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Volume V Issue 3 March 2014 60 pages A DDP Publication



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Dear Reader, India holds enormous potential for the MICE industry. Although, India’s MICE industry is still very much in its growth stage, we are witnessing the development of new destinations within the country. Tier II cities are also developing very quickly, taking away pieces of the MICE business from metro cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. New hotels opening with MICE facilities are also supporting this growth.


India is also showing an increase in outbound business. New long-haul destinations like Brazil, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and the US are attracting a lot of interest. Europe and the Middle East are welcoming MICE groups from India. Earlier, Canada was synonymous only with Toronto and Vancouver. People now want to go to Alberta and Alaska as well. Brazil, mainly São Paulo, has begun to attract MICE movement from India. It has state-of-the-art convention facilities, modern hotels, cuisine to suit Indian taste buds and a lot of exciting activities for incentive movements and to complement a tough day of business meetings and seminars. Historical destinations hold a new fascination for MICE groups. Jerusalem, which used to cater to high profile presidential meets has now opened its doors to MICE. Athens is another such city with cultural attractions, natural beauty and modern amenities that go hand in hand to make it a perfect MICE destination. We recognise that group movements are a challenging business. To support the organisers we bring to you our conversation with industry experts on hassle-free group check-ins. We also spoke to many national tourism offices to gather what their governments are doing to attract MICE to their countries. And, make your life easy while you travel - with must-carry apps for your trendy smartphones. Stay with it! Read all this and more in this edition of MICEtalk. Deepa Sethi


MICEtalk March 2014


contents Cover Story

Global MICE on the Rise



8 Facts 22 Country Talk Brazil

28 City Talk Athens

33 Event Talk

IT&CM China 2014

34 Venue Talk International Convention Center, Jerusalem 37 Sample This JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity 38 Hotel Talk

Pullman Gurgaon Central Park

44 Expert Talk

The Art of Positive Thinking

54 Etiquette Talk

Effective Business Conversations

56 Visa Talk 57 Movements 58 Events

46 Yours Officially

Paul Town, Vice President - Revenue Management & Sales, Galaxy Macau

48 Group Talk

Hassle-free MICE Group Check-In

52 Technology

Must-carry Apps for the Business Traveller



Leipzig convention package guide launched

‘Off the beaten track’ is an alternative guide-book for Leipzig, Germany, in German and English language, published by the congress initiative project ‘’ in cooperation with Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing GmbH. The publication is a part of the convention package offered by the initiative project, which unites 47 partner institutions. The convention package also includes numerous services to support congress and convention organisers who are planning to hold their event in Leipzig. Besides informative literature, it also covers the arrangements of individually attended site-inspection visits and the compilation of application documents or bid books.

East African countries launch single tourist visa

Tourists visiting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda will find it much easier and cheaper to travel across the three countries with the launch of the single tourist visa. The multiple-entry visa, which will be valid for 90 days, will cost 100 USD. Tourists can apply at any immigration offices of Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda or online. Burundi and Tanzania are yet to come on board. The visa is expected to boost the number of tourists.


MICEtalk March 2014

Sheraton Macao offers Smarter Meetings Package

Sheraton Macao introduced ‘Meet 24’ - a package which provides smaller meeting groups, the options of flexible check-in and check-out times. It allows meeting groups to check-in any time and check-out at the same time on the day of departure, at no additional costs. The meeting space booked will also be held for the same duration allowing planners and delegates to conduct meetings with incomparable flexibility.

Sarawak, Malaysia launches Tribal Quest business package Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB), Sarawak, Malaysia is actively promoting its ‘Tribal Quest- Business the Borneo Way’ package, a uniquely-crafted project for a broader market that appreciates a different take on business events - one that includes adventure in a rich natural setting. They initiated the process at The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), Melbourne with a daily ‘miring’ ritual by an Iban warrior, traditionally a Headhunter, from the land of Hornbills (otherwise known as Sarawak) and lucky draws.


IHG to open new hotel in Bandung, Indonesia in 2014

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and PT Hotel Dago Pakar have signed a management agreement for the 204-room and 19-villa InterContinental Bandung Dago Pakar in the Dago neighbourhood, northeast of the city centre in Bandung, Indonesia. Set to open this year, the property is located in the city’s Dago Pakar development and promises views over the manicured greens of the 18-hole Mountain View Golf Course, as well as Bandung city. The new hotel is also located just seven kilometres from Husein Sastranegara International Airport and under three kilometres from the commercial hub.

Jaypee Palace Hotel, Agra wins ‘Best Hotel Based Meeting Venue’

Jaypee Palace Hotel and International Convention Centre, Agra has been awarded under the Category ‘Best Hotel Based Meeting Venue’ at the National Tourism Award 2012-2013 by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Convention Centre at the Hotel with its combination of various well planned and well laid out rooms and a business centre, can accommodate up to 1500 delegates. The hotel is the preferred venue for MICE by corporates, national and international associations and world bodies. Speaking on the occasion, Manju Sharma, Director, Jaypee Hotels said, “We are delighted to see that the industry is recognising our Convention Centre. It is an honour for us at Jaypee Hotels to receive the recognition.”

San Diego Convention Center launches mobile conventions app

San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) and San Diego-based Total Communicator Solutions Inc. announced the development of a mobile platform for the convention industry using proximity beacons to deliver hyper location content, analytics and marketing messages to convention attendees and show managers. The app launches when attendees arrive in San Diego and can guide them to the convention and provide information throughout their stay. The mobile app enables convention managers to verify who is in which booth, how long they have been there and delivers relevant and on-point content directly to the attendee’s mobile device when they are in the booth. With the app, there is no need to manually check in or scan badges.

Loews Boston Hotel to undergo $10 million renovation

The Loews Boston Hotel, Boston, USA, has announced a full-scale $10 million renovation that will cover the hotel’s guestrooms and suites, the entrance lobby, six meeting rooms and a newly branded restaurant and bar. When complete, the hotel’s 225 guestrooms (and three suites) will have a new decor and connectivity options including complimentary Wi-Fi. The six meeting rooms will include a new mini-ballroom with vaulted ceilings that can accommodate up to a 100 people.

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Boston’s Convention Centre predicts record $680 mn for 2014

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) is expecting to break two major records in 2014. James E. Rooney, Executive Director, MCCA said that the venue is poised to host events generating more hotel room nights than ever before and also to have a greater economic impact. 2014’s meetings and conventions are projected to generate a total of 629,000 hotel room nights throughout Boston and the region, and $680 million in economic activity, the most since the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) opened in 2004. 2014 is expected to break 2006’s record of 616,000 hotel room nights and 2012’s economic impact record of $656 million.

Hilton to launch India’s first Conrad in Pune in 2015

Hilton’s luxury brand, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, is entering the Indian market. 2015 will see the launch of the Conrad Pune in Maharashtra. The 310-room hotel will be within the central business district of Pune. The 16,200 sq. ft. meeting and event space at the hotel will include a grand 8,300 sq. ft. ballroom that can be divided into three rooms, a break-away function room, pre-function area, four boardrooms and a 24-hour business centre.


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GBTA European Conference 2014 to launch mobile app

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) European conference will be held in Berlin, Germany from November 12-14, 2014, in combination with the German business travel association, Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement’s (VDR) annual autumn meeting. The joint event is expected to be the largest European gathering of its kind, with over 700 delegates expected. Like GBTA, VDR is a corporate travel buyer led association for those in business travel. They are also launching a conference app—which will be launched well in advance of the event—allowing delegates to arrange appointments with one another.

White Paper on USA for MICE to be released

In order to provide a useful guide and tool for the travel trade on planning MICE trips to the US, Visit USA Committee (VUSACOM) India Chapter released the first-ever MICE USA White Paper at a seminar held at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai. The White Paper co-authored by Ashwini Kakkar, Founder President, VUSACOM India and Manoj Gursahani, President, VUSACOM India, focusses on ‘Why USA for MICE’, challenges faced (and solutions analysed) by travel agents in India in marketing the US as a cost-effective MICE destination to corporate entities, current market scenario, etc.


Park Plaza opens in Zirakpur, near Chandigarh

Sarovar Hotels, the fastest growing hotel management company in India, launched Park Plaza in Zirakpur, near Chandigarh. The 104key full service, upscale hotel offers Punjab’s largest banquet and conferencing space which can accommodate up to 3,000 guests. This is also Sarovar’s fifth property in the state. The Park Plaza also boasts of the largest banqueting space in the tri-city i.e. Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. The hotel offers 80,000 sq. ft. of banqueting space, a 15,500 sq. ft. pillar-less hall that can accommodate more than 1,800 guests and over 60,000 sq. ft. wellmanicured lawns that can hold a gathering of up to 3,000 guests.

Melbourne hosts AIME 2014

The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) currently the largest business exhibition of its kind in Australia hosted more than 3,500 delegates responsible for organising, meetings, incentives and business travel at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on February 18-19, 2014. In total, the two-day event saw 750 exhibitors from 30 countries meet with more than 3,500 business events, meeting and incentive planners, and exhibition organisers. New exhibitors for 2014 include industry heavyweights Shangri-La and Haycom, alongside international destination marketing organisations.

MICEtalk March 2014


cover story

Global MICE

on the Rise

Above: Overview of Kuala Lumpur


MICEtalk March 2014

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According to The Leading Hotels India – 2013 Sales Guide, MICE travel dominated India’s outbound market, comprising of 65 per cent in 2013. With the rise in MICE tourism, more countries are promoting themselves as the most up-to-date MICE destinations in order to get a major piece of the pie. MICEtalk finds out the new plans of various countries for attracting MICE tourists from India. Neha Oberoi

Malaysia Preferred MICE Destination

Malaysia has been forging forth as a business hot spot. In 2013, Malaysia played host to 28.3 million tourists of which 5.3 per cent were from the business events segment. In tune with the increased focus on MICE, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) precinct is buzzing with several more hotel projects getting off the ground. With The Fairmont, The Regent, Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur, W Kuala Lumpur, Harrods Hotel and E&O Residences slated to open between now and 2018, delegates will have even more accommodation choices close to the Centre.

getting around With the Greater Kuala Lumpur Development Plain (Greater KL), and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) under development, it will become easier to get around Kuala Lumpur. There is also an ongoing development of a 42 km overhead pedestrian walkway which links major places of interest and provides added convenience and flexibility for visitors. One of the first completed sections, a 562 metre walkway that links the Centre to the Impiana KLCC Hotel, Pavilion Shopping Mall and nearby tourist landmarks, already records a footfall of some 3.4 million each month.

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The Public Relations Office , Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) commented, “In view of the growing demands for Malaysia as the preferred global meetings destination, MyCEB will continue to provide quality services through its Conference Mobile Application and Delegate Privilege Cards. Applicable to conferences with more than 500 international delegates, users will be able to obtain information on the conference they are attending, including schedules, conference speakers, surveys and announcements. The mobile app also comes with a destination feature which guides delegates on attractions, shopping and dining options around Kuala Lumpur. In later development stages, MyCEB will be expanding the mobile app to feature other states

around the country. As an added attraction, delegates will also be presented with a Delegates Privilege Card which entitles them to redeem discounts and privileges at selected food & beverage, retail, entertainment outlets, attractions and transportation.” MyCEB also offers a Malaysia Twin Deal Programme, which gives value-added support and incentive rewards for international corporate meetings, incentive groups and incentive planners. The subvention funding under MyCEB’s purview, coupled with their programmes such as Malaysia Twin Deal Programme, will continue to ensure Malaysia remains a premier business tourism destination.

Above: Overview of Kuala Lumpur

Alan Mark Pryor, Deputy General Manager, KLCC says, “The KLCC plans for 2014 include investing a RM7.5 million (over $2 million) in technology upgrades on four projects as part of their ongoing efforts to enhance service delivery to delegates and visitors alike.”


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Growth in MICE to


Australia is another contender in the best MICE destination race and is using MICE to give a boost to its tourism sector and garner better revenues. In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in visitor arrivals which is due, in part, to an increase in the number of MICE events organised here.


Above: Sydney Opera House

Business travellers from India to Australia has increased 44 per cent. Tourism Research Australia notes that for the year ending September 2013, over 9.9 million visitor nights were spent in Australia by Indian travellers, representing 4.7 per cent of the total number of visiting tourists in Australia. Of those, 7 per cent said their main purpose of the visit was for business, which includes conferences or conventions.

Kristian Nicholls, General Manager Business Development, Business Events Sydney reveals the new plans for 2014 and says, “The new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, due to open in late 2016, will be one of the jewels in the city’s transformation and will cement Sydney’s status as one of the world’s leading business event destinations. Set amongst hectares of parkland with links to the city’s innovation hubs and cultural precincts, it will feature Sydney’s largest ballroom catering for up to 2,000 people and a diverse array of flexible spaces, all within a five-minute walk to the city centre. The development will also include a new premium hotel with up to 650 rooms. And then there’s Barangaroo, an urban renewal project that is currently underway. This project will transform a former harbour-side container port into a vital $6 billion extension of the central business district.”

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Special offers to attract MICE to


Europe’s MICE industry has been growing with leaps and bounds, unaffected by recent upheavals in the economy. Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) incentivises bigger groups that fulfil fixed criteria by providing welcome gifts like Swiss chocolates. In addition to this direct support, Switzerland has many added values of big importance for MICE planners, such as the ease with which one can claim back the total VAT for companies based abroad. This makes a significant reduction in the total costs compared to neighbouring countries with a VAT of over 15 per cent and local public transportation is included in the fare of the hotel in many Swiss cities.

Above: Messe Frankfurt Congress Centre, Frankfurt

Guendalina Rampazzi, Manager Market Development Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) adds to this opinion by stating some numbers, “19 per cent of all hotel overnights counted in the country are directly related to a MICE movement. This means a turnover of 2.2 billion Swiss Francs.”


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cover story

Above: Rhine Tower, Düsseldorf

Above: Overview of Munich

Above: Overview of Munich

Romit Theophilus, Director Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office, India also adds, “The Indian MICE market has always underlined its significance as the most important market segment for Germany. Many of our trade fairs and events are well known must-visit industry events for Indian business travellers. MICE accounts for 60 per cent of Indian outbound travellers.”

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south africa Innovative meeting spaces According to the South African Tourism Index, 55.8 per cent of Indian travellers visited South Africa for business purposes from April to June 2013. The growth in MICE numbers in South Africa follows the trend seen in the rest of the Asian and European region where all nations are fast building specialised centres for MICE.

Above: Phinda Mountain Lodge, Kwa Zulu Natal

Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism shares, “We have seen an upsurge in newer concepts of MICE travel like conferences and meetings being held in the bush, adventure activities being used as management training tools and incentive groups visiting wine estates for meetings and workshops. Cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad are mature markets for us. But we are witnessing good arrival figures from cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. In the coming years, we hope to see an increase in MICE business from mini-metros and Tier-II markets in India as well.” Familiarisation trips and awareness programmes are also organised to boost a country’s positive image as a suitable MICE venue. “We are taking multiple initiatives to increase MICE tourism to South Africa by constantly reinventing our programs to maximise our reach in Indian markets. Through our engagement programs such as familiarisation trips, roadshows and trade events, we aim to engage with travel agents and buyers to understand the upcoming trends and demands of the Indian market segment,” she adds. 18

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omAN focussing on MICE tourism Oman is also taking strides into this industry’s future by investing in meetings, incentives and the exhibition sector. Although the MICE industry is still in its infancy in India, more training and education initiatives have been launched to leverage this sector. It has hosted various world events and is a popular destination for MICE among the GCC countries.

incentives Oman offers incentives on a case-to-case basis. It currently undertakes MICE groups on a caseby-case basis and customises them as per client requirements. They offer incentives which include a wide range of products like souvenirs and subsidies for cultural performances.

Above: Overview of Sur, Oman

Lubaina Sheerazi, India Representative, Ministry of Tourism, Oman reveals, “With Oman embarking in the MICE industry as a key growth market, the Sultanate’s tourism development and management company, Omran, is building the OMR 330 million Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC). The OCEC will open in 2017 and will provide state-of-the-art facilities to convert Oman into a competitive venue for major global and regional events. This will enable Oman to host major meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions events. The 22,000 m facility will be complemented with four hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms and a business park. Located 4 km from Muscat Airport, it will also act as a gateway to Muscat.”

MICE is based on a service model which also helps develop other associated industries. Local employment opportunities also escalate due to this sunshine industry. With renewed focus and contribution to these countries by the MICE industry, as an international business and trading hub, there will be incentives setup to further MICE-related business enterprises in the future. MICE is on the rise again!


MICEtalk March 2014


country talk

Above: Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio De Janeiro


MICEtalk March 2014

country talk

Hottest MICE destination for 2014


Brazil, the largest country in Latin America and the fifth largest country in the world, is fast emerging as a MICE destination on the global map. It is the host country for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. It is also looking to focus on its business tourism facilities to boost the MICE market. MICEtalk delves into the facilities it offers for business tourism, events and incentives.


razil is known internationally for the Brazilian carnival, its football team and for its tourist attractions like the Corcovado Mountain, the Amazon River, the Pantanal Wetlands and the Iguazu Falls. But like its people and its culture, the country has diverse and exciting options for tourism. With a potential market of more than 180 million predominantly urban people, modern industry, stateof-the-art technology, world-class hotel infrastructure, rich gastronomy, varied entertainment and shopping facilities on offer, Brazil is now concentrating on the MICE market. MICEtalk March 2014


country talk

Cities with MICE Facilities

Most of the conventions are held in São Paulo, the financial capital of the South American continent, followed by Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Florianópolis, Salvador de Bahia and Foz do Iguaçu.

Convention Bureau Services

USP Brazil’s natural attractions deserve a special mention. It is famous for its ecological parks, wetlands and forests like: the Amazon Rainforest, the Savannas in the Northeast, the Atlantic Forest in the Southeast, Pantanal Wetlands in the Central West and Pampas in the South.

EMBRATUR is the Brazilian Tourism Institute which focusses on fostering tourism activities such as: À Promotion and marketing of products À Planning and organisational support À Independent advice and contact details À Offers information

accessibility Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport connects to more than 80 countries, through alliances between airlines. Rio’s domestic airport, the Santos Dumont Airport, has a main link to São Paulo and other Brazilian cities.

À Impartial advice to support a successful event

São Paulo hosts around 90,000 events a year - one every six minutes. To meet this demand, the city has nearly 13 large fairgrounds and convention centres

Above: Estádio do Maracanã Stadium, Rio De Janeiro


MICEtalk March 2014

country talk

Above: São Paulo Railway Station

São Paulo

São Paulo hosts around 90,000 events a year - one every six minutes. To meet this demand, the city has nearly 13 large fairgrounds and convention centres.

Anhembi Parque

Anhembi Parque is a convention centre located in Santana, a district of São Paulo, Brazil. At 400,000 square meters of indoor space and 93,000 meters of outdoor space, it is one of the largest event grounds in Latin America. The centre is home to more than 20 large annual fairs, each drawing around 50,000 visitors or more. It also hosts the Annual Carnival of São Paulo.

Post-event activities

For those who love the outdoors, the parks and green areas cover 40 per cent of the city where one can find over 700 animal species. The Cantareira Park is one of the largest urban forests in the world and is among the top visited attractions. Other popular tourist attractions include Ibirapuera Park, Horto Florestal and Pico do Jaraguá.

Above: Bourbon Convention, São Paulo

MICEtalk March 2014


country talk

(L-R) Performers at the Rio Carnival

Rio de Janeiro

Located in the heart of the city is the Riocentro Convention Centre in the upmarket Barra da Tijuca district. It comprises of six inter-connected pavilions offering more than 87,000 sqm of space. It offers cutting-edge facilities and four of the pavilions at the centre are fully-climatised. It also has a heliport and 28 meeting rooms with seating facilities for up to 4,500 people. It is the largest exhibition centre in Latin America and four of its pavilions were proposed

accommodation Rio is home to a swathe of luxury five-star properties, mostly concentrated around the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. They include the iconic Sofitel Rio de Janiero Copacabana, Royal Tulip Rio de Janeiro, Arena Copacabana Hotel and Porto Bay Rio International Hotel.


MICEtalk March 2014

as venues in Rio’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The capacity of the pavilions ranges from 2,000-4,500 people.

Olympic Park

The new Olympic Park, which is being built on 300 acres will virtually transform Rio’s meetings and convention dynamics. It is a spectacular location with a backdrop of rugged mountains and juts out into an inner-harbour lagoon. With 34 state-of-theart venues, a hi-tech media centre, accommodation villages, parks, walkways, restaurants and shops – it will be a much sought after meeting and convention venue post Olympics.

Festival fun

The two-week cultural festival, Rio Carnival, held every year in February, is the highlight event of the city with its magnificent costumes, dance and the sheer energy that overflows into the streets and local barras (suburbs).

city talk

Meetings in the

Land of Alexander


Located at the crossroads of three continents, Athens, the capital of Greece has been the hub of many cultures. It has an overall population of about four million. Having hosted the 2004 Olympic Games, the city can meet the requirements of the most demanding of events, always delivering an impeccable result. Megha Paul


ith state-of-the-art infrastructure, excellent conference facilities and easy access from all over the world with world-class cultural attractions, natural beauty, modern amenities and diverse entertainment, Athens is an ideal destination for MICE.

According to Michael Chrysochoidis, Managing Director & Founder, ASIT-Greece, “Indians often travel to Europe for business purposes. They prefer all inclusive packages and we are promoting this through our company.�

Below: Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens

Michael Chrysochoidis Managing Director & Founder ASIT-Greece


MICEtalk March 2014

Above: Interiors at Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel

MICE Facilities in Athens

Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB)

The ACVB team also helps to streamline a client’s efforts in organising a meeting and ensurung that they deliver an unrivalled event experience for their delegates in Athens. It assists in planning meetings with services, information and advice concerning conference facilities, accommodation, local organisers and support services that are necessary for the successful outcome of a meeting or event in Greece.

connectivity The capital city of Greece is connected to India with a wide choice of Airlines. Few of the most popular include Turkish Airlines, Qatar, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Egypt Air and Gulf Air. Turkish Airlines not only connects Athens very conveniently from Delhi and Mumbai, it also connects Thessaloniki (North Greece) to India via Istanbul. The arrival timings are very convenient and suitable for MICE groups.

Athenaeum Intercontinental

Above: Interiors at Grand Resort Lagonissi

The hotel is located in the heart of the business district with a spectacular view of the Acropolis, just a short distance from many famous monuments including the new Acropolis Museum. It has newly renovated contemporary state-of-the-art conference and banqueting facilities. The Athenaeum Ballroom is the largest conference facility in Athens with a capacity of 2,000 pax. MICEtalk March 2014


city talk

Rana Roy, Director-Marketing & Relations-India, Anatolia Splendid Incoming Services (ASIT), said, “Athens has seen a marked growth in its MICE market from India. The MICE travel is one of the most potential outbound markets to look out for this year. In the recent past, the MICE trend has been to explore the cultural heritage of the destinations they visit. They prefer destinations that highlight history, art and culture or offer unique experiences to indulge in. Greece has the right mix of every ingredient that a time constrained MICE traveller would seek.

The convention package offers personalised service. There is a dedicated key contact person who handles the planning, organisation and realisation, helping to ensure that the event goes smoothly. The Ethniki Conference Centre, the newest meeting facility in Athens, is located adjacent to the hotel, occupying a total floor space of 1,700 sq m / 5,666 sq ft and is suitable for all types of events.

Above: Meeting room, Grand Resort Lagonissi


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Athens Ledra Hotel

Located near popular tourist attractions, the Acropolis and the Plaka, the venue boasts a total of 1,694 sq m / 18,236 sq ft of meeting space. This includes the Grand Ballroom which can be divided into two sections and the Aegean Ballroom which is can be divided into five sections. For a better service for banquet functions or groups, an event manager is assigned to handle all aspects of the group’s requirements. The convention package includes meals, audio-visual needs and guest room preferences.

city talk

Above: Grand Resort Lagonissi

Grand Resort Lagonissi

Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the resort can cater business events of any size, from five delegates up to a large convention as well.

Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the Grand Resort Lagonissi can cater business events for smaller groups and large conventions as well


Above: Poolside view of Athens Ledra Hotel

Visa services for Greece have been outsourced to VFS and now it is more structured and convenient for passengers. Skype interview facility has been set in at various metro cities for fresh passport holders and first-time travellers. This process helps travellers avoid the cumbersome process of travelling to Delhi to apply in person at the Embassy. For MICE, the travel company handling the travel services from India can set up a prior appointment with the authorities at the Embassy and brief them about the purpose of travel and the company profile.

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city talk

Above: Grand Resort Lagonissi


À The conference and break-out rooms feature natural lighting and views overlooking the Aegean Sea.

The Main Hall, with a capacity for 1,350 people, features an outstanding stage and two foyer areas and open-air terraces

À State-of-the-art equipment can be arranged and installed upon request. À The recently constructed modern Grand Hall adds a whole new dimension to the Grand Resort conference experience. À The Main Hall, with a capacity for 1,350 people, features an outstanding stage and two foyer areas and open-air terraces. À The seaside multi-function Cosmos ballroom has a seating capacity for 1,350 attendees. The fully carpeted hall provides different seating layouts offering great versatility, as well as modern telecommunications. À Fully equipped business centre with Wi-Fi access, welcome desk in the conference area, translation service and secretarial service.


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event talk

New Global Destinations

IT&CM China 2014 The Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings (IT&CM) China 2014 will see destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Singapore make a debut at the event. The event will be held at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center on April 15-17, 2014.


here are more international destinations making their debut at this year’s IT&CM China and their participation comes with added significance as it is fronted by either their Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) or National Tourism Organisations (NTOs). This surge in new support from official agencies of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), has in turn enabled more suppliers in those private sectors to gain inroads into China. Sophia Cao, Country Manager – China, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority elaborated, “The China market is at the forefront of our plans, as we have everything we need to serve this exciting market. Our products and services are tailored specially for the Chinese travellers. For example, Mandarin and Cantonese tours are a big part of many hotels and attractions in Abu Dhabi.” The Sri Lanka Convention Bureau is also keen to harness on the growth of the Chinese outbound market. “China is a primary market for Sri Lanka’s leisure and MICE tourism. We expect to receive at

exhibition Over 50 co-exhibiting companies are expected to be featured in the exhibition showcase under these new destinations. New exhibitors comprising of CVBs, NTOs and corporates are expected to make up 40 per cent of IT&CM China 2014’s exhibition showcase.

least 100,000 Chinese outbound travellers this year, a 50 per cent increase from 2013, based on the present enthusiasm that the market has for our destination,” said Vipula Wanigasekera, General Manager, Sri Lanka Convention Bureau. Destinations like Japan, Macau and Taiwan fronted by Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) and MEET TAIWAN respectively, are returning to the show with renewed emphasis on China. Other new exhibiting companies include corporate brands such as the Oberoi Group, HG Travel, Compagnie du Ponant and Euromic. MICEtalk March 2014


Venue Talk

MICE facility

International Convention Center


Above: Exteriors at International Convention Center, Jerusalem


MICEtalk March 2014

Venue Talk

Panorma_Jerusalem_vomHospiz_JPEG Above: Overview of Jerusalem

The International Convention Center (ICC) - Binyanei HaUma, Jerusalem has been a byword for excellence for the past 60 years. Its lounges and halls tell the story of a centre that has seen it all: receptions of presidents and world leaders, exhibitions by distinguished artists, monumental business conventions and spectacular performances.


he International Convention Center continuously updates its work methods and state-of-the-art equipment and is a virtual spring of creative and challenging ideas.

Central Location

ICC is located at the entrance of Jerusalem, which saves time with traffic. But its major attraction is Jerusalem itself, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is overflowing with places of recreation and special appeal, coffee shops and restaurants, as well as fascinating historic sites. Jerusalem has an ambience unlike any other city. Add close proximity to Tel Aviv and its attractions, and you have the perfect location!

Meeting Space

The Convention Center allows for the best of all worlds! The immense space and numerous halls can be divided according to the needs of each client. This flexibility and the abundance of entrances and exits allow a single major event to be subdivided into as many smaller groups as required. The area can hold up to 10,000 people, with smaller areas able to comfortably host both small and large groups. They provide seminar rooms, exhibition areas of different capacities and rest areas. The Convention Center hosts events of different styles and magnitude: receptions, business conventions, gala gatherings, private events, product launches,

Jerusalem, which is one of the oldest cities in the world, is overflowing with fascinating historic sites and places of recreation USP ICC hosts international conferences and conventions from all over the globe, and provides simultaneous translation and interpretation into all languages. Most of the halls of the Center are equipped with state-of-the-art translation booths, the necessary equipment in accordance with international standards, including communication lines and infrared equipment.

MICEtalk March 2014


venue talk

Events conducted at International Convention Center, Jerusalem

accommodation Visitors to the Center can stay in the 2,500 hotel rooms of all categories within walking distance from the Convention Center. The closest hotel is the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza adjacent to the Center.

The stage crew of the Center provides all the high-quality stage services: such as the sound, light, stage setup, scenery, stands for the chorus, screens and equipments for video presentations, photography and event recording 36

MICEtalk March 2014

exhibitions fairs, shows and more.


ICC Binyanei HaUma provides perfect, professional and friendly service. The convention centre provides security services, stewards, attendants and ushers.


The professional stage crew of the Center provides all the high-quality stage services such as the sound, light, stage setup, scenery, stands for the chorus, screens and equipments for video presentations, photography and event recording. The various services include: computer services, internet and intranet, phone and fax lines, ADSL lines, ISDN, LAN, video conferences, satellite communication, etc. State-of-the-art press rooms are equipped with modern equipment that allows for online communication anywhere in the world.


Their catering can accommodate 10-6000 diners with elegant meals, cocktail service in an open bar, coffee breaks in a lounge or a spacious courtyard, buffet service with various cold cuts, wine and cheese evenings, etc.

sample this

New Kid on the Block JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

New Delhi’s premier five-star hotel, JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity is the newest business hotel conveniently located at the Aerocity near Indira Gandhi International Airport. MICEtalk looks into the MICE facilities offered by the hotel. Location

The convenient location of the hotel has played a major role in JW Marriott’s MICE traffic. Nestled between the two terminals at Indira Gandhi International Airport (T1 and T3), complimented with a wider road network, just off the Delhi-Gurgaon highway, the hotel has provided the fourth dimension or what they call the fourth ‘C’ in the conventions industry; C for Connection, besides Convention, Comfort and Convenience. Thus far, the address has lived up to its core belief of ‘approachable’ luxury.

MICE facilities

The hotel has a ballroom spreading across 12,500 sq. ft. with a clear ceiling height of 21 ft. The state-ofthe-art audio-visual installations are equipped with 22 pulleys to maximise on floor space and flexibility.

what’s more? The hotel ensures engagement with customers is not confined to just one event. The hotel’s loyalty programme, Marriott Rewarding Events, adds a valuable support for corporate partners. The hotel’s meeting experts, along with a dedicated sales centre, have been trained to turn around and extend a quote to customers within two hours.

A pre-function area, overlooking the courtyard, can cater to a crowd of 1500–1800 guests. Besides this, the hotel has up to eight additional meeting rooms which act as an extension to the ballroom and 600 on-site car-parking spaces.

The Grand Crystal Ballroom at JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity

MICEtalk March 2014


hotel talk

In Demand for MICE Pullman Gurgaon Central Park

Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, one of the finer premier business hotels in the NCR, has geared up for its MICE clientele with special meeting packages and a variety of meeting spaces. MICEtalk explores the hotel’s MICE facilities further.

Below: Interiors at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park


MICEtalk March 2014

accommodation The hotel has 285 rooms with 22 suites on 3.5 acres of landscaped gardens. It offers food and beverage options along with meeting spaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, banqueting facilities, a state-of–the-art fitness lounge and a spa.


Located on M.G. Road, Gurgaon, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park is adjacent to the Global Business Park. It is in close proximity to DLF Cyber City and within walking distance from the Guru Dronacharya Metro Station. Approximately 30 minutes from the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, the hotel’s prime location on the Delhi-Gurgaon border, offers easy access to Jaipur and Agra. The hotel is surrounded by popular malls in the Delhi NCR such as Sahara Mall, Ambience Mall, MGF Metropolitan Mall, DT City Centre Mall and DT Mega Mall. Other local attractions include Kingdom of Dreams, Epicentre - the cultural hub of Gurgaon, DLF Golf Club, Biodiversity Park and Qutub Minar.

dining The hotel features two restaurants which have two bars that offer guests an authentic regional and international dining experience, based on the brand’s European origin.

Above: Exteriors at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park

MICEtalk March 2014


hotel talk

Saurabh Bharara, Director - Sales & Marketing, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park says, “We have customised MICE packages to cater to a varied set of MICE clientele, depending on the number of guests, their profiles, requirements, offerings, etc. With fully equipped meeting rooms, innovative break activities, chill-out spaces, an exclusive business centre, an outdoor banqueting space and a dedicated Event & IT Manager, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park with the Co-Meeting concept, seamlessly blends requirements for flawless execution.”

Meeting Facilities

The hotel has eight meeting spaces and three outdoor venues, across three levels, with a total area of 35,000 sq. ft. What Pullman Gurgaon offers: À A Phoenix Ballroom with a 26 ft. high ceiling and covers an area of 4,200 sq. ft. It can be divided into two rooms with an overall seating capacity for 400 pax À Two boardrooms for 14 and 12 guests each respectively, equipped with a 65 inch LED TV and video-conferencing facilities


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À Three boardrooms for ten guests each, equipped with 46 inch LED TV À All boardrooms are equipped with ergonomic chairs, an integrated media hub, a Nespresso coffee machine, audio-visual equipments and a mini-bar À Innovative ‘chill-out space’ and business centre À Large pre-function spaces with a glass-partitioned ‘Privilege Lounge’- for VIP delegates À The terrace deck of 10,591 sq. ft. À A dedicated event manager

hotel talk

The ‘Co-meeting Concept’ of the hotel blends the requirements of the guests for flawless execution Co-meeting Concept

The ‘Co-meeting Concept’ of the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park‘ blends the requirements of guests for flawless execution. If a guest has a particular need or requirement for their event, they can rely on the adaptability and creativity of their ‘Co-Meeting Team’ to assist in making the occasion a success. The facilities under the Co-Meeting Concept include:

Event Manager:

Experienced managers for planning and executing the events to the very last detail. A one-point contact who will identify the ideal speaker or coach for the meeting to plan innovative team activities with a customised menu for breaks.

IT Solutions Manager:

IT Solutions Manager to assist in connectivity needs. If a customer requires any specialised equipment, he will be at hand throughout the event.

Meeting Matrix:

A web-based tool which creates dynamic online diagrams of events.

Coach Menu:

The menu offers a ready list of available speakers for the customers’ events and to suit their needs.

Connectivity Lounge:

A lounge, powered by computers, that allows delegates to stay connected at all times. Located at the meeting room level, the lounge is easily accessible to all guests.

Chill-Out Zone:

Delegates can take a break at the chill-out zone, which offers everything from music to games to unwind at the end of a working day or between meetings.

Jack in the Box:

A software application used to send proposals to clients in a consistent manner. In order to help MICE sales associates in the conception of the meeting proposals, it ensures that the offer is precisely tailored to each customer’s needs and expectations such as event organisers and meeting planners.


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expert talk

The Art of Positive Thinking When you wake up in the morning, and come across a positive horoscope in the newspaper, you get a feeling of elation and optimism. Reading something positive and reaffirming in your horoscope, such as - “Today you are going to find inspiration which will catapult you to greatness”, makes one feel that it is going to be a great day. Shabnam Mehra Life Coach & EFT Practitioner


he power of these words (even though they may be meant for a million people belonging to the same star sign), is so great that they generate a few moments of hope and happiness. Of course, some of the readers may give in to cynicism and laugh it off saying horoscopes never come true. But somewhere inside lurks a wishful feeling of a possibility. By reading something optimistic, our positive intent is strengthened and we are ready to seek that light of good fortune. If only, we could be open enough to believe in such words, when we say them to ourselves. When an astrologer predicts that things will go well, we are ready to believe it. So how come when we say it to ourselves, we are not so sure? What if, each morning we could wake up and foretell what kind of a day we were going to have? We should start the day with positive and optimistic affirmations such as: Today, À I am going to find openness and respect from all people that I meet. À I will find solutions for all the problems I choose to address today. À I will find time to complete the chores I have chosen for the day. À I will remember to acknowledge the gratitude that I feel. À When I cry, I will also find something to smile about. À When I make such predictions, most of the things will come true. À The ones, that don’t come true today, will come true tomorrow. Let us give ourselves a chance to believe in the power


MICEtalk March 2014

of our own clairvoyance and see how many things come true. Who knows, we may have a huge hidden potential to forecast our own future. The one good thing, that will happen when we take this approach is that we get a chance to know what we specifically want in that day. Since we are making specific predictions, it will allow us to have clarity of thought and choose what we truly want, rather than waiting for general good luck to pervade. This clarity may lead to ideas and inspiration, which in turn will improve chances of making things happen. Sometimes, we may find that we had unknowingly asked for contradictory things and when we choose one, a lot of other dilemmas just wither away. So let’s try writing our horoscopes for each day and see how powerful our insights are. “Predict specifically and predict what you are willing to believe, because this is not about challenging our insight, instead they are about reaffirming hope and belief in our lives.” For more details contact :

yours officially

Galaxy Macau Attracting MICE Paul Town, Vice President, Revenue Management & Sales, Galaxy Macau, talks about positioning the hotel in the MICE market and how they cater to Indian weddings in a big way. Peden Doma Bhutia

How do you plan to position your hotel in India?

At the moment, we are positioning our hotel as an integrated resort (our USP) and more specifically we are targeting the Indian market as a potential wedding destination. Very few hotels feature so many facilities under one roof - three hotels, 50 restaurants, a series of hi-end bars, cinema and lots of live entertainment. It’s uncommon that this level of integrated resort element can exist at one place - that’s how we are different from the others.

In what way does Galaxy Macau cater specifically to Indian weddings?

We identify the fact that the Indian wedding event has big potential. A typical Indian destination wedding is a multifaceted three-day event with lots of activity and entertainment. We have an integrated resort where this kind of activity can happen all in one place. We have utilised the nature of the integrated resort - 2200 rooms, three branded properties across a massive area - and positioned our integrated resort concept as a destination needed for the Indian wedding market and created a package that suits them. Where we are unique is that we are able to host the entire three-day wedding event, accommodation, ceremonies, etc. We even have facilities for sangeet,


MICEtalk March 2014

Above: Exteriors at Galaxy Macau Left: Diamond Lobby at Galaxy Macau

mehendi, jaimala, etc. For the jaimala, we provide the Diamond Lobby, which has a huge space. We have a mix of about four-five function rooms and the restaurants. We have a pretty broad range of facilities, including outdoor facilities that can also be used to host an Indian wedding.

What is the growth that you expect from the Indian MICE market? Overall, the corporate market within India has the largest potential of growth of all Indian markets over the next ten years. We see a lot of investment in the country in infrastructure and development. It’s a rapidly growing sector. Traditionally, the sector has utilised its domestic facilities. We are starting to see some outbound activity and some hi-end incentive groups, like partners and senior sales officials in Indian companies are now going abroad for their incentive activities. What we are witnessing is that about 20-40 senior executives go away for two-three days to reestablish company vision, have a little bit of downtime and some entertainment as well. In terms of where I see the growth, it’s hard as we are just starting to work with this market, but it sure seems positive.

In India, Macau is perceived as a leisure destination and not a MICE destination yet, but we are working to change that perception

What are the challenges that you face with the Indian MICE market?

India is a bit further away from our other MICE generating markets. Most of our MICE clients come from Hong Kong, which is a one-hour ferry ride away. The typical length of a MICE group’s stay is two-three days and for Indians that’s not very feasible. Most of the Indian groups club Hong Kong and Macau - three days in Macau and two days in Hong Kong. The distance is a key challenge for us. Also, in India, Macau is perceived as a leisure destination and not a MICE destination yet, but we are working to change that perception.

What are the incentives that you have for the MICE market?

The MICE segment is still a small segment for us, as most of the focus is on weddings. However, on the MICE side, we have some tailor-made packages that we distribute through agents in the market and there are some advantages given to the Indian market specifically to try and stimulate it. MICEtalk March 2014



Hassle-free MICE Group Check-In Travelling in a group can prove to be an uphill task in a lot of ways such as arranging visas, hotel check-ins, etc. MICEtalk speaks to hotels about how they smoothen the process of check-ins for big MICE groups. With the advent of self-service check-ins, the travellers now opt for the option at the airports as it is seamless and hassle-free. Hotels reveal their strategies to cater to big groups of travellers and make the process easier. Neha Oberoi


MICEtalk March 2014

group talk

First impressions are important Lokesh Sawant, Director – Sales, Courtyard by Marriott Pune Chakan opines, “The group check-ins is one of the most important aspects of group booking at the hotel. It is the first experience that the guest has of the hotel and at most times it is the one that is most remembered as well. We do believe in the saying ‘First impression is the last impression’. It thus becomes very important for us to detail out each aspect of the check-in to ensure that the guests are taken good care of at the entrance.”

Well begun is half done

Jatin Khanna, General Manager, JW Marriott Pune adds that they conduct detailed pre-conference meetings with the guest involving all key stakeholders to ensure that they understand the agenda of the client and live up to guest expectations.

Exteriors at JW Marriott Pune

Contract Signing Stage: At the time of signing the contract, the hotel and the corporate house describes the specific details of the check-ins and agree on mutual terms. This involves: check-in time; whether room check-in needs to be extended; passport copies of guests (in case of foreign nationals), etc. Planning Stage: During the planning of the event, one point of contact is identified from the hotel and the corporate house respectively, to handle the bookings made. The coordinators need to ensure seamless communication and smooth group movement. MICEtalk March 2014


group talk

Pre-arrival Stage: The hotel representative (Event Associate) works closely with the group coordinator to secure the guest names, addresses, contact details, preferences, copies of the government photo ID, arrival time and the sole purpose of the event.

More is better Additional check-in transitioning




Arrival Stage: The system at the hotel is updated with the guest name, room sharers, address, etc. discussed during the pre-arrival meeting. Hotels can have the key jackets with the name of the guest and his room number, ready to be shared.

Above: Pre-funtion area at Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre


MICEtalk March 2014

Vishal Singh, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Pune says that, “The hotel has two exclusive checkin desks, setup for quick check-in, since only one signature is required for each guests. The rooms are also blocked on the basis of the guest preference shared at the planning stage. One should also divided the team for specific jobs like baggage delivery to the room, crowd control and guest assistance in lobby, guest registration and handing over the keys.�

group talk

Providing as much data for the group as possible beforehand saves time and makes the check-in process simpler and faster - such as passports, photo IDs, emails, addresses, etc. Separate entrance and In-Car check-ins The simplest and most straightforward benefit of the separate check-in is bypassing the lines and hassles at the front desk to free the staff to do more important tasks such as greeting customers away from the front desk and managing the flow of guests in the lobby. Accommodating guests

for a wait-free experience is the key to ensuring a happy guest. Neha Saigal, Associate Director of Rooms, Courtyard by Marriott Pune City Centre, says that they have facilities for the same such as exclusive check-in facilities at banquet level outside meeting halls and in-car/in-coach check-in on request. Akhil Arora, Director of Rooms, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel emphasises on pre-check-ins for large groups. “The more data provided beforehand (such as passports, photo IDs, emails, addresses, etc.) saves time and makes the check-in process simpler and faster. We also provide in-coach check-in.” Delivering exceptional service across a variety of touchpoints adds to the group experience and caters to their needs. The last facet to the group check-in would be the allotment of rooms.

Rooms and upgrades

Parul Thakur, General Manager, JW Marriott Bengaluru further adds, “The Events team ensures that they have the rooming list available and confirmed seven days prior to arrival. On the basis of the rooming list, rooms are pre-blocked for guests to ensure a smooth check-in on arrival. While allocating rooms, the Events team also takes into consideration, the different category of rooms the guests would occupy and ensure that relevant upgrades are made for senior management who are a part of the delegation. They also make arrangements for the travel of their guests. Coaches are made available for large groups.” The bottom line for the hotels is the focus on the customers and their experience which will breed customer loyalty. A sure shot step to beginning this brand of steadfast loyalty is at the first touchpoint of check-in and the hotels are definitely servicing this need through the above mentioned facilities.

MICEtalk March 2014



Must-carry Apps

for the Business Traveller When one is part of a 100-strong delegation on a MICE trip, or (worse) in charge of one, there are certain things that one HAS to carry. Even if your luggage goes off to Perth, when your meeting is in Geneva, these apps will ensure your multi-tasking remains Olympian. Hritvick Sen

À CamCard (Android)

It is a fact that most businessmen/women’s wallets/ purses bulge. The truth? It’s not always cash, but almost always business cards. Enter the Android business card reader to lighten the load. There are plenty of free apps, but the CamCard puts this timesaving app on a whole new level all together. With multi-language support, all you need to do is take a picture of the business card. It ‘reads’ the business card, and makes a fresh entry in your contacts, puts in all phone numbers, email addresses, fax numbers, and companies on your phone in a snap!

Price: `648

À World Clock Meeting Planner (iOS) Trying to schedule a meeting with people zipping all across the world? Get the World Clock Meeting Planner. You can add up to 12 different cities around the world, and this neat little app will help you find the most convenient meeting time for all parties involved. For example, if you want to coordinate flight timings with several people spread out over time-zones, this app will save your life.

Price: `185.69 52

MICEtalk March 2014


À Evernote (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry) Want to take notes while attending a seminar? This will let you type, make bullet-points, take and attach snaps/video, colour code (for nit-pickers) and send to anyone and everyone in an instant. Make multiple notes, and then segregate them into notebooks. Want to save them online for back-up? This allows you cloud-storage by signing up. And if you want more, go pro and unlock offline storage and more. Scanning business cards? Check. Text-toSpeech? Double check.

Price: `310 per month for premium

À FlightTrack (iOS/Android)

Hopping flights? Multiple changes? How long will you keep track of the flight changes - rescheduling and the like? FlightTrack automatically monitors your pending flights and alerts you anytime there’s a change – whether it is a delay, a cancellation, or even just a gate reassignment. Plus, it has widgets to keep up-to-date information. The pro version powers the app to stratospheric levels – it merges TripIt data and manages reservations automatically. You can also specify all of the travellers on a trip, so that can you easily see who’s on which flight. Priceless!

Price: `311 for premium

À Tasker (Android) The name says it all. You have a task, it does it all. Connect to a particular Wi-Fi network at a particular time? Dim brightness at night? Schedule calls to go to a certain number? Turn off Bluetooth after 4PM? It’s all done. The app has over 200 actions that you can customise, some which even Android hasn’t thought of. This is a must-have for any busy country-hopper. Task, and forget...

Price: `199 for premium MICEtalk March 2014


etiquette talk

Effective Business Conversations What is the fine art of conducting a business conversation? Is it talking a lot and putting your views forward aggressively? Or, is it the ability to keep the conversation flowing and strike a fine balance between listening and speaking? Shital Kakkar Mehra Practitioner of Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol in India

Good conversation skills help you build rapport, get buy-ins, get your point across succinctly and leverage it to get desired results.

Make sure you are understood:

If people say “I don’t understand…” frequently after you have made a comment, step back and evaluate your speaking skills. Do you dictate or talk too fast?


MICEtalk March 2014

Do you find people ’slow-minded’? Upgrade or downgrade your vocabulary to suit your audience, and speak in the language that connects with your listener. Avoid rambling or talking excessively as it shows lack of focus or concern for time.

Listening skills:

Good listening skills help build trust as it shows your

etiquette talk

interest levels. Ask relevant questions, use the person’s name often and use gestures (eye contact, nodding, smiling) to show you are listening.

Talking to inattentive people:

People who break eye contact or look distracted can be brought back into the conversation by saying their name – a skill perfected by school teachers!

Disagreeing gracefully:

Respect the fact that people have different viewpoints. When it’s apparent that you’ve reached a roadblock, deflect to a neutral topic by saying something like “We have such diverse viewpoints, so…”

Changing tracks:

To change the subject, steer tactfully during a break in the conversation. If the break does not come, interject with - “Tell me more about …” or “Going back to…”

Cutting the conversation short:

If you are not interested in a conversation, you can cut it short politely. Use non-verbal signals like breaking eye contact with the person speaking. Introduce him/ her to another person to shift the spotlight or exit politely saying, “I spotted an ex-colleague...” or “I’m going to the bar for a refill”. If you are in a telephonic conversation, extract yourself by saying, “I am entering a scheduled teleconference / meeting in a couple of minutes”.

Handling the “showoff”:

Ignore and try to change the topic. Alternately say “How magnificent” a few times and move on.

Communicate disapproval:

You can communicate disapproval by saying nothing or communicating without any facial expressions.

Handling conversation in an elevator:

Resist engaging in a conversation in an elevator – a smile or nod is adequate.

Ending a conversation:

Indicate that you are signing off saying something like - “Before we finish, I wanted to add…” End gracefully, saying - “It’s been great meeting you” or “Thanks for your wonderful insights”. Today’s business leaders’ know how to communicate effectively, get others to speak and practice active listening. In short, they know what to say, how to say it and when to say nothing!

MICEtalk March 2014


visa talk

Important Tourist Visa Requirements Brazil

• Valid Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of travel • One Application Form filled from the website frscedv/index.jsp • Two Photos (Passport size, camera clicked, latest, white background, 80% face) • Covering letter addressed to Embassy Of Brazil • Confirmed return ticket • Original Bank Statement with bank seal (3 months) • Exchange / Credit Card Copy • Hotel booking confirmation fax • Exchange (Min. US $3000) • Yellow fever certificate is a must • Educational qualification to be filled in the form (compulsory) • Visiting Card of the applicant is MUST • Maharashtra-issued passport to be applied in Mumbai only


• Application form for tourist visa completely filled and signed by the applicant • Two Recent colour photographs (passport size, white background) • Valid Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of travel and with at least one blank page to affix the visa • A covering letter from the applicant • Leave letter from employer or school / No-Objection Certificate is required • Proof of funds for stay / Evidence of source of Financial support • Day-wise Tour Itinerary • Bank statement for last three months certified with bank seal • Confirmed hotel reservation or confirmation of organised tour • Travel itinerary or copy of booking • Overseas travel medical insurance valid for Israel for atleast US$40,000 covering the entire duration of the trip • One Photocopy of first and last page of the passport (in one page) • Additional documents may be required or applicant may be called for an Interview if required by The Embassy / Consulate General of Israel.


• Valid Passport with at least 6 months validity from the date of travel and at least two blank pages • One visa application form • Two photographs (white background, 35x45mm, 80% face) • Covering letter stating the purpose of the visit • Confirmed return ticket • Medical insurance minimum coverage: €30,000 • Hotel booking confirmation • Foreign Exchange or International credit card copy • Personal Bank statements of last six months duly stamped and signed by the bank • Office ID card copy • Personal Tax returns last three years or form 16 • Certificate of registration of the company • Letter from employer stating No Objection certificate • Salary slip of last six months For more information, contact Komal Pandya; 91 9958881431;


MICEtalk March 2014

Movements The Grand New Delhi, appoints new

Director of Convention Sales Sanjeev Pathania has been

appointed as the Director of Convention Sales for The Grand New Delhi hotel. Pathania has been associated with The Grand New Delhi since 2013 and has worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years. Previously, he has worked with Kempinski Ambience Hotel and InterContinental Hotels.

Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon

appoints Events Manager Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon welcomes Anuj Soin as the Events Manager – Food & Beverage for the hotel. Soin comes with over 8 years of experience in operations and training. Before joining Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon, he was associated with The Leela, Gurgaon and Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur.

Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park

appoints General Manager

The Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park has announced the appointment of Faiz Alam Ansari as General Manager of the hotel. He has been associated with Starwood Hotels & Resorts since October 2006 and has over 20 years of experience with leading hospitality brands. Prior to this, he was the Hotel Manager of the Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi.

Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park announces new Executive Assistant Manager

Shiv Bose has been appointed the new Executive Assistant Manager by Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. Bose comes with over a decade of experience in the hotel industry, with his most recent and successful stint at Starwood Hotels & Resorts as Operations Manager- South Asia.

The LaLit Jaipur announces new General Manager Piiyush Kapoor has been appointed as the new General Manager at The LaLit Jaipur. His experience in the hospitality industry spans over 21 years. Prior to this, he was associated with hotel chains such as InterContinental Hotel Group IHG, Wellworth Hotels, ITC Welcome Heritage, Jaypee Hotels, Hyatt Regency and many more.

The LaLit Great Eastern Kolkata appoints General Manager Rakesh Mitra has been appointed as the new General Manager of The LaLit Great

Eastern Kolkata. His experience in the hospitality industry spans over 17 years. Prior to this, he was associated with other properties under The LaLit Suri Hospitality Group such as, Intercontinental The LaLit Mumbai, Intercontinental The Grand Goa Resort and The LaLit Temple View Khajuraho.

MICEtalk March 2014


events calendar






International Symposium on Tourism, Hospitality and Social Sciences


Istanbul, Turkey

June 01-02, 2014

Asia Luxury Travel Market

Shanghai Exhibition Center   

Shanghai, China 

June 02-05, 2014  

Tourism And Travel Studies Conference

Nazim Hikmet Cultural Center Istanbul, Turkey

June 02-04, 2014

Incentive Travel Exchange

THEhotel Las Vegas

Las Vegas, USA

June 03-04, 2014

Thailand Travel Mart Plus

Impact Exhibition & Convention Center

Bangkok, Thailand    June 04-06, 2014

British Hospitality and Tourism Summit

Novotel London West

London, UK

June 05, 2014

Travel and Tourism Conference

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Tampa, USA

June 08-11, 2014

International Conference on Tourism



June 09-12, 2014


Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre   

Wan Chai, Hong Kong   

June 12-15, 2014  

The Business Travel Conference

Novotel London West

London, UK

June 17-18, 2014

California Travel Summit

Hilton Los Angeles ,Universal City

Los Angeles, USA 

June 23-25, 2014

International Conference on Tourism between China and Spain



June 29 - July 2, 2014

International Conference on Sustainable Tourism

Milenij Grand Hotel 4 Opatijska Cvijeta

Pula, Croatia  

July 08-10, 2014 

Travel & Tourism Fair - Hyderabad



July 11-13, 2014

World Luxury Expo Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace

Abu Dhabi, UAE  

July 11-13, 2014

India International Travel Mart Bangalore

Palace Ground  

Bangalore, India 

July 18-20, 2014

Annual International Conference on Tourism and Hospitality Research

Hotel Fort Canning,Singapore    Singapore

MICEtalk March 2014

July 21-22, 2014

Postal Reg. No. :DL(ND)-11/6150/2014-15-16 WPP No.:U(C)-305/2014-2016, Posting on 29th-30th of Advance Month PSO, Market Road PO, New Delhi-110001, Date of Publication:22/02/2014 RNI No.:DELENG/2010/34144

MICEtalk March 14  

MICEtalk March 14

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