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PRANAv SethAPutRA grouP SuStainability conSultant Mci group
RoGeR SImoNS rEgional SuStainability dirEctor (aPac) Mci group
eL KWANG chiEf Editorial officEr co-ownEr firstname.lastname@example.org
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org website: bizeventsasia.com
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In November 2015, our first sustainability edition focused on exploring the “ability” part of sustainability. This year, we welcome the return of the Green Jedi Grand Master, Roger Simons of MCI Group and roped in his ally, Pranav Sethaputra as guest editors to expand this journey. In addition to this multi-dimensional approach, 2016’s #TheSustainabilityEdition article pinches a nerve beyond accreditation: that is, how can we keep ourselves, the people in the business, sustainable? We ask you to focus on the “us” part of sustainability and slow things down (page 26). Food is an integral part of living and certainly, for business events. As food sourcing becomes an increasing security concern for many, we praise those in the events community who insist on using fresh seasonal, sustainable and most definitely, responsibly sourced ingredients for their menus. Read the cover story on how the upcoming ICC Sydney aims to curate a sustainable legacy through their belief in feeding delegates’ performance.
SALES & MARKETING SINGAPORE OFFICE Michelle Lim Director of Business Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org Gavin Sim Director of Business Solutions email@example.com Charline Wong Campaign & Social Media Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Choon Marketing Manager email@example.com
Thank you so much for reading our work and supporting our unconventional journey. Our vision has always been centred on thinking harder and feeling deeper so that we can do better. I would like to dedicate this edition to Harrison Bolinger who left us way too early. He is missed by those who loved him, especially his loving mother, who has been a great inspiration to me and many others in the business events community. She is a true leader who shows great strength and resilience during tough times.
We are embarking on a journey that hopefully leads us towards being sustainable in more ways than one. You have voted and we will be bringing you two in-depth (instead of one) overarching themes per print edition in 2017. You have also voted to replace our Chinese language section of our magazine for a stronger knowledge platform. To be kinder to ourselves, the trees and your precious time, we are pacing ourselves back to six essential print editions in 2017.
Our cover image features the exhibition centre of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), opening in December 2016.
Biz Events Asia introduced Digital BEA in October 2016 with our brand new bizeventsasia.com. Mindful of your feedback on not wanting to cloud the new generation of professionals with TMI (too much information), we have started delivering a new e-comm-mail, #INTHEKNOW, every Tuesday and Thursday. Gina Sin will lead the Digital BEA editorial vision as editor to bring you two quick-read knowledge articles and three non-clickable bite sized news.
We hope you enjoy this edition and take time to reflect, re-align and reconnect with your loved ones.
El Kwang Chief Editorial Officer | Co-owner
Biz Events Asia is the official media partner and member of:
INTERNATIONAL MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES CHINA: Mary Yao Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +86 10 6551 5663 ext 8008 DUBAI: Rahul Sequeira Email: email@example.com Tel: +971 56 693 1213 SOUTH KOREA: Alexander Paik Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +82 10 5042 1337
Chengdu International Tourism Expo Chengdu, China | December 2016
Tokyo Comic Con Tokyo, Japan | December 2016
World SME Expo Hong Kong | December 2016
ICCA Congress 2016 Kuching, Malaysia | November 2016
Smart Summit Asia Singapore | December 2016
COVER STORY Learn about ICC Sydney's sustainable culinary journey and the regional dining experiences 14
Editorial advisory board mEmbErs
Janet Tan-Collis President | SACEOS CEO | East West Planners
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
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International Conference on Smart Information Technology Jeju, South Korea | December 2016
Modern Trends in Engineering & Technology Phuket, Thailand | December 2016
6 #Sound Bites
10 #Taking The Lead 12 #Webspace 13 #Fresh Ideas
43 #Dining Matters Sustainable events catering
Closing the gap in the world of international association congress organising
18 #The Sustainability Edition
The business events industry's huge role in sustainability
The new way of experiential marketing
48 #Wired Up
How to craft your event app
32 #Delve Into Singapore ITB Asia 2016 concludes
Women in Leadership Summit Sydney, Australia | January 2017
ho Yoke Ping General Manager Business Events Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB)
Deanna Varga Assistant Director Commercial & Visitor Services Australian National Maritime Museum
IT&CMA leads the way in industry collaboration
36 #Delve Into Japan
From Tokyo and Fukuoka to Okinawa, Japan unveils its gems
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
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Ramon Freixa, one of Spain’s most innovative chefs, and the head chef of his eponymous Ramon Freixa Madrid fine dining restaurant, is capping off the fourth and final dining series of 2016, Art at Curate, by Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore from November 4 – 11, 2016. The four editions of the Art at Curate series this year provided the first-ever platform in Asia for celebrated overseas Michelin guest chefs to showcase their diverse award-winning cuisines in Singapore, as well as present new and exciting dining experiences by the top names in the international culinary world for epicureans here to enjoy throughout the year. Diners can continue to savour Chef Ramón’s signature dishes from November 15, 2016 in a special menu co-created with a resident chef. Art at Curate will return in 2017 with more culinary creations by renowned Michelin chefs.
indonesiA Alila Manggis has received the EarthCheck Gold certification following five continuous years of independently audited environmental and CSR performance. Alila Manggis’ sustainable practices will be boosted by the newly announced Zero Waste policy that has been implemented at all five Alila branded resorts across Bali since September 2016. The Indonesian government forecasts up to eight million foreign visitors to Bali by 2019, which is expected to put stress on the island’s energy, water and food supplies, thus decreasing land availability to maintain the island’s intricately connected rice paddy system.
With the business events sector leaning towards alternative concepts for meeting space, IACC has added Cliftons Conference Venues and Saxons Training Facilities to its reach of certified venues in Asia Pacific. Looking at trends for 2017, Mark Cooper, IACC Global CEO, expects to see further development in the city located, non-residential day conference venue concept: “Our recent membership growth in the region has been from venues in this category, and we see the demand for dedicated meeting venues in city locations increasing as clients turn their backs on traditional multipurpose hotel spaces when they need to be centrally located.”
connecting the Arabian incentives, business travel and meetings industry to the world
& connections in the Middle East
of networking, business, education & discovery
for focused value-driven transactions
from Hosted Buyers & exhibitors
event for high value business
luxury setting for three days
overall event satisfaction
Enquire to exhibit or apply to be a Hosted Buyer at www.ibtmarabia.com Connections mean everything.
ibtm and the ibtm events symbol are trade marks of RELX Intellectual Properties SA, used under license. Hosted Buyer is a trademark of Reed Exhibitions Limited. Reed Travel Exhibitions is a registered trade mark of RELX Group plc.
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Hong Kong Grand Hyatt Hong Kong has completed its multi-million dollar renovation that took almost four years. Led by interior design firm, BAR Studio, each room is imbued with a newly created “living zone”, featuring a multi-purpose solid timber table adjacent to the windows. Its two Presidential Suites and five Ambassador Suites have been re-designed to allow guests to choose their preferred styles, namely Classic Traditional, Contemporary Eclectic, Aristocratic Adventurer or Bohemian Chic. All suites are afforded extra security and privacy with a separate set of lifts. Any corner of the suites can become a social space – the dining room for proper lunch and dinner; the living room and foyer for cocktails or socialite’s afternoon tea, as well as important meetings and media interviews on the suites’ multiple sets of sofa seating. Other refurbished facilities include the 21 meeting and event venues, the Grand Café with theatrical show kitchens, and more.
One World Hotel took home the Asia’s Leading Meeting & Conference Hotel award for the third time at the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2016, despite intense competition from 10 other renowned establishments in Asia. The hotel has also clinched the award for Best Convention Hotel (in the Continent level) and Best Eco-Friendly Hotel (in the Country level) at The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards Gala Ceremony.
australia The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) 2017 has revealed four key themes that underpin the AIME Knowledge Program. Delegates attending the sessions will learn about industry trends and activities that are impacting the meetings and events industry on a global and regional scale. They can also get the chance to learn how to optimise return on investment, how to overcome declining revenues, how to set up your events for growth and stand out from your competition, as well as discover how destination and meeting planners can recognise, assess and manage risks for international events. There will also be workshops where motivational speakers will share how to attract, train and empower the best people for your events team. AIME 2017 will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 21-22.
The percentage of increase in meetings in Asia Pacific according to a 2017 forecast by CWT Meetings & Events.
AIME is the leading events and meetings exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region. Itâ€™s where suppliers and buyers connect for two powerful days of business, knowledge and networking. This year is set to be the best edition yet, as we celebrate 25 years of making connections and helping drive businesses forward!
See how you can be part of the AIME community www.aime.com.au Owned by
AIME is part of
Hosted Buyer is a trademark of Reed Exhibitions Limited. Reed Travel Exhibitions is a registered trade mark of RELX Group plc.
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# KOREA The Seoul International Fair and Sustainable Tourism Forum 2016 held from September 20-21 at the Grand Hilton Hotel, Seoul, discussed sustainable, coexisting tourism in mega-cities. Co-hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organisation, in cooperation with UNWTO, the forum brought together experts from international organisations and academia to discuss policies and share best practices on fair and sustainable tourism. The forum invited experts including Xu Jing, Executive Secretary and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, and Harold Goodwin, Former Professor of MMU / Managing director & Advisor, Responsible Tourism Partnership. The number of global tourists in 2015 reached nearly 1.2 billion and is expected to exceed 1.8 billion by 2030 and mega-cities are at the centre of tourism in many countries. Dubbed “touristification”, growth in tourism also creates negative impacts, such as conflicts between the local inhabitants and the tourists. UNWTO recognised the problem and designated the year 2017 as the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.' At the end of the Forum, the participants adopted the Seoul Declaration for Fair Tourism, where new paths and methods were set forth to shed light on urban tourism for not only Seoul but other mega-cities in Asia and beyond. The UNWTO and Seoul Tourism Organization also signed an MOU to further promote fair tourism.
SHANGHAI Groups arriving in Shanghai via cruises will now be given 15 days of visa-free stay, according to local immigration inspection authorities. Cruise passengers must belong to tourist groups organised by travel agencies that are legally registered in China. Travel agencies will need to submit name lists of foreign tourist groups to inspection authorities 24 hours before the
cruise ships arrive. Expats from cruise ships are only allowed to stay in Shanghai or travel to Beijing and coastal provinces where cruise ships berth. More than 1.6 million cruise ship passengers entered China via Shanghai ports last year, up 35.5 percent from 2014. Of these in 2015, only 69,000 were foreigners.
FROM THE BUREAUX
AUSTRALIA Adelaide has won the right to host World Routes 2019, the largest and most prestigious aviation conference that is expected to attract 3,000 delegates over three days. It will be the first time that World Routes, which is rotated annually to showcase a different location, will be held in Australia. Delegates from major airlines, airports, tourism and aviation businesses from around the world will meet to discuss new air services. Adelaide successfully hosted Routes Asia in 2010 and commenced direct flights with several airlines including Qatar, Emirates and China Southern, following the event. The city also has the fastest growing capital city airport in Australia that was redeveloped in 2005 at a cost of AUD260 million (USD199.6 million), with a further AUD1 billion being spent to increase its capacity. The airport has an expected three percent annual growth in aircraft movements over the next 20 years.
AUSTRIA Vienna is hosting the 15th International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases (ICNMD) and the 16th World Congress of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) in 2018. From July 6-10, 2018 up to 1,000 participants from around the world will meet at the Hilton Vienna for the 15th ICNMD to discuss the latest advances in the treatment, healing and palliative care of muscular, nervous and neuromuscular junction disorders. Hosted every two years by the World Federation of Neurology and the Research Group for Neuromuscular Diseases, the ICNMD includes teaching units, plenary sessions, workshops and poster meetings. The previous two
events were held in Nice in 2014 and in Toronto in 2016 which attracted over 800 participants. The 16th World Congress of ISDE will be hosted from September 16-19, 2018 at the University of Vienna where around 1,000 participants will focus on the latest treatment approaches. The most recent congress took place in Singapore in 2016 with a record attendance of 800 delegates and 700 scientific contributions. The next congress aims to sharpen the focus on interdisciplinary and interactivity while increasing the involvement of younger participants through high-level information and networking platforms for specialist oesophageal surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists and oncologists.
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What you missed online on
Amplifying engagement through social media partnerships From brand activations to event engagement, social media has played a huge role. How have you leveraged this channel? Does it really work?
PARKROYAL Picks PARKROYAL Hotels & Resorts has partnered with technology start-up Townske to launch first-ever mobile app with more than a thousand usercurated guides, enabling travellers to explore and discover hidden gems of a city like a local.
Oakwood launches Guest Mobile App in Asia Pacific Business travellers can now access all their travel information instantly on arrival, eliminating the need to print move-in instructions and local maps by hosting all reservation information in one place.
# P3 Innovation A start-up incubator located in the Pico Creative Centre in Shanghai’s Jiading District has been launched to nurture innovation in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry. It offers 3,000 sq m of space for a variety of innovation-based start-ups focusing on, among others, virtual and augmented reality, big data tools and applications, creative visual applications, and more. Known as P3 Space, this is part of P3 Innovation, a new initiative from brand-activation company Pico Group that will deliver “a brand new generation
of disruptive service offerings”. P3 Space aims to help start-ups boost their business performance through providing back office support and consulting services to entrepreneurs, while assisting them with brand promotion through the group’s global integrated marketing services, and helping them explore business opportunities with Pico’s existing customers and businesses. Participating entrepreneurs will also benefit from the opportunity to network with global investors. Pico plans to incubate more than 20 MICE start-ups in the first year through P3 Space.
Urban farming Groups looking for a green way to team build in Singapore can now create their own garden terrarium with FAYY Terrarium & Gifts. Set up by plant enthusiasts Farid Yan and Adelene Yin, FAYY offers corporate workshops of up to 15 people per time slot. Workshops can happen at your venue of choice, or sourced by FAYY.
Eco-friendly exhibition systems Reusable and reconfigurable exhibition stand systems can go a long way when it comes to getting more value for your investments and saving the environment. Based in Singapore and the UK, Amber & Green provides multiple configuration systems for exhibitions, such as its ISOframe Exhibit and ISOframe Wave which can all be shipped globally.
Curating SuStainable legaCy
ICC Sydney CurateS CulInary experIenCeS that journey to the Centre of delegateSâ€™ heartS. WordS: el KWang | gina Sin
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“Nutrition is a key factor to business success as it enables delegates to work more effectively and creatively. As such, ICC Sydney is committed to sourcing fresh, peak-of-season ingredients with natural performance qualities from farmers in New South Wales who practice sustainable techniques.” lynell peck Director of Culinary Services ICC Sydney
Event agencies and their clients will affirm that the delegate experience makes or breaks an event. Savvy planners are looking for memorable elements that are beyond venue capabilities. Space flexibility, high ceilings, advanced technology and sustainability efforts are the expected norm for new age event spaces and convention centres. Whilst others are focused on capacity strengths and structural aesthetics, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), which also has size, scale, flexibility and beautiful design in spades, will open its doors with a unique proposition that places the delegate experience and hallmarks of great food and beverages in the centre of everything they do. Whilst event attendees may appreciate innovative meeting designs and elaborate event decoration, what really seals in the memories is the culinary experience. Lynell Peck, Director of Culinary Services said ICC Sydney will set a new benchmark for conference dining, as the world-class in-house culinary services team will deliver a superior approach to dining experiences. “ICC Sydney is a world-class venue that offers the ultimate in quality, choice and flexibility for the world’s leaders, thinkers and performers to meet, collaborate and innovate. Nutrition is a key factor to business success, as it enables delegates to work more effectively and creatively. As such, the venue is committed to sourcing fresh, peak-of-season ingredients with natural performance qualities from farmers in New South Wales who practice sustainable techniques.” “We have partnered with a broad network of local producers, such as Paesanella Cheese Manufacturers in Marrickville to shine a spotlight on quintessential Sydney cuisine while strengthening regional businesses with the potential to create new jobs,” Peck said.
Feeding your perFormance
In support of the New South Wales government’s focus on healthy eating and
active living, and working in partnership with qualified nutritionists, ICC Sydney has embraced an industry-first Feeding Your Performance philosophy to deliver ‘smart’ menus comprising fresh, seasonal and ethically sourced ingredients, expertly combined to drive physical and mental performance. The venue will deliver a 360-degree event experience that engages all senses. An experience that is beyond the immersion of a modern event environment built with the latest technology and registered with the internationally recognised US Green Building Council for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The world-class in-house culinary team led by Director of Culinary Services, Lynell Peck and Executive Chef, Tony Panetta, have created dishes that tick the boxes of both style and substance. The Australian business events industry understands the importance of nutrition, with event planners seeking to sustain delegates’ concentration and enhance their performance by offering meals that are high in plant-based and animal protein and low in saturated fats. Good food really matters in the new era of event engineering. Tony Panetta, Executive Chef at ICC Sydney said fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains feature prominently in the menu, as does produce sourced from local and regional farmers and producers who practice ethical and sustainable farming techniques. “What we eat has always played a vital role in supporting our bodies and nutrition is a key component in business success. We have purposely created meals that are high in protein and low in saturated fats to boost the overall health of delegates and visitors and help them maintain focus. We have also increased the ratio of plantbased proteins in dishes to aid digestion and concentration. We’ve focused on creating new combinations of food that work across health and enjoyment, mixing flavours, textures and influences to take visitors on a culinary journey,” said Panetta.
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Committed to a wine collection featuring 80 percent of new South wales wines, iCC Sydney has partnered with regional nSw producers, including many boutique wineries who create high quality drops in small batches and those creating organic, biodynamic, low impact wines in line with the broader AeG ogden sustainability philosophy, which is the venue management company. Craft beers are also available, with menus listing home-grown talent from Sydney-based breweries. even the
cocktails feature small-batch spirits from select distilleries, like Sydneybased Archie rose which has created custom gin and vodka infusions for iCC Sydney with a lower level of impurities and a cleaner taste. Healthy house-made beverages include spa waters and teas infused with fresh fruits, berries, herbs and aromatics.
THE rIPPlE EFFECT
it takes a community to create a respectable and sustainable business events industry. Besides caring about food source, iCC Sydney cares for its community and partners. the venue is committed to sourcing fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other ethically produced ingredients from farmers and producers in new South wales who practice sustainable techniques. By eventually working with growers throughout the seasons, from planting to harvest, iCC Sydney seeks to strengthen regional businesses by encouraging the growth of local producers and jobs; curating a journey to sustainability legacy even before it opens its doors.
A preview of iCC Sydney’S CulinAry ColleCtion: Perfect for: A glamourous gala dinner in the Grand Ballroom for 2,000 guests Blue-Eye Fillet, Beetroot, Cucumber and Sesame this dish offers a kaleidoscope of colours with a focus on seasonal vegetables, healthy fats and protein. it is gluten-free and packed with everything the body needs to energise and feel great. Nutritional Information: Blue-eye – High in omega 3, it supports the immune system by regulating inflammation besides reducing cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. Asparagus – provides beta-carotene, vitamins B1, B2, C, e, K, folate, iron and rich in insulin which assist in the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. Beetroot – Supplies rich dose of antioxidants and nitrate to improve blood flow throughout the body. Food Source: Sydney fish Markets – the largest fish market in the Southern Hemisphere and sources over 14,500 tonnes of seafood annually, trading up to 100 sustainable seafood species daily. Wine paired by William Wilson Beverage Operations and Cellar Manager, ICC Sydney De lullis Semillon Hunter Valley NSW Tasting notes: the Hunter valley is famous for Semillon with aged examples from famous wineries such a tyrrell’s and Mount pleasant winning countless trophies. Surprisingly, the standout wine in a very strong bracket of wines was this vibrant, young Semillon from de lullis (pronounced de-you-lee-us). the aroma bursts with fresh tropical fruit and lime juice, whilst the light body features an array of citrus characters. this wine will last but is also perfect for drinking right now.
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Dine in SyDney anD regional new South waleS – a reStaurant auStralia feature: Explore the ICC Sydney precinct and beyond, where world-class dining experiences merge with stunning landscapes and harbour views. Quay – Upper Tower accommodating up to 32 pax for a sit-down lunch/dinner, Quay’s upper tower is one of Sydney’s most spectacular dining room with floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing jaw-dropping views of the Sydney harbour, bordered by the iconic Sydney opera house on one side and the harbour Bridge on the other. named after the famous Sydney opera house green room, the green room at Quay situated above the restaurant offers 240-degree harbour views and spans 232 sq m opening up to spacious terraces facing Circular Quay and the harbour Bridge. Meetings and events take on another level of class and quality with the elegance and style of the green room. Quay’s menu is a continually evolving repertoire; some classics, some reworking of old favourites plus new dishes for each season. Close relationships with small, independent farmers will also see more beautiful and unique produce grace Quay’s menus.
Photo Credit: Brett Stevens
Bennelong – The Venue housed in the world heritage listed Bennelong space, the Venue allows groups the option of using the upper tier for pre-dinner drinks and canapes before proceeding to the dining room on the lower tier for a sit-down dinner of up to 100 guests. for the ultimate exclusive experience, the Kitchen at Bennelong within the Sydney opera house offers four exclusive seats inside its lively kitchen to provide a rare opportunity of witnessing the chefs behind the scenes. all menus are developed based on seasonal availability and freshness of produce.
Photo Credit: Brett Stevens
Hunter Valley – Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard Set on the foothills of the scenic Brokenback ranges in the hunter Valley, audrey wilkinson planted the first vines in Pokolbin in 1866, and was an early innovator in the production of fine wine. go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the winemaking process and taste wine directly from the barrel while learning from experts the wine journey from grape to bottle. head to one of the hunter’s finest restaurants by helicopter and indulge in a three-course lunch before a scenic flight over the hunter Valley back to audrey wilkinson Vineyard for a vast vertical tasting in the private onsite museum.
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The SuSTainabiliTy ediTion biz evenTS aSia buildS on The SucceSS of The PReviouS SuSTainabiliTy iSSue wiTh Mci GRouP and delveS deePeR inTo iTS iMPoRTance in The buSineSS evenTS induSTRy.
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Before it is too late our inaction on climate change cannot conceal the impact the events industry has on the gloBal community and environment. Words: gina sin in october 2016, renowned oscar-winning american actor and united nations (un) messenger of peace leonardo dicaprio announced the premiere of a documentary series on climate change. titled “Before the flood”, research for the documentary took him on a three-year journey to every corner of the globe to document the devastating impact business and globalisation activities have on the environment, and what humanity can do to mitigate it. dicaprio was appointed un messenger of peace with a special focus on climate change in 2014, a recognition for his longstanding commitment and fund-raising efforts in environmental protection and conservation projects through the leonardo dicaprio foundation, which was established in 1998. his journey took him to greenland, where he treaded on soft melting ice with professor Jason Box of the geological survey of denmark and greenland. they highlighted how deforestation and burning of fossil fuels have affected the darkened ice’s ability to reflect radiation, leading to rising temperatures worldwide. dicaprio met with the director of the centre for science and environment in india, for a discussion on the climate conundrum faced in the developing country, and flew over sumatran forests in indonesia to understand the devastation palm oil plantations have caused. a particularly shocking and controversial finding from gidon eshel, a professor of environmental science and physics at Bard college in new york, revealed that beef consumption was 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock. While the cases of environmental damage have significant consequences on the planet, there is evidence of conservation and renewable energy efforts that offer a small glimmer of hope.
a “gigafactory” by tesla founder elon musk aims to produce 500,000 electric vehicles and batteries/cells equivalent to 85 gWh/yr annually once it is fully operable in 2020. While china has been known as the number one emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, its investment in renewable energy has surpassed that of europe and the u.s. combined. in 2015, china became the world’s largest producer of photovoltaic power at 43 gW installed capacity, and led the world in the production and use of wind power and smart grid technologies. if china’s commitment to manufacturing renewables holds steadfast, renewable energy could provide over 30 percent of the nation’s energy by 2050. earthcheck opened australia’s first tourism entrepreneurs accelerator program for tourism startups at Brisbane’s newly-established co-working space the capital to share global data, research and tourism development experience with tourism entrepreneurs. it will also run strategy, sustainability and business development programmes and one-on-one mentoring for emerging and evolving tourism enterprises from across australia. the World travel & tourism council (Wttc) recently launched a report showcasing how sustainable tourism around the world has evolved over time, with standards getting higher, climate change now integral and the definition of sustainability broadening. measurement, monitoring and reporting have become fundamental to sustainability best practices, which will become increasingly important as the sector aligns with the un sustainable development goals. as the paris agreement on climate change (cop22) enters full force this month, Biz events asia together with mci group look at how the business events industry can consolidate its efforts towards building a sustainable environment for its businesses and communities, and identify what some industry suppliers are doing to be on the forefront of sustainability.
EnDIng THE ExcUSES DEbUnKIng THE MyTHS AboUT SUSTAInAblE EVEnTS Words: PrAnAV SETHAPUTrA Danish Maritime Forum Image courtesy of Danish Maritime Days
Events are a great platform to educate, entertain, and engage, but as professionals in the industry we all already know that – there is very little value in preaching to the choir. What we tend to forget however (or choose to ignore) is the flip side: that when not managed in a responsible way events can place a huge strain on our planet, potentially damaging the reputation of those who own and organise them. So, is it so hard to get clients on board to organise their events more sustainably? Isn’t the value clear? The justifications (or excuses) are plentiful and each are as frustrating as the next. Here are the three we hear most frequently but, most importantly, why they are all wrong:
“It Is expensIve” Though some sustainable options can cost more than their less “green” counterparts (think going 100 percent organic), many options are actually cost neutral or have the potential to generate significant cost savings. The simple act of replacing bottled water with water dispensers filled with beautiful cut fruit for example can save you as much as USD1 per litre. That’s USD3,600 a day for a 1,000 person event, and USD3,600 you can now allocate to offset the price of other more costly sustainable options like organic food.
How much can you save throughout the event process? Well, we saved close to USD28,000 net for Symantec’s Vision Symposium in 2014, USD28,260 net for the Danish Maritime Forum 2015 and USD83,760 net for SAP’s dKom Series in 2016.
with strong sustainability commitments, caterers who can design tasty and nutritious menus and exhibition providers who can create engaging spaces with responsible materials and you’ll find that it takes no extra time at all.
In a nutshell, a lot.
our point is this – events of all budgets, sizes, types and timelines can be made more sustainable, and if anyone says otherwise do us a favour and tell them, quite simply, that they are wrong.
“It Is a luxury event, so we don’t want to look cheap” gone are the days when going green meant going for less. Instead, sustainability should be used as a guiding framework to come up with innovative and engaging solutions. Why use disposable plates when you can have porcelain? Why print out thick programmes (which bring with them the threat of scrambling at the last minute to amend them anyway) when you can use an app? Why get a backdrop made on PVc when you can use dynamic 3D projection mapping? Why indeed.
“It takes too much tIme” Sustainability should not be treated as an extra item to add on to one person’s to do list. It should be used by everyone as a guiding principle for how you operate. Source suppliers
ToolIng UP To DElIVEr grEEnEr EVEnTS MobIlE APPlIcATIonS DElIVErIng EFFIcIEncy AnD SUSTAInAbIlITy Words: rogEr SIMonS
Disruption, innovation, start-ups, tech launches- you can’t turn a page these days without learning about the latest service or product based on mobile technology and apps. The great news is that mobile applications for the business events industry are a driving force in sustainability and efficiency, helping us to be more effective at managing events and to print lesser whilst boosting attendee networking and engagement. but it doesn’t stop there! The types of application for our industry can be broadly broken down into four key areas:
event management & programme applIcatIons not a new technology anymore but becoming ubiquitous and increasingly cheaper as more and more companies offer products and chase the big players like Quickmobile, Eventmobi and DoubleDutch. From systems like Eventbrite that offer registration and invitation support, to those that focus primarily on the onsite seamless experience providing a home for the programme, floorplan, social media streams, delegate list and functions. These tools are fantastic for making your life easier and ultimately eliminate a printed onsite programme and things of the past that gave planners such a headache, such as the last minute conference “addendum” or room change signs you needed to rapidly print and distribute around the venue. They can now be updated live on your smart device.
attendee travel applIcatIons one to watch. Think Uber but for
events. SAP launched Twogo - a great platform that lets employees within a company rideshare to work each day or as it calls it, “a smart and flexible carpooling service for your commute.” This makes sense for large scale businesses that might have 2,000 people living nearby who can rideshare between colleagues with or without compensation changing hands. Handily, it also reduces the volume of vehicles travelling considerably, bringing a reduction in carbon emissions. It’s being brought to bear on SAP’s events too and there are many more entrepreneurial opportunities in this field. Expect transport disruption coming to an event near you!
tool applIcatIons The type and variety is long here, managing everything from guest lists to second screen technology such as Freeman’s FxP I Touch, allowing attendees to view content such as slides on their mobile phone to audience polling devices and even an app that turns your phone into a microphonecrowdmics. lastly, the big social media companies are seeing events as a hotbed of opportunity, think tools like Twitter’s Periscope, which allows live event streaming and Facebook with their new live feature. Ultimately all these tools are making us more efficient with the equipment that’s already in our hands, saving costs and reducing unnecessary additional resources.
personal travel applIcatIons Managing your own travel has never been easier with great tools like Tripit which organises all your flights, hotel
bookings and car bookings in one central location. Travel companies like Expedia are getting in on the act and building great apps to manage all your bookings and confirmation numbers in one place, automatically syncing after an online purchase. Do we even remember life before Skyscanner? A sure-fire way to find the best deal and date to fly. All these tools make travel bookings and management easier, meaning we no longer need to print tickets, confirmations and vouchers prior to departing. So what does the future look like? A hell of a lot more sophisticated. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg - our modern mobile phones are loaded with sensors and features that we have not yet brought to bear and can provide so much more, from the participants, movements, interests and passions to activities going on nearby that may appeal. Engagement and efficiency will rapidly increase and technology will continue to be a critical tool in reducing an event’s environmental footprint!
EVEnTS WITH PUrPoSE WHErE DoIng gooD AnD DoIng WEll MEET Words: PrAnAV SETHAPUTrA | gUy bIgWooD
great achievements are rarely the result of a single action of an individual, but rather the outcome of communities coming together to debate, discuss and grow - the spirit of collaboration which is the central purpose of conferences and meetings. but how can you bring out this sense of “purpose” more at your next event, and really demonstrate your commitment to making the world a better place for your delegates? Well, here are a few tips:
“storydoIng” There is a difference between living your brand’s sustainability story and simply talking about it. launch your big sustainability challenge, define an enemy and involve your audience to get involved to fix it and then participate in its storytelling. rather than just presenting how your company is committed to an environmental or social issue, partner with an ngo to train children to be climate ambassadors during your event while involving delegates to participant in activities and commit to climate action. Software company Symantec for example integrated Plant-forthe-Planet Academies into their business events to train children to become climate ambassadors and to inspire their attendees. Their delegate perception of Symantec as a responsible company increased from an average of 59 percent to 87 percent after just one engagement.
walk the talk When building your sustainable brand you cannot organise an event without thinking about how you are going to minimise its environmental impact, maximise its social legacy and optimise its economic effectiveness. Start by considering the attendees experience at your event, and consider all the key contact points where
you can make your sustainability commitment real, tangible, and visible. For example: Procure your food locally; make your menus healthier by reducing sugar and meat, and increase ingredients that stimulate positive brain activity. Put your chef on stage to explain his efforts to increase wellbeing and sustainability choose eco-certified hotels and venues; design your event so that your participants can easily walk, bike and use public transport Work with your designers and suppliers so all your branding, stage sets and booths are made from sustainable materials and are recycled or reused after.
measure everythIng W Edwards Deming once said “In god we trust, all others must bring data“. It is critical that you have a plan to measure, analyse and transparently report on your key social, economic and environmental impacts. Work with your suppliers and use technology to collect data and to analyse audience awareness, satisfaction and behaviour change. At McI we say that “When people come together magic happens”. Events are a powerful tool to build your sustainable brand story and need to be a key strategy for you to create brand ambassadors.
cHInA - THE Eco DESTInATIon oF THE FUTUrE?
cHInA IS SHoWIng THE WorlD HoW IT IS TrAnSITIonIng FroM bEIng THE WorlD’S MoST PollUTED coUnTry To A SUSTAInAbIlITy lEADEr. Words: rogEr SIMonS
country with forests by 2020 turning china into “an ecological civilisation”. President xi Jinping has pointed out that “green is gold”, and that moving towards a new era of “Eco-civilisation” and building a “beautiful china” are key to realising the “chinese Dream” of rejuvenating the nation.
an expandIng global trend you may think we are being provocative but we like to think we’ve got a pretty nifty crystal ball at biz Events Asia and there are some exciting developments bubbling in china. The government has been focusing on soft power and investing more money in science and green tech industries than any other nation in the past years. It is clear to us that china has set its sights on being a science and sustainability world leader. From building the world’s latest radio telescope with a 1,650 ft dish through to becoming the world’s largest investor in renewable energy last year, spending a total of USD103 billion, or 36 percent of the world’s total – the evidence is clear. Every day, the stories continue to mount. Most recently, the chinese government announced dietary guidelines reducing meat consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by one billion tonnes by 2030 and an ambitious plan to cover nearly a quarter of the
So what does this mean for the business events industry? Well, simply, no industry is immune to the power shifts of globalisation and the era of sustainability. Earthcheck already has 30 projects under operation in china – from langham properties through to Alila, radisson and banyan Tree venues, as well as integrated resorts in Macau. MIcE destinations in china are developing rapidly, but with a newly discovered, environmentally conscious state of mind. Take chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province for example. Its focus is very much on Wenjiang, a satellite feeder city of the main capital. banyan Tree and Hong leong group are planning to invest SgD2.5 billion (USD1.8 billion) in this province alone. by 2020, the city will have a population of over 1.2 million lured by the environment and business opportunities. Mr xiong Zong Hui, vice-district head of the people’s government of chengdu, Wenjiang district stated, “The quality of life is better here. We think it is important to preserve our ecology and environment,
Tianfu Square, chengdu
including our lakes and rivers. We want to turn Wenjiang into a garden city”. Watch this destination for sustainable MIcE venues coming online. Elsewhere, Hainan has been the clear choice for environmentally conscious planners in china so far with its lush tropical landscape, green environment and leading hotels, but it is not going to rest on its laurels. boasting a great history as the signing place of a key UnEP Sustainable tourism declaration, the government is continuing to look into the future by delivering a strong sustainable tourism development plan with a green building focus. Watch out for more developments in the pipeline such as the 346-room Dhawa bo’ao, the first hotel in bo’ao offering quality spa with vibrant sustainable design elements. With over half of its guest rooms facing the sea, the hotel will have extensive banquet and meeting facilities, a restaurant and pool. The future is green and the future is definitely being “Made in china”.
ENgAgINg ThE FUTURE ThRoUgh LIvE ExpERIENCES
CoMMUNICATINg yoUR SUSTAINABILITy CoMMITMENTS To MILLENIALS EFFECTIvELy Words: pRANAv SEThApUTRA component makes them feel more connected to other people, the world and, indirectly, the brand holding the event. It’s for this reason that some brands are diversifying their engagement channels, focusing on running events where millennial consumers can experience their sustainability commitments faceto-face in addition to more traditional advertising routes.
Image courtesy of Symantec
There is no mistaking the swelling tide of attention to (and interest in) the sustainability performance of brands in today’s world. A survey conducted by Nielson for instance found that 55 percent of 30,000 consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay more for products and services from brands committed to sustainability. The question we are tempted to ask then is this - as events professionals, how do we promote our sustainability commitments to our consumers, delegates and employees? Let us focus on an audience segment crucial towards the success and longevity of any brand: The Millennials - a group that represents both the future consumers (with a spending power of USD3.39 trillion by 2018) and future leaders (accounting for 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025). The answer, in a nutshell, is sustainable events.
but why? After all, we’re aware of the statistics - millennials check their phones 43 times a day, 30 percent use four or more devices daily and 90 percent can be found on Facebook. It’s all about making our message heard online, right? Isn’t it about connecting with these digital natives on a platform they practically live on? But you see, therein lies the problem – millennials are being bombarded with
brand communications about sustainability all the time. Browse the websites of major consumer brands and you will see that most feature a section dedicated to their sustainability commitments and CSR activities. Many brands have even integrated messages about sustainability into their overall brand purpose, advertising and social media touchpoints. While this communication push is raising the profile of sustainability issues to consumers - which really, is a fantastic thing - their sheer ubiquity makes it difficult for audiences to determine which messages are really authentic and which brands are really leading in sustainability. So much so that - according to Deloitte – 75 percent of millennials believe that when brands talk about sustainability they are actually focused solely on marketing rather than on creating shared value.
On the flip side By incorporating sustainability into their face-to-face engagements with millennials, brands are able to showcase their products or services in an environment which promotes a sense of trust and authenticity. Research by Eventbrite in fact claims that as much as 69 percent of millennials believe that attending events with a strong sustainability
To engage its employees, information giant Symantec now incorporates sustainability into the entire life-cycle of their internal events, rethinking materials and design during the production process, telling compelling stories around the sustainability of their food, and working with Ngo’s like plant-for-the-planet on-site to promote their commitment to making the world a better place. Their 2014 vision Symposium EMEA alone increased employee awareness of their Corporate Responsibility programme by 28 percent. Likewise, other organisations have done exceedingly well at using sustainability at events to engage their consumers – brands such as the American restaurant chain Chipotle. Their “Cultivate” food and music festival attracts around 20,000 people annually and incorporates educational elements that let attendees see how food is raised and grown. Chipotle’s unconventional marketing approach - which also includes creating content that takes on industrial farming - plays a huge role in attracting millennials.
IT’S All AboUT MAKIng THE rIgHT cHoIcE Words: JEnnIFEr cHIng oF McI groUP
Image courtesy of Kyoto convention & Visitors bureau
“going green” isn’t just a Pr buzzword anymore as pioneering organisations across all industries are making serious efforts to manage their environmental and social impact. In the meetings and events world, a new ground-breaking initiative, the global Destination Sustainability Index (gDS-Index), was launched in March 2016 by IMEx, IccA and McI. Initially started by IccA’s Scandinavian chapter and McI, its goal is to drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in business tourism. As an event professional, why should you start paying attention to this global initiative and how can you benefit from it? In addition to helping event destinations improve their sustainability performance, the gDS-Index was also created to help planners:
1. understand the fundamentals of event sustaInabIlIty We’re used to corporate jargon, but when it comes to walking the talk, what are the concrete practices, steps and measures needed in order to align event operations with corporate values? Sustainability can be such an abstract concept – where do we start and what does it actually involve? After all, it’s not just about saving trees or recycling – local community impact and financial viability need to be considered as well. The gDS-Index breaks this complex topic down into bitesized pieces to help the event planner approach sustainability simply and holistically. by incorporating detailed evaluation criteria over four categories: environmental, social, supplier and convention bureau performance, the event professional can gain insight into best practices and learnings that are being implemented across destinations worldwide.
2. accurately assess and compare a destInatIon’s sustaInabIlIty performance given the variety of sustainable city indexes and data out there, how does one choose a destination without spending days (or even weeks) poring over their climate action plans or searching venue eco-certifications? More importantly, while certain indexes give an indication of sustainability, they do not include criteria that take into account MIcE-industry specific considerations such as venue accessibility, industry supplier support or convention bureau strategy. Thus an event industry professional will find that these rankings and reports may complicate the destination search process instead of making it easier – and being a planner is stressful enough as it is! To simplify this task, the gDS-Index works as a tool that allows planners and organisers to assess and compare a mix of global destinations and their unique features, including two major criteria that are events-industry specific: Supplier
Support (restaurants, hotels and convention centers) and convention bureau Strategy and Initiatives. This makes the gDS-Index the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide, created specifically to help destinations, event planners and suppliers to evaluate the sustainability strategies of destinations and their events industry.
3. JoIn the global mIce movement towards sustaInabIlIty The MIcE community needs to bring sustainability closer to the forefront of the industry, and joining this initiative is the first step towards incorporating more ecological practices into our events. “but sustainability was never a top priority for my client,” you may protest. However times are changing in the events sphere, and it’s no longer feasible for your client not to care (or for you to claim so). According to Julie lindsey, Director of gap Inc. global Events: “Sustainability in the meetings and events industry is not only good for brand perception, it’s becoming easier to execute and more noticeable to attendees and stakeholders. your attendees, customers, sponsors and employees will notice a sustainable meeting, and even more so an unsustainable one, so it’s a planner’s imperative to implement those meeting standards.” She continues, “This is why initiatives like the global Destination Sustainability Index are so useful and will only grow in importance. It is a perfect example of how we can connect with our community to implement and drive sustainability progress together.” Indeed, considering the boom in associations and corporate brands committing to sustainability, it won’t be long before demands for sustainable suppliers and eco-friendly destinations become trendier than Vogue. The event planner must now think of sustainability as a competitive edge and be armed with the right tools. Are you prepared? Find out more about the gDS-Index at www.gds-index.com.
SloW IT DoWn SloWIng DoWn IS EASIEr SAID THAn DonE. nEVErTHElESS, IT IS SoMETHIng To conSIDEr DoIng In orDEr To bUIlD rESIlIEncE. Words: El KWAng
Sleepless. breathless. Worry. Stress. Key words that may underpin the statement, “I am busy”, that city dwellers so often make. Ever sung a slow love song in rapid rhythm and sounding completely wrong or finding the lyrics not as meaningful as they were intended? “Think outside the box”, “be positive” - these dictums are easier said than followed. “be creative and innovative, or be left behind,” is such an imminent threat that at times, creates misalignment with core beliefs and causes the most passionate professionals to leave the industry.
This is the very threat that triggers the mistreatment of team members and suppliers. So what do we do now? My advice: Take it slow if you want yourself and your workforce to be sustainable. We simply cannot be successful all the time and that’s my honest truth. It is probably best to slow down and think before we make the next move. When our heads are clouded, misjudgement happens.
how to slow down? In the commercial world, reasons for the lack of pace are seldom tolerated.
Author of bestselling book In Praise of Slow, carl Honoré explained that slowing down does not mean disliking fast. He meant doing things at the correct pace, not just for the sake of doing it fast. Simply put, be present. Focus on the quality, not quantity and understanding what we are trying to achieve is the key. being reactive may convert the very scarce of business leads. However, not everyone in the business needs to be reactive. More often than not, being too available to customers may encourage them to disrespect the amount of time you have. So if you
allow them to be last minute, they will always seek your assistance at the very last minute too. So, in this instance, being fast is of no use. Asking “why are we really doing this?” may sift out unprofitable business leads and unproductive actions.
Just say no Sometimes it is better to say no in order to sustain ourselves and the people we invest in. Knowing when and what to say no to gives us more time in strategising and planning how to cope with market changes. Saying no sometimes help protect the brand in the event of having to scale down marketing and promotional activities. In an economic downturn, it is best to focus on doing things that will “move the needle”. For example, a fine dining restaurant that is tight on cash flow may launch a campaign with a mass market e-commerce channel like Groupon to generate covers. However, if not targeted and marketed properly, it may attract undesirable audience that has no repeat patronage potential and worse still, de-values the restaurant brand positioning in the long run. The discounting strategy is not all that bad however, discounting without reason other than the obvious “we need business” sentiment may alienate loyal customers who see value in your usual price points. It is best to stick to the occasion value-adds. If the higher price point strategy no longer works due to market change, then it may be time to redefine and rebrand the proposition to suit the current market needs instead of holding onto one that the audience no longer wants to buy. Slowing down and learning to say no may help build resilience. Renowned entrepreneur, Richard Branson, shared his experience with resilience on virgin.com and some of his comments resonated with me. He said that being a business leader is all about being resilient.
Resilience becomes the key to growing business once it surpasses the survival building stage. Branson wrote, “Resilience is like a callus on a rower’s palm. None of us are born with it – it takes years of hard work and sacrifice to build. When everything’s great, we wonder if we really need it, but when the going gets tough, we can’t do without it.”
sustainability beyond accreditation Often in the moment of panic, companies take on business leads that may not be profitable in the long run. Worse still, to remain competitive, they form unsustainable partnerships in the name of cost savings. “We don’t talk enough about sustainability that is beyond green meetings and accreditations,” said Selina Chavry, Global Managing Director of Pacific World in an exclusive interview with Biz Events Asia at IMEX America 2016. “Our industry is undergoing mass consolidation in line with the expectations of clients in all areas to get global. We must seek better understanding on the importance of a sustainable workforce and sustainable partnerships. Any relationship is only sustainable when it works for both parties and truly sustainable when it works for the end users tailoring to what the audience is looking for. Sustainable relationships should not be afraid of resolving possible conflicts at the very start and agree on the process of managing conflicts. An exit strategy established before the partnership begins is also key to managing expectations, external communications and post partnership relations,” added Chavry. Allowing the team to breathe during challenging times will enable them to gather their thoughts, analyse their feelings and chart their actions towards the direction their leader sets. Aligning the team’s mindset is crucial and preparing them to brace through the tough times using transparent communication and relevant information will help
them mature and build a sustainable workforce. If you were the customer, wouldn’t you choose to work with an event company with a reliable and resilient team than one exhausted from the economic changes?
events with stimuli How often do we misinterpret the delivery of an event that is multisensory versus over-sensory? George P Johnson Singapore’s Vice President and Managing Director, Chan Wee Teck said at a Singapore MICE Forum 2016 panel session that the art of event management is not to have too many surprise elements in one event that cause an event to lose its charms. It is best to bring the audience through a journey that builds towards that one or two wow moments that galvanises the event objectives. Tailoring catering options is also key to successful events. If most of the delegates staying in a conference hotel have experienced a sumptuous buffet at breakfast and substantial morning tea treats, they are unlikely going to be impressed by another buffet at lunch. More really does not mean good and in this case, delegates may lose the joy of eating which may affect the overall enjoyment and energy levels of the conference.
“The simple fact is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of business. Burn out in business is a very real thing.” RichaRd BRanson
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Slow food for thought The fame of destinations in Asia is tightly intertwined with food. The rapid economic development Asia is experiencing in this century has led to the increase in food consumption. Demand has exceeded supply, resulting in numerous food scams and over consumption at an ever increasing pace. Harvesting cycles and seasonality may be a thing of the past for impatient consumers and food source will be the next security concern if this disrespect continues in the name of busyness. According to Carl Honoré’s In Praise of Slow, culinary writer, Carlo Petrini, started the Slow Food movement in Italy in 1986 when a McDonald’s restaurant was opened beside the Spanish Steps in Rome. Slowfood.com explained that their initial aim was to defend regional traditions, good food, gastronomic pleasures and a slow pace of life. To eat in a slow pace could be on the secret wish list of many – it was certainly on mine. In September 2016, Biz Events Asia ventured to Lucca, a slow town in Northern Tuscany, Italy, to be with Tony and Julie Carter of Culinary Interludes. The Australian chef and his wife delivered a residential Italian cooking experience at Villa Novedieci, a 10-bedroom, 15th century restored farmhouse located in the Tuscan foothills. The daily cooking class focused on using fresh seasonal local produce where as many items were made fresh where feasible. Participants cooked what they ate and were taught original recipes that can be practically managed at home. Besides onsite cooking, the hosts included a flexible itinerary of visiting different local restaurants, markets, shops and tourist sites at a slow pace, be it having an ice cream whilst wondering about the medieval Ponte Della Maddalena (famously known as the Devil’s Bridge) on the Serchio River
or sipping a glass of prosecco whilst waiting to attend the nightly tribute concert to Puccini at the Church of San Giovanni in Lucca town, where the music legend was baptised in 1858. Other experiences the hosts introduced include seasonal food shopping at local markets and an inspiring visit to 78-year-old Carlo Galgani, the last blacksmith of a five-century family business located near Gombitelli. Most importantly, participants of different nationalities and different walks of life got to gather and share this experience. Perfect for a 20-delegate corporate incentive programme, the Culinary Interludes experience promotes the slow life many executives crave for. The location motivates team bonding and creative thinking. We personally experienced a long breathing moment that allowed one to rest well, live in the present and be ready to take on the future with a positive attitude. At the end of the day, we work to live and not live to work. La dolce vita.
WORDS anD PHOTOS: EL KWANG
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VEnuES EMBRACIng SuSTAInABIlITy EVEnT SuSTAInABIlITy IS SIMPlEST wHEn yOu CAn FInD A VEnuE THAT IS AlREADy ECO-RESPOnSIBlE. Words: gInA SIn
Plaza athenee Bangkok, a Royal MeRidian hotel After becoming the first hotel in the world to achieve ISO 20121 accreditation in 2015, Plaza Athenee Bangkok was successfully recertified for Sustainability Event Management Systems this year. The hotel’s innovative efforts in refurbishing its rooms, public and meeting spaces in the most sustainable way possible was most inspiring. Among the steps it took along the road to complete sustainability, Plaza Athenee Bangkok implemented a project whereby waste water from the hotel’s consumption is treated and reused to flush toilets, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in overall water consumption. Only the rice exclusively harvested from the Satjatham Rice Project in Thailand’s Amnat Charoen Province, which carries Organic Agriculture Certification Thailand confirming that it meets the exacting ACT-IFOAM organic standard are served. The hotel’s new “Farm to Function Project” seeks to support local communities by only buying rice directly from farmers, without involving middlemen who might reduce the revenue going to the farmers and their families.
hong kong Convention and exhiBition CentRe Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition
Plaza Athenee Bangkok, Ballroom Classroom
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Centre (Management) limited’s (HMl) event sustainability management system, operation procedures and guidelines ensure the concept of sustainability is fully incorporated into the entire event management cycle from booking, event planning, food & beverage services, procurement and waste management to staff training, onsite delivery and billing, as well as customer feedback handling. It also encompasses capital investments for reducing energy and water consumption, workplace health and safety as well as community service.
As part of its ongoing refurbishment and upgrading programme, Congress Plus, which serves up sustainable seafood and other eco-friendly fare, features eco-friendly décor such as bamboo flooring and screens made from recycled wine bottles. In recognition of its green design, it is the first outlet in the city to receive lEED gold Certification for Interior Design and Construction V2009 from the u.S. green Building Council, and the Silver rating of BEAM Plus Interiors V1.0 from the Hong Kong green Building Council.
olivier Chavy CEO at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts
MovenPiCk hotelS & ReSoRtS Movenpick’s record in environmental sustainability practices has resulted in it becoming the most green globecertified hotel company in the world. Part of it is its “Shine” programme, which encompasses environmental, social and employer sustainability, with education and support for local communities at its heart. In nepal for example, Movenpick has collaborated with Right4Children, offering disadvantaged young people intensive vocational and life-skills training, which will lead them to job opportunities in the hotels. Around 25 students participate in this programme every year. “Sustainability has for many years been a key commitment of Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and forms part of the business philosophy, natural Enjoyment. Sustainability is very important as it relates to hotel development and operations, including the environmental, economic and social impact. Sustainability is one of the most important issues currently facing our world,” said Olivier Chavy, CEO at Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.
MaRina Bay SandS Since 2010, Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore has sustainability ingrained in its design and operations. The integrated resort’s Sands ECO360° sustainability strategy guides the company in responsible operations across its business. Apart from green meeting options and solutions for a carbon-neutral event, event planners can create post-event carbon impact statements to detail their sustainable efforts. Industrial-grade blast chillers allow for the hygienic donation of food that has been over-ordered for events.
Marina Bay Sands EcoArk Taipei
Recognised internationally for its efforts at reducing waste and energy use and instilling environmentally friendly values, MBS is Singapore’s largest green commercial building certified green Mark Platinum by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). It is also Singapore’s first venue to obtain the MICE Sustainability Certification (Intermediate level) awarded by industry association, the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS). In addition, The Sands Expo and Convention Centre is Southeast Asia’s first MICE facility to obtain the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management System certification. Most recently, MBS was named the grand Award winner at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) grand and gold Awards 2016 for its Sands ECO360° Meetings Programme.
Turning trash into treasure, Taiwan’s EcoARK Pavilion located in Taipei is the world’s first fully functional, public structure made of POllIBRICK™. Built out of 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles, the nine-storey-tall EcoARK operates its public places totally off the grid, which cover an area the size of six basketball courts. The building’s internal environment comes courtesy of natural ventilation, an exterior waterfall which bathes the structure in water collected from rainstorms as well as POllIBRICK’s high insulation properties. Embedded solar power captured during the day runs EcoARK’s lED lighting systems at night. EcoARK Pavilion has already hosted numerous fashion shows, a music video filming and countless of public meetings. The building weighs 50 percent lesser than a conventional building, yet it is strong enough to withstand the forces of nature, including fire.
e r o p A g n I s o t n I lve
how s e rd Ad o r c T e A h r s, new AsI T I 6 1 w 0 nT e IA 2 Apore s m A T Ive n s g I n o ITB n I e p In s ed Ap mpreh p u ps Tch d A co A A r m w An re p s p h I hIg nersh up. e T pAr enT lIn T con A sIn In
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ITB ASIA pROJECTS RECORD fIRSTS
The ninth and biggest ITB Asia trade show yet concluded at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands with close to 8,000 travel and events professionals, of which 33 percent represented the business events sector. More than 15,000 mutually matched appointments between exhibitors and buyers were secured prior to the show, with over 60 percent of confirmed buyers recommended through exhibitors and trade show partners, according to Katrina Leung, Executive Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore). Hosted buyer Jefter Ang, Events Manager at Events Travel Asia based in Thailand said, “ITB Asia provided a good platform for me to meet many different people from the industry, share experiences, exchange market knowledge, spark new business ideas, create new business relationship and opportunities, and getting updates on the latest industry trends.”
into key corporate trends affecting the travel industry in Asia pacific and how businesses can effectively engage with the different generation of travellers. With business travellers making up 20 percent of the travel market and three times the spend as compared to leisure travellers, the panel urged businesses to not only focus on investing in the infrastructure, but also invest in technologies and activities that encourage two-way engagement. Highlights from ITB Asia 2016: Keynote sessions stretched across all three days, with the inaugural MICE Day on October 20 extended to a full-day conference lineup New partnerships with prominent
industry bodies such as the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS), and renewed agreement with the Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia pacific (ICESAp) Indonesia, finland and Japan have increased their exhibition space by more than 60 percent this year, with Indonesia making a record-breaking booth space of 400 sq m and 90 suppliers on its exhibition stand Newcomers exhibiting include panama and Taiwan An increase in show presence from airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air Berlin and finnair
In addition, a stimulating panel discussion by some of ITB Asia’s new partners such as CrescentRating and International SOS provided insights JefTer Ang Events Manager Events Travel Asia
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Star-struck in Singapore
Singapore’S thriving dining Scene recently got a Sprinkle of Michelin StarduSt, giving More delectable reaSonS to hold MeetingS and incentive tripS in thiS food haven. Harnessing Singapore’s melting pot of cultures and dynamism, meetings and incentive groups have a smorgasbord of culinary options round the clock that allows groups to get an immersive experience like none other. The city’s gastronomic scene was given a boost recently with
country in Southeast Asia and the latest Asian territory to be rated by the Guide after Japan, Hong Kong and Macau. It is testament to the city’s vibrant dining scene which ranks “among the most dynamic in Asia”, according to Michael Ellis, Michelin’s International Director.
Experiential dining Nothing charms the way a historical building does. The charm that is steeped in years of history and tradition are some of what makes Singapore’s culinary scene unique. Here are three Michelin restaurants whose locations are bound to encourage meaningful conversations while enjoying the breadth and depth of Singapore’s vibrant and dynamic dining landscape.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
at Singapore Botanic Gardens
Built in the 1920s, E J H Corner House was named after Eldred John Henry Corner, a botanist and mycologist who had served as Assistant Director at the Singapore Botanic Gardens (1926–1946). The restaurant is housed in a two-storey symmetrical “Black and White” colonial bungalow nestled among lush vegetation at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Gardens opened in 1859 as part of a long colonial tradition of creating European-style botanic gardens in the tropics. gardens, one-Michelin star Corner House serves Gastro-Botanica, the contemporary cuisine created by Chef Jason Tan which emphasises equivalent weight on the plate to protein and botanical elements. Along with his inventive approach to food, the building’s abundant natural lighting allows guests to remain bright and alert throughout their event.
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The Art Odette
distinctive Rotunda Dome
From now until May 2017, experience 10 themed dinners curated at Singapore’s Michelin starred restaurants.
at National Gallery Singapore
dinner events. For one night each month, these dinners will be uniquely themed to bring out the individual restaurant’s
Although Odette was only seat establishment has already earned a stellar reputation and
and history. Each course will be paired
serves modern French cuisine
at Raffles Hotel
and most iconic hotel, Shinji by
and artisanal produce. Its highly Instagrammable delicacies will provide the elements needed
two national monuments –
and culture venue in the heart great 19th century hotels. A century
on Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location,
Candlenut On November 25, 2016, discover the Malcolm Lee prepares a meal that takes
will evoke all culinary senses with intense
Jaan Westaway, reinterprets British classics as he throws light onto his childhood memories
declared a National Monument and Southeast Asian art in its permanent galleries and special exhibitions. It also works with leading museums globally the business and civic district. Even
Asian art in a wider context, positioning Singapore as a regional and international hub
Shisen Hanten On January 13, 2017, Japanese restaurant, Shisen Hanten, will present
chosen to put up at this hotel.
purchased online at guide.michelin.sg. showcase.
World Express visit www.yoursingapore.com/mice/m&i-experiences or email email@example.com.
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o t n veI
n a p a J l e D #
us c o s f of 40 t i ng get i n pe 0 tar r a sh s 202 s i it n e a s. v p r e a o i J ch visit a to ion l mil
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Upcoming meetings and events in Japan 57th Battery symposiUm in Japan – 15th World congress of mUsic therapy –
Sound advice from international event planners
23rd World congress of neUrology – World Bariatrics congress – international society of physical and rehaBilitation medicine –
AggreSSive 2020 viSion
18th World association for symphonic Bands and ensemBles international conference – icom’s 25th general conference – World congress of the international society for prosthetics and orthotics – 2020 tokyo olympic and paralympic games – 9th international orthodontic congress – 22nd World congress of the international federation of aUtomatic control 2023 –
INcENTIvE ITINErArY WITh susTAINAbIlITY AWArENEss GrOup sIzE: 50-100DElEGATEs
Morning Delegates arrive and check into hotel to refresh Delegates to attend a traditional tea ceremony or a refreshing zen meditation lesson Sumptuous green luncheon at the hotel Afternoon A scenic cruise to the Nihonbashi Bridge (one of Tokyoâ€™s oldest bridges) with an augmented reality tour around the bridge A three-hour Nihonbashi Tokyo indoor experience within the Coredo Muromachi shopping complex hosted by the Nihonbashi Information Centre. For efficiency, split delegates into groups of 10-20 and rotate them amongst the following activities:
Morning Breakfast at leisure followed by checkout at midmorning A visit up the Tokyo Skytree (the worldâ€™s tallest freestanding steel tower as of 2012) Luncheon by Master Chef Naoya Makimura at the Sky Restaurant 634 located on level 345 of the Skytree Afternoon
Light early dinner within the shopping complex before a two-hour free and easy retail experience Evening
#SustainabilityFactors Minimum transportation required for the activities conducted within the Coredo Muromachi shopping complex. As these activities are weather-proof, there are no additional resources required for a weather backup plan. Appreciating the conservation efforts of the Nihonbashi Bridge and its surroundings.
Evening An exclusive cruise dinner on Mariera Liner along
#SustainabilityFactors reduction of carbon emissions and energy savings achieved an annual rate of 1.362 through the district heating and cooling system of the Tokyo Skytree and its surrounding facilities. It is the highest level energy consumption and carbon emissions were dramatically reduced by about 44 percent and 50 percent, respectively, compared to individual heating and cooling systems.
NOV-DEC NOV-DEC2016 2016
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Morning Optional tai chi and zen meditation lessons by the bay (in front of the hotel) Breakfast at leisure Half-day company conference in the hotel with working lunch
Morning Breakfast at leisure A quick visit to Kokura Castle A 30-minute drive to Hiraodai Limestone Plateau and explore the Senbutsu calcareous cave
Afternoon A visit to Mojiko Retro Town including the Former Moji Mitsui Club (where Albert Einstein stayed on the day of his Nobel Peace Prize announcement), Blue Wing Moji Bridge (first bridge in Japan solely built for pedestrians and the first place in Fukuoka chosen as a “lovers sanctuary”) Patronise street food and local shops around the Mojiko town area Return to hotel to get changed for gala dinner Evening A 30-minute visit to the Kitakyushu Environment Museum A stroll to the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural and Human History for 30-minute networking drinks and museum tour, followed by a gala dinner amongst the dinosaur exhibits on the main show floor. #SustainabilityFactors From the Kitakyushu Environment Museum, delegates will learn how Kitakyushu transformed itself from an industrial wasteland with a nickname “sea of death” in the 1960s to the current environmental leading city. In June 2011, Kitakyushu was selected as one of four Model Cities in the world for Green Growth by OECD. The other cities were Chicago, Paris and Stockholm.
Afternoon Picnic luncheon followed by pottery and soba noodle-making workshops, and other team building exercises at the Hiraodai Countryside Park Evening High-end Japanese private dining experience at Kazanso Bekkan Restaurant An evening stroll along Naka River and Fukuoka city centre #SustainabilityFactors Being in nature and fresh air Sustainably sourced seafood served at the restaurant
A post-event sanctuary for event planners Located in the centre of Tokyo is the newly opened The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho – a Luxury Collection Hotel, a perfect place to decompress from the stress of managing an incentive programme. Upon checking into the luxurious high-tech accommodation room, you will be greeted by the captivating unblocked view of the lush green gardens surrounding the Imperial Palace. Treat yourself to a swim in the indoor pool or a gym workout followed by a spa treatment serviced by Swiss Perfection. The sauna, heated and cold pools within the privacy of the changing rooms have stunning city views. Order a cheerful glass of champagne at the kaleidoscope-like Sky Gallery Lounge Levita designed by renowned Rockwell Group Europe and dine in the “crystal with ice concept” Washoku Souten for some grilled fish and sushi before a guaranteed good night rest in one of Japan’s most comfortable hotel beds.
A local and low-key experience Visit Nagano, a small onsen town located around 1.5 hour Shinkansen train ride from Toyko. American propertier Tyler and his Japanese wife Mari returned from USA in 2005 to save their family Ryokan called Kamesei. With the couple’s bilingual capabilities, non-Japanese speakers can venture around the small town at ease. Onsen town offers over 33 dining experiences and visitors have 27 hotels and inns to select from.
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okinAwA’s mystErious islEs Biz EvEnts AsiA joinEd A group of 19 BuyErs from singAporE on A fAmiliArisAtion trip to okinAwA thAt rEvEAlEd An unExpEctEd sidE of jApAn. Words: ong wEnli stepping out of the naha Airport in okinawa, the group was met by strong gusts of wind and light rain that threatened to dampen everyone’s spirit. our local guide seiko assured us that it was only temporary, brought on by the tailwinds of a typhoon elsewhere in Asia. we realised that over the next four days as the balmy weather returned and the divers started going back out to sea. the okinawa prefecture, a chain of coralfringed islands, sits in the southernmost region of japan. Blessed with a pleasant tropical climate all year round, okinawa island is a hidden gem of an incentive travel destination for groups from the neighbouring regions.
closer to taiwan than mainland japan, okinawa’s prime location places it within a 2,000-kilometre radius of major cities including taipei, seoul, Beijing, shanghai, hong kong and manila. the ryukyu islands were once an independent kingdom for nearly five centuries enjoying a special bond with both china and japan. it was this very strategic location that also shaped its destiny. the ryukyu kingdom was deemed too important in the region’s maritime and political network and was eventually annexed by the japanese empire in 1879. it doesn’t come as a surprise then, that there are subtle differences
everywhere in okinawa that set it apart from mainland japan. the locals’ traditional ryukyu roots, later blended with japanese, chinese and western influences, have created a distinct culture of food, music and language. the okinawans are also adaptable and open-minded, in the case of embracing the American military bases. perhaps it is how they choose to view the world. the locals believe that their stress-free life is one factor leading to their welldocumented longevity (okinawa has the highest concentration of centenarians in the world). considering their combined wisdom, they might just be right.
Harmony wItH nature
networking reception at loisir hotel naha
the okinawa main island is surrounded by a cluster of smaller islands including kumejima and the kerama islands, which are popular for scuba diving, surfing and snorkelling. unspoilt by tourism and less crowded during the peak seasons, the outlying islands have become increasingly popular with micE groups. According to dmc okinawa inc, they have had requests from clients who
The dense forests in the northern part of the main island are home to some indigenous species found only on Okinawa which we have to conserve
Coral Dyeing at Shuri Ryusen
wanted to book an entire island for a team building session or organise an Amazing Race-themed event on bicycles across multiple islands.
Park offers a sustainable way to explore marine life with its Underwater Observatory, a 360-degree underwater view of the local marine species.
Speaking to Biz Events Asia, Shuhei Kohagura, Senior Specialist at the Okinawa Convention and Visitor Bureau (OCVB) said that one of Okinawa’s strengths lies in its pristine nature. “The dense forests in the northern part of the main island are home to some indigenous species found only on Okinawa which we have to conserve,” he added, noting that conservation efforts sometimes get in the way of speeding up tourism development.
This fierce sense of preservation is evident with several local hotels and tourism associations setting out plans for coral and mangrove planting. Some of the areas are so regulated that only limited operators can arrange for snorkelling or scuba diving, so as to preserve the coral reefs in the area. The Busena Marine Park located in the Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National
A new convention centre is currently being constructed along the east coast of Okinawa which will be ready by 2020. Meanwhile on the island where the martial arts form, Karate, originated, an Okinawa Olympics Kaikan martial arts hall is set to open next year, all leading up to the major sporting event taking place in less than four years. The new centre will be Okinawa’s third convention facility, offering a 30,000 sq m exhibition hall and about 30 conference rooms. Expected to accommodate up to 20,000 guests, the convention centre is a key part of the government’s plan to attract 40 million overseas guests by 2020. For now, the elegant Bankoku Shinryokan where the G8 Summit was hosted in 2000 has a maximum capacity of 500 guests (theatre-seating) while the Okinawa
Buyers in Gangala Valley
Convention Centre can accommodate 5,000 guests in its exhibition hall.
driven by incentiveS Nearly eight million overseas visitors travelled to Okinawa in 2015 and Kohagura estimates that 60 percent of MICE visitors were incentive groups. It’s not difficult to imagine why - Okinawa offers one-of-a-kind activities that will be difficult to replicate anywhere else in Japan. Shuri Ryusen was a pioneer and is now the only operator offering coral printing since the picking of corals has been disallowed. President Oshiro Hiromi took over her father’s research into
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Gangala Cave Party
natural plant dyes and Shuri Ryusen is now more than a retail shop, offering coral printing workshops and an educational element into Bingata dyeing – a traditional Okinawan art form. The island of Yonaguni, Yaeyama district, is the westernmost inhabited region of Japan. It isn’t easy to get to, with only one flight per day from Naha Airport, but it is worth the effort. The Yonaguni Submarine Ruins is an underwater rock formation that has until today, divided scientists and researchers on its origin. Also not to be missed are the diving sites off Yonaguni where hundreds of Hammerhead Sharks pass through annually around spring. As Okinawa charges ahead with its tourism development plans, doubts surrounding the American military bases continue to loom overhead. One thing is for sure, the Okinawans are adaptable and the enigmatic islands will continue to lure visitors curious about its mysterious natural wonders and original blend of Japanese hospitality.
Three uniquely Okinawan venues Three uniquely Okinawan venues 1. The 45,000 sq m Valley of Gangala was originally a limestone cave that collapsed after hundreds of thousands of years. In its place a dense rainforest has since taken over the valley and was recently the excavation site of a 20,000 year old shellfish tool and human fossil. The valley is suitable for events of up to 600 standing guests and can accommodate a variety of events including a full-course dinner and traditional performances. www.gangala.com 2. In the city of Nago, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers a party venue for up to 100 guests against the backdrop of its Kuroshio Sea Tank. A pioneer in breeding and replicating the natural marine environment, the impressive display houses three eight-metre whale sharks and the world’s first manta ray that was bred in captivity. https://churaumi.okinawa/en 3. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Katsuren Castle, Uruma, offers guests the ability to step back in time amidst the ruins of the ancient structure. Archaeologists recently uncovered coins dating back to the Roman and Ottoman empires that have since remained a mystery to researchers. http://katsurenjo.jp/en/
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# ConsCious events Catering
It Is absolutely possIble to serve sustaInable, organIc produce and manage food waste all at the same tIme.
event planners can look forward to healthier menu options at grand Hyatt singapore with dishes that include sustainably sourced seafood and organic low carbon footprint vegetables. organic, seasonal, low carbon footprint vegetables sourced from the hotel’s cooperative growers from Cameron Highlands, along with herbs grown on the hotel’s rooftop garden, have been supplementing grand Hyatt singapore’s daily market list since mid-2016. the hotel has also been procuring its seafood from suppliers accredited by the aquaculture stewardship Council (asC) and Marine stewardship Council (MsC). these councils certify and regulate members of the supply chain to ensure responsible farming and fishing practices are maintained. asC and MsC certified sustainable tiger prawns, oysters, lobsters, salmon and other farmed and wild seafood are staples in the hotel’s events and restaurant kitchens. in 2015, grand Hyatt singapore was awarded Chain of Custody (CoC)
certifications by asC and MsC, and was also one of the first hotels in asia to achieve this traceability and segregation standard for seafood.
pointing out that the traceability of the heirloom organic vegetables’ origins makes for memorable conversations with event attendees.
utilising a combination of these ingredients whenever possible, many of the dishes on its events menus are tailor-made, such as the sustainable Patagonian toothfish dish that was recently served.
though the health benefits (such as the absence of allergy-triggering pesticides and hormones) of consuming sustainably sourced, organic produce have been long well-known, the hotel’s partnership with farms in the Cameron Highlands also reduces the carbon footprint of each shipment of vegetables significantly. Being driven from Malaysia instead of flown from australia and europe means the weekly 150kg of vegetables being sent to the hotel has a carbon footprint measured to be up to 133 times less.
executive sous Chef soren Lascelles explains, “the dish was created using sustainably caught wild MsC toothfish, roasted vegetables from the Cameron Highlands organic farms, and salsa verde sauce made using herbs plucked right from the rooftop garden.” Chef soren adds that guests enjoy hearing stories about the food they eat,
the usage of these ingredients will further reinforce our core dining philosophy: to have “Food. thoughtfully sourced. Carefully served.” Moving forward, grand Hyatt singapore will be continuing to expand upon its adoption of organic, sustainable, and low environmental impact ingredients for their menus. other corporate initiatives successfully launched include digital newspapers and magazines, and the Biomax waste-to-fertiliser converter which keeps food wastage from the hotel at zero.
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changing issues for pcos The world of inTernaTional associaTion congress organising is a specialisT bubble and rife wiTh varying expecTaTions from all sides, be iT culTural gaps or logisTics ThaT are accepTed pracTices ThoughT To be globally neuTral. Words: Jennifer salsbury
getting things done in asia according to international expectations often loses something in translation. being aware of these gaps is a first step to resolving misunderstandings. but times are changing for all.
The TemplaTe soluTion for some years now the asia pacific region has been accepted as the fastest growing area for hosting international or regional association congresses. matched with fast developing economies, the area has become a desirable market place for associations to support members by opening up new trading connections, bringing cutting edge science to developing countries and also exploring opportunities related to research that have sprung up in medical, science and technology fields specific to the region. how do established organisations bring their events that have become set in style with procedures that are probably more linked to the way things are done in europe or north america? one way organisations have found to do this is to draw up templates of requirements which are there to keep the style and nature of the established congress and also to ensure the tried and tested ways of making money from the event are followed.
as we know in asia, there are many ways of getting things done and very often the professional organisers are not the extreme purist pco (professional conference organiser) as is known in the “western” world since they have to manage many types of events happening for asia-based associations – it is interesting to get their viewpoint on some of the pitfalls international organisers commonly step into. “The ‘template’ style has its pluses and minuses,” states roslyn mcleod of australia-based pco, arinex, actively working in the asian region since 1980s. “The advantage is that it does drive a higher quality of programme which will attract global participants. however, it tends to diminish the exposure of local speakers unless there is smart management.” continuing this thought, arinex colleague phillipa seeto explains, “There is a gross underestimation of the benefit of investing in local expertise via its members and suppliers when this type of template is applied – every destination is noT the same. invariably the headquarters’ secretariat is disappointed with the cooperation it does not receive.”
Common misConCepTions outlining the areas of misunderstandings, bangkok based marcel ewals of mci group cites three key points when managing the expectations of all stakeholders involved: a balancing act between the local organising committee (loc) and the international headquarters of the society covering off the asian need to “pay-back” or “give respect” for favours and assistance during the development of the event and the firm belief that low rates equals more delegates blurring of boundaries to undertake any task loc wants rather than professionally managing a tightly budgeted event
new ouTlooks; new Challenges he brings up an area that often confounds the international organiser – so many staff phillipa seeto
aware that there are cultural differences and that decision-making, for example, is very different in Asia this is equally applicable the other way around – many of our students (and also in other schools when I teach across Asia) do not have a sufficient global outlook and understanding of Western culture, including how decisions are reached and some of the basic cultural norms – mutual understanding is vital in an international context.”
Congress Corp On The Job Training
but where’s the decision maker? Marcel elaborates, “An Asian client typically feels that the PCO team is understaffed if he only sees one person, even though there may be many specialist divisions in the organisation working on the project behind the scenes. To satisfy this perception, most Asian PCOs work with a key project co-ordinator and a relatively large team of supporting help who have little decision-making capacity. Only with a strong and experienced Project Manager who is able to anticipate early on the differences and manage the expectations, can these challenges be properly steered. This requires a personality that can diplomatically say no and explain why.” The aspect of developing relationships is highlighted by Kitty Wong of K&A Conferences in Taiwan. “Business in key Asian cities like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore pretty much runs along
western international standard lines. But international organisers coming into the region don’t immediately see that behind-the-scenes things are happening differently – coming to Asia, it takes a while to realise how important it is to make friends and build relationships, the ‘copy/paste’ option is not an option,” she states outlining the network of relationships within the World PCO Alliance (WPCOA). Supporting the view Jason Yeh, CEO of Taiwan’s GIS Group brings up the changing nature of these conferences: “A main challenge is the need to think beyond just conference organising. This is faced by not only the Asian based PCO companies but also by PCO companies worldwide. In other words, the new expectations from clients are focused not only on services, logistic management and financial results but also on attendees’ unique experiences of learning and networking. Therefore the companies, in this particular industry, need to change their mindset.” A prime need he identifies is “to teach PCO staff to find the right speakers, speech content and to design a meeting format in order to increase interactive communication – none of the above was required in the past”. This changing need is being picked up by educators and, in the well-respected School of Hotel & Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Associate Professor Karin Weber accepts that “whilst HQ staff have to be
Noting the shift away from focusing on logistics towards ensuring the “memorable experience” as outlined by Jason Yeh, Karin highlights the challenge for Asian students “to move away from following pre-conceived notions and procedures to really be creative and be so in a manner that is accepted by Western decision-makers. Many students find that challenging; that is of course applicable to many disciplines so innovative solutions and ways of thinking have to be emphasised across programmes rather than being specific to the teaching of business events.” Summing up the two areas of mutual understanding and the development of creativity, Karin states: “I do not see these two areas sufficiently covered to date in education/training programmes – many of the programmes offered now focus on the standard requirements for planning and managing events, but given the shifts in meeting management globally and the continued globalisation I don’t see too much on these two aspects.”
Industry educatIon desIgned for the regIon With this thought in mind, it is exciting times for the new developments identified recently by IAPCO trainers in their bespoke series of “Edge” seminars within the Asian region. IAPCO President Jan Tonkin indicates: “We are highly respecful of being in the Asian space and the additional feedback we get will help us fine tune the programme.” IAPCO has worked for many years in the region with a high level of CVB engagement in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Macao, Korea and Indonesia originally providing bespoke training for the local specialist trade now offering a completely tailored “Edge Seminar”. The first was run in Suzhou, China on July 4-6 this year, with Seoul slated for November 1719, 2016, and Kuala Lumpur September 18-20, 2017. Additionally, the programme for the 55th ICCA Congress in Kuching on November, 13-16, 2016 with its emphasis on the “Global Tribe” is highly anticipated – a must-attend event for professionals in Asia.
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THE DEATH OF EvENT ExPErIENTIAL MArKETING Words: EL KWANG Timo Kiuru, CEO of The Unthinkable, started the knowledge session with a statement, “Welcome to the death of event experiential marketing.” Kiuru, recognised by Connect Corporate Magazine as a “40 under 40” industry leader, has strong events experience from being the creative director of events such as Samsung Galaxy S6 events in Barcelona and Paris. He was also the event director for Helsinki Fashion Weekend and Nokia World Abu Dhabi.
experienced the augmented reality of the Nihonbashi Bridge during a recent visit to Tokyo. That gave a more in-depth understanding of the significance of the bridge to the Japanese people.
He further teased the audience with a new term “Digiperiential Marketing”. In other words, the merger of digital and experiential marketing; an online and offline strategy that supports each other.
Data collection will be the key to successful businesses. Event planners can capture sensory and behavioural data onsite to gain better insights and be better at measuring the return of investment.
The digiTal impacT
There is also a predicted increase in technological innovations like robots. Technologies have better mathematical and decision making capabilities than humans which may threaten employment, however it is the human’s gift of ideas and empathy that will see technology creating more jobs the way Uber does.
Using data collected from the target audience, planners can create a journey of digital experience before, during and after the event. For example, event agencies could use augmented reality floor plans as a design and idea communication tool. Many alike Flight Centre Travel have started using virtual reality, giving travellers an immersive simulation of a destination experience to influence their buying decisions. Augmented reality has been predicted to affect the business events industry like it has with architecture and interior design industries. Biz Events Asia recently
Mixed reality, which means virtual and augmented reality without the use of the headset, will make its impact on the events industry soon. The homepage of Magic Leap website clearly demonstrates the future of mixed reality.
Experiential marketing will have a stronger future when working with the architecture industry. This can been seen for example, in the new class of sustainable, multi-functional convention centres like ICC Sydney that aims to develop a brand new multi-sensory event experience that enables itself to be deeply etched deep into the memory.
FaST FacTS: 12,227 meetings, events and incentive travel industry professionals attended IMEx America, representing a 14 percent increase from the previous year. 73 percent of 3,216 hosted buyers from 60 countries were from the US and Canada. Long haul buyers came from China, India, Australia, Japan, russia and the UK. 60,000 pre-scheduled appointments were made, with 10,000 buyers who took part in group appointments. A record 3,250 companies exhibited with 24 percent that booked bigger spaces at the show. Asia Pacific saw a seven percent increase in participation. Over 1,000 meeting professionals attended Smart Monday, powered by MPI with 66 education sessions arranged. The 3rd PCMA Business School was held as part of IMEx America’s Smart Monday. The latest MBA-level education course is titled “Make your ideas stick with persuasive presentation skills”.
Event planners are encouraged to be open to unpredictable changes that call for experimenting with new ideas leading to prompt true innovations. “Do something that has never been done before,” said Kiuru in his closing remark.
Biz Events Asia’s #Knowledge section is brought to you by the Singapore Institute of Technology.
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5 BASIc IdEAS for BUIldInG A GrEAT EvEnT APP GIvEn ThE omnIPrESEncE of moBIlES, IT IS only nATUrAl ThAT EvEnT PlAnnErS WoUld WAnT An APP To AccomPAny vISITorS ThroUGhoUT ThE EvEnT ExPErIEncES ThEy hAvE crAfTEd. A quick check through Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store confirms it – we have event apps galore, from generic to bespoke, from evergreen favourites to one-offs created for specific events. Event apps can be great tools to extend your event experience. Used right, they can initiate conversations, extend engagement, and build affinity with your brands and products. They can generate leads, upsell, introduce your products, expound a new corporate philosophy, and be your invisible salesman. They can even help your event to live on – at least in effect and influence – long after the last attendee has gone home. The humble app can be powerful indeed. But in the course of my work, I also hear about the downsides: the app is expensive to build; no-one downloads it; it doesn’t work; it’s a “white elephant”. App builders particularly loath to hear that last comment. Before you invest resources into an event app, we thought we’d put together the top five considerations you want to keep in mind before you start building:
1. Set yoUr objectiveS Perhaps you think this is too obvious to be stated, but spending the time to set down exactly what you expect your event app to do will
pay off down the line. In particular, consider what you want to get from your subscribers, and why. If you can answer these questions, you can chart the profile and types of data to be included when you start collecting.
2. Plan it right from the Start If an app is going to be a part of your event, it should be integral to it and not an afterthought. Why? Because if the app is done right, your attendees can use it to create a profile – and you get a superb new engagement tool.
3. integrate, integrate, integrate That waterfall of data from the app is useless unless you have the means to integrate it back into your central marketing or sales database. The idea is to build a full picture of every contact.
4. KeeP UP the converSation Incorporate data points like brochure downloads, enquiries, scans, posts and so on. These data go beyond the easy-totrack parameters like traffic and
Words: SElEnE chIn mAnAGInG dIrEcTor PIco PIxEl PTE lTd visitations to give you a picture of the event’s soft metrics: the audience’s level of interest in the brand, their satisfaction, and the perceived quality of the experience. Better yet, by including features like update notification, your app can facilitate interaction long after the event itself, extending the audience’s immersion in the brand and helping you to funnel potential leads into actual sales conversations. In the long run, it can even sow the seeds of a growing community of followers.
5. nUrtUre groWth Always use all available data when planning your campaigns. The more you work with this data, the stronger your base will become. Then, start planting opportunities for organic growth.
BIZ EVENTS ASIA
A comprehensive and content-rich destination and venues guide dedicated to MICE professionals and corporate buyers in Asia Pacific.
ƺǝ ¸ëÊļǑğĭħāǝëŧĹĭŀőļë and çĎļëáŇǝÊááëŀŀ to top-tier qualified corporate event planners and buyers in Asia Pacific ƺǝ ĹǝŇĭǝƌƼƄƄƄǝáĭĹĎëŀǝdistributed with àĭħőŀǝçĎŀŇļĎàőŇĎĭħ at major tradeshows in 2017 Editorial coverage of ƅƊǝĜëŨǝçëŀŇĎħÊŇĎĭħŀ in Asia ƺǝ Bǝ ƺǝ ]ħĭŝğëçāëǑÿĭáőŀëç meeting planning and event management tips by Pacific World ƺǝ ĎāĎŇÊğǝÊááëŀŀ to an online venue search directory on bizeventsasia.com
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POwERING PARTNERshIPs IT&CMA ANd CTw AsIA-PACIfIC 2016 TRAdE shOws CONClUdEd IN BANGKOK, ThAIlANd, wITh INCREAsEd COllABORATION ANd A shIfTING TRENd IN CORPORATE TRAVEl. Over 10,000 business appointments took place during the three-day show that was deemed to be the best yet, according to the organiser’s feedback from attendees and delegates across the board. This year saw Carlson Rezidor Group, Monaco Government Tourist Office Asia Bureau and Visit Berlin as first time exhibitors. 18 National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs), corporates, and various organisations snapped up close to 30 engagement sessions. The exclusivelybranded platforms included media briefings, destination presentations, and social networking functions, which allowed hosts and sponsors to effectively introduce their brands and destinations to their target delegate profiles. The Korea MICE Association (KMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) to collaborate on the education and training of business events professionals and strengthening of
business platforms for the development of the industry in both countries. This follows a slew of MoU agreements from previous years. KMA signed with the Japan Convention Management Association in 2013, with the singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and suppliers in 2014, and another with the China MICE Committee in 2015. The agreement between KMA and TICA will spur the following: • Collaboration between KMA and TICA aims to contribute to the economies of both countries and enhance of international goodwill and cooperation • KMA and TICA will invite members of each other’s association to attend respective educational meetings and sessions • Promotion of both associations’ internship programmes and accepting interns to the maximum extent possible • Both associations will contribute to each other’s events by sending speakers to meetings organised, sponsored or supported by either party. • KMA and TICA will coordinate and develop further details for the execution of this memorandum as well as additional activities where possible Co-locating with IT&CMA for the 13th year, the CTw Asia-Pacific conference programme took place within the exhibition hall for the first time to facilitate closer proximity and interaction with IT&CMA delegates. Together,
both shows offered over 100 valuable business, education and networking sessions. One of the most anticipated headliners include Airbnb for Business. while concerns over safety towards Airbnb remain rife in the corporate travel industry, Kevin hoong, Business Travel lead, Asia-Pacific, revealed, “A wanderlust trend is showing up in the way people approach how they travel for business. In 2016, Airbnb for Business tripled in growth. As people are increasingly finding ways to combine business trips with weekend stays, and in this ever connected world, Airbnb helps companies and employees find ways to create unique local experiences around the world even if they are on the road for work.” IT&CMA will return to the Bangkok Convention Centre at Centralworld Bangkok, Thailand, to foster more growth opportunities in the business events and corporate travel industries from september 26-28, 2017.
wINE dOwN ITB AsIA 2016 here are some of the pictures taken from one of the most anticipated wine down event of the year organised by ACI hR solutions and Biz Events Asia. held at PARKROYAl on Beach Road, wine down ITB Asia 2016 gathered over 250 attendees from the hospitality and business events industries to network and wind down after a long day of meetings and conferences at ITB Asia 2016 trade show. Through driving simulators, guests got to test their driving skills in line with title sponsor Avis Budget Groupâ€™s Avis Best Road and Avis driving Ratio. Those with the best results walked home with prizes such as a complimentary three-day and seven-day car rental at any Avis or Budget locations worldwide. supported by hotel Technology Conference and hotel Management singapore summit, the event was also sponsored by Oracle hospitality; handy, a smartphone rental service that top hotel brands on every continent around world is using; and Qooco, which provides mobile language and vocational training solutions for employees in hospitality and service industries.
#Deals visit www.bizeventsasia.com/deals for more deals online
Harbour Grand Hong Kong HONG KONG
From now until December 2017, plan your meeting at Harbour Grand Hong Kong to enjoy complimentary room or suite upgrade, and more. Benefits include limousine service to and from airport for the organiser, complimentary use of internet in both guest rooms and meeting venues, complimentary use of the meeting room at its Business Centre and one-hour complimentary use of rooftop viewing deck for daytime group activities. Tel: +852 2121 2672 Email:email@example.com
Grand Hyatt Macau MACAO
Marina Mandarin Singapore SINGAPORE
Grand Hyatt Macau is offering a Residential Meeting Package from USD260 per person per night, inclusive of accommodation, full-day meeting package, daily breakfast, complimentary minibar refreshment and regular laundry and pressing services. Offer is valid until December 31, 2016 (excluding Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays), and is applicable to a minimum booking of 20 rooms per night.
Marina Mandarin Singapore seeks to deliver the best as they cater to business needs with their full suite of dedicated facilities and services. Room rates start from SGD280 (USD203.8) ++, inclusive of complimentary breakfast and wifi. Seminar rates start from SGD95++. Value-adds include welcome refreshments, two coffee breaks with two snack items and on organised lunch, complimentary use of LCD projector, and complimentary soft drinks during lunch.
Tel: +853 8868 1788 Email:macgh-sales.and.events@ hyatt.com
Tel: +65 6845 1010 Email: mktg-sales.marina@ meritushotels.com
Novotel Bali Nusa Dua Hotel & Residences INDONESIA
Meeting at Novotel Bali Nusa Dua offers personalised service to ensure business meetings or social functions are carried with perfection. Valid for meetings held until December 20, 2016, Meeting Galore Package starts from USD99 nett per person, including accommodation, breakfast, coffee break, lunch, dinner, meeting room and 30 percent discount for spa (outside happy hours). A full-day meeting package starts from USD50 nett per person, while a halfday meeting package starts from USD40 nett per person. Tel: +62 361 8480555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published on Nov 6, 2016