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Volume V Issue 5 May 2014 60 pages A DDP Publication

Cruising into MICE Impact of

Elections on MICE


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page Dear Reader,

Technology is a booster for MICE, but at the same time is taking away from it. Companies, under a money crunch, are able to hold virtual meetings and even though they are expensive, it still saves a lot, if you consider flights, hotel nights and ground transportation costs. At the same time, there is nothing like spending time with your colleagues or clients to build a rapport and motivate people to work better and harder. We spoke to industry experts on the matter… Read their views in this issue of MICEtalk. Cruising on the other hand, is gaining a huge amount of popularity among the Indian travelling masses, and MICE travellers are not far behind. Its great for the organisers as it keeps the shirker from wandering off on a personal agenda, gala evenings and entertainment are also so easy to manage with support from the cruise staff, and you have the best chefs cooking exactly what you want. Breaks can be taken from meetings when the ship comes ashore. It’s a lot of fun! And it’s election time in India… Is that good or bad for the industry? There are so many different views doing the rounds, so we spoke to MICE specialists about what to expect. It makes a very interesting read… Vancouver in the West, Macau in the East, Paris and England in the centre are probably the most visited global destinations for MICE, especially over summer. We bring you venues and incentive opportunities in these areas. Happy polling and keep travelling! Deepa Sethi

Country Talk



8 Facts 12 New Avenues

Impact of 2014 Elections on MICE

24 Country Talk


30 City Talk


36 Venue Talk

Vancouver Island Conference Centre

39 Hotel Talk

Sheraton Macao

42 Sample This

Philippine International Convention Center

48 Yours Officially

Shane Hannam, Key Account Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions

May 2014

contents Cover Story


Cruising into MICE


39 46 Let’s Talk

52 Tech Talk

50 Team Talk

54 Etiquette Talk

Planning Conventions - getting it right It’s fair winds ahead!

56 Visa Talk


57 Movements

Tips for Business eMail Etiquette Protocol for Business Communication


58 Events MICEtalk May 2014




Asian MICE visitors to Thailand record a


growth in 2013

n The Thailand Convention and

Tallebudgera Centre launches team building package

n Tallebudgera Active Recreation Centre, Gold Coast, Australia has launched a new corporate team building package. The centre is a unique venue with purpose built on-site recreation facilities and direct access to the surf beach at Palm Beach and Tallebudgera Creek. The corporate team building package includes a meeting room, AV equipment, catering package and instructor-led teambuilding group activity – surfing, artificial climbing wall or high ropes challenge course.

Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) recently highlighted the importance of the Middle East region at the on-going Gulf Incentive Business Travel Meetings (GIBTM) exhibition. In 2013, they witnessed more than one million MICE travellers from all over the world, including 15,000 from the Middle East, a number they expected to grow by five per cent in 2014. Asia was the best performing region accounting for 72 per cent of Thailand’s MICE visitors, and grew strongly by 20.25 per cent last year. They have forecast a growth in MICE visitor numbers of five percent, a total of 987,000 visitors by this year-end.

eVisa facility may start in India this year: Tourism Secretary n With a view to liberalise the visa regime, officials in the Ministry of

Tourism, Government of India are busy finalising the introduction of the electronic visa facility within this year as that would enable India to figure amid the top four countries in global tourism, a top Tourism Ministry official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi in March.


MICEtalk May 2014


Holiday Inn

opens at Delhi Airport

n IHG has opened a new Holiday Inn at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. The 265room hotel is the second Holiday Inn in the Delhi and ninth in India. Facilities will include several F&B outlets, four meeting rooms and a ballroom.

Sabre offers map-based booking tool n Sabre has unveiled a new map-

based hotel search and booking tool for travel agents. The GDS company has signed a new deal with ZoomAndGo that will use mapping technology to allow agents to search for hotels by destination, using any global street name or address, neighbourhood, airport code or local attraction. They can then sort the search results by chain, price, amenity or other criteria. Corporate travel agents will also be able to filter for client preferred hotels, ensuring corporate policy compliance.

Courtyard by Marriott targets MICE in Bilaspur n Marriott International

strengthens its presence in Central India with the introduction of its Courtyard by Marriott brand - a business hotel located in the commercial district of Bilaspur, which will cater to business visitors and locals alike. Courtyard by Marriott, Bilaspur offers a choice of 106 (including 70 deluxe rooms, 30 superior rooms, two junior suites and four courtyard suites) well-lit rooms with natural lighting and contemporary décor. The Courtyard by Marriott, Bilaspur features the only banquet space in the city with a pre-function area and largest indoor halls that can comfortably accommodate over 1,000 people.

Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore upgrades business services n The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore has announced a series of enhanced services

for their Club and Suite guests. The Club Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore features floor-to-ceiling windows, a buffet area, a lounge section, a library, and a meeting room. A feature of the Bangalore Club and Suite level is the availability of iPad’s in all guestrooms and suites, enabling guests to access and interact with the complete range of facilities and services on offer. MICEtalk May 2014




Poland eyes Indian MICE market n Poland Tourist Organisation

(PTO) in association with Poland Convention Bureau, conducted a three-city road show covering Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. The roadshow which is part of the PTO’s product marketing and branding campaign ‘Polska - Come And Find Your Story’ was targetted towards promoting business and leisure tourism. The campaign which was launched in 2013 by PTO is financed from European Union Regional Development Fund. It is also the first ever multimedia campaign of Poland dedicated to the key Asian markets - India, China and Japan.

Gold Coast Convention Centre bags award n The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre (GCCEC) has won two awards at this year’s Queensland Meetings and Events Australia (MEA) Industry Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility (over 30 fulltime employees) and QLD MEA Ungerboeck Young Professional Scholarship that went to Jordi Taylor, Sales Executive, GCCEC.

IT&CM China 2014 hosts Association Day n IT&CM China 2014 opened with much gusto as Association Executives thronged the

educational sessions fronted by Association Day expert speakers. Alicia Yao, General Manager of IME Consulting, kicked off the Association Day forums with “Association Meetings in China: The Role of a PCO in Winning Business for China”, together with her fellow speakers, Jennifer Salsbury, Senior Director of China National Convention Center and Huang Bo, ViceChairman, of Department of Immunology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.


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Hilton Bangalore Residences opens with MICE facilities n Hilton Worldwide and Hilton Hotels & Resorts opened Hilton Bangalore Residences on March 28, 2014. The hotel features 247 studios and one and two bedroom suites that range from a spacious 495 sq ft to 1,335 sq ft and are among the largest in the city. Business travellers will be able to access round-the-clock business services. The conference and events space at the hotel comprises of two boardrooms, ideally suited for mid-sized and exclusive business meetings and social gatherings, and four meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 90 people in a range of settings.

Aalborg, Denmark leaps in MICE city rankings n Aalborg, Denmark has

Outrigger, Australia offers healthy menus for MICE

Pandanus Venue opens at Sheraton Mirage, Australia

n The conferencing team at Outrigger

n Concluding two months of

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast Australia has introduced a range of new healthy

menu options in response to increasing demand from health conscious delegates. It has added more gluten free, vegetarian, organic and lowfat noodle box options to appeal to delegates within its growing medical and allied health sector business. With a high percentage of its MICE business drawn from the medical sector, the centrally-located hotel caters for up to 600 delegates across nine meeting spaces.

building works, the new and expansive Pandanus Venue at Sheraton Mirage Resort & Spa, Australia is officially open for business. The newly developed Pandanus venue features an abundance of natural light. A data projector, 3m screen and a built-in JBL sound system are fitted as per the standard. Large 8m x 3m glass doors open onto a new 165 sq m outdoor Courtyard which is ideal for welcome gatherings, working lunches or a refreshing escape to the outdoors.

experienced a strong growth in 2013. The latest victory was winning the prestigious European Control Conference (ECC) 2016 where 600-800 professors, researchers, academic staff and industry partake. The good results of Aalborg are reflected in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranking of the world’s most popular congress cities too.

Sunway Resort targets MICE from India n Malaysia-based Sunway Resort

and Spa is targetting the Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) market from India. Located 40 kms from Kuala Lumpur Airport, the 1,234 room integrated resort offers a theme park, a shopping mall and accommodation options including suites and villas. MICEtalk May 2014


new avenues

A stable govt will impact MICE positively l Naveen Rizvi Sr. Vice President - India & Head, TUI A stable government formed post elections will have a positive impact on the MICE industry. If one political party/consortium wins with a majority, there will be better policy frameworks in place for the corporates, which will see growth in the coming future. Needless to say, it will be beneficial for our industry as MICE movement is directly proportional to the growth of the corporate world - the better they perform, the better it is for us. A hung Parliament, on the other hand, deprived of majority by a single political party/

consortium will not be a good sign for our industry. A government formed on permutations and combinations is not beneficial and sometimes fails to get clear policies in place. The result is that challenges for corporates continue and hinder growth for them and for the MICE industry too.

Impact of 2014 Elections on MICE As the nation is going through the most important elections in recent years, MICEtalk speaks to the industry stalwarts on their expectations from the new government and the impact of the 2014 elections on MICE.


MICEtalk May 2014

new avenues

Political stability will help outbound MICE rise further l SanJeet Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office, India Despite there being a slowdown in MICE movements due to the uncertainty in the political scenario last year and early this year in India, Philippines has already seen some MICE movements from the start of the year 2014 from India. Post the OTOAI Convention held in December 2013, Philippines witnessed a substantial increase in Indian arrivals from January to March this year. There will be a slump in outbound Indian travel due to the upcoming elections in the month of April. We are optimistic that there will be an increase in movement in the third and fourth quarters if political and economic stability are sustained in the country, post elections. The rupee devaluation, which was also holding back outbound movement for some time is not a

hindrance any more. An increasing number of Indians are choosing Philippines for their MICE activities now. In the first week of April, we have a group of about 525 people heading to Manila. The country is fast becoming a popular MICE destination, with increasing awareness about the product amongst Indians. Philippines has many MICE venues on offer and we are confident that we will be able to attract more numbers for MICE.

Compared to other Asian countries, India is far behind, not only in terms of infrastructure, but also in the attitude towards the MICE segment

l Prasant Saha Managing Director, CIMGLOBAL While MICE movement may not be affected by forthcoming elections, it still holds the hope that the new government would invest in understanding this important segment of tourism, and take the right steps for its revival. Compared to other Asian countries, India is far behind, not only in

terms of infrastructure, but also in the attitude towards this important segment. MICE not only generates tourism business, job creation, but most importantly, it creates the ‘platform for knowledge and trade exchange’, which is of great value and should not be ignored. Whichever political party comes to power, we can only hope that they take time to understand and learn what other successful countries are doing, and the benefits they are enjoying. Though I also fear that, if the ruling party doesn’t have a majority, all the plans will not go through due to the lack of consensus among parties.

2014 Elections

New government should revive MICE

MICEtalk May 2014


new avenues

MICE travel will see zero impact

l Surinder Singh Sodhi Senior Vice President & Head, Leisure Travel (Inbound), Thomas Cook (India) Ltd.

Travel will shoot up post elections

l Rajan Dua Managing Director, Udaan India Private Limited

This election season, while the industry pundits have painted pictures of doom and gloom, at Thomas Cook India, we have seen no impact either on our current or forward MICE bookings. Historically too, elections have seen no adverse impact on MICE travel, nor do we anticipate this in the current scenario. As far as the inbound MICE customer is concerned, this segment tends to steer clear of the election period to avoid any potential disruption to their movement and hence their travel itineraries, not to mention the effect it may have on business and commerce. Our MICE teams indicate that the only impact they anticipate is that a majority of our corporates may well consider altering their travel dates to pre/ post the elections, to ensure that they exercise their voting rights; but clearly MICE travel will see zero impact. Understandably, a few key corporates have indicated that they plan to defer MICE travel to post results, in anticipation of a stabilisation in forex rates and a stronger rupee.


MICEtalk May 2014

Elections starting from the second week of April and ending in the third week of May are definitely going to impact the MICE movement in these months as people are excited about their voting rights and are looking forward to a big change in the country with change in the leadership. Travel is expected to shoot up as soon as the elections get over.

Business will rebound post elections

l Deepak Narula Managing Director, Aman Travels Limited There is an overall impact of elections on travel business and since MICE is a big budget business, it is definitely going to be affected. But I feel once the trends are clearer, the business will rebound and at that stage, we expect the MICE business to thrive.

new avenues

First year of a government takes an upward swing

Outbound travel is not affected by elections

l Pankaj Malhotra Director - EPIC India Tours & Events Pvt. Ltd.

l Amran Abdul Rahman Director Tourism Malaysia New Delhi

One thing is clear that the elections are associated with higher volatility, perhaps because investors fret about populism. The corporates are also not able to finalise incentive plans because of wobbly currency rates, these are very crucial for any MICE industry player. The confidence level in conferences happening in India is not much due to political instability, which again in turn, weakens our industry business. However, once a stable government is formed, it is seen that the first year always takes an upward swing, due to the confidence gained in the market. We are hopeful that the corporates will continue a positive spend on MICE post elections, due to expected favourable correction in the rate of the rupee against US dollar.

India is a mature democracy. Election of the peoples representatives is a natural process for the Indians. I do not foresee any major disruptions to international MICE travel. People might not be travelling in the week of the general election or on the date that the election is held at their constituency. As the dates of the election has already been confirmed earlier, people can plan better. I do not see any disruptions to people travelling abroad or having to make major changes to their MICE programmes during the general election.

l Vipul Kamboj Director Sales & Marketing, Leela Ambience Elections definitely impact any kind of business movement. International MICE would be affected due to security arrangements before and during election days. Also the dry days impact any team get-togethers that are organised during this period. However, domestic leisure MICE may not be affected as much as most of the events during this period are offsite and no serious business decisions are taken. The corporate/association events are postponed to a later date, due to the Election Commission directive of politicians not attending any events.

2014 Elections

Elections impact any business movement

MICEtalk May 2014


cover story

Cruising into


Cruises are lately gaining popularity in the MICE industry as they offer innovative packages and built-in activities and programmes for the delegates. They also offer more quality time together for the teams and hence there is more bonding on a ship. MICEtalk explores the opportunities offered by the cruise sector for MICE in India. Megha Paul


MICEtalk May 2014

cover story


ruise holidays as an alternative to a land-based vacation, were expected to take off in a big way particularly because of its all-inclusive appeal. However, the potential of cruise tourism in India is still untapped. In competitive times, where airline commissions are dwindling, a new alliance between cruise professionals, travel agents and tour operators is the way forward. In search of the best and unique venues for corporate meetings, incentive travel, trade shows and conferences, meeting planners are now looking out to the seas and also global rivers.

advantages The main benefits for the MICE sector of taking the cruise-ship route includes - state-of-theart facilities, the allure of travelling to multiple destinations without the bother of flight and hotel bookings and its value for money. The burgeoning interest in cruising has resulted in strong MICE growth for some cruise lines and the development of ‘MICE divisions’ of some cruise selling travel agencies.

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cover story

Cruise Tourism has grown by 23 per cent The cruise market in India had to its credit more than 115,000 passengers setting sail annually, Shibani Phadkar, Senior Vice President, Leisure Travel (Outbound), Thomas Cook (India) reveals. Given that the company predicted a viable potential for cruises, Thomas Cook India was the first travel company to set up an exclusive cruise division, as early as 2007. “Despite the gloom predicted by the pundits, at Thomas Cook India, we’ve seen an impressive growth of 23 per cent and upward, including Free Independent Travellers (FIT), Group Inclusive Tour (GIT) and MICE segments for 2013. Our cruise team has seen a very interesting growth from two strong emerging segments - the youth and women travellers. Cruises are a top draw for our ad hoc groups also we’ve had ‘kitty party’ groups, ‘bachelor and hen party’ groups, anniversary celebrations and also groups of friends,” she affirms. Leisure travel tops the company’s cruise portfolio, contributing to 90 per cent of the revenue, followed by Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) at about seven per cent and finally business travellers at three per cent.

accommodation on-board Cruises also provide a wide range of accommodation, perfect for meeting groups. Swanky suites are available for executive use and often double as a special gathering spot for evening receptions. The suites aren’t just on luxury, upper premium or premium lines, even affordable contemporary lines have incredible suites.

Entertainment for all

As Phadkar explains, the cruise industry sells ‘itineraries’ and not destinations as the ship itself is the ‘destination’. Passengers are onboard a well-equipped ‘floating resort’ with an array of entertainment options and numerous facilities like restaurants, lounge bars, theatres, swimming pools and gaming arenas. “A strong advantage is that one visits a myriad of destinations in a short span of time sans the tension of having to pack-unpack flights or other modes of travel. Of course, another powerful plus point is that the price is all inclusive - which means everything from travel, accommodation and meals to entertainment, is taken care of. All these factors have gone a long way in ensuring that the share of the pie of cruise holidays keeps increasing by leaps and bounds,” she states.

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There’s more quality time together, more bonding for teams on a ship because of the leisurely meals and entertainment that people attend together Short Cruises in Demand

Throwing light on new trends in the industry, Naresh Rawal, VicePresident, Sales, South Asia, Russia, Middle East and South Africa, Star Cruises, confirms, “While business travel, holiday and VFR trips still dominate outbound volumes, people are opting for niche products such as sports tourism, luxury travel, honeymoon packages and cruises. It reveals clear opportunities for market segmentation. More Indians are now going for international cruises but most of them prefer short cruises, rather than the long voyages that Americans and Europeans seek. First-timers opt for short cruises to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, as a package to these countries is more affordable. April-June is the peak season for outbound cruise tourism in India.” Cruising is cheaper than a land-based holiday as the cruise package takes care of the stay and a maximum of three meals and entertainment on board, he adds.

Better for team building and bonding When selecting an oceangoing ship for a large meeting, the choices seem almost endless. Cruise stakeholders should provide world-class products to their clients such as cuisines, entertainment, and international experiences to attract Indian tourists, opines Ratna Chadha, Chief Executive, TIRUN Travel Marketing and India Representative, Royal Caribbean Cruises. One of the benefits of holding a meeting on a ship is that it’s a more intimate environment. “Unlike a meeting in a specific hotel, where all guests arrive and depart depending on their whims and fancies, in a cruise, it is not the same. Here everyone is together so they arrive and depart at the same time. There’s more quality time together, more bonding for teams on a ship because of the leisurely meals, entertainment that people attend together, fitness activities, classes that bring people together without everything having to be planned in advance,” Chadha points out. MICEtalk May 2014


cover story

leisure market. Cruise companies offer an attractive commission. The cruise segment, though niche, is rapidly getting more popular, especially international cruises and has still not been totally tapped by the travel trade.”

Innovative packaging

Talking about the government regulations in the cruising sector, she adds, “The industry stakeholders, along with the government, should also make way for international cruise operators to invest in India. A complex tax regime, along with tedious immigration processes, is costing the Indian government precious foreign exchange. To bring an international cruise experience to the Indian backwaters, the government has to modulate cruise policies.” Talking about the benefits of cruise vacations for outbound travel agents, she informs, “Agents, who earlier handled 60 per cent of travel bookings in India, have been forced by falling airline commission revenues to focus on value-added services and the


MICEtalk May 2014

According to Nishith Saxena, Director, Cruise Professionals, conventional holiday packages are becoming monotonous and predictable and travel agents need to look at products that will give their customers new experiences. “I feel agents in India will start engaging more with cruise liners, as it will not only help them stay innovative but also assist in increasing their income,” he adds. There is a huge dearth of trained staff in the cruise sector. “The staff in majority of agencies is trained only in the airline aspect of the business of issuing tickets. They need exposure to learn and understand the international destinations well enough to be able to suggest, promote and sell with confidence to the discerning outbound traveller,” Saxena laments.

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in as many bags as they can fit into their cabin. But passengers must remember that all international and domestic flights have baggage allowance restrictions. Therefore passengers need to be familiar with baggage allowance/restrictions of airlines they are using before and after the cruise to ensure that they do not face inconvenience at airports.”

River cruises for MICE

Going forward, the travel agents in India need to hire fresh talent and upgrade existing skills and knowledge to incorporate outbound tourism as part of their total product and service offering, he suggests.

Ease of travel for MICE groups

Enlightening the travel trade about the finer details that need to be kept in mind, while planning MICE on cruises, Saxena shares, “Different ships deliver unique atmosphere and style of service based on the product offering – casual, upmarket, premium or luxury. In addition to this, based on the size of the ships, the size of cabins and facilities offered may differ. Therefore, it is important to look at the ship size and facilities being offered. On most cruises, there is no restriction of baggage. Passengers can bring


MICEtalk May 2014

River cruise lines also charter their vessels – typically carrying 100 to 250 guests - for business or incentive groups. Onboard, guests enjoy fine dining, wine and beer with dinner, regional entertainment, on-board activities, lounges, lectures, exercise facilities, and often a hot tub or even a small pool. Shore options are plentiful. As per Siddharth Roy, Senior VP, Business Development, AMA Waterways, this is a good opportunity for travel agents and tour operators, as commission from cruises is significantly higher. “For our company, travel agents can rake in commissions as high as 30 per cent. Also, there are big incentives for the B2B fraternity beyond the commission. Thus, stakeholders should continue educating and updating the travel trade about cruise products,” he explains.

country talk

attracting MICE Whether it’s large conventions, smaller meetings, creative incentive itineraries, events such as award ceremonies or concerts, in England, there are worldclass facilities and great professional expertise available to help make an event a success.


ngland as a destination for business visits and events has several strengths. One of the primary ones is its proven track record of hosting some of the most prestigious events in the world – like the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Unique MICE Venues

From unique venues such as religious buildings or stately homes to castles, event planners are looking for memorable spaces. Sheffield Cathedral is renovating the premises to cater to events for up to 400 guests with modern technology. Manchester’s Albert Hall, a chapel which dates back to 1910, will be transformed into a live music and conference venue while Leeds Castle in Kent has launched Knights Glamping, a ‘camping’ village on its grounds, for a unique getaway. Team building activities and venues that take delegates out of the boardroom are also popular. Whether it is a course at the Bear Grylls’ survival academy or a brainstorming session, in a tree house inspired wooden hangar at the soon-to-be-opened Bowcliffe Hall in Leeds; or at London’s newest skyscraper, 20 Fenchurch Street, where a Sky Garden can host up to 540 guests.


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country talk

St Mary’s Church Nottingham MICEtalk May 2014


country talk

Several cities in England have purpose-built convention centres with state-of-the-art facilities to host a range of events. Here are some of the finest meeting venues in England:


In the seaside city of Brighton in the south of England, The Brighton Centre has hosted major political and international conferences, exhibitions, banquets and product launches. As one of the largest conference centres in this area, the Brighton Centre can handle lunch for up to 3,000 guests, hold 20 simultaneous breakout sessions and even exhibit helicopters. The 1300 sq m foyer and large restaurants have floor-toceiling windows to make the most of natural light and the seafront view.

why england? The infrastructure in the country is state-of-the-art - be it for accommodation, communication or transport. A compact country, but with a depth and range of experiences and venues, easy connectivity with airlines across the world flying into various airports, and its reputation as a pre-eminent host, all make for a compelling offer for MICE travellers.

Birmingham Symphony Hall


Liverpool in the North of England is well known for its UNESCO World Heritage waterfront and as the birthplace of the Beatles. It is also home to a fantastic convention centre such as the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC). The ACC Liverpool is not only the largest venue in Liverpool, but also one of the most sustainable event spaces in Europe. It is designed to reduce the average level of CO2 emissions from this type of building by half. Home to the BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena, it is the only interlinking arena and convention centre complex in Europe and is a one-stop business events venue with entertainment, events and exhibitions all coming under one roof. It offers lecture theatres, meeting rooms, an 11,000 pax capacity arena, an exhibition space of more than 7,000 sq m and a dramatic dining space for 1,800 guests. There are plans for ACC Liverpool to expand with a new exhibition centre and hotel which are expected to open by 2015.

Above: The Eden Project, Cornwall


One of the popular meeting venues in Manchester is the Manchester Central Convention Complex. An award winning complex, right in the city centre, it has held various political conferences and association congresses. It is a venue that merges historic architecture and modern facilities. Its vaulted arches and railway station clock have made this venue an iconic feature of the city for more than 130 years. A flexible space, it has area for exhibitions ranging from 1,830 to 10,000 sq m, with theatre-style seating for up to 8,000 and meeting facilities from 40 to 4,000 pax. They also have an 804-seater auditorium.


The largest event space in the north-eastern city of NewcastleGateshead is the Norman Foster-designed Sage Gateshead – a curved glass and steel landmark on the waterfront. It incorporates performance halls with acoustic excellence, gallery exhibition spaces, a wood-panelled auditorium, large multipurpose rooms and smaller meeting rooms for flexible options. A famous centre for music, Sage can enhance business sessions with bespoke musical workshops and even fun and creative ‘bolt-on’s, such as popcorn machines, smoothie bars, steel drum performances and ukulele bands, among many other possibilities.

Above: Lord’s Cricket Ground Media Centre


Birmingham, in the heart of England, is a popular destinations for business events in England. Its iconic venue is the ICC Birmingham – the ultimate event space with more than 400,000 people a year passing through its doors. With resources and flexible spaces for events ranging from 8-8,000 delegates, you’re sure to be treated to some of the best facilities and expertise at this venue that holds more than 570 annual events. In the past it has hosted high-profile events such as the G8 summit, the NATO Defence Ministers and various political conferences. The ICC also includes the Symphony Hall – regarded as one of the top three concert halls in the world.

Above: Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool

popular destination There were 299,000 visitors to England between January-September 2013, out of these, 74,000 were business visitors. India helped add GBP 1.2 million through various incentive groups.

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country talk

Simon Gidman, Head – Business Visits and Events, VisitEngland summarises what will shape the country’s meetings and incentives industry this year: “With a spate of world-class tournaments on the horizon, there are a flood of unique venues opening their doors to the corporate market and a wave of event spaces taking delegates back to nature, VisitEngland predicts that sport, unusual venues and conferences in trees(!) will all have an influence on the meetings and incentives industry this year.” going green England is a hub for Green Energy research and knowledgeable experts. Leading the way in sustainable and responsible events, ISO 20121 is based on the earlier British standard called BS 8901 and the London 2012 Olympic Games set the sustainability standard and blueprint for future Olympic Games.

After-hours activities

Most of the convention centres are in the middle of the city, so that delegates don’t have to be transferred far off for their evening/leisure activities. There are several options for outdoor team building programmes. At Cotswold Water Park where the largest area of inland water (40 lakes spread over 40 square miles) can be enjoyed with sailing, canoeing, waterskiing and windsurfing, all under expert tuition. Teams can also compete in the ‘Cotswolds Job’ car treasure hunt, where delegates can drive around in iconic English Mini’s in an enjoyable, high-paced treasure hunt through country lanes.

Canoeing, Devon & Cornwall

Adventure Days

Bear Grylls’ new survival academy offers the teambuilding courses to the corporate market across various places in England. At the Dartmoor National Park in Devon (Southwest England), the largest tract of open country in southern England, delegates can enjoy an adventure day that incorporates canoeing on the River Dart, abseiling, archery and mountain biking or they can enjoying sailing and boat-on-boat racing along the southern coast of Devon & Cornwall.

Battling it out Team building activity at Bear Grylls


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At Warwick Castle, close to Birmingham, one can swap the boardroom for the battlefield as teams battle against each other to determine the champions through archery, sword battle and pole-arm combat!

city talk

P ris ive venue t c a r t t a y r e d Paris is a v entions an v n o C h t o gb arkets. for hostin m e r u t a m for r to find Incentives e p e e d s e delv MICEtalk ffers in the o y it c e h t out what or. MICE sect roi

Neha Obe

Enchanting MICE Venues

Photo Credit: Paris Tourist Office, Jacques Lebar

Meeting Venues in Paris

A major society in Paris is Viparis which offers MICE groups a selection of 10 venues in the city centre and outside Paris. Its venues include: Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris Nord Villepinte, Le Palais des Congrès de Paris, CNIT Paris La Defense, Palais des Congres d’Issy, Paris Le Bourget, Espace Champerret, Palais des Congrès de Versailles, Espace Grande Arche.

Le Palais des Congrès de Paris

Le Palais des Congrès de Paris is a leading venue for international congresses on Paris’ 17th Arrondissement, Porte Maillot, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Elysées. It has a total of 32,000 sq m, including 19,000 sq m of exhibition areas, four auditoriums on three levels, 20 breakout rooms and 85 meeting rooms. Le Palais des Congrès de Paris is an internationally renowned venue and hosts large international congresses, corporate events, shows and some of the biggest artists.

Le Palais des Congres d’Issy - Viparis

Ideally located in the heart of Issy les Moulineaux, Le Palais des Congres d’Issy is directly in the south of Paris and designed in the Art Deco style of the 30s. One will be captivated by the stained glass windows and the all-woodwork auditorium. It covers an area of 3,000 sq m which includes one auditorium, two multipurpose areas, 11 meeting rooms on seven levels and a prestigious hall.

why france? À World’s finest gastronomy - It has 647 Michelin Guide restaurants and more than 365 distinct types of French cheese! À A large number of unique venues - 5,000 wine cellars for wine tasting and over 1,000 castles, abbeys, manors, churches. The country has an unbeatable cultural and historic heritage with 4,000 museums, 38 sites and cities on the UNESCO world heritage list and a variety of beautiful landscapes of more than 2,100 miles of coast, five major rivers, mountains and historic cities. À A powerful infrastructure - over 612,000 hotel rooms, 120 convention centres, 80 exhibition centres, France has all to seduce meeting and event planners.

MICEtalk May 2014


city talk

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles

Within Paris, events can be organised at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, which is located in the heart of the city. It is ideal for hosting events on a grand scale such as conventions, committees, dinners and cocktail evenings.

Cultural and fun MICE venues

It is also possible to hire museums, monuments and châteaux for organising events in Paris. Some examples include the Musée Jacquemart André that can easily accommodate 500 people for a cocktail party and dinners for up to 250 people in an ambience enriched by art.

food frenzy

The iconic Louvre Museum can also be an ideal venue for hosting events 32

MICEtalk May 2014

Major Parisian hotel chains provide Indian buffet or a la carte meals. Amongst the 19,000 restaurants present in Paris, one can find a large range of good Indian eateries which can be found in many districts, from the Golden Triangle to the Left Bank. Food critic Rashmi Uday Singh’s book - ‘A Vegetarian in Paris’ also gives tips on finding vegetarian food in the city.

city talk

Hotel Napoleon Paris

The iconic Louvre Museum can also be an ideal venue for hosting events. The Pyramid, Hall NapolĂŠon, Mezzanines, Sully Wing, Mollien and Richelieu CafĂŠs can host private receptions, gala evenings, award ceremonies, product launches and company anniversaries, etc. A unique hosting venue would also be Disneyland Paris, which enjoys easy access from the city centre. The theme park is a perfect destination for incentives and also for large meetings and can accommodate up to 6,000 people.

Disneyland Paris is a perfect destination for incentives and also for large meetings 2CV, Eiffel Tower Photo Credit: Paris Tourist Office, Amelie Dupont MICEtalk May 2014


city talk

Photo Credit: Paris Tourist Office, Fabian Charaffi

incentives Start the day with your group in a chauffeur-driven city tour on vintage 2CV cars. After a tour of the highlights of the City of Light and a croissant stop at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, your team can explore an area of Paris of their choice with their English-speaking driver-guide. Following a lunch in one of the most typical Parisian brasseries, your group can enjoy optional activities such as an art gallery visit, with an artist, in the most lively quarter of Paris, a Segway discovery promenade, a caricature drawing class in the heart of Montmartre, or a behind-the-scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower.

Hotels with convention space

Many hotel chains can also accommodate large conventions: among them are the New Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile (connected to the Congress Center at Porte Maillot), Paris Marriott Rive Gauche, Pullman Tour Eiffel and Montparnasse, MĂŠridien Etoile, Westin, Grand Hotel and Hotel du Collectionneur (the largest five-star hotel in Paris).

Post-event activities

A plethora of activities are possible for those wanting to explore the city in the post-event hours. From cruises on the Seine River (sightseeing, lunch or dinner) to discovery tours of the city in an iconic 2CV car to chocolate, art, bike trails, wine tasting and cooking classes, there is something to suit every person’s interests in Paris. Offbeat activities such as behindthe-scene discoveries of monuments and venues, such as the Lido, Eiffel Tower, Stade de France, the Opera House could also prove interesting for MICE visitors.

Green Paris

The issue of green events deserves serious thought by institutions and business tourism suppliers. The Paris Convention Bureau is one of the key propagators of this cause and promotes initiatives in the French and international market. In addition to providing recommendations on how to choose eco-friendly venues, eco-friendly caterers and other related topics, there is also a classification of Standards and Labels which can help event planners plan an ecofriendly event.


MICEtalk May 2014

venue talk

Meetings on an Island

Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Located in the charming downtown of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, the Vancouver Island Conference Centre (VICC) is set among unique modern-day shops with old world facades. This historic community is undergoing a facelift and is blending eco-tourism as a policy to draw more visitors from around the world, while the revitalisation continues.


MICEtalk May 2014

venue talk


s the island is easily accessible, planners, incentive travellers and delegates have an opportunity to explore what the stunning region of British Columbia has to offer, while staying connected and managing business at a first-class facility in a conference-friendly city.

MICE facilities at VICC

With a conference space of 38,000 sq ft, VICC is British Columbia’s venue of choice for small and mid-sized meetings, conferences, tradeshows and weddings for up to 1,300 people. Whether one is hosting a gala event or a small meeting, the conference centre has the space to suit all occasions. While the 13,697-sq ft ballroom easily accommodates large groups, the Nanaimo Museum Level makes an interesting setting for an intimate reception. Their spacious pre-function areas, including one that flows to an outside terrace, are perfect for registration, receptions, refreshment breaks and exhibits.

meeting halls À A 13,697 sq ft ballroom which is divisible into four salons À Five multi-purpose meeting rooms, all with windows, ranging from 668-1,004 sq ft À Spacious pre-function areas perfect for registration, receptions, refreshment breaks and exhibits

Denise Tacon, General Manager, VICC, commented on the MICE market, “The fluctuation of the economy, overall, has impacted the number of arrivals of conference delegates as it encouraged heightened interest in virtual participation options, through enhanced technology environments. While business volumes, month by month, compare differently from one year to the next, they have resulted in similar financial outcomes by the end of the year. The growth in the industry is making upward strides now and while the Vancouver Island Conference Centre has seen some growth year-overyear in domestic markets, to date it has not seen the same from the international market so far. The trends for 2013 have depicted more challenges for operators to forecast group activity based on shorter booking windows and higher reductions in attendance. Technology, including increased Wi-Fi demand and live-streaming capabilities, are becoming more of an industry norm, enhancing connectivity, while offsetting travel costs or issues with access to the island. Guests are looking for a solid quality product in return for their dollar today and convention centres must deliver this to stay competitive and sustainable. The Vancouver Island Conference Centre has recognised these elements as patterns for the forthcoming climate in meetings, incentives, conferences and the events environment by adjusting and providing for these demands.”

Interiors at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

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venue talk

accommodation Nanaimo has 1,200+ guestrooms to choose from, many within walking distance of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Special Features

The leading philosophy and attribute of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre is customer service. Having opened in 2008, this 38,000 sq ft facility still resembles a strong sense of newness, and prides itself on clean, flexible, fully-functional meeting spaces which appeal to conference planners and guests who appreciate quality and consistency of deliverables. Its floor-toceiling windows allow for natural lighting to enhance the West Coast design and brighten the day, regardless of the weather in British Columbia. Technology is reliable and food is artfully created, adding confidence and high expectation to the list of guarantees.


location Visitors can get to Nanaimo on a ferry from the mainland Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay terminal. They can also take a quick flight from the Vancouver harbour to Nanaimo harbour. Domestic flights are operated by West Jet and Air Canada. There are also flights operated by Kenmore Air from Seattle.


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As technology trends evolve, so does the need to keep up with them. In the age of multitasking, the business and conference delegates need to stay connected. Technology enhancement is a key focus for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. There are plans in place to boost Wi-Fi access and increase bandwidth to enable live-streaming video as an option for conference registration.

Post-event Options

Surrounded by lively cafés, music venues, boutiques, galleries and pubs, the centre sits at the heart of Nanaimo’s arts and entertainment district. It is within walking distance from the harbour front, ocean, and parks offering breathtaking views of the West Coast scenery.

hotel talk

Sheraton Macao

Sheraton Macao Hotel Exteriors at Night

Increasing the MICE Quotient

The largest hotel in Macau and the largest hotel in Starwood’s worldwide portfolio, Sheraton Macao Hotel’s location, within Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, offers easy access to interconnected properties - The Plaza Macao and The Venetian Macao, including access to an additional 5,000 sq m of meeting space. Neha Oberoi


he Shoppes mega-mall offers shoppers 600 duty-free retailers to choose from, complete with entertainment by lively and engaging street performers. The CotaiArena, CotaiExpo and the Venetian Theatre provide a constant and diverse flow of entertainment to suit all tastes - from concerts and sporting events to plays and other cultural performances as well as a selection of dining options.

location The Macau International Airport is a 45-minute ferry ride to Macau and this gives international groups easy access to Macau via this route.

DreamWorks Characters at Sheraton Macao

hotel talk

Sheraton Macao Hotel - Main Lobby

Ruth Boston – General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central commented, “Domestic, international and business-related travel in Greater China continues to rise, and today around 70 per cent of the guests at the Sheraton Macao Hotel are from the Greater China region, including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. We are gradually building our MICE clientele and we believe that the numbers are set to grow, especially with the planned Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge that will link all three cities by 2016.”

Meeting Spaces

The Sheraton Macao Hotel has 3,896 stylish guestrooms and more than 14,000 sq m of versatile indoor meeting space. The hotel has separate pool

Shrek Themed Family Suite


MICEtalk May 2014

decks offering a further 12,000 sq m of outdoor meeting space. It also has: À Flexible and versatile meeting venues for all occasions – from mega-events to intimate boardroom meetings – access to a further 5,000 sq m within the Sands Cotai Central. À The vast pillarless Kashgar Grand Ballroom and six junior ballrooms, in addition to three junior ballrooms at Sands Cotai Central, bring the total flexible event space to 20,000 sq m. À With 96 breakout rooms on the fourth floor and 70 on the fifth floor, accommodating events from 5,000 delegates, theatre-style, to intimate boardroom meetings for 12, Sheraton Macao Hotel is the ideal choice for all occasions, from gala dinners and international conferences to weddings and intimate meetings.

Special Services

The hotel has a dedicated team of professionals to target the association meetings segment. Being able to host large-scale meetings with thousands of delegates under one roof, the hotel has a dedicated team of professionals which is also its advantage over other MICE hotels in the region. The hotel also has the room inventory and the meeting facilities to host large group association events and delegates under one roof. The hotel also offers a dedicated event manager to oversee the event. Furthermore, Sheraton Macao Hotel has a strong relationship with local event companies, professional exhibition and conference organisers, destination management companies and team building specialists.

team adventures

‘Shrekfast’ - DreamWorks Characters Breakfast

As Macau’s MICE industry matures, so have the related services and products available in the destination. One example is the teambuilding activity that uses the iPad to explore Macau. The iPad Discovery Tour is the perfect activity for corporate groups to discover the history and culture of Macau in a fun and competitive way using a combination of relay race and problem solving. Each team is given an iPad, which will contain clues to complete a treasure hunt. Team-work is required to complete the activity. The hunt will take them to discover Macau’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other locations where they learn about Macau’s history and culture.

Flexible MICE offerings

The hotel has recently rolled out an offer - ‘Meet 24’ which provides smaller meeting groups flexible checkin and check-out times. The offer allows meeting groups to check-in any time and check-out at the same time on the day of departure, at no additional cost. This means that if the group’s preferred check-in time is 8:00 pm, the check-out time will also be 8:00 pm on the day of departure and no additional charges will apply. Also, the meeting space booked will be held for the same duration, meaning planners and delegates will enjoy meeting and relaxation time with incomparable flexibility. Starwood is also offering ‘Book A Group & Choose Your Own Rewards’ offer. While making a group booking at a participating Starwood hotel or resort in Asia Pacific, the offer allows customers to get a choice of two of the following: À Five per cent off master-billed rooms À Complimentary Internet in the meeting room À Double Starpoints on eligible revenue À Double complimentary room allocation À Double complimentary room upgrade allocation MICEtalk May 2014


sample this


MICE Philippine International Convention Center

Asia’s first international convention centre, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) made history setting a trend that led other countries to build their own. PICC has established itself as one of the most versatile event arenas in the Asia-Pacific region by hosting various political summits, medical conventions, and concerts of international artists.


he outbound MICE market segment from India has witnessed a strong growth, backed by the increasing number of discerning business travellers, who are continuously looking for event and wedding venues. Built on reclaimed land along Manila Bay in the Philippine capital, Manila, the Center has more than 70,000 sq m of floor area and a range of facilities that can accommodate a gathering of almost any size.

Meeting Venues

Overview of Makati, Manila


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The PICC has five building modules - the Delegation Building, Secretariat Building, Plenary Hall, Reception Hall and The Forum. Spaces at PICC are versatile enough to be transformed into any number of settings for any kind of exhibition, convention or special event.

The Delegation Building - The five-storey building

houses 12 meeting rooms, two new banquet halls, two corporate boardrooms, registration and document distribution counters, executive offices, office spaces and lounges that can accommodate different groups.

Secretariat Building – At the Southern end of the PICC complex is the Secretariat Building, a threestorey building which houses more meeting rooms, a banquet hall, exhibition areas, a media centre, an executive fine dining restaurant and a cafeteria for 500 people. Plenary Hall - A low-slung bridge through the

tropical gardens connects to the Plenary Hall, one of the most impressive of the five building modules. It can conveniently accommodate 4,000 people in a theatre set up for convention meetings or special events. It is

also equipped with a permanent stage, dressing rooms and a VIP lounge.

Reception Hall - The Reception Hall is an exquisite

hall with extensive red carpet and gigantic chandeliers, with a permanent stage and dressing rooms for live shows and special events. It can accommodate up to 2,500 guests for a sit-down dinner or 5,000 for a cocktail reception.

accessibility The meeting rooms are equipped with the Simultaneous Interpretation System (SIS) for a minimum of two to a maximum of seven languages. The Center is equipped with ramps, porch lifts and elevators for the physically-challenged.

MICEtalk May 2014


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The Forum - Also found within the complex is the

PICC Forum, a multi-purpose facility with raw space that can be re-designed easily to suit an organiser’s needs. It is popular to use for exhibitions and special events. The PICC Forum has a total usable area of more than 4,000 sq m capable of housing more than 200 standard exhibition booths. It can also accommodate up to 3,000 delegates in a theatre-style arrangement and has support facilities, such as a VIP lounge and a secretariat room.


It is equipped with ample parking spaces for up to 400 vehicles, a medical clinic, an ATM machine and bank services. The Philippine International Convention Center has tied up with Via Mare Corporation as its exclusive professional food caterer / concessionaire to cater to the banqueting requirements of the Center and its clients. Backed by more than 34 solid years of

location Strategically located, the PICC is at the heart of Manila, a few minutes away from the international airport, close to major hotels, shopping malls, exciting places for a night out and other tourist spots. The Center is well-secured round the clock with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) and also equipped with baggage x-ray machines, metal detectors, bomb-sniffing canines and roving security guards to ensure safety and security in and around the centre.


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experience, it has grown since then and continues to be a frontrunner in the restaurant and catering industry. PICC is a member of international & local associations such as the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Assosacion Internationale Palais de Congres (AIPC), Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation (PCVC) and the Philippine Association of Congress/Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (PACEOS).

Attracting MICE from India

Delhi and Mumbai are important source markets for outbound MICE business from India to the Philippines. Other than this, The Department of Tourism, Philippines (DOT) is also targeting the Tier II cities of the country namely - Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai. They organised roadshows in these cities, to give travel partners an opportunity to interact with their counterparts from the Philippines and showcase the country’s new attractions and services offered as part of the ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign. An interesting trend being noticed is the increase in the number of queries generated from the pharmaceutical industry & PSUs other than the free individual travellers (FIT) from the MICE vertical. Philippines is a perfect mix of beach, water activities, shopping and night life, which these MICE groups look forward to.

let’s talk

Planning Conventions –

getting it right

What goes into planning a convention? What are the factors that are considered in the planning – venue, budget, accessibility or accommodation? MICEtalk delves further into the process of organising conventions, with industry experts, to find out more.

Choosing a venue is of utmost importance Naveen Rizvi


Sr. Vice President- India & Head TUI- Meetings & Incentives & ICE- Integrated Conference & Event Management


An important factor in planning a convention within India is - choosing an appropriate convention venue. The venue should be selected considering factors such as its accessibility or its capacity to accommodate the expected number of delegates for the convention. The theme of the conference also plays an important role in finalising the host city. If the convention is related to the Central Govt. or Ministries, Delhi will be the ideal city to host the convention. Similarly, Mumbai will be ideal for hosting financial theme based conventions and Bengaluru for IT-based conventions. We also take utmost care in choosing accommodation for the delegates. Hotels in proximity to the convention venue are preferred, in cases, where the convention venue is not the hotel itself. If the convention venue is a hotel, then we take into consideration, nearby hotels of all categories- 5-star, 4-star, 3-star and budget hotels, to cater to the requirements of all delegates. Other important factors include budget, manpower management, venue management and setup, good quality audio-visual equipment, planning transfer and shuttle routes and frequencies, food and beverage selection, requirement of interpreters, local sightseeing

MICEtalk May 2014

attractions and pre and post-tours to attract participation. For overseas conventions also, choosing a venue is of utmost importance. We shortlist venues on the basis of number of delegates attending the convention and finalise on the basis of accessibility to the airport and the city centre and the availability of Indian food. Countries which have an easy visa application process, such as Thailand, Hong Kong, UAE, get an edge over other countries for being selected as the convention venue.

let’s talk


Accessibility for global and local delegates plays a decisive role Shajai Jacob

Director & Head – Marketing & Communications, India & Sri Lanka Jones Lang LaSalle

Convenience of access to global and domestic delegates; location fitment in line with stature; availability of a 360-degree experience in inculcating not only formal sessions but also informal networking catch-ups and leisure events; and ease of transport between sub-locations are some of the primary factors which need to be considered when planning a convention. Apart from these, there are other factors too - such as the implications of foreign exchange fluctuations, availability of transparent and top-class vendor partners, competitive perception for the location, etc. which play a decisive role when planning a large event.

Business travellers and homesickness

My pets

Certain types of shops

Living standard

Own Weather type of coffee/tea

5% 4% 14% 10%

6% 11%

12% 8%

5% 4% Home cooking

8% 14%

48% 25% 12% 5%

11% 3% My family My pillow

What do you miss most while travelling abroad? 7% 11%

68% 77%

n Global Average n India

38% 42% My home

reported that after family (68 per cent) and their home (38 per cent), they are most likely to be hit by a bout of nostalgia over home cooking (25 per cent), rather than savouring the delights of a foreign cuisine. One in five respondents (17 per cent) also longs to speak in their own language, highlighting that some homecomforts really are irreplaceable in making people feel that they belong.

17% 16%


side from missing their families and home, Indian business travellers reveal that they are very much attached to their home cooking, finds the latest survey by Regus, the global flexible workplace provider. Home cooking (48 per cent) is among the top three things Indians miss when travelling for work, outranking speaking their own language. When travelling abroad for business, respondents globally

Speaking Television Types of Nothing my own programmes medicines language I can only get in my own country MICEtalk May 2014


Focussing on

Indian MICE Q&A

Reed Travel Exhibitions


Shane Hannam, Key Account Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions, who was in India recently, talks about the Indian MICE market and how they are committed and focussed on India. Peden Doma Bhutia

MICEtalk May 2014

Over the years, your events have seen an increase in the number of Indian Q buyers, how has the response been from India this year?

The response from India was terrific, as always. If you look at the global meetings industry, India is a huge part of what’s going on. We are very focussed on and committed to this market. We see a massive increase in both incoming and outgoing business in the meetings market. The fact that we now have our own portfolio of events and a particular event in

yours officially

there any areas that need to be worked on? QAre

The important thing is to stay focussed on the three pillars of the global meetings industry - educational Shane Hannam IBTM India was a great launch market perspective, networking potential and Key Account Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions and it has huge potential. The launch general worth of the global meetings event in Mumbai was very well industry. From the perspective of the attended, it operated on the table-top format, which supplier, we need to focus on educating the market. is slightly different from the other events we run. The We need to focus on the ability to network and that is strategic positioning of that event was basically to something that needs to be developed, there’s always create a footstep into the market - giving people an room for improvement. opportunity to see what the Indian market can offer, How would you predict the growth of the giving a low-cost opportunity to enter a new market. tourism industry in the future? The success was overwhelming and going forward, People are becoming much more mobile. They are it has given us a great foundation to build on. This looking for a certain level of service, convenience year, we move to Chennai and this is to show that the and to unearth new experiences. People who are at the forefront of the market are people who are doing things slightly differently. They have a standard in place in terms of the quality of accommodation, airlift services being provided and on top of that is the desire and request of the travellers to find something different which can be a cultural experience, gastronomic experience or connected to sport. We are also seeing the emergence of health and wellness tourism and religious tourism, all of which are niche areas, which were not taken seriously before, but should be considered seriously now.


potential offered by this market is not solely restricted to Mumbai. We want to open up the opportunity, within the meetings industry, to the whole country and are looking at the top tier cities in the meetings industry.

India is a testament. India is an up and coming market, the global meetings and incentive market is definitely coming into India and we have seen an increase in the number of suppliers supporting our global events. So, even for our new events, we are seeing a huge amount of Indian private sector trying to access those markets.


How was the response to IBTM India?


IBTM India was a great launch market and it has huge potential

MICEtalk May 2014


team talk

It’s fair winds ahead!


MICEtalk May 2014

team talk

Sailing - the word encapsulates dreams of success and of fulfilment. It brings to mind adventure, relaxation, excitement and joy. Sailing is something that captures the imagination of the young and the old. MICEtalk explores the team building and MICE opportunities that sailing, as an activity, offers in India.


quasail is a pioneer world class leisure boating company in the country and provides 360-degree leisure sailing options. The company is the realisation of a dream of a corporate lawyer and a hard core corporate buff. Their mutual love for the sea and the wind brought them together and their company. Shakeel Kudrolli, MD, Aquasail talks about his love for sailing and says, “The Indian coastline is a dream for leisure boating and Aquasail’s vision is to ensure that Indians can experience a superb, safe and ideal sailing experience and enjoy the fantastic world of boating.” Zia Hajeebhoy, Director, Aquasail said, “Aquasail provides a range of products catering to families, individuals and corporates in India. Every experience is customised and we are thrilled to find so many taking to the sea and riding the waves with Aquasail.” Sailing is one of the most stimulating and versatile activities possible and it offers learners a world of different perspectives. It can be adventurous, relaxing, demanding and soothing.

Sailing is a great platform for conducting team building activities, networking events and incentive activities for clients. Aquasail offers unique, customised packages for MICE, keeping the business objectives of the client in mind. Aquasail has tied up with TUI Marine’s Sunsail, the world’s largest sailing and water sports holiday company, delivering great value sailing experiences all over the world. Hajeebhoy says, “We have also tied up with TUI Marine’s The Moorings, a premiere yacht charter company which offers a collection of getaways from hands-on sailing or power yacht vacations to luxury crewed yachts with every possible comfort onboard.” Sailing is an unfettered joy, and spending more than a day out on the water is beautiful and relaxing. With the joys of sailing catching up in the Indian MICE sector, it seems like fair winds ahead! MICEtalk May 2014


tech talk

Tips for Business

eMail Etiquette

Despite the growing prevalence of texting, instant messaging apps and social networks in the business world, eMail remains one of the most popular ways for modern professionals to communicate.


lthough over 300 billion eMails are estimated to be sent every day, however, a surprising number of executives and entrepreneurs still struggle to grasp fundamental rules of netiquette. Following are eMail etiquette hints, tips and strategies to follow, which can help you connect and interact with others better.

General Business eMail Tips

À Tone, context and subtle nuances are easily lost in translation when sending business eMails. Before sending the eMail, consider if your commentary could be misconstrued and/or misinterpreted, and if a phone call might be better advised.

À Truly important or time-sensitive queries may be best addressed via a call, given eMail’s periodic propensity to be delayed or misrouted by touchy servers and spam filters. À Once written, eMails cannot be undone - watch what you say, whom you copy, and always think twice before sending them along. À Don’t write anything in an eMail that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying in person - or in public. Emails are easily forwarded, shared and/or monitored by employers and inappropriate commentary may come back to haunt you. Professionalism is imperative. À Unless you get a response, don’t assume that eMails have been received - Internet issues, inbox filters and even simple misspellings of eMail


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tech talk

addresses may result in communications going awry.

about the author Scott Steinberg heads management consulting and corporate training firm TechSavvy Global. A top-rated provider of keynote speeches, workshops and seminars, and an award-winning business author, he’s been seen in 600+ outlets from CNN to NPR.

Copying Others on Professional Communications

À Be careful to double-check recipients in an email and also be careful while copying and blind carbon copying contacts: A slip of the keyboard, finger or auto-completing contact form may inadvertently send messages to the wrong party, or result in dozens of parties’ contact information accidentally being shared with one another.

least send a brief note letting senders know when a proper response will be forthcoming.

À When sending emails to multiple recipients, consider blind carbon copying for courtesy’s sake, or creating groups of users which shield recipients contained in the group from seeing who else has been copied.

À When away from your desk for travel or vacations, set an out-of-office response stating when you’ll return, and the conditions under which you may or may not be checking your inbox.

À If you’re going to add people to the email conversation, let recipients know (For example, “I’m copying John Smith, our head of marketing, here.”)

À Business eMails should, wherever possible, be confined to working hours especially if you’re working in different time zones and/or continents, as recipients may be understandably perplexed to receive emails from you at 2:00 a.m.

À Before hitting ‘Reply All’ - which sends messages to all individuals copied on an eMail, not just the sender - consider, whether it is important for everyone to receive your response.

Tone, context and subtle nuances are easily lost in translation in business e-mails Email Subjects and Response Times

À For courtesy’s sake, subject lines should be short, sweet and should directly relate to eMail contents: Misleading or false statements, or needlessly openended or misleading questions (For example, “Did you hear about...?”) will be poorly received. À Before marking eMails as urgent, tantamount to putting an underscore under your message in someone’s inbox, genuinely ask yourself: Will the other party consider the query just as important as I do? If not, they may rush to read something that didn’t need urgent prioritising, and be understandably irritated. À Courtesy suggests that we be timely about responding to eMails - most responses should happen within 24 hours. Should you lack time to respond that soon, it’s recommended that you at

When to Send and Share

À Some busy people clear out their eMail inboxes on Sunday night when they’re free from disturbances, before the work week begins. However, it is often inappropriate to contact them over the weekend, while you may not expect them to read messages until Monday morning, recipients may be offended when their leisure time is interrupted by what’s perceived to be an urgent work request. À If you are ceasing employment with an organisation, it is OK to send an eMail update to give your contacts a heads-up and provide new personal contact information, which should always be professional and neutral or upbeat in tone. (You should also setup an automatic response making senders aware that you are no longer at the job, and whom to reach out to in your absence.)

However, it is not appropriate to discuss new employers or provide contact information for your new position through a previous employer’s eMail network.

Sending Mass eMails

À Don’t automatically add users to mass eMail lists without requesting their permission in advance. À All mass communications should include an unsubscribe option that’s just one click away and not request added steps like retyping one’s eMail address, clicking menu options, or explaining why they’ve opted out of your communications. À When sending mass eMails, use solutions that refer to recipients by first name but be certain names appear in the same color, font and size as the rest of the message, so the fact that it’s a faceless form letter isn’t obvious. MICEtalk May 2014


etiquette talk

Shital Kakkar Mehra

Practitioner of Corporate Etiquette and International Protocol in India

Protocol for Business Communication In the words of Peter Drucker, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said”. Did you know that in the first 15 seconds of face-to-face conversations, our words count for only 7 per cent of our impact, our vocal quality counts for 35 per cent, and our appearance counts for the rest i.e. 58 per cent? However, after the initial 15 seconds, what we say becomes all important.


alking is the basic means of communication in which business across the globe is conducted. Following are a few guidelines that will help you converse with your business counterparts from different parts of the world:

Loudness of the voice

Listen to the loudness of the voices around you and if necessary, re-adjust your volume to match the others. At times it is cultural – e.g. Asians and Americans speak louder than Europeans. Remind yourself that increasing your volume won’t help the person understand you better, but would have just the reverse impact and you risk alienation by appearing rude! Besides, it is a proven fact that lowering your volume gets you more attention.

Interrupting others

Interrupting and finishing other people’s sentences, projects rudeness and impatience. This results in loss of information and potential business relationships. When speaking, refrain from asking, “Do you understand me?” Several people in the audience will nod a polite “yes”, even if they didn’t understand a word!

Importance of non-verbal communication

Try to keep still, too many body movements can be distracting, taking away from the ability of your


MICEtalk May 2014

etiquette talk

audience to concentrate on your words. Shuffling papers, fidgeting with objects like pens, business cards or a mineral water bottle are all annoying and create a negative impact.

Cultural Quotient

Read up and prepare yourself in advance about your host country or the homeland of your visitor. Reading local publications and visiting websites is a proactive tool to achieve this. Read information on current topics – business, politics, art, music, cultural events, sports, etc.

Sensitive topics

Steer clear of and avoid certain topics like religion, and politics should never be discussed, as they ignite passion, leading to heated debates. Asking too many personal questions and cracking jokes on sex, politics and religion can make you appear ‘globally insensitive’, increasing the tension and decreasing comfort levels with your global colleagues.

Incredible India

Be prepared to discuss the culture of our country and take the trouble to project it in a positive light! Talk about our rich heritage, various historical periods, diverse performing arts, sports and cuisine. By intelligently answering questions about your country, you appear knowledgeable and sincere.

Interrupting and finishing other people’s sentences, projects rudeness and impatience, resulting in loss of information and business relationships

Displaying Humility

Although a confident demeanour is an asset, but the most important aspect of your behaviour is the display of respect and humility. When your respect for your counterpart’s culture is visibly honest and sincere, minor etiquette “faux pas” are easily overlooked. However, if your demeanour shows lack of respect, even the smallest of infractions may be viewed as serious. The best way to show respect to others is to learn their rules of etiquette and, in doing so, learn what displaying respect means to them. This takes a little effort initially but the effect is rewarding returns. MICEtalk May 2014


visa talk

Visa Requirements United Kingdom þ Passport valid for at least six months þ One visa application form filled

Visa Checklist



Two photographs with a white background 45x35mm

þ þ þ þ

Covering Letter


Personal and company Income Tax returns for last three years/or form 16

þ þ

Property papers, if possible


If self employed, provide a company registration certificate / certificate of incorporation; a brief company profile; Articles of Memorandum (in case the applicant is MD/Director); proof of proprietorship / partnership (in case the applicant is proprietor / Partner in a firm); and balance sheet of the company

Hotel booking confirmation Return ticket Personal and company bank statements for the last six months

If employed, provide a letter from the employer stating No Objection to travel to UK; salary slips for the last six months and a copy of the appointment letter for a new employee


For a child travelling with parents, provide a school ID card copy; a school leave N.O.C; and a copy of school holiday dairy


For a child travelling without parents, provide a No Objection Certificate from both father and mother; copy of first and last page copy of passports of father and mother; copy of school ID card; a school leave N.O.C; and a copy of school holiday dairy


Personal appearance required


þ Valid passport must not be older than 10 years and should be valid for at least three months longer than the intended stay. The passport must also have at least two blank pages to affix the visa and should be brought along with all old passport booklets þ One application form to be filled and duly signed by the passenger in his own handwriting only þ Two photos - A white background photo for each visa applicant submitted must measure 3.5 cms x 4.5 cms, 80 per cent face with the head centred in the frame þ Covering letter addressed to Embassy of France on business letterhead þ NOC from the working company þ Copy of the air ticket (showing departure after 10 working days from the day the case is applied) þ Exchange or credit card copy þ Passenger’s contact details þ Proof of hotel booking confirmation from France with address and contact details þ Original Medical Insurance þ Three months personal bank statement with bank seal þ Two years personal IT papers þ Occupational proof þ In case of child travelling, NOC from school or college

Canada þ Passport valid for at least six months þ One visa form + personal information form + consent form þ Two photographs 35mm x 45mm with a white background þ Covering letter stating the purpose of the visit þ Hotel booking confirmation þ Return air ticket þ Personal bank statements for the last six months þ Personal tax returns for the last three years þ If employed:- NOC letter from the employer; Salary slip for the last

three months, bank statements and tax returns or Form 16 þ If visiting relatives:- Letter of sponsorship, sponsor’s bank statements and tax returns, passport and visa copy or permit copy. Property papers, if possible þ For Student:- NOC from school or College and ID card copy

For more information, contact Komal Pandya; 91 9958881431;


MICEtalk May 2014

Crowne Plaza Jaipur appoints

General Manager Ashwani Goela has

Bengaluru Marriott Whitefield appoints

General Manager Nicholas Dumbell has been

appointed as the General Manager at the Bengaluru Marriott Whitefield. Dumbell will be responsible for the operations and steering of the overall management of the hotel. Prior to his arrival in Bangalore, Dumbell was involved in the conceptualisation of the Renaissance Kiev Hotel. He has also led the Breadsall Priory and the Marriott Hotel and Country Club. He has been a member of the Marriott family for the past 14 years.

The LaLit Mumbai welcomes new General Manager Vijay Sethi is the new General

Manager of The LaLit Mumbai. Prior to joining The LaLit Mumbai, he was associated with the Keys Hotels Berggruen Hotel as the Chief Operating Officer. He started his career with Clarks Group of Hotels and has worked with brands such as the Centaur Hotel, Sofitel Surya and Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza and Leela Kempinski.

Radisson Blu Plaza Hyderabad appoints

been taken on as the General Manager for the soon to be launched, Crowne Plaza Jaipur, Tonk Road. Goela brings with him 15 years of diverse experience in hotel operations that ranges from pre-opening experience, accommodation management, guest management, sales and marketing and revenue management. He has been associated with brands such as the Radisson and The Imperial in the past. He has been with IHG since August 2009 and prior to this, he was working with Crowne Plaza Okhla as EAM and a pre-opening team member.

DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon-New Delhi NCR announces new GM Parmeet Singh Nayar

has been appointed General Manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon-New Delhi NCR. Nayar’s career in the lodging industry spans 24 years. He joined Hilton Worldwide in July 2013 as General Manager of Hilton Chennai, a position that he has held until recently. Before joining Hilton Worldwide, he led the hotel division of the MBD Group as Executive Director and General Manager of Radisson Blu Hotel, Noida, Delhi NCR. In this role, he also oversaw the MBD Group’s hotel projects in Ludhiana and Bengaluru.

Howard Johnson appoints

General Manager

new General Manager

Radisson Blu Plaza Hyderabad appoints Rajneesh Malhotra as the General Manager. Prior to this posting, Malhotra led the opening teams and managed operations of Radisson Blu Suites Gurgaon, Radisson Blu Indore, Radisson Blu Nagpur and Park Plaza Noida as the Executive Director of Bestech Hospitalities. He has over 23 years of experience working with hotels and restaurants in India and United States of America.

Howard Johnson announced the appointment of Saibal Sen as the General Manager of its first property in India at Bangalore – Howard Johnson Bengaluru Hebbal. Sen comes with a rich experience of 19 years having worked with various organisations. Prior to this, he was associated with groups like The Taj, Four Point Sheraton and The LaLit. His last assignment was with the Sarovar Group Hotels & resorts.

MICEtalk May 2014



events calendar EVENT



India International Travel Exhibition Aurangabad

To be announced

Aurangabad, India

August 15-17, 2014

Canadian National Exhibition

Exhibition Place

Toronto, Canada 

August 16 - September 02, 2014

Incentive Travel & Conventions Meetings India

Kempinski Ambience Hotel

New Delhi, India   

August 19-21, 2014


Metro Toronto Convention Centre    

Toronto, Canada  

August 19-20, 2014

China Guilin International Tourism Expo

Guilin International Conference & Exhibition Center

Guilin, China

August 29-31, 2014

Travel & Tourism Fair-Ahmedabad

To be announced

Surat, India 

August 29-31, 2014

To be announced

Marana, USA

September 02, 2014

ITC Grand Chola Hotel

Chennai, India 

September 03-05, 2014

Travel Trade Canada Edmonton

To be announced

Edmonton, Canada

September 04, 2014

Global Hospitality, Tourism Marketing & Management Conference

Kafuu Resort Fuchaku CONDO-HOTEL

Okinawa, Japan

September 04-06, 2014

MATTA Fair-Kuala Lumpur

Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

September 05-07, 2014

India International Travel Mart - Mumbai

Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC)

Mumbai, India

September 12-14, 2014

Otdykh Mice

International Exhibition Centre Crocus Expo

Moscow, Russia

September 16-19, 2014

Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart

Diamond Island Convention & Exhibition Center

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

September 17-19, 2014    

China Incentive Business Travel & Meeting Exhibition

China National Convention Center(CNCC)    

Beijing, China   

September 17-19, 2014

Corporate Travel World Asia-Pacific

Bangkok Convention Center

Bangkok, Thailand  

September 30-October 2, 2014

Mini Travel Trade Show & ReceptionTucson Incentives, Business, Travel & Meetings Expo India



MICEtalk May 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:22/04/2014 RNI No.:DELENG/2010/34144

Micetalk May 2014  

Micetalk May 2014