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key highlights
Move Over Covid, the Business Travel Industry Tackles
New Considerations on its Continued Road to Recovery.
hotel news
Scandic’s largest hotel to date opens in Copenhagen
- Nordic spa and chef from Michelin-starred restaurant.
Award
Helsinki Airport
Best Airport in Northern Europe.
Stockholm is number one
Corporate Knights
inaugural Sustainable Cities Index ranks 50 global cities.
15-18 November 2022
International Aviation Conference
lands at MCEC bringing $4.7m to Melbourne’s economy.
hotel news
Scandic
to take over Hotel Opus in Horsens, Denmark.
business intelligence
mci group
drives the digital evolution.
hotel news
Historic Scandic Holmenkollen Park
reopens in new attire.
business intelligence
Vienna on top in the 2021 ICCA ranking:
Austria Center Vienna sees clear upturn in conferences.
At Takina 2025
Wellington makes history
winning digital preservation conference.
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mci group drives the digital evolution

mci group, a global next-gen platform for marketing innovation and breakthrough communication in the digital age, is launching the 2021 annual report. Last year the global agency network organised 4,500 campaigns and digital activations for more than 1,200 clients across 31 countries with a €241M turnover.

mci group shared services platform combines the talent, technology and creative power of its specialist agencies, communities and ventures to form an interdisciplinary collective for the transformation and growth of brands and organisations. In 2021 the group was driving evolution for the customers’ and talents’ communities by:

• Consolidating into a next-gen platform for marketing innovation and breakthrough communication in the digital age.

• Reinforcing service offer in strategy, concepts, digital engagement technology, activations and experiences and quality staffing with three Black Flower agency studios.

• Deepening expertise in customer experience management, audience research, live marketing performance, and demand generation with insidery GmbH taking over FairControl GmbH.

• Expanding the unique group of experts, Acceleration Investment Partners – to provide new business models for organisations, fund their need to innovate, enhance their relevance, and grow clients’ revenues.

• Committing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and being a catalyst for change, using the skills, voice, and relationships to make a difference.

• Developing strategic tools for driving innovation D.I.V.E.© by MCI (Define. Ideate. Visualise. Engage) and F.A.S.T.© by MCI (Future-proof Association Strategic Transformation).

• Nurturing people and powering talents by creating a digital learning ecosystem, working on design thinking skills and raising health and well-being.

Sebastien Tondeur, mci group Chief Executive Officer, says: “In the last few years, the landscape of communication has transformed dramatically. As a global player with thirty years of experience in building communities, we are now setting the foundation for the future.”

Discover a comprehensive report on a group’s activities throughout the preceding year: mcigroupannualreport2021.com

 

Photo: Sebastien Tondeur, mci group Chief Executive Officer,

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About mci group

mci group is a next-gen platform for marketing innovation and breakthrough communication in the digital age. We’re powered by a global agency network of over 1,200 clients across 30 countries and have a 30+ year proven track record. Our shared services platform combines the talent, technology and creative power of our specialist agencies, communities and ventures to form an interdisciplinary collective for the transformation and growth of brands and organisations. To learn more, visit www.mci-group.com.

Historic Scandic Holmenkollen Park reopens in new attire

Scandic Holmenkollen Park in Oslo has a 128-year history. Today, the hotel is reopening following a comprehensive 15-month renovation. The hotel has 376 rooms spread over 10 buildings and with its unique location in Oslo, guests from all corners of the world will once again be able to enjoy a unique destination hotel in eastern Norway.

Over the past 15 months, Scandic Holmenkollen Park has been undergoing an extensive renovation that has preserved the rich history of the building while adding modern concepts and solutions. The renovation has been a collaboration between Scandic and property owners Eiendomsspar and Rica Eiendom and has involved completely renovating a total of 31,000 m2 which, among other things, has created 27 new rooms.

The hotel’s gym and spa facilities have been upgraded and expanded to cover 1,500 m2 while the new meeting and conference spaces will be able to accommodate up to 1,200 people. History and art will play an important role at the refreshed Scandic Holmenkollen Park, telling the colorful story of a hotel that has been visited by some of the world’s greatest artists.

The hotel’s unique Dragbyggnaden building, which is built in the Norwegian dragon style, offers 27 unique rooms and suites and in the hotel restaurant, traditional Norwegian cuisine meets modern influences. The à la carte restaurant Holmenkollen Park Bistro & Bar features a unique waffle concept that takes traditional waffles to the next level – topped with roe, sour cream, pickled onions and egg yolk. Dragbyggnaden also houses a well-stocked wine cellar that guests can visit prior to enjoying a three-course meal with a focus on Norwegian ingredients in the hotel restaurant.

"This marks the beginning of a new era for Scandic Holmenkollen Park. The hotel has a history that stretches back 128 years, and by renovating and modernizing it, we’re well prepared for the future. Scandic Holmenkollen Park has a unique location high above Oslo and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our first summer guests," says Claus Petersen, Hotel Director at Scandic Holmenkollen Park.

With its close proximity to nature and the city center, the hotel’s unique setting makes it an attractive destination for domestic and international guests alike. The surrounding natural beauty, outstanding views and distinct architecture make staying at Scandic Holmenkollen Park a very special experience.

"Scandic Holmenkollen Park is ideally located where the city meets the great outdoors, which means it attracts a wide target group. At a time when many people want to vacation in Oslo, it is a privilege to reopen the hotel and at the same time make 376 more rooms available in Oslo’s hotel market," says Asle Prestegard, Head of Scandic Hotels Norway.

Sustainability was an important guiding star during the renovation of the hotel. Scandic Holmenkollen Park is ecolabeled according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s tough new criteria where, among other things, ecolabeled products and chemicals and 100 percent renewable electricity, the absence of single-use disposables, reduced water consumption, a climate-friendly menu and reduced food waste formed the basis for what is considered to be the most rigorous environmental certification in the Nordic countries.

For many years, Scandic has been working systematically to reduce food waste at its hotels, and Scandic Holmenkollen Park will pilot a new project to further reduce waste. With the help of new software, all food waste will be registered and made visible to team members who will also receive data regularly to ensure that food in storage is not thrown away unnecessarily. In addition, Scandic will continue to collaborate with digital food reseller Too Good To Go to reduce food waste. The buildings have also been designed to comply with Norway’s foremost environmental certification for buildings, BREEAM-NOR.

"It is with great pride and joy that we’re reopening this hotel gem today. This is the largest renovation we’ve ever carried out and the result is a state-of-the-art hotel that not only stands out in Norway, but also internationally," says Christian Ringnes, CEO of Eiendomsspar.

"We now have a hotel that is well equipped for the future, and I have great faith that the new Scandic Holmenkollen Park will make it even more attractive and exciting to visit our capital," says Jan Erik Rivelsrud, owner and board member of Rica Eiendom.

Following the reopening of Scandic Holmenkollen Park, Scandic now has 19 hotels with a total of 4,211 rooms in operation in Oslo.

 

Facts about Scandic Holmenkollen Park:

10 buildings

Hotels space: 36 000 m2

Rooms: 376

Number of beds: 1 200

Family rooms: 14

Accessible rooms: 24

Animal-friendly rooms: 17

Allergy-friendly rooms: 359

Seating in bar and restaurant: 450

Coworking spaces: 8

Gym

Architect: Metropolis and Mellbye

Property owner: Eiendomsspar and Rica Eiendom

Construction year: 1894

Construction company: LS Entreprenør and SBA Entreprenør

Environmental certification: Nordic Swan Ecolabel

 

Vienna on top in 2021 ICCA ranking

The recently published 2021 ICCA Ranking saw congress destination Vienna reclaim top spot worldwide for the first time since 2012. With 15 international events in 2021, Austria’s largest congress centre made a decisive contribution to the city’s strong showing. And this year, the upward trend is even more pronounced: in addition to numerous smaller-scale and medium-sized events, nine large-scale events each attracting more than 2,000 participants will take place at the Austria Center Vienna in 2022.

At the end of May 2022, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its 2021 ICCA Ranking – Destination Performance Index (DPI) report. Congress destination Vienna was awarded first place in the overall ranking, ahead of Lisbon and Athens. The survey attributed 92 congresses to Vienna, nine of which were held without restrictions, 22 as hybrid events and 61 virtually (113 congresses were originally planned).

Second and third spots went to Lisbon (91 congresses held during the year) and Athens (66). The remainder of the top ten was made up of Barcelona, Singapore, Madrid, Prague, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

“2021 was an extremely challenging year for the entire congress industry. So it is all the more gratifying that Vienna emerged as the international market leader. Alongside all of the other stakeholders in the congress destination, we are working to ensure that Vienna continues to reaffirm its position as the top location for congresses over the years to come,” said Susanne Baumann-Söllner, Managing Director of the Austria Center Vienna.

The City of Vienna had a significant role to play in the destination’s strong performance through the Vienna Meeting Fund. Launched in 2021, it provides financial support for both in-person get-togethers and hybrid events.

In 2021, 31 events – 15 of which attracted international participants – took place at the Austria Center Vienna. Due to the pandemic, some of these were conducted as hybrid or digital events. In the autumn, the venue welcomed back events with more than 1,000 participants for the first time.

One of the highlights came in September with the IPU World Conference, which attracted parliamentary speakers and presidents from more than 100 nations. The conference, which was one of the largest political gatherings in Europe over the past 18 months, called for extensive additional security measures at the venue and in the surrounding area. Other events included the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) World Congress, the Börsetag private investor conference and the introductory lectures of the Vienna University of Business and Economics (WU).

In 2022, the Austria Center Vienna will host nine large-scale congresses with more than 2,000 delegates each. Events such as the Baukongress and the Austrian Tourism Days got the year off to a successful start for the venue. The General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) brought more than 7,000 participants to the venue at the end of May – with a similar number following proceedings online. Next up are the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) Conference and the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress in June, and the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in July 2022. Additional highlights this year include the Annual Meeting of the International Continence Society (ICS) and the Society for Arthroscopy and Joint-Surgery (AGA) Congress in September, with the Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hematology and Medical Oncology (DGHO) and European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) scheduled for October.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About IAKW-AG

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna (ACV). The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre. With 19 halls, 180 meeting rooms and some 26,000 square metres of exhibition space, it is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. www.acv.at

 

Wellington makes history winning digital preservation conference

Wellington has added more wins to its business events calendar, bringing a major conference on digital preservation to New Zealand for the first time.

The iPRES 21st International Conference on Digital Presentation will take place in 2025 at Tākina, Wellington’s new Convention and Exhibition Centre.

iPRES is the oldest international conference about long-term digital preservation. The annual event brings hundreds of researchers and practitioners from all over the world to discuss the latest research and practice for protecting and making accessible digital collections.

Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, is home to the National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa – the entity leading the conference bid – as well as Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga, with whom National Library shares a digital preservation programme. The National Library has a specific focus on collecting, preserving, and making accessible the documentary heritage of New Zealand, in every format including digital.

This expertise in digital preservation and National Library’s history of engagement with the international digital preservation community, as well as Tākina’s ability to host a hybrid in-person/virtual conference, were key factors in the city winning the conference.

Andrea Goethals, Programme Director at the National Library of New Zealand, says: “By hosting iPRES in Wellington we can highlight our digital preservation activities in New Zealand while showing our commitment to being part of the international effort to protect our global digital heritage.

“We see this as an opportunity for New Zealand organisations to learn from and make connections with the community of international digital preservation experts.”

The bid for the event was supported by Business Events Wellington and Tourism New Zealand’s Business Events team.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager New Zealand & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says: “This is an excellent win, attracting international delegates to Wellington and bringing valuable knowledge to assist with the ongoing preservation of New Zealand’s digital heritage.”

The win is just the latest in a series of wins for Tākina, which is on track to open mid-2023. The purpose-built venue will be able to accommodate a plenary of up to 1,600 delegates, alongside exhibition space and stand-alone meeting rooms.

Business Events Wellington Manager Irette Ferreira says: “We’re already seeing great interest in Tākina, winning conferences that wish to capitalise on the benefits of hosting an event in the capital city, home to many of New Zealand’s national organisations and thought leaders.”

Other recently awarded conferences for Tākina include: The Early Childhood Council Conference in 2023, the Federated Farmers’ Primary Industries Summit & Awards in 2023, and The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases’ Annual Scientific Meeting in 2024.

New support scheme encourages event organisers to choose Riga, Latvia

Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, (Meet Riga), announces the launch of a new funding scheme to encourage hosting events in the Latvian capital. The scheme is intended to support the organising of conferences, congresses, training events and trade shows, of which at least 20 percent of participants come from outside Latvia. It is open to legal entities, associations, foundations and higher education establishments registered in Latvia. Event organisers from abroad are welcome to apply by partnering with a local industry representative or the Latvia Convention Bureau.

Aigars Smiltāns is the head of meetings and events at Meet Riga and explains what lead to the launch: “We’ve noted an increase in the number of support requests from international associations. As an up-and-coming meetings and events destination in Northern Europe, we’re working to attract more congresses and conferences, especially ones highly relevant to local industries. We believe that international meetings and events taking place in Riga can have a deeper impact on local business and academic circles.”

Organisers can receive co-funding of up to 20 euro per foreign delegate. Events may also qualify for an additional 10 percent if they represent a priority industry - information and communications technologies, medicine, biotechnologies or financial services - or, if at least 70 percent of foreign delegates are spending three or more nights at Riga accommodation facilities.

To qualify for the co-funding, an event must take place at a hired venue and all foreign delegates must spend at least one night at accommodation facilities in Riga. The scheme is not open to sports and culture happenings and events by political parties, government or municipal organisations other than higher education establishments.

Meet Riga will review applications within 15 days from the date of submission. Following a positive decision, event organisers will sign an agreement, which sets out rules, such as any event marketing materials must refer to the support of Meet Riga. Actual funds are transferred after the successful completion of the event. Organisers may also apply for the Investment and Development Agency’s support scheme for the same event.

For detailed information on the new Meet Riga scheme and how to apply, visit Riga for associations

 

Radisson Hotel Group opens Barcelona’s first Radisson Blu hotel

Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce the opening of the Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia, which marks another step forward in Radisson Hotel Group’s plans to expand in Spain and continue strengthening its presence in the country.

A mere 450 meters away from the Sagrada Familia, the most-visited monument in Spain, the renovated Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia is now ready to welcome guests to its enviable location in the Gràcia district. This hotel’s location provides excellent connections to the city center, Passeig de Gràcia and Plaça de Catalunya. It is also just two kilometers away from Parc Güell, another very popular tourist attraction bearing Antoni Gaudí’s unmistakable imprint.

Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia has 182 rooms, which include standard, superior, premium, premium deluxe, and family rooms. The rooftop, El Cel Bar terrace and pool are the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing or business meetings. It offers spectacular views of the city’s skyline and extraordinary views of the Sagrada Familia and Antoni Gaudí’s fascinating architecture.

The philosophy of Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia, is to offer sustainable, balanced, and healthy gastronomy across its four restaurants and bars, including Restaurant El Bosc, El Bosc Terrace Bar, Bobò Bar, and El Cel Bar. Guests wishing to maintain their exercise regime are catered for thanks to the hotel’s fitness center.

“It’s a privilege to introduce the Radisson Blu brand to Barcelona, one of the world’s most vibrant cities. The hotel’s unbelievable location with panoramic views from its rooftop terrace make this hotel a unique place to stay and explore the city. It’s a modern hotel with lots of style and a cozy and cosmopolitan feel,” says Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior Vice President Northern & Western Europe, Radisson Hotel Group.

As Barcelona is one of Spain’s major business centers, this new hotel has 120 square meters of corporate meeting and event space with the capacity to host up to 120 people, as well as 64 underground parking spaces for guests.

The Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia has also earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification as a Gold Green Building, a factor that makes it the perfect option for the environmentally conscious traveler. The hotel is home to more than 4000 plants, including an 80m² vertical ecosystem of more than 3000 plants in the El Bosc Terrace Bar that can filter 10kg of dust per year and generate oxygen for 80 people. Furthermore, the hotel has Biosphere certification and a dedicated CSR neighborhood project commitment.

The interiors of the common areas in the Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia were created by renowned interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán. Urban in style, its design has a contemporary aesthetic featuring special designer pieces with a more modern flair. Rosa-Violán’s envisioned creating a cozy and comfortable environment for guests with natural leather upholstery and high-pile rugs, which were accented by lush leafy greenery, bringing the outdoors indoors, which is a signature design element of Rosa-Violán. The color palette highlights the shades used in the some of the furniture upholstery as well as the colors used at certain points in the decorative elements. Likewise, the hotel’s interior design concept also showcases other more striking pieces, giving them an almost monumental air, which allows them to stand out in the overall decorating scheme.

Lázaro Rosa-Violán shares, “It has been an honor to collaborate on a project like this, located in such a unique area of Barcelona near the city’s most iconic monument, the Sagrada Familia, which can be admired from the hotel’s rooftop terrace, and which has also earned Gold level LEED certification for sustainability.”

With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Radisson Blu 1882 Hotel, Barcelona Sagrada Familia is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group is one of the worlds largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The Groups overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.


The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels.

Radisson Rewards is our international rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers an exceptional experience for our guests, meeting planners, and travel agents at over 640 hotels in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Radisson Meetings provides tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Meetings is built around three strong service commitments: Personal, Professional and Memorable, while delivering on the brilliant basics and being uniquely 100% Carbon Neutral.


The health and safety of guests and team members remain a top priority for Radisson Hotel Group. All properties across the Groups portfolio are subject to stringent health and safety requirements, as outlined in the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the worlds leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out. The Safety Protocol is an integral part of Radisson Hotel Groups Safety and Security program ensuring we always care for our guests and team members.

More than 100,000 team members work at Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About Radison Blu

Radisson Blu is an upper upscale hotel brand that delivers positive and personalized service in stylish spaces. Characterized by attention to small details and the Yes I Can! service philosophy, Radisson Blu hotels are designed to make a big difference and inspire unforgettable experiences with every stay. Through personalized service and local nuance, each stay at a Radisson Blu hotel becomes a true meaningful and memorable experience. Radisson Blu hotels can be found in major cities, key airport gateways, and leisure destinations. Guests and professional business partners can enhance their experience with Radisson Blu by participating in Radisson Rewards, a global loyalty program offering exceptional benefits and rewards.


Radisson Blu is part of Radisson Hotel Group, which also includes Radisson Collection, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels.