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Known for its cultural diversity and mouth-watering cuisines, Malaysia has it all: 130 million-year-old rainforests, blissful tropical islands, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even electrifying urban experiences. Check out Malaysia’s top destinations to give you something new, exotic and exciting that will make your corporate meeting and incentive trip rewarding.


Explore the urban jungle of Kuala Lumpur and shop like never before. The capital of the country is bustling with swanky, trendy and vibrant city life which presents her visitors with up-to-date fashion inspiration from local and international style purveyors. Strut in style as you get a complete makeover from fashion experts. Incorporate the local pride, batik, as a finishing touch, which can be tailored to suit your impeccable appearance. When it comes to fostering team collaboration, The Westin Kuala Lumpur has an innovative culinary team building programme that promotes creativity, communication and teamwork by having people working together to create delicious

IFC, Cover Story.indd 1

dishes. Pots, Pans and Palate participants will be divided into groups and each team will have to prepare a two or three course menu, supervised by a team of chefs. The kitchen or the activity area is set up like a market where participants can grab the necessary ingredients that are needed for the recipe, and dash off to their stations. Obstacles and surprises can be timed into the programme to make it more exciting.


Sail beyond the horizon and party like never before on a floating platform in the middle of the sea on Langkawi Island. Groove to the beat with your slickest dance moves while gliding on the surface of the crystal clear Andaman Sea against a jewel-toned sunset. A cluster of islands with fascinating legends, mangroves and paddy fields, Langkawi is also known for its pristine beaches and luxury water villas, a paradise for your tropical experience. The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi is located in an idyllic setting between a 10 million year old rainforest on the Datai Bay and an 8,000 year old coral reef, with abundant

rare wildlife and exotic flora. With over 1,100 sq m of meeting and function space, The Andaman, Langkawi infuses every occasion with unmatched style, expertise and grace. Even the beach and the rainforest can be transformed into an exceptional function space. The resort offers a unique sustainable team building activity - Coral Conservation Team Building. Taking place at the Jungle Perch, participants will have the opportunity to not only bond but nurse a vital part of the world’s ecology and improve the lives of the local community through sustainable fishing. The activity is grouped from 10 people onwards (or up to 100 participants) and takes about three to four hours, consisting of Coral Transplanting, Building Mini ARMS (Artificial Reef Modules) and Bamboo Raft Building. The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, tucked away on a private beachfront property with the jetty just a stone’s throw away offers six elegant and spacious conference and banqueting spaces. Exquisitely decorated, the Westin Grand Ballroom can accommodate theatre-style conferences for up to 400 guests, as

18/4/17 12:55 am

The St. Regis Langkawi

The Andaman - team building activities

well as a dinner and dance for up to 240 attendees. The hotel offers a 45-minute cocktailmaking session for 18 to 24 people on The Float, an exquisite venue surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Andaman Sea. At sunset, participants will form a group of three. An instructor will then introduce the ingredients and run through the process of mixing the cocktail with available tools. Each team is to concoct a creative cocktail that is best paired with two types of canapés. The St. Regis Langkawi, situated on an exclusive cove in the southern tip of Langkawi, will present Mangrove Kayaking – with a twist! In this scenario, the paddler is blindfolded and guided by their colleagues. Trust is of the essence for the paddler’s smooth manoeuvres, safety and ability to stay dry. A meaningful CSR component follows, where the team plants mangroves

IFC, Cover Story.indd 1

Four Points by Sheraton Penang

together in Kilm Geo Forrest, spreading goodwill throughout the teams and to the local community. Lasting 3 to 5 hours, the activity is ideal for 10 to 50 participants and includes a picnic basket.


Indulge in cultural luxury and explore like never before in George Town, Penang. The island of Penang will transport her visitors back in time through various experiential time tunnels, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to reliving the past of enriching cultural activities such as traditional artisanal trades and craftsmanship. A food haven recognised by many, Penang’s culinary adventure will bring you on a palatable journey of the many cultures in the island. Four Points by Sheraton Penang takes the heat up a notch with a Master Chef Team Cooking collaborative activity that is held outdoors. Suitable for 30 to 50 participants

The Westin Kuala Lumpur

between two and four hours, participants will be divided into groups of five (or more). Each group will be required to recreate a dish from a recipe provided by the hotel chef. The package includes all ingredients and cooking utensils, professional chefs to help facilitate the session, and various breaks, including snacks, fresh coffee and tea, and a power lunch. Discover Penang’s latest eco-tourism attraction located on the fringes of a 130-million-year-old rainforest perched on the highest peaks of the island. Enter the natural kingdom of genuine beauty with its forgotten views, lush flora and natural wildlife that is called the Habitat home. The Habitat Penang Hill features a guided nature trail, the island’s highest panoramic platform offering spectacular 360-degree views and a one-of-a-kind walk on Canopy Bridges suspended 40 meters above the

18/4/17 12:56 am

forest floor. The Habitat also offers Tree Climbing workshops and unique venues for meetings, corporate events and team building activities. In line with its motto of Conserve, Educate & Inspire, The Habitat aims to provide a safe, easily accessible place for visitors to reconnect with nature, learn about environmental conservation and, hopefully, be inspired to preserve the delicate ecosystems on the planet for future generations.


The fast growing city of Kota Kinabalu has seen rapid growth over the years. Its accessibility connects the city to the many attractions across the state of Sabah, spanning from cultural and historical sites to world-acclaimed forest reserves and national parks. The most iconic landmark of all is none other than Mount Kinabalu, which is renowned for its natural beauty and verdant playground. On the eastern coast of Sabah in Sandakan lies the enigmatic Kinabatangan River. The waters and the banks of Sabah’s longest river have long served as a thriving habitat for the indigenous exotic wildlife. Truly, Sabah offers more than meet the eye.


From local scrumptious food to five-star dining privileges, experience the unique dining options of Sarawak. Be comforted

to know that there are many international cuisines right here in this corner of Borneo, alongside kosher, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian selections. Those feeling adventurous can explore the mouth-watering cuisines various tribal groups that live here. Sarawak’s produce is organic, freshly grown and locally sourced from the neighbouring jungles, so quality and freshness is always guaranteed. Business meets adventure in Damai Central, a multi-purpose complex set on 3.5 hectares of coastal land fronting the panoramic South China Sea with the legendary Mount Santubong set in the background. Snuggled between numerous resorts and adjacent to the renowned Sarawak Cultural Village, Damai Central is not only able to accommodate 5,000 pax onwards but also enters the region by providing the public crowd with enhanced facilities and activities that breathe life into the one of the most popular getaway destinations in Sarawak. Immerse in song, dance and art at the Sarawak Cultural Village, tucked away at the foothills of the legendary Mount Santubong, 35 kilometres from Kuching. This living museum depicts the heritage of the seven major racial groups in Sarawak and conveniently portrays their respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of tropical vegetation. Housing 13 unique venues, Sarawak Cultural Village can accommodate from 50 pax up to 8,000 pax standing. This was also the venue for the

World Harvest Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival, an internationally renowned festival. Kuching offers over 4,036 rooms in categories of three to five stars, its newest addition being the five-star Pullman Kuching, located in the heart of the city on top of the hill at Jalan Mathies. Its largest meeting room can hold up to 3,000 pax and 1,500 pax for banquets. Be sure to also check out “Malaysia Twin Deal XP” ( to enjoy awesome privileges and rewards on top these not-to-be missed excitements for corporate meeting and incentive travels. Now there are all the more reasons to discover a whole new side of Malaysia like never before.

Uncover more at For enquiries, please contact: Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Corporate Meeting & Incentive Sales Email:

Damai Central

Sarawak Cultural Village

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Melbourne Convention Bureau



Australian National Maritime Museum




Biz Events Asia is published by Business & Tourism Publishing Asia Pte Ltd 51A Kreta Ayer Road, Singapore 089008 Tel: +65 6337 8781 Fax: +65 6337 9060 Email: Website:



GUEST EDITORS Felicity Zadro Karen Bolinger karen.bolinger@ Deanna Varga


WRITER Ong Wenli


APR-MAY 2017

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#first WhYWorD CenTriC


As we leap into quarter two of 2017 with a “just get it done” mindset, our fighting spirit has developed an inkling of getting our unique selling points heard. until now, many are engaging in endless discussions on better ways to understand, sort and use their big data so as to gain further insights on how best to market. According to the American marketing Association, studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. marketers are presented with a rapidly growing number of channels to reach their customers from. consumers switch between screens up to 21 times an hour according to a british study, which correlates with microsoft’s claim that the average person’s attention span is now just eight seconds. we worked with Zadro to produce a research on the business events industry's behaviour to give you greater insights on the Asia pacific region. inspired by simon sinek’s the Golden circle marketing principle, we believe in cutting through the “noise” in the marketing world by asking why we do what we do. we believe in the power of knowledge-sharing and the significant socioeconomic impact made by the business events industry that is different from tourism. After sharing her opinion on tracking the economic impact of business events in August 2016, Karen bolinger, ceo of

melbourne convention bureau joins us as a guest editor to answer buyers’ question of why they would consider a destination. Also within the magazine’s knowledge platform (pages 60-72), communication guru and guest editor felicity Zadro shares how to best market and brand your destination. the magazine features two destination supplements, beijing and thailand, with their very own unique selling points. we also feature destination bali in the eyes of our collaborator, world travel magazine, so you get a “bleisure” breather through wining and dining. in the forefront of this edition, we focus our attention on non-hotel venues and some of these venues’ impact that are beyond profit with Assistant Director commercial & Visitor services of the Australian national maritime museum and guest editor Deanna Varga. we believe that the demand for non-hotel venues will continue to rise. no matter how fast the world is changing, the fact that customers want to be spoken to, not at, remains unchanged. for the sake of market share, maybe businesses should stop hiding behind their desks and start engaging their clients and customers face to face. this is because customers these days want to hear what’s in it for them before engaging our services. they no longer want to hear the trite and predictable marketing messages they have been inundated with all along. we hope you cut through the noise and enjoy this edition.

13,619 as of september 2016

biz events Asia is audited twice a year by the circulations Audit board in Australia since 2012. biz events Asia is the official media partner and member of:

our cover image features langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah in malaysia. photo is courtesy of the malaysia convention & exhibition bureau.

sAles & mArKetinG sinGApore office michelle choon Director of marketing & operations

internAtionAl meDiA representAtiVes chinA: mary yao email: tel: +86 10 6551 5663 ext 8008

michelle lim Director of business solutions

DubAi: rahul sequeira email: tel: +971 56 693 1213 south KoreA: Alexander paik email: tel: +82 10 5042 1337

Visit us online for regular updates throughout the month: privacy policy: business & tourism publishing Asia is committed to managing your personal information in accordance with the privacy Act. for a copy of our privacy policy, please go to printed in singapore by sunrise printing & supplies pte ltd. reg no. 199002858D pps 1785/04/2013 (022963) mci (p) 125/01/2016

APR-MAY 2017



China Xian Silk Road International Tourism Expo Xi'an | April 2017


Web & Digital Marketing Expo Tokyo | May 2017


Global Sources Fashion Show Hong Kong | April 2017


Travel Catering Expo Dubai | May 2017


Malaysia Coffee Fest Kuala Lumpur | May 2017



Beijing, the wellness capital of China


"Rice" to the challenge - creative meetings and incentives in Thailand



Digital Travel APAC Singapore | April 2017

Janet Tan-Collis President | SACEOS CEO | East West Planners

A research report on business event trends in APAC by Biz Events Asia & Zadro

Damion Breust Head of Corporate Relations Asia Pacific Barclays

Selina Chavry Global Managing Director Pacific World

Daniel Chua Managing Director AONIA MICE

Andrew Chan CEO | ACI HR Solutions

APR-MAY 2017

4-5 Contents.indd 4

17/4/17 11:37 pm



World IT Show Seoul | May 2017

ISSUE 06 #SoundBites

38 #DelveInto Australia

08 #TakingTheLead


Songkran Music Festival Bangkok | April 2017

Four business event cities stand out to give their own unique elements

10 #FreshIdeas

50 #DelveInto Indonesia


12 #TopReadsOnline


13 #TheVoiceCommunity


14 #ThinkSpace

The coolest place to wine and dine in Bali, brought to you by World Travel Magazine

54 #DelveInto Thailand

24 #TheUniqueVenues Edition

Industry stakeholders join forces to drive marketing efforts in How unique venues are beyond-an- Bangkok and Hua Hiin offsite options for events that are breaking out of the conventional approach. 61 #TheDestinationMarketing

& BrandCommunications Edition

30 #DelveInto Malaysia From Penang to Putrajaya, learn new ways to meet and play in the tropics

34 #DelveInto South Africa Meetings Africa 2017 promises so much more than just its safaris

Brisbane Technology Expo Brisbane | May 2017


72 #SoulSearching


The St. Regis Langkawi


The fast growing city of Kota Kinabalu has seen rapid growth over the years. Its accessibility connects the city to the many attractions across the state of Sabah, spanning from cultural and historical sites to world-acclaimed forest reserves and national parks. The most iconic landmark of all is none other than Mount Kinabalu, which is renowned for its natural beauty and alpine playground. While on the eastern coast of Sabah in Sandakan, lies the enigmatic Kinabatangan River. The waters and the banks of Sabah’s longest river have long served as a thriving habitat for the indigenous exotic wildlife. Truly, Sabah offers more than meet the eye.


The Andaman - team building activities

Known for its cultural diversity and mouth-watering cuisines, Malaysia has it all: 130 million-year-old rainforests, blissful tropical islands, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even electrifying urban experiences. Check out Malaysia’s top destinations to give you something new, exotic and exciting that will make your corporate meeting and incentive trip rewarding.

Explore the urban jungle of Kuala Lumpur and shop like never before. The capital of the country is bustling with swanky, trendy and vibrant city life which presents her visitors with up-to-date fashion inspiration from local and international style purveyors. Strut in style as you get a complete makeover from fashion experts. Incorporate the local pride, batik, as a finishing touch, which will be tailored to suit your impeccable appearance. When it comes to fostering team collaboration, The Westin Kuala Lumpur has an innovative culinary team building programme that promotes creativity, communication and teamwork by having people working together to create delicious

dishes. Pots, Pans and Palate participants will be divided into groups and each team will have to prepare a two or three course menu, supervised by a team of chefs. The kitchen or the activity area is set up like a market where participants can grab the necessary ingredients that are needed for the recipe, and dash off to their stations. Obstacles and surprises can be timed into the programme to make it more exciting.


Sail beyond the horizon and party like never before on a floating platform in the middle of the sea on Langkawi Island. Groove to the beat with your slickest dance moves while gliding on the surface of the crystal clear Andaman Sea against a jewel-toned sunset. A cluster of islands with fascinating legends, mangroves and paddy fields, Langkawi is also known for its pristine beaches and luxury water villas, a paradise for your tropical experience. The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi is located in an idyllic setting between a 10 million year old rainforest on the Datai Bay and an 8,000 year old coral reef, with abundant

forest floor. The Habitat also offers Tree Climbing workshops and unique venues for meetings, corporate events and team building activities. In line with its motto of Conserve, Educate & Inspire, The Habitat aims to provide a safe, easily accessible place for visitors to reconnect with nature, learn about environmental conservation and, hopefully, be inspired to preserve the delicate ecosystems on the planet for future generations.


KuAlA luMpuR

Explore Malaysia's five key business event destinations like never before

70 #Talent and Mentor



Guest editors' opinions on current destination marketing and brand communication strategies

Four Points by Sheraton Penang

The Westin Kuala Lumpur


From local scrumptious food to five-star dining privileges, experience the unique dining options of Sarawak. Be comforted

to know that there are many international cuisines right here in this corner of Borneo, alongside kosher, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian selections. Those feeling adventurous can explore the mouth-watering cuisines various tribal groups that live here. Sarawak’s produce is organic, freshly grown and locally sourced from the neighbouring jungles, so quality and freshness is always guaranteed. Business meets adventure in Damai Central, a multi-purpose complex set on 3.5 hectares of coastal land fronting the panoramic South China Sea with the legendary Mount Santubong set in the background. Snuggled between numerous resorts and adjacent to the renowned Sarawak Cultural village, Damai Central is not only able to accommodate 5,000 pax onwards but also enters the region by providing the public crowd with enhanced facilities and activities that breathe life into the one of the most popular getaway destination in Sarawak. Immerse in song, dance and art at the Sarawak Cultural village, tucked away at the foothills of the legendary Mount Santubong, 35 kilometres from Kuching. This living museum depicts the heritage of the seven major racial groups in Sarawak and conveniently portrays their respective lifestyle amidst 14 acres of tropical vegetation. Housing 13 unique venues, Sarawak Cultural village can accommodate from 50 pax up to 8,000 pax standing. This was also the venue for the

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa, tucked away on a private beachfront property with the jetty just a stone’s throw away offers six elegant and spacious conference and banqueting spaces. Exquisitely decorated, the Westin Grand Ballroom can accommodate theatre-style conferences for up to 400 guests, as

Kuching offers over 4,036 rooms in categories of three to five stars, its newest addition being the five-star Pullman Kuching, located in the heart of the city on top of the hill at Jalan Mathies. Its largest meeting room can hold up to 3,000 pax and 1,500 pax for banquets. Be sure to also check out “Malaysia Twin Deal xP” ( to enjoy awesome privileges and rewards on top these not-to-be missed excitements for corporate meeting and incentive travels. Now there are all the more reasons to discover a whole new side of Malaysia like never before.

Uncover more at For enquiries, please contact: Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Corporate Meeting & Incentive sales Email:

Damai Central

rare wildlife and exotic flora. With over 1,100 sq m of meeting and function space, The Andaman, Langkawi infuses every occasion with unmatched style, expertise and grace. Even the beach and the rainforest can be transformed into an exceptional function space. The resort offers a unique sustainable team building activity - Coral Conservation Team Building. Taking place at the Jungle Perch, participants will have the opportunity to not only bond but nurse a vital part of the world’s ecology and improve the lives of the local community through sustainable fishing. The activity is grouped from 10 people onwards (or up to 100 participants) and takes about three to four hours, consisting of Coral Transplanting, Building Mini ARMS (Artificial Reef Modules) and Bamboo Raft Building.

World Harvest Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival, an internationally renowned festival.

well as a dinner and dance for up to 240 attendees. The hotel offers a 45-minute cocktailmaking session for 18 to 24 people on The Float, an exquisite venue surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the Andaman Sea. At sunset, participants will form a group of three. An instructor will then explain the ingredients, and run through the process of mixing the cocktail with available tools. Each team is to concoct a creative cocktail that is best paired with two types of canapés. The St. Regis Langkawi, situated on an exclusive cove in the southern tip of Langkawi, will present Mangrove Kayaking – with a twist! In this scenario, the paddler is blindfolded and guided by their colleagues. Trust is of the essence for the paddler’s smooth manoeuvres, safety and ability to stay dry. A meaningful CSR component follows, where the team plants mangroves

together in Kilm Geo Forrest, spreading goodwill throughout the teams and to the local community. Lasting 3 to 5 hours, the activity is ideal for 10 to 50 participants and includes a picnic basket.


Indulge in cultural luxury and explore like never before in George Town, Penang. The island of Penang will transport her visitors back in time through various experiential time tunnels, from UNESCO World Heritage Sites to reliving the past of enriching cultural activities such as traditional artisanal trades and craftsmanship. A food haven recognised by many, Penang’s culinary adventure will bring you on a palatable journey of the many cultures in the island. Four Points by Sheraton Penang takes the heat up a notch with a Master Chef Team Cooking collaborative activity that is held outdoors. Suitable for 30 to 50 participants

between two and four hours, participants will be divided into groups of five (or more). Each group will be required to recreate a dish from a recipe provided by the hotel chef. The package includes all ingredients and cooking utensils, professional chefs to help facilitate the session, and various breaks, including snacks, fresh coffee and tea, and a power lunch. Discover Penang’s latest eco-tourism attraction located on the fringes of a 130-million-year-old rainforest perched on the highest peaks of the island. Enter the natural kingdom of genuine beauty with its forgotten views, lush flora and natural wildlife that is called the Habitat home.

Sarawak Cultural village

The Habitat Penang Hill features a guided nature trail, the island’s highest panoramic platform offering spectacular 360-degree views and a one-of-a-kind walk on Canopy Bridges suspended 40 meters above the

APR-MAY 2017

Ho Yoke Ping General Manager Business Events Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)

Deanna Varga Assistant Director Commercial & Visitor Services Australian National Maritime Museum

Max Jantasuwan Group Managing Director Events Travel Asia

Sumate Sudasna President | Thailand Incentive & Convention Association (TICA) MD | CDM Thailand

Daniel Aswin Co-founder Absolutions

Neeta Lachmandas Executive Director The Institute of Service Excellence, Singapore Management University

APR-MAY 2017

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dig ital B EA



IACC and the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) have formed a five-year partnership to increase benefits for their members through sharing educational resources and collaborating on research initiatives. One new project slated to roll out in 2017 will entail MPI conferences streamed live to IACC venues, where MPI members can come together, learn and experience valuable networking. MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC), which takes place June 19-22 in Las Vegas, will be the first conference featured. MPI will also take part in the second phase of the IACC Meeting Room of the Future™ research project, which will focus on the venue buyer community and look to draw parallels with the initial research. The results will be unveiled at MPI’s WEC 2017 this June, with IACC conducting a Research Showcase at the conference.



INDONESIA The newly rebranded AYANA Midplaza JAKARTA has appointed Philip Ommen to the luxury hotel’s management team as its general manager. As a results-oriented and dedicated business professional with demonstrated success in general management, Philip has an extensive background in sales & marketing and cost management. Ommen brings over 28 years of experience in the hospitality and gaming industries, most notably from Hyatt, Shangri-La and InterContinental Hotels. Most recently, Philip served as the general manager at Radisson Bali Tanjung Benoa Bali and Thistle Port Dickson Resort in Malaysia. Prior experience includes a role as the Vice President of NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex in Phnom Penh – Kingdom of Cambodia. One of Philip’s roles is to oversee the dramatic remodel of AYANA Midplaza JAKARTA’s main lobby, which is scheduled for completion in May 2017.





Or eight times, the average length conferences have shortened by in a decade.


via Source: The Future of Business Meetings industry report by the Melbourne Convention Bureau and McCrindle.


APR-MAY 2017

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Our attention turns eastward to the second stage of our redevelopment, the East Building launch in August 2017. The fruition of the $400 million investment will significantly increase capacity and enhance the versatility of the Centre across three distinct, but interconnected buildings along the Riverbank. The East Building replaces the original plenary building (home of the first Convention Centre in Australia in 1987) with a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art facility with plenary capacity of up to 3,500 seats. The redeveloped Centre is set in the heart of the Riverbank Precinct which is rapidly evolving to create a new hub for Adelaide, incorporating ‘BioMed City’ - health and medical research centres, educational institutions, sport and entertainment facilities. The East Building launch also marks the completion of the entire facility and heralds a ‘new direction’ and new possibilities for the Adelaide Convention Centre.

For enquiries, please contact: T: +61 (8) 8210 6743 E:

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dig ital B EA




More than 2,700 young business leaders will head to Singapore in March 2018 for YPO’s landmark annual event, YPO Edge, also known as the largest gathering of chief executives. Designed to spark ideas exchange, introduce disruption and infuse innovation into companies and communities around the world, YPO global chief executives will gather on a different continent each year to shape the future of global industries. Singapore is the only city so far to host this flagship event twice (it was previously held in Singapore in 2012) and the first and only Asian city to have hosted this widely-anticipated global event.

article code: 4104


DUBAI Dubai has officially welcomed one of its largest ever incentive groups, with more than 12,000 visitors from over 100 countries worldwide arriving for the Forever Global Rally 2017, which takes place on April 2 and ends on April 11, 2017. Dubai Business Events, the city’s official convention bureau, successfully won the bid in 2015 to host US-based Forever Living’s annual trip in partnership with a number of local stakeholders, including Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Emirates and other key suppliers to the tourism and hospitality industry.

article code: 4106



APR-MAY 2017

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PEAK PERFORMANCE TEAM BUILDING Organised by Catalyst Global with Asia Ability as the exclusive partner of Catalyst Global in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, Peak Performance is an emotionally gripping experiential learning tool which has been designed to change people’s understanding of and attitude towards many aspects of how they plan in business and in leisure. Teams will aim to guide their clients to the top of Mount Everest and then safely back to base camp in a 20-day expedition. A range of factors including client fitness

levels, weather, the best route to the summit, acclimatisation, use of oxygen, pitching tents and strategies must be considered to outwit other teams in order to win. Key information will be delivered to the teams’ tablet on each day of the expedition. Teams then race against the other teams to make swift yet intelligent and sober decisions. As space is limited in each height zone, teams who procrastinate will be locked into a less ideal path or be unable to move.



CO-WORKING AND LIFESTYLE SPACE Independent event planners to small event teams looking for a work space in Singapore can now rejoice with the launch of The Working Capital’s newest co-working and lifestyle space in the Central Business District. Occupying some 55,000 sq ft (5,109.7 sq m) across 11 floors, The Working Capitol on Robinson follows the success of its flagship location at Keong Saik Road, to meet local and regional demand for a greater diversity of working options for businesses. Options for businesses range from 1 to 200 people with a selection of hotdesks, private offices, and duplex penthouses.






As an exclusive team building activity, smallWORLD organises SkyDrumming, a unique drumming team building activity that sees participants drumming at 233 metres off the ground at the top of Macau Tower. Lasting 60 to 120 minutes, this high-energy activity is ideal as an ice breaker game for groups of 10 to 120 persons. In this drumming team building, guests are divided into two groups. The first group will start to drum while the other group will be surprised in the middle of their skywalk by the drummers before joining in to get into the rhythm with the other group. A first of its kind, participants will get to enjoy drumming while taking in the views of Macau from one of the best vantage points in the city. Are you game for these? Share with us some of your most exciting team building activities.

January/February 2016

Driving on the



Shopping, Sushi & Sights

TOKYO SHORT HOLIDAY IDEAS ASIA PACIFIC Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48


APR-MAY 2017

6-13 Digital BEA.indd 10

MCI (P) 034/10/2015 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)

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Barcelona, Albe Buenos Aires






Extraordinary hotels, world-class restaurants & fabulous nightlife

Our favourites for every

season & mood

iTunes, Amazon & Magzter

Shopping in New York London Milan & Paris


Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 75,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48 April/May 2017

Wild Caribbean

MCI (P) 023/10/2016 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)



An Insider’s Guide to the Trendiest Spots

riving on the



MCI (P) 034/10/2015 N PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)


Unique Heritage & Street Art The Insider




Barcelona, Alberobello, Jordan, Essaouira, Masai Mara, Kotor, Buenos Aires, Manuel Antonio, San Miguel de Allende...

11 WTM AD.indd 11


Authentic Greece

A Tale of Three Cities

Andalucia Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48

MCI (P) 034/10/2015 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)





CANNES Chilling with the Stars

Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48


Tea, spices,


Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48

MCI (P) 034/10/2015 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)




Zagreb CHILE

September/October 2016

MCI (P) 034/10/2015 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)



Costa Rica Costa Rica city, rainforest city, rainforest & beach& beach WHERE TO GO THIS WINTER



An Insider’s Guide The Trip of your lifetime

Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48


Fairytale Winter in




Luxury Switzerland

It’s Safari time in




mystery, A New Dawn rhinos & more in Reaches

Getaways Tuscany Experiences MCI (P) 034/10/2015 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)

hopping, Sushi & Sights


apore S$8 aysia RM 20 iland THB 200 onesia IDR 70,000 nam VND 130,000 g Kong HK$ 48



Luxurious Sights of



MAGAZINE July/August 2016


May/June 2016 MAGAZINE

March/April 2016








nuary/February 2016

The land of

Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48 November/December 2016

MCI (P) 023/10/2016 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)


Singapore S$8 Singapore S$8 Malaysia RM 20 Malaysia RM 20 Thailand THB 200 Thailand THB 200 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Indonesia IDR 70,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Vietnam VND 130,000 Hong Kong HK$ 48 Hong Kong HK$ 48 January/February 2017

in Papua New Guinea, Kazakhstan, Antarctica, Rajasthan & Northwest Passage MCI (P) 023/10/2016 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)

January/February 2017

MCI (P) 023/10/2016 KDN PPS 1858/2/2015(025588)

definitive definitive

Havana, Peru, Iceland, Greenland, Medellin, Lanai, Okinawa, Lan Havana, Peru, Iceland, Greenland, Medellin, Okinawa, Croatia,&Moscow Hainan Islan Croatia, Moscow Hainan & Island

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PCMA RELEASES WHITE PAPER ON THE POWER OF DIGITAL EVENTS The Freeman-supported and sponsored white paper examines the power of digital events in 2017, which includes insights into adult learning, virtual and hybrid events as an engagement strategy, and the value of second screen technology. Published by PCMA’s Digital Experience Institute (DEI), the paper also includes an overview of PCMA’s case studies, which highlights the return on investment (ROI) and return on engagement (ROE) hard data over the organisation’s six years of digital event and engagement strategy.

CWT Meeting & Events boosts its safety and security features for its customers as the only global corporate meetings and events service to include International SOS services as part of its core customer offering. The ground-breaking safety and security offering is of paramount importance in today’s changeable times. CWT M&E customers can now access best in class pre-travel advice and integrate with other International SOS services, such as the Event Medical Support Plan into their programme. The agreement also allows CWT M&E’s planners and customers to subscribe to medical and security alerts and benefit from access to a bespoke Travel Risk Assessment Tool.





9 LUSH BENEFITS OF VISITING MYANMAR DURING “GREEN SEASON” Opportunities abound for budget-savvy incentive travel groups heading to Myanmar to discover its untouched beauty from May to September. With sustainable tourism playing an increasingly popular part of incentive programmes, it is no wonder 53 percent of travellers agree that sightseeing is one of the top five most common things they are willing to spend more on as a treat, according to TripBarometer. Incentive travel spend has also been known to pack greater dollar per day ARTICLE CODE: 4109 spending rates compared to leisure travel.


PACIFIC WORLD DRIVES EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT WITH NEW PRODUCTS AND EXPERIENCES Pacific World jumpstarted the year with product developments and experiences designed to stir emotional engagement and enhance the effectiveness of meetings, incentives and event programmes. The company released its annual Destination Index on the back of multiple milestones in 2016 including the execution of 4,000 events for over 40,000 delegates in 40 global destinations. It also celebrated expanding operations into China and India with new capabilities in Myanmar, Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic.




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THE TRUE MEANING OF LUXURY Nicholas Downing, General Manager of The Siam, a member of the Legend Collection from Preferred Hotels & Resorts lends his opinion on the exclusivity of the word “luxury”, which he believes has been eroded and misused on so many levels that it almost carries no weight anymore. “For me, luxury is all about freedom, as it relates to hospitality. I actually believe that true luxury is about creating spaces for guests to have time to be themselves, however they may wish that to be. It’s about creating a truly comforting environment for a guest depending on their own desires.”



HOW UNIQUE VENUES CAN AMP UP THE EVENT EXPERIENCE FOR PARTICIPANTS In the highly connected world that we live in, capturing the minds of delegates attending an event and keeping them engaged throughout is a challenge. Caroline Gair, Global Director of Product at cievents knows that there are many aspects to an event that converge to deliver the finale, and a key component of this is the venue. In her opinion piece, Gair talks about how unique venues provide a blank canvas to get as creative as you want to, and be the master of your own destiny. She also shares some of the best ways to communicate pre- and post-event and extend the content to create long-term connections.



SPEAK IN PUBLIC, CHANGE YOUR GAME Speaker Lynne Schinella writes about the importance of taking that leap of faith to do public speaking. Through her desire to constantly learn and grow as a professional speaker, Schinella is able to continually put her teaching into practice. Her coaching for speakers is current and real – it reflects what she sees and hears as well as what she does. “There is no arguing that preparing a well-delivered talk takes more time than most. But like anything else, with practice, your skills get better and your prep time gets less. In fact, if you spend the time to craft just one talk in your area of expertise, you can keep delivering the same one. In 2017, if you are not regularly stepping up to speak in the boardroom, to your team, on a large industry stage, you are sabotaging your own career. Because when you can articulate yourself well in public, you get noticed. And when you get noticed, you get promoted. You get head hunted. People do what you want them to. You sell more of your stuff.”



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New Venues


Pullman Bangkok King Power recently hosted a launch party for the hotel’s new Eternity ballroom for its target customers. More than just meeting or seminar space, the Eternity ballroom is also ideal for car launches or product showcases with its heavy-duty rigging system. The launch of the renovated ballroom was attended by VIPs and members of the press, which began with the arrival of a Lamborghini and Mclaren from Niche Cars Group Company Limited through the entrance of the ballroom. Inside the ballroom was a kitchenware display by Italian brand Marrone, with Chef Dominique Ferchaud, executive chef of the hotel and Chef Valentino Marcattilii, a two Michelin star-chef from Italy, whipping up gastronomic delights for the event. Another highlight of the event was a performance by Honhon Circus, followed by a fashion show in the ballroom with bright orange lights before wrapping up with a mini concert.



The brand new Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park situated in the vibrant city centre of the EM District, near the city’s most celebrated shopping, dining and nightlife attractions feature modern Thai-inspired design elements, panoramic views of Bangkok city centre and a vast assortment of five-star amenities. The hotel also showcases a delectable range of onsite restaurant options, a signature spa, an outdoor pool and a well-equipped gym. Meetings and events can choose from 35 rooms and almost 70,000 sq ft (6,503.2 sq m) of venue space with a maximum of 29 breakout rooms; its largest venue seats up to 1,300 people.


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The much-anticipated JW Marriott Singapore South Beach Hotel finally opens to a star-studded event in March 2017. Hosted by local TV host, Anita Kapoor, the event saw notable guests including Alicia Lok, Gilbert Cheah, Jean Danker, Marilyn Lum, Sheila Sim, Tan Min-Li, and more in attendance. The property offers 1,771 sq m of indoor and outdoor meetings and events space, including a 520 sq m Grand Ballroom housed in a 1930s historic Drill Hall and features a dramatic 11,520-light Forest of Lights installation. As part of the hotel’s commitment to the latest technology, the hotel is home to Singapore’s largest in-built LED wall measuring 10 metres x 15 metres. The hotel’s 15 meeting rooms are housed in Assembly, one of the property’s restored historic buildings. Two additional events and meetings spaces are available in the NCO building and Ebb6.



The new 555 metre-tall Lotte World Tower, has opened its doors, offering an enormous mall, aquarium, movie theatre with one of the world’s largest movie screens, concert hall, and observation deck. The new tower will also be home to the luxurious Signiel Hotel by Lotte Hotel. Overlooking the skyline of Seoul, all 235 rooms feature panoramic city views. The hotel’s four restaurants and bars as well as five function rooms take up the 76th to 101st floor or the 123-storey LOTTE World Tower. Built earthquake-proof and storm-resistant, the seismic designs of the hotel allow it to withstand an earthquake of up to a magnitude of 9.0, and typhoon winds of up to 80m/s at a height of 555 metres.



Karma Group has recently launched the completely refurbished Karma Cây Tre, just outside the Vietnamese town of Hoi An on the banks of the Do River. Karma Cây Tre is a collection of opulent standalone deluxe rooms spread across 10,000 sq m of verdant gardens. Here, simplicity and a soothing ambience is where comfort is paramount. Each of the 22 air-conditioned rooms boasts a private balcony, which gazes out over the river, or the lush tropical flora of the gardens. Guests can refresh themselves in the expansive pool, enjoy specially prepared barbecues on the riverside and discover the secrets of the local cuisines with farm tours and cooking classes. The resort marks the group’s first entry into Vietnam and expands its luxurious boutique portfolio to 27 Karma Resorts worldwide.

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# V e n u e s w i th a d i ffe re nce



The Doltone House Australian Technology Park (ATP) is a newly acquired event venue that is housed within the historic locomotive workshops in Eveleigh, Sydney. Located within minutes of Sydney’s Central Business District, the characteristic venue is expected to be a popular choice for the Doltone House clientele, with a prime inner-city location for hosting business events, conferences, exhibitions and social events including weddings. The venue will be Doltone’s largest, with a capacity to seat 2,080 guests banquet-style and 4,600 pax theatre-style in the Exhibition Hall, which spans 7,050 sq m. A further 520 guests can be accommodated in the purposebuilt Theatre, 440 guests in the Dining Room, and a large Atrium space for breakout catering.

Read #TheUniqueVenuesEdition article on page 25 to see how unique venues are beyond-an-offsite option


The Exhibition Hall’s versatile floor space has a similar industrial aesthetic to their Jones Bay Wharf venue, but on a much larger scale. Towering cast-iron columns, arched windows and rustic brickwork offer an impressive canvas for events, which can be draped for smaller purposes. Adding to the new acquisition, the Theatre offers a professional presentation room with a purposebuilt timber stage and tiered seating suitable for 520 audience members. Adjoined to the Theatre is the Dining Room and the Atrium, which offers the facilities for pre- or post-event dining and breakout catering.



HUONE A new Helsinki-based “hotel without bedrooms” event venue concept has made its way into Singapore. Here’s a sneak peek inside HUONE Events Hotel before its February 23 opening and why it is bound to disrupt the local meetings industry. From an idea that hatched in a karaoke room, Evon Söderlund, Founder and CEO of HUONE Events Hotel, first launched HUONE (Finnish for “a room”) Helsinki in 2012, which quickly gained recognition with several global awards. Groups can brainstorm ideas sitting on swings in the Swing Room, or act out concepts in the Theatre room. Every room in HUONE has been meticulously designed to inspire, evoke creativity and motivate engagement. All meeting rooms are soundproof and surround a common dining area that provides meals and breaks buffetstyle, though private dining options are also available.


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Picturesque Penang, in the heart of Southeast Asia, is a melting pot of cultures and fascinating heritage. Famed for its well-preserved monuments and heritage sites, Penang has risen to prominence as a serious business events destination. Renowned for its excellent cuisine and iconic attractions, Penang has also rapidly built up its infrastructure and MICE facilities concurrently with its tourism products. The compact destination pulsates with life, providing the perfect backdrop for a myriad of pre- or post-meeting programmes.


The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) highlights the authentic, unfiltered side of Penang for event organisers to spice up any business event.


Penang’s gorgeous tropical weather makes it ideal for a variety of events, being blessed with a warm and sunny climate all year round and a comfortable monsoon season with moderate rainfall from April to September. This generous warmth extends to its well-established industry of hospitality and event service professionals, who are on hand to ensure the success of each event. The famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town underlies a prized heritage of almost two centuries since Penang’s heyday as a successful British outpost and trading port. The unique meandering streets and traditional artisan enclaves are carefully preserved landmarks that showcase Penang’s living heritage. Inspect the stunning and diverse architecture up-close on a ride with a “trishaw uncle” who also serves as a personal city guide. Penang’s fascinating fusion of Eastmeets-West has resulted in an evolving potpourri of religions and traditions. This radiant culture forms the foundation of Penang’s undisputed reputation as Asia’s food capital. The incredible variety of its street food culture reflects a multitude of cultural influences that now live on in many of the hip cafes, coffee shops and fine dining establishments.



The evolving skyline of Penang highlights the rapid development of its facilities and infrastructure that have reshaped this business events destination. The much-anticipated opening of the Setia SPICE Convention

Centre in March 2017 will add capacity to Penang’s MICE facilities, accommodating more than 8,000 delegates. The new centre will be the largest subterranean convention centre in the region, offering 13 versatile meeting rooms and a 4,500-sq m pillarless main hall. The centre is also making waves as the first hybrid solar-powered convention centre in the world, combining green design with the technical expertise to complement any event. To recharge and unwind, delegates can explore the expansive six-acre SPICE Roof Garden. Home to a large urban spice garden, the SPICE Roof Garden also houses the largest Special Needs Children’s Playground. Event organisers can choose from a range of convention and exhibition venues including the Straits Quay Convention Centre on Penang Island and Sunway Carnival Convention Centre and SP Arena on the mainland. MICE facilities can also be found in leading hotels such as Hotel Equatorial Penang, The Wembley Penang, G Hotel Gurney and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. In the heart of the city, the newly revamped KOMTAR offers organisers a selection of venues at The Top, including a Banquet Hall for up to 800 guests and the rooftop Rainbow Skywalk. Located on level 68, guests can enjoy a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the city. Event organisers can also take in Penang’s natural beauty with hilltop gala events at The Habitat Penang Hill and spicy guided tours of the award-winning Tropical Spice Garden.


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+ #DeA lS

Visit for more meeting and event packages.

The weSTin grande SuKhumViT, bangKoK ThaiLand

Get more for less with complimentary Skytrain passes for all meeting attendees plus airport transfers and “Fast Track” service for VIPs. One of the best located and most meetings-friendly hotels in Bangkok, The Westin Grande Sukhumvit has launched a bold new MICe offer, “Travel Well”, aimed at international meetings planners. In addition to its exceptionally central and wellconnected location, the hotel offers a rare approach to meetings that unites premier services with inspiring venues. Tel: +66 2207 8000 Email:

The Langham hong Kong hong Kong

Comprised of three colour-inspired initiatives, Meaningful Meetings for the Senses are designed to captivate the senses. Aptly named Balanced Green, Trusted Blue and Vibrant Orange meeting packages curate sensations from colourful sights and stimulating sounds, to invigorating scents and extraordinary flavours. Meetings planners and participants will be embraced in a sensory atmosphere orchestrated to inspire and create meaningful meetings. Tel: +852 2378 9347 Email:


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Crowne PLaza Changi airPorT

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Make the most of every business opportunity with this special free meeting package deal from Crowne Plaza® Changi Airport. This offer provides a complimentary meeting package for every participant who stays in our hotel, with a minimum booking of 10 rooms. Participants will stay in the elegant Business Rooms, priced from SGD250 (USD179.2) ++ per room per night, including buffet breakfast for one person and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

ibis Saigon Airport offers a wide selection of meeting spaces, including a boardroom capable of accommodating 217 guests. All the meeting rooms feature relaxing natural views and daylight with creative, unique design inspired by the International Tan Son Nhat Airport. A half-day meeting package starts from VND 550,000 nett (USD 25) per person with lunch and one coffee break, while a full-day meeting package starts from VND 750,000 nett per person with lunch and two coffee breaks.

Email: Website: changiairport.crowneplaza. com/meet-for-free

Tel: +84 8 3848 5556 Email:




e g n e l l sed a a h b e c g d owle nce in n k d to thhe n a emed xperie


ee ly-t v i e t v n i t e a c e n r ac and i g n i t e e m

introduction According to the American Express Meetings and Events 2017 Global Forecast, it is estimated that one-fifth of meeting owners are looking at ways to appeal to millennials, who now make up a significant and growing portion of attendees. To tap into this important segment, the CWT Meetings and Events 2017 forecast suggests that planners should weave creative and inspirational themes into their events. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) curated a fascinating theme for meeting and incentive (M&I) planners that will deepen the knowledge component of their events and bind the core values of Thai culture and its people – this theme is rice.

The Impact of Rice

CULTURE & PEOPLE Rice is the essence of life in Thailand. According to one of Thailand’s MICE industry legends and Managing Director of Destination Asia (Thailand), Pornthip (Addie) Hirunkate, besides being a staple food, rice is a central pillar in all aspects of Thai, and for all parts of society; and the muse for cultural offerings of all kinds, from folk songs to paintings and sculptures. Rice is the only crop that Thai farmers seek “blessings” upon at every stage of its life cycle, from planting to harvesting. These range from rituals for rain, to rituals for protecting the crop and rituals for an abundant harvest. The various rice rituals are closely related to both the communal way of life and traditional religious beliefs. They emphasize the need to live together in harmony and to be mutually supportive. As rice is the root of Thai culture, organisers can now leverage the strength of this theme into their business events and activity designs, whether it is from a sustainability or culinary creativity points of view. Delegates will enjoy these curated experiences that are unique to Thailand.

“Thailand exceeds the expectations of even the most discerning travellers. In its rich diversity of sights and sounds, supported by a highly evolved tourism offering accommodating over 30 million visitors annually, Thailand is remarkable in its ability to fulfil the travel promise.” PornthiP (Addie) hirunkAte Managing Director Destination Asia (Thailand)

The Impact of Rice

ROYAL PROJECT DESTINATIONS One of the best-known development theories suggested by His Majesty, the late King Bhumibol - who was affectionately known as the “Agriculture King” - was “The New Theory”. This theory has been tried and tested to aim at allowing farmers to become selfsufficient and self-reliant. According to the Office of the Royal Development Projects, Thailand has 4,685 projects – many of which are open to the public. His Majesty, the late King Bhumibol, established projects within the grounds of Chitralada Royal Villa in Bangkok, to conduct experiments, to serve as models, and to operate on a non-profit basis which would benefit Thai farmers as well as strengthen the sustainable development of Thailand. “An educational visit to the Royal Chitralada Projects will give participants an understanding of how rice farming became one of the foundations of socioeconomic food stability for the Thai nation,” said Max Jantasuwan, Group Managing Director of Events Travel Asia. M&I participants can also visit a royal project in Chiang Mai, another one of five MICE cities in Thailand, to further understand the benefits of other agriculture projects. The Nong Hoi Royal Project Development Centre gives specific insight into how such projects helped to stop opium cultivation, deforestation and the “slash and burn” cultivation methods.

The importance of rice and its culture must remain with the Thai people. Thus, it is very important that all Thais - young and old alike - should be made aware of the history of rice and its impact on the country’s economy, political, social, culture and tradition and how it has become an integral part of our lives and of the societies in which we live.

dr. kwAnchAi A. Gomez Board Member and Secretary Thai Rice Foundation

An educational visit to the Royal Chitralada Projects will give participants an understanding of how rice farming became one of the foundations of socioeconomic food stability for the Thai nation.

mAx JAntAsuwAn

Group Managing Director Events Travel Asia

The Impact of Rice

MEANINGFUL TEAM ACTIVITIES When it comes to activities inspired by the rich heritage of rice, the possibilities are endless. Whichever activity you choose, be sure to heighten the buzz on social media and get participants excited by sharing photos using dedicated hashtags like #GetItRice, #RiceToTheChallenge and #RiceAbove that play on the homophonic sound of the word “rise�.

A re-enactment of meaningful festivals Work with a local production company to choreograph the wonderful Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival from Isan, the northeast region of Thailand. The festival is typically held in the month of May, and it is a ritual to release colourfully decorated Bang Fai rockets asking for plentiful rainfall for rice cultivation. These rockets are mounted on vehicles and paraded around a designated area of street food and local fanfare. Perfect for groups with an exclusive resort buy out, work with the resort to allow the re-enactment of the Loy Krathong Festival usually held in November; on the first full moon after the rice harvest. After the gala dinner, participants can make a wish and release floating candles onto the resort swimming pool to thank the water spirit for its water provision through the growing season.

Loy krathong festival

A pop-up challenge worthy of a MasterChef Using rice as a core ingredient along with other locally sourced ingredients, participants with a culinary flair pair up with professional chefs to create two sustainable dishes inspired by the themes of the meeting or incentive. The participants must create a meaningful story that supports the dishes and decide how much they would sell it for at a pop-up food bazaar created for the rest of the meeting or incentive participants. A panel of judges would combine the results of their favourite dishes with the dish that sold most to name the number one pop-up MasterChef team. To foster a meaningful connection with the local and underprivileged community, they could also be invited to enjoy the dishes purchased for them by the participants.

A day in the life of a rice farmer This is a great activity for active participants who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. In exclusive groups, set participants a rice planting or harvesting challenge (depending on the time of the year). Amp up the challenge using blindfolds and have other team members giving planting instructions using basic Thai language. After the planting exercise, every group is to visit a different farmer’s home to learn about the impact of rice farming and share their host’s story during an afternoon enjoying treats made from rice.

A lesson in give and take Designed for early risers, teams of participants leave their phones in their rooms and kick start their day by giving alms to the monks at sunrise. Rice is a key ingredient in alms-giving. From there, participants can take in the fresh morning breeze and the warmth of the sun on their face with two choices of class: yoga and mindfulness exercise. Post class, participants will be treated to a healthy and nourishing light breakfast before venturing to the next meeting session or activity.

The I EN mpa ct SU VIR ST ON of Ric AIN M e E


Meeting and incentive planners are now striving to fulfil participants’ expectations by placing a strong emphasis on sustainability when designing their events. To create a climate neutral or climate friendly event by offsetting remaining greenhouse gas emissions, planners can buy carbon offset credits to fund projects like the Siam Cement Biomass listed on The Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) has introduced the Thailand Carbon Offsetting Program (TCOP) and a selection of carbon offset credit options are available on According to biomass energy specialists at BioEnergy Consult, biomass energy systems offer significant possibilities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to their immense potential to replace fossil fuels in energy production. Biomass resources can play a major role in reducing the reliance on fossil fuels by making use of thermo-chemical conversion technologies. Not only can the rice husk and rice straw be used as biomass fuel in small boilers, they can also be an effective source of energy for power plants.

RICe STRAw 290KG 1 TOn of rice paddy produces 290 kg of rice straw

1 TOn of rice paddy produces 220 kg of rice husk

of rice straw can produce approximately 100 kWh (kilowatt-hour) of electricity, which is enough for one 40-watt light bulb to operate continuously for 2,500 hours.

RICe HUSK 220KG of rice husk is equivalent to approximately 150 kWh of electricity, which is enough for one 40-watt light bulb to operate continuously for 2,500 hours


FARM TO FUNCTIONS In 2016, TCEB was the world’s first convention and exhibition bureau to solidify a publicprivate partnership between the Amnatcharoen Satjatham Rice Community Enterprise Network, Thailand’s key industry associations and several hotels and venues called Farm to Functions. Created by TCEB’s MICE Capabilities Development Department, Farm to Functions strategically empowers a sustainable direct food supply between farmers and participating business events venues, hence increasing the income of local farmers - while bringing down their production costs. This partnership aims to generate a minimum order of 300 tons of organic rice worth over THB 12 million (USD 340,000) in income for 300 farming families per year. This initiative encourages Thai farmers to turn to planting and cultivating methods that have a lower impact on the environment. It also has true socioeconomic impact that underpins CSR activities of events held in Thailand through the following benefits: Driving the economy: MICE operators will be supported to increase their competitiveness and reduce the cost of administration, while farmers and communities earn a regular stream of income. Driving the community responsibility: the private sector is engaged in social responsibility, helping MICE travellers to have access to locally produced healthy food; the environment is less affected with farmers adopting more organic methods.

The impact of Rice

WORLD-RENOWNED CUISINE One of the most common Thai greetings is “kin kao laew reu young” (literally translates to “have you eaten rice yet?”). In fact, there are many recipes for rice; from savoury fried rice and sticky rice to colourful, sweet and fragrant desserts. Driving the community engagement: the income distribution is started from the MICE industry to communities, the farmers are given an opportunity to learn more about business practice, and the communities step up their role in driving the economy of the country, resulting in reciprocal sustainability benefits throughout the supply and chain. The founding partners of the Farm to Functions programme are: • Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) • Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) • Thai Hotels Association (THA) • Thai Exhibition Association (TEA) • Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) • I MPACT Arena and IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre • Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) • Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel • The Sukosol Bangkok Hotel • The Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok • Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel • Sampran Riverside Hotel • Rama Gardens Bangkok Hotel

Chef Purida Theeraphong of Iron Chef Thailand fame and multiaward winning restaurant OSHA Bangkok, fondly shares that one of her favourite rice dish is the Osha Fried Rice as it stirs up fond memories of her childhood and her beloved grandmother.



Directions: Mix 500g of diced pineapple, 20ml of honey, one cinnamon stick, one piece of star anise into a pot and place the pot of ingredients on medium to high heat for 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise once the fragrance of these ingredients are to your satisfaction.

Key ingredients: • One cup of steamed rice • The sweet and spiced pineapple sauce created earlier • 80g of medium sized prawns and 10g of dried shredded pork • 30g of cashew nuts and 30g of peas • One whole egg • 5g of salt, 5g of pepper and a touch of sugar • 20ml of rice bran oil

Directions: • Place the wok on high heat. • Once heated, add the oil into the wok. • Soon after, crack the egg into the wok, stir and break up the egg. • When the egg is nearly cooked, add the rice into the wok and stir-fry with the egg. • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir-fry over medium to high heat. Ensure to mix the ingredients well. • Transfer the fried rice to a serving dish and garnish the dish with some spring onions, sliced cucumber, pineapple and tomatoes to your personality.

The impact of Rice

WELLNESS Many planners and delegates take the opportunity to experience the benefits of Thai wellness treatments. Renowned wellness and luxury brand, Pañpuri, promotes 100 per cent natural and organic wellness lifestyle through retail stores in numerous parts of Thailand and well-designed spas like the one located in heart of Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong district. According to the company, rice is also enriched with vitamins and minerals which are essential for the body, flawless skin and strong hair. Rice is fortified with complex carbohydrates which is a good source of energy and can be turned into various products such as flour, bran oil, syrup and milk. One of their signature scents is made of rice bran. Enjoy a traditional massage with the aromatic Thai Pañpuri Original Hot Compress made from rice, herbs and spices. If you are looking for a souvenir, the Siamese Water Uplifting body cream is made of antioxidant-rich pomegranate and red rice extracts with an uplifting blend of jasmine, certified organic ylang-ylang and peppermint oils, may be the perfect gift.

“Thailand CONNECT… Your Vibrant Journey to Business Success” is the current campaign supported by packages for events during the application period – October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 and travel period – October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Large groups with more than 2,000 delegates staying for more than three nights can now access the Thailand Big Thanks package. Two special support packages have been created for smaller groups with more than 200 participates. The Meet Double Cities package is perfect if your group is staying at least four nights for more than one destination in Thailand. If your package has a sustainability focus, then the Meet Sustainable way package is perfect for you when you host a CSR activity anywhere or an event in a TMVS (Thailand MICE Venue Standard) certified venue. The full list of TMVS venues is available on

Thailand Convention & exhibition Bureau (TCeB)

Siam Piwat Tower Building, 25th & 26th Fl., 989 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand Tel: +66 2 694 6000 Fax: +66 2 658 1411 Email: Website: ThailandCVB BusinessEventsTH BusinessEventsTH BusinessEventsTH BusinessEventsThailand BusinessEventsThailand BusinessEventsThailand Produced by Biz Events Asia and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)


e g n e l l a h based e c g d e e l know rience in d toeltyh n a d e -theme tive exp


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Rediscover Thailand’s diversity

Explore colourful cities and vibrant experiences for a rewarding business expedition.


everage on Thailand’s proven track record for hosting some of the world’s leading business events and embark on an exciting journey that combines a unique blend of wonders and flavours. Thailand offers inspiring choices from cutting-edge MICE hubs to charming cities, each with innovative venues and accommodation options that cater to all your business needs. Above all, adaptable event professionals will also be on hand to ensure a successful journey, extending the warm Thai hospitality that has become synonymous with unrivalled service standards. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) presents the CONNECT Destinations package - the opportunity to rediscover Thailand and its diverse offerings. From now until September 30, 2017, TCEB is offering incentives for organisers to explore a second city or incorporate a sustainable element to their business agendas. Discover distinctive cultural, natural and historical offsite venues that promise to add excitement to any event. For a rewarding business events programme unlike any other, engage delegates with one of the many fulfilling corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in the alluring and vibrant Thailand. DOUBLE THE REWARDS TCEB offers the Meet Double Cities package to incentivise organisers to step out of their preferred MICE cities and reap the rewards just from exploring Thailand. Connect two or more cities and uncover new experiences in one of Thailand’s up-and-coming destinations. Requirements include a group size of at least 200 delegates with a minimum stay of four nights in Thailand, and in more than one city. The organiser will receive financial support of THB100,000 per group. Travel must take place by December 31, 2017. FEEL THE DIFFERENCE Be the difference with the Meet Sustainable package, which promotes sustainable MICE practices in Thailand. Create a CSR activity that will enhance the engagement of the event, or simply organise it at one of the certified Thailand MICE Venue Standard (TMVS) venues that meet with the stringent standards of the MICE industry. Requirements include a group size of at least 200 delegates with a minimum stay of three nights in Thailand. The event programme has to incorporate a CSR element or be hosted at a TMVS-certified venue. The organiser will receive financial support of THB100,000 per group. Travel must take place by December 31, 2017.

Start your vibrant journeys with TCEB at Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau


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Beijing, the capital of wellness This supplement is brought to you by Biz Events Asia in collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Reclaim your wellbeing Understand what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is and how it can benefit local and international meeting and incentive groups. As an event professional, it is important to maintain proper physical and mental health to be able to produce the quality of events being organised and to manage those high level of stresses. Stiff competition, tight deadlines and plenty of pressure in the business events industry can tire event professionals and drain motivation. Companies reward their top achievers and offer retreats for top executives to rejuvenate and motivate, and have been increasingly integrating health and wellness elements to their meeting and incentive programmes.

The emergence of TCM The TCM regimen, a pearl in traditional Chinese culture, boosts vitality, prevents diseases, maintain health and aims to achieve longevity through food, medicine, acupuncture, massage, and more. Forms of TCM include: • Taijiquan (Chinese shadow boxing) • A fitness exercise with strong Chinese national characteristics, also known as medical gymnastics that prevent diseases, maintain fitness and prolong life. • Qigong • Unique to China, this involves a combination of calm meditation, deep breathing and slow but focused movements. Regular practice can promote physical fitness as it facilitates blood circulation, digestion and other body functions. • Acupuncture • An ancient and mysterious Chinese therapy to treat diseases. It prevents and controls diseases by keeping the meridian channels open to promote blood circulation and coordinate organ functions. • Moxibustion • A therapy that uses moxa or other drugs to cauterise and press acupoints so that heat and drug effects will travel through the meridians, benefitting the body systems.

• • • •

• • • • • •

• • • •

Massage Not your usual relaxing spa treatment, masseurs manipulate specific parts of the human body to open up meridians, promote blood circulation and alleviate pain. Cupping A medical heritage of China, the air in the cup is heated to create a vacuum so as to be sucked to a skin area. The local thermal stimulation and suction effect will dispel cold and dampness, and relieve swelling and pain. Pedicure Massaging the soles of the feet can invigorate and strengthen the body, prevent premature aging and contribute to the overall health and longevitiy. Scraping Skin scraping is a therapy to scrap the skin, which facilitates blood circulation, boost metabolism, eliminate toxins and produce other health effects. Hot spring The rich minerals in the natural hot spring yields healing advantages for people who bathes in it or ingests it. The bath warms and opens up meridian channels, boosts energy and blood circulation, and promotes physical and mental rehabilitation. Medicated diet Using a combination of TCM and medicinal food, this diet prevents and cures diseases, as well as promote physical health and longevity. Eight trigrams boxing The name, which is sometimes translated to “eight pieces of brocade” or “eight silken movements”, refers to how the eight individual movements of the form characterise and impart a silken quality to the body and its energy.

The Beijing Municipal Administration of TCM suggests that we should nourish the liver in spring, heart in summer, lungs in autumn and kidney in winter. The stomach and spleen should be nourished in all four seasons.

Foods suitable for spring:

Low-fat as well as vitamin- and mineralrich foods, such as fresh vegetables, including shepherd’s purse, rapeseed, celery, spinach, Indian kalimeris, Chinese wolfberries, Chinese toon, dandelion, etc.

Foods suitable for summer:

A sustainable legacy Beijing’s rich resources and strong culture of TCM have made the practice more professional and accessible to international visitors. The capital city of China leads the country in TCM diagnosis and treatment. As people from all over the globe increasingly cultivate natural, simple and green lifestyles, TCM has unavoidably gained popularity among foreigners who thought it mysterious and attractive.

Eggplant, fresh lotus root, bean sprouts, towel gourd, cucumber, melon, watermelon, tomatoes, plum soup, bean soup and other foods that relieve summer heat.

Foods suitable for autumn:

Sesame, glutinous rice, rice, honey, loquat, pineapple and pear nourishes the lungs; Chinese yam and coix seeds, for example, strengthens the spleen and stomach.

Foods suitable for winter:

Angelica, Chinese wolfberries, walnuts, jujubes, longan pulp, mutton, and chicken.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Department and the Beijing Municipal Administration of TCM co-founded the leading group on TCM cultural tourism in 2011 to build its demonstration bases. To date, 21 demonstration bases have been set up, with another eight under construction.

Before each travel, it is always ideal to have a medical check-up. As difficult as it may sound, try choosing destinations and schedules according to your physical condition to avoid burnout.

In 2014, the China National Tourism Administration and State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine signed the Cooperation Agreement on Promoting the Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine Health Tourism.

Some of the emergency supplies to bring along include:

In recent years, a steady increase in demand for TCM health tours among domestic and foreign visitors has prompted the committee of tourism development of Beijing to create a joint partnership with travel agencies and related units to launch a series of TCM-related products and services in order to enhance Beijing’s tourism characteristics and disseminate the Chinese culture of traditional Chinese medicine. Together with eight travel agencies, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Department and the Beijing Municipal Administration of TCM have worked out a number of cultural tourism routes and itineraries, which will be listed in the following pages of this supplement. Meeting and incentive groups looking to incorporate fitness and wellness programmes into their itineraries can take advantage of the myriad options available in Beijing. These include learning about what a TCM culture tourism administration base is, going on a health preservation tour, experiencing Chinese medication health cultivation culture, and more.

A small bottle of potassium permanganate for disinfecting wounds; a handful of cotton wool to clean wounds; a scarf to keep warm, which can also be used as a tourniquet to dress wounds. Paracetamol, compound aspirin (for pain or inflammation), artificial cow bezoar (believed to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison), essential balm, cold & flu tablets, and more.

144-hour visa-free transit Go further with the 144-Hour Visa Free Policy when you travel for a third country (or region). Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province will simultaneously implement the 144-hour visa free policy in 2017. Foreign nationals must meet the following requirements to gain 144-hour visa exemption: • A passport issued by the 51 countries covered by the 144-Hour Visa Free Policy. • Foreign nationals in transit through the Beijing Capital International Airport with valid international travel documents and air tickets for a third destination country (or region) who will travel within 144 hours. • Meet the entry requirements for their destination country (or region). A foreign national who meets the requirements may submit a request to the airline company that carries him/ her to Beijing, and the airline company or the passenger shall apply to the exit and entry frontier inspection authority at the airport that will grant temporary entry for eligible passengers upon verification. During the visa exemption period, such travellers are allowed to move within the administrative precincts of Beijing Municipality.

Countries eligible for the policy Travellers from the following 51 countries may apply for the 144-hour transit visa exemption: • 37 countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. • Six countries in the Americas: The United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile. • Two countries in Oceania: Australia and New Zealand. • Six Asian countries: the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. For further enquiries, contact the Beijing General Station of Exit and Entry Frontier Inspection: +8610 5609 5400 Ministry of Public Security website:

Tax refund policy - Tourists and those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who have stayed in China for less than 183 consecutive days are entitled to a departure tax refund. - A tax refund rate of 11 percent is applicable within 90 days of the goods bought on the same day in one store and with a value of over RMB500. - Application form of tax refund must be obtained from designated stores.

Choose your itinerary Whether you are staying in Beijing for 48 hours, 72 hours or 144 hours, our destination management specialists have got them covered with these itineraries. Two-day Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine Experience Tour

Afternoon National Theater, Qianmen Ancient Street & the famous Tongrentang Pharmacy

As recommended by International Ltd.

Day Three

Day One • • • • •

Tian’an men Square Forbidden City Prince Gong’s Mansion Tongrentang Chinese Medicine Wangfujing Pedestrian Street

Day Two • • • •

The Badaling section of Great Wall Summer Palace Tsinghua University Stroll around the Bird Nest and Water Cube Olympic venues

For bookings and more information please contact us: Website: Phone: 400-830-6666/400-820-6666

Five-day Beijing Health Cultivation Tour As recommended by China International Travel Service Limited, Head Office (CITS)

Day One • -

Arrival in Beijing Meet on arrival and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure

Day Two

• Beijing Morning - Temple of Heaven (UNESCO) and learn to practice Taiji - Forbidden City (UNESCO)

• Beijing Morning - Mutianyu Section of the Great Wall (UNESCO) - Lunch at a farm house tasting farmer’s organic food and experience the rural life Afternoon - Enjoy a foot massage Evening - Dinner at a Peking roast duck restaurant

Day Four

• Beijing Morning - Lavish Summer Palace (UNESCO) Afternoon - Lunch at Taishenxianghe Resort for a taste of traditional health-preserving cuisine - At leisure Evening - Enjoy the Legend of Kung Fu performance

Day Five

• Leave Beijing - Transfer to airport for your flight home For bookings and more information please contact us: Website: Phone: +86-10-85228079

Six-day Beijing Health Cultivation Tour

Not concerned about the 144-hour free visa policy and coming from somewhere as far as Europe? TUI China Travel Co. Ltd. recommends the following sixday itinerary:

Day One • -

Arrival in Beijing Your tour guide will meet you at the airport Transfer to your hotel to get some rest for the following day’s adventures

Day Two

Morning - Tian’anmen Square - Forbidden City Afternoon - Visit the International Medical Department of Dongzhimen Hospital - Visit the Temple of Heaven - Lunch at a local Chinese restaurant Evening - Dinner at Taste Beijing Roast Duck

Day Three

Morning - Stroll around the Bird Nest and Water Cube Olympic Venues to glance at Beijing’s modernity - Visit the Beijing Tibetan and Ethnic Medicine Hospital Afternoon - Have an opportunity to enjoy a medicinal meal in a local restaurant recommended by Beijing Tourism Development Commission - Take an optional excursion to Summer Palace

Day Four

Morning - Explore Badaling Great Wall. Afternoon - Enjoy lunch at Tai Shen Xiang He Resort, a local Traditional Chinese Medicine featured restaurant - Visit museum “YU SHENG TANG” Evening - Enjoy the fascinating acrobatics after dinner

Day Five

Morning - Learn the relaxing meditative movements of Tai Chi at Jingshan Park - Visit centrally located, Lama Buddhist Temple. - Enjoy the Hutong alleyway tour in Houhai by bicycle taxi Afternoon - Lunch with a local family - Visit The Museum of Chinese Museum Medicine, experience Auricular acupuncture and learn Baduanjin Qi Gong exercise movements

Day Six

• Departure from Beijing - Transfer to the airport for return flight to Europe. For bookings and more information please contact us: Website: Phone: +86 (0)10 8519 8800 Email:

Six-day Beijing Health Cultivation Tour

Destination Asia China Co. Ltd. recommends the following six-day itinerary:

Day One •

Arrival in Beijing Capital International Airport

Day Two -

Tian’anmen Square Temple of Heaven Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to your next stop Enter the Forbidden City Peking Duck Welcome Dinner

Day Three -

Yushengtang Chinese Medicine Museum Tour Great Wall of China Enjoy a wellness lunch at Taishen Xianghe Mansion before continuing on to your next stop Lecture and Foot Massage at a Local Chinese Medicine Hospital

Day Four - -

Dongzhimen TCM Hospital Enjoy lunch at a Western restaurant before continuing on to your next stop TCM Wellness Garden at the Temple of Earth Practice Baduanjin Gulou TCM Hospital

Day Five -

Hutong Tour with Rickshaw Ride Enjoy lunch with a local family and learn how to make dumplings Tongrentang TCM Pharmacy

Day Six • -

Departure from Beijing Transfer to the airport for your flight out from Beijing

For bookings and more information please contact us: Website: Phone: +86 10 8446 7622 All itineraries in this supplement are for reference only.

8 TCM sanctuaries to immerse into These TCM-themed resorts provide the much needed respite from the stresses and fatigue of daily life to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. Jinhai Lake

Jinyu Fengshan Hotspring Resort

Chunhuiyuan Resort

Beijing Ri Yue Lian Shan TCM Health Tourism Base

Beijing Shan Shui Wen Yuan Jin Hai Lake Resort, spans an area of 22 sq km, and hosts the largest comprehensive water entertainment in Beijing at 6.7 sq km. Jinhai Lake 121 International Anti-aging Center, built by Riverside Group, accumulates more than 20 years of experience from Lanserhof to create the international top-level anti-aging-oriented International Medical Center and high-end holiday medical platform. Website: The resort is a hot spring spa and leisurely health centre that offers a combination of beauty services and hydrotherapy. Hot spring water is extracted from ground that is 1,800 metres below earth surface. The resort offers Chinese herbal medicine bath, far-infrared light wave bath, milk bath, ganoderma and ginseng bath and other forms of bath. Website:

This is a tourist map of the park, covering an area of about 21,000 square metres, consisting of an indoor hot spring area of 16,000 square metres and outdoor spring of 5,000 square metres. In terms of functions, the park is divided into three zones: recreational, hydrotherapy and fitness, and sightseeing hot spring zones. It provides services 24/7. Website: Phone: +86 010-60711188

This TCM Health Tourism Base located in Cha Peng Gou Valley, in Ping Gu District, Beijing, has up to 95 percent of green plants coverage, together with dozens of wild Chinese herbal medicine. Beijing Ri Yue Lian Shan TCM Health Tourism Base is the one and only sericulture-and-mulberry-themed TCM tourism base, has medicinal mulberry base of more than 300 mus.

Beijing Crouching Tiger Villa Park

More than 50 kinds of herbs that can be used as both medicine and food are planted in the park. It is a place to learn about TCM culture. Lying between green mountains and clear rivers, the park has become a summer resort with idyllic beauty. Website:

Beijing Caogentang Farm

In the farm, dozens of Chinese medicinal herbs grow in small tree-lined yards of various shapes. There, guests can experience farming, learn about herbal medicines, enjoy food and entertainment and engage in youthful outdoor activities. Website:

Beijing Aihuitang Chinese Medicine

Beijing Aihuitang Chinese Medicine is committed to inheriting and disseminating traditional Chinese moxibustion. Aihuitang Chinese Medicine provides a variety of therapies such as moxibustion, acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, cupping and stone needle therapy. Website: Phone: +86 10 8802 9690

Beijing Medicinal Plant Garden, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

Home to more than 2,000 plant species, the medicinal plant garden is known as a 3D Compendium of Materia Medica, the most complete TCM classics. The garden also features a herbal medicine green house and a herbal medicine museum. The garden serves as a window to showcase China’s long TCM history and a platform for communication between Chinese and foreign researchers specialising in medicinal plants. Website:

TCM knowledge hub Health cultivation and cultural tourism demonstration bases in Beijing represent the remarkable history and traditional Chinese medical capabilities that the city possesses. Museum of Chinese Medicine at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine

Founded in September of 1990, the Museum of Chinese Medicine at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine is a professionally managed museum with a rich collection of traditional Chinese medicinal relics and substances. Covering an area of 1,500 sq m, the museum consists of two sections: the Exhibition of Chinese Medical History and the Exhibition of Chinese Materia Medica. The museum has played an important role in teaching and research of TCM, and the international exchange of TCM between China and the world as well as popularizing TCM knowledge.

Cultural Relic

The Exhibition of Chinese Medical History has a collection of more than 1,000 medicinal objects and 200 ancient medical books. It tells a chronological story of TCM development spanning thousands of years, charting the achievements of traditional Chinese and ethnic minority medicine.

Medicinal Specimen

The Exhibition of Chinese Materia Medica showcases more than 5,000 pieces of over 2,800 varieties of medicinal specimens. The Comprehensive TCM Exhibition Hall shows about 600 TCM varieties and more than 1,500 TCM specimens as well as hundreds of color photos of medicinal herbs.

Modern Technology

Combining modern technology with TCM, the Digital Museum of Chinese Medicine was established in 2004 and allows a wider audience to learn about Chinese medicine through the internet.

Interactive Experience

Visitors can make sachets themselves according to formulas provided by the museum, and make posters by using TCM drug pieces which are memorable. They can also enhance their knowledge on medicine. Phone: +86 10 64089133

Chinese Medicine History Museum

Established in 1982, the Chinese Medicine History Museum has more than 1,000 precious collections and is known as the medical history museum boasting the richest collection and longest time span. The ancient portraits of ancient famous TCM doctors and manuscripts from famous doctors in Chinese history have high research value. The museum systematically displays the origin, formation and development of Chinese medicine and its achievements.

Rich Collection

The museum has a collection of TCM cultural relics from different Chinese dynasties like prehistoric stone needle, ax and sickle, imperial medical books and ancient medicine books as well as ceramic, bronze and jade medical tools.

Worldwide Fame

The museum has received hundreds of thousands visitors including the great British sinologist Joseph Needham, Japanese historian Yabuuti Kiyosi, and American historian Nathan Sivin since its foundation. Ding Dahai, a descendant of Qing physician Ding Fubao, donated to the museum when it opened. Website: Phone: +86 10 64286835/64286845

Beijing Yushengtang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum

There are seven parts of historical relics exhibited in the museum, which are the outlook of Yushengtang Drugstore in the Qing Dynasty, the statues of medical sages, traditional Chinese medical instruments in different dynasties, the samples of Chinese herbal medicine in ancient time, the packages for ancient Chinese herbal medicine, the medical books and magazines of different dynasties, and modern medical prescriptions and medical cases. Additional, Yushengtang also displays thousands of Chinese ancient pottery toys, old posters and other types of ancient relics. As the first private traditional Chinese medicine museum in China, Yushengtang museum was awarded as a national propaganda and education base of traditional Chinese medicine culture by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Relics Exhibition

Yushengtang selects several collections from Yushengtang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum and exhibits them in Experience Center, in order to acquaint foreign visitors with traditional Chinese medicine.

Seminar for Regimen

Yushengtang Experience Center invites many experts and savants to lecture the traditional Chinese medicine culture and traditional health care skills to foreign visitors.

TCM Consultancy for emotional dysfunction

Yushengtang Experience Center engages many senior herbalist doctors to provide the medical consultation by traditional Chinese medical skills. Website: Email: Phone: +86 10 81788271

Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) services for International Patients Beijing, the birth place of China’s first ever Nobel Prize in medicine, which is deeply rooted and in TCM. Believe in TCM in the age of science and find the below guide to accredited health care providers and their quality services for international patients. The below 16 organisations have been designated by Beijing Pistis International TCM Service to provide 31 different TCM services. Guang’anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences • • • •

Children nasal diseases treated with Sun’s Chinese herbal sequential therapy Assessment and intervention to degenerated cardiovascular diseases by combination of Chinese and western medicine TCM treatment and rehabilitation for cancer patient Insomnia managed by integrated TCM therapies

Beijing Emperor Special Hospital of Femur Head Necrosis • •

TCM treatment for femur head necrosis TCM treatment for osteoarthritis of knee joint

Eye Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences •

TCM prevention and treatment for diseases of optic nerve and retina

ReLife International Medical Center •

TCM treatment for varicose vein

Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Dongzhimen Hospital • •

Acupuncture treatment for headache TCM treatment for chronic pain

Beijing Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine • • •

Combination of acupuncture and massage for treating prolapse of lumbar intervertebral disc Three steps acupuncture for treating child cerebral palsy TCM treatment for infertility

Beijing Tian Tan Hospital, Capital Medical University • •

Integrative diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Sclerosis/Neuromyelitis Optica with TCM Integrative diagnosis and treatment of Cerebral Glioma with TCM

China-Japan Friendship Hospital •

Inflammatory arthropathy managed by TCM comprehensive strengthening sequential therapy

Beijing Massage Hospital • •

Tuina treatment for cervical spondylopathy and lumbago Tuina treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome

Beijing Bo’ai Hospital, China Rehabilitation Research Center • •

Rehabilitation treatment of prolapse of lumbar intervertebral disc with Integrated Chinese and Western medicine Rehabilitation treatment of spinal cord injury with Integrated Chinese and Western medicine

Beijing TCM Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University • • •

TCM comprehensive therapy for diabetic foot TCM treatment for psoriasis Acupuncture for migraine

Beijing Dacheng TCM Acupuncture Hospital Co., Ltd • •

Pain treated by Chengs Acupuncture technique Insomnia treated by Chengs Acupuncture technique

Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences • • •

Prevention and treatment of stenosis after a stent is deployed in the coronary artery by TCM activating blood circulation therapy Anti-wrinkle or chloasma reduction by nano-chip technology and nature herbal medicine Prevention and treatment of intestinal cancer in TCM

Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine •

TCM intervention on high risk cancerous population

The GU LOU Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Of Beijing •

Femoral head necrosis treated by TCM

China Tibetology Research Center Beijing Tibetan Hospital International Medical Department •

Chronic joint’s pain managed with Tibetan medicine

Call the Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine helpline for more details: +86 10 8800 1800.

Beijing, the capital of wellness This supplement is brought to you by Biz Events Asia in collaboration with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

visit for a digital copy of this supplement

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The pressure is mounting for both event planners and suppliers to get creative as participants get savvier by every event they last attended. To engage the audience, more has to be done; the creativity benchmark has to be lifted every single time. This particularly applies to events that pander after an audience of the future generation. Event curators and designers are after a “blank canvas”, an “infinite” space that caters to their wildest imagination and pushes the boundaries of creativity. For years, planners have used places of interest like hosting a gala dinner on the Great Wall of China to a beer-o’clock sunset party on Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island in Singapore. With the current shortened lead time, planners are finding it more challenging to work around availability, permit application processes, public safety and weather conditions of these public spaces.

WHAT ARE UNIQUE VENUES? They still want their blank canvas and are sourcing for unique venues for their event showcases. For the purpose of this article, unique venues are not hotels, convention and exhibition centres or restaurants. There are two main types of unique venues: not their core business purpose: museums, galleries, aquariums, theme-parks, libraries, racecourses, cruise terminals, sporting clubs, zoos and even uniquely designed office foyers. their core business purpose: Doltone House Venue + Catering

Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney

Collection in Sydney Australia, The Atlantic Group in Melbourne in Singapore.

A STRATEGIC EVENT DESIGN What makes unique venues stand out in the world of events is the fact that it brings that creativity mindset beyond predictability. With museums and galleries, event designers have to consider how their event could incorporate the theme of an exhibition Wales Staff Party in Sydney case study in the second half of this article. Incorporating unique venues’ theme into an event is on trend at the moment especially when it comes to a networking cocktail party or a gala dinner event. It allows event designers to incorporate an education component into an event. For example, at the recent buyers familiarisation organised by the Canberra

“I think every business, really, has a unique reason for being, unique assets, unique attributes, a unique history. And that can be turned into a very attractive design story, essentially, that consumers can relate to.” YVES BEHAR Swiss designer and founder of fuseproject

of Australia started their showcase of

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the Gandel Hall – a purpose-built event space that caters up to 900 persons – with a guided tour of the renowned Versailles, Treasures from the Palace art exhibition. Such an event component allows guests to mingle comfortably in a “neutral” space where fresh conversations are inspired by whatever is on show. This education component also serves as a warm-up comfort zone for those who are less comfortable at networking. Most importantly, it becomes a charming setting that allows guests to be immersed into another world – a memorable event experience.

they look creative. Hence, they attract a clientele who is, appreciates and wants to be creative. Their Jones Bay Wharf venue is a historic warehouse conversion perched on the harbour. The main space, the pillarless five-metre ceiling height Heritage Wharf, caters to 1,000 guests for a cocktail party.

into public spaces like bathrooms and pre-function areas. The styling of the entire venue can be as adventurous as the imagination and budget allow. It is entirely up to the investment event planners who are willing to put in for the return they can measure.

The fact that event is their core business, these venues have a dedicated focus that aligns themselves with the client’s event objectives; working like an extension of their clients’ event planning team. Every team member of these unique venues understand events, which is an important mindset to have whilst managing events. If the event is large enough, planners can literally take over the whole venue to the extent of controlling the arrival experience. Creating a fantasy, like Alice in Wonderland, at such venues is more believable than traditional venue spaces as the theming can be immersed

Some not for profit and government venues also have a foundation within their organisation such as the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales Foundation of the venue, Sydney Showground. As they are not for profit, profit generated goes towards sustaining a cause they believe in.


For example, the Australian National Maritime Museum has over 12 event spaces and holds over 300 events annually run by a dedicated venues team and exclusive onsite caterer. Profit generated from venues is funnelled back into the

Gandel Hall, National Gallery of Australia

OBJECTIVE-CENTRED BLANK CANVASES For a while, sociable and creative #eventprofs have used unique venues as an offsite event component like welcome reception or farewell dinner for conferences. With a rise in preference for Airbnb accommodation options and a craving for more engaging meeting designs, event planners are grabbing the opportunity to use unique venues as the main event spaces; especially the ones where hosting events is their core business purpose. Buyers who attend tradeshows like AIME will notice that staff of unique venues like Doltone House Venue + Catering Collection dress differently –


Forest, Huone Singapore

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core business of the museum. That is, to educate future generations on Australia’s maritime story and its significant legacy. This is done by driving visitation to the Sydney museum as well as national and international programmes/exhibitions. Profit generated from event operations is a core component to their self-generated funding. In addition, the Australian National Maritime Museum Foundation which holds its own events to drive funding is supported by the expertise of onsite events team. As a result, event owners not only can work with their own CSR beneficiaries, holding their event at not for profit unique venues achieve a much longer meaningful impact.

Peninsula of Atlantic Group in Melbourne

The Ivy Pool Club, Merivale in Sydney

VALUE-ADDED INCENTIVE This can be a powerful leverage for incentive programmes. Traditionally, art galleries and museums partner with major events and festivals happening in their respective cities. VIVID Sydney, Enlighten in Canberra and Night Festival in Singapore are some of the world’s famous immersive light installation and projection festivals. Mega incentives could have their corporate colours and branding on one of the installation, a special touch that gives delegates a heightened sense of pride for the company they work for. The greatest effect with leveraging the emotions of festivals is the fact that international visitors get to mingle with locals – a true #golocal experience that is currently trending.

CONSIDERATIONS Designing the event according to the audience is key to success. So aligning expectations is a good start when considering using unique venues for your next event: do not operate 24/7 like hotels. For venues like galleries and museums, events could only be possible outside exhibiting hours unless they are held at dedicated event spaces. location and how it will impact the sense of arrival for your event is key. Some unique venues may not be a stand-alone building and signage may be poorer compared

to a hotel brand hung on the top of their building. For example, if the guests are used to having hotel entrance as a landmark for drop offs, make sure that the invitation provides maps and clear directions on how to get to the unique venue. It is very important to consider loading docks and access points of unique venues especially if they are heritage listed. Be imaginative – like an artist who stares at a blank canvas, event planners and owners should have an active imagination as some unique venues are literally a blank space especially on non-event days. Using a blank canvas type of events space can also mean that the event should analyse the cost of using stylists, set builders and furniture hirer besides trusting the suppliers’ ability to materialise the design vision. Theming – as much as it is cost effective to use existing decorations and exhibition themes, event

designers should first analyse the suitability of the venues’ theme to the event.

BRAND AWARENESS Like hidden gems, unique venues are often much smaller operators than some of the large hotel chains; particularly if their core business is not events. These venues may not have sufficient marketing budget to create international awareness like the global hotels. Word of mouth is still the best way of locating these gems. International planners could ask the destination’s event bureau or destination management agencies for assistance and recommendations when “googling” gets too hard and confusing. Nevertheless, a site inspection is highly recommended to reduce any concerning risk. After all, it is the people who work at these unique venues who can contribute to the success of your event.

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H EL L O SAI LO RS ! How Optus’ annual Christmas party in Sydney continues to make them an employer of choice in Australia.



WORDS: EL KWANG Herbert Kelleher, co-founder of Southwest Airlines once said, “Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your stakeholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows.” Optus, a major telco in Australia, has a strong lifestyle culture. According to Andrew Parker, National Manager, Experience and Culture of Optus, the company is very much focused on health and well-being. Employees have access to gyms, childcare centres, bars and restaurants located at the university style-like Optus Campus in Sydney New South Wales (NSW); a site that caters to 7,000 employees. “The Optus NSW Christmas party is something that our company positions as part of our reputation for being a great place to work in. We define the experience of working at Optus as one of the things that sets us apart,” said Parker in a video interview with Biz Events Asia at AIME 2017 trade show in Melbourne. The Optus NSW Christmas party is an iconic event for the company that caters to 3,000 guests, and tickets are usually sold out within the same day of its release. It is an event where the company positions itself as being a great place to work.


Optus acknowledged that it is a very competitive employment market particularly in the technology sector. The Christmas party is something employees talked about during the recruitment process and even on the first day at work. The party is a point where the company’s devised workforce get together all in one place to celebrate everything they have achieved and have a really great time.

A CREATIVE PRODUCTION Andrew and his team have a daunting task of sourcing a unique venue that meets every criteria and high expectations of their diverse workforce. The venue must deliver a series of different experiences throughout the evening whilst keeping guests entertained. In 2016, the Australian National Maritime Museum was selected as the venue. The party was so successful that their event survey indicated that 97.1 percent of attendees had a good or great time at the party. Grant Pisani, Managing Director of Fourth Wall – the Collective of Creators, produced and managed this event with Optus for several years. He said in an exclusive video interview with Biz Events Asia: “The Australian National Maritime Museum is a unique space. We were fairly skeptical because we

didn’t know too much about it. When we were invited to come down here and had a look around, we knew immediately that it has so much potential. You walk down here (the venue) and the backdrop is the city. You have a submarine 10 metres out, you’ve got a ship just off to the right, and you have a lighthouse on the left, so we have so much potential and we want to use every part of that.” Pisani started by embracing and leveraging on the venue’s nautical theme. His team started to think big and pushed creative boundaries. Pisani also ensured that all those involved fully understood the client’s and the agency’s creative vision and collaborative approach. With the trust of his client Optus, his agency called upon the creative services of Ignatius Jones of VIVID Sydney fame to orchestrate three show-stopper moments. Both Jones and Fourth Wall activated trusted performers and contractors and created an exceptional experience made up of 70 performers throughout the evening, 30 pyrotechnic effects and a variety of food and beverage stations at different parts of the venue by the venue’s caterer, Laissez-Faire.

A FLEXIBLE WORKING RELATIONSHIP Although it is a Federal Government cultural institution, the Australian

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The Lighthouse Gallery set up as a dance club

museum tries to accommodate by allocating a separate catering area before the guided tour so that the delegates’ experience is seamless.

A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Above the food and beverage, the museum created a cultural and educational experience at the party. According to Parker, the venue provided some unique opportunities like the guided tour of the HMAS Vampire battleship, which blew hundreds of employees who queued for that experience away. The tour was enhanced by characters on board as part of the entertainment and the lounge was set up as a spectacular sky bar.

National Maritime Museum’s flexibility regarding the needs of the business events industry saw several successes over the past two years. The museum welcomed 4,000 Nuskin incentive delegates from Greater China and another 4,000 from Amway China. Deanna Varga, Assistant Director Commercial & Visitor Services at the museum said that not only can event professionals hire any of 12 of their venue spaces, they can also curate some form of experience which ties into an existing exhibition or something that is relevant to the delegates. Events can have a cocktail party and dinner event amongst some exhibits. Delegates may not be able to consume food and beverage within some exhibitions and the

Optus utilised the entire venue for the party; both indoors and out. Parker said, “One of the advantages of this venue was the opportunity to have 2,000 guests to simultaneously see the outdoor stage which allowed us to engage some of Sydney’s greatest theatrical performance talents who created some really show-stopper performances. We found that there are actually a lot of opportunities there, to have something iconic and by the water. Taking some of the best parts of Sydney in summer allowed us to have different experiences for different guests.” He added, “These large events bring our people together to connect and hopefully share ideas throughout the process.”


EVENTS & INCENTIVES IN CULTURAL SPACES Situated at Sydney’s Darling Harbour, The Australian National Maritime Museum offers 12 unique and adaptable waterfront venues that make the most of stunning views of the city skyline and Pyrmont Bay. Dynamic indoor–outdoor spaces allow clients to create one-of-a-kind precinct experiences that can cater to more than 2,500 people.

More than just a venue, take advantage of the unique experiences The Australian National Maritime Museum has available – climbing our Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse, going below decks on the replica of Captain Cook’s HMB Endeavour, having cocktails on the helicopter deck of a warship and exploring Indigenous maritime history and culture – all in one central city location.

+61 2 9298 3777 | |

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#Delve into


Get acquainted with the island of Penang, and discover the ease of planning a meeting and team building event in the heart of Malaysia.

Khoo Kongsi temple


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Penang is well connected, full of history and growing opportunities for association events. The world heritage location moves beyond its reputation as a tourism destination and establishes the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) to offer assistance to event planners and take a new look at connections for associations from the region. An essential part of the trade between Asia, India and Western markets in Europe, this island state of Malaysia has been a hidden gem and, through a quirk of town planning regulations, retained its old world charm in its main city of Georgetown, which was subsequently recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2008.

PENANG IS BUSY The industries and companies based there have led to the manufacturing sector being the largest contributor to the economy, with tourism being second. Identifying the potential for attracting regional and international meetings, PCEB is now well past its first year of operations. “Penang is home to regional headquarters of various major multi-national corporations due to the availability of its human talent, mature supply chain, advanced logistics and well-built infrastructure that is capable of supporting international association businesses,” states the Right Honourable Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang in his introduction to the launch of PCEB’s guide to the MICE facilities on the island. Two developments are highlighted in particular, signifying the maturing market and the growth of venue choice – the

expansion of the Setia SPICE Convention Centre with purpose built space opening in the complex later this year and the plans for the Waterfront Exhibition and Convention Centre in the IJM Light Waterfront development slated for 2022. Recognising the time frames involved in the processes for many associations, these developments are highlighted by PCEB’s Ashwin Gunasekeran, who invites organisers to bring their delegates to Penang for first-hand, unique cultural “experiences unfiltered” in some of the historic venues that are regularly used for social functions at association events – Fort Cornwallis, Khoo Kongsi, Suffolk House and the Tropical Spice Garden. The PCEB advice and support includes event planning and management consultation as well as encouragement to develop the local convention industry partners into specialist services. They have been actively involved in formal bids for regional and international events, and have begun working with academics from the local universities to encourage them to act as local hosts and invite future association events from their related specialisations – particularly in the medical and electronic or electrical fields. This campaign also reaches out to the peninsula-based Malaysian national associations and academic institutes, encouraging an easily accessible island location for events. There have been many taking up this opportunity and the list of conferences for 2017 is a great credit to this dedication and proof of a successful campaign.

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Le Meridien Putrajaya




Malaysia’s garden city just 15 minutes south of Kuala Lumpur is reinventing itself to provide conference and incentive groups more reasons to head to the federal territory. Built on an expansive marshland and former oil palm estate in Selangor, Putrajaya spans an area of almost 5,000 hectares and lies some 30 kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. Its integrated township, IOI Resort City, was built with entertainment and leisure facilities for professionals, families and holiday makers alike. Facilities include a lifestyle mall, an 18-hole championship golf course and hotels all located within the vicinity of the lush resort city. Indoor theme parks make for a great team building venue without having to worry about any potential haze. Served by one of the best highway networks in the Klang Valley, a privately owned highway also makes returning to the resort city from nearby water sport venues a breeze.

TEAM BUILDING SPECTACULAR Taking up more than 6,500 sq m of space, District 21 has hosted a team building session of 500 people, although it will comfortably fit 300 people. Its 12 key attraction sites feature various challenges and obstacles designed to

bring out the best (or expose the worst) in team members through endurance and communication. It’s not Hunger Games, but its concrete walls splashed with graffiti art and steel structures housed in a massive glass house that overlooks the greens will spark curiosity and excitement in people of all ages.

LE MERIDIEN PUTRAJAYA Located within the lush IOI Resort City, groups can expect to arrive at the hotel within 30 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The hotel offers 353 guest rooms and suites with a city or garden view, 15 meeting and conference venues ranging from 66 to 196 sq m, a 2,500 sq m function space, recreational facilities as well as wine-and-dine experiences such as buffet restaurant Latest Recipe, Chinese restaurant Le Mei, and Latitude Bar. The pillar-less Millennium Grand Ballroom caters for up to 800 guests, and is accompanied by a generous prefunction area of over 1,200 sq m. The hotel adjoins IOI City Mall, which houses a multitude of shopping, dining and entertainment options including an Olympic size ice-skating rink and the indoor adventure park, District 21.

coffee break menu options and activities stand out the most. Activities include customising your own éclair and sketching/painting.

MARINA PUTRAJAYA Previously known as Putrajaya Maritime Centre, the circular complex is home to various recreational water sports, including kayaking, dragon boating, canoeing, sailing and more. Events and corporate meetings can utilise Marina Putrajaya’s boardroom or banquet hall, which can seat up to 250 people. For a wholesome day at the complex, kick-start with an adrenalinepumping dragon boat session that’s great for groups of 22, followed by three to four hours of brainstorming session with one break in between for the best results. Wine down with a game of snooker or a karaoke session, followed by a fine-dining experience at the café. Le Meridien Putrajaya

Apart from its multitude of event spaces, its imaginative and localised

District 21


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CRUISE TASIK PUTRAJAYA Revel in the sights of the garden city’s architecture and greenery while cruising on the tranquil lake in the heart of Putrajaya. Learn about the history of Putrajaya and its architectural landmarks as well as the fascinating facts on the flora and fauna that form the ecosystem of the lake and wetlands while taking in the 360-degree view of the city on board one of Cruise Tasik Putrajaya’s cruises.

PUTRAJAYA LAKE RECREATION CENTRE Located within Putrajaya Wetlands, 76.8 hectares of vast expanse of water set against a background of lush vegetation make Putrajaya LRC the place for disconnecting from the hectic city life and connecting with people and nature without distraction. Three tiers of team building packages help build water confidence through water rafting, aquatic treasure hunt, kayaking, paddle boating, and other water-based team building activities. If water-based activities are not for you, its park is worth exploring whether on foot or on bicycle. Barbecue site rentals and other camping facilities are also available. Putrajaya’s neighbour, Kuala Lumpur, now has more reasons to maintain its reputation as the most popular destination for meetings and incentives in Malaysia with these new offerings.

ELEMENT KUALA LUMPUR Opened in March 2017, Southeast Asia’s first Element hotel was built Green from the ground up and Green Building Index-certified. Now the highest hotel in Malaysia, Element Kuala Lumpur is located within the 275-metre-high mixed-use Ilham Tower, its elevated position affording 360-degree views of the city skyline and across the Klang Valley. One a clear day, one can even

The Great Gatsby-themed party at Screening Room, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur

spot the Genting Highlands in the mountains across.

Element Kuala Lumpur

The hotel’s four meeting rooms make up 162 sq m of space, which can accommodate up to 80 people. Its 252 guest rooms range from studio units to three-bedroom suites, all offering an abundance of natural light and spainspired bathrooms. For the fitness and health enthusiasts, explore the ins and outs of the city via the hotel’s complimentary Bikes to Borrow programme, or book a Zumba or yoga class at its fully equipped 24/7 fitness centre. TRACE restaurant offers all-day dining with healthy options for that much-needed refuel after a workout.

THE ST. REGIS KUALA LUMPUR As one of the city’s most luxurious property, The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur needs no introduction. Its opulent interiors, exquisite art collection (most notably the two 4.9-metre hand-etched leather murals by Mark Evans and a monumental 3.5-metre horse sculpture by Fernando Botero) and signature St. Regis Butler Service, while already enough to set itself apart from its competitors, are just some of the fundamentals that give the hotel its unique identity. What elevates the meeting and event experience is the avant-garde technology available in over 10,000 sq m of private event space. An impressive

LED video wall projection system in the Grand Ballroom, which acts as a LED Digital Canvas, immerses guests in a virtual reality simulation, providing image and sound through a panoramic display. An interactive app gives event planners an idea of how to utilise its Grand Ballroom through selecting various configurations available on the intuitive platform. Planners can also check out air conditioning spots, A/V connection points, stage equipment, and more. The Exchange Rooms, equipped with teleconferencing facilities, make ideal boardroom meeting venues, while the Screening Room will impress attendees at media and product launches. To showcase its theming prowess, the hotel organised a Great Gatsby-themed dinner for a group of media, which Biz Events Asia got to experience in February. Cocktails flowed at the Screening Room while the said movie played, which continued to accompany us at dinner in one of its many versatile meeting rooms spread across four floors.

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#Delve into

South AfricA

Meetings Africa 2017 highlights South Africa’s success in its business events community and promises a sustainable growth for the country and beyond.


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Meet in A different co n t i n e n t WorDs & PhoTograPhy: GinA Sin

cape town

new goals, practices and a better government support will see a change in the way South Africa operates in the tourism and business events industry. in an opening address at Meetings Africa 2017 trade show on february 28, Sisa ntshona, ceo of South African tourism, shared that President Jacob Zuma has reaffirmed the value of tourism as part of the country’s national development Plan’s Vision 2030 to reignite the economy during the State of the nation address, and finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s announcement to allocate an additional r494 million (uSd36.6 million) to promote tourism over the medium term. for the business events industry, the government has established a r20 million (uSd1.5 million) bidding fund for the 2017/2018 financial year (April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018), and a further r90 million for the following three years as it looks to expand the market and attract more regional and international meetings.

held at the Sandton convention centre in Johannesburg from february 28 to March 1, 2017, Meetings Africa 2017 brought together 177 international hosted buyers, 57 African association hosted buyers, 126 local corporate hosted buyers to meet with 298 exhibitors across 18 African countries.

The green lighT for meeTings now in its 12th year, the trade show has become a role model in the Green space, with this year’s theme being “Sustainability”. Six exhibitors were honoured at the official welcome function for their efforts at creating stands that were both kind to the environment and utilised reusable and upcycled materials. the Green Stand Awards encouraged exhibitors to take a closer look at how their stand was designed, built and how it would be used again. Modular, reusable units, upcycled materials such as wood, and the incorporation of trees were all considered in the entries. exhibitors that chose to offset the carbon footprint of their stand were also highly ranked.

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cape town international convention centre


are determined to partner with various countries from the rest of the continent to help Africa claim an even bigger slice of the global business

however, sustainability is not just about incorporating “green” business practices. it also needs to have a positive people approach that supports communities. for the first time this year, Meetings Africa built an on-site Sustainability Village to exhibit an array of handcrafted, African-inspired items. All hosted guests of the show received vouchers that they could spend at the Sustainability Village – a creative idea to substitute possible unwanted gifts given out at events, thus reducing waste. to support local start-ups, all vendors were carefully selected to ensure that they operate from and manufacture their goods within a 50-kilometre radius of Gauteng province, where the trade show was held in. one such example is Pone creatives, the brainchild of Lesego Maloka, which designs and supplies bespoke fabric-covered notebooks using local textiles.

DesTinaTion highlighTs the South African national convention Bureau has, for the last half a decade, been at the forefront of fostering international collaboration in a bid to advance the country’s economy and business event capabilities. A group of 12 media from all over the globe was invited to experience some of what South Africa has to offer as a business events destination, most of whom were in South Africa for the first time. one of our first visits was to the cape town international convention centre (cticc), which hosted 5,295 events since it opened its doors in 2013, including 504 events in 2015-16.


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SiSa NtShoNa ceo of South African tourism

An expansion is underway to almost double its exhibition space this year to provide more options for event organisers to plan and grow their events. the new space will provide a multi-purpose exhibition and conference space sub-divisible into six halls, four meeting suites, five meeting pod rooms, two terrace rooms, and a modern sky bridge that will connect to the original cticc facility. Last year, more than 85 percent of its waste was recycled (the equivalent of saving 48 tonnes from landfill), electricity went down three percent and water usage went down five percent. it recycles its brown water and in the last 10 years, it has reduced water usage by an incredible 10 million litres. demonstrating a strong social initiative ethos, cticc has contributed r1.2 million towards women shelters and care for senior citizens, and its staff spend a huge amount of time volunteering.

become a popular conferencing spot near the stunning Stellenbosch region outside cape town, which also puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability. it has partnered with a local charity initiative called treepreneur, which teaches agricultural skills to local people on how to grow trees, and buys back the plants from them once they are of certain height. overlooking the Spier dam, the wine tasting venue offers views of the helderberg mountains, and features a large reception area, lounge with comfortable seating around the fireplace and an outside area that maximises the views. the venue is ideally situated for a wine and canapé experience, and can also be used for a seated event.

CaPe ToWn aDvenTures While in cape town, what better way to kick off a city orientation than being chauffeured on vintage sidecars? cape Sidecar Adventures’ fleet of 31 sidecars has transported well over 20,000 passengers since its inception in 2005, and offers from two-hour to half-day and full-day tours. this social media sharing-worthy adventure took us down the winding streets of cape town from cticc, past magnificent views of table Mountain and more before arriving back at the elegant taj hotel to refresh. As unique meeting venues gain momentum, Spier wine estate has

cape Sidecar Adventures

Pop the champagne and cruise down the Atlantic ocean from the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, a popular incentive and team building activity. Great weather and stunning cape town landscape afforded us views of table Mountain and robben island. the lively waterfront is home to 450 retail stores, quayside terraces and restaurants, live music, festivals, exhibitions, and more.

the Silo hotel, cape town Sustainability - treepreneurs’ Lesley Joemat

exPlore a ToWnshiP retrace the footsteps of philanthropist and South Africa’s former president, nelson Mandela, and learn about the township’s unique history. Alexandra township, or “Alex”, as it is locally known, is Johannesburg’s oldest and most densely populated neighbourhood located five kilometres east of central Sandton. the nelson Mandela Yard, now an Alexandra heritage Site, was home to the nobel Laureate in 1940 when he left his home in the eastern cape and moved to Johannesburg. his humble beginnings included a brief stay at the township, which always held an important place in his heart. “Life in Alexandra was exhilarating and precarious. its atmosphere was alive, its spirit adventurous, its people resourceful. in spite of the hellish aspects of life in Alexandra, the township was also a kind of heaven.” (nelson Mandela, 1994, Long Walk to freedom, ABAcuS, London) Several other well-known sites in Alexandra include the Juskei river, which was once a dumping site of the notorious Spoilers gang victim’s bodies; the Msomi gang headquarters; the 69-year-old Kings cinema, the tommy Machaba’s home gallery, and more.

inTo The WilD While there is so much more to South Africa than its safaris, there really is

nothing quite like a game drive, and its conservation efforts understandably garnered its well-deserved reputation. After an hour’s flight to Polokwane and a wonderful stay at the neo-classical fusion Boutique hotel, we went on a three-hour drive north of Johannesburg to the entabeni Safari conservancy in Limpopo Province. A gravel road leads up to this 22,000-hectare Big 5 reserve, complemented by five different lodge categories. the upper escarpment offers majestic craggy rock formations and wide-open grass plains. this is separated from the lower plateau by 600 metre-high cliffs. the lower escarpment comprises of “sandveld” vegetation and a series of wetlands. it is a place where the lion still reigns as king and Mother nature still mesmerises with her beauty. ever heard of a 19th extreme golf hole? no? neither did i. not until we took a

four-wheel drive to the Legend Golf & Safari resort and then a helicopter up 400 metres above the safari where the world’s highest and longest par three golf hole in the world nestles. the hole was conceived by the property owners, Peet and Mart cilliers, along with golfers Graham cooke of the uK, and david riddle. Located at the top of hangklip Mountain, groups of up to 70 people can get to experience an once-ina-lifetime picnic breakfast up there before the tee-off. tables and benches are already set up on the landing, and the resort can arrange catering and other necessities for events to be brought up. All the possibilities available in the country and the hunger for growth and knowledge in its people ensures a promising future for itself and other countries in the continent.

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#Delve into

AUSTRALIA Biz Events Asia heads to four business event cities in Australia to suss out each of their unique elements.

Flinders Street Station


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Time flies. The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) celebrated its 25th Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) this year and what better way to commemorate a quarter of a century of bringing the meetings and events industry together than with its most successful pre-show programme to date? Known as Uncover Melbourne, the programme provided international and local hosted buyers two days of immersive city experiences through experiential and creative activities across the broad business events sector, with an emphasis on unique products and services. As part of the programme, a social media competition was also launched for AIME 2017 participants. 10 different tours took hosted buyers on a day of city touring experiences to get inspired and upload what they have uncovered in Melbourne via #UncoverMelbourne. More than 620 entries on Instagram alone were posted, and prizes were awarded for the most creative entries. The 10 tours included a helicopter flight over the Yarra Valley wine region, a canape making class at Zinc by Epicure, Hunt and Gather food tour at Queen Victoria Market, carnival

experience at Luna Park, a backstage tour of the Arts Centre, being a star for a day at Melbourne & Olympic Parks and champagne tasting at The Alfred, to name a few.

LocaLising the experience Business visitors tend to be discerning travellers that seek deeper meaning into the sights they see, and the type of experience they get.

Biz Events Asia had the opportunity to meet Daniel Platt and Dean Hampel, co-founders of Localing Private Tours and passionate Melbourne locals who create and run unique private tours of Melbourne and regional Victoria, introducing visitors to little known parts of the destination while supporting small local businesses at the same time. Conceived as “tours for people who don’t like tours”, private tours can be fully customised, or themed around history, gastronomy, architecture, culture, arts, among others, and are best suited for a maximum of 42 people. Tours are led by knowledgeable local guides who are passionate about the subject matter, and can be conducted in Spanish, French,

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Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre expansion site

German, Italian and Mandarin, other than English. Apart from several urban and regional touring experiences, it also has a growing list of multi-day adventures available in these languages. Other languages may be available by translator on request. In one of these unique tours, we got a chance to be a part of a rare back-ofhouse tour of the Melbourne Theatre Company, one of Australia’s flagship performing arts companies that has been the city’s home of live storytelling for over 60 years. While its props, costumes and facilities are available for hire, groups can also book in advance to explore and understand how a play gets Day 1 put together, the work that goes into making a costume, and the tricks behind stage stunts. More common tours cover visits to local boutique coffee roasters such as Aunty Peg’s to learn about the business and Melbournians’ love for coffee, or walking tours of Melbourne’s vibrant alleyways and heritage buildings, all while learning its quirks and stories the way only locals can offer.

Venues that bring occasions to Life Australians love their beaches, so it is not a surprise that Donovans has become one of the most well-known restaurants in Melbourne. The site of Donovans was one of three original bathing houses built in 1920 on the St Kilda beach before it was eventually bought over and transformed into a stylish foreshore restaurant that showcases the extensive use of natural timbers, rich fabrics and sandstone fireplaces. Areas include an outside Terrace, an enclosed Verandah, the Cape Cod-inspired Dining Room, the Library, Lounge and Bar area as well as a Private Dining Room. In one of the best ways to showcase the city’s offerings, AIME 2017 hosted a welcome function the day before business activities started for hosted buyers, presented in partnership with Business Events Australia. The Magic of Flemington event brought to life Flemington Racecourse, where guests took part in the biggest selfie ever taken at AIME, led by MCB’s CEO Karen


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AIME 25th Anniversary Welcome Event at Carousel by food&desire

music from Le Soul that kept guests dancing well past closing time. Eight AIME-branded sail boats also sailed in front of the event venue with their sails lit up, bringing the lake to life. Bolinger, enjoyed Victorian Oakridge wines, had photos taken with the celebrated 18-carat gold 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy and champion racehorse Apache Cat, and had a sweep on the phantom horse race titled “The Greatest Race never Run”. A highlight of AIME 2017 was the welcome event held at Carousel by Food & Desire in Albert Park. Solution Entertainment transformed the venue into a sensory space for over 1,300 industry guests. Guests were welcomed by electric harpist, Jake Meadows, positioned on the rooftop of the Carousel forecourt, as well as renowned Australian artist, David Bromley, live painting a commemorative 25th anniversary piece. Other entertainment involved performances by 14 contemporary dance artists choreographed by Jessica Smith, poetry by poet Rupert McCall, an opera singer and beat box battle between Josh Piterman and Terry the Beat Boxer and

expanDing the conVentionaL The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has reported to be on-track for completion in mid2018, which will add nearly 20,000 sq m of flexible, multi-purpose event space including a 1,000-seat retractable theatre and new exhibition halls. The new space will be fully connected and integrated with the existing MCEC, increasing the venue’s total size to over 70,000 sq m. Biz Events Asia went on a hard hat tour of the space that will soon be transformed, and got an immersive insight as to how the venue will look like through a 360 degree video on a virtual reality headset. Once completed, the extra space at MCEC is anticipated to generate an additional 74,000 international visitors annually, who spend on average AUD693 (USD 519.8) each day while in Melbourne, resulting in an annual AUD167 million boost to the Victorian economy.

Australian artist David Bromley live painting


dig ital b ea


cnK catering As delegates’ tastes evolve, an event’s culinary offerings and how they are being presented can make or break the experience. Khrissy Visscher, Director of Sales & Operations at the Melbourne-based CnK Catering talks about the importance of getting the food right, executive chef nigel Stainwall shares about how good preparation helps with food styling without compromising on quality regardless of event size, and other unique takes on event styling.

Video code: 4201


cieVents Biz Events Asia interviews natalie Simmons, Global General Manager at cievents and Caroline Gair, Director of Supplier Relations at cievents about what hotels can do to remain creative and retain loyalty in clients in a world of change and uncertainty. Other topics include guest engagement and how to address the innovative and disruptive economy.

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icc syDney The culinary experience at ICC Sydney has garnered attention worldwide for the quality of its facilities and cuisine. The video captures some of the convention centre’s culinary highlights that has been gaining recognition among its customers.

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Destination canberra Canberra hosted the Top Secret FAM tour for its target audience and showcases what the capital city of Australia has to offer beyond its venues. Buyers also give feedback on what draws them to the city, the venues that stand out and the type of expertise and support they need to make a destination their conference choice.

Video code: 4204


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A n A T I O nA L CUL T U R AL PR I D E Canberra proved to 20 buyers that they are ready for interstate and international business events. WorDs: EL KWAnG photography: CHUA YI KIAT

national Convention Centre

Park Hyatt Canberra

The Canberra Convention Bureau (CCB) and participating members were ready to showcase all things fabulous in the capital of Australia to some 20 buyers and Biz Events Asia with the destination’s Top Secret FAM tour in early March 2017. According to the CCB, Top Secret is a key initiative that has a strong track record of bringing in tens of millions of dollars in meeting and convention business for the city with over AUD88 million in economic contribution to date. Michael Matthews, CEO of CCB said: “Top Secret showcases Canberra’s energetic and creative business events community that stands ready to deliver world-class business events. Decision makers see firsthand just how great their business event in Canberra will be.” Here are some of the key highlights from the three-day experience selected by some of the buyers:


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Luncheons that toLD a story It was a clever way to immerse guests into a destination by having Historian David Headon share the rich history of Canberra at the welcome luncheon in the rose courtyard of the Park Hyatt canberra. The storytelling made an impact as the buyers were paying attention to the value of history and national cultural institutions Canberra offers throughout the trip. The national convention centre in Canberra truly wowed the buyers with an unforgettable experience. The team set up the entire exhibition hall with exhibition booths so buyers can see the possibilities of the revenue generating exhibition as part of the conferences. From there, the buyers were led into the Royal Theatre where Stephen Wood, General Manager of the Centre, kicked off an impressive long table gastronomy experience on the stage.

His team designed an Audio-Visual (AV) dining experience leveraging Enlighten (Canberra’s annual outdoor illuminating art and culture festival) happening during our visit. Every guest’s name was projected on their allocated seat using the latest AV pin-spotting technology. Even the rims of the white plates were lit in the theme ingredient of the luncheon orange.

national Arboretum Canberra

Anthony Smeaton, Marketing and Communications Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) said after the luncheon, “The lunch at the national Convention Centre was super impressive. The AV display throughout the luncheon is something I have never seen before and the food was the best I have tasted so far in Canberra. We will consider Canberra for a conference next year”.

the conserVation that tooK our breaths aWay Buyers are always keen to support venues with a good cause. Celebrity Chef Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering at the national Arboretum canberra presented a stunning breakfast curated through the usage of local produce in the indoor space at the heart of Village Centre. This indoor space can cater up to 500 guests for a sit-down banquet event. The experience there is enhanced by a pre- or post-function stroll around the grounds that are home to 104 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from Australia and around the world – a sustainable conservation effort from the catastrophic 2003 Canberra fire. One fan of this venue was Johnathon Parker, Major Event and Project Manager of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, who said, “I can definitely say that the national Arboretum with those unparalleled views was a standout venue for me. Visiting Canberra is a good opportunity for me to re-familiarise myself with the destination and in my mind, it seals the deal and we will be bringing business to Canberra.”

MingLe LiKe poLiticians Buyers often wonder if museums and galleries are ready to take on the commercial demands of business events. Ms Daryl Karp, Director at the Museum of Australia democracy at old Parliament House, set a strong welcome tone of

Museum of Australia Democracy at Old Parliament House

hospitality that eased the buyers into the visit and cast those doubts away. The heritage event spaces are well maintained and meet the technology needs of modern events. Buyers were drawn to the charms of the Members’ Dining Room that overlooks the new Parliament House. Anthony Smeaton of AHURI said that he has heard many good things about Canberra especially the dining scene. As a political fanatic, he was attracted to this venue as he wanted to be amongst the history and traditions within a beautiful building.

Press Gallery, Parliament House

The buyers were treated to an exclusive visit to the press gallery at Parliament House. They were given first-hand access to the buzz generated by the offices of all the Australian media after visiting spaces like the Great Hall and Marble Foyer, where events can be held.

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Australian War Memorial

he sheer amount of choice Canberra offers in terms of venues and accommodation, and the range of styles took me by surprise. Canberra really has a lot of hidden gems.

SHAron AnderSon Australian Earthquake Engineering Society

art anD cuLture experience Buyers were thrilled at the different showcases at some of the national cultural institutions. The museums and galleries offer business event delegates access, where possible, to some exhibitions as part of their event experience. The welcome reception was held at the national Museum of Australia attended by bureau members and the local business community, giving buyers a strong sense of united teamwork and how much they value the events business. At the dinner, Chief Minister Andrew Barr highlighted Canberra’s recent major developments such as new international flights from Singapore and Wellington new Zealand into Canberra Airport as well as the billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure projects happening over the next four years. During a visit to the national Portrait Gallery, Dr Chris Chapman, Senior Curator, welcomed the buyers at the gallery’s most loved 180-pax banqueting space, the Gordon Darling Hall with an explanation of the existing exhibition and the vision of the gallery. Buyers were equally impressed with the event spaces at the Australian War Memorial where guests get to dine underneath war planes and amongst historic exhibits, a cost-effective way of curating a dining theme using existing facilities.


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The pièce de résistance networking experience was delivered by the national Gallery of Australia. Buyers were treated to a guided tour through the Versailles: Treasures from the Palace, a special exhibition. For the first time ever, treasures including royal paintings, intricate tapestries and luxurious gilded furniture have travelled outside of France. The opulence inspired the “Dripping in Gold” themed cocktail party held at the gallery’s multi-million dollar dedicated event space, Gandel Hall. national Museum of Australia

Josephine Williams, Conference and Events Leader of IDP Education Ltd explained to Biz Events Asia at the function: “When sourcing venues for social events, it is about the uniqueness of the venue and what it can offer in terms of the whole experience. You want a venue that not only pays attention to the food but also the theming and its environment. Like the national Gallery of Australia that drew onto the whole Versailles exhibition and brought that into the whole night

and the whole experience where we were tasting French food and listening to French music; bringing the whole thing together and it is not just about the venue anymore.” Williams also feels that the business events industry should continue to share their knowledge and experience: “There are so many products in Canberra and the destination keeps developing them. no one can visit and experience them all, so it is important for the industry to share their experiences and how as professionals, we use these spaces and places and how we bring them to life. We can really learn from each other without re-inventing the wheel.”

uniteD resiDentiaL eVent hubs The newActon precinct is located within short walking distance to the convention centre hub. Hotels like Qt, Hotel Hotel, Peppers Gallery in newActon have a collaborative village-like approach when it comes to working with interstate and international event planners. Lucky’s Speakeasy bar within QT Canberra is perfect for a post-dinner hangout for energetic delegates. Along with the well-established crowne Plaza and novotel hotels within the convention centre hub, delegates of large events have numerous accommodation options that suit their respective styles and budgets. The Doma Group of hotels and food and beverage outlets in Barton offer residential conferences an efficient one-contact event experience. The Hotel realm, Burberry Hotel and Apartments, Little national Hotel and the Brassey Hotel are located within a block’s walk from each other. With

the main conference facilities located in Hotel Realm, this leafy hub also has over eight food and beverage outlets perfect for different social networking and dinner event components without the use of coach transfers. Although hungry for business, these precincts’ approach is certainly not aggressive.

hoteLs to reMeMber The newly opened Vibe Hotel canberra Airport is an airport hotel like no other. This fashionable winner of the Emil Sodersten Award for Best Interior Architecture at the Australian Institute of Architects’ national Architecture Awards was designed by Bates Smart. The 191-room hotel uses a design tribute to the circular and axial geometries inspired by those of the Walter Burley Griffin’s designs for Canberra. The atrium-style lobby acts like a living room of a contemporary large apartment and has specific gathering areas for different users. The dark walls of the accommodation corridors offer a sense of calm and privacy whilst bringing a sense of unity and aesthetic harmony. The Hotel Kurrajong canberra first opened its doors in 1926. It was a hotel school affiliated with the

Vibe Hotel Canberra Airport

Hotel Kurrajong Canberra

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famous Cornell University for several years before its multi-million dollar transformation back to the 147-room art-deco styled hotel. Located in Barton and minutes stroll from Lake Burley Griffin, the single-storey hotel offers a real dose of tranquillity with modern day comforts. The service throughout is personable and warm; it echoes the refined spirit of old-school genuine hospitality. The canberra rex Hotel is one of Canberra’s landmark hotels that recently went through a transformation that promises a dream-away experience in their “cloud” bed in their contemporary and classic elegance styled accommodation rooms. The hotel team gave the buyers first access to their soon-to-be-open glass-covered rooftop bar with a top secret morning tea experience.


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the bureau’s faciLitation Ellen Fraser, Events Coordinator at the Australian College of Mental Health nurses who has an upcoming conference in Canberra said, “For me, Canberra is about national Cultural Institutions. Having the opportunity to engage in the beautiful local culture aspects of Australia on a national level like getting exposure to the arts is absolutely amazing. We are really spoilt for choice with venues all over Australia. As a buyer, the engagement with the local convention bureau is important. The Canberra Convention Bureau provides great service to buyers, facilitates what we need and makes recommendations based on their expertise and local knowledge.”



In a 2015 report by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), an estimated 24,000 different association meetings were organised on a regular basis. This is a market that cannot be ignored due to its need to plan meetings regardless of the economic situation. Associations plan meetings to reach out to their existing members, offer education, facilitate exchange, acquire new members, share knowledge, advance social or medical issues, connect with local experts and raise funds for research or scholarships. Associations are by nature structured, and the planning of annual conventions needs to follow a set structure too. Destinations need associations and vice versa. How association executives make their destination selections and how destinations attract these events is a strategic and relational decision made to fulfil a common goal. The selection of destinations for future conventions is made years in advance and the decision

process is made clear, in most cases, through committee board and general assembly meetings. On the other side, destinations want to attract these global events. They invest in new airports, state-of-the-art convention centres and new hotels, convert abandoned historical places into unique spaces or open up heritage sites for events, offer attractive support packages, and offer a vast array of services from qualified service providers (DMCs, PCOs, etc.). It is crucial for these destinations to be equipped and well-prepared should they be selected as the host destination for thousands of association members. While infrastructure is an important criterion for association executives when deciding on a destination, it is not the only one. Associations look beyond infrastructure and towards universities, industries, and scientific research connected to their specialties.

DiD You know? The Brisbane City Council has a number of assets that can be lit up to promote events including Brisbane City Hall, the Reddacliff Place Steam sculptures, Story Bridge, Victoria Bridge and William Jolly Bridge. Visitors in Brisbane can book a free local guide to explore the hidden gems of the city. Known as Brisbane Greeters, the guides are locals who love living in Brisbane so much that they are enthusiastic about introducing and sharing their intimate knowledge of the city. Booking Green Cabs for your tours can help reduce carbon emissions in the city. The safe, fun, affordable and efficient inner-city transport mostly travel routes between West End and Fortitude Valley and along the Brisbane River.

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Suzanne Miller, CEO & Director at Queensland Museums and Chief Scientist of Queensland

The Capital

The Pav Bar at Stamford Plaza Brisbane Hotel

the best MinDs DescenD on brisbane From March 22 to 26, 2017, the spotlight shone on Brisbane as the World Science Festival returned for the second time. The four-day festival covered topics from deep space to deep oceans, energy to technology, and brought the world’s best thought leaders to Brisbane to produce a stunning programme of live and digital content that connects audiences of all ages and backgrounds with concepts, challenges, discoveries and advancements shaping our world, including a family-friendly street science programme. Suzanne Miller, CEO & Director at Queensland Museums and Chief Scientist of Queensland at her opening speech revealed that over 200 events were held in relation to the festival in Brisbane over the four days, reflecting the leveraging power of such festivals in a destination. From intellectual assets to soft skills and hardware, the Brisbane Convention Bureau took the chance to invite association executives from all over the globe to showcase its destination offerings during the festival, and Biz Events Asia got an exclusive chance to experience them with these association executives.

Learning sanctuary Organic learning occurs through culture, interaction and society, which Brisbane seems to have an increasing knack for. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, opened in 1927, is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koalas and a large variety of Australian wildlife. Situated just 12 kilometres from the city centre, it is an


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ideal place for speakers or delegates with a short amount of time left to do something in the city before heading back home. Learn about the wide range of research projects the sanctuary does, including those with the local universities. Reborn from a power station of the 1920s into an arts centre on the Brisbane River, Brisbane Powerhouse is Queensland’s home for contemporary culture, and one of the most unique venues in the city. 12 unique spaces are available for hire, which range from the 42 sq m Graffiti Room for intimate meetings and training sessions, and to the 165 sq m River Studio for brainstorming and breakout sessions, the 250 sq m large cathedral-like space Turbine Platform, which is ideal for largescale music events, exhibitions and product launches, as well as the 750 sq m outdoor Performance Lawn with a tranquil river outlook.

with a creative breakfast session at The Pav Bar, which was converted into an intimate buffet space with a live egg-frying station. Darren Besgrove, Conference & Events Sales Manager creatively thought of a team-bonding activity for us that morning, whereby everyone was given two tubs of playdough each to make something that reminds them of Brisbane, and the winner earns bragging rights to the “artwork” – a small but thoughtful gesture that leaves a lasting memory. The Cube at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) amps up the “cool” factor with one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces dedicated to providing an inspiring, explorative and participatory experience of QUT’s Science and Engineering research. QUT’s Room Three Sixty offers itself as a top-floor function venue, featuring floor-toceiling windows, a bar and two adjoining outdoor terraces with panoramic views of the city, including the Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and the City Botanic Gardens.

Check out Brisbane City Council’s AUD5 million (USD3.8 million) innovation hub known as The Capital. The Capital is an effort to accelerate the city’s growing stature as a centre of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Asia Pacific region and ensure that it continues to thrive in a rapidly globalising economy. Occupying three levels, The Capital provides a co-working space with professional support, increases exposure and connection of Brisbane start-ups to corporate and government customers and fosters collaboration with like-minded entrepreneurs. Our four-night stay at Stamford Plaza Brisbane was made more exceptional

Brisbane Powerhouse

eLeVating the conVentionaL spaces

Howard Smith Wharves event

The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is one of those few venues that does not show its age until you find out about its two decades worth of business events experience. Apart from constantly keeping up with its looks and technological aspects, the award-winning venue has successfully hosted the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit, and recently won Asia’s largest computer graphics conference and exhibition, SIGGRAPH Asia, which will attract approximately 6,000 of the world’s top technical and creative talents across four days in november 2019. “More than just a familiarisation tour, Brisbane Marketing took us through a collection of experiences that showcased the true essence of the city. Being there concurrently during the World Science Festival also allowed us to meet a diverse array of people who were very relevant for our event. Our perception of Brisbane has been further enhanced and we are now even more sure that SIGGRAPH Asia selected a great host city,” said Prakash Ramajillu, Conference Strategy Director at Koelnmesse Pte Ltd and Chief Staff Executive for SIGGRAPH Asia.

BCEC on Grey Street Exterior

out-of-the-box Venues The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is the only State Gallery in Australia to prepare and deliver restaurant and function catering in-house. It was also one of the premium venues of choice for the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit. nine different unique spaces can accommodate from 200 up to 1,500 people for a cocktail event, or 100 to 220 for a sit-down event. Savour some of the best culinary offerings in Queensland that’s been artfully styled while the eyes feast on the surrounding fine art in GoMA. Supporting local start-ups, Brisbane’s first incubator for food entrepreneurs, Wandering Cooks, has grown into a clubhouse for food and drink producers to get the resources they need to grow their business into a reality, such as licensed commercial kitchens, a community of likeminded entrepreneurs, a bar specialising in craft and low intervention beers, training in the world of business, and showcasing opportunities. Public or corporate groups can utilise the informal space for a laid-back dinner or cocktail event that encourages conversation and bonding. Set against the Fortitude Valley, Howard Smith Wharves is undergoing a 14 to

18-month transformation that will offer a re-energised shoreline to include abundant green spaces, urban agriculture, dynamic cliff lighting and theatre-like public seating. Its unique position beneath the Story Bridge is expected to become one of the most sought-after unique venue as the heritage buildings gets restored, and a new boutique hotel and an overwater cocktail bar is added, among seven food and beverage outlets and others. Commenting on the tour, Alison Leigh, Editorial Director for the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, that Brisbane – in particular the riverside South Bank – would be a great venue for international delegates interested in science: “As well as having access to world-class science and medical research, our delegates will love that they can visit galleries and museums, wine, dine and even swim within easy

Wandering Cooks

walking distance of the conference and yet only a short bus ride away from koalas and kangaroos.” More to come, industry players will be interested to know that this year’s Dreamtime, Australia’s signature event for the incentive travel market will be held in Brisbane from December 3-6, 2017.

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#Delve into

indonesia Brought to you by World Travel Magazine


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see k i n g Th e “Muses” of Ba li WorDs: nigel d’sa PHoTograPHy: VincenT sung

Bali is often referred to as “The island of the gods”, and while the gods are eternal and unchanging, Bali has seen much change and growth in recent years. nowhere is this more so than in tree-lined seminyak, the upscale, quality-focused alternative to the congested party town of kuta. With its blend of beachfront beauty, boutique shopping, luxury resorts, decadent dining and high-concept bars and clubs, it’s no surprise that seminyak has become the first and last stop for a short stylish break in Bali.

HoT sPoTs in seminyak stay at W Bali seminyak to be at the centre of seminyak’s hottest spots. With the hotel slogan being: “a place where magic comes alive”, the fairytale consists of 229 rooms, suites, and Villas, all designed with W signature chic and innovative touches, offering spectacular ocean or garden views. This fivestory hotel built around a lagoon pool on one of the best stretches of seminyak shoreline, with an emphasis on natural woods and grey volcanic stone, offers lunch and dining options to choose from; between different world-class restaurants before socialising the night away at Woo bar, where the party starts pumping after 10pm. We recommend starfish Bloo, primarily a seafood restaurant with a range of fresh fishes and catch of the day, from lombok oysters to lobster and blue crab. The gorgeous beach views, the sound of pounding surf and the signature design elements of W Retreat Bali make this a worthwhile visit. The prime location is within walking distance of many of the island’s best new restaurants and bars.

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eaT aT mama san Recently renovated, Mama san restaurant is a foodie’s dream on the seminyak scene. This two-floor loft-style venue with dinner seating below and a cocktail lounge above attracts a fancy international crowd who love to eat in style. cross-cultural star chef Will Merick – the mastermind behind the legendary sarong Restaurant, also in seminyak – has created an eclectic modern asian cuisine that combines street food inspired dishes from across southeast asia with gourmet artistry and classical touches. Try the crispy salmon with green mango, the Red duck curry with lychee, or the many kinds of dim sum dumplings. upstairs the cocktail lounge serves a creative list of elegant tapas and drinks including Passionfruit Martini and a selection of Margaritas. Meanwhile, the newly reworked interior is a feast for the eyes. high ceilings, dark wood and brick walls, vintage accents with Balinese decorations, artwork and photography, make Mama san an unforgettable dining experience. always leave room for Merrick’s celebrated desserts such as the Pavlova crispy meringue or the deep fried ice cream.

saTisfy your aPPeTiTe aT kaum

ParTy aWay aT JenJa our next clubbing destination was Jenja, a recent addition to the Bali nightlife scene that offers one-stop evening entertainment with its restaurant, bar and club on two levels. located in the arcade of the Ts suites on Jalan nakula, seminyak, Jenja reaches critical mass by midnight with a pumping Jakarta style intensity. The restaurant opens at 6pm and presents an inspired menu of exotic asian and Middle eastern dishes created by the winner of Top chef Middle east 2012, the elegant selma abualia. The nightclub opens from 9pm, Wednesday to saturday. The club is managed by Michael Vanneque, son of expat nightlife mogul daniel Vanneque who opened the celebrated The living Room restaurant in seminyak in 2000. Jenja has a spacious foyer with six chill-out lounge areas, a dance floor seething with energy, ViP sofas, and impressive décor aesthetics with walls comprising a mosaic of hexagonal jade tiles. But the real attraction are the club-goers themselves, a youthful mix of expat and indonesian socialites who don’t want the night to end. cure for hangover; try the excellent filling breakfast at seminyak kitchen at


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courtyard by Marriott Resort. nearby double six Beach is a very trendy area with mornings being the perfect time to visit if you like tranquillity and fewer people.

Drink cockTails anD WaTcH Dance Performances aT oPium opened in december 2016, oPiVM Bali obsession (known as opium) is the newest nightclub in seminyak and is located on the Jalan camplung Tanduk nearby courtyard. opium serves a mixed crowd with a capacity of about 400 pax. lit with swank glowing panels and featuring live international dJs, opium gets going after 10pm with an underground vibe and impressive interior that includes colourful neon poles with dancers, acrobatic acts from the ceiling, a private lounge area, and the club’s centrepiece, a big mysterious screen where silhouettes perform dance moves.

launched in october 2016 just upstairs from Potato head and part of the Potato head family, kaum offers authentic indonesia cuisine sourced by the chef from various regions of the country, gathering recipes from different tribes. This small and cosy restaurant holds down the best indonesian food in town. The emphasis at kaum is on authenticity with fidelity to indigenous ingredients and cooking methods. an essential sampler is the sambal selection presenting four of the finest sambals – a spicy indonesian condiment accompanying most dishes. if you fear to go too far afield try the fried half crispy duck that has a taste as succulent and tender as duck confit. authentic highlights like the fried crispy pigeon, the Roasted quarter baby pig and the clear chicken, turmeric & Bangka island forest mushroom soup may tempt you to go native. For more of what Seminyak has to offer, search for article code 4114 on


#Delve into


Bangkok goes from strength to strength with its Bangkok River Partners alliance while in Hua Hin, destination management companies are coming together to push market share for the town.


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UNITeD A P P Ro A cH WorDs: eL KWANG It is most attractive to international event planners when they see stakeholders in a destination working together, especially when a destination can generate meaningful content collaboratively. If you cannot remember the last time you held a meeting or incentive along Bangkok’s chao Phraya River, it is time for another visit.

The river of parTnership A number of hotels, unique venues and attractions have joined an alliance called the Bangkok River Partners. Managed by branding and marketing guru David Robinson, they are making waves on the river. The partners have a true collaborative spirit and their website ( produces original video and written content in english, Mandarin and Thai, focusing on the experience the river can deliver to visitors. “When we looked around at our assets, we found art galleries and funky bars like Speedy Grandma, Soy Sauce Factory, FooJohn, Tep Bar and Teens of Thailand popping up along the river and in chinatown. There’s a sumptuous range of eating experiences, from street vendors and eateries that have operated in the area for more than 100 years, to a new wave of gastro-entrepreneurs with new restaurants and new thinking about food. There’s also a plethora of shopping opportunities, like the Thiptara, The Jam Factory & Warehouse with 30 artisan and craft markets, antique and art at River city, local food and clothing markets, Asiatique night market and, coming next year, the luxury shopping mall, IcoNSIAM. There is something for everyone. There are also operators offering walking and bike tours, classes and talks, cruises and long-boat adventures,” recommends Robinson. With the term “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, the river partners are confident with its ability to manage residential events and incentives of different sizes as they are supported by the authenticity of riverside districts and communities, the history of the city, the lifeblood of industry and culture. one hotelier who stays true to this collaborative spirit is Nikolaus Priesnitz, cluster General Manager at the Avani Bangkok Riverside and the adjoining Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa. He said, “owing to the promising stand of the initiatives by the founding partners, more affiliations are now developing the Bangkok River Partners into a strong and determined group of individual entities but with a single objective.” The river continues to flourish as Bangkok’s creative district, and with the new Thailand creative and Design centre opening its doors in May 2017, there will be new event spaces on offer.


hen we looked around at our assets, we found art galleries and funky bars... There is something for everyone

DaviD Robinson Director, Bangkok River Partners

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#nomnomnom During our weekend stay at the luxurious The Siam hotel, we experienced the collaborative spirit of hospitality from General Manager Nick Downing and his attentive service team. Here are two restaurants along the river they recommended that are completely different in design and we absolutely loved them.

Err This charming, rustic and casual restaurant is created by owners Bo and Dylan, who also own the renowned Bo.Lan restaurant. We cruised to the chinatown side of the restaurant and tried out the highly anticipated authentic Thai experience with a modern twist. The dĂŠcor is retro with a dedicated event space on level two of its building. The menu features southern Thai cuisine and street food with a touch of the art of fermentation. Ingredients are sourced sustainably from local farmers and producers. Must try dishes include crispy Rice Ball of Salted Mackerel, Braised Southern Style Pork Belly, Ribs with Pepper & Toddy Palm Sugar and Green curry of chicken.

The Never Ending Summer Another cruise ride the next day brought us to The Never ending Summer, a warehouse converted to a restaurant nestled next to the Jam Factory (gallery and homeware store). According to, the chefs collected the owners’ favourite childhood recipes from old cookbooks belonging to high society matrons and created a nostalgic menu that includes pork stuffed with salted egg and wrapped in egg noodles. Located right next door, its sister restaurant, The Summer House serves western cuisine, and has the perfect set-up for an incentive dinner with views over the river.


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SECRET ESCAPES FOR SUCCESSFUL EVENTS Whether you are wanting to motivate your team or thank them for their success, it makes sense to take them somewhere that will inspire them towards even greater achievements. At Centara Hotels & Resorts, we have professional-standard meeting and event venues of all sizes, set amidst vibrant cities, exotic hideaways and tropical beachfronts. Visit our dedicated Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) website to find out more about how we can turn your event into an experience that matches the best performances of your team. VISIT US AT FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT US ON +66 (0) 2101 1234








The collaboraTive inDusTry The Thailand Incentive and convention Association (TIcA) organised an educational experience where some 18 destination and event management companies came together to brainstorm better ways to market Hua Hin as a business events destination.

Srayut ekahitanonda, ceo of Loligo Resort surprised the crowd with a well thought-through meeting design and a morning tea service of a re-enactment of street-hawkers offering street food and beverages. A two-hour “open mic” discussion forum was hosted at the resort. The challenges Hua Hin currently faces include: • The Hua Hin Airport is closed and some international markets are not keen on the three-hour drive from Bangkok. • Though a charming town, some international markets are concerned with the shortage of evening activities when compared to other Thai cities. However, some of the DMc’s in the forum suggested that Hua Hin should not alter its charm to be like other cities. • The Suan Somdej Prasrinakarin Royal Project in cha Am may not be ready for some international markets when compared to the mature ones in Bangkok and chiang Mai. However, with the correct communication tactics, it will be suited to those who prefer an authentic experience like those offered in newer destinations. The group agreed that the hotels in Hua Hin were creative in their hospitality approach and service sincerity. The Hua Hin Railway Station visit adds quality to the programme and more emphasis could have been placed on sharing stories on the legacy of its pineapple


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ndividual commitment to group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, and a civilisation work.

The buyers were accommodated across four hotels in Hua Hin – Dusit Thani, Marriott, Radisson Blu and Sheraton and experienced hospitality from other participating hotels like Anantara, centara Grand, Regent, Hyatt Regency and Loligo. In addition, they had a cSR activity at a royal project in cha Am.

vince LombaRDi American football coach and author

industry. Hua Hin is an ideal post-event seaside destination of relaxation after an exhausting meeting and incentive programme in fast-paced Bangkok. In terms of overcoming the current challenges, events Travel Asia Group Managing Director, Max Jantasuwan, shared his experience on a programme he recently managed: • overcoming the travel duration – his agency “broke” the journey with a visit to Damnoensaduak village, where delegates cruised on long tail speed boats to observe its authentic rural life and shopped and snacked at a floating market. He recommended that if delegates are not tired, the guide could start telling stories about some interesting facts of Hua Hin for the rest of the journey.

• Infusing excitement – his agency booked a restaurant exclusively for his delegates, and flew in an international DJ for a closed-door party after dinner. “As an agency, a destination like Hua Hin gives us a chance to be creative, and with the right investment, our clients can see the returns through their delegates’ enjoyment. of course, destination Hua Hin has other attractions like the Summer Palace, temples and even different royal projects, allowing us to tailor to the respective clientele,” said Jantasuwan. The sellers in Hua Hin are now looking at forming a taskforce to better market Hua Hin in a united front. TIcA welcomes any suggestion from international buyers via

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60-69 Overarching-The Destination Marketing.indd 60

18/4/17 12:12 am

Business event

trends in Asia Pacific: a research report Biz Events Asia along with leading communications agency, Zadro, conducted an Asia-wide survey on the business events industry to find out what you think .

This report outlines the results from the survey, with further insights from industry leaders including Petra Goh, Business Development Manager, CWT Meetings & Events and Dr. Felix Rimbach, Director Research & Development, Globibo.

This research is brought to you by Biz Events Asia in collaboration with Zadro.

Industry demographics MAlE




68% of respondents have been in the industry for more than 5 years 84% of respondents have been in the industry for more than 2 years AgE groups:

lAnguAgEs spokEn:

18 – 32 (Gen Y): 18.45% 33 – 46 (Gen X): 44.05% 47 – 65 (Baby Boomer): 30.95% 65+: 6.55%

English: 100% Mandarin: 41.94% Cantonese: 23.87% Malay/Bahasa/Indonesian: 9.74% Japanese: 6.45%

Thai: 4.64% Hindi/Urdu: 2.58% Arabic: 1.29% Other: Russian, German, Korean, French

CurrEnT posiTion: 45.24% event organisers (29.7% event agency, 17.6% PCO, 10.8% DMC)







6.55% event buyers (91% corporate, 9% association)

Thailand Other countries represented: Vietnam, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, India, China

23.81% event suppliers (41.5% hotel, 17.1% venue, 12.2% AV plus others including bureaux, logistics, team building, transport)


Others represented: recruiters, consultants, governments, travel agency representatives, bureaux, educators, EA/PA and media

QuAliFiCATions: Hong Kong


16.46% formal education (73.08% graduate degree, 3.85% post graduate, 11.54% industry accreditation, 7.69% diploma, 3.85% short course) 34.76% on the job training 34.76% from similar industry

Destination of choice experience, location and cost MosT populAr CounTriEs in 2016: Singapore: 48.65% Australia: 31.08%


Malaysia: 29.73%

Asia Pacific is a diverse region for business events and incentives with locations set to inspire, stimulate, relax and rejuvenate delegates. The results indicate the most popular countries for events in the past 12 months were Singapore, Australia and Malaysia. This partly encompasses domestic bookings from the high number of respondents from each of these countries.

Thailand: 27.03% China: 25% Hong Kong: 23.65% Indonesia: 18.92%

When booking events in the region, industry insiders indicated overall experience provided, cost and location as the three most important variables in the decision making process; outranking ease of access, reputation and technical capabilities.

Vietnam: 13.51% New Zealand: 13.51% Korea: 11.49%

Thailand is the preferred destination for groups of 200 sales executives, indicating smaller groups prefer the paradise escapes, while the region’s commercial hubs, Singapore and Malaysia, attract large groups of 1,000 or more due to the overall experience and facilities.


“There are a couple of reasons why I believe these

MosT dEsirABlE CounTriEs for business events in Asia Pacific: Singapore Australia Hong Kong Thailand Korea China Malaysia New Zealand Japan Indonesia

for incentives in Asia Pacific: Thailand Australia Japan New Zealand Hong Kong Korea Singapore Vietnam Indonesia Macau

countries are leading the industry – the first is their strong infrastructure, and the second is their central geographic location in the Asia Pacific region. Many companies have their regional headquarters in Singapore, and both Malaysia and Singapore have excellent infrastructure to support small and large scale events, including logistics capabilities for readily available audio-visual support and production buildups, as well as venue capabilities in terms of event know-how. On the other hand, Thailand has also been, and will likely continue to be, a popular destination for events. The country’s rich culture and diverse offerings for both corporate and incentive projects, and the lower costs compared with markets like Australia and Singapore, make Thailand an attractive destination.” - Petrina Goh, Business Development Manager, CWT Meetings & Events.

Destination of choice for 200 sales executives with a mid-range budget in June 2017: Singapore

Australia Thailand



Malaysia New Zealand


China Macau

3 Top

rEAsons For ChoiCEs MAdE: ovErAll ExpEriEnCE providEd, CosT, loCATion Destination of choice for 1,000 industry leaders with a midrange budget in June 2017: Singapore Malaysia Thailand Australia Korea Hong Kong China Vietnam Macau Japan

Destination of choice for a dual conference and incentive programme for 500 internal staff with a mid-range budget in June 2017: Thailand Singapore Malaysia Australia Macau Korea Indonesia Hong Kong Japan China

synopsis: Travel bureaux in areas with strong business event bookings need to consider the broader appeal of their destination, with poor reputation and lack of overall experience recognised as the two primary factors for not choosing a destination.


“For a while now we’ve also been seeing Vietnam and Cambodia coming up as popular destinations for many corporate clients. Both countries have invested heavily in building their infrastructure to support larger events, with international hotel chains coming in to offer a greater choice of venues. With both countries’ tourism boards actively promoting Vietnam and Cambodia as low-cost, culturally rich and diverse destinations, we’ve seen a considerable increase in interest in both markets.” - Petrina Goh, Business Development Manager, CWT Meetings & Events.

Issues affecting the industry and emerging trends CurrEnT FACTors whEn orgAnising An EvEnT:

3 Top



Overall experience provided

FACTors ThAT will BE ConsidErEd in FivE yEArs’ TiME whEn orgAnising An EvEnT:




Ease of accessibility

Overall experience provided


Top issuEs AFFECTing ThE BusinEss EvEnTs indusTry in AsiA pACiFiC:


Political instability in certain countries


Limited workforce with business events experience

26.5% ASEAN countries not working together on business events


Governments not recognising the potential of the industry and providing relevant support


Lack of strong networking opportunities


Safety concerns

36.75% 42.74%

Lack of proficient language skills in the market place


Lack of appropriate venues

Economic instability in certain countries


The region’s perceived service and product quality globally

whAT inFluEnCEs our dECisions? In the fast-paced world we live in, how do we predict the changing factors that will influence our event decision-making in the next five years? Lucky for us, not too much adjustment in our motivators is expected. Cost is likely to remain the primary influencer in event decisions, while location and accessibility will become less important. The changing global environment, political instability and safety are the three issues currently affecting travel in the business events industry in Asia Pacific, while shortage of skills, language proficiency and lack of government support were also recognised as barriers to the industry’s future growth.

indusTry inTErEsTs Return on investment

ChAngEs AhEAd Safety

Sustainability/ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Accommodation Catering AV/Technology

Support of bureaux/ destinations

Accessibility Attractions

possiBlE CAusE For lEAving ThE EvEnTs indusTry: Industry challenges


25% 49%



TrEnds AhEAd

43% Lack of industry opportunities

TEChnology CurrEnTly BEing uTilisEd: New AV screens/ projection/lighting/sound technologies 49% Event apps 46% Tailor-made apps for my event 25%

To strengthen the industry and prepare for the future, here are the key changes the industry would like to see: • Increased recognition for Event Management as a profession, and the expertise, creativity and innovative thinking required to deliver large-scale events • Internationally accredited Event Management training • Stronger alliances between destinations across Asia Pacific to cooperate and share information for the benefit of the whole region • Consistent pricing for all event buyers, removing local and international pricing differences • Greater government recognition of the industry and its economic and cultural impact on locations • An improved relationship between business events and the hotel industry, with largescale contract purchase prices on par with prices readily available online

3D projection mapping 18% Wayfinding 9%

Multisensory event experiences 24%

Stacker/streaming technology 9%

Webcasting/off-site participation techniques 22%

None of the above 25%

From the rise of technological innovation to the unchartered territories of global instability, here are the upcoming trends industry leaders are expecting to see surge • Virtual reality, 360° video content, new technology and innovative event programs are all going to contribute to the rapid transformation of the events industry • Food and Beverage will embrace molecular gastronomy to deliver unique and unexpected experiences – inspired by the likes of The Fat Duck and Noma • Culturally immersive experiences, providing delegates interactive activities that engage with the local community, including multilanguage and visual sensory experiences • The emergence of regional associations that connect professionals across Asia Pacific and represent the region as a collective on a world stage • Increased focus on sustainable travel and events with greater awareness of the industry’s environmental footprint

Strength of the business events industry in Asia Pacific a re

strongly agree/agree the business events industry in Asia Pacific is going from strength to strength




ee .

a re f en




e . 25 % gre on isa th

a re o n t h e

strongly agree/ agree the sector is a significant contributor to their country’s economy

on t he

yd gl


strongly agree/ agree the sector is well supported by government and industry

5% disa







. strongly agree/agree the industry is well supported by wider industry associations (e.g. travel, hospitality etc.)

on the fence.

e re


e. % a re o n t h e 32 f en

a re

%d 18




fe nc

strongly agree/agree business events is growing in importance within their country’s economy


4% disag



e. 34% on th e

4% dis


on the fence.

d 3%

e gr sa di


a re

on the fence.


strongly agree/ agree the industry is quick to take up new technologies

agree/strong dis ly % 7

strongly agree/agree their relationship with their bureau is strong and helps their business

27 %



strongly agree/ agree the industry is innovative


e. nc fe




Digital media has advanced from being a promotional channel to a platform that complements almost every function of marketing; from research, product definition, pricing to aftersales and customer feedback. Organisations without a digital strategy don’t just risk the appeal to a specific demographic, but potentially risk their entire organisation’s existence. Understanding key performance metrics and behavioural patterns of corporate and individual stakeholders appears to remain the main priority in the current transformation. Dr. Felix Rimbach, Director Research & Development, Globibo.

d 9%





d 6%

Media, marketing and consumption how do you ACCEss your BusinEss EvEnTs MEdiA?




Social Media





how oFTEn would you prEFEr To rECEivE/ACCEss BusinEss EvEnTs nEws? Weekly Twice weekly Daily Monthly Fortnightly Every two days

41.94% 15.32% 14.52% 13.71% 9.68% 3.23%

whAT nEws ArE you inTErEsTEd in?

87.9% 70.97% 65.32% 57.26% 53.23% 45.97%

Trends New venues Technology Professional development New suppliers Your competition

My CoMpAny usEs ThE Following Tools To CoMMuniCATE wiTh our CusToMErs: 89% email 82% website 71% social media 61% EDM/E-newsletter

50% hard copy/printed collateral like sales brochures 29% public relations 34% paid advertising in the media

whAT soCiAl plATForMs ArE BEing usEd To CoMMuniCATE wiTh CusToMErs/AudiEnCE?





Other 14% including WeChat, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, Flickr

ThE nEws oF EvEnTs Online media has well and truly taken over as the primary source of news for business event professionals, with a whopping 87.1 percent of professionals accessing their news via the internet. Bucking the global trend, over 63.7 percent of the sector read print publications for the latest industry news, demonstrating the value of print advertising remains strong. Unsurprisingly, the data shows we’re a social bunch, with the vast majority of us using the top three platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate with our customers. Insights also show event professionals prefer regular, weekly, industry updates on up and coming trends, new venues, technology, professional development, new suppliers and industry competition. Companies have embraced digital communications with email, websites, social media and e-newsletters the primary communication tools, above printed collateral, public relations and paid media advertising.



CON v E N I NG IN TEL L EC TU ALS How destinations can leverage on other attributes and strengths to market its leadership that is above the expected hygiene factors. Words: KAREN BOLINGER, EL KWANG

The answers to the question “Why should I consider your destination?” are expected to be beyond a destination’s “hygiene” factors. As the competition of bidding for business events stiffens, destinations can no longer just rely on factors like security and savvy infrastructure to secure bid wins. Delegates of leading global congresses and conferences are now attracted to quality content with future investment potential – content generated by world leaders who are well connected and respected in their respective fields, thus allowing the city to showcase and attract the desired talent.

Melbourne as the destination case study As the city that gives access to research institutes and academics like those who founded the Bionic Ear and the anti-flu drug, Relenza, Melbourne’s foundation for building a strong bid conversion rate of 70 percent is built around its new positioning of “A city where great minds live”. As one of the intellectual capitals of Australia, this new positioning showcases Melbourne’s unique selling point of world-leading research and development (R&D) from the city’s great minds that advances society. As one of Australia’s leading business events destinations, Melbourne in turn invites the world’s best researchers, scientists, academics and practitioners to convene in the city to think differently, devise new solutions and create real change. This strategic positioning also aims to attract business interest and investment which allows R&D to further evolve and innovate to push towards new thought areas.

Melbourne’s new positioning is backed by a strong fact-based bid optimisation process to analyse the chance of winning before venturing onto the five to 10-year bidding journey. To start a chance of winning, the suitability of the local host is one of the key challenges. Ideally, the local host should have a long-term vision. They should have respected creditability, be well connected, and have presence on the international stage to lead the bid. They must also be ready to take on risks from underwriting the conference, allocate long-term resources like time and funding to go into the competition. Convincing local hosts is not an easy task as the risks associated is a big ask.

how does a bureau assist? In the case of Melbourne, a number of local hosts do not know what to do and where to start when it comes to

bidding for an international event. The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) begins the journey by opening up dialogue with these experts, analysing the bid potential and most importantly, have the experts understand how they can add value and creditability to the proposal. The bureau does most of the grunt work by pulling a bid together on the association’s behalf and activating partners from the industry and local or state government. The association can enhance the chance of winning by bringing in the right connections and expertise of their particular field to support the bid.

the suitable approach When it comes to bidding, it is a complex business and not one standard approach will suit all. The average cost of bidding is between AUD20,000 and AUD50,000. The MCB

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“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.” Franklin d. roosevelt

DiD You know? The State of Victoria in Australia has:

13 263 biotechnology companies


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major medical research institutes

internationally recognised

10 teaching hospitals


knowledge precincts • South East Melbourne Innovation Precinct • Biomedical Precinct • Northern Precinct (where worldleading research institutes reside in)

churns through at least 200 bids per year and the timelines are at the mercy of the decision makers. Other than meeting agreed baselines, the bureau often aligns itself with government strategies and bid[s] for events that suit the political agenda, as well as those that play on the destination’s strengths. Staying optimistic is crucial, as losing a bid will allow local hosts and the bureau to better position themselves for the next one. Having a crystal clear understanding of why the decision to bid will encourage a second attempt.

alliance by association Stakeholder relations and engagement are important to the success. Membership based bureau must make time and effort to educate stakeholders over an extended period of time. Openness, transparency and impartiality are the key communication tactics. A tiered membership structure allows industry members to decide on their level of engagement. Of course, members should have the mindset that they are investing in a city’s success and delivering return where suitable. Both parties should engage in regular, conversationforming strategic approaches in identifying gaps through funding opportunity costs. When it comes to local and state government department and agencies, education becomes even more crucial. Aligning with organisations like the Department of Economic Development (DED) will bridge understanding and allow certain activations where needed. The MCB’s education process was so successful that the Health Minister has recognised the benefits of business events as a knowledge exchange platform, naming it a key strategic pillar for the future health plan. This will further allow the business events industry to differentiate its economic contributions from tourism and major events departments. Essentially, this changes the conversation with the government and gaining appropriate funding support in the long run.

constraint periods. This in turn will help cities to smooth out its business event demands throughout the year. Being involved in the industry globally will help raise the awareness of the city you promote, whether it is serving on committees in other trade associations or joining an alliance like BestCities. The MCB is part of BestCities with 11 other convention cities. This alliance allows these cities to share best practices and key information that could assist in future bids. For example, the World Diabetes Congress rotated across three BestCities members; Dubai in 2011, Melbourne in 2013 and vancouver in 2015.

brand coMMunication The brand communication of a city has never been more important. Any major city can have leading-edge convention centres and international branded hotels to support its success, but what essentially makes a city stand out from its competition is her unique selling point like in this case, Melbourne’s Intellectual Capital strategy. It has to be branded like a sophisticated fashion brand that answers the “why” in Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle marketing principle as many cities are already very good in the “how” and the “what” they do. Effective brand communication will allow a city to evoke an emotion of need, making the city irresistible. To gain success, convention bureaux must always evolve, constantly be nimble, and be agile in strategic

tactics. Cities must look into having the right resources: people and funding, and have the right government engagement strategy so the business events industry retains its relevance in economic contributions and gains the respect it deserves. Damion Breust, Director, Head of Corporate Relations, Asia Pacific of Barclays commented on Melbourne’s success: “Apart from regularly being adjudged one of the most liveable cities in the world, Melbourne can also claim to be one of the smartest, most cultured, and diverse. Its research and academic base is a strong draw for event planners who want to attract world-class thinkers and commentators. But equally, Melbourne’s ‘softer side’ – its arts scene, sporting tradition, cafe culture, and wonderful blend of people from so many different countries – make Melbourne a fascinating and stimulating place to visit. Few cities have developed as well or with as much dignity over the past 20 years. The downtown retains the older charm, and is enlivened by tasteful, stylish apartment buildings and offices. The Yarra River, with its South Bank and its walking and cycling paths, is a focus of outdoor activity right on the edge of the city centre. And, it is just a delightful city to walk around. From the perspective of an event organiser, these are winning attributes, and represent a total package. Knowing that Melbourne offers so much, and that events and conferences are valued and backed by the Melbourne Convention Bureau – and underpinned by top-class infrastructure – puts the city in the first tier of destinations.”

Teaming up with other agencies like the tourism board and major events department do attract the lucrative incentive markets. For example, the MCB can enhance an incentive’s experience like the Grand Prix or the Australian Open Tennis Championship, when traditional conferences may not pay higher accommodation rates during these

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NE E D S AND U N ITY What is the story of your business events destination? Words: FELICITY ZADRO


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what are our destinations’ brands? Destination marketing is when a town, city, region or country is promoted to increase visitations. It is a term that we bandy about, however, what we are really talking about is the communication of the core message, point of difference and unique purpose – what we call a destination’s brand. We see them all around us every day. We’re very familiar with the brand campaigns of destinations for independent or personal travel such as, ‘I Heart New York’, Amazing Thailand and GREAT Britain brands. These are the short hand stories that aim to entice us to experience all the activities, emotions and excitement on offer, and to spend time with our loved ones, engulfed in history, culture, romance or excitement. Destination brands are by their nature a collective story - a bird’s eye view of the destination, describing what the place provides, what it stands for, and the experiences people should expect when they arrive. However, when we are communicating a destination to the business events market, how do we fare? What is our destination’s business tourism brand? It is clear? Is it consistent? What’s the value of it? What are we saying about it? And the biggest question of all is, how are we communicating it?

what is the relevance of the tourist brand to the selling of business events? What is the relevance of a tourism brand to the selling of business events, and how can we leverage the brand’s power for our benefit? These are big questions; the answers to which impact the business events community both positively and negatively. For example, how do I get past the glossy pictures of beautiful beaches and sparkling night skies to tell a compelling story to a discerning international event buyer about what my destination has to offer delegates? How do we bring all these together and build a collective story that not only harnesses the benefits and the features of a general tourism marketing campaign, but also highlights that the destination is ready for business? The ultimate test of whether our destination’s brands are business events ready, is whether your team can effectively deliver a clear message in those 12 pressured minutes of a hosted buyer meeting at an international trade show, or the first few pages of a tender document that lands on an event buyer’s table, or your one pager in an event buyer’s guide. So, what makes a successful business tourism brand? While it takes various things coming together at the same time, a good starting point is to flip the communication frame point to talk about what the event buyer needs, not what we have to offer.

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if a city appears to be working together, it Makes it easier for event buyers. Destinations often talk about their assets and resources, like venues, natural beauty and transport links. When key decision makers are comparing destinations, they need to know that the destination will also work for their event. The event buyer feeling assured is key to them selling your destination internally, and their recommendation can work to mitigate any perceived barriers such as distance, multiple flight transfers, and even cost. Buyers are busy and like everybody else they don’t have time to absorb pages and pages of information. When you remove the filler, what they really need boils down to this: confidence that they will be able to proudly own their recommendation of your destination. With that goal in mind, there are two pillars to creating this confidence; firstly that their needs are met proactively, and, secondly that they are assured the destination will work with them to make the event a success. The first point is about relationships and getting to know your clients, but the second is about the depth of cooperation in a destination. We know that outbound agents spend approximately 60 percent of their budget on flights. This means the remaining 40 percent of that budget needs to be given to a group of people who can work within their means to create the best possible outcomes. If our brand from top to bottom doesn’t say “we know how important it is that you made this recommendation” and “we are working closely together to ensure a great success”, then we aren’t communicating into the core of our clients’ needs. Events need great facilities, but even more so, great people to manage them.

the way the destination pulls together inforMs the way you tell your story. Outbound agents perform a difficult task; organising specific and


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detailed logistics in a place they may be unfamiliar with, and/or without necessarily being in that location. That’s why the way their suppliers work together on the ground is extremely important to them. Any misunderstandings or crossed wires are amplified in this scenario and bring a heightened sense of anxiety and uncertainty to the client. If a destination can communicate how its people and places work together, it fundamentally makes the role of the outbound event planner easier. From a brand perspective, how can we represent that? How could we reveal our destinations through the lens of co-operation? And if we were to analyse our destination marketing through the lens of co-operation, how would we fare? Do we talk about how the suppliers work together? What communication channels exist? What is the process a destination has to work together?

who are we collaborating with? To make matters more interesting, let’s add the influence of the millennial generation to the prism of cooperation for business events destinations. In 2017, the eldest of the millennial generation are 36; they are making massive inroads into management and, from now until the foreseeable future, will have a major impact on the decisions being made and how events will be designed.

so, what new opportunities and challenges eMerge froM this scenario? Traditionally, business event bureaux facilitate partnerships with suppliers, such as convention centres, international five star hotels, airlines, limousine companies and those who can afford the membership fees. However, there is an opportunity to include the less traditional suppliers of business events – and there is a very good reason to do so. Millennials want different things. They don’t want to be bounced around between convention halls; they’re inquisitive, they’re more experienced travellers than previous generations and more technologically savvy. But, most importantly, millennials are searching for authentic and cultural experiences they can’t get at home. They don’t just want the five-star international hotel brand experience, they want more; they want to learn and to share. If destinations can find ways of connecting with the start-ups, and the unusual, authentic and unique experiences, and then reflect that back into their business tourism brands, it would be an immediate way to enable that destination to stand out from a crowded pack, and entice the millennial decision maker to discover more about their destination.

brand is all about the proMised experience. Brand is the short-hand story of what the experience that is being offered is going to be and that experience needs to be relevant.

A destination that has ease of delivery, interconnected partners, one consolidated story, clearly articulated values, and one that has already developed the inter-service provider and communication channels, creates a compelling proposition for an event buyer. This is because cooperation and clear communication between parties equals efficiency, and efficiency equals greater value. With only 40 percent of the budget left to spend, that increased value becomes absolutely critical to success. A destination brand that tells a story of “we’re all working together for you” is much more appealing to a busy event buyer than “we’ve got all these different things on offer for you, which one would you like to do?” A brand based around the collegial ways in which the destination’s people work together, would be one to stop and consider. Tom Buncle, the long-time marketing chief of Destination Scotland says, “Destination branding is about identifying the destination’s strongest and most competitively appealing assets in the eyes of its prospective visitors, building a story from these that makes the destination stand out above its competitors, and running this narrative consistently through all marketing communications”. In business tourism the question is, what is the story? What is the narrative we are sharing that is relevant to our audiences? We need to highlight the strongest and most competitively appealing assets; assets that are are different in business events than they are to the free and independent traveller. My argument is that collegial ways of working and collaboration have to be discussed and articulated by any destination that is marketing to business events. The other important element Tom Buncle raises is about uncovering the stories of business events destinations. How can we uncover the specific stories and tell them in ways that are innovative, relevant, and inspire emotion?

The Perfect China visit to Adelaide

What’s the business tourism angle on the sunshine and the great food and beaches in Sydney? What’s the business tourism angle on the white sands, fabulous food, bright dynamic culture, and warm hospitality of Thailand? What’s the business event benefit of the technology, history and culture of Hong Kong?

the integrity of a destination brand is about telling that narrative through all our channels. Many years ago I attended the Tourism Australia Business Event Expo (TABEE), which was run by Tourism Australia in Kuala Lumpur, and one of the things that struck me was the competition of the Australian teams. They all had their tightly-packed days with their prescheduled meetings with buyers from across Asia. We had numerous people from Sydney all talking about their own hotels and services, and representatives from different products from Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Far North Queensland. And then there was the Adelaide team – and that is exactly what they were, a team. The people from Adelaide went not as individuals, but with a whole of city perspective; cross selling each other’s properties, services, transport, and restaurants. It stood out to me because it was so amazingly simple, but so utterly impressive. And it went right down to the details; the CEO of the Adelaide Convention Centre had Team Adelaide on his name-tag, not the Convention Centre.

Adelaide is a small capital city with no famous landmark, but when they went up against places with a lot more going for them on the surface, it was Adelaide who won the business. And I think a lot of their success is because of how they do business together – with Team Adelaide at the centre of their selling proposition. And they deliver. If you have ever been to an event in Adelaide, they are experts at turning parts of the city over to the event, and all working together to create a harmonious experience. Notwithstanding the size of the city, there is a lot to learn from the collegial nature of how they work on the ground and the communication they have with each other, which links through to the way they sell each other. Team Adelaide was the result of a decision to be stronger together. And, they put that value into the centre of their brand. And, it is a very compelling story for an event buyer who wants to ensure their delegates have an exceptional time in a place they’ve recommended. None of us was surprised with the announcement recently that Adelaide has been selected as the destination for the 3,000-delegate strong incentive group, Perfect China; the city’s first mega incentive. Destination branding is the story you tell of who you are, what you believe, and what experience people are going to have at your destination. In business events and business tourism, we also need to sell how things will be managed, and how those working on the same event will communicate with each other, solve problems, and inspire their guests to achieve great things.

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T A L K IN G TO T H E A UD I ENC E How brands are communicating with their customers as part of their competitive customer acquisition strategies. Words: EL KWANG Whether a brand’s content is of quality, it often is in the eye of the beholder. If the actual experience cannot match the marketing messages, not only will the customer consider venting on social media, that one bad experience may also encourage future brand scepticism. In fact, customers are drawn to content that has their experience at heart instead of serving the interest of the business selling the product. Travellers are hungry for content that will tell them what is happening around the location that they are visiting, such as those produced by Time Out magazines. Those who are drawn to authentic #golocal experiences are demanding for the same authenticity in hotel services and their content.

website focused on social

Michelle Lau, Swire Hotels


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The House Collective of Swire Hotels is renowned for their purposeful, well thought-out bespoke design that tells a story of their purpose. Since opening the first “house” in Beijing, this company, who owns and manage all their hotels, was successful in acquiring loyal fans. The fourth “house” which is designed by Lissoni, is slated to open at the end of 2017 in Puxi Shanghai. The company was also successful in bringing their other brand EAST, outside of Asia and into Miami. According to Michelle Lau, Head of Communications for Swire Hotels, they “let the service speak

for themselves” and are focused on being authentic and delivering the understated service experience they are known for despite fierce and diverse competition. The company recently launched to deliver more meaningful content ranging from happenings around their hotel locations like art exhibitions to culture and trends. Although each of their hotels have their own website focused on product information and reservation call-to-action, this website allows the brand to express what they are all about and the topics that they are passionate about.

engaging conversations Local measure is a geo-fencing software that enables businesses like hotels to speak directly to their customers. For example, if a customer “checks in” or posts “publicly” about a hotel on a social media channel like Facebook, this hotel will be able to see the post and make contact with the customers. This allows that hotel to put in place service recovering measures if needed, preventing the customer from any further bad service experiences. A case study published on indicated that over a six-month period of partnering with Local Measure, AccorHotels’ reach in responding to guests nearly doubled to 36 percent. It also enabled the hotels to respond to guests on social media four times faster. The case study also indicated that through their increased customer engagement strategy using Local Measure, AccorHotels reaches over 11 million people via social media per month, of which 27 percent of those who post on social media are return guests.

honesty is the best policy Pullman Bangkok King Power was the first to undergo a complete revamp that is in line with the brand’s global concept “Our World Is Your Playground”. Besides introducing a brand new open-plan lobby called The Junction, the hotel added a brand new 500-pax Eternity ballroom with cutting-edge technology, an open kitchen and dedicated car entrance perfect for product launches. According to General Manager Marc Begassat, the hotel has been transparent with their customers and stakeholders throughout the renovation. The sales team communicated with their clients throughout the process while the marketing team ensured that a notice of renovation was visible on the hotel’s website. The hotel received praise and support from customers for their transparent communication.

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#Talent and Mentor


S H E F OR SHE Two ladies passionate about the hospitality industry tell Biz Events Asia how a supportive mentorship structure made up of the right people can be the catalyst for an all-rounded success. WORDS: GINA SIN

Women have made impressive inroads on the once male-dominated hospitality industry in recent years. Bree Creaser, AccorHotels Thailand’s Vice President Operations for the Novotel, Mercure and ibis brands, shares her views below on mentorship and empowerment. Empowerment is crucial in the hospitality industry. We are no longer just a service industry - we are now operating in an expectation economy. Expectations are defined by our guests, not the industry, and empowering our teams is the only way they will truly be able to form emotional connections with our guests and bring their expectations to life. Every guest has a story and every guest has a different set of expectations. We just need to find out what they are.

PAVING THE WAY FOR MENTEE’S SUCCESS AND DEVELOPMENT It is important for me to remember what it was like to be at a similar point in my career in order to be able to coach the mentee, provide solutions to their own challenges and tasks, assist them in removing barriers, share skills and knowledge, and allow them to come up with their own plan of action. It is also important that they be allowed to ask any question they like. When you are able to coach them through a challenging situation, they feel so much more empowered and ready to take on the next challenge. What I can provide my mentees is access to other people, whether networking opportunities within our company, or with outside contacts from whom they could learn. One of the key elements of mentoring is asking the hard questions and providing constructive feedback; pushing them to look at different perspectives without forcing your own judgment or advice on them.


The final strategy is to set a good example – be respectful, enthusiastic, motivating, make time to share your own successes, and celebrate those of your mentee. A mentee has to be willing to shift their own paradigms, adapt to any situation, and be open and honest with their mentor. They have to drive the agenda and seek the information and insight they require. I aim to provide the cultural conditions for success. We need to treat our teams the way we would like them to treat our guests. The habitat that I try to foster goes back to empowerment and curiosity: dare to be different, ask the important questions, but do it in a thoughtful, respectful manner.

In the hospitality industry, no two days are the same. It is a very social environment and lots of fun, but my favourite part is watching people grow. I get to share so many special moments, not only with our team but with our guests. While the motivation may be selfish, it is still a fantastic feeling to truly connect with a guest and be able to assist in creating an experience they will never forget. Mentoring is a big responsibility: you have to make time to nurture relationships and take a personal interest in your mentees’ development and career aspirations, but nothing makes me prouder than seeing a mentee achieve their goals.

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and discuss what was needed to be discussed.

Bree is one of many women who hold a top executive post at AccorHotels, where 50 percent of group’s 240,000 employees are female, and a target has been set to increase the number of female top executives and general managers to 35 percent this year. The group is also a member of the UN Women’s #HeForShe solidarity movement to promote gender equality around the world. Bree is passionate about women’s empowerment: “Diversity – across genders, ages, ethnicities and national origins – is what makes an effective team,” she says. “Women do want the top-line jobs and should not face barriers at any level to progress in their careers”. Bree adds that she will continue to shortlist both women and men when it comes to hotel GM recruitment.

Having spent nearly 20 years in the hospitality industry, working her way up from receptionist to the front office on the rooms division track at SO Sofitel and Novotel, Warairat Sompong, Bree Creaser’s mentee, is on her current position as EAM at Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam, which she brings a strong operations background to. In an interview with Biz Events Asia, Sompong tells us about her experience as a mentee. 1. What are Bree’s strengths as a mentor? Her greatest strength has to be her warm and sincere demeanour. She’s very approachable, and a naturally motivating and encouraging person. You always feel comfortable coming to her with questions, or even just to bounce ideas off her – and this is something you don’t always get with upper-level management! Another aspect of Bree that I value is how she always manages to make time for you. When I was her mentee, I was working at SO Sofitel Hua Hin and she was Vice President for Talent & Culture based in the Bangkok corporate office, which meant that she was constantly travelling. Nevertheless, she always made time for us to touch base with

2. How has she shaped the way you work? Naturally, with her Talent & Culture background, a lot of what we discussed was people-focused and centred on how to best harness the power of people. I can still remember her message about the importance of having a strong sense of self and always maintaining a positive mindset. She also sets a good example of a boss who employees aren’t afraid to see – the kind of boss that, when you leave her office, you always have an added motivation. 3. If you disagreed with Bree’s advice, how would you tell her? Bree is in such a way that she doesn’t give you a straightforward advice. She works in a different way by asking you open-ended questions for you to answer for yourself, and only then will she advise you based on your own conclusions. That way, it’s not really like she’s lecturing you, but more like she’s guiding you toward a possible solution or offering a different perspective on things. 4. What do you love about the industry and what you do? The dynamism of hospitality is what’s got me hooked. There is always a new and exciting challenge on the horizon – whether it’s a guest with high expectations or a sudden problem that needs to be solved, it’s never boring. There is also no other industry with an actual “service charge”. This makes us work harder than we might normally, because we are always aware that the guest is paying more for this intangible experience. So it becomes our challenge and our mission to make it worth their while and ensure that they leave our hotel with happy memories and a smile on their face.

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H I B E R NATING T H E H ELL OUT OF S T RES S In the face of stress, how often do we wish to crawl into a “hole” and forget about the world? WORDS: EL KWANG PHOTOGRAPHY: CHUA YI KIAT

In an article published by an American career site, Career Cast, “event coordinator” and “public relations executive” roles were listed as the top 10 most stressful jobs in 2017. In addition, travel was considered as one of the top 11 stress factors. Really, are we even surprised? The balancing of work and life is a real struggle for many #eventprofs especially when one has heavy family responsibilities. As event planners, we are trained to first think about the participants’ experience. Often, we forget about our very own. What about us, the individual human beings whose so-called passion for life’s work got us a little tired and lost along the way? During a recent familiarisation programme hosted by the Canberra Convention Bureau for some 20 business events buyers, one product stood out from the rest for me - the Little National Hotel Canberra. After weeks of spending most of my time in Australia networking with the events industry from dawn to dusk and having zero time for myself, the contemporary zen look, feel and thundering silence of this 120-room new concept hotel stopped me right in the tracks and screamed in mime: “I need self-time, right here, right now”! As the lift carried my tired soul to level five of the hotel, the spacious, quiet and peaceful corridors restored my sanity. The Library served as a common area decked with comfy couches and dynamic


work desks, and the private spaces were also a sanctuary. Like an unspoken rule, one automatically remains quiet and polite whilst navigating through it. This would be a good work space should old habits die hard and the raging emails got the better of my rest period. As an event planner, having a “just in case” option like this workspace came second nature. The spiral stairways led to a dedicated entertainment zone called The Lounge, where beverages were served during beer-o’clock. After weeks of being a champagne champion, the alcoholic in me bade farewell to my bubbly concubine and headed in the direction of the bedroom, where I truly belonged. As the dark timber door opened into the compact 16-sq m room (hence the name Little National Hotel), my eyes were drawn to the king-sized bed and

the big window of natural light beside it. For once, I didn’t want a suite. Neither did I have to worry about leaving things behind nor deal with the dreadful task of packing up before checkout time loomed. Knowing the bed was calling for me, I decided to have an early dinner at LiloTang, one of the seven food and beverage outlets located within the other hotels under the Doma Hotels brand; all resided within a block’s location in the leafy Barton precinct. After a fresh and super-hot shower upon returning to my airily designed room, I leaped into the cloud of a bed and started my movie marathon. Yes, a marathon as all movie channels were free, so was the WiFi that I didn’t bother using. The next morning, I woke up a hero, loving myself and ready to face the world I called a fabulous place again.

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Biz Events Asia April-May 2017  

Dual Themes: Unique Venues, Destination Marketing & Brand Communications

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