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2nd meeting city in UK
Conference & event organisers encouraged
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New director appointed for Meet in Reykjavík
- Reykjavík Convention Bureau.
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The world’s first carbon-neutral constructed convention centre
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connecting the future
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Sixth consecutive record year:
Vancouver welcomed 10.7 million visitors in 2018.
Baltic Trade Show
Convene
returns to Vilnius in 2020.
AEG Ogden
Cairns Convention Centre
expansion great news for region, says CEO.
meetings means business
TCEB helps bring largest ever Chinese convention to Thailand
IDA Annual Congress expects to generate up to US$20.7 million in revenue for the country.
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Congress Messe Innsbruck
generates 360 million euros in gross added value.
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Convene returns to Vilnius in 2020

Following yet another successful event this past February, the 8th edition of the Baltic Sea Region’s leading trade show for the meeting and event industry is returning to Vilnius on 12-13 February 2020, and early-bird Exhibitor registration is now open. Organised annually by Go Vilnius, the city’s official business and tourism development agency, Convene2020 promises to deliver the networking and B2B opportunities it has become known for over the years while introducing new features to bring even more added value to participants.

Reflecting on this year’s show, Go Vilnius Director Inga Romanovskienė says, “We are proud that another edition of Convene was so well-received, with feedback from both Exhibitors and Buyers being largely positive, and are enthusiastic about the way our region’s meeting and event industry is developing. Vilnius alone saw a 30% increase in international conferences last year valued at EUR 57 million, which is a very positive indicator for the entire region.”

With partnerships between public and private sectors on the rise in the city, Go Vilnius has appointed Baltic Travel Group as the event’s official PCO. “Having supported Convene since its very beginning, we are proud to take on this role and contribute to the region’s premier B2B meeting industry event,” says BTG CEO Vlad Koriagin. “We are going into 2020 with lots of ambition and plan to build on all the achievements of the last seven years while creating a productive and rewarding experience for visitors, Hosted Buyers and Exhibitors alike.”

The previous edition of Convene attracted over 1,000 participants, including 165 Hosted Buyers from 30 countries and 80 regional suppliers, who took part in some 2,640 B2B meetings together. The show also featured 11 different education sessions, and half of all Buyers took part in post-event tours to experience one of several Baltic Sea Region destinations first hand.

Organised annually by the Go Vilnius, Convene is a business marketplace that provides non-stop networking opportunities for meeting professionals. The two-day exhibition gathers industry suppliers from across the Baltic Sea Region and buyers from around the world together under one roof to facilitate valuable professional connections, as well as the exchange of knowledge and best practices. For more information, please visit www.convene.lt

 

Cairns Convention Centre expansion great news for region, says CEO

AEG Ogden Chairman and CEO, Harvey Lister today welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement of a $176 million upgrade of the award-winning Cairns Convention Centre.

Mr. Lister said the Government’s investment would deliver significant economic benefits to the Cairns economy over the next decade and beyond.

“Not only will it enable the Centre to host additional events, it will enhance Cairns’ standing as a world leader in business events and tourist destination,” he said.

The Centre, which has been operated by AEG Ogden since it opened in 1996 and twice named winner of the World’s Best Congress Centre (2004 and 2014), will undergo a refurbishment of existing facilities and an expansion providing an additional 3,000 square metres of meeting, banquet and exhibition space, overlooking Trinity Inlet.

Work is due to commence in June 2020 with the refurbishment to be completed by November 2020 and expansion by 2021/22.

Mr. Lister said it was expected the new meeting spaces would add an additional $30 to $50 million economic impact to the region.

“One of the main selling points going forward will be the ability of the Cairns Convention Centre to host multiple events at the same time, ie a basketball game and a convention or two conventions.

“Conference growth in Tropical North Queensland has been constrained as a result of the Centre not being able to accommodate two large conventions simultaneously during the convention season.

“This expansion by Government will largely resolve those constraints, opening up additional economic benefits and tourism opportunities for Cairns and Tropical North Queensland,” he said.

Mr. Lister said under General Manager, Janet Hamilton’s leadership, the Centre was currently developing a sales and marketing strategy focusing on national and international clients particularly in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.

“It’s important we continue building upon the momentum being generated at the Centre.

“In 2018, venue bookings generated almost 134,000 room nights and contributed about $80 million in direct spending to the regional economy.

“This upgrade and expansion will allow us to continue playing a significant role in bringing high yielding business event delegates to the region,” Mr. Lister said.

TCEB helps bring largest ever Chinese convention to Thailand

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is extending its support to the hosting of the 2019 International Dragon Award (IDA) Annual Congress, from 10 to 13 August 2019, at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.

The event is expected to be attended by 7,500 international delegates who are expected to generate revenue of up to 640 million Baht (US$20.7 million) during the four-day event.

TCEB President Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said the 2019 IDA Annual Congress is the largest ever Chinese convention to be organised in Thailand.

"TCEB is delighted to welcome the 2019 IDA Annual Congress to Thailand. We won this event in 2017, following an inspection trip to Thailand by IDA Committee. We then attended the 2018 event in Yunnan last year to extend an invitation to their delegates to attend the 2019 edition in Thailand.

"This highlights the importance of the Chinese market to TCEB and Thailand and helps raise the profile of Thailand as a conference destination. Thailand has a record profile of hosting mega-size convention every year and the 2019 IDA Annual Congress will be a trademark of such scale event for the Kingdom, as well as reiterates the countrys readiness and ability to host large and important international MICE events," he added.

TCEBs policy of targeting and supporting events has helped make Thailand one of Asias top MICE destinations. TCEB helps facilitates the smooth and successful organization of business events by providing support schemes, introducing and connecting with local suppliers, in addition to providing fast track MICE immigration service to VIP delegates.

The IDA Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with the Worldwide Chinese Life Insurance Congress (WCLIC) biennially. All of the worldwide Chinese insurance and financial professionals and top management join in this annual meeting, which has become the signature event of the industry. It has firmly enabled the worldwide Chinese financial and issuance sector to compete with the usually-focus-on-English industry on the international stage. After many years of operation, management, and accumulation, IDA is poised to exert its considerable influence in the global insurance field.

Mr. Kai Tu, Chairman of the 2019 IDA Annual Meeting, stated: "After an extensive search, we are pleased to select Bangkok as the location for our annual IDA conference, especially as we mark the 20th anniversary since IDA commenced in 1998. In fact, this is the second time that the IDA conference will be taking place in Thailand, and we are grateful for TCEBs continued support and collaboration in helping us to bring the conference to the lovely city of Bangkok."

"Nearly 8,000 delegates and 300 senior executives from 17 countries, in addition to over 200 leading financial services and insurance institutions will attend our annual meeting, which aims to facilitate further learning and discussions about our industry. We hope the four-day intensive meetings, against the backdrop of Thailands rich cultural heritage, local attractions and gracious hospitality, will make this a memorable experience for all delegates," he continued.

China currently ranks as the top short haul MICE market to Thailand for the fiscal years of 2015 to 2018. During 2018 Thailand welcomed a total of 215,098 MICE delegates from China, representing a 95.57% increase over 2015 (at 109,987).

Of the total MICE travellers from China, the convention-specific delegates to Thailand rank in the top three. Since 2015, the number of convention delegates from China has increased from 16,216 to 53,789 delegates in 2018, representing a 231% growth in just a three-year period.

As well as the 2019 IDA Annual Congress, conventions from China that TCEB has supported included: the New Normalization Assisting the New Pattern of Asia Pacific Economic Development-2015 China International Economic and Trade Regionalization Development Summit, from 19-25 January 2015 for 200 delegates; the 3rd Annual World Congress of Smart Materials (WCSM2017), from 16-18 October 2017 for 600 delegates; and the 14th World Congress of Chinese Medicine (WCCM 2017), from 21-22 March 2017 for 800 delegates.

 

Photo: TCEB President Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya (right) and Mr. Kai Tu, Chairman of the 2019 IDA Annual Meeting (left)

 

Congress Messe Innsbruck generates 360 million euros in gross added value

To calculate the added value of Congress Messe Innsbrucks business activities, the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) comprehensively analyzed its economic effects on both the region and its people. The results of the study confirm the substantial economic and touristic importance of Congress Messe Innsbruck. The numbers also underscore the importance of event operations in wealth generation: 360 million euros in gross value added secures around 5,800 jobs in addition to generating tax revenues of 120 million euros and social welfare contributions of 62 million euros.

Innsbruck - With well over half a million visitors a year attending around 450-500 events, Congress Messe Innsbruck (CMI) is the leading Tyrolean event venue and an important driving force for the domestic economy. Innsbruck Tourism recently commissioned the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) to carry out the first comprehensive analysis of the economic and regional effects of events at the three CMI locations. Events in the 2017/2018 financial year were examined based on 6,000 interviews in addition to economic data from the company: "Income generated by events flows back into the economic cycle and subsequently triggers additional value-added effects," explains study author Oliver Fritz of WIFO. “Event visitors, as well as those actively involved in the organization of the event, travel to the events, consume food, and make use of accommodation and leisure services during their stay." According to Fritz, all such activities make a direct contribution to the creation of added value and wealth in the event region, but also in other regions thanks to trade and supplier networks.

 

360 million euros in socio-economic effects

As laid out in the study, Congress Messe Innsbruck generates around 360 million euros in annual gross value added. Director Christian Mayerhofer, CEO of Congress Messe Innsbruck, is pleased that CMIs employees make such a major contribution to prosperity in the region and the Republic of Austria: "Our customers have successfully relied on the competence and dedication of CMIs staff and partners for many decades now. I am very pleased that this quality, together with the foresight and investments of our shareholders, namely the City of Innsbruck, the Province of Tyrol, the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce, and Innsbruck Tourism, directly translates in gross value added on an annual basis. As a leading Tyrolean event-venue company, we strive to strengthen the locality in the areas of science and research in addition to culture, tourism, and education while simultaneously raising Tyrols business profile. In terms of added value, Congress Messe Innsbruck once again ranks among Austrias most successful congress facilities and trade fair companies.” The study demonstrated that the business activities of Congress Messe Innsbruck generate around 120 million euros in tax revenues and 62 million euros in social welfare contributions.

 

CMI secures around 5,800 jobs

While Congress Messe Innsbruck alone employs around 70 full-time equivalent employees and 100 standby employees, activities revolving around congresses, conventions, trade fairs, cultural events and social events support around 5,800 jobs. The distribution of gross value added further underscores the economic significance of Congress Messe Innsbruck: The general area earns around 97 cents on the euro per visitor, while slightly more than 3 percent goes to the CMI. "In addition to the host companies themselves, accommodation providers, the restaurant and foodservice industry and the retail trade sectors also benefit directly from events in the region. The downstream effects also have a much wider impact," says Christoph Walser, President of the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce. The results of the study support this assessment: the accommodation, restaurant and foodservice sectors (153 million euros in turnover effects), the retail establishment sector (82 million euros), the construction & real estate sectors (122 million euros) and the transportation sector (49 million euros) all benefit in particular from Congress Messe Innsbrucks events. For Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf, Tyrolean Minister of Economic Affairs, these figures confirm the enormous importance of hosting events in Tyrol. “Tyrol, as an attractive business location, continues to be successful. In fact, the Tyrolean gross regional product (BRP) of 45,200 euros per capita is well above the EU average of 30,000 euros. This is thanks in no small part to companies such as Congress Messe Innsbruck, which make a significant contribution to the economic performance of our federal state.

Tourism experts delighted: International congresses create particularly high added value

The study also shows that international congress guests are particularly eager to spend: expenditures per congress participant average around 530 euros per day, which is three to four times as much as the average tourist according to comparative statistics from Tirol Werbung for 2017: "The trade-fair and conference industry is a sector with high value added, which has a significant impact on the positive development of Tyrol as a science and research location," confirms Veronika Handl, Director of the Convention Bureau Tyrol (CBT). For trade fairs, corporate, cultural and social events, this factor is about two to three times higher. "Prior to the study it was already clear that the event industry is an important driver of value creation," says Innsbrucks Tourism Chairman Karl Gostner. However, the numbers laid out in black and white in the study far exceed expectations. "It is extremely gratifying that CMI events have had such a positive effect on tourism," explains Gostner. According to Christine Stelzer, Managing Director of Convention Service Innsbruck (CSI), visitors to the area leave with an extremely positive impression of the city: "Innsbruck is perceived as a lively place and people can easily imagine visiting again in the near future. As a bonus, the tourist region is also recommended to friends and acquaintances. Innsbrucks Vice Mayor Franz X. Gruber sums up findings thusly: "The Congress Messe Innsbruck contributes significantly to a thriving economic area in the heart of the Alps."

Darwin Convention Centre launches indigenous inspired menu

The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the Darwin region. The Darwin Convention Centre’s Seven Seasons menu is a culinary journey inspired by the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) Seasons.

The Seven Seasons menu provides guests the opportunity to experience the dramatic changes of the Gulumoerrgin seasons and the corresponding impact these changes have on the sights, sounds, landscape and natural habitat.

Toby Beaton, Executive Chef Darwin Convention Centre, has developed a 7-course degustation and 3-course banquet menu that combines local fresh produce and traditional indigenous food.

“When developing the menu, we didn’t just look at the ingredients. We looked at the history of the food, how it was gathered, how it was prepared and how it was cooked.”

“We have provided guests the opportunity to be part of a journey that has been evolving for over thousands of years. The menu is not only about the taste, smell and look of the food, it is about understanding the local land and how Aboriginal people have used the ingredients available to them” Beaton said.

In a Convention Centre first, the Seven Seasons journey is beyond Aboriginal food, it also includes a visual and sound experience, creating a full sensory culture immersion.

Audio and visual packages accompany each course giving delegates a deeper experience and understanding of the Gulumoerrgin Seasons, the distinctive weather patterns, changes in plant and animal activity, each with their own special purpose.

“We wanted to provide our clients the opportunity to integrate the Seven Seasons menu into their event on varying levels” said Peter Savoff, General Manager Darwin Convention Centre.

“Event Planners can chose just the menu, or add on the production elements to give a deeper experience to their delegates. The menu also works perfectly with an awards night or gala dinner” added Savoff.

Stephanie Ong from Faces of Asia had the opportunity to experience the Seven Seasons dinner on a recent famil and was impressed.

“The thought behind the dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre was great,” said Ong. “The effect was really something for a special events planner to see – I was in awe! The Seven Seasons dinner was truly a multi-sensory journey!”

Roque Lee, Larrakia Elder explains that is important that we understand the Gulumoerrgin Seasons because of survival. “You may find yourself in a situation where you need to know what plants and berries you can eat at certain times of the year, or when it is time to gather geese eggs.”

Lee continued “Teaching the next generation, and non-Aboriginals, about the Seasons will educate people on looking after the land and understanding that all the plants and seasons each have their own special purpose.”

“I am very excited to see our traditional food being used in modern cuisine and being able to share the Larrakia culture with people from all over the world” said Lee.

After experiencing Seven Seasons, guests will leave with a fuller appreciation of the deep connection the Larrakia people have for the land on which the Darwin Convention Centre stands.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About AEG Ogden

AEG Ogden is part of AEG Facilities of the United States, a division of AEG, the world’s leading sports and entertainment company.

AEG Ogden manages venues throughout the Asia Pacific and Middle East, including Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre, Te Pae Christchurch (opening 2020), Darwin Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (Muscat), and ICC Sydney; Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane; and arenas in Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth, and Dubai. AEG Ogden is also progressing the new Brisbane Live arena and entertainment precinct. More information aegogden.com

Busan City Support to Provide Perfect Pitch for Asia’s First KISS Sound Symposium

Busan, Korea’s largest port city, will unite some of the world’s top musicians and sound engineers when it hosts the first Asian Kyma International Sound Symposium (KISS 2019), scheduled for August 29th to September 1st. Around 150 global participants are expected to attend the four-day event, which will also include a special tour of the city organized with assistance from the Busan Tourism Organization (BTO).

Set to be held the theme of ‘Resonance’, KISS 2019 will include a series of presentations, workshops, performances, and other related activities by Kyma practitioners. First developed in 1986, Kyma is a sound-design-oriented visual programming language with applications for musicians, researchers, and sound designers. To tie in with its host city, this year’s event will seek to translate ten years of Busan meteorological data into sound patterns.

Event sponsors include host venue Daedong College Dept. of Music and the Busan Metropolitan Government, among others. KISS organizers will also utilize BTO’s MICE Tourism Support Program, available to international events hosted in the city. Scheduled for September 2nd, the tour is expected to include visits to Gwangalli Beach, Gamcheon Cultural Village, and other major local attractions, with an alternative option for a Buddhist temple stay experience at Beomosa Temple.

Accommodation will be provided by Busan MICE Alliance (BMA) members the Ramada Encore Haeundae, Ibis Ambassador Busan City Center, and the Hotel Nongshim. Recently expanding to 160 members in the first half of 2019, the BMA is a network of the city’s top business events providers. Event planners who use multiple BMA members for their Busan-hosted functions can receive subsidies from BTO based on certain criteria.

 

More information about KISS 2019 is available at its official website.