flight news
Direct flights
between Paris and Faroe Islands next year.
28-29 August
IBTM China
announces the first details of its 2019 event.
Business Intelligence
It figures:
The CTICC’s contribution to GGP, GDP, job creation increases.
business intelligence
One theme set to dominate 2019,
according to IMEX Group: how to leverage assets
business intelligence
The Meetings Show’s advisory board
predicts the biggest trends for 2019.
Business Intelligence
ICC Sydney Bolsters Legacy Program,
Unveiling Dedicated Creative Industries Stream.
IACC partners with industry greats
and World Obesity Federation to bring delegate dietary requirements guide for meeting planners.
business Intelligence
Scottish Event Campus (SEC)
submits planning application to create global facility for world class events.
Hi tech
IBTM Trends Watch report
highlights importance of tech to events industry.
business Intelligence
unveil ground-breaking ‘Universal Accessibility in Meetings’ research.
Direct flights between Paris and Faroe Islands next year

Atlantic Airways, the national airline of the Faroe Islands, will operate direct flights from the Faroe Islands to Paris starting July 2019.

The scheduled service will commence on Monday 1 July with three weekly flight (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) until the end of September, followed by two weekly flights (Monday and Friday) until Christmas.

Direct flights from Paris Charles De Gaulle, coupled with an interline cooperation between Atlantic Airways and Air France, will greatly increase the accessibility of the Faroe Islands to travellers from all over the world who would like to experience the Faroe Islands as a travel destination.

Jóhanna á Bergi, CEO of Atlantic Airways, says: “We are very excited about this new route from Paris as it will connect the Faroe Islands to one of the biggest hubs in Europe and will give travellers from all over the world a new and much bigger gateway to our beautiful islands. With flights from Charles De Gaulle to the Faroe Islands amongst our scheduled routes, we are further connecting the Faroe Islands to the world, and the world to the Faroe Islands.”

Atlantic Airways has also applied for an air carrier permit to operate commercial services to the US, with New York City being the preferred destination. If the permit is granted, Atlantic Airways will start flying directly to New York City once a week for four to six weeks during autumn 2019.

Guðrið Højgaard, director at Visit Faroe Islands, says the number of tourists from the US has increased in recent years and will most likely increase even more if a direct flight from New York City is established. US travellers are an attractive segment.

“Visit Faroe Islands has primarily focused on the European market in recent years, but we have also seen an increase in interest from Americans lately,” says Guðrið. “The US market is certainly one we will focus even more on in the future because Americans have a great spending capacity and their culture fits well with the type of tourists we want to welcome.”

Atlantic Airways is the only airline in Europe to operate the advanced RNP AR 0.1 GPS based technology which greatly improves regularity to Vágar Airport, evident in Atlantic Airways having the highest regularity to and from Vágar Airport. The country’s national airline, which has one of the youngest fleets in the world, consisting of Airbus 319 and 320aircrafts, currently operates routes to five destinations year round (Copenhagen, Billund, Edinburgh, Reykjavik and Bergen) and seasonal flights to Barcelona, Mallorca and Gran Canaria.

IBTM China announces the first details of its 2019 event

IBTM China, part of IBTM’s global portfolio of meetings and events industry trade shows and the most established event of its kind in China, has announced first details of its 2019 edition. The event will take place at China National Convention Centre (CNCC) in Beijing on 28 and 29 August.

It is anticipated that over 380 international and domestic exhibitors will meet with over 400 Hosted Buyers for two days of pre-arranged business meetings. Over 3,500 visitors are also expected to attend.

This year will see the introduction of a new Experience Zone where visitors will be able to interact with select exhibitors in immersive themed environments on the show floor. Additionally, in response to customer demand for more opportunities to learn and be inspired by outside speakers, eight new speaker slots have been added to the programme which will cover four key themes, details of which to be announced early next year.

Nicole Ci, Project Manager, IBTM China, commented: “We’re excited to announce the first details of IBTM China 2019. We have ambitious plans to grow the event this year, including extending the breadth of both international and domestic exhibitors taking stands and increasing Hosted Buyer numbers.

“The market here in China continues to boom and as well as an appetite for a bigger event, there’s huge demand for on-site education sessions. As a result, we’ve almost doubled the number of speaker sessions this year to 18. We’ll be following four topical themes to ensure the sessions are targeted to the latest hot topics, from key industry trends to event marketing and innovation. We’re looking forward to announcing more information about the event early in 2019.”

As well as a packed schedule of business meetings and education sessions, the event itinerary also includes a number of networking sessions to help renew old connections and forge valuable new business relationships.

It figures: The CTICC’s contribution to GGP, GDP, job creation increases

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) has yet again achieved recording breaking revenues and impressive operating profits.

On the 11th of December, CTICC Chief Executive Officer Julie-May Ellingson announced the convention centre’s 2017/18 Annual Financial Results, which showed that not only had the CTICC achieved recording breaking revenues and impressive operating profits but importantly had made substantial contributions of R4.5b to the South African national GDP and R3.1b to the GGP of the Western Cape.

According to the Association of International Convention Centres (AIPC), the 2017 average growth rate for centres around the world was 9%. The CTICC exceeded this by growing their revenue by over 14%. This was also double the AIPC’s forecasted growth rate of 7% for 2018 and reaffirms the CTICC’s position as one of the world’s leading, international convention centres.

“In 2017/18 our revenue increased by 14.2% from R215.6m to R246.3m, while Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) also rose well above our target of R24.3m to R57.2m. These results are particularly pleasing in the current economic climate,” said Ellingson.

The centre hosted a total number of 525 events during the period under review, and made a net contribution to foreign exchange earnings of R681m.

For the year under review, the CTICC received an overall customer satisfaction index of 85%, a healthy 7% above the target of 78%.

“Delivering exceptional customer service is essential to our success,” Ellingson noted. “Our service delivery is measured by N’Lighten, an independent company who conduct surveys with event organisers on a monthly basis via face-to-face, telephonic and email interviews. This feedback is invaluable in assisting the CTICC to determine what we are doing right and what we need to improve upon.”

The CTICC has been in operation for 15 years, and during this time the centre has contributed significantly to job creation having created/sustained over 115000 jobs since opening.

“Over the 2017/18 period, we created jobs for 8 553 individuals which was a 9% increase on the previous year and in an economy that is shedding jobs, this is something we are particularly proud of”, said Ellingson.

The CTICC’s purpose, which runs through every aspect of the business, is to “connect people to create jobs by attracting events in key economic sectors and exceeding our clients expectations”.

Ellingson noted that every job held by a woman is estimated to feed eight people. “This fact drives our supplier selection decisions and our focus on women-owned enterprises. Our expenditure with women-owned enterprises increased considerably to 40% in the past financial year from 29% in 2016/17 financial year.”

The CTICC’s B-BBEE spend for the 2017/18 financial year was R288m, which equates to 87% of its net spend.

Ellingson also noted that the CTICC’s commitment to training and development remained strong, with a substantial R3.1m spent on training.

“Short-term and long-term training is essential for upgrading internal and external staff skills and over 400 individuals received training in the 2017/18 financial year.”

Ellingson said that training had embraced the four key aspects of skills development: statutory, vocational, developmental and values-based leadership: “We focused mainly on capacity building, leadership development, team building, change management, effective employee engagement and coaching.”

The CTICC also offers a student programme and graduate programme, which it believes is essential to the upliftment of skills in the country. The CTICC had 25 young people on these programmes in the last financial year.

Food safety and management continued to be a priority at the CTICC. To make sure that the centre’s food offering is of the highest standards and quality, the CTICC in the period under review, embarked on a process to add to its already existing certifications and accreditations.

To provide confidence in the CTICC’s food offering, a range of daily and monthly hygiene food preparation and maintenance monitoring protocols have been put in place in the CTICC’s kitchens. These are consistently and meticulously adhered to.

“We are very pleased to have achieved yet another ISO certification, namely ISO 22000 - Food Safety Management System. This covers every link in the food chain to ensure food is consistently safe from the source, through preparation, to consumption,” added Ellingson.

To date, the CTICC has hosted 589 international events in the past 15 years. With the addition of CTICC 2, the combined complex is drawing interest from abroad.

“In a consistently competitive marketplace, we have done extremely well to secure more than 64 future international events.”

The CTICC implemented a number of initiatives aimed at decreasing its water usage, along with efforts to reduce waste and energy consumption. These programmes have seen a reduction in water consumption of 30.4%.


As an active environmental citizen, in the year in review, the CTICC:

Stopped the water supply to all ablution facilities and provided visitors with hand sanitiser;

Installed water storage tanks which hold up to 265 000 litres of water – this was used for irrigation and cleaning;

•         Captured condensate from its air-conditioning units to the approximate amount of 20 000 litres per week (used for cleaning purposes);

•         Reduced its dishwashing loads by not using table clothes and offering clients the option of using disposal napkins and biodegradable cups.

•         In addition, we are in the final testing phase of our reverse osmosis desalination plant which was completed at the end of last month and will produce clean, fully potable water.

•         The CTICC will also continue to raise awareness around water savings amongst its staff, clients, visitors and local community partners.


The CTICC actively works with five local community partners, nominated by CTICC staff as providing vital support to communities predominantly in Khayelitsha, Lavender Hill and Mitchells Plain. These include educational and income-generation initiatives, as well as feeding schemes and urban gardening projects. The five local community partners are Abalimi Bezekhaya, Foundation for Alcohol-Related Research (FARR), Ikhaya Le Themba, Journey for Enrichment and Mothers Unite.

In conclusion, Ellingson highlighted that the CTICC is making and continues to make a positive contribution to the Western Cape GGP, South African GDP, to job creation, household income, the environment and communities.

“The CTICC continues to demonstrate its value to the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Province and South Africa. The CTICC team have worked hard in a challenging year and are pleased with the positive results achieved in the 2017/18 financial year,” added Ellingson.


Photo: The CTICC consists of two buildings – CTICC 1 and CTICC 2.


One theme set to dominate 2019, according to IMEX Group: how to leverage assets

2018 has been the year when interest in live events, experiential activities, women in leadership, mental wellbeing and robots skyrocketed.

In 2019, IMEX Group expects all these trends to continue; but what other trends does the international exhibition organiser see on the horizon? According to IMEX, there’s one unifying storyline that can help us all make sense of 2019 before it arrives: how to leverage organisational assets, which includes everything from data, to human or artificial talent, to sustainable materials and care for the earth’s resources.

Event creators, strategists and planners the world over are under more pressure than ever to conjure up ideas and activations that ignite a ‘wow’ from their audience. IMEX partner C2 International and dozens of exhibitors in the Live Zones at IMEX shows in 2018 showcased their creativity and provoked attendees to consider ‘how to wow’. For some creativity comes naturally; for others the word brings a feeling of dread. Nonetheless, creativity is here to stay.

This demand brings a new challenge; ‘the pressure to delight’ as it was described by one event planner recently, the need to keep on coming up with new ways to spark that precious ‘wow’. As events become more varied and experiential, in 2019 this ‘pressure to delight’ will drive the industry to seek out even more new creative – perhaps sensational - ways to excite and impress audiences.

For many years at events such as the IMEX Policy Forum, stakeholders in the meetings and events industry have been working hard to persuade national and regional governments to invest in and support the industry as a major sector, one that directly and indirectly makes a large economic contribution.

What the industry lacked was strong, striking financial data to quantify it and put its power into perspective – until now.

Business events including meetings are now proven to generate $1 trillion in direct spend alone worldwide every year, according to the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) “Global Economic Significance of Business Events” study. This ranks the business events sector alongside consumer electronics in terms of size and scope.

This research is a powerful and priceless asset that, in 2019, the whole global industry should be sharing and highlighting to influencers outside the market.

The Events Industry Council’s (EIC) “Global Economic Significance of Business Events” study was described as the result of ‘the most meetings industry organisations ever to collaborate on a single project.’ It was one of many new projects featured at IMEX America in which associations, countries, cities, hotel groups and technology were collaborating and forming new partnerships.

At the recent Impact Festival in Munich, where entrepreneurs and big business discussed ‘new work’, collaboration was the key topic, with talk of using it to build bridges between generations, genders, between industries and within companies / departments.

Equally an EY report asked: ‘Is collaboration the new innovation? It reveals why many businesses are finding that collaboration is just as important, if not more so, than competition. ‘In a world of digital disruption and industry convergence, companies now often find they must collaborate to secure the skills, assets and support they need. Successful innovation, in particular, is difficult for any organization to achieve alone.’

A UK national newspaper described a recent event in India as ‘a feast for Instagrammers’ eyes.’ The growing use of ‘Instagrammable’ and ‘Snapchatable’ moments defines the social media-led mindset that is driving a new approach to event marketing, design and planning. Many event planners’ first thought now is - ‘how will this food, this table, this stage set look on Instagram?’ The result? Social media is now leading the design of events and activities not just reporting on them.

Facial recognition technology is being tested by the firm behind Transport for London’s Oyster card to develop a ticketless system for the public transport network. It’s the latest in a series of developments in the transport industry, following other projects in the USA, at London Heathrow and at Hong Kong airport, in which this technology is coming into day-to day use for security checking and to reduce queuing times.

At the same time Event Manager Blog’s Facial Recognition Guide said ‘2018 is the year innovative events are embracing facial recognition’. While many have taken it up, more will do so next year.

The damage that non-biodegradable, non-recyclable plastics and materials is creating, particularly in our oceans, has become a high-profile issue in 2018, encapsulated by ‘single-use’ being announced as the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year.

In parallel, in the events sector, the fact that most events still use vinyl banners when non-vinyl is available has been gaining awareness through IMEX COO Nalan Emre’s presentations at the UFI Education Forum on Sustainable Development and ICCA Congress. Anecdotal research from both IMEX shows suggests that buyers don’t like (or don’t remember to) ask, and suppliers frequently don’t suggest sustainable alternatives.

2019 will be the year when, in the world and the industry, the focus will be seriously set on action. Replacing single use plastic drinking straws is a start. In the business events sector, expect the industry’s general service contractors to be encouraging event organisers and exhibitors to ask for non-vinyl banners and other sustainable materials. Through its own waste donation programme and the responsible recycling systems at Messe Frankfurt, the IMEX Group now sends ZERO waste to landfill after IMEX in Frankfurt. Sharing its learning, IMEX has also published a Sustainability Report.

Reviewing these trends, Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says, “Ours is a diverse industry which needs to make the most of technology and every single asset it has while continuing to encourage social responsibility, inclusion and environmental awareness. Overall, these emerging trends present exciting opportunities and one thing’s for certain: they’ll quickly disrupt the marketplace and raise expectations in ways that we can barely imagine.”


Photo: Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group


The Meetings Show’s advisory board predicts the biggest trends for 2019

The leading event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, The Meetings Show, met with its advisory board in October to discuss the future of the show and the future of events.

The advisory board members, who represent UK and international destinations, venues, event planners and industry consultants, have revealed what they think will be the biggest trends in the industry in 2019.

With the future of Brexit still very much uncertain, the UK meetings and events industry needs to focus on defining and promoting its USPs to demonstrate why Great Britain is still a great place to do business.

Laurie Scott, head of conventions & events at Visit Aberdeenshire, is focusing on the positives of Brexit: “Obviously Brexit is inevitable but looking at the potential positives the exchange rate of the pound means that Britain is becoming an excellent value destination for conferences and events.”

London & Partners’ head of tourism, conventions & major events, Tracy Halliwell, says UK destinations may need to refocus their attentions on business from outside of Europe. She says: “We have to understand much more about long-haul markets than perhaps European markets, as well as thinking about international vs domestic – it’s thinking about where business is coming from and how we’re going to react to that.”

Intellectual capital is also set to be a key influencer in destination choice and is an opportunity for the UK to stand out amongst its competitors. Sally Greenhill, consultant for The Right Solution, says: “There’s lots of exciting stuff in terms of life sciences and medical research that takes place here, which offers great opportunities for us to showcase the UK.”

The success of an event is measured just as much by delegate satisfaction as it is profit or loss and putting the delegate experience first is going to be a priority for event organisers in 2019.

MICE marketing specialist Patrick Delaney, director of SoolNua, says we need to stop thinking about B2B and B2C as different markets: “I think the real disruptor is that it should be H2H: human to human. We have to get back to understanding the power of human connections, the power of the live event – the power of making that true connection that only comes when people actually treat each other as human beings. We need to look at what people’s needs are, see how they can be met, and deliver on that.”

Leigh Cowlishaw, director of proposition – accommodation and meetings at Capita Travel and Events, agrees that event organisers should be putting the delegate first: “It’s important to understand why delegates are coming to your meetings and really driving through the data, to be able to provide you with the intelligence to make informed decisions when planning events.”

Tracy Halliwell adds: “I think another challenge happening in the industry is the multigenerational thing: meetings and events now have up to four different generations attending. How do you plan your event to meet the expectations of those four different types of people who will all expect different content and different formats? I think that’s quite challenging.”

For The Meetings Show, delegate engagement will also be a key focus in 2019. David Chapple, group event director for the show, says: “The Meetings Show 2019 will be all about focusing on our audience, more so than ever before. We are currently looking at our education programme and how we can make that as relevant and engaging as possible for attendees, both through the content itself and how that’s delivered. Along with all the other exiting developments we have planned, it’s shaping up to be our best event to date.”

Technology specifically designed for meetings and events is ever-evolving and is changing the face of the industry as we know it.

Rather than be concerned by the idea of technology replacing human interaction, meetings and events professionals should be looking at how it can enhance and support what they do.

Patrick Delaney says: “In 2019 we need to think about more connectivity and more experiences. What does that mean in terms of the practical way it manifests itself? I think technology can be used to connect people and provide genuine experiences – experiences that will leave a delegate saying ‘you know something, that had an impact on me, it emotionally engaged me, it intellectually engaged me – it changed me in some way.’ The continuation of this will also see personal and professional mixing to deliver an end result.”

Executive director of the HBAA, Juliet Price, thinks that technology will also change the way meetings are organised, for the better. She says: “One of the things that we are seeing is the use of online platforms for booking small meetings. It’s not a threat to the industry; we should look upon it as a positive move because it means that agencies, corporate planners and venues themselves will have more time to deal with the larger events that do need a lot more care and attention.”

The seventh edition of The Meetings Show will take place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June 2019 at Olympia London.


For more information about The Meetings Show, visit








Taking place on Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June 2019, The Meetings Show is the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, organised by Centaur Live (a division of Centaur Media Plc). Organised by meeting professionals for meeting professionals, it is focused around a large exhibition, networking opportunities and professional education. The hosted buyer programme – the largest in the UK – attracts buyers from the corporate, association, agency and public sectors. The show features destinations from over 50 countries across 6 continents, venues, hotels and key providers of meetings products and services.


The Show includes:


The Exhibition: Featuring destinations, venues, hotels and suppliers, the exhibition sits at the heart of The Meetings Show.


Education Programme: Planned by education experts from across the industry, the conference sessions work in harmony with the exhibition and more than 10,000 meetings taking place on the floor.

Networking: The Meetings Show offers an unrivalled networking opportunity for event venues, event buyers and suppliers. For those looking to see more before and after the show, there will also be fam trips visiting key destinations around the UK and internationally.

The Meetings Show has an Advisory Board that meets several times a year both in person and virtually, bringing together their wealth of experience, ideas and strategic understanding of the meetings industry.

ICC Sydney Bolsters Legacy Program, Unveiling Dedicated Creative Industries Stream

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has announced the introduction of a new dedicated Creative Industries stream to its Legacy Program, to showcase Australia’s home-grown talent on the global stage and support the next generation of creative leaders.

This additional focus expands on ICC Sydney’s existing program and connections, providing clients and their delegates with the opportunity to collaborate with Sydney and New South Wales’ thriving creative economy, through a diverse range of stimulating and inspiring arts and cultural encounters.

The program will actively work to cultivate a lasting legacy from fostering support for Sydney’s emerging and established artists through cultural institutions and colleges to engaging new talent for event performances from Talent Development Project and connecting with festival programs including VIVID and Sydney Festival.

From a design perspective, ICC Sydney has partnered with Dinosaur Designs, maker of bold and instantly recognisable Australian homewares, to create bespoke Sydney gifts and handmade award trophies in their signature style.

The Creative Industries stream has been curated to complement the Legacy Program’s four core streams - Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events and to drive long-term social, economic and environment outcomes, which are both meaningful and measurable.

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy said the venue is proud of its progress to date and expanding its support for creative industries will help invigorate client event programs, while accelerating opportunities for a broader segment of the community.

“We are delighted with the reception of our Legacy Program over the past 12 months including strong traction with Professional Conference Organisers and association groups in particular. Just some of the highlights include significant uptake of authentic Welcome to Countries, Darling Harbour precinct tours with respected elder Aunty Margret and the depth of student and startup engagement at Sibos.”

Donaghy continued that the venue is now turning its focus to the region’s growing creative economy.

“Our team is looking forward to formalising our connections to deliver tangible commercial outcomes for the creative industries while reinforcing Sydney’s reputation as a vibrant and diverse city and ensuring authentic, entertaining experiences for our clients and their patrons.”

Talent Development Project’s CEO, Kim Lemke said Sydney has an especially strong calibre of talent and applauded the program’s introduction.

“We helped the ICC Sydney team during its critical opening period to host an official test event and the venue continues to regularly book our students for pre-show and intermission entertainment. It is gratifying to deepen our three-year partnership by introducing incredibly talented local artists, performers and musicians to ICC Sydney’s clients to share their skills with the rest of the world.”

Sydney Festival Executive Director, Chris Tooher equally praised ICC Sydney for its dedication to the cultural and creative growth of the local region.

“ICC Sydney sits right on the doorstep of our city’s bourgeoning creative industries and plays an integral role in raising Sydney’s global reputation for artistic excellence. This initiative to build enriching cultural experiences into events programs will make a significant contribution to the sector.”


For further information on the ICC Sydney Legacy Program, click here.


Image caption: ICC Sydney local artist activation at 2018 Sibos exhibitor stand. Click here to download high-res images.