news
Business Intelligence
XL International Workshop:
25 leading associations and venues meet in Copenhagen.
Food and meetings
KOKS in Torshavn,
Faroe Islands, retains Michelin star.
Business Intelligence
ICC Sydney Delegates Generate $785 Million
for New South Wales in First Year.
the new world
How 5G will lead to new network paradigms,
writes Arabian Business Community in their Newsletter.
Ne knowledge
6th Annual Middle East
Smart Landscape Summit 2018.
new job
Vanessa Butani
appointed new Director of Sustainable Business at Scandic Hotels.
Business Intelligence
Associated Luxury Hotels International Adds Sweden’s:
Gothia Towers to Portfolio and “ALHI Convention Collection”.
big business
American Express Global Business Travel
to acquire Hogg Robin Group.
Business Intelligence
Overnight stays: Innsbruck,
the Congress and Trade Fair City, achieves record results.
meetings develop cities
Reykjavik to host European Cities Talk
on morphing DMOs Business Models and engaging the city.
RSS
rss_icon
Links
XL International Workshop: 25 leading associations and venues meet in Copenhagen

From 22 to 24 February, 13 leading associations and 12 venues from around the world will meet at Copenhagen’s Bella Center to network and exchange knowledge as part of the annual international XL International Workshop. It is the first time that the event, which caters to associations of 2,500+ delegates is being held in the Danish Capital.

When 25 international associations and congress venues touch down in Copenhagen this week to participate in the 15th annual XL International Workshop, they will have plenty to look forward to. Ever since the workshop was first launched in Glasgow in 2003, it has provided delegates with a unique platform for senior decision makers to share expertise and exchange business opportunities. The workshop will be held at Bella Center Copenhagen, Scandinavia’s largest congress and conference venue.

“The XL International Workshop is a fantastic opportunity for venues to meet with some of the world’s leading associations. We are very pleased that this year’s workshop will take place in Copenhagen. We firmly believe that the city and Bella Center Copenhagen will provide the perfect setting for the event and show the delegates why Copenhagen has become such a popular congress and events destination,” says Kit Lykketoft, Convention Director at Wonderful Copenhagen.

The Danish capital has long been one of the world’s most popular convention cities and has successfully attracted a wide range of large congresses, which will take place in 2018. In March, Copenhagen will host the European Association of Urology’s congress, which is expected to attract approximately 14,000 delegates. This event will also be held at Bella Center Copenhagen.

For the XL International workshop, the host has put together an educational programme that aims at providing the delegates with practical know-how on how to create better and more sustainable events. Thus, this year’s educational programme will include an introduction to the concepts of nudging and behavioural science, and how delegates can bring these concepts to use in their own work.

“We look forward to some intensive and rewarding days with like-minded industry leaders in Copenhagen. XL has proven to be a brilliant platform for sharing information, networking and exchanging business opportunities as well as for having important topical discussions that ensure continued sophistication of our business, to the benefit of us all,” says Allan L. Agerholm, CEO of BC Hospitality Group, which includes Bella Center Copenhagen.

In addition to Bella Center Copenhagen, the following sponsors have been instrumental in making the event a reality: Copenhagen CVB, Øksnehallen, Tivoli, Copenhagen Lounge, Exponent, Messetæpper, Estilo Blomsterdesign and AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen.

The XL International Workshop was developed by a group of like-minded industry leaders for association congresses and venues to share information, experiences and business opportunities. Launched in Glasgow in 2003, the workshop has gone from strength to strength. The two and a half-day programme provides a unique platform for senior decision makers to share expertise, exchange business opportunities and participate in topical, educational discussions.

On even years, the XL International Workshop is conducted for associations who hold a globally rotating conference. On alternate years, the Workshop is hosted for organisations that hold conferences that rotate within Europe.

 

KOKS in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, retains Michelin star

Restaurant KOKS, which was awarded the Faroe Islands’ first Michelin star in 2017, has retained its star. Chef Poul Andrias Ziska and sommelier, Karin Visth, were in attendance at a gala in Copenhagen last night when the announcement was made.

“We’ve absolutely delighted to have retained our Michelin star,” says chef Poul Andrias Ziska.

KOKS has moved from its home in Kirkjubøur for the last two years to a new location in Leynvatn. This relocation created a sense of fretfulness in the KOKS camp prior to the announcement, as they felt this might have had a negative effect on being awarded a star.

“We are more relieved than anything, really,” says Poul Andrias. “We were excited to see if the relocation meant that we might lose the star, but we are overjoyed to have retained it.”

Being awarded a Michelin star resulted in heightened interest and more reservations in 2017. KOKS hopes the retention can have a similar effect on the restaurant this year. The team’s main focus in 2018 will be to settle into their new environment in an old eighteenth-century farmhouse in the remote valley of Leynavatn. KOKS will re-open in April.

 

Pictured: Chef Poul Andrias Ziska and sommelier, Karin Visth in front of KOKS in Leynavatn.

 

ICC Sydney Delegates Generate $785 Million

According to a Deloitte Access Economics study, delegates attending events at International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) generated A$785 million in direct expenditure for the State in its first year of operation.

Released in ICC Sydney’s inaugural annual performance review, almost A$560 million (71%) of the generated expenditure is derived from international and interstate visitors, resulting in over 1.5 million overnight stays in Sydney accommodation and the creation of 3,700 jobs.

The A$1.5 billion development, which comprises an industry leading convention centre, exhibition centre and a world class theatre, is a key component of the NSW Government’s recent suite of infrastructure projects.

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello, applauded the venue for outperforming the State’s target of A$200 million in economic benefits for New South Wales.

“The venue has enriched Darling Harbour and become a new icon in our city, underpinning Sydney’s reputation as one of the most desirable events destinations in the world.”

“Like the Hong Kong Convention Centre and London Excel, ICC Sydney has cemented itself as a leading venue and helped shine the spotlight on Sydney,” Minister Dominello said.

CEO of ICC Sydney, Geoff Donaghy, said he is proud of the venue’s achievements, including setting a new standard in the events industry while helping to stimulate the local economy.

“ICC Sydney is proud to have welcomed 1.3 million visitors across 755 different events, a significant number of which have seen boosted success and attendance figures alongside a delegate satisfaction rating of 95% and client satisfaction rating of 93%.

As a result of putting innovation at the heart of the organisation, ICC Sydney has received strong praise, and recognition for its global industry leadership and world class offering. In 2017, the venue garnered 25 awards and accolades recognising excellence across all facets of the business from its design to human resources and culinary services.

Donaghy said ICC Sydney’s innovative approach to driving meaningful social and environmental outcomes for clients and the wider community has also been key to its strong performance.

“From day one, we have been committed to operating in a socially responsible and environmentally sound manner, creating a ripple effect of positive outcomes that reach well beyond the city.

“Our unique Feeding Your Performance culinary philosophy alone has generated more than A$4.3 million in direct expenditure for a network of more than 85 New South Wales producers while supporting job creation, business growth and stability.

“According to a University of Technology Sydney report, ICC Sydney’s expenditure with local producers generated a total A$8.3 million in economic benefit for New South Wales.

“We are also extremely proud that our consortium achieved LEED Gold status for our all-encompassing approach to sustainability, and we supported 25 charity and not-for-profit events, resulting in more than A$6 million being raised on site,” Mr Donaghy said.

Further achievements outlined in ICC Sydney’s 2017 Annual Performance Review include:

• Hosting 36 major international events attracting 41,800 delegates, 151 national conventions attracting 141,100 delegates and 71 exhibitions events held across the precinct

• Welcoming 56 concerts including two back-to-back sell out Jerry Seinfeld concerts, international stars Ariana Grande, KD Lang, Nick Cave and PJ Harvey

• Partnering with Sydney Water to save 775,000 plastic bottles from use, indirectly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 400 tonnes

• Introducing the first virtual reality video experience for an Australian conference venue

• Being the first venue of its kind to pilot a remote airline check-in and baggage drop service for delegates

• Launching a unique multi-streamed Legacy Program, designed to connect the world’s brightest minds, industry leaders and delegates across a diverse cross-section of Sydney’s vibrant community.

• ICC Sydney is set to continue its stellar performance in 2018 and beyond, having already secured 1,300 leading major national and international events across sectors to 2026.

This includes the likes of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and its 4,000 delegates in May, Sibos 2018 in October, COSPAR 2020 - dubbed the space Olympics - and the 18th World Congress on Medical and Health (MedInfo 2021).

“As an organisation, we are committed to cultivating impactful end-to-end experiences for our clients, partners and visitors which are felt long after events take place, while continuing to elevate Sydney’s position on the global stage. We have achieved great things in 2017, and we have only just begun,” said Donaghy.

 

Photo: ICC Theater. Photographer: Guy Wilkenson

How 5G will lead to new network paradigms, writes Arabian Business Community

The Middle East region is on the cusp of experiencing 5G technology. A number of recent developments suggest that the Middle East may witness one of the earliest rollouts of the commercial 5G services, the much-awaited fifth generation telecommunication technology, writes Arabian Business Community in their Newsletter.

The UAE is likely to be the first country in the region to launch 5G services after the country’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) recently allowed service providers to start providing pre-standard 5G services in December 2017.

The UAE’s largest service provider, Etisalat is planning to conduct advanced field trials in the first quarter of 2018. The company has been testing the various aspects of 5G and has achieved a speed of 71 Gbps in a live trial in October last year.

According to a GSMA report, the Mena region will have more than 50 million 5G connections, covering around 30 per cent of the region’s population by 2025.

Unlike the previous technologies, 5G is not just about higher speed. It brings a unique combination of ultra high-speed broadband speed of 10Gbps with a latency of less than a millisecond. This opens up a host of new use cases, including real-time monitoring, autonomous driving, remote surgery and more. When compared to 4G technology, 5G networks would be much more pervasive, offer much higher speed, and will be able to support a plethora of devices.

Given the high-speed, reach and capacity it promises, 5G promises to be extensively used in almost all business verticals. From smart cities to smart transportation, 5G will add a new dimension to living in a highly connected ecosystem, with enhanced automation, monitoring, and tracking. With low latency, 5G would further increase the use of technology in critical areas like healthcare, public security, management of city and warfare. With better reach, 5G would enable data surfing at any altitude, any terrain, crowded or secluded places.

The transition to 5G services is not without challenges. It demands network transformation to enable service providers to meet the requirements of 5G. Most mobile communication services operate in the 600 to 2000 MHz frequency band, especially Middle East countries. For example, in the UAE, 3G services operate in 2100 MHz frequency, and 4G services run on 1800 MHz.

5G, on the other hand, would require, much higher frequencies for faster speed. However, there is a scarcity of higher spectrum band in the region. According to a Deloitte paper, in UAE there is very scarce spectrum as most ranges are utilized up to 275 GHz, with more availability present at the lower bands. While initially, the telcos will launch 5G in the lower spectrum bands, they will need to leverage Carrier Aggregation to overcome the limitation of the scarce and fragmented spectrum allocation at higher bands.

Achieving sub-1 ms latency level is a key technology challenge for popularity and viability of 5G services. To achieve this response time, the device between the user and content provider has to be within a one-kilometre range. This would require substantial investment in infrastructure on servers and distribution.

There is another challenge. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which sets the standards of telecommunication technologies, came up with the first set of 5G New Radio standards only in December 2017. The standards need to be cleared in a final vote in September 2018 in Australia. The next set of 5G standards are likely to be cleared later this year. While the recent standards have expedited the process of 5G deployment, it is also true that 4G will continue to exist along with other technologies for quite some time.

The present-day monolithic and hardware-centric networks are not capable of meeting the demands of 5G network. The all-pervasive networks of the future, which will support billions of things need to agile, flexible and easily scalable. Innovative technologies, which enable these changes will need to be implemented for the successful rollout of 5G.

Network Function Virtualization, which is based on decoupling hardware from software, brings down the need for proprietary hardware and thus significantly brings down the cost. Technologies like NFV and Software Defined Networks (SDN) provide software-based network architecture which is easy to deploy, allows faster and easier rollout of services and is cost-effective at the same time.

Heterogeneous networks (HetNets) is another cost-effective yet efficient technology that allows different telecom network technologies such as 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE-A, to work in the same ecosystem, a key feature of the 5G services. HetNets extensively use small cells to densify the network for better coverage and speeds.

The rollout of 5G services requires massive investment in infrastructure to make it a commercially and technologically viable service in the future. According to a Deloitte research, mobile operators across the Middle East will invest $50 billion in network infrastructure over the period 2017-2021, much of which will be in 4G network upgrades with a portion going into 5G trials and commercial launches. The telcos in the region will do well to explore newer technology concepts, such as NFV, to ensure that the networks are ready to turn exciting 5G use cases into reality.

 

6th Annual Middle East Smart Landscape Summit 2018

The 2018 edition of the Middle East Smart Landscape Summit will be held at the at the Sofitel Dubai, The Palm Resort and Spa, Dubai, UAE, from May 7–8, 2018.

Now in its sixth year, the event will bring together over 400 senior landscape and design architects, senior engineering consultants and urban planners, government and municipal officials and project developers to explore the opportunities and challenges in turning a city green.

The event programme will explore a range of industry-related topics including; adopting a landscape-driven design approach to transforming Dubai; rediscovering outdoor environment through play-spaces; building a sustainable green-blue infrastructure; and street and urban landscape architecture design.

Recognised as the only landscape-focused conference held in the UAE, the summit will also include a segment on playground equipment and structures.

Vanessa Butani appointed new Director of Sustainable Business at Scandic Hotels

Vanessa Butani has been appointed new Director of Sustainable Business at Scandic Hotels. Vanessa has broad experience from working with sustainability, corporate strategy and business development, most recently at Electrolux and before that with Plan International and Accenture. She will start her new position at Scandic Hotels in March.

– Scandic is famous for its sustainability initiatives and has had a great influence on the whole industry when it comes to reducing the environmental impact. I’m excited to be able to take Scandic to the next level of leadership within both environmental and social sustainability, says Vanessa Butani.

Scandic has worked with a clear sustainability agenda for almost 30 years and has been a pioneer in the hotel industry when it comes to setting best practices for reducing water and energy use and waste. In recent years, its focus has been on social sustainability where Scandic drives and supports projects for inclusion and integration in all of the company’s markets.

– We are very happy to welcome Vanessa to Scandic. Sustainability is integrated in everything we do and something we hold close to our hearts. With Vanessa joining the team we will further establish our position as the leading sustainable brand within and outside of the hotel industry, says Even Frydenberg, President & CEO at Scandic Hotels Group.

Vanessa will be responsible for continuing Scandic’s work to optimize its operations and reach Scandic’s sustainability goals, as well as forwarding the company’s ambitions to drive sustainability within the entire hotel industry. This includes working with sustainability in all parts of the organization and setting the strategy for the coming years.

Read more about sustainability at Scandic Hotels here »