 2019 – scooped a Gold Stevie Award at the first time of asking. A huge amount of effort from the whole team and their expertise in hosting events went into it. Particularly since all of our business evaporated due to Covid-19, I am delighted that our internationally trailblazing pilot project has received the recognition it deserves and that our Covid-19 testing lane attracted a Silver Stevie Award,” said Susanne Baumann-Söllner, Managing Director of the Austria Center Vienna.

“These two projects could scarcely be more different: I would like to thank my entire team for their extraordinary achievements – both in times of crisis and during normal operations.”

The original Wiener Spielefest games festival took place 31 times in all – including an uninterrupted stretch spanning several decades at the Austria Center Vienna. For commercial reasons, the previous organisers decided to discontinue it. But with Spielefest a firmly-established highlight for families and board game aficionados, the Austria Center Vienna was committed to bringing this popular fixture back and putting its own spin on it as a new-look proprietary event. In 2019, Spielefest returned to the Austria Center Vienna after a three-year break. Amongst the features picked up on by the jury were the spaces set aside for trying out the games on offer, particularly for younger age groups, as well as the appealing overall concept. They also praised the way that the event honoured the traditional board gaming experience, while also breathing fresh life into it.

“What was particularly impressive was the belief in and commitment to a great idea, and that was what ultimately led to its success,” as one juror put it.

“This praise and the award encourages us to continue along the successful path we have chosen,” Baumann-Söllner explained.

More than a year ago, the coronavirus pandemic turned our lives upside down over night and the international congress and event industry was significantly affected. We used the small window in which large-scale events were permitted to run a pilot project involving the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The first of its kind in Europe, it involved setting up a rapid testing facility that would allow students to attend the traditional opening lecture inside the venue in September. To safeguard the wellbeing of those present, all 2,000 students who attended the lecture were tested for Covid-19 prior to entry as an additional precaution. The resulting interest from event organisers, hotels, hospitals, national and international media, business and politicians was overwhelming. All of the processes and insights were published on the website as a white paper and adopted by numerous other organisers. The insights gained during the pilot project fed into numerous Covid-19 prevention measures and were used to fine-tune the nation’s largest testing facility.

The jury praised the rapid and bold initiative which was put in place in response to the pandemic, as well as the value added for organisers and other sectors. “Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional ideas. A great initiative to give this hard-hit industry a chance – and all in a very short space of time,” was one juror’s verdict.

“I would also like to flag up how the insights gained in this area are immediately passed on, so that as many ventures and people can benefit from them quickly,” another jury member added.

“Besides vaccinations, at the Austria Center Vienna we think rapid testing will have a major part to play – as an admission ticket to help us to return to normality and for future events. We are also proud of our valuable contribution to combating the pandemic through the testing and vaccination lanes we are currently operating at the venue on behalf of the City of Vienna. This allows us to do our bit to bring great events like Spielefest back to the Austria Center Vienna as soon as possible,” Baumann-Söllner concluded.


Photo: Susanne Baumann-Söllner in front of the testing lane

About the Stevie Awards

Recognising outstanding achievements in over 200 different categories, the German Stevie Awards are a high-profile business accolade for companies in Europe’s German-speaking countries. For the seventh time this year, organisations from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland were invited to submit nominations detailing their accomplishments and contributions since July 2018. The German Stevie Awards are one of eight Stevie programmes, which are among the highest-profile business prizes in the world. Each year more than 12,000 applications are received from more than 70 countries worldwide. A virtual awards ceremony will be hosted on 20 May 2021 to honour the winners of the German Stevie Awards.


Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna. The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 meeting rooms, and some 26,000 m² of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit.

First Radisson Individuals in the Baltics Opens Its Doors in Tallinn

With an excellent location at the entrance to the Old Town, Radisson Hotel Group is delighted to announce the opening of Palace Hotel Tallinn, a member of Radisson Individuals. Built almost 100 years ago and respectfully renovated, this monument of national architectural heritage is the first Radisson Individuals in the Baltic region.

Palace Hotel Tallinn, a member of Radisson Individuals offers 79 rooms and suites, including a Presidential Suite stretching across 150 m2 which consists of a large studio with seating area for eight guests, a kitchen area with dining table for six, sauna, private office and meeting room. The hotels 50 m2 air-conditioned fitness center is equipped with large mirrors and cardiovascular machines by LifeFitness as well as an indoor swimming pool and spa with Turkish bath, jacuzzi, steam bath and sauna. Business guests can use the hotels modern meeting space for a variety of meetings and gatherings. The all-day dining Restaurant Konrad offers both international and local cuisine prepared from quality produce whilst the Gallery Bar offers morning coffees, varied menus as well as a special pizza menu.

Built in 1937, Palace Hotel Tallinn, a member of Radisson Individuals was designed by the Estonian architect, Elmar Lohk, known for 1930s architectural style combining functionalism with influences of the Chicago school and traditional art. Located in the heart of Tallinn Old Town, steps away from Tallinns Freedom Square, one of the most popular meeting places in the city bordering the Old Town, the hotel invites guests to explore the historic cobblestone streets of Estonias cultural hub. Today, Tallinns rich cultural landscape blends with digital innovation as the home to the highest number of start-ups per person in Europe and the birthplace of some of the worlds leading technology companies, making it one of Eastern Europes most popular weekend destination getaways.

Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior Vice President Northern & Western Europe, Radisson Hotel Group, says: “We are very excited to announce our first Radisson Individuals in the Baltic region. This is an excellent hotel, which will offer our guests a property in the famous Tallinn Old Town area. The Radisson Individuals brand is a perfect match for this stunning hotel and historical area and with this opening we further strengthen our position as the leading international hotel group in the area”.

The hotel is located 1.3 km away from Tallinns main train station and 2.3km away from the Port of Tallinn. Tallinn Airport is only a very short ride away from the hotel (4.1 km).. Most tourist sights and the primary shopping streets are accessible by foot, as Tallinns main attractions are scattered throughout the Old Town.

Ain Käpp & Kaido Ojaperv on behalf of the operating company HMP Hotellid OÜ commented: “Tallinns legendary Hotel Palace has always strived to provide its guests with exceptional service. Now we can take the next important step forward in the development of the services offered. Radisson Individuals compliments our hotel with its Yes I Can! customer service, international reach, reputation and Radisson Rewards loyalty program. All this allows us to be even better representatives of Estonian hospitality”.

With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Palace Hotel Tallinn, a member of Radisson Individuals is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the worlds leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.


Read more about the hotel here.


See here for regular updates on the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol


The Economic Impact of Messukeskus Helsinki Melted By 80 per Cent

The economic impact of Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre on the surrounding business community shrank by 80 per cent when operations had to be completely shut down in the first pandemic year 2020. As a result, restaurants, hotels, taxis and other businesses in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area lost a revenue stream of almost €300 million.

The economic impact of Messukeskus on the Helsinki Metropolitan Area in 2019 was a record €357 million and the employment impact was 4,850 person-years. In 2020, the corresponding figures were only €66 million and 900 person-years.

The direct impact on income and employment for the surrounding economy shrank by as much as 80 per cent as the pandemic paralysed the organisation of trade fairs and congresses, which are based on face-to-face encounters. Calculated in euros, the loss of income stream is €291 million.

The figures are based on the income and employment statement made by Taloustutkimus Oy. Market research company Taloustutkimus examined money spent and the overall impact on employment by companies and visitors at trade fairs, congresses and other events.

Under normal circumstances, Messukeskus employs and generates significant income for the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Major trade fairs and international congresses fill hotels and restaurants and are a major boost to other services in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

"Our main concern right now is the completely inadequate support of society for companies that are large and big employers in the travel-and event industry, such as Messukeskus. This weakens Finland’s position as an investment target and has a negative effect on the competitiveness of companies operating in Finland, when after the Covid-19 pandemic, the international business and private travel will gain momentum again", says Anni Vepsäläinen, Managing Director of Messukeskus.

The doors of Messukeskus were closed more than a year ago, and since then it has only been possible to continue operations on a small scale. The turnover decreased by two-thirds in 2020, and the total number of visitors was one-third of the number in previous years. As a result of the pandemic, Messukeskus has adapted its operations in many ways, sought alternative uses for its facilities and built a bridge over the crisis by strengthening its virtual and hybrid business.

The results of Messukeskus are part of a broader study done by Taloustutkimus Oy commissioned by The Association of Trade Fair and Event Organisers in Finland.

Messukeskus is a people-oriented media and an event house awarded for its safety, which creates growth through genuine encounters. Finland’s largest event organiser produces high-quality events and rents its facilities and services as an arena for live, hybrid and virtual events. In 2019, 1.1 million guests visited the events of Messukeskus.

World Sleep Congress 2022 to Be Held In Rome – EGA Worldwide Congresses & Events Formally Contracted As DMC Service Provider

EGA Worldwide Congresses & Events is happy to announce that World Sleep Society has decided to hold its first face-to-face congress after the Covid-19 pandemic from 11th to 16th March 2022 at the Nuvola Convention Centre in the Eternal City of Rome and have contracted them as their DMC service provider.

The international Congress of World Sleep Society is the most important meeting of Sleep Research Scientists worldwide. In Vancouver (Canada) at the last in-person congress in 2019, over 4.000 participants enjoyed a vast scientific programme with 12 keynotes, 89 symposia, 17 courses, 10 panel discussions and 192 oral abstract presentations. The 2022 edition will be hosted by the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (AIMS) with the goal to showcase the national society with an in-person meeting to the global sleep medicine and research audience.

Birgit Högl, MD, president of World Sleep Society and Professor of Neurology and Sleep Medicine says: “We look forward to gathering in-person with our sleep medicine colleagues in Rome. Our congress will once again provide the unique opportunities and experiences that in-person meetings allow.”

“I am honoured that World Sleep Society has decided to hold the World Sleep Congress 2022 in Rome together with our member Ega worldwide as DMC. This is a very important signal for a positive restart of our business after the Covid-19 Pandemic and we will do our utmost to support this outstanding international meeting” adds Stefano Fiori, President of the Convention Bureau Roma & Lazio.

“We are very satisfied that World Sleep Society has chosen our company to deliver the different DMC and onsite services for their congress in Rome acknowledging our highly professional services and the passion and attitude of our staff”, says Alain Pittet, Executive Director of Ega worldwide.


Photo: 11th to 16th March 2022 at the Nuvola Convention Centre in the Eternal City Rome.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About World Sleep Society

World Sleep 2022 and 2023 are being organised by World Sleep Society, an international association whose mission is to advance sleep health worldwide. World Sleep Society hosts the biennial scientific congress on sleep medicine with the aim to globally connect sleep professionals and researchers to advance current knowledge on sleep medicine and research.


About the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (AIMS)

AIMS is a multidisciplinary professional scientific society devoted to promoting scientific research and clinical training for the knowledge of sleep and its disorders diagnosis and treatment.

ICC Sydney Expands Broadcast and Hybrid Event Solutions with Media Studio

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has announced the launch of its Media Studio – a dedicated permanent studio space offering broadcast recording services, live streaming and digital event solutions.

ICC Sydneys Media Studio features green screen technology which allows for visual integration of presenters into customisable background content. The new facility and services will be delivered by the venues expert Audio Visual and ICT teams who have executed more than 200 broadcast and hybrid events in the last 12 months including Online Retailer Fusion 2020, MEALIVE Awards, Stand Tall 2020 and ATA Live.

ICC Sydney Director of Audio Visual Services Brian Nash said the venue is proud to expand its audio visual product suite following positive client feedback and uptake.

“Were pleased to have hosted an enormous range of hybrid and broadcast events for clients and partners over the last 12 months throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling organisations, industries and individuals to continue to connect during this time."

“We are always looking at ways to expand our products and services to meet client needs and following the success of the broadcast studios originally set up in the ballrooms, we are pleased to be able to provide our clients with a permanent media studio in response to high demand for broadcast quality recording services, even as live events return."

“Together with our dedicated team of creative, skilled professionals and best in class technology, we are here to support event organisers vision and deliver a seamless event experience, for their audience here and anywhere in the world.”

Batyr Head of Data and Insights Josh Wiseman said he couldnt be happier with how their event in the Media Studio turned out thanks to the support of ICC Sydney.

“Were incredibly impressed with the level of professionalism displayed by the team at ICC Sydney when pulling together our Media Studio event. With an incredibly tight turnaround, the end result was a high-quality livestream broadcast to our audience."

“The success of the event has meant we have had representatives from the mental health sector reach out to not only congratulate us, but interested to get involved in our project. This wouldnt be possible without ICC Sydneys support and for that, were very grateful”.


Image Caption: ICC Sydneys Media Studio in use for broadcast.


To find out more about ICC Sydney, visit and to join the conversation, visit Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About ICC Sydney

ICC Sydney is Australias premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue. The showcase international venue underpins Sydneys place as one of the worlds most desirable meeting and major events destinations. ICC Sydney is the epicentre of a 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour by the NSW Government to highlight Sydney as the first choice in Australia and the Asia Pacific region for the major events industry. A NSW Government project, ICC Sydney was delivered in partnership with Darling Harbour Live, comprising Lendlease, Hostplus, Aware Super, Capella Capital, ASM Global and Spotless FM. Hassell + Populous were joint venture design consultants for ICC Sydney.

About ASM Global

ASM Global is the worlds leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the merger of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The companys elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 300 of the worlds most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences.

From its Asia Pacific headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, ASM Global operates a network of venues that includes convention & exhibition centres in Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Newcastle, Sydney, Christchurch (opening 2021), Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen; Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong (opening 2023) and interests in major stadia in Sydney, Parramatta and Perth; and entertainment arenas and performance theatres in Brisbane (4), Cairns, Darwin, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney (4), Bangkok (Em Live Theatre and Bangkok Arena both opening in 2023), Dubai, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

ASM Globals diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the companys depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem-solving. Each day, the companys 61,000 passionate employees around the world delivers locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners, and operations, and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit