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„Made in Berlin”
shows how events with hygiene concept work.
Press stop!
ACTE, Corporate Travel Executives
has ceased operations and will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Re-opening time
Dubai hotel operators,
cautiously optimistic, as tourists begin to trickle in.
one step at the time
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
gets the green light to reopen.
330 million jobs worldwide
European Cities Marketing
call for an open and permanent dialogue between European institutions and local destinations.
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ACTE, Corporate Travel Executives has ceased operations

Thirty-two years after its founding, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives has ceased operations and will file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a notice on the associations website.

In the statement on its website, ACTE cited not only the Covid-19 pandemic but also the cancellation of its August 2019 ACTE Global Summit in Macau due to the protests that brought widespread disruption to Hong Kong.

"The dual impacts of the cancellation of the Asia conference due to the security situation in Hong Kong and the Covid-19 pandemic cancellations have been blows that ACTE, as a small, non-profit association has not been able to withstand," according to the ACTE statement.

ACTE had also cancelled this years New York Global Summit which was due to have taken place in April.

The vast majority of ACTEs revenue was generated through conference fees. In 2018, for example, the most recent data available, conference fees comprised nearly $5.1 million of the associations total annual $5.5 million in revenue, with membership fees the bulk of the remainder, according to a December 2019 ACTE filing with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

ACTE indicated that it had sought to "find a home for the ACTE community within a larger organisation," but that it was unable to do so.

"Our discussions have been broad and deep with strong indication that we would be successful, but recent Covid-19 spikes have made investors and partners justifiably pessimistic around the viability of event-based organisations for some time to come," according to the statement.

"At this stage, the fiscally, and morally, responsible next step for us to do, is to cease operations and defer to a trustee to determine the distribution of payments to creditors."

ACTE also said it had "worked tirelessly to reduce costs", with the association in March announcing a suspension of activities through to May.

"For our members and sponsors, we want to say how deeply disappointed we are that we have not been able to continue our operations," said the statement.

"When we opened ACTEConnect for the whole industry, we were inspired to see the resiliency of our community and the determination to rebuild. We regret we have not been able to find a lifeline to allow ACTE to continue to play a role in your recovery."

ACTE was founded in 1988 and had more than 2,000 members at the time it ceased operations.

Dubai hotel operators, cautiously optimistic, as tourists begin to trickle in

Jumeirah Group chief commercial officer Alexander Lee explained that “within the first week since it (the reopening) was confirmed, online bookings have doubled in terms of planned stays versus the previous weeks.” This is according to Arabian Business Newsletter.

Hotel operators in Dubai have recorded an increase in enquiries as the emirate re-opens to tourism, with many expressing cautious optimism that demand will pick up over the coming months.

On Tuesday, July 7, Dubai reopened its doors to international visitors in the hopes of reviving its tourism industry after a closure that lasted almost four months.

In an interview with Arabian Business sister publication Hotelier Middle East, Jumeirah Group chief commercial officer Alexander Lee explained that “within the first week since it (the reopening) was confirmed, online bookings have doubled in terms of planned stays versus the previous weeks.”

“Interestingly, international guests are also increasingly looking to visit in the next three months with over half of the bookings made post the announcement for July, August and September,” he added.

David Allan, Radisson Hotel Groups cluster GM, said that the hotel chain has the “early signs” of demand picking up in its properties in the UAE.

“[We] very much expect this to continue as we get deeper into July and the remainder of 2020,” he added.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) MEA head of operations David Todd, however, said he expects more of a "slow burn" as Dubais tourism sector slowly recovers over a longer period of time.

“With the ease in restrictions, we have already seen an uptake in demand from UAE residents,” he said. “With the opening of international borders, we hope to see demand return in the coming months. However, we expect this to be a gradual process.”

Local tourism authorities have also voiced optimism about the prospects of tourists returning to Dubai following the easing of restrictions.

On Tuesday, Helal Al Marri, the director general of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said that he believes travel will normaliseheaded into the fall and winter.

“If we rewind six to eight weeks, everybody was in lockdown, and everybody was in a much more pessimistic situation,” he said. “Countries are opening up, albeit slowly, but I do expect a lot of countries to open up over the course of the summer. As we come into the fall and the winter, travel will normalise, albeit within this Covid situation.

“Once we look….to post-Covid, were expected to come back to normal,” he added. “Theres not a systematic issue with travel overall. People still really want to go on holiday. We can see that from the searches online and from the demand.”

Photo: On Tuesday, July 7, Dubai reopened its doors to international visitors in the hopes of reviving its tourism industry after a closure that lasted almost four months.

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre gets the green light to reopen

Queensland Treasurer, the Hon. Cameron Dick has formally announced that the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) would be reopening in August 2020 following the approval by Queensland Health of its Site Specific COVID Safe Plan.

The Treasurer stated that the reopening of BCEC is a significant milestone for Queensland.

"As we unite and recover from the pandemic, its cause for celebration that we can welcome staff and visitors back to this outstanding venue", the Treasurer said.

BCECs Plan is integrated with VenueShield, a new environmental hygiene protocol developed by BCECs parent group, ASM Global and rolled out at ASM Globals 325 venues worldwide. VenueShield provides the most advanced hygiene safeguards and exceeds current regulations.

To develop the comprehensive new protocols, ASM Global engaged its in-house executive teams including BCEC and distilled the expertise from across its global network of venues spanning stadia, arenas, theatres, convention and exhibition centres, including the Asia Pacific region.

The Centre is planning to host its first events from August 2020, with the health and wellbeing of our clients, patrons and staff a top priority.

A newly developed BCEC Safe Event Guideline has been prepared and will assist clients in planning their events at the Centre and encompasses all the necessary health and hygiene safeguards, food safety measures and social distancing required under the current opening conditions. The Guideline is designed to ensure the safe hosting of events, providing reassurance and confidence for the Centres patrons and staff.

With a total of 44 meeting rooms and event spaces, as a venue BCEC is able to provide the additional space that is required to accommodate current social distancing regulations for events of all sizes. The Centre has flexible and adaptable spaces, floor plans and capacities to satisfy all required protocols.

BCEC General Manager, Bob OKeeffe AM said: it is yet another sign of green shoots in the recovery of the Business Events industry. “BCEC drives almost 70% of Brisbanes business events room nights and we are looking forward to welcoming events back to the Centre and doing what we do best, attracting much sought-after and high yield business events to Brisbane and Queensland.”

European Cities Marketing call for an open and permanent dialogue between European institutions and local destinations

Travel & Tourism is one of the worlds largest economic sectors, supporting 1 in 10 jobs (330 million) worldwide, and generating 10.3% of global GDP (source: WTTC). In 2019, the sector represented 30% of the worlds exports of services (US$1.5 trillion) and up to 45% of the total export of services in developing countries (source: UNWTO).

ECM, this is the only association in Europe gathering 125 city destinations under one roof. In Europe, cities are the clear leaders of the European tourism Industry and altogether we represent more than 633 million international tourist bednights (source: ECM Benchmarking Report 2019). It is imperative for ECM to enable members to align their own strategic agenda with whatever demands, challenges and opportunities the future will bring.

Europe owns the worlds most visited cities and regions as well as leading outbound markets. City tourism is the most dominant and dynamic aspect of European tourism, European cities are highly resilient, and despite political shocks and terrorist attacks, they have remained the most attractive spots for visitors from all over the world. They attract people and encourage them to thrive.

The visitor economy developed in cities benefit the destinations social inclusion, cultural repertoire and relations, knowledge societies and local communities. Meetings in cities are a key facilitator of economic development; they are responsible for all of the factors that drive business or professional development and they build the knowledge economy of the future: innovation, product development, knowledge transfer, legacy, and network creation.

Travel, tourism and hospitality are amongst the most affected sectors in this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, the closing down of entire cities and countries, travel restrictions and bans have brought the tourism and transportation sectors to a standstill. From the biggest airline to the smallest hotel in a rural community, the sector has been halted. The impact is economic and social, affecting the livelihoods of tourism and transport workers and suppliers, as well as their families and whole communities. Destinations are all hit, no matter of size, geographical location, attractiveness... their reputation as safe places are highly challenged.

However, the tourism sector is in a unique position to contribute to wider recovery plans and actions. Therefore, ECM calls the European Union and EU member states to run harmonized and coordinated responses to achieve recovery.

Restore confidence in travelling and change the negative perceptions about tourism. It is highly important to re-establish the image of Europe as a safe and accessible destination and build a European campaign to accelerate recovery.

Reopening borders in a consistent way to enable harmonised leisure and tourism travel between EU member states, foster unity and strengthen European domestic tourism.

Europe needs destinations to succeed and support the economy. Social and economic cohesion is within cities. We call EU Member States to financially support tourism initiatives which will quickly benefit the destinations social inclusion, cultural offering, knowledge hubs and local communities.

ECM, together with ETOA, NecsTOUR and ICCA ask to establish an open and permanent dialogue between European institutions and local destinations. In the name of European cities, ECM proposes to open this dialogue and lead a task force to bring Europe back on track and strengthen the single market. Travel and Tourism is uniquely equipped to be part of sustainable global recovery efforts going beyond tourism, better for the planet and the people.

All of this makes it even more imperative that the global tourism sector is supported both at this time of crisis and as societies enter the recovery phase.

 

Petra Stusek

ECM President

 

Photo: Potsdamer Platz Berlin

ICC Sydney launches industry leading hybrid event solutions

Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue announces new hybrid on-site and virtual event offering to meet evolving client needs

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has today announced the launch of a convention industry first, with a new hybrid on-site and virtual event solution. The innovative dual-product will allow clients to host more than 300 people at the venue in accordance with strict social distancing measures, whilst also live streaming to an unlimited number of remote attendees.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, ICC Sydney developed a successful virtual events service which has seen the venue host multiple world class events over the past three months. These included the Meetings and Events Australia 2019 National Awards, Stand Tall 2020 – Australia’s largest youth event which was streamed to more than 40,000 students, and a raft of community and Government events.

As COVID-19 restrictions are progressively rolled back, the new Hybrid Event Solutions is the next evolution in events. It will be an ongoing suite of products available to clients, reflecting the seamless merging of technology with live experiences needed for the current and post-pandemic era.

To deliver the dual model, ICC Sydney has applied cutting edge technology into its new hybrid spaces, including projection screens, entertainment lighting and PA systems. This set up will allow both attendees in the rooms and guests located remotely to have the same high quality event experience.

CEO of ICC Sydney, Geoff Donaghy, said that with the Hybrid Event Solutions ICC Sydney is continuing to adapt to the changing environment while looking forward to the future.

“COVID-19 has meant that as a business we have had to change the way we meet the needs of clients. Our skilled team was quick to initially put in place a format that allowed us to continue to deliver extraordinary events online. We have now evolved this into a world class hybrid solution which enables us to transition back to in person gatherings, while giving clients greater choice in the longer term”.

Director of Audio Visual Services Brian Nash said the new service is a reflection of a seamless merging of technology at a time when businesses and clients need to adapt in order to continue to connect and collaborate.

“ICC Sydney has been quick to adjust to the current climate and changing needs of clients. Our hybrid model merges best in market technology with the experience of meeting in person. This lets clients and delegates safely come together while also expanding the reach of events at a time when it has never been more important to keep coming together”.

To find out more about ICC Sydney’s new Hybrid Virtual Event Service visit: www.iccsydney.com.au/Venue/Hybrid-Event-Solutions or contact the ICC Sydney Business Development team at sales@iccsydney.com.

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

 

Image caption: ICC Sydney Hybrid Event Solutions space. Click here for high-res image.

RAI Amsterdam one of first European venues to reopen without visitor number restrictions

The further relaxation of coronavirus measures announced by the Dutch government on 1 July means that RAI Amsterdam can again host and facilitate major events. The convention centre had already ensured that its complex is Covid-secure and fully in line with all health and safety guidelines. RAI Amsterdam will therefore be among the first convention centres in Europe to reopen and host events without having to restrict visitor numbers beyond the normal capacity.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March, the RAI has worked tirelessly to adapt all its facilities and protocols to enable events to be held in a safe, responsible and hospitable manner once government regulations allowed. Practical examples include wider aisles, placing floor markings in places where queues may form, making hand sanitiser available in all areas, and increasing the number of registration points. Spreading the various methods of transportation will ensure that the rules regarding crowd management and social distancing can be properly monitored. In addition, clear signage will be used at key points on the route towards the venues entrances.

 

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema

COO Maurits van der Sluis is relieved that the RAI can now reopen its doors “We are pleased with the relaxation of rules announced on 1 July. By observing the rules and guidelines, we are ready to organise and facilitate events in a safe and responsible manner while ensuring visitors receive a hospitable welcome. I am also delighted that we will again be opening our doors to the renowned international congress Money 20/20 in September.” Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema agrees: “We very much look forward to welcoming Money20/20s attendees to Amsterdam.”

 

Autumn events

Money 20/20 Europe is an international B2B convention which brings together the entire payments, FinTech and financial services sector. From 22 to 24 September the same concept seen over the past two years will be followed in an adapted form. Visitors will be able to come into contact with a wide range of decision-makers and influencers at a safe distance that takes into account the latest guidelines.

Also on the agenda for this autumn are various major international exhibition from the RAIs own portfolio, including Interclean Amsterdam, the trade show for cleaning professionals (3 to 6 November) and METSTRADE (17 to 19 November), the worlds largest B2B platform for the leisure marine industry. Third party events PLMAs annual international World of Private Label show and the medical conference EAGE (8 to 11 December), the worlds largest multi-disciplinary geoscience and engineering event have been moved until December.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RAI Amsterdam - Safe, responsible and hospitable protocol

The RAI Amsterdam - Safe, responsible and hospitable protocol explains the rules and guidelines for organising trade exhibitions, conferences, shows and meetings in the RAI complex. It is intended for everyone who is involved with events in the RAI and describes how these can be held in a safe and responsible manner in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. Everything revolves around ensuring the health of all who come to the RAI.