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MICE the

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

VOL 3 / NO 1

£3.45 / €4.50

BERLIN Gateway to the future of über-smart eco-conferencing

MASTERCARD THE ESSENTIALS OF A CORPORATE MEETINGS AND EVENT POLICY ENHANCING THE ART OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION VIDEOCONFERENCING

GERMANY LUXEMBOURG SOUTH AFRICA SINGAPORE TRINIDAD & TOBAGO Cover Vol 3 Issue 1 Varnish.indd 2

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The Spirit of Berlin A cultural extravaganza in the Millennium City

editor’s letter

Editor Charles Vandeleur

Advertising Sales James Stone Peter Ritter Lucy Goldsmith Publishing Director Julian Bonny Finance Director Andrew Lidstone Subscriptions Manager Daisy Mills Published by Raellen Communications Ltd 2nd Floor, 145-157 St John Street London EC1V 4PY United Kingdom Tel: +44 208 777 8355 Fax: +44 208 776 2682

In this age of austerity, the financial experts at MasterCard provide an essential master class in Cost Control, with a lucid guide to managing event expenditure through the introduction of a corporate meetings and events policy. We also peek behind the velvet curtain at the value-for-money conferencing opportunities in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Culture plays a crucial role in shaping the outcomes of international MICE events, and we highlight the cultural offers at some of the world’s most stimulating destinations. From the diverse cuisines, customs and festivals of multicultural Singapore, the timeless grace and romance of Luxembourg, the stress-free lifestyle and musical heritage of Trinidad and Tobago to the exhilaration of staying in the heart of New York, we explore an array of cultural prospects across the globe. An in-depth feature on Berlin, the Millennium City, also provides a special insight into ‘the greatest cultural extravaganza one could imagine’. For the splash of Colour that enhances the backdrop of every meeting, we traverse a rich spectrum of global destinations and events. From green meetings at the top MICE destinations in Germany, to wildlife safaris and pristine beaches in South Africa, the Rainbow Nation; from the sun-kissed paradise of Terre Blanche in Provence, to the must-see technicolour exhibitions at the IMEX Frankfurt exposition, we paint the full picture for event organisers. As the video age reaches maturity, we investigate the advanced tools of Communication that supplement business travel and facilitate MICE organisation with a look at the videoconferencing opportunities available from Lifesize, one of the world’s foremost communication companies. And with comprehensive reviews of luxury hotels and conference resorts across the globe, this edition of The MICE Report supplies the secret ingredients for delivering the perfect event.

MICE the

Newsagents please contact W.E. Saarbach GmbH Tel +49 2233 79963

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

Charles Vandeleur

MICE the

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Design & Print Production Phillip Wentworth

T

he trick to delivering the perfect event is to inject the extra ingredient that transforms a satisfactory experience into a legendary occasion. Whether a high-calibre international conference, a dealsealing meeting in a conducive location, or a unique incentive reward, the secret to success lies in clinching that elusive element. In this issue, we decode the DNA of the ideal event and unravel the four C’s of MICE success: Cost Control, Culture, Colour and Communication.

report

Editorial Team Cliff James Ed Carpenter Peter Morrin Neil Walden

in association with

OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER

MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

VOL 3 / NO 1

£3.45 / €4.50

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All rights reserved. All material in The Mice Report is wholly copyrighted and reproduction without the written permission of the publisher is strictly forbidden. The views expressed in this publication are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Raellen Communications Ltd. The information in this publication is carefully researched and produced in good faith. However, neither the publisher nor the editors accept responsibility for any errors.

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003 Editors Message [R].indd 1

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MICE

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MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

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>> FEATURES 20 MasterCard The essentials of a corporate meeting and event policy

36 Imex Frankfurt Strong Turnout for 2011 Show

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Meetings in Eastern Europe Sleek meetings behind the Velvet Curtain

>> VIDEOCONFERENCING 10

Telepresence The fine art of business communication

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Lifesize Videoconferencing Video: changing the face of business communication

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>> Destination Reports 14 Singapore - The Lion City Sophisticated fusion in the Far East 40 For the love of Luxembourg Modern adventures in a mediaeval fairytale

47 Trinidad & Tobago MICE paradise in Trinidad and Tobago

>> Hotel Reviews 18 Federal Palace Hotel and Casino Sun International shines on Lagos 60 Flatotel Sweet American Dreams 67 Hilton Madrid Airport Madridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s masterpiece of modern design 69 Aphrodite Hills Conference and incentive travel made easy

45 Grand Hyatt Regency Trinidad Sophisticated conferencing in the serene

55 South Africa Exclusive adventures in the Rainbow Nation

25 Destination Germany Top marks for the pioneer of green meetings

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28 The Spirit of Berlin A cultural extravaganza in the Millennium City

32 Frankfurt am Main High-end hospitality in the MICE capital

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Caribbean

64 Terre Blanche A blissful paradise in the heart of Provence

16 Sensational Sentosa The world in one resort 08 | themicereport

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

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hen the composer John Powell said that, ‘communication works for those who work at it’, he could never have known how true this would be for businesses in the 21st century. For decades, the communications industry has indeed worked tirelessly at perfecting telecommunication technologies to enable organisations to interact across the globe. Consequently, videoconferencing and advanced telepresence systems have become an established channel for businesses to interact with personnel in other offices – particularly in scenarios where a telephone call is not enough but travel cannot be justified. In terms of human interaction, nothing can surpass the quality of a face-to-face exchange of ideas between parties in the same room, and certain activities – such as networking events, international conferences, dealclinching meetings, exhibition attendance and incentive trips – are unlikely to ever be fully simulated. However, the quality and reach of videoconferencing has developed significantly since the first analogue systems were trialled, using cable and radio frequencies, by national post office networks in the 1930s. AT&T – the telecommunications company founded by the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell – first showcased the integrated audio-visual Picturephone in New York’s 1964 World’s Fair, although the flaws of this early technology were manifold. Not only prohibitively expensive, the Picturephone’s slow speed, poor picture quality and inadequate video compression capability meant that videoconferencing was effectively kicked into the long grass for two decades. With the advent of digital telephone transmission networks in the 1980s, the prospect of fast, inexpensive, high-quality videoconferencing became a real possibility once again. In particular, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) provided the simultaneous transmission of voice and video data over the existing telephone networks. The rapid evolution of competitive videoconferencing systems throughout the 1990s – notably those employing IP (Internet Protocol)-based systems – overcame the audiovisual flaws of earlier models and enabled the swift expansion of videoconferencing between any locations with an internet connection. Free online telecommunication services, such

as Skype, have made videotelephony popular in the 21st century, but it was with the first high-definition videoconferencing system, unveiled by the industry experts LifeSize Communications at the Las Vega Interop exhibition in 2005, that visual collaboration really came into its own. Broadcasting 30 frames a second at a display resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels, LifeSize revolutionised human communication. Instantaneous, high definition videoconferencing is now a standard aspect of communication for most international corporations, government departments and education institutions. The early defects of videoconferencing have largely been resolved as the technology has improved. De Montfort University in the UK, for example, first began to utilise videoconferencing in the mid 1990s to reduce staff travel costs and address the teaching problems it experienced as a result of running numerous sites dispersed across the East Midlands. An early study on videoconferencing at this university revealed that many users found it difficult to hear colleagues at the remote site due to poor sound quality, and that the theatre-style seating layout of the room inhibited participants from contributing. Subsequent advances in audio quality have eradicated sound problems, and a rearrangement of the seating positions – changing the position of the video screen – was found to significantly increase participation. De Montfort University has now expanded its use of videoconferencing to communicate with postgraduate students across the globe. Another benefit of videoconferencing is that the option of attending face-to-face meetings with colleagues in other locations is not always possible, though the benefits of such interactions are considerable. Social psychologists have produced consistent studies about the extent that non-verbal gestures, facial expressions and intonation influence how well information is received. The psychologist Albert Mehrabian, for example, concluded that only seven percent of communication is verbal, whereas 93% of communication is received through intonations and facial expressions. While other theories suggest that up to 40% of communication is verbal, the results are still conclusive: neither emails not telephone conversations are as effective at imparting information as face-to-face communication. To meet the challenge of producing face-to-face exchanges across vast distances, advanced

telepresence systems have evolved to produce high-quality video and audio fidelity and duplicate the in-person meeting experience. Used extensively in corporate settings, telepresence conferences use state-of-the-art room designs, sound systems and very high bandwidth transmissions to create an almost holographic experience of interacting with life-size participants. One leading telepresence company, Digital Video Enterprises, has produced the DVE Immersion Room – a seamless 120-inch screen in which participants in remote locations appear in the seemingly 3D physical space. In contrast to the traditional 2D ‘talking heads’ experience of videoconferencing, such telepresence technology is said to meet the innate human preference for interpersonal interaction. The compelling business case for investing in videoconferencing and telepresence services is that it increases productivity. The independent market research company Wainhouse Research reports that this technology speeds up the decision-making process, particularly when personal collaboration between different sources in different locations is required but travel budgets are tight. Videoconferencing offers benefits to businesses that may need to supplement their business travel with other forms of direct communication, particularly when travel is not possible. Teleconferencing hit the headlines in April 2010, when the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, erupted and caused disruption

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video conferencing

VIDEO CONFERENCING

THE FINE ART OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION As a supplement to business travel, videoconference and telepresence technologies have become an established addition to the arsenal of communication tools available to meeting planners. Cliff James investigates the development of advanced communication technologies as an effective business support system.

to European air travel. Unable to fly to a joint location, the European Union’s Transport Ministers used videoconferencing to hold a virtual summit and discuss the impact of the eruption.

Videoconferencing – as a supplement to business travel – provides discernable cost-saving benefits to organisations that invest in the technology.

Similarly, the World Wide Fund (WWF) stated that the volcanic disaster had shown how selective videoconferencing could save time and money, while also reducing harmful CO2 gasses. “The biggest economic winner thus far has been the telecommunications industry,” said Peter Lockley, Head of Transport at WWF-UK. “Videoconferencing companies are reporting a boom in bookings, while businesses that have already invested in their own equipment will have been among those least affected by the crisis.”

In the current economic climate, some companies are looking at reducing inessential travel expenditure, while not reducing the number of meetings they attend. One company that relies heavily upon international travel to achieve its aims is the aid charity Oxfam GB. Having increased its revenue by £9.7million to £318million in 2010, the company simultaneously reduced its air travel from 2% of its total expenditure to 1.6%, claiming that: “All regional offices now have dedicated videoconferencing facilities that have been used to reduce international and national travel.” Videoconferencing – as a supplement to business travel – provides discernable costsaving benefits to organisations that invest in the technology. Although there is no real substitute for face-to-face meetings, there are manifest advantages to diversifying the means of communication. And in an uncertain world of budgetary constraints and volcanoes, the maxim holds especially true: communication works for those who work on it. themicereport | 11

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VIDEO

CHANGING THE FACE OF BUSINESS COMMUNICATION If we had invented video communications before the aeroplane, we would waste far less time and money on business travel today. The economics make no sense: flight costs; accommodation; hours of downtime in lounges and in the air. Now, of course, we can add in the punitive carbon cost of international travel. Given the choice, why would anyone bother to fly for business unless the rewards far outweighed the hassle and costs?

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T

wo factors have worked against the routine use of video as a business communication tool. First, the established culture of business assumes we should fly to meet each other; second, the technology has never been quite right, except in the most executive of executive suites. In other words, we’ve never really had a choice, until now.

advertorial Using LifeSize video, Goodbaby has dramatically reduced its expenditure on business travel, while also substantially improving the productive value of conference calls. Now, meaningful, face-to-face meetings across continents are an everyday occurrence. “During a product discussion, you’re able to directly display three-dimensional engineering drawings and can engage in direct interaction,”

THE VIDEO AGE Our experience of video, or moving pictures with sound, comes primarily from cinema and television. These two massive cultural forces have set high expectations in terms of production values and technical performance, which video conferencing has inevitably struggled to match.

GOOD NEWS FOR GOODBABY Of course, when it really matters, there can never be any substitute for sitting in a room with someone and shaking hands on a multi-million euro deal. It’s in the more routine meetings and exchanges that video is making a transformative difference. One example is the use of LifeSize® HD video communication by Goodbaby Group, China’s largest provider of infant and children’s products. The company has design centres and factories in the US, China, Japan and Europe, straddling time zones and cultures.

For conference and event organisers, the arrival of ubiquitous video communication has sometimes been seen as a threat. The reality, however, is that it can add compelling new dimensions to business events, because it offers fresh possibilities for collaboration and interaction. Often, senior figures from major corporations may simply be unable to attend industry events, or key corporate conferences. They might have an hour for the meeting itself; it’s the time in transit and away from headquarters that they cannot spare. Prestigious keynote speakers or celebrities may also be more ready to participate if they can do so without having to travel. Events can increase attendance if they can offer the chance to interact personally with a leading personality, even it’s not actually up-close.

So it is easy to understand why talk of a video revolution is still met with some scepticism, and why many bosses still want their teams to struggle to travel around the world to routine meetings and conferences, rather than simply sitting at their desks in front of cameras. Yet the revolution is happening and it is has real momentum behind it because of a crucial breakthrough: now, video works. THE HUMAN BUSINESS Video is important because humans communicate with far more than their voices. We want to see into someone’s eyes, to pick up on the non-verbal signals that we detect subconsciously. For all its automation, measurement and accountability, business is still an essentially human process and we ignore the anthropology of human relationships at our peril. As Buck Rodgers, legendary marketing supremo at IBM, famously remarked: “People buy emotionally and then justify with logic.”

network infrastructures and the video technology itself have made video as practical and simple to use as the telephone.

This reluctance to travel is not confined to celebrities and top executives. In the wake of the ash cloud, strikes by airport staff and winters that seem to be getting harsher than ever, even holidaymakers are thinking twice about spending time abroad. With the threat of long term decline looming for routine business travel, video offers travel and event companies a new source of revenue and an innovative service to offer to customers. says Michael Qu, Vice President, Global Operations at Goodbaby Group. “When we discuss product details, we can see exactly what we are discussing thanks to the HD video. The efficiency increase is indescribable.” Goodbaby saw a return on investment of just three months from the international travel savings achieved through its LifeSize deployment. The company also reports an increased efficiency in production and design centres, and improved communication and collaboration among all users, from designers up to senior management. COLLABORATIVE CONFERENCING The Goodbaby experience exemplifies the business video story, because the company had previously experimented with video as a communications and collaboration channel. The performance and quality proved unacceptable. In the last few years, however, improvements in

PRACTICAL, AFFORDABLE VIDEO LifeSize has led the way in the delivery of video as a viable, affordable and personable way to communicate. Its technologies minimise the impact on network bandwidth, while delivering the audio and HD video quality to the desktop or the large screen that overcomes the last barriers to face-to-face communication across the world. You may be reading this article in an airport lounge, or on a business trip somewhere. If so, we hope it’s been worth your while. And with any luck, next time you won’t need the diversion of a magazine; your LifeSize video deployment will mean you can be comfortably at your desk, or even at home.◆

Learn more at: www.lifesize.com themicereport | 13

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An exotic blend of ultramodern architecture, international finance and cuisines and customs from around the world; Cliff James explores the sophisticated cultural synthesis that is Singapore.

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ising extravagantly from the sea at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsular, the gleaming skyscrapers and visionary towers of Singapore could be mistaken for the panorama of a science fiction utopia. Literally translated from the Malay as ‘The Lion City’, Singapore has grown ferociously in the past few decades as a highly advanced centre for international finance to become one of the roaring Asian Tiger economies. The spectacular skyline of this island state is a wonder of the modern world, and bears witness to the country’s dazzling financial success.

Singapore the lion city

As an unparalleled destination for international conferences and business events, Singapore’s credentials are formidable. In the last ten years, it has been rated as the most business-friendly economy in the world and the leading logistics hub by the World Bank. It is consistently ranked among the top ten most open and innovative economies and the world’s fourth leading financial centre. With a long history as a significant trading port in the heart of the Malay Archipelago, The Lion City has always attracted international visitors and has subsequently become a thrilling melting pot of diverse cultures that make up its population. Chinese, Indian, Malay, British and European cultures, customs and religions combine harmoniously in this most cosmopolitan of world cities, inspiring the global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney to name Singapore the most globalised country in the world. This exhilarating cultural diversity is one of the many charms that await MICE visitors to the city. The distinctive and extensively renovated ethnic areas of Singapore offer an exotic variety of cuisines, festivals, temples and music to fascinate the most experienced of world travellers. Little India, for example, provides an intensely authentic taste of India, with roadside vendors offering an alluring blend of bright flowers, fabrics, aromatic spices, gold trinkets and massage oils amidst a delicious variety of first-rate restaurants, such as Komala Villas, Banana Leaf Apolo and Muthu’s. No visit to Little India would be complete without taking in the sights of the beautifully ornate and vividly decorated Sri Veeramakaliamman Hindu temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali on the Serangoon Road.

Equally fascinating for conference and incentive visitors is Chinatown: a genuinely oriental district of stylish dim sum restaurants, pagoda tea-houses, boutique hotels, delectable bakeries and sophisticated bars. The latest must-see attraction to this area is the extravagant Buddhist Tooth Relic Temple, which reportedly houses a tooth that belonged to the historical Buddha. Designed according to the Ting Dynasty architectural style, this vast temple and museum complex is lavishly decorated inside, and serves delicious free vegetarian food to visitors. The Malay quarter of Singapore, Kampong Glam, was historically the seat of the royal family and aristocracy and is subsequently

rich with historical, cultural and architectural delights. Like the Indian and Chinese quarters of the city, Kampong Glam has been extensively restored to a pristine standard, and many of the new businesses – such as design and IT companies, fine art galleries and world class restaurants – sit side-by-side with more traditional shops, such as textile and luxury carpet sellers. Conference delegates with time to explore the Kampong Glam district will inevitably make a visit to the vast golden dome and immense prayer room of the Sultan Mosque, built by the first Sultan of Singapore in 1824. Equally worth a visit is the Malay Heritage Centre, once the sultan’s palace, which has been

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events, the island state has developed an extensive range of integrated resorts to meet the comprehensive needs of business travellers. The superb Sentosa Resort and Spa, for example, is a stylish hotel perched on the top of a cliff and surrounded by 27 tranquil acres of lush greenery. The hotel’s elegant conference complex includes 28 fully equipped meeting areas and more than 1,300 square metres of conference facilities. With 146 deluxe rooms and 28 superior rooms, the Sentosa also offers guests a superior range of relaxing health and wellbeing facilities at its Spa Botanica and Seven Eden Wellness Centre.

perfectly renovated and now showcases the rich heritage of the Singaporean Malays through a series of fascinating exhibitions and displays. This harmonious melange of diverse cultures, traditions and religions in one world city also ensures that MICE visitors are more than likely to experience one of the many spectacular festivals that are celebrated in Singapore each year. Festive lanterns, fireworks, parades and decorative dragons dominate the annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown and Marina Bay, whereas the key Buddhist festival of Vesak is marked by a beautiful candlelit procession through the streets each May.

In addition to a full calendar of food and drink, garden, river and boat festivals for business visitors to enjoy, Singapore’s artistic and cultural life is celebrated each May and June with the internationally renowned Arts Festival, which showcases an astonishing variety of world-class theatre, dance and musical productions at venues throughout the city. However, visitors at other times of the year can enjoy a full programme of artistic performances within the vast ultramodern aluminium dome of the Esplanade Theatre an architectural wonder that must be seen to be believed. In keeping with Singapore’s well-deserved reputation as a world leader in hosting MICE

Also situated on Singapore’s Sentosa Island is the self-contained Resorts WorldTM Sentosa, a vast complex that includes six distinctive hotels and a dizzying collection of entertainment attractions, theme parks, fashionable shops and gourmet dining experiences. This beautiful development offers incentive groups the chance to enjoy Hollywood-style adventure rides at Universal Studios Singapore® or catch a performance of Voyage de la VieTM – the stunning circus theatrical extravaganza that is the resident show of this resort. Capable of hosting more than 35,000 delegates in a variety of theatres, conference rooms and outdoor spaces, Resorts WorldTM Sentosa is the MICE experience par excellence. A popular destination for international travellers, Singapore has been attracting more than 10 million visitors each year and is subsequently well served by international airlines, including British Airways, Qantas and Cathay Pacific. Barely 19 miles from the city centre, Singapore Changi Airport is frequently voted the best airport in the world because of its vast size, facilities and efficiency; as such, it serves as a suitable introduction to the pristine charms and cultural delights awaiting visitors to the Lion City.u themicereport | 15

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Say Hello To the

Extraordinary Resorts WorldTM Sentosa – Asia’s Ultimate Destination – is Singapore’s first integrated resort that promises the richest experiences to last a lifetime.

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esigned for a diversity of events, limited only by one’s creativity, Resorts World Sentosa will dazzle with Universal Studios Singapore® movie theme park, world-class hotels, a theatrical circus spectacular – Voyage de la Vie™ - and some of Asia’s best meeting and event facilities.

Universal Studios Singapore

Why should events take place in a room? After Universal Studios Singapore’s public hours, indoor and outdoor venues within the theme park can be open for private events. The possibilities are endless when you hold a function in Universal Studios Singapore. Designed with seven exciting zones, your event can be a themed entertainment solution. Unparalleled Event Venues

Besides the magnificent Compass Ballroom, which holds 7,000 people in theatre-style seating, there are 30 function rooms and seven supporting rooms, as well as multiple indoor and outdoor spaces. Being the region’s largest column-free ballroom, the Compass Ballroom divides into another three smaller ballrooms or nine mega halls, a hallmark of flexibility at its finest. With a floor area totaling of

123,000 square feet, a ceiling as high as 11 metres and optional modular-tiered seating, it is really monumental. On its premises are also supporting amenities that include comfortable business and media centres, as well as luxurious VIP rooms. Our premises can be configured and customised to also cater to small groups of delegates. There is the flexibility of opening up to four function rooms to create the size of one small ballroom. Upon request, the secretarial rooms, video conferencing room and other facilities are at your service. We can host up to 35,000 delegates in a total of over 40 customisable venues.

creative producer Mark Fisher. Presenting an international cast of circus stars from 16 countries, Voyage de la Vie tells the story of a boy’s journey of life and his encounters with love, imagination, conflict, life and death. Pure entertainment that’s truly unforgettable! FestiveWalk™

Imagine the excitement, energy and vibrancy of Las Vegas, 24 hours a day. Now experience it all right here at FestiveWalk – a great place to hang out and be entertained by some of the world’s most spectacular street shows. Lake of Dreams™

The Coliseum at Hard Rock Hotel® Singapore will appeal to anyone who is a rock star at heart. Specially fitted with a stage, it is ideal for fashion shows, small concerts, weddings or cocktail receptions.

Be immersed in this musical extravaganza by fourtime Emmy Award winner, Jeremy Railton. The latest laser technology is used to create multi-dimensional images in a vibrant celebration of fantasy and reality. Synchronized high speed water jets and giant fire pits come together in this truly breathbreaking choreography that is not to be missed.

24-7 Non-stop Entertainment

Crane Dance™

The Coliseum™

Voyage de la Vie

Be awed beyond your imagination by this theatrical circus spectacular created by world-renowned

Witness the breathtaking dance of the world’s largest pair of animatronic cranes in Crane Dance – a multimedia spectacle of lights, sound, water jets and pyrotechnic effects.

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singapore

Compass Ballroom Compelling dining options Food and Beverage

Savour the myriad sumptuous flavours of international and local cuisine at over 60 dining outlets. From mouthwatering Asian food to delectable gastronomic delights painstakingly prepared by renowned celebrity chefs.

New York in Universal Studios Singapore

Dedicated point of contact

We don’t merely provide a function space. Our sales team is capable of putting together a holistic program for any event, packaged with entertainment and fabulous food and beverage choices. Our event services team provides a dedicated one-stop support point for your convenience. Supporting them are a strong team of chefs and banquet operation managers with international experience from around the world – because we believe your event should be the talk of the town. Contact our MICE specialists at +65 6577 9977 or email: mice@rwsentosa.com to find out how we can turn your next event into an extraordinary one. u

Ancient Eqypt in Universal Studios Singapore Shrek and all Dreamworks Animation and related indicia ™ & © 2010 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. All rights reserved. Jurassic Park™ & © Universal Studios/Amblin Entertainment. All rights reserved. Battlestar Galactica ® Universal Studios. © Universal Network Television LLC. All rights reserved. Universal Studios Singapore ® & © Universal Studios. Universal Studios, the Universal globe logo and all Universal elements and related indicia ™ & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. Resorts World, the Resorts World logo and all Resorts World elements and related indicia ™ & © Genting International Management Limited. All rights reserved.

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nigeria

FEDERAL PALACE HOTEL AND CASINO Sun International’s lavish hotel in Lagos has raised the bar of luxury accommodation and entertainment. Peter Morrin investigates the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino in the centre of Nigeria’s burgeoning business district.

S

un International and Ikeja Hotel’s multimillion dollar property, the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino, is situated on Victoria Island in the bustling heart of Lagos’s business district. Stylish in conception, the hotel offers a range of suites, including 116 standard king rooms, four paraplegic rooms, four twin rooms, 12 junior suites and 14 spacious apartments. Designed with the discerning business traveller in mind, the hotel offers superior accommodation and a contemporary dining experience in elegant surroundings. True to the opulent tradition of Sun International, the hotel also offers the finest facilities and amenities, and all rooms are luxurious and comfortable, with spacious en-suite bathrooms. The hotel’s décor is an eclectic blend of traditional grandeur and stylish modernity, allowing guests to enjoy the serenity and comfort of the hotel without feeling removed from the vibrant pulse of Lagos. A creative collaboration between Sun International, Ikeja Hotels and the Tourist Company of Nigeria has ensured that the Federal Palace Hotel exemplifies sophistication, class and quality. “The Tourist Company of Nigeria is associated with Sun International the superior standards of the Sun brand to Nigeria,” says Goodie Ibru,

proud to be in bringing International Chairman of

Ikeja Hotels PLC. “We are confident of the overall success of this project. When you begin with a classic example of architecture and mould it to the luxurious facility that it is now, it is a win-win situation for all involved.” With a population of almost 20 million people, Lagos is regarded as Africa’s largest metropolis, and one of the continent’s key business and MICE destinations. “The sheer traffic density, street markets and outdoor shopping strips spell growth and prosperity,” says David Coutts-Trotter, Chief Executive of Sun International. “Moving into Lagos fits in with our global expansion strategy. As we expand into new territories, it’s imperative that we have great brand presence, not only as properties

but also as the mother brand, Sun International.” The renovation of the hotel’s existing conference area began during late 2009, and this transformed building was opened to the public in December of that year as the spectacular Federal Palace Casino. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, this unique entertainment experience is the first of its kind in Lagos. The casino houses both slots and table games that are operated by US dollars. With 195 state-of-the-art machines, the slot area offers a wide range of traditional reel slot machines, the latest multi-line video slots, video poker and Touch Bet Roulette. Rivalling the best appliances in US casinos, the games offer the ultimate in audio and visual display technology for unequalled customer entertainment.

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The casinoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight table games provide a variety of competitions, including American roulette and Raiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;em Poker. This exciting selection of games ensures that the Federal Palace Casino is the finest source of entertainment on Victoria Island. Guests and members of the hotel also have access to the superior sports and relaxation facilities of the Federal Palace Pool Club, which was completed in October 2010. Amenities include the refurbished swimming pool, an enhanced sundeck, giant waterslide and a games room. The Deck Restaurant and bandstand also provide an opportunity for guests to dine in style after an energetic round on either of the two tennis courts, the 18-hole adventure golf course, the outdoor exercise circuit or the jogging track. â&#x2014;&#x2020; www.suninternational.com themicereport | 19

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The Essentials of a Corporate Meeting and Event Policy 20 | themicereport

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any companies provide commercial credit cards to their employees so that they can conveniently pay company expenses. These card programs are typically accompanied by travel and entertainment and/or procurement policies to guide employees on how they may use their cards. Such policies help companies control how cards are used to pay for employee’s travel-related expenses such as for airline tickets and hotels and for indirect expenses such as office supplies. Less well-known and deployed generally are policies to guide employees on how to pay for meetings and events. Interestingly, these expenses can represent a significant cost to a company but are often not all that transparent given the planning and execution of meetings and events can be fairly complex. Nonetheless, cost controls continue to be top of mind for many CFOs. Establishing a meeting and event policy is not only prudent but helps the company ensure it manages meeting expenses more effectively, especially in preparation for when the economy picks up again. This type of policy also ensures there is alignment with existing travel and procurement spend strategies and addresses meeting expenses in a way that has not gotten that type of focus in the past.

© Konstantin Inozemtsev | istockphoto

To get you started, here is a review of the key components of a typical meeting policy: Statement of accountability and responsibility It is important to convey the purpose of a meetings and events policy and to communicate the company’s expectations of how and when meetings/events should be conducted and how employees are expected to manage these expenses. Meeting/Event Definition To ensure a common definition for meetings and events, a company may use criteria such as the size of the budget (i.e. greater than $10,000), the number of attendees involved, or the type of venue (i.e. customer or employee meeting) Meeting/Event Approvals Various approval workflows may be developed depending on what company wants to track. A company should clearly detail the different types of meetings (i.e. customer vs employee meetings; on-premise or offsite) that require approvals and indicate who has the approval authority. Also included should be the procedures for making the meeting requests and how the approval, postrequest, should be retained by the employee (i.e. for expense reports).

mastercard Central Meeting Services and Resources Companies that have dedicated meeting planners or have outsourced agencies should define the conditions in which these services can be requested to provide logistical assistance. These requirements can range from defining the type of meeting venue and minimum budgets to ensuring advance notifications so that the centralized resource can assist appropriately. Contract Authority Contracts with meeting-related vendors or suppliers should be in writing to minimize risks to the company. The company’s standard terms and conditions and contract authority procedures should be followed to ensure consistency and compliance with existing policies. Preferred Suppliers Information about the company’s preferred supplier policy and the procedures to source new suppliers should be included and reinforced to guide employees on the company’s internal procedures. Expense Procedure Employees may need guidance on procedures for setting up budgets or for allocating expenses appropriately in the company’s financial systems. Additionally, the company may include guidance on the employee’s expense management reporting requirements. Payments Companies may define the criteria for paying vendors used in meetings and events. This may include payments using a dedicated meeting card, corporate card or purchasing card. For vendors that do not accept payment cards, alternative method of payment such as invoicing/check or electronic payments may be arranged according to the company’s internal accounts payable policies. Compliance Procedure It is important to emphasize the need for employees to comply with the meeting and event policy and the consequences of possible disciplinary action for those who fail to comply. In certain situations where the employee is unable to follow the policy due to the nature of the meeting activity, the company should provide a process for the employee to obtain exception approvals. Other Miscellaneous Companies may include additional procedures to guide employee activities related to hotel vendors such as 1) site inspections and 2) supplier incentives for using their venue or service. For more information and inquires on MasterCard Meeting Solutions, go to www.mastercardbusiness.com/europe u themicereport | 21

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ONE

COMPANY WORLDWIDE REACH

With offices in London, Birmingham, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Shanghai, CiEvents is extremely well placed to handle all your event industry needs, wherever in the world you might be and however large or intimate your requirement. We challenge the ordinary to define excellence in engaging audiences. We bring innovation, logistics and entertainment to your desired goals and strategy. In short, we add magic by designing appropriate solutions in each of the following areas.

concepts through the talent, location, audio, visual, technical and interactive experiences to bring the idea – and your brand – to life.

CONFERENCES Conferences are invaluable forums for strengthening relationships with customers. CiEvents focuses on the detail and specifics of your key business objectives and works with you to develop a strategy that secures measurable returns.

LOYALTY PROGRAMS (CiLoyalty) A successful loyalty program should create loyalty to the brand or product you are pushing. At CiEvents, we help you judge the performance of a loyalty program through behavioral and attitudinal measures, ensuring that you are getting a true return to your business.

EVENTS CiEvents has earned a deserved reputation as the leading event management company throughout the world. We take the time to understand your company’s culture, personality and objectives, in order to deliver a truly customised solution that matches and often exceeds your expectations.

GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGN (cicreate) CiEvents also provide creative services via our whollyowned graphic design division and has earned an independent reputation for its strategic, marketingdriven approach to design. The key to our continued success in this arena is fast turnaround times coupled with true creative innovation and exceptional attention to detail, as well as the ability to tightly manage costs and work within budgetary constraints.

PRODUCTION (cicreate) The key to the continued success of our production team is in the time we spend with you in the pre-production preparation and planning. A comprehensive ‘needs analysis’ helps us realise your ideas and mould scripts and story-boards to match these ideas. We weave the theme and creative

INCENTIVE PROGRAMS CiEvents can either develop incentive programs for you or refine existing programs to help you improve your overall corporate performance through appropriate recognition of your employees. From teaser campaigns through to merchandise and fulfilment, we always aim to ensure that incentive programs work for your employees whilst still being fully accountable to your business.

GROUP TRAVEL Through Flight Centre Limited and our corporate brand, FCm Travel Solutions, we have been able to build exceptional relationships with airlines, hotels and transport companies, setting us apart from other event

industry operations, to provide expertise in group travel management to our valued clients. VENUE SOURCING Does the venue fit the brief? Are we getting the best value for you? At CiEvents we understand that the best possible price is very important for our customers, which is why we benchmark venues, all while providing unique product suggestions and a speedy turnaround. FINANCIAL STABILITY CiEvents is the wholly owned events management specialist of Flight Centre Limited, a publicly listed company which has an annual turnover of billions of pounds, providing you with peace of mind as far as financial stability is concerned. OUR PEOPLE CiEvents is 120 unique personalities, located in three corners of the globe, each adding their own special dash of magic to our client’s success. Many of us have worked together for years. Others come bearing amazing skills and knowledge from varied backgrounds. We’re outrageously passionate about our work and believe anything is possible. And we’ll happily give heaven and earth a nudge to create an experience far beyond your expectations. ◆

www.cievents.com London +44 (0)20 8336 8830 Birmingham +44 (0) 121 455 8071 Sydney +61 2 9923 8800 Melbourne +61 3 8696 7070 Brisbane +61 7 3032 9580 Auckland +64 9 638 0286 Wellington +64 4 495 9572 Shanghai +86 21 2211 1903

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management. Our NH Group Desk provides customized solutions with our famous â&#x20AC;&#x17E;eye for detailâ&#x20AC;&#x153;. More information: nh-hotels.com & nh-mice.de NH Group Desk

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GERMANY

germany

THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATION FOR MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS IN EUROPE

AS A DESTINATION FOR MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS, GERMANY IS RATED NUMBER ONE IN EUROPE FOR THE SIXTH TIME RUNNING AND NUMBER TWO IN THE WORLD-WIDE RANKINGS, WHICH HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS & CONVENTION ASSOCIATION (ICCA).

G

ermany continues to be viewed by the international meetings market as the venue of choice. This is not only because of the popularity of Berlin, which ranks fourth worldwide, but because of the number and variety of cities throughout Germany that rank among the top 100, including Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne and Frankfurt. Many other surveys concur with this appraisal, and Germany’s image is always getting better. In 2010, on the reputable Anholt-GFK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI), this destination finished in a high position. After the USA, Germany is in second place in the ranking of 50 worldwide destinations. This year, it has overtaken France. Annually, the NBI examines the destination countries as brands in this sector. This was conducted by a questionnaire on around 20,000 people in 20 countries. According to the Meeting & Event Barometer 2010, a survey of the meetings and events

market in Germany, 35.5 per cent of the organisers quoted Germany as their favourite meeting destination, followed by Spain (8.7 per cent), and Austria (8.3 per cent). In addition, 80 per cent of organisers are confident that Germany’s image as a meeting and event destination is constantly improving. One reason for this is that Germany has many large and highly equipped congress centres,

hotels and event locations in all parts of the country. Germany stands out in particular for its wide variety of meeting locations and boasts a total of 6,412 meeting and event venues. Overall, 2.46 million events took place in Germany in 2009, attended by 302 million people - four times more than the German population. International attendees accounted for a stable 5.5 per cent. themicereport | 25

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germany Detailed research about the meeting and incentive market in Germany, information about capacities, new product updates, insider tips, special offers and industry news are all available at www.germany-meetings.com. In addition, the German Convention Bureau (GCB) recently launched a 36-page guide aimed at helping meeting professionals across the globe. The guide, written by industry professionals, is packed full of useful information designed to get organisers thinking about how to improve every area of their event planning, implementation and delivery. The brochure also deals with questions about running incentive schemes and highlights issues such as risk management, health and safety, and event marketing, and topics such as communicating to different generations in the workplace. The guide is available both in hard copy and as a PDF download from the GCB website: www.gcb.de/ENG/about_us/brochures.htm or by email to info@gcb.de. This year, the country celebrated its 20th anniversary of the reunification of East and West Germany on 3rd October 1990. Germany has come a long way since that historic day, particularly as a prominent meetings and events destination. The country offers planners and participants a diverse range of locations, cultures, heritage and culinary experiences. Next year will be an especially busy year in Germany, so please note the following dates in your diary: • the MPI European Conference from 13th to 15th February 2011 in Düsseldorf; • the Green Meetings & Events Conference from 1st to 2nd March 2011 in Mainz; • IMEX from 24th to 26th May 2011 in Frankfurt am Main; • the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011™ from 26th June to 17th July 2011; • the 50th ICCA Conference from 22nd to 26th October 2011 in Leipzig. Even in times of economic crisis, Germany maintains its Number One position by staying at the cutting edge of changes in the industry, including pricing, marketing, new technologies and ‘green meetings’. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times. When it comes to finding effective strategies to address this issue, Germany keeps setting important markers: as a stimulator for political processes but also as a host for meetings and conventions with a global impact. Germany has excellent opportunities to establish itself as one of the leading locations for sustainable events in the world.

As part of its responsibility to ensure a greener meetings and conventions industry, the GCB is actively involved in a new International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) project. The introduction of the new ISO standard 20121 for sustainable event management is set to be completed as the 2012 Olympic Games kick off in London. As the association of German meeting and convention providers, the German Convention Bureau attaches great importance to the issue of sustainability. As such, the GCB represents the interests of some 240 members in the German Sustainable Event Management Standards Committee. Among the GCB members, there are many companies that are pioneers in this area and set a good example for ‘green meetings’. The website www.germany-meetings.com has a separate ‘Green Meetings’ area offering comprehensive advice on sustainable event planning - including a CO2 Calculator. Being involved in developing the new ISO standard is just one of several initiatives that have helped the GCB position itself as a ‘green meetings’ pioneer. The GCB will organise a Green Meetings & Events Conference in cooperation with the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) on 1st and 2nd March 2011 at the Congress Centrum Mainz (CCM). u

Contact: GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. Münchener Str. 48 60329 Frankfurt/Main Germany Tel: +49 (0)69 - 24 29 30 0 Fax: +49 (0)69 - 24 29 30 26 E-mail: info@gcb.de Internet: www.germany-meetings.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/GermanyMeetings

26 | themicereport

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High tech meets high touch

Commundo Tagungshotels offer ideal conditions for effective meetings and training events in eight attractive locations in Germany.

All rooms have internet access and a computerbased multimedia system that includes TV, radio and information services.

Commundo Tagungshotels are always at the cutting edge, particularly when it comes to information and telecommunications technology. Formerly used for conferences by the German telecommunications industry, the hotels offer high-speed broadband internet access in all conference suites and hotel rooms. Thanks to their years working for Deutsche Telekom, our staff also have extensive experience in organising and IXOĆ&#x201A;OOLQJWKHWHFKQLFDOUHTXLUHPHQWVRIPHHWLQJV workshops, conferences and training events.

All management, organisational and procedural ZRUNĆ&#x192;RZVDWWKH&RPPXQGR7DJXQJVKRWHOVDUH ,62FHUWLĆ&#x201A;HG7KHKRWHOVKDYHDOVRWDNHQSDUWLQ the EFQM programme (European Foundation for Quality Management) for many years.

Our customers have a choice of 315 seminar, conference and meeting rooms that can all be adapted to meet their individual needs and which contain the latest in conference technology and high performance information and telecomPXQLFDWLRQVHTXLSPHQW

For more information, please go to www.commundo-tagungshotels.de or make a reservation by calling our freephone number from abroad: 008000 8330 330

Our hotels offer around 1,600 single and double rooms, as well as apartments, so even if you are organising a large meeting, you can effortlessly bring all participants together under one roof at a Commundo hotel.

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7thâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;11th July 2011 A warm welcome to Meeting Place Berlin!

Berlin â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the place to be for conventions. www.meeting-place-berlin.de 028 Berlin Advert FPc.indd 1 216x286_MICE_Report.indd 1

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berlin

The spirit of

BERLIN

Progressive, vivacious and at the cutting edge of eco-conferencing; Neil Walden explores the ‘greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine’ in the dynamic capital of Germany.

E

In the 18th century, the Enlightenment philosopherking, Frederick the Great, invited artists and thinkers from all over Europe to relocate to Berlin – one of the reasons that Berlin is now called the ‘Athens on the River Spree’. Today, around 14 percent of the population are non-German nationals, and this cultural fusion is evident in the exhilarating mix of clubs, bars, restaurants, bistros and art galleries.

xperimental and yet rooted in rich history, Berlin is simultaneously ancient and ahead of its time, mindful of the past and yet a herald of the evolving global zeitgeist. The spirit of Berlin is a kaleidoscope of cultural trends and fashions that inspired David Bowie to praise the city as: “the greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine”. Known as the ‘Millennium City’ because of its futuristic cityscape, progressive environmental policies and utopian artistic, cultural and music scene, Berlin has naturally become a leading MICE destination. Now ranked among the top four convention cities in the world by the International Congress and Convention Association, Germany’s capital currently hosts around 113,100 events and caters for more than 9 million* meeting delegates annually. * 2010 Statistics It is not simply the excellent quality of the city’s hotels that attract so many international events, nor the presence of Europe’s largest convention centre, the Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC Berlin). MICE visitors are consistently tempted by the heady concoction of green spaces, contemporary arts festivals, stunning architecture, vivacious nightlife and famously high standards of living.

As a centre of youth culture, Berlin is a dynamic trendsetter that now hosts the annual Popkomm, Europe’s largest music industry convention, as well as the European headquarters of Universal Music Group and MTV. Furthermore, the city’s innovative architectural style has been recognised by UNESCO, which designated Berlin a global ‘City of Design’. For conference delegates or incentive groups, Berlin offers a fusion of cultural activities that have emerged from the city’s long history of tolerance, open-mindedness and sanctuary. While France was persecuting the Protestant sect of Huguenots in 1685, Berlin responded with the Edict of Potsdam, guaranteeing freedom and tax-free status to the French refugees in this progressive metropolis. By 1700, around 20 percent of the city’s residents were French – a cultural influence that shaped Berlin’s architectural and literary legacy.

Although much of the original city was destroyed during the Second World War, Berlin’s architecture is now an eclectic combination of restored historical monuments and ultrachic modern skyscrapers. MICE visitors can experience the full architectural range of Berlin’s national identities: from the 1871 German Empire and the Weimar Republic to the now reunified Millennium City. The Fernsehturm (TV Tower) at Alexanderplatz is one of the tallest buildings in the EU and offers themicereport | 29

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berlin

magnificent views of the entire city from its 204metre high observation floor. No exploration of Germany’s capital could be complete without a visit to the nation’s most symbolic monument: the Brandenburg Gate. Completed in 1791 as an emblem of peace, the Gate was severely damaged during the Second World War, but has been restored to its former glory. The grandiose Reichstag, home of the German parliament, is another must-see for conference delegates. Ruined by arson in 1933, the Reichstag was fully restored after German reunification and now features a vast glass dome with 360-degree views of the cityscape. With more than 150 museums and 50 theatres, the variety of leisure activities can be somewhat daunting. Museum Island on the River Spree is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses a stunning complex of five notable museums that exhibit a range of Babylonian, Egyptian and Byzantine artefacts. The Jewish Museum Berlin is a modern steel edifice that presents two thousand years of German Jewish history. With one-third of the city composed of open forests, parks, lakes and exotic gardens, it is no surprise that Berlin has a reputation as an environmental city that pioneers green technologies. The widespread installation of solar energy has reduced the city’s CO2 emissions, and now the Berlin Convention Office has launched a unique Green Meetings website (www.berlin-green-meetings.com) to promote more than 50 event venues that use ecologically sustainable practices. Among these providers, the axica Congress and Meeting Centre on Pariser Platz Square is an eyecatching example, uniquely designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank O. Gehry. With a rainwater recovery system, energy saving bulbs and use of local produce on the appetizing menu, the axica can host first-class conferences from seven to 700 guests. The dbb Forum on Friedrichstrasse is a central meetings venue that can host up to 450 guests in a stylish event space of 1,250 square metres.

Using advanced energy saving technology and the compensation of CO2 emissions, the dbb Forum has been commended as a climatefriendly venue by the environmental protection organisation, atmosfair.

launch of its four-star hotel in Alexanderplatz. Offering 337 guest rooms, a restaurant and fitness centre, the Ramada will provide conference clients with a spacious ballroom for banquets and 17 multifunctional conference rooms.

The strikingly modern bcc Berlin is another energyefficient congress centre at the vanguard of climate protection, and boasts a heat-reflecting external cladding to save energy. Situated in Alexanderplatz, close to the towering Fernsehturm, the bcc offers 3,000 square metres of spacious conference space and the capacity for up to 2,000 guests.

Berlin is a natural setting for the MICE industry’s ultimate international convention. From 7th to 11th July 2011, the Berlin Convention Office will host the 6th Meeting Place Berlin in the Millennium City, inviting 50 local providers – including representatives of the city’s hotels, conference centres and historical locations – to delight conference decision-makers with their unique offer. This essential convention also includes a sightseeing trip on the River Spree and a concert at the Classic Open Air Festival.

As a cutting-edge conference metropolis, Berlin is continuously unveiling outstanding new venues to entice international events. The Scandi Hotel on Potsdamer Platz Square, for example, is an elegantly bright and airy venue with several restaurants, 563 guest rooms and 20 fully equipped conference rooms that can host up to 500 delegates. Another attention-grabbing addition is the nhow Music and Lifestyle Hotel. The dramatic architecture of this venue is matched only by its superior facilities: a contemporary wellness centre, more than 300 guest rooms, seven distinct meeting rooms and a dramatic conference suite that overlooks the River Spree.

The Berlin Convention Office has more than 10 years’ experience of providing professional support for event organisers, and offers a complete range of free services – including a broad network of contacts, hotel reservation services, excursion advice, ideas for incentive programmes and a comprehensive website. With a highly sophisticated transport infrastructure, two major international airports, and flight times of less than two hours from UK airports, it’s time to update David Bowie’s description of Berlin to, ‘the greatest MICE extravaganza that one could imagine’. u

The Ramada Hotel is also set to open an exceptional meetings venue in Berlin this spring, with the

www.convention.visitBerlin.de

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F

ull of years yet young at heart’ best sums up the general message that Bremen seeks to convey. The city, which is home to the world famous Town Musicians, puts itself on the map as the pulsating, multi-faceted heart of North West Germany. The Hanseatic city on the Weser river can look back on 1,200 years of history. Bremen’s attractions include the ornate Weser Renaissance town hall and the statue of Roland (UNESCO World Heritage) on the historical market square. Bremen is also home to world-famous brands, including the German headquarters of the multinational brewer InBev, which counts Beck’s beer among its products. “Not bigger, just better“ – this unconventional campaign is drawing attention to Bremen as a trade fair and event location. While it’s undeniable that some of its rivals in the highly competitive trade fair sector boast significantly more floor space, Bremen Exhibition & Congress Centre has other trump cards: promotion of new event types, perfect planning and implementation of smart concepts, an intelligent infrastructure, total commitment, individu al service and an ideal location right in Bremen’s city centre. Just a few minutes’ walk from the train station, it is readily accessible by public transport, making it a natural choice for the organisers and exhibitors of the many different events staged here each year. Furthermore, the exhibition & congress centre is only 15 minutes from Bremen international airport, which makes it the perfect place to host a successful event.

BREMEN refreshing and surprising Events right in the heart of the Hanseatic city

The Bremen Convention Bureau of the BTZ is an experienced partner offering a complete one-stop service from A to Z that assists in the successful planning and organisation of conferences, conventions or other large-scale events. The BTZ will be happy to advise on the selection of suitable venues and organised activities, sightseeing programs and help to implement ideas for incentive travel to Bremen. Further information on www.bremen-tourism.de ◆

to 10.500 people conference capacity up city centre the centrally located in tance dis g lkin wa all sights in s bed 00 8.8 – s 79 hotel h easy access international airport wit

Heritage and innovation, multifunctional congress centre and outstanding venues. Perfect for meetings, conferences and events of any size.

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Bremen Convention Bureau Phone +49 (0)421 30 800 16

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germany

Frankfurt am Main

Famed for its immaculate streets, sophisticated culture and ultra-stylish skyline, Frankfurt is the quintessential city of high finance. Peter Morrin explores the new generation of high-end MICE venues in the meetings capital of Europe.

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© Frankfurt Tourist + Congress Board

owering assertively above the tree-lined banks of the meandering River Main, Frankfurt is self-evidently a confident city. The gleaming glass and steel skyscrapers say it all: this ultramodern metropolis is the undisputed financial capital of Germany – in fact of all continental Europe – and the affluent home of the European Central Bank, the German Federal Bank and the largest European stock exchange after London. As a vibrant centre of international commerce, finance, culture and tourism, Frankfurt is also a world leader in business hospitality. With more than 60,000 conferences held here annually, this MICE leviathan is witnessing the launch of a remarkable range of new conference centres, meeting venues and business hotels this year. And with the exceptional Frankfurt Convention Bureau on hand to organise suitable event locations, hotel rooms, site inspections, congress bids, social programmes and sightseeing tours, there really has never been a better time to take advantage of this supreme destination. Among the city’s vast array of conference facilities to choose from, the legendary Messe Frankfurt trade fair and exhibition centre stands head and shoulders above the rest. With nine exhibition halls, a logistics centre and convention centre, the Messe is something of a Mecca for conference aficionados. However, the city’s latest generation of hotel and meetings developments look set to complement the established range of venues flawlessly. The innovative THE SQUAIRE Conference Centre, for example, is all geared up to host events of every kind, such as job interviews, sales meetings or congresses of between five to 500 delegates. Appearing to float like a futuristic cruise-liner on a structure of pillars, the SQUAIRE will offer 18 stylish function rooms, banqueting services for up to 120

thanks to its high ceiling and sparkling chandeliers. It is excellently suited for large-scale events of up to 400 guests (theatre seating), providing the perfect setting for festive dinners and private parties. Three boardrooms and additional seminar rooms offer ample space for smaller meetings, presentations and private functions. All rooms dispose over daylight. The Jumeirah Frankfurt will be opening its doors in the autumn of 2011.

© Frankfurt Tourist + Congress Board

guests, and spectacular views over the Frankfurt City Forest – the largest woodland within any German city. Conveniently located beside Frankfurt Airport City, the SQUAIRE will be opening its doors in the autumn of 2011. The Jumeirah Frankfurt, one of Germany’s leading hotels, offers its guests a truly luxurious accommodation experience. The hotel impresses with an architecturally innovative exterior and a traditional yet modern interior. Set in the very heart of Frankfurt am Main, just a short walk from the stock market and surrounded by glamorous shopping streets as well as the shopping mall MyZeil, the hotel’s unusual design helps it to blend harmoniously into Frankfurt’s imposing skyline. The 218 spacious guest-rooms, 108 of which are suites, are all stylishly furnished. Entertainment and communication technology of the highest standards as well as many other luxury articles round off the classic-contemporary interior design. All rooms dispose over spacious bathrooms with bathtubs and separate showers. The hotel’s luxurious ballroom exudes a special atmosphere

The Lindner Hotel and Sports Academy, another star name in the impressive new generation of MICE venues, is scenically situated on the fringe of Frankfurt City Forest and has a maximum event capacity for up to 250 guests. The hotel’s seven elegant function rooms are all light-flooded, airconditioned and fully equipped with state-of-the-art conferencing technology. Neighbouring numerous sports associations and the Commerzbank Arena, the Lindner also provides the opportunity for MICE visitors to spectate or participate in a variety of sporting events. The Lindner Hotel will be opening its doors in the spring of 2011. Whether the event is a conference for thousands or a business meeting for three, Frankfurt offers a bewildering selection of world-class venues to fit the occasion. With the highly competent Frankfurt Convention Bureau readily available to assist with arrangements – including special room allocations, the sourcing of incentive programmes and hotel bookings – the attractions of this sophisticated city are impossible to resist. Frankfurt Convention Bureau Frankurt Tourist + Congress Board Kaiserstrasse 56, D-60329 Frankfurt am Main Phone: +49 (0) 69 / 21 23 87 03 Fax +49 (0) 69 / 21 23 07 76 Email: congress@infofrankfurt.de www.frankfurt-convention-bureau.com

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Frankfurt am Main

Meeting Point

Planning with Pleasure Convention Services � Hotel Reservations � Incentive Ideas �

Your professional partner for conventions and events in Frankfurt Rhine-Main.

Frankfurt Convention Bureau Frankfurt Tourist+Congress Board Kaiserstraße 56 D-60329 Frankfurt am Main Phone +49 (0) 69/21 23 87 03 Fax +49 (0) 69/21 23 07 76 congress@infofrankfurt.de

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Roomigami ! Plan your event as you want it to be and not as how the circumstances might make it possible. You are looking for variable and combinable space for your meeting or convention â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with charisma and an excellent infrastructure. Congress Frankfurt provides just that, a tailor-made offer of rooms on the premises of Messe Frankfurt, 80 congress and conference

&)B[BPLFHLQGG Congress Frankfurt Advert.indd 1

rooms with a capacity for 22,000 people and generous exhibition space are at your disposal, in addition furnishing, technology, personnel and catering services. Everything is individually and professionally tuned to your wishes. When may we host your event? www.congressfrankfurt.de

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messe frankfurt venue T he Frankfurt fairground provides a stylish building complex with a number of different combinations, in order to provide you with your individual event concept with the most up-to-date of infrastructure. All that in the centre of the city – within walking distance of various hotels, with a park next door and plenty of space at the rear. CONGRESS CENTER A true chameleon of international format – compact, highly flexible and with direct access to a hotel. FORUM An architecturally attractive glass con-struction with two large function halls – ideal for banquet or exhibitions. FESTHALLE For very special events: the historic domed structure from 1909. Of note: the tremendous variability of the building for all kind of events. PORTALHAUS Not only for spacious events also modern meeting rooms – Whether a party spread over multiple levels, standing receptions for private viewings or product launches this brand-new building will be the perfect location.

CONGRESS FRANKFURT Congress Frankfurt is the service department of Messe Frankfurt, responsible for supervising congresses or conventions in the exhibition centre. Congress Frankfurt will support you in conceptualising, planning and staging your event. Perfect coordination of furnishings, engineering demands, personnel and catering requirements are a matter of course for them. If you are interested please contact: Congress Frankfurt Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH & Co. KG Ms Christine Grimm 60327 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Telefon +49 69 75 75-3407 christine.grimm@messefrankfurt.com www.congressfrankfurt.de ◆ themicereport | 35

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imex

STRONG TURNOUT FOR

IMEX FRANKFURT 2011 A strong turnout from the large international as well as smaller hotel groups will also be evident. Hyatt Hotels make a welcome return whilst Accor, Arosa, Concorde, Corinthia, Mandarin Oriental and Steigenberger Hotels have all increased their stand sizes.

Another strong showing from the hotel sector, continued expansion of the hosted buyer programme and excellent exhibitor interest, including several new exhibitors, will combine to make this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt another mustattend event on May 24 -26.

With the launch of IMEX America having a positive effect on North American exhibitors eager to share in the proven business results that IMEX delivers, the US area of the show floor continues to expand and includes destinations across the country including: Arizona, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, Las Vegas, The Venetian/Palazzo, NYC and Company, the Washington DC Convention and Tourism Corporation, Greater Boston CVB and Texas Tourism.

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xhibitor demand from across the world continues to be high. New exhibitors include Dragonfly Africa (DMC) and Oberoi Hotels with Costa Rica, the Lithuanian Tourism Association and Latvia all making a welcome return. Destinations that have increased their stand sizes for 2011 include: Thailand, Paris, Moscow, Hungary, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Further increases will be seen from many private sector companies including: Carat Tours, Turkey, Abercrombie & Kent, Allied International, World of DMCs and Team Andaluces. The Balearics, including Mallorca, will now exhibit on their own stand, independent of the main Spanish stand. New technology exhibitors will include Eventsforce and Showcare Event Management.

NEW EXHIBITORS ANNOUNCED • STRONG HOTEL REPRESENTATION • 20 NEW HOSTED BUYER GROUPS • NEW HOT-TOPIC CAMPFIRES LAUNCHED • THREE WILD CARD WINNERS CONFIRMED

Expanding hosted buyer programme 20 new groups of hosted buyers will be attending the Messe Frankfurt trade show as a result of fresh partnerships with CWT Group, IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events), Ring Hotels, Select Group Marketing, Sport Accord, SPIN – the Senior Planners Industry Network - and Smart Ideas Greece.

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Anticipate your business challenges.

Gain access to the industry’s best foresight and intelligence. As the global meetings and events sector’s leading source of industry thinking, development and business insight, IMEX will put you right where you need to be - in the know when it comes to the future. IMEX 2011, live in Frankfurt 24-26 May, will feature our most far-reaching New Vision programme yet - seminars, workshops and education from top experts on a huge range of subjects including future leaders, social media, environmental, technology and economic issues.

pre-register now imex-frankfurt.com

And at IMEX 2011 you’ll meet more influential meetings and events people than anywhere else. New contacts, more opportunities, great deals done. Don’t miss IMEX in Frankfurt in May. You’ll be looking forward in more ways than one.

IMEX +44 (0)1273 227311 | info@imexexhibitions.com

Frankfurt / 24-26 May

The meeting of minds. imex-frankfurt.com

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Carinho Hotels and Resorts, NH Hotels Czech Republic, Dolce Hotels Switzerland, Hilton Montreal, Incentive Destinations, Meetings in Europe, Starwood Hotels and Resorts UAE, Tour House Brazil and ALATUR are also confirmed as new participants in IMEX’s expanding hosted buyer programme.

More new initiatives include an expanded partnership with online company, i-Meet, which will allow all registered exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors to use the international social networking portal to exchange contacts and network in advance of the exhibition.

As part of its continuing effort to encourage continental hosted buyers to travel by train, a group of buyers will be travelling by fast train from Paris to Frankfurt. Those hosted buyers taking advantage of the many fam trips now being scheduled by European destinations before or immediately after the show can now book train travel direct with Deutsche Bahn to benefit from further travel discounts. A record number of hosted buyers attended the show in 2010 – 3,870 – and this is likely to be exceeded in 2011. The IMEX hosted buyer programme is supported by strong partnerships with Starwood, Marriott and Intercontinental hotel groups, all of whom bring their top clients to the show and continue to make a discernible impact on the high quality and number of buyers who attend.

can make a huge difference to an individual’s productivity and business results. Onsite IMEX visitors will benefit from a series of multisensory experiences including tailored menus, lighting and room design intended to heighten performance.

Adding value The IMEX partnership with new performance company, Meetings Mindset®, will be highly visible to buyers, exhibitors and visitors before, during and after the show. The Meetings Mindset® team will aim to show that the right pre-show preparation and post-show processes

In an effort to add further value to IMEX online, a series of 30-60 second training videos will be introduced on the IMEX website. These have been crafted to help exhibitors, buyers and intermediaries make the most of the many unique business improvement, marketing and communication tools available to them.

Looking ahead to IMEX in May, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom says: “This is a momentous year for IMEX. Not only do we have our ninth exhibition in Frankfurt looking as strong as ever, but IMEX America will also launch in Las Vegas in October. The fundamental ethos of IMEX in Frankfurt – that it exists to help buyers and exhibitors do business more efficiently than they could possibly do elsewhere or by any other means – has never changed. By concentrating on getting this aspect of the show right and by being determined to improve both value and service year on year for the benefit of everyone who attends we have built up a reputation for excellence and delivery. Once again, we are looking forward to delivering an excellent show come May.”u

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Visit us a t www.h amburg-c onvention .com

Hamburg Convention Bureau Your official Service Partner in Hamburg Hamburg offers abundant opportunities for international meeting planners. With a great variety of hotels, unique locations and restaurants, a colourful cultural scene, short inner-city distances and a splendidly constructed infrastructure Hamburg is the top destination to make your major event successful and unforgettable. The Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB) offers independent professional advice together with innovative ideas and suggestions for your planned convention, conference, event or incentive. Phone +49 (0)40 / 300 51 610 | info@hamburg-convention.com | www.hamburg-convention.com

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Hamburg Convention Bureau



HAMBURG - Metropolis on the waterfront

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he Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It offers abundant opportunities for international meetings and unforgettable events. With an infrastructure making it the transport hub of the North the city offers optimum connections by air, rail, road and ship. There are numerous locations for events, a great variety of hotels and excellent restaurants, not to mention a highly diverse cultural scene for the supporting programme, and Hamburg is therefore an ideal location for your event. The Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH (HCB) is your independent partner and offers professional advice together with innovative ideas and suggestions for implementing and organising your planned activities. The HCB makes a considerable contribution to the successful planning and implementation of events held in Hamburg.

The Hanseatic City is one of the top economic locations in Germany and Europe. Most of the Top 500 German enterprises are based in Hamburg. Many world-known brands have made their way from Hamburg into the world, such as Nivea, Mont Blanc and Airbus. More than 120.000 enterprises are registered at the Chamber of Commerce. Over 15.000 companies out of these are in the media sector, which brings Hamburg to the forefront of this sector. Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest intra-urban development project, HafenCity Hamburg, is setting new European standards: a thriving 155 hectare city centre district is being created to accommodate a variety of uses including residential buildings, business, office, and retail space as well as cultural and leisure facilities. www.hamburg-convention.com

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luxembourg

luxembourg For the love of

A land of fairytale castles, ancient vineyards, mountain ranges and lush valleys. Cliff James explores the ancient treasures and contemporary comforts of Luxembourg.

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edieaval romance merges seamlessly with the modern world of international finance in Luxembourg – the world’s last remaining sovereign Grand Duchy. Nestling between the borders of France, Germany and Belgium, this picturesque country has always been a focal point in European history, culture and trade, and is now the most important private banking centre in the Eurozone. For a nation that stretches barely 51 miles, Luxembourg is nonetheless a global leader with the world’s highest GDP per capita – and yet also offers MICE visitors an authentic landscape of fairytale castles and mediaeval magic to explore at leisure. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts lies a few miles outside the capital, as more than 5,000km of footpaths and cycle paths weave across the Duchy. To the north, conference delegates and incentive visitors can discover the low mountains of the Ardennes along mountain bike trails. More adventurous explorers can investigate the dense forests, caves and craggy terrain of Little Switzerland in the east.

The scenic Moselle River is a lush valley on the border with Germany that offers MICE visitors a profusion of vineyards, tasting rooms, wine shops and festivals. Boat cruises call at many of the time-honoured vineyards along this river, including Remich and Grevenmacher, and provide ample opportunities for visitors to enjoy the traditional flavour of this immaculate region at a leisurely pace. The spectacular array of Luxembourg’s fairytale castles are an exceptional delight for MICE visitors. Bourglinster Castle, only 15 minutes from Luxembourg City, is on the edge of Grunewald Forest and dates from the 11th century. Beautifully restored to its original splendour, the castle houses two restaurants and hosts the enchanting Bourglinster Music Festival. Clervaux Castle in the north is another must-see, and houses a permanent display of work by the renowned photographer Edward Steichen. The beauty of visiting Luxembourg is that all the country’s stunning attractions are within a short distance of the capital, which boasts a variety of outstanding hotels and conference centres. Hotel Le Royal offers 210 elegant rooms designed for the comfort of business travellers. In addition

to its state-of-the-art health club and massage rooms, Le Royal provides a fully equipped business office and meeting room. Similarly, the Hotel Albert Premier offers 40 stylish suites and a sophisticated gastronomic restaurant – the Mahi. The Albert’s events facilities include air-conditioned meeting rooms for up to 14 guests, each fully equipped with modern meeting technologies. Overlooking Grunewald Forest, the Hilton Luxembourg provides more than 340 guest rooms, 16 full equipped conference theatres, and stunning views over the mediaeval city. For events or incentives outside the capital, the tranquil Hotel Mondorf is situated in beautiful parkland close to the French border, and offers a complete range of health and wellbeing services, including a variety of massages, mind and body treatments, osteopathy and reflexology. Located in the heart of Western Europe, Luxembourg is in an enviable position: easily accessed directly by train from Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Paris, while the capital’s Findel International Airport is served well by international carriers, including British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa.

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Photo: Jรถrg Hejkal

Come for business and stay for pleasure!

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During the day a successful convention. At noon an epicurean break with a glass of Moselle wine and a gourmet meal. In the evening a reception with a gastronomic climax in a venerable abbey or a medieval castle. Let the day fade away afterwards in one of the cosy bistros of the old town with its unique ramparts, a cultural monument of the UNESCO world heritage. Discover the diversity of the City of Luxembourg!

Luxembourg Convention Bureau tel. (+352) 22 75 65 fax (+352) 46 70 73 e-mail: convention.bureau@lcto.lu www.lcb.lu

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LUXURIOUS

LUXEMBOURG The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is well known to international visitors as the home of various notable European institutions and has the facilities to accommodate and cater for them successfully. Neil Walden investigates the many reasons why Luxembourg is a flawless destination for MICE events.

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ienvenue! Willkommen! Welcome! International visitors to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg should not be surprised when they are greeted in their mother tongue, for multilingualism is one of the great assets of this cosmopolitan meeting destination. Bordered by Belgium, France and Germany and connected to the far corners of Europe by an excellent network of highways and rail links, Luxembourg is perfectly located in the heart of Europe. With an international airport only 7km from the capital city and a unique economic, political and cultural vibrancy, this stunning country is a perfect destination for 21st century business events. Luxembourg ranks as the world’s top city for personal safety, according to a quality of life survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. A glance at the city’s history reveals that this

ancient capital, founded in 963, has always known how to protect itself. With a thousandyear heritage of security, it is no wonder that Luxembourg is now the safest city in the world. Luxembourg was occupied by the Burgundians, Spanish, French, Austrians and Prussians, all of whom contributed to making the city one of the best fortified in the world. Known as the “Gibraltar of the North”, the majestic fortifications and perfectly preserved old city have gained international fame. In 1994, UNESCO recognised the city’s historical importance and named it a World Cultural Heritage Site. The smallest member of the European Union, Luxembourg was nevertheless the cradle where the concept of a unified Europe was born. Together with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg city is the official seat of many of the European Union’s major institutions. A multicultural city by tradition, Luxembourg continues to enhance its cosmopolitan nature

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luxembourg as a financial centre of international stature. Spectacular modern architecture marks the skyline of the banking district – an area that has made Luxembourg famous throughout the world of high finance. The historic fortified city has, in modern times, become a world-class bastion of finance. Attracted by its numerous advantages, financial institutions from around the world manage their business from Luxembourg. With internationally renowned meeting and hotel amenities, Luxembourg offers impressive meeting facilities for any size of event, from 10 to 2,000 guests. Event venues can accommodate up to 8,000 persons and provide a savvy mix of technical know-how, flexibility, comfort and aesthetics. Able to respond to the most demanding needs, the choice of venues is vast and is certain to please every business traveller that comes to Luxembourg for their conference. Featuring both prestigious hotel chains and quality independent hotels, there are some 3,600 rooms on offer, ranging from three- to five-star venues and combining comfort with a genuinely warm and amiable service.

Together with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg city is the official seat of many of the European Union’s major institutions.

Luxembourg also offers a number of rare and unusual meeting venues, such as the historical Bock casemates (for cocktail receptions of up to 100 persons), which are a labyrinth of underground galleries and passages inside the fortress on the Bock promontory. Business travellers to the scenic capital city can be tempted by the refined cuisine, exemplary service and warm welcome offered by more than 120 high-quality restaurants. Catering for everything from welcome receptions to afternoon cocktails, evening parties or prestigious gala dinners, Luxembourg offers a deliciously complete assortment of gourmet options. An attractive pedestrian zone in the capital city – including picturesque parks and gardens - provides the ideal setting for relaxation and revitalisation. With a thriving cultural life and stunning attractions in the surrounding area, the success of your event is assured. From the scenic vineyards on the Moselle, to historical sites that reveal the Grand Duchy’s iron and steel-making past to the tranquil thermal spa, the range of touring programmes and individual excursions is infinitely varied. The Luxembourg Convention Bureau, which is the official conference bureau of the city of Luxembourg, is the on-site partner for

organising successful MICE events. Its aim is to promote Luxembourg as an ideal meeting and event location, and to provide expert advice that is impartial, professional and free of charge. The Bureau provides a large variety of services, including liaison with local suppliers, and has become the principal point of contact for meeting, incentive and exhibition planners who want specialist assistance with arranging the perfect event. For a luxurious encounter with the cream of European culture, history and variety, Luxembourg offers an incomparable experience for MICE travellers. u

Luxembourg Convention Bureau Place Guillaume II B.P. 181 · L-2011 Luxembourg Tel: (+352) 22 75 65 Fax: (+352) 46 70 73 convention.bureau@lcto.lu www.lcb.lu themicereport | 43

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Trinidad & Tobago the other side of the caribbean...

Trinidad and Tobago Sightseeing Tours is the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier tour operator serving a large majority of International Travel Agents, Wholesalers and Incentive Houses with services on both islands including: t Meet and greet t Transportation t Tours to various Attractions t Incentive and Conference handling t Hotel representation t Reconfirmation of flights t Cruise ship shore excursions So if you are looking for a highly dedicated and professional team to take care of your conference or incentive needs Trinidad and Tobago Sightseeing Tours would welcome the opportunity to hear from you.

T & T Sightseeing Tours 165a Western Main Road, St. James, Trinidad and Tobago T: 1 868 628 0668 F: 1 868 622 9205 E: carvalho@tstt.net.tt

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trinidad & tobago

CARRIBBEAN DREAMING MICE PARADISE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

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enowned for its rich cultural and musical heritage as much as its stunning natural landscape, Trinidad and Tobago is fast becoming a magnet for major international conventions and meetings. With the development of exceptional event facilities in its thriving capital city, Port of Spain, a succession of global conferences have already benefitted from this nation’s fusion of high-tech services, superb climate and idyllic, tranquil scenery.

Basking in the balmy waters of the southern Caribbean Sea, the tropical islands of Trinidad and Tobago combine a perfect beach paradise with a world-class business destination. Cliff James reports on the MICE delights of this twin-island nation.

First encountered by the explorer Christopher Columbus in 1498, Trinidad and Tobago has a long history of international trade that has culminated in the 21st century with its pre-eminence as a regional financial centre. Having merited a reputation as a key destination for international meetings, the archipelago state has recently hosted such notable events as the Fifth Summit of the Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2009.

Vast expansion of first-class accommodation and conference facilities and a major redevelopment of Port of Spain’s waterfront have contributed to this well-earned reputation. The Hyatt Regency, for example, is part of this dynamic new waterfront area overlooking the azure Gulf of Paria, and offers the largest conference centre in the English-speaking Caribbean. With a rooftop pool and sundeck, waterfront restaurant, grand ballrooms and an exceptional business centre, the Hyatt has attracted such world-famous guests as Queen Elizabeth II, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Barak Obama. The recently modernised Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre overlooks the green lawns of Queen’s Park Savannah and offers more than 400 rooms, including four presidential suites, each with a private balcony and stunning views. The Hilton’s Conference Centre boasts 40,000 square feet of flexible space for events and meetings, including a themicereport | 47

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trinidad & tobago tropical outdoor function area for up to 1000 guests. The hotel’s stylish Sauna and Fitness Centre, tennis courts and outdoor swimming pools add an extra touch of class to this first-rate incentive. The state-of-the-art National Academy for the Performing Arts is an ultra-modern 1,500-seater performance hall in the heart of the capital, with the capacity and calibre to host a range of conference and meeting events. Architecturally designed in glass and steel to represent Trinidad and Tobago’s national flower, the Chaconia, this futuristic centre stands as a monument to the country’s ascendancy as an international MICE destination. Situated within 25 lush acres of mountain greenery, just 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Port of Spain, the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Centre offers a variety of executive suites for business travellers, five meeting rooms, a magnificent ballroom and a fully equipped business centre. Similarly situated on the mountainside overlooking Queen’s Park Savannah, the luxurious Carlton Savannah Hotel is a stylish boutique venue with more than 150 suites and a rooftop function space overlooking the city – an ideal setting for cocktail soirees at the end of a busy day. The abundance of first-class accommodation and business amenities in Trinidad and Tobago is matched only by the variety of natural and historical sites, world-famous cultural events, culinary delights, outdoor activities and wildlife excursions. It is no surprise, therefore, that this dual-island nation has secured its reputation as a MICE location par excellence. For conference delegates with time to explore Port of Spain, the city boasts a rich assortment of colonial architecture, including a selection of Victorian and Edwardian mansion houses, collectively known as the Magnificent Seven, and the impressive National Museum and Art Gallery, which exhibits a permanent display of fine art by the national 19th century painter, Jean-Michel Cazabon. As the birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan, Trinidad and Tobago is renowned for its entertainment and nightlife scene throughout the year. But for a superlative incentive or staff reward, there are few better times to visit than during the world-famous Carnival season. Celebrated two days before Ash Wednesday each year, the Carnival is the most dynamic and extravagant spectacle in the islands’ cultural calendar, with thousands of bands, decorative floats, dancers in elaborate costumes and performing characters filling the streets of the capital with colour and rhythm. For those MICE visitors whose preference is for a peaceful communion with nature rather than the vibrant urban energy of Trinidad’s capital city,

Tobago is a 15 minute flight away and provides the perfect remedy. A premier eco-tourism destination, Tobago has won numerous environmental awards – including the World Travel Awards ‘Best Eco Destination in the World’ – and is home to one of the highest densities of bird species in the world. Consequently, the island offers a range of opportunities to unwind in the great outdoors, from bird-watching in the wildlife sanctuaries, diving amidst the rich coral reefs that surround the island, hiking through the island’s protected rainforests, or enjoying a round on one of Tobago’s championship 18-hole golf courses. If all else fails, there are a myriad of beautiful white beaches and shallow bays around the island on which to rest and take it easy. For event and incentive organisers looking to utilise the natural and cultural riches of these islands, the Trinidad and Tobago Convention Bureau is on hand to make things immeasurably simpler. Established in August 2009, the Convention Bureau offers a range of essential services to MICE planners, including comprehensive information about the various facilities, venues, hotels, pricing, attractions and activities on the islands. The Convention Bureau can also act as an intermediary between meeting planners and venues or tour operators, and can offer expertise and guidance when organising bid documents. Travelling to Trinidad and Tobago is relatively straightforward, as most international airlines – including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines – connect Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport with the UK, Europe and North America. Just a 35-minute drive from

Port of Spain, Piarco Airport has recently been upgraded and has been recognised by the World Travel Awards as the Best Airport in the Caribbean. Tobago’s Crown Point International Airport also receives some international flights, although there are frequent and reliable local connections from Piarco Airport to Crown Point. With world-class conference and meeting facilities, a vibrant cultural scene, a multitude of dining opportunities, miles of pristine sandy beaches, and a plethora of outdoor activities, the twin-island paradise of Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean dream for MICE planners. u

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trinidad & tobago

HYATT REGENCY TRINIDAD With panoramic views of the most scenic natural harbour in the Americas, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad is a stunning setting for the most luxurious of events. Cliff James takes a look at one of the most sumptuous business venues in the exquisite Caribbean.

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aribbean meetings, conferences and business gatherings have a new home at Hyatt Regency Trinidad. With the latest innovations in meetings technology, audio/ visual services and translation facilities, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, which opened in 2008, effectively combines contemporary luxury with advanced business amenities. More than 43,000 square feet of versatile function space are available at the hotel. From small breakout conference rooms to the 16,000-square-foot Regency Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Trinidad can accommodate any size of group. Unique sites – such as patios overlooking the Gulf of Paria – provide stunning spaces and blend the atmosphere of the Caribbean with a sophisticated business setting. The hotel provides attendees with every convenience, from the services of a dedicated staff of experienced meeting professionals and a creative catering department, to multi-story parking and state-of-theart technology. “While it’s certainly remarkable that we host one of the largest meetings spaces in the Caribbean, it was critical for us to be considered the best,” says General Manager Russell George.

“We feel we’ve accomplished that goal with our focus on providing the highest level of service, cuisine, amenities and technology offerings at Hyatt Regency Trinidad.” In 2009, the hotel hosted two major international conferences, the Fifth Summit of The Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which included the U.S. President Barack Obama and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Already becoming one of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations for wedding celebrations, corporate events and holiday functions, Hyatt Regency Trinidad also offers relaxing settings amidst the grounds of its property, which create the perfect sites for pre- and post-event socialising. An infinity pool overlooking the Gulf of Paria and an outdoor lounge space with chic settees offer tranquil scenery. The stunning 9,000-square-foot Spa Esencia – the first Hyatt Pure Spa to debut in the Caribbean – offers six all-inclusive suites and infuses native Trinidadian culture and elements with luxurious treatments. Also available is the Hyatt Stay Fit Gym with state-of-the-art cardio- and strength-training equipment. On an island known for its varied cuisine and

multi-ethnic flavours, Hyatt Regency Trinidad is no exception. Its Waterfront restaurant invites you to enjoy local and international cuisine with contemporary flair, in a unique ambience with indoor and outdoor seating, all with beautiful views of the scenic Gulf. One of the captivating features of the restaurant is the show kitchen, where guests can see their meals being prepared by the chefs and the culinary team. The Cinnamon Deli and Patisserie offers a selection of fresh pastries and desserts for breakfast, tea or anytime of the day for those wanting a snack or on the go. Guests can also relax in the Lobby Bar and Lounge, which features tapas-style dishes and an outdoor terrace with magnificent waterfront views, where you can unwind while listening to live evening entertainment. For sushi lovers, the Sushi Bar provides authentic sushi offerings with a wide selection for both the novice and experienced sushi diners. Upscale accommodation, sophisticated business event spaces and serene settings have elevated Hyatt Regency Trinidad’s ability to deliver the most superior meetings and conference hotel in the Caribbean. For more information please call (868) 623-2222 or visit trinidad.hyatt.com. ◆ themicereport | 49

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eastern europe

BEHIND THE

VELVET CURTAIN By David Aherne, Director of the European Convention Bureau.

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hen seeking new venues and locations for an important event where cost is a prime consideration, Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European countries are often overlooked. However, the former Eastern Block countries can offer fantastic value for money, now they have thrown off the mantle of Communism. The people in all the countries I have visited are very welcoming to foreign visitors, making a real effort to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding meeting planners, particularly where theming is needed for an event. Romania boasts one of the newest and most elegant conference hotels in Eastern Europe, with 42 halls ranging in capacity from 30 to 450 delegates and a 1,000 square-metre ballroom, capable of seating 1,000 people. It is the Rin Grand Hotel in Bucharest, which was only completed in 2007 and has more than 1,400 bedrooms, that complements the meeting facilities. The meeting rooms all benefit from high-speed internet communications, the latest A/V equipment and natural daylight.

The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, is a magical city with a quality all of its own. The flight from London takes only two hours and Prague, like most of Europe, is one hour ahead of British time. Prague is well served by its public transport system, which has a desk in the airport where we bought passes to cover our stay. The person in charge spoke good English and explained which bus to catch and where to change onto the tram that stopped outside our hotel. One of the things that impressed me on my first visit was the friendliness of the Czech people, most of whom speak German as a second language and many even speak English as a third. I visited Prague in October and the weather conditions were very comfortable, with occasional rain, but mostly sunny and warm. When we arrived, there were still visible tide marks on some buildings left by the floods that had devastated so many European towns previously. The largest conference hotel in Prague is the Top Hotel Praha, located on the outskirts of

the town centre within a park that covers more than 90,000 square metres. It is one of the largest hotels in Central and Eastern Europe, with a meeting space of 4,500 square metres. It can cope with events for up to 5,000 guests in five congress halls and 16 lounges. The hotel itself has 810 bedrooms and suites of up to 100 square metres, and has range of five restaurants to suit most tastes. Prague is an ideal destination for British travellers because everything seems to cost so much less. There are many shops that sell amber jewellery for about half to two-thirds the price one would expect to pay in Britain. The food in most restaurants is also better value for money, and the portions are much larger. I was also impressed to see so many restaurants offering a vegetarian รก la carte menu. Just as Americans visiting Europe are surprised at what they cannot find on our side of the pond, so it is for Western Europeans visiting countries like Croatia. I was astonished to find a very large, newly built conference hotel that was fitted with only tiny lifts. These were designed, themicereport | 51

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eastern europe

Lying at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers English-speaking visitors the perfect combination of sunshine and excellent weather for most of the year

I thought, for six average people, ten size-zero supermodels or two overweight Texans, and were impossible to turn a wheelchair around in. Later we discovered that if you did not wish to go out of the main entrance, up through the car park and in through a fire exit, the only internal way to the conference centre from the main hotel block was via a flight of steps. Although never part of the former Soviet Bloc, Cyprus deserves to be considered when looking at the far east of Europe. Just to the south of Turkey in Asia, Cyprus is the largest island in the Mediterranean and is named after the copper ore that abounds there. Once was used by the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Ottomans for the manufacture of many diverse products, copper was blended with iron to become the alloy we now call brass. Lying at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers English-speaking visitors the perfect combination of sunshine and excellent weather for most of the year, together with a very English-flavoured destination. Almost everyone speaks English as easily as they do Greek; most road signs are in both languages

and many are in Turkish as well. Restaurants serve typical Greek dishes alongside very British fare. On the southern coast of Cyprus, the principal towns are Paphos (or Pafos) and Limassol (or Lemesos). The latter is the true business heart of Cyprus, more so than the Capital, Nicosia (or Lefkosia). One of the nicest conference hotels in Cyprus lies just on the outskirts of Limassol: the St. Raphael Resort, combining all the advantages of a carefully chosen tranquil beachside location with one of the most modern purpose-built conference centres on the island. Accommodation includes 272 bedrooms, of which 56 are new Executive Rooms, plus six recently renovated Admiral Suites, each with its own Jacuzzi. As one of the leading conference hotels in Cyprus, the five-star St. Raphael Resort features a wide variety of conference rooms with a capacity for up to 525 guests seated theatrestyle. Audio-visual systems, high-speed internet and modern telecommunications facilities are all included. There are six excellent restaurants to suit all moods and occasions. These include

The Octagon, serving a selection of local and international cuisine; The Palladium, for international dishes; The Splash Restaurant, specializing in grills and fast food, and The Phoenician, a sophisticated Lebanese/ Mediterranean restaurant. Pathos is an ideal seaside holiday town with many splendid resort hotels. By the harbour is the entrance to The Mosaics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an area of several acres where many mosaic floors from ancient buildings have been excavated and preserved. No visitor should leave Cyprus without seeing the Tombs of the Kings, the very ancient burial site that is situated on the western outskirts of Pathos. Overlooking the sea on the way to Coral Bay, the site is believed to be the tombs of the ancient kings of Cyprus. Cut into the rock, these consist of a magnificent underground temple surrounded by the tombs.

David Aherne is the Director of the European Convention Bureau which was launched in 1996 to bring new meetings, incentives, events and exhibitions into Europe. www.euro-congres.org Services are free of charge.

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C

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Contact details: Tel: +27 21 430 2060 Fax: +27 21 434 8420 161 Main Rd Green Point Cape Town 8005 RSA events@intoafrica.co.za w w w. i n t o a f r i c a . c o m

Twenty years in the events industry has taught us the value of listening.

Listening to the nuances of each individual brief. Discerning what is

required of us in every situation. Tuning in to changes in the business environment. Being sensitive to the

needs of our own environment.

And fine tuning what we do so that

we bring real added benefit in a

c hanging events landscape.

fine tuned for added benefit in a changing

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south africa

EXCLUSIVE ADVENTURES IN THE RAINBOW NATION From wildlife safaris and unblemished beaches to the lavish opulence of five-star resorts, Ed Carpenter explores the spectrum of MICE attractions in the Rainbow Nation

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niversally celebrated as the culturally rich and ecologically bountiful ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa offers a cornucopia of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the intrepid MICE traveller. With almost 3,000km of stunning coastline from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, Africa’s superpower has always been a natural haven for audacious explorers as they voyaged around the southern tip of the continent. A plethora of international travel and hotel awards seem to shower South Africa each year with recognition of its outstanding facilities for business and incentive travel. In the 2010 Commonwealth Business Council Awards, South Africa won the region’s prestigious Tourism Destination of the Year Award, in addition to a string of accolades from the World Travel Awards, the World Luxury Hotel Awards and the Responsible Tourism Awards. Having hosted a succession of international sporting tournaments, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 1996 African Cup of Nations, and the 2003 Cricket World Cup, South Africa truly excelled itself with the legendary 2010 FIFA World Cup – for which it was awarded a 9 out of 10 grade by FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The Rainbow Nation has accordingly

developed a multiplicity of world-class conference centres, luxury hotels and incentive activities that have established this remarkable country as the leading MICE provider on the continent. The luxury resort of Sun City holds an enviable reputation as one of the world’s greatest conference and entertainment complexes. Situated in the North West Province, just two hour’s drive (187kms) from Johannesburg, Sun City rises above the grass plains of the Bushveld like an extravagant mirage. The resort’s 6,230-seater Superbowl has hosted sell-out performances by eminent stars, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Frank Sinatra, Tina Turner and Queen. With a therapeutic health spa, two first-rate golf courses, a casino and a palm-lined water park, Sun City offers a dazzling assortment of activities for incentive groups or conference delegates to unwind in the lap of luxury. As a premier location for international meetings and conferences, Sun City provides a stunning range of venues. The five-star Palace of the Lost City is a breathtaking wonder of modern architecture, and offers a variety of standard, luxury and superior suites among its 338 stately rooms. Dramatic tribal art decorates the Palace’s three fully equipped conference rooms, the largest of which can

accommodate up to 180 delegates in a theatre-style gallery, or 90 guests at a sumptuous banquet. Similarly, the five-star Sun City Hotel is a glamorous venue for quality conferences and events. Situated in acres of subtropical woodland and gardens, this sophisticated hotel offers 340 air-conditioned suites, and two chic restaurants that serve a fusion of tasty African and international cuisines. Among Sun City Hotel’s seven indoor and al fresco conferencing areas, the newly refurbished Letsatsi Centre provides an impressive vista of the surrounding landscape and all the latest technology that a 21st century business event could require. The Sun City complex is adjacent to one of South Africa’s most spectacular natural attractions: the beautiful Pilanesberg National Park. Incentive groups and conference delegates can take full advantage of the resort’s safari tours through the 55,000-hectare wildlife reserve for a real African adventure. Specialist guides lead bespoke Land Cruiser tours to view rhinos wallowing in cool mud baths, lions stalking herds of grazing antelopes and buffalo, and the world’s largest land mammal: the towering African bush elephant. As a team-building or incentive activity, these wildlife safari tours surpass all other experiences. themicereport | 55

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south africa

Described as one of the planet’s most iconic cities in National Geographic’s ‘Places of a Lifetime’ list, Cape Town offers a wealth of attractions and white sandy beaches for MICE visitors. Just a two-hour drive from Sun City is Johannesburg, the provincial capital of Guateng: the largest economy of any Sub-Saharan region. Situated in the city’s cosmopolitan Rosebank suburb amidst exclusive shopping malls and designer boutiques, the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg is a first-class hotel with panoramic views of the city, 244 luxury air-conditioned suites, an outdoor pool, and a full menu of health and beauty spa treatments. The enhanced business services at the Hyatt include a sleek selection of air-conditioned ballrooms and boardrooms, each fully integrated with the latest audio-visual equipment. South Africa’s famed cultural diversity is most evident in its fusion of cuisines, and Johannesburg is the perfect location for MICE visitors to explore the Rainbow Nation’s culinary delights. The scintillating mix of fine African restaurants, international delis and delicious bistros is matched only by the variety of cocktail bars, music venues and funky nightclubs, for Johannesburg is wellknown for its vivacious nightlife. During the

daytime, the city’s inspiring Apartheid Museum, which details the historical struggle for liberation and is designed around a peaceful garden, is a must-see for any visitor to this world city. For business and incentive travellers who yearn for coastal breezes and views of the seemingly infinite Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town offers a dramatic contrast to the rolling grasslands of the country’s interior. The five-star Cape Royal Luxury Hotel and Residence, seated at the foothills of Table Mountain and overlooking the waterfront area of the city, is a majestic edifice in South Africa’s most beautiful metropolis.

Described as one of the planet’s most iconic cities in National Geographic’s ‘Places of a Lifetime’ list, Cape Town offers a wealth of attractions and white sandy beaches for MICE visitors. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is the country’s most visited tourist attraction and hosts more than 400 designer shops, restaurants and stylish bars. Just a thirty-minute boat trip from the waterfront is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 27 years. Tour operators incorporate the island into their excursions, along with visits to the region’s famous vineyards, and cruises along the Atlantic seaboard to see penguin and seal colonies and even the occasional whale.

Awarded first prize in the Luxury Suite Hotel category of the 2009 World Luxury Hotel Awards, the Cape Royal is an elegant, designer-furnished haven of comfort, with three restaurants, a spa and wellness centre, four state-of-the-art meeting rooms, and a roof-top bar and pool deck with 360o panoramic views of Table Mountain and the harbour.

Travelling to South Africa is mercifully straightforward, as Johannesburg International Airport and Cape Town International Airport are both well-connected with regular direct flights from Europe, Australia and America. This ease of access combines with the highly developed facilities, unique activities and vibrant culture to ensure that the Rainbow Nation offers a truly unforgettable MICE experience. u

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Holland, surprisingly refreshing! Hollandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-organised public transport offers great accessibility. Visit us at: www.holland.com/meetings

Our public transport. A Fresh Dutch View on sustainability Superbus is a creation of Hollandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first astronaut, Prof. Wubbo Ockels. Ockels has a distinct passion for sustainability. Superbus is an electric vehicle offering hi-speed public transport without any direct CO2 and NO2 emissions. www.superbus.tudelft.nl

091 Holland Advert.indd 1

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MĂźller â&#x20AC;˘ Gstaad

Rent a Palace The program allows your company to rent the entire hotel in exclusivity at a particularly attractive rate. With this truly exceptional offer we grant you a spectacular and memorable event in the Alps. from September 11 to September 17, 2011 from December 11 to December 18, 2011 from March 11 to March 18, 2012 from June 10 to June 17, 2012 from September 16 to September 23, 2012 (date ranges are subject to changes and availability)

Rates in Summer from CHF 470.- p.p. and day Rates in Winter from CHF 610.- p.p. and day

058-059 Gstaad Hotel DPS.indd 2 [B0,&(B5HSRUWLQGG

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Alpine Su�mer in Gsta�d…

3780 Gstaad - Switzerland Phone: +41 33 748 50 00 - Fax: +41 33 748 50 01 info@palace.ch - www.palace.ch

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SWEET AMERICAN DREAMS AT

FLATOTEL

Intimate comfort, cosmopolitan chic, and deluxe style – Peter Morrin savours the superior facilities at New York’s fashionable Flatotel.

T

he stylishly cosmopolitan, fourstar Flatotel Hotel in New York City appears to accomplish the unattainable. Situated in the vivaciously commercial, cultural and financial centre of the world, the Flatotel in Manhattan provides the unique intimacy and contemporary comfort of a boutique hotel within the dazzling core of the Big Apple. Inspired by the innovative principles of Frank Lloyd Wright – the “greatest American architect of all time”, according to the American Institute of Architects – the Flatotel exemplifies the spirit of Wright’s Prairie School and Usonian style, with custom designed furnishing, finishings and fine details throughout. So much more than just a tasteful gallery or exhibition to the stunning design of this great architect, the Flatotel provides an essentially warm and comfortable haven for visitors to the City that Never Sleeps. With 288 spaciously deluxe rooms and suites, the Flatotel successfully combines apartmentsized rooms with designer hotel intimacy. From the luxurious 300-thread count Egyptian bed linen to the considerately stocked compact refrigerators, it is apparent that precise detail and fastidious care have been invested in ensuring the highest degree of customer contentment.

as a suitable venue for a wide variety of event sizes and budgets. The design of the new deluxe rooms, for example, is animated with Wright’s concept of the hearth as the heart and soul of a house. Here, the customised bed is the central element of the room, from which all furnishings and features – such as the desk and Aeron chairs, Direct TV, Sony Wega TV, CD player, and Essential Elements amenities – all appear to emanate.

The sheer diversity of superior suites available for business travellers distinguishes the Flatotel

For business travellers who prefer more lavish dimensions, the Flatotel offers a range of

spacious suites to satisfy every taste. These rooms range from the 750 square foot Studio Suites, complete with a full kitchen and extensive bedroom, to the One-Bedroom suites that extend over 1100 square feet and include a separate dining area. The hotel also offers TwoBedroom Suites, which contain two bathrooms and a spacious living room covering 1500 square feet. The opulent Deluxe Penthouse Suites provide 2200 square feet of space, including a full-sized and fully equipped kitchen with spectacular

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flatotel hotel with the high-tech sophistication of a conference centre, the venue provides 14,000 square feet of space for every kind of business event. Whether the need is for a board meeting of 10 members, an elaborate cocktail reception or banquet, or a corporate event for 450 delegates, the Flatotel has the professional taste and first-rate facilities to deliver a flawless experience. The 5th Avenue and the Broadway conference rooms each present a refined meeting space for up to 22 delegates, and can be transformed into an exclusive reception area for up to 40 guests. At the other end of the scale, the Midtown Room provides a comfortable meeting space for up to 56 delegates, which can be converted to a deliciously elegant banqueting hall for 200 guests. With the latest audio and visual services, video conferencing, plasma monitors and smart boards, the cutting-edge facilities at this outstanding hotel are genuinely enviable. Delegates can enjoy the finest Mediterraneaninspired cuisine or a custom-tailored menu at Flatotel’s well-appointed Moda Restaurant – a chic Italian eatery with a magnificent outdoor patio area that overlooks 52nd Street. The

and take in the awe-inspiring view of New York from the Observation Deck. Equally close are the Museum of Modern Art, the American Folk Art Museum and the illustrious Radio City Music Hall, known as the Showplace of the Nation. With all the major New York City tourist attractions on the doorstep, it is no surprise that the Flatotel is directly accessible by taxi, shuttle bus or subway from JFK Airport. Surrounded by celebrated skyscrapers in the heart of Manhattan, the intimate charm and cosmopolitan chic of the Flatotel delivers a tangible American dream. u views of the world-famous Manhattan skyline. Hi-speed internet access, portable computers and state-of-the-art telecommunication systems are also available for executives who need to meet deadlines while enjoying the magnificent New York panorama. Meeting organisers are spoilt for choice by the excellent facilities in the elegant Flatotel, as the hotel offers a selection of unique event venues, including a ballroom, spacious lofts and an outdoor plaza that can host 500 guests. Blending the intimate ambience of a boutique

proximity of this jazz club avenue, which famously hosted the legendary likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday, highlights the central location of this stylish hotel and the abundance of attractions nearby. Business guests can truly savour the best of the Big Apple by visiting the Russian Tea Room before taking in a show at either the Gershwin Theatre or Carnegie Hall, all of which are just a short walk away. The monumental art deco Rockefeller Center stands only a few blocks away, at which visitors can soar 70 floors high

Flatotel’s Meeting and Special Events 135 W. 52nd St., New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-887-9515 Fax: 212-887-9849 www.flatotel.com

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h

LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES FRANCE UNIQUE SELLING POINTS • Offices in Paris and Nice, with services throughout France • Experience of coordinating events of 20 to 2000+ guests • A reliable partnership bringing you creativity and quality • A swift and strong capacity to react • The experience of working with customers from around the world • A multilingual team devoted to the success of your event • Financial security and credibility OUR PHILOSOPHY Liberty Incentives & Congresses France appreciates the importance of the fine details that make a real difference. We believe in delivering the best possible service and performing above and beyond the ordinary, which is why – after more than six years and innumerable world-class events – LICF is recognized as one of the key players in the French MICE market. But a respectable Destination Management Company does not achieve this reputation by accident. Responsiveness, budget and creativity are the fundamental concerns of every LICF project manager working on your leisure or MICE programme in our Paris and Nice offices. This is why we have grown from a team of two into a multilingual team of 20 with a rich history of professional experience. If you need something ‘out of the box’ that fits your budget, LICF will prove that this is feasible; the “wow effect” does not have to be expensive to be impressive.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES LICF offers specialist destination management expertise and services throughout France, with dedicated MICE and leisure departments; expert PCO and congress management services; superior event productions (including product launches, conferences, meetings and exhibitions), and enhanced sports and team building activities.

OPERATIONAL REACH France is a celebrated MICE destination, and LICF’s daily challenge is to deliver new and innovative opportunities in the country you thought you knew. With our knowledge, dedication to detail and a few special touches, we will create your perfect event anywhere in the country. REFERENCES LICF provides successful destination management services for numerous international organisations, including: Ecma, Buongiorno, Daikin, Boehringer, Mac Valves, Convin, Evca, AEP, Vitatron, Esra, Finat, Deutsche Bank, Group La Martiniere, Heineken Int., Daikin Dealers, Comverse, Minolta, Amadeus, Deloitte & Touche, and many more. themicereport | xx

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LIBERTY INCENTIVES & CONGRESSES FRANCE http://www.liberty-incentive.net/france/

• TAILOR MADE PROGRAMMES THROUGHOUT FRANCE • OFFICES IN PARIS & NICE • LEISURE & MICE DEPARTMENTS • A GUARANTEE OF QUALITY • MORAL & FINANCIAL CREDIBILITY

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PARIS OFFICE

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26, rue de l’Industrie - 92400 COURBEVOIE Phone: + 33 1 55 70 25 25 - Fax: + 33 1 43 33 37 59 parisoffice@liberty-incentive.fr

3, rue Alphonse Karr - 06000 NICE Phone: + 33 4 92 00 57 80 - Fax: + 33 4 92 00 32 42 niceoffice@liberty-incentive.fr

a personal touch worldwide Austria - Argentina – Baltic states - Brazil - China - Cuba - Czech Republic & Slovakia - Egypt - France - Germany - Great Britain - Greece - Hong Kong Hungary - India - Italy - Kenya & Tanzania - Libya - Morocco - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Russia - Slovenia & Croatia - South Africa – Spain – Turkey

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terre blanche

Terre Blanche T

World-class golfing, a magnificent spa villa and a five-star hotel amidst the wild, authentic landscape of ancient Provence; Neil Walden investigates the enchanting temptations of a perfect French paradise.

he luxury resort of Terre Blanche entices and fascinates visitors with its architectural affinity to the rustic Provençal landscape and its profound evocation of the region’s tranquil lifestyle. Situated within more than 300 hectares of magnificent scenery in the beautiful heart of Provence, Terre Blanche is also just a thirtyminute drive away from the palm-lined boulevards of Cannes and the immaculate Riviera beaches. Although the architecture of the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa blends seamlessly with the natural environment, the resort offers world-class services, space and security to MICE visitors – not to mention a unique golfing experience for enthusiasts.

The resort’s two championship par 72 golf courses rank among the most prestigious in Europe, and golfers of all levels are offered the best of challenges. The natural scenery of the courses - valleys, lakes, ravines, waterfalls and forests – have all been preserved by architect Dave Thomas, whose style and signature is expressed in the jagged-edged bunkers. The impressive Le Chäteau gold course is 6,616 metres long and provides a superb challenge for any ambitious golfers among incentive groups and business guests. The bunkers, greens and flag positions enable players to experience the true conditions of a championship course, including spectacular water obstacles. The course is accessible to all golfers with a maximum handicap of 35.

Alternatively, the undulating Le Riou golf course is a 6,005 metre-long technical course that requires strategy and precision. Overlooking the authentic mediaeval villages of Callian, Tourrettes and Fayence, Le Riou is reserved for clients of the Four Seasons Resort, club members and their guests. It also hosts an Open of the Ladies European Tour Access Series. Golfing enthusiasts can choose from a range of memberships at these courses, including Resident Membership (for owners of property within Terre Blanche), Non-Resident Membership, International or Country Memberships, and corporate cards also offer special conditions to play. For refreshments, the exclusive clubhouse bar and restaurant offers breathtaking views over the courses and is open every day at noon, and during the evenings in spring and summer.

With the opening of the resort’s outstanding new Golf Performance Centre, Terre Blanche now provides the most advanced golf training services in Europe. MICE visitors to the centre will have access to the same facilities that are used by the French national amateur golf team, winners of the 2010 World Championship. The centre also offers advanced coaching for beginners and professionals with the esteemed David Leadbetter Golf Academy, and the scientific expertise and state-of-the-art technology of BiomecaSwing, managed by the world-renowned osteopath Jean-Jacques Rivet. Ranked among the world’s finest resorts, Terre

Blanche’s five-star Four Seasons Hotel and Spa is a serene paradise that provides incentive visitors with a grand infinity pool, award-winning dining, 115 luxurious suites and a museum-worthy private collection of modern art. Seated on the hillside with stunning views of the Provençal landscape, the Spa is a majestic villa that delivers a range of health and wellbeing therapies, from simple relaxation to rare skin treatments. Terre Blanche also presents the opportunity to fulfil an enchanting dream: to build one’s own villa in this idyllic location. The second phase of land development is now being marketed, and plots of land are available in preserved wooded areas with views of the mediaeval villages perched on the Esterel Hills. Terre Blanche offers the sublime pleasure of enjoying the Provençal sunshine in total tranquillity, and the quintessential luxury of being a member of this exceptional international golf resort and residential community. Reservations and membership information:

proshop@terreblanchegolfclub.com Tel: +33 (0)4 94 39 36 93 Fax: +33 (0)4 94 39 66 98 Real Estate Les Bastides, 104 Impasse des Grandes Terrasses 83440 Tourrettes - France

realestate@terre-blanche.com Tel: +33 (0) 4 94 36 39 96 Fax: +33 (0) 4 94 39 36 98

www.terre-blanche.com

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Settle your nest in the legend

Living and golfing in the legendary Domaine de Terre Blanche. Building your home in one of the best preserved places in Provence. Enjoying comfort and luxury, with two of Europe’s most beautiful golf courses, the unique Golf Performance Center offering a massive practice range, top-level expertise (David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Biomecaswing Sports Center), a Four Seasons Hotel and one of the finest Spas in the world. A dream come true.

TERRE BLANCHE • GOLF COURSES • TRAINING CENTRE • FOUR SEASONS RESORT PROVENCE HOTEL & SPA • RESTAURANTS • REAL ESTATE 104, Impasse des Grandes Terrasses • 83440 Tourrettes • France • Tél. +33 ( 0 )4 94 39 36 96 • E-mail: realestate@terre-blanche.com • www.terre-blanche.com

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madrid

HILTON MADRID AIRPORT As a masterpiece of modern design, the Hilton Madrid Airport is widely regarded as one of the most stylish business hotels in Spain. Cliff James investigates the exceptional charms of this award-winning hotel.

R

enowned for its excellent service standards and stunning avantgarde design, Hilton Madrid Airport has become the first choice for international business travellers to Spain. Strategically located close to the main exhibition centres and the vibrant heart of the city, this elegant venue offers MICE visitors a superior range of amenities. With a vast function area of 1,700 square metres, the Hotel Madrid Airport can comfortably accommodate meetings, conferences and conventions of all types and sizes. Video conference equipment, instant translation systems and Wi-Fi internet are just some of the latest technological innovations that equip the 15 working areas of this high-quality venue. For larger events, the magnificent Isabela Ballroom provides more than 750 square metres of luxurious function space and can host up to 580 guests. The hotel is ingeniously designed so that each of the two towers can function separately, providing MICE delegates

with their exclusive space and services, entirely independent from the rest of the hotel. The hotel offers 284 spacious and modern rooms across its two towers. Each of the bedrooms has a designated working area equipped with the latest multimedia technology. Business travellers who stay at the hotel’s executive rooms can enjoy the superior advantages of the executive lounge, which offers its own reception for check-in and check-out, refreshments throughout the day, computers with internet access and personalised service. For guests who desire a soothing indulgence, Hilton Madrid Airport offers the celebrated Hilton Relaxation Rooms® – rooms designed in a way that the space, light and colours radiate peace and harmony. These spacious rooms include a luxurious marble bathroom, containing a relaxing hydromassage bathtub and separate shower. For the last word in relaxation, the hotel also offers a state-of-the-art gym, equipped with Precor machines, personal trainer services, sauna and a hydrotherapy pool. In the evening, the Ferrum Bar becomes one of the

hotel’s main attractions, with its stylishly modern interior decoration, high quality hospitality and a range of exclusive speciality whiskeys. With the airport conveniently close, the Hilton offers business travellers an inspired day package - ‘Meetings in Transit’ - which enables guests to hire function rooms for their meetings, lunch, Wi-Fi Internet and access to hotel’s superior leisure facilities. And, with a complimentary shuttle service to and from the International Airport of Madrid Barajas, Hilton Madrid Airport ensures that the experience of every guest is as satisfying and stress-free as possible ◆ themicereport | 67

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aphrodite hills resort

intercontinental style CONFERENCE AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL MADE EASY Combining seamless service with top class facilities, the InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel in Cyprus offers the best setting on the island when it comes to corporate functions. This luxurious hotel offers a raft of conference support facilities that enable guests to concentrate on corporate priorities. Rooms to impress The great choice of venues available at the property includes a magnificent Grand Ballroom that can accommodate up to 450 guests for a banquet or be divided into four smaller rooms for smaller events. There is also a large function room that can be divided into three smaller rooms, accommodating as few as 10 people. The hotel also has a spacious foyer that can be used for receptions and coffee breaks. The main attraction, however, is the impressive outdoor area which is perfect for small and large ‘al fresco’ events. Superior Support Services The hotel offers first-rate conference services, including comprehensive audio-visual systems, professional lighting and simultaneous translation services that can support any level of event – from a one-on-one digital presentation through to a state-of-the-art theatrestyle production. In addition, a fully-equipped 24-hour Business Centre with secretarial and translation services on request provides guests with the ability to carry out their day-to-day business throughout their stay. Service guaranteed Corporate events, whether a private board meeting or a major product launch, are handled with the utmost attention to detail by the

InterContinental team who constantly meet and exceed the expectations of the international business traveller. Dining with clients and colleagues When it comes to entertaining clients or enjoying a meal with colleagues, the hotel offers a variety of dining options, from delectable Euro-Asian to exquisite Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Location, location, location… Located just 15 minutes from the International Airport of Paphos, 30 minutes from the town of Limassol and 75 minutes from Larnaca International Airport, the hotel is ideally situated for meetings and conference travel. Why choose the InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel? Being situated in the heart of the luxurious Aphrodite Hills Resort, guests at the InterContinental can enjoy all the facilities on offer during their stay. The sporty types can choose from the magnificent 18-hole championship golf course or the Tennis Academy, whilst those who prefer to relax after a hard day’s work can opt for a treatment at the stunning Greco-Roman style spa, The Retreat. The local area is rich in culture, mythology and tradition and guests can visit the surrounding

traditional Cypriot villages or take a trip to see Aphrodite’s Rock, where the Greek goddess of love is said to have emerged from the sea. u

InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort Hotel Tel: +357 26 829 606 Fax: +357 26 829 612 Email: ic.sales@aphroditehills.com www.intercontinental.com/aphrodite For more information on the resort visit www.aphroditehills.com

themicereport | 69

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MEETINGS AND BUSINESS TRAVEL

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The MICE REPORT - Issue 3  

A magazine aimed at the Business & Hospitality Industry

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