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Why doing business in Asia
takes more than a single brush strategy.
new meetingplace
Board of Governors approves
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The Radisson Collection
Hotel & Suites Paris La Défense Announced.
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Why doing business in Asia takes more than a single brush strategy

"I’ve been travelling to Asia for decades and it has changed considerably during this period, emerging as a leading driver of the global economy", writes Geoff Donaghy in a LinkedIn letter.

"I’ve learnt many lessons over the years but one that is most apparent after returning from ICC Sydney’s second annual CEO Asia Roadshow Tour, is that doing business in Asia isn’t a single brush strategy.

Each country, and even regions within those countries, have diverse economies and audiences that require unique strategies - from the mature markets of Shanghai and Singapore to the flourishing business events industry in the ‘so-called’ second tier cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

While it’s impossible to generalise, it is important to balance research, relationships and realistic timeframes.

Alongside my executive team, I had the opportunity to put this mantra into practice as we returned to the region last week to strengthen ties and attract more meetings to Australian shores.

Over the course of a nine-day tour, we visited Tokyo and Singapore as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou to meet business event agents, corporate firms, associations and media. Guests from Beijing and Shenzhen were also in attendance.

Representatives from the professional services, technology, science, health and education sectors heard about our world class facilities, industry leading services and latest achievements, layered with expert insights from our team.

To bring the spirit of our team and venue to life, we provided guests with a raft of sensory experiences, including sampling flavours from ICC Sydney and being transported to sunny Sydney via a virtual reality encounter.

We are humbled to have received resoundingly positive feedback across the board, setting a strong foundation for market growth as a high volume of Asia-based clients bring their events to Sydney for the first time.

In fact, we have only just touched down in Australia and already we have seen direct outcomes with events confirmed, new site tours scheduled and dozens more potential events now scheduled into the pipeline.

Hosting an event series tailored for each city proved to be the ideal format to reengage with existing clients and forge new relationships, delivering an authentic and ‘real’ Sydney experience.

Indeed, different aspects of ICC Sydney have resonated with different markets however, our Legacy Program and genuine community connections alongside our team culture, world-leading design and ability to accommodate any event format, resonated strongly with all guests.

We equally listened to representatives convey the nuances of their delegate audience and how we can continue to support them to tailor their event requirements accordingly - from producing in-language collateral to creating bespoke dining experiences.

Our trip has only reinforced just how significant the opportunity is for the Australian business events industry to continue opening up pathways between Asia and Australia. Here, we will continue to build our presence in market in close collaboration with specialists from BE Sydney and Business Events Australia, both with in-market representation that provide important insights and guidance, to cement Sydney’s reputation as a first-choice destination for business events and meetings.

Plans are already underway for our 2020 Roadshow Series and that’s just the start as we deepen our footprint in the market."

Board of Governors approves alumni, conference center and hotel at FIU

TODAY the Florida Board of Governors approved a public-private partnership to establish an alumni, conference center and hotel on FIU’s main campus, right on Tamiami Trail.

The $66 million project is privately funded and will include a 13,700 square-foot alumni center, approximately 33,000 square feet of meeting space and a 150-bed hotel. South Florida’s first university-affiliated conference center and hotel is expected to open by the fall of 2021. This kind of facility, which is common in large research universities, is part of a larger vision for development in the area that includes several student housing and mixed-use buildings. The Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund of the State of Florida must approve the project before construction can begin.

“This project brings together our vision for an alumni center with a privately-funded hotel and conference center that will serve the university, the surrounding business community and will draw added visitors and job creation to our area,” said FIU Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO Kenneth A. Jessell.

The 13,700 square-foot alumni center is funded with private donations as part of the Next Horizon Campaign. The alumni center is designed to be a home away from home for FIU’s more than 215,000 alumni. It will help connect alumni to mentorship opportunities with FIU students, as well as support them with professional and leadership development. The center will feature a library and lounge area.

“The alumni center will bring the Panther Nation together and provide all of us with expanded opportunities for career development and networking,” said President of the FIU Alumni Association Maria D. Garcia.

The new on-campus project will host academic, research, and professional conferences; student campus tours; orientations and family weekends; special events; award ceremonies and guest speaking engagements. It will also connect FIU students to hands-on, real world training by providing part-time jobs, internships and work-study opportunities to undergraduate students, as well as full-time jobs to business, hospitality and tourism management, finance and accounting FIU graduates.

The project will be developed by Concord Benchmark LLC. Rabun Architects, Inc. will design and Moss & Associates, LLC will build the project, which will be located on the northwest corner of campus near the recreation fields and the Florida Turnpike.

The new alumni, conference center and hotel will be across the street from a seven-acre property being developed by Global City Development. The mixed-use complex will eventually house approximately 2,300 students in two 20-story towers. A third tower will provide housing for faculty and staff, along with several hundred thousand square feet of commercial space focused on uses that are complementary to the mission of the university such as incubators, software development and training facilities. The first phase of this complex is under construction.

Melbourne CVB CEO, Karen Bolinger, to step down

AFTER over seven years in the job, Karen Bolinger is to step down, effective 5 April, as CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB).

A bureau statement said Bolinger would “take some well-deserved time off before exploring other opportunities”.

“Under Karen’s guidance the MCB team has delivered the most successful years on record and, with the support of Visit Victoria, the 18/19 period is expected to deliver its highest ever economic contribution to Victoria of almost $500m,” said MCB Board Chair Chris Barlow.

“Karen and her team have led the repositioning of Melbourne’s profile as an innovative business events destination by highlighting the city’s intellectual capacity and knowledge sectors. This highlighted the business events sector as a key economic driver into the local economy, garnering ongoing support from State and Local Government,” Barlow added.

“Building on this approach, under Karen’s leadership the MCB developed the ‘Team Melbourne’ philosophy, driving the amalgamation of the academic and research sectors with the tourism sector to collaborate when bidding for conferences for Victoria. ‘Team Melbourne’ has now evolved to city-wide collaboration across government, universities, research institutes, hotels, function venues and attractions, working together to secure business events for the state,” the statement continued.

Bolinger was awarded the 2018 Joint Meetings Industry Council Unity Award, which recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the business events industry.

During her tenure she was also integral in delivering strategic direction to the many boards she sat on as well as leading the transition for MCB to become part of Visit Victoria (VV).

The board statement added: “Karen has also suffered a significant personal loss over the last couple of years which she has worked tirelessly through, and she has decided that the time has come to stop and take some time out for self-care. The MCB Board wish to respect and support her decision as she leaves MCB to take some time out and consider her next steps.”

“On behalf of the Melbourne Convention Bureau Board and the Visit Victoria Leadership team, I would like to thank Karen for her commitment to MCB and to wish her all the best for her future endeavours,” Barlow concluded.

 

The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites Paris La Défense Announced

Radisson Hospitality AB, part of Radisson Hotel Group, announced the signing of its first Radisson Collection hotel in France, in the La Défense business area of Paris. The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites, Paris La Défense will bring the groups portfolio in the country to 17 hotels and more than 3,000 rooms in operation or under development.

Set between the famous Grande Arche and CNIT building, the hotel will sit on the doorstep of European business – while offering easy access to the French capitals many iconic landmarks and attractions.

The hotel will be located in the Sisters Towers, a new iconic development by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in the La Défense district. By gathering offices, a hotel and services in the same location, the project perfectly illustrates the new generation of developments, where a greater variety of activities maximizes the use of space for users and operators. As an example, the two towers will be connected by an observation deck run by the hotel, which will include a large, versatile room that can be turned into an auditorium or a banqueting room.

Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said: "The Radisson Collection La Defense will be an addition to the Parisian skyline – a destination in itself. In an evolving real estate market, its increasingly critical to have the right neighbors around a high-profile hotel asset, and the Sisters Towers development is the perfect blend – combining luxury hospitality with state-of-the-art commercial real estate. Were glad to continue our strategic partnership with Unibail Rodamco Westfield – the largest and strongest player in the European real estate market."

Bruno Donjon de Saint Martin, Managing Director, Offices, Hotels and mixed-use Projects Europe at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the owner of the hotel,said: "Were very happy to be partnering with Radisson Hotel Group to welcome the first French Radisson Collection hotel in the Sisters Towers. This signing illustrates the appeal of new mixed-use developments, such as Sisters Towers, with their ability to deliver value through the use of space by different audiences at different moments of the day – creating virtuous circles in terms of footfall and the quality of experience. We see this as a recognition of the know-how of our teams. It also demonstrates once again the attractive nature of the La Défense district."

The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites, Paris La Défense will feature 309 rooms and apartments. Alongside its high-quality superior rooms, the hotel will offer 45 suites that include four executive suites and one presidential suite. There will also be an exceptional selection of communal areas, with a relaxing lobby bar and all-day dining restaurant offering tantalizing dishes and drinks created with – and inspired by – the best local produce. Guests seeking stunning views of Paris to go with their meal will be able to head to the Sky-Bar and Restaurant located on the 26th floor and creating the connection between the two towers.

The hotel will offer guests a full range of leisure and wellness facilities, including a fully equipped fitness center and a spa. The star of the show, however, will undoubtedly be the indoor infinity pool on the top floor of the hotel, providing breathtaking views of the City of Lights as a backdrop to a relaxing swim. The meetings and events facilities will also deliver an unforgettable experience for business guests. The hotels Business Center will feature a selection of multiple-use meeting rooms (including a large ballroom) with panoramic views from the top of the tower.

The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites Paris La Défense will enjoy a prime location at the center of the citys renowned business district – and will be easy to access with its proximity to a major transport hub. Guests will also be able to travel to the city center in under 15 minutes by train, making it easy to access the many world-class attractions in Paris. Future developments as part of the Grand Paris project will add further infrastructure to the area, including direct links to Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites Paris La Défense will be operated by Radisson Hospitality under an International Management Agreement.

Illustration: Rendering of the The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites Paris La Défense The Radisson Collection Hotel & Suites Paris La Dfense Announced

 

The business and power of placemaking: how business events can act as a catalyst in developing inspiring locations

Policy makers from national and regional governments worldwide will explore The Business of Placemaking with leading business events industry professionals at this year’s IMEX Policy Forum.

This year the annual Forum will take place at the InterContinental Hotel Frankfurt on Tuesday 21 May, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt 2019.

The IMEX Policy Forum is where the business events world and public policy makers annually connect and share insights into how events such as conferences, meetings and incentive travel can make a major contribution to national and regional economies.

The enormity of this contribution has now been quantified. According to the Global Economic Significance of Business Events, the first ever worldwide study from the Events Industry Council (EIC) and conducted by Oxford Economics, the direct spend of the meeting and event industry worldwide in 2017 was more than US$1.03 trillion, matching the consumer electronics sector in size.

All participants have the opportunity to visit the IMEX exhibition in the morning. In the afternoon, invited ministers and senior political representatives will take part in a national government discussion in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) chaired by Martin Sirk of Sirk Serendipity. At the same time Professor Greg Clark CBE, the world-renowned advisor on cities will facilitate a city workshop specifically designed for local, municipal and regional policy makers and destination representatives, exploring ‘business meetings and the innovation economy.’

The Business of Placemaking will be put into the spotlight when the keynote speech is presented by Dr Julie Grail, a leading expert and commentator on partnership and place management and a special adviser on Business Improvement Districts at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. Julie, who has been involved in managing places for two and a half decades, has in recent years worked on international assignments in Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe and the United States.

New this year, the interactive Leadership Discussion will feature an invited panel who will present case studies from the perspective of political, urban planning and destinations stakeholders who have all played influential roles in placemaking success stories. The discussion will be moderated by leading business journalist and media advisor Ursula Errington and will provide plenty of opportunity for everyone present to contribute to the discussions.

Each year the political representatives who take part acclaim the event, saying how valuable it is to learn from their peers in other countries and from the meetings industry experts about the benefits to economic development and business tourism that investment in business events can bring.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented; “Placemaking is a concept that’s long been understood and embraced by some city planners and developers alike but now the meetings and events industry understands the power and importance of being part of these conversations. This year’s agenda reflects what feels like a tipping point: a recognition that the business events industry can - and should - speak up to influence any city planning or placemaking decisions. This year’s Forum will guide by example and show the way. With its new format everyone can contribute fully to a lively discussion and gain valuable insights from the case studies.”

Organised under the auspices of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), the IMEX Policy Forum’s advocacy partners are Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC), European Cities Marketing (ECM), ICCA, The Iceberg and UNWTO. The Forum is sponsored by Turisme de Barcelona, Business Events Sydney, German Convention Bureau, Geneva Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition.

 

For more details about the IMEX Policy Forum, please visit the website.

 

Photo: IMEX in Frankfurt takes place at Messe Frankfurt from 21 - 23 May 2019. Registration is free. www.imex-frankfurt.com. IMEX Policy Forum 2019 puts future city development front and centre. Expert speakers include cities advisor, Professor Greg Clark CBE; partnership and place management expert, Dr Julie Grail and leading business journalist and media advisor Ursula Errington.

 

Former monk, game developer and self-confessed ‘tech geek’ among expert speakers at IMEX in Frankfurt

What do a former monk, a game developer and a self-confessed tech geek have in common? Theyre all speakers at IMEX in Frankfurt, taking place 21 – 23 May.

There are over 250 complimentary learning sessions in both English and German taking place throughout the three days of the show plus EduMonday, an afternoon dedicated to personal development, taking place the day before the IMEX show begins.

The importance of mindfulness in talent management will be explored by Jan Esswein, one-time monk and now Germanys most widely-read author on the subject of mindfulness. His session The mindfulness code: four improvements for a new quality of work will share tips on using mindfulness to improve employee communication, collaboration and creativity.

With diversity and inclusion being such a hot topic across both the events sector and worldwide, it forms an integral part of many learning sessions at IMEX in Frankfurt this year. For example, experts from the Association of Destination Management Executives International will explore Cultural differences and their impact on destination management, digging into cultural nuances as well as wider global traits.

Similarly, executive coach Melissa Lamson will pass on the best practice and communication models she has shared with global heavyweights including 3M, LinkedIn, SAP, and Siemens in her session Industry best practices on how to be an inclusive leader.

The role of events in supporting universal design, diversity and inclusion will be championed by the Events Industry Council in Redesigning inclusive events by overcoming unconscious bias – where planners can uncover their unconscious bias and learn practical ways of designing events to be more welcoming for all.

Emotional engagement in event design is explored by experts including James Morgan, Founder of Event Tech Lab. Morgan will discuss the role and importance of activating emotions through good event design in his session Emotional triggers, attendee participation and positive memories.

Separately, research by Cvent will help planners to get Inside the mind of the event attendee, with data detailing not only the differences each region faces, but also the differences in generational needs and some unexpected networking traits.

Also new for this year is the Red Lab where experts from outside the events sector will deliver fresh perspectives. Sigurd Ringstad, business developer from game-based learning platform Kahoot, joins facilitator Majbritt Sandberg to share the benefits of social learning to boost teamwork and innovation in Social learning: Connect. Share. Learn. Another session likely to draw a big audience will focus on taking a collaborative approach to sustainability. Collaboration lies firmly at the heart of What a waste! Finding solutions for world problems using co-creation – a session delivered by Laure Berment from Too Good To Go, the worlds number one app for fighting food waste.

Technology – and how to deal with information overload – will top the agenda in Meet the geeks – technology trends to enhance your skills in the 21st century where self-confessed tech geeks and founders of Canvas Planner will show planners how to benefit from todays innovations. Theyll also share wisdom on how to use technology to create a healthy work-life balance.

As usual IMEX is offering all attendees FREE education sessions designed across 10 tracks, including business skills, creative learning, research and trends, sustainability and health and wellbeing – all delving into the current issues and challenges faced by planners.

Finally, attendees can also learn about the latest in technology and experiential concepts at the shows new Discovery Zone. This specially curated area will be packed with education and experiences to fire up the imagination of event planners and exhibitors alike, helping them question the conventional and be inspired to explore new approaches.

The full IMEX education programme is now live - and free - and can be found here.

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 21 -23 May 2019. Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all who work in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry.

 

Photo: Learning opportunities delivering fresh perspectives from inside and outside the industry