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A sia - P a c i f i c

The Asia-Pacific Magazine for Association Executives Supported by UIA, Union of International Associations


HeadQuarters Magazines Pte Ltd Published 4 times a year June 2010 Edition

Ever-vibrant Hong Kong

An Interview with gilly wong


UIA: How to run your association professionally Research: the eastern century is coming Destination updates


Economic growth, or the reason for the proliferation of Asian-Pacific associations Every day sees something written about emerging economies. Until now, this was mostly limited to the so-called BRIC-countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), but now I hear more and more about small, alternative growth-countries or second class growth-countries. These countries are often located in the Asia-Pacific, a region where Headquarters Asia-Pacific, or HAP as we call it, does intensive research on the growth of trade, non-profit, international, regional and national associations. That’s because the organisation of congresses are the core business of these institutions. MARCEL A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief

Two countries in the Asia-Pacific region have attracted my attention. ‘Which country grew economically faster than India, China and Brazil?’ This question formed the title of a research paper by Deutsche Bank. It’s Indonesia, a country where the number of associations grows too. Indonesia favourable demographics, the presence of natural resources and a relatively stable political climate have inaugurated a decade of economic growth. In Greater Jakarta - with a population of 23 million people, the second largest metropolitan area in the world - GDP grew between 2006 and 2009 with 11% annually. But, according to J.P. Morgan’s calculations, the country can - despite the economic growth - depend on the lowest wages in the Asia-Pacific. A lot of China’s production has already been moved to Indonesia.

Now I hear more and more about sm a l l , a l t e r n a t i v e Alternatively, The Economist headlined that Vietnam is the most promising country for

g row th-countries or s econd c la ss growt h - investments. Since the cost of wages has risen in China and India, multinationals

countries. These countries are o f t e n l o c a t e d i n are looking for alternatives. Vietnam, which the Asia-Pacific, a region where H e a d q u a r t e rs will join the World Trade Organisation, Asia-Pacific, or HAP as we call it , d o e s i n t e n s i v e research on the grow th of tra de , n on -p rofi t ,

is the most promising one. In comparison with neighbouring countries, Vietnam has got few associations. Yet, of course. All reports about economic growth in the

in t ern at iona l, regiona l a nd na tion a l a ssoc i a t i on s Asia-Pacific region have driven us to look

through European- and American-tinted glasses at these developments and the consequences of this growth on the association market. You can read a full overview of this situation on page 14.


ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HQ ASIA-PACIFIC - HAP PROFILE Distribution + HAP is an Asian-Pacific magazine + Circulation: 2,500 copies + 14 Asian-Pacific countries

5% 21% 74%

Readership The readers of HAP consists of 3 important groups: + the Asian-Pacific associations organising congresses in the region: 74% + the internationanl associations organizing international congresses: 21% + the Asian-Pacifc meetings industry, international agencies (PCO’s, AMC’s, members of IAPCO): 5%

22% 36%

Analysis of the association readership Professional agencies: the senior level of management of the PCO’s and DMC’s + Secretaries general: 22% + Presidents: 36% + Directors: 25% + Coordinators: 17%

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HEADQUARTERS magazine, The Asia-Pacific Magazine for Association Executives






Headquarters Asia-Pacific or HAP is a niche publication for local, regional and international associations based in the Asia-Pacific region dealing with the organization of worldwide congresses. Published 4 times a year. Circulation: 2,500 copies in 14 different countries. Subscriptions Subscriptions amount to 85 euros (all incl.). The online version of the magazines is available at Editor in chief Marcel A.M. Vissers

Cover HAP2: Gilly Wong, of MEHK, tells us more about her role, Hong Kong as a destination of choice and her vision of the Asia-Pacific region.

M a r ce l’ s pag e




HAP News


GENERAL A ssociation P o r t r ait: I F M S A


U I A an d I CC A’ s 2 0 0 9 stats


U I A : A ssociations , a p r ofessiona l j o b


Resea r ch : S t r on g economies nee d st r on g associations



Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch

E v e r -v i b r ant H on g Kon g , an inte r v ie w w ith Gi l ly Won g

Editorial Officer Rémi Dévé

D E S T I N AT I O N S U m b r e l l a o r g ani z ations in C hina


Contributors Igor Hendrickx Minke van Minde Jennifer Salsbury Joel Fisher Judy Wickens Roslyn McLeod Helen Bramwell Jonathan Ramael Rohit Ahuja

T hum b s up fo r Japan !


N e w De l hi


I n d ia : Lavasa , b ui l d in g a ne w confe r ence d estination


Design & Print The Neu Print PTE Ltd - Singapore

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headquarters A S I A - P A C I F I C news

to be certified ISO 14001:2004 following a stringent audit by SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd (SIRIM QAS), Malaysia’s leading certification, inspection and testing body. For the purpose-built world-class facility, receipt of ISO 14001 marks another milestone as a venue that operates in a responsible manner.

Melbourne Grows Presence in China

Sandra Chipchase, CEO of the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), announced at IMEX 2010 MCVB’s expansion in China. The new role, Business Development Manager – China, will be based in Shanghai and will report to MCVB’s North Asia Regional Sales Director, Jennifer Tung, who is based in Hong Kong. Ms Chipchase said the role was created as a result of demand generated by MCVB’s current activities and from growth opportunities identified in China.

K ua l a Lu mp u r Co n v e n t i o n C e n t r e N o w ISO 1 4 0 0 1 Certified

H y d e r a b a d To H o s t 2 0 t h I n t e r n at i o n a l World Wide Web Co n f e r e n c e

The 20th International World Wide Web (WWW 2011) Conference will be held in Hyderabad, India at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC). The conference will be held from March 28th to April 1st 2011. The big wigs of the cyber world will be making their way to Hyderabad after the World Telecommunication Development Conference by International Telecommunication Union, 3rd United Nations Internet Governance Forum and Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. The theme for WWW 2011 is ‘Web for All’ to promote the all inclusive aspect of the Web.

China Meetings Week At CIBT M S e t s Ag e n da For Metings Growth

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) has successfully notched another international accreditation with receipt of ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2004) certification. The recognition qualifies the venue as the first convention centre in Malaysia

For the first time, CIBTM will be running a dedicated China Meetings Week. It’s the only industry show officially backed by the national government in China, China National Tourism Administration and Beijing Municipal Government. The initiative has also received the backing of leading industry associations - MPI, ICCA, Site. China Meetings Week, with CIBTM at its core, running from 30th August to 3rd September, is one of the major driving forces behind the growth of the meetings industry throughout China.

Suntec Brand Goes I n t e r n at i o n a l

The Suntec brand name is going abroad, with the creation of Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Services Pte. Ltd. (Suntec International). The goal is to expand the Suntec brand and services beyond Singapore to the global platform. Pieter Idenburg, CEO of Suntec Singapore as well as Suntec International, announced the launch of the new entity at IMEX 2010. Suntec International will provide a wide ranging portfolio of services that include sales and marketing representation, venue management, consultancy services, with a key focus on highly customized solutions to clients.

Meetingsbooker. co m s u r pa s s e s 2,000 meeting r o o m s A dvo c at e s Pa r t n e r s h i p p u t s science on show

Online meeting room portal now offers over 2,000 meeting rooms available to book online in 19 countries. The site which was launched just eighteen months ago allows you to compare


headquarters A S I A - P A C I F I C news

rates for meeting rooms and either book online or receive instant quotes. With meeting rooms from Beijing to Amsterdam, now receives over 10,000 monthly visitors. The performance based revenue model is also proving popular with hotels and venues including Hilton, Sheraton and Radisson Blu. Venues can join for free and are only charged an annual listing fee after they receive confirmed bookings.

Singapore Unveils New Brand

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched a new brand to represent Singapore an an ideal destination for business meetings of any kind. The brand is a subset of the recentlylauched YourSingapore destination brand and in conjunction with this

brand launch, the YourSingapore website will include new features to address the needs of event organisers. The new brand represents Singapore’s and the STB’s commitment to partner events organisers to create winning solution for their events.

offering as from 1 September 2010 three weekly frequencies between Paris and Tokyo operated by the Airbus 380. The flight will be daily as from 5 October. Tokyo will be the first destination in Asia to be served by the Air France A380 and the third worldwide after New York in November 2009 and Johannesburg in February 2010. It is already possible to make bookings.

The Air France A380 B e t w e e n Pa r i s A n d To k yo

With the arrival of the fourth Airbus A380 in its fleet, Air France will be





In Thailand, possibilities branch out endlessly


association portrait

Minke van Minde

International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) A talk with Minke van Minde, Vice President for External Affairs T he I nte r nationa l F e d e r ation of M e d ica l S tu d ents ’ A ssociations ( I F M S A ) is an in d epen d ent, non - g ov e r nmenta l an d non - po l itica l fe d e r ation of me d ica l stu d ents ’ associations th r ou g hout the w o r l d . I n 2 0 0 9 I F M S A ha d 9 7 mem b e r s , w ith N ationa l M em b e r O r g ani z ations f r om 9 2 count r ies ac r oss fi v e continents an d r ep r esente d mo r e ov e r 1 . 2 mi l l ion me d ica l stu d ents . M inke van M in d e e x p l ains ho w he r fe d e r ation is st r uctu r e d .

HQ: Could you briefly introduce IFMSA?

Minke van Minde: Founded in 1951, the IFMSA is run for and by medical students on a non-profit basis. It is officially recognized as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) within the United Nations’ and by the World Health Organization as the International Forum for medical students. It serves medical students all over the world. Its mission is to offer future physicians a comprehensive introduction to global health issues. Every year, nearly 10,000 students participate in the exchange programs of the IFMSA; thousands more design projects, attend conferences, and plan

events in such areas as human rights and refugee health, medical education, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, international research and public health. Our mandate, as we interpret it, is to train and sensitize medical students to become advocates for health issues that they will face later as practitioners. Biannually IFMSA organizes a conference, better known as General Assembly, in one of the member countries. During these GA’s almost 700-800 medical students gather, share experience and participate in sessions, workshops and trainings for 6 days. Thus, the IFMSA is now one of the biggest student networks in the

world and our meetings one of the largest student gatherings.

HQ: What is the association’s decision process concerning the organization of a congress?

Minke van Minde: IFMSA Member Organizations have a bid for hosting a GA one year prior to the event. The candidatures are voted upon by the Member Organizations themselves. Our members decide where the next conference will be held according to certain criteria.

Every IFMSA General Assembly has its own charm; this is mostly due to the different destinations where the meetings take place. We have just returned from Bangkok, Thailand, and the August Meeting will move to the other side of the world, to Montreal, Canada. The destination of the March 2011 Meeting will be Jakarta, Indonesia. The Member Organizations themselves elected this venue during the meeting in Bangkok. The Asia-Pacific region is becoming popular!


association portrait

IFMSA General Assembly, March 2010, Bangkok, Thailand

FMSA General Assemblies March Meeting 2007: Perth, Australia (600 delegates) August Meeting 2007: Canterbury, United Kingdom (800 delegates) March Meeting 2008: Monterrey, Mexico (600 delegates) August Meeting 2008: Ocho Rios, Jamaica (600 delegates) March Meeting 2009: Hammamet, Tunisia (800 delegates) August Meeting 2009: Ohrid, Macedonia (700 delegates) March Meeting 2010: Bangkok, Thailand (800 delegates) August Meeting 2010: Montréal, Canada March Meeting 2011: Jakarta, Indonesia

The destination of the March 2011 Meeting will The 59th General Assembly was held this year in Bangkok, Thailand, at the Rama Gardens Hotel. Number of delegates was 700 from outside Thailand and around 100 Organizing Committee and Thai delegates. The main theme of the conference was ‘Complementary and Alternative Medicin’. Feedback from delegates was mainly very positive: ‘The Thai Organizing Committee did a fantastic job’, ‘Bangkok is a great city to have a meeting in, it offers a variety of social program events’, ‘Great to finally have a meeting in Asia!’. Feedback from the Organizing Committee was positive as well. To organize a meeting in Bangkok seems to be easier than in other provinces of Thailand; transport and venues are more available and accessible. Staff recruitment was more difficult though: the recruitment of medical students from different faculties is a tough task and of course the funding was not easy. Janewit Wongboonsin, Vice President of the Organizing Committee said: ‘I am really proud that we were able to organize this meeting in Bangkok, especially when we were honored with the presence of her Royal Highness the Princess of Thailand for our opening ceremony.’ Bangkok is easy accessible as a conference destination and transport within the city is easy and quick. In spite of traffic jams, travelling time is rather short. Thai people are very helpful as it is accustomed not to say “no”, Western people should be careful not to take advantage of that! The Organizing Committee of the meeting worked in collaboration with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau: they cooperated with the bidding, contacted the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the government. They also helped with the funding and to contract a suitable venue. HEADQUARTERS ASIA-PACIFIC 10

be Jakarta, Indonesia. The Member Organizations themselves elected this venue during the meeting in Bangkok. The Asia-Pacific region is becoming popular! HQ: What kind of venues do you need for your congress? What criteria must it satisfy?

Minke van Minde: We prefer a venue where both the hotel and conference center are located, this to reduce time between moving from one place to the other. The venue must accommodate up to 900 participants, having one big conference room where the plenary can take place and at least 15 smaller workshop rooms. All these rooms must have projection, internet and airconditioning.

Do you work with a PCO or a DMC? Why? What do you expect of them? Or do you do everything in-house?

Minke van Minde: Most our conferences are organized inhouse; they are organized by our own members; medical students who received training enabling them to do so. Some externals or eminent professors may intervene or conduct a part of a session. We devote ourselves to conduct professional conferences and to offer to our international counterparts trainings that will

build their personality, and give them the tools to make a difference in their communities.

HQ: How would you summarize new trends in the association congress world?

Minke van Minde: Since we’re a students’ association, registration fees must be low, as our members have to pay the amount themselves, most of the times. Overall, the destination has to appeal to most people: they tend to vote on the venue that has the best facilities (such as transport and accommodation) and is the most pleasant to the eye. Potential destination must offer social programs which combine cultural, traditional and fun aspects. On a side note, some members may need visas, which can be difficult to acquire. The country which is easier to get visas for or the hosting member who offers more assistance in applying for them will be more likely to get our vote!


At H Q mag a z ine , w e ' r e use d to pu b l ishin g the U I A an d I CC A stats e v e r y y ea r . We kno w ou r r ea d e r s l ike to kno w w ho d i d pa r ticu l a r ly w e l l , w ho mov e d up an d w ho mov e d d o w n . S o j ust l ike a ' p r emie r e ' , he r e a r e the 2 0 0 9 ones . T he r e w i l l b e mo r e to come in H A P 3 .

Union of International Associations’ 2009 Meeting Statistics For the past 60 years, the Union of International Associations has undertaken, for the benefit of its members, statistical studies on the preceding year’s international meetings. The statistics are based on information systematically collected by the UIA Congress Department and selected according to strict criteria maintained over the years, thus enabling meaningful comparison from year to year. Meetings taken into consideration include those organized and/or sponsored by the international organizations which appear in UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations and in the International Congress Calendar, i.e.: the sittings of their principal organs, congresses, conventions, symposia, regional sessions grouping several countries, as well as some national meetings with international participation organized by national branches of international associations.

Top International Meeting

Top International Meeting Cities in 2009

Countries in 2009

Ranking Country




# of meetings

Ranking CITY

# of meetings


























































ICCA - The Association Meeting Market 2009 The ICCA rankings cover meetings organised by international associations which take place on a regular basis and which rotate between a minimum of three countries. ICCA’s Association Database is designed as a sales and marketing resource for its members to target future international association meetings, which is why it does not include one-off events or those which do not move between locations. The data represents a ‘snapshot’ of qualifying events in the ICCA Association Database as sampled in May 2010. This year ICCA’s researchers have identified 8,294 events which took place in 2009, a rise of 800 over 2008.

Top International Meeting

Top International Meeting Cities in 2009

Countries in 2009

Ranking Country






# of meetings

Ranking CITY

# of meetings





















United Kingdom 345








































Associations: a professional job Both non - p r ofit associations an d b usinesses nee d to b e efficient an d effecti v e if the y a r e to succee d . T he p r incip l es fo r w hich the y a r e fo r me d d iffe r fun damenta l ly, b ut the metho d s by w hich the y function hav e man y simi l a r featu r es . Text Judy Wickens, Volunteer at the UIA, Retired Secretary General of T.I.C. (

The purpose of an association is for members to pursue an agreed aim in their general interest, but without making a financial profit. The ultimate objective of a commercial company is to generate a profit, by means of fabricating a product or supplying a service which can be sold to customers, so that the profit can be distributed to the partners or shareholders. Nonprofit or not-for-profit associations are thus distinguished from the commercial sector, and from organisations in the public sector, funded by governmental authorities. Although an association’s budget should not be structured with the intention of making a profit, the result of its activities may be a reasonable surplus. An association which repeatedly incurs a loss will evidently fail, as members and staff will both desert it, although an occasional loss may cause its board to sharpen focus on the methods in use and revitalise the organisation.

carefully in reserve until required. Extra funds can be directed towards renewing equipment, increasing staff or expanding the scope of services to the members; however, it is vital for the association to carry along its membership with its ideas for expansion and for additional services - members who consider that their association is going in the wrong direction will be alienated and resign.


A commercial enterprise must never be disguised as an association, an

Both the board of direction and the staff of a not-for-profit organisation should bear in mind constantly the non-profit commitment, which is sometimes

Income and expenditure A surplus of income over expenditure is a good indication that membership has remained constant or increased, that activities have been wellattended, events supported, services appreciated. No surplus or funds of an association can ever be distributed among the members, as this would be contrary to the regulations governing such organisations, and to their own charters. So any surplus should be invested conscientiously back into the organisation to extend services to members, or be kept

signal that those in charge are not taking the necessary care in respecting regulations.

difficult for the directors to remember if their role in a trade association is as ‘volunteers’ whereas their employment is in business. Association accounts which are circulated with the description of a positive result as a ‘profit’ should be treated warily, as this may be a

association can not be a pretence hiding commerce. In business, competition is essential to a free market. As well as the non-profit condition, associations are governed by further laws and regulations in place to prevent members colluding to fix prices or assign market share. Associations should always be fully cognisant of these limitations and the need for good governance, for the protection of their members. Many associations are composed of members which are in some way in competition with each other, and awareness of

Associations need to be run efficiently, with a view to the health of their financial resources and due regard to their future development. They require diligent and suitablytrained staff members at all levels and association-oriented sessions at international exhibitions increase in number every year, with topics whose relevance to association personnel improves constantly, too. Useful for both senior and junior staff, such events are valuable for sharing ideas, for networking, even for recruiting or being recruited. Senior personnel can utilise their own experience to work towards international certification as association leaders, enhancing their status. the issues which can and can not be discussed is part of the proper and professional conduct of the association. The day-to-day functioning of an association has much in common with that of a commercial firm, naturally: staff members use their skills and knowledge to further the interests of their enterprise, utilising all their capacities of communicating, planning, reviewing, recording or collecting information. Further development and education are also important for people already engaged in both types of organisation, in addition to in-house learning.

Seminars, conferences and sessions Training possibilities for staff employed in non-profit associations are constantly evolving. Specific seminars, conferences

There is increasing scope for suitably focussed postgraduate qualifications, combining study and research leading to master’s degrees. Appropriate education is also available at an earlier level, with undergraduate courses containing modules on nonprofit finances or legal aspects, and on-line courses are on offer. Students of international law, for example, can make a satisfying career in public affairs comprising lobbying and advocacy in a non-profit sphere. Qualifying in business administration can be a stepping stone to association management. In the past it was common for executives or employees to find the association path by chance or coincidence, but present and future generations have greater opportunities to make a deliberate choice. In both small associations and small-andmedium-sized enterprises (SMEs), staff

members need to undertake several roles and have a variety of skills, so applicants for either should consider this aspect seriously and be eager to for a diversity of tasks, especially since an interesting career can ensue. Knowledge of several languages, but particularly English, is worth acquiring. If an association is run by unpaid volunteers, there is no reason for their attitude and methods to be unprofessional or amateurish, as they can benefit a good deal from workshops and events at low cost and from trips provided at no cost at all to the association participants when they are considered as hosted buyers. New and small associations have the option of using association management companies to administer their secretariats, as an alternative to employing part-time staff and finding a small office space for themselves. Such companies provide an appropriate proportion of the time and services of skilled personnel, so that the associations are each run on a nonprofit basis while the company is a commercial business making a profit. The services offered by such companies vary quite widely, as they may provide consultancy to commercial as well as non-profit organisations in different parts of their own product range. A number of association management firms have founded offices in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years or extended their coverage here, reflecting the increase in the number of associations generally in this part of the world. Associations need to be run efficiently, with a view to the health of their financial resources and due regard to their future development. They require diligent and suitably-trained staff members at all levels.



THE EASTERN CENTURY IS COMING Asia-Pacific, but more regional meetings will also start happening, allowing these people to participate in regional platforms.

Key Receptive Markets

Today, the key receptive markets are still Singapore, Australia and Korea. However, China and India are building new state-of-the-art convention centres and will attract many regional or global meetings in the future. The big national markets are very important too. The Chinese Medical Association has around 500,000 members. It’s one of the biggest associations worldwide. They will start meeting and have big events.

I f the r e is one t r uth in l ife , it ’ s that e v e r y thin g w i l l a lway s chan g e . T he U nite d S tates has a lway s b een a mi l ita r y supe r po w e r , an d E u r ope the continent of l ifest y l e an d the g oo d l ife . But s lo w ly, a chan g e is b ein g notice d . C hina is a r isin g economic supe r po w e r an d pu l l in g the w ho l e r e g ion a lon g in its unstoppa b l e g r o w th . T his g r o w th w i l l not a lway s fo l lo w the paths w e kno w in the w est. I n this a r tic l e , w e look at the ‘ E me r g in g E conomies ’ f r om a w este r n v ie w point, an d t r y to make a connection w ith the meetin g s in d ust r y. M o r e specifica l ly w e look at the r ise of associations in A sia Pacific . We e v en state that economic g r o w th is an impo r tant con d ition fo r the eme r g ence

Key opinon leaders

of a st r on g associations ma r ket. Text Marcel A.M.Vissers (with Jonathan Ramael)

This is the Asian Century

At this year’s Tourism Australia Business Events Educational in Beijing, MCI President Robin Lokerman led a seminar on the rapidly emerging associations meetings market in Asia. He talked about the business potential of the sector, and its key players. He argued: ‘Without a doubt this is the Asian century. There are more doctors and engineers being educated in China and India alone, than in Europe and the


Destinations and companies looking to attract these key organizations should focus on their local ambassadors. Get them to host and bring their peers to the preferred destination. The big business of the Asian associations is the organization of certification programs. The Project Management Institute has 300,000 certificate holders in Asia. The middle class is growing there. People want to set themselves apart from their competitors, and do that through continuous learning and education, getting certificates. So associations that have developed a body of knowledge and some kind of certification system will be very successful in this environment.

US combined. Because of the economic boom and the growing army of educated professionals, the associations industry will see a massive growth in Asia.’ This represents a perfect opportunity. With more and more educated people, there’s much more new thinking. People are publishing, researching and want to share their findings. Asia is a hub of knowledge of the future. More and more international meetings are coming to

The association market is clearly defined, based on research and the identification of key association and opinion leaders. It’s a very specific but important sector destinations and suppliers can work hard on. In Europe, most of the national associations became Pan-European. They hold the most important meetings now. In Asia there’s still a lot of activity on the national level. But I predict that the bigger Asia Pacific associations will play a more important role in the next few years.



Hong Kong

Wisma 46, the allest office building in Indonesia

STRONG ECONOMIES NEED STRONG ASSOCIATIONS Analyzing the economic situation of the Asia-Pacific region This year, emerging Asian nations will prove they are less dependent on the West than they once were. During the past two years, the global financial crisis hit every country hard. But while the US, Europe and Japan are struggling to recover from it, most of Asia kept steadily marching forward. The Asian consumer is gaining purchasing power. Last year, for the first time, consumers from the emerging markets spent more than their less numerous American counterparts. This is a major engine behind the economic growth of their countries. Asia is becoming more resistant to problems in the west. Do they still need Western knowledge and experience? We try to find out by looking at some of the most prominent countries in the region.

Awakening giants

Most eyes are fixed on China. Since it partly liberalized its economy in the eighties, it experienced exponential economic growth. During the last 30 years, its GDP grew an average of 8% annually. In the first quarter of 2010 it showed a staggering growth of almost 12%. This year it became the world’s largest exporter and the second largest industrial producer. Expectations are that it will be the largest economy in the world by 2030. However, China is still a one-party state. The government maintains tight control over the financial sector and directly or indirectly owns all banks. Income inequality is increasing, and

soon the country will have to face the problem of an aging population, due to the lower mortality rate and the one child policy. It will have to find proper solutions to these rising problems. India will also become one of the world’s biggest markets in the near future. Since its liberalization in 1991, it‘s been one of the fastest growing economies worldwide, with an average growth rate of 9% in the last five years. Its large English-speaking population has made it a perfect destination for business process outsourcing. This has been the first major economic boom for the country. It’s also become a big player in manufacturing, textiles, information technology and agriculture. Like China, India can count on a gigantic workforce and vast natural recourses. Unlike most Asian countries however, its economy is primarily driven by domestic consumption. Seeing how the Indian middle class is growing at a massive rate, the country could become the first major ‘buy’ economy in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia, with its 230 million inhabitants, is the fourth most populated country in the world.

Its favorable demographics, natural resources and relatively stable political climate, have made it the fastest growing economy of the past five years. This growth has not been driven by government spending. The private sector accounts for about 90% of the GDP. Like in India, domestic consumption is the economy’s biggest driving force. Over the past five years, the average annual income has doubled to $2,350. Predictions tell us that it could reach $3,400 by 2011. Despite these numbers, labor costs are still very low. This has already driven some manufacturing activity from China to Indonesia. The country’s workforce is very young. As a result, 2009 showed a 5% jump in employment. This figure will continue to rise over the next 20 years.

The roar of the Asian tigers

Hong Kong has the world’s most open economy. It’s home to a highly educated, motivated workforce. It is one of the most important financial and business centres worldwide. Thanks to low taxes, small government and light regulation, it’s still the second-largest destination for foreign investments in Asia. Its major industries are financial services and shipping.

Today, the key receptive markets are still Singapore, Australia and Korea. However, China and India are building new stateof-the-art convention centres and will attract many regional or global meetings in the future



The association market is clearly defined, based on research and the identification of key association and opinion leaders. It’s a very specific but important sector destinations and suppliers can work hard on Singapore’s economy is also very free. Economic development and international trade are fully supported by the government. It wants to become an international hotspot of innovation and it actively supports companies contributing to that goal. Like Hong Kong, it’s a well-developed financial centre. Singapore has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world. The country’s workforce is nearly fully employed. It is mostly a service-based economy, but it’s also a big manufacturer of electronics and chemicals. Taiwan is a multi-party democracy. Its economy is very diversified and is home to many small and mediumsized businesses. Regulations are transparent and the investment climate is efficient. In the last few years, the government has been working on a more open economic relationship with China. This has attracted more foreign investments. Its economy is primarily based on services, manufacturing and high technology. It’s an export-based economy and China recently became its biggest trading partner. In the last

five years the GDP rose an average of 4% each year. South Korea has been growing steadily since the 60’s. Its economy is also mostly export based. It’s the biggest ship builder in the world and it has one of the largest automobile industries. It’s also an important producer of electronics and communication technology. Expectations are that the GDP will rise 5% by the end of this year.

The Philippines is already the fifth largest economy in the AsiaPacific region and it’s still growing. It’s competitive in multiple sectors, although 10% of its GDP still comes from emigrants‘ remittances. Its economy is still not very liberalized though, which could scare off some foreign investors.

Other major players

Both Malaysia and Thailand have been growing since the 80’s. Malaysia is located near one of the biggest international shipping routes and is a major manufacturer in many sectors. Thailand is a large exporter of high technology products.

Australia is a western style market economy. It has expanded economically for 18 years straight. It’s a competitive provider of services, technology and high value goods. It benefits from China’s boom by signing massive deals, providing them with raw

Where does that leave associations? It’s likely that, in addition to already existing, strong ones, new associations will see the light of day to support the development of the industry they represent, to make known the particular enterprise appeal to the authorities, to help the enterprises expand its market, to ‘purify’ the market environment and encourage enterprises to fulfill their social responsibilities. And those associations will need to meet. All in all, it’s no secret that Asia-Pacific is booming. In every ‘association’ way.

Japan is still the second largest economy in the world, but it’s losing momentum. Growth dwindled in recent years while public dept was growing. Its market is in need of reform. It has to find domestic sources of growth and concentrate less on export.



materials. It’s been one of the strongest economies around for years and its inhabitants enjoy a very high standard of living.


Suntec Singapore

A talk with CEO Pieter Idenburg T he S untec b r an d has g one a b r oa d . T he ne w lyc r eate d ‘ S untec I nte r nationa l’ w i l l e x pan d the S untec b r an d an d se r v ices b e yon d S in g apo r e to the g lo b a l p l atfo r m . T his is the fi r st time a ma j o r p l ay e r in the meetin g s in d ust r y offe r s f r anchisin g an d b r an d t r ansfe r oppo r tunities . S untec S in g apo r e C E O P iete r I d en b u r g te l l s us mo r e S untec I nte r nationa l an d w hat his v enue is r ea l ly a b out.

HQ: What does Suntec International stand for exactly?

Pieter Idenburg: Suntec International provides a wide ranging portfolio of services that include sales and marketing representation, venue management, consultancy services, with a key focus on highly customized solutions to clients. As a pioneer in Asia’s meetings industry, we are delighted that the strategy we have put in place some years back is now coming to fruition with the formation of Suntec International. Many venues have previously requested our skill in managing their centres and providing consultancy services. We are now ready to accomplish this through Suntec International.

HQ: To what extent has Suntec Singapore been a major player in the meetings industry over the past years? Pieter Idenburg: Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition

Centre has been a major pillar of Singapore’s meetings industry since its opening in 1995. To date, it has hosted more than 15,000 events including several iconic events of diverse nature within its premier exhibition and convention facility. Having just hosted APEC 2009, we are now gearing up to host the Youth Olympic Games 2010 in August. The venue will host 6 ground sports and will serve as the proud official convention centre partner. A versatile and flexible space spanning over 100,000 square metres, the venue has received copious accolades and awards and has been recognized as one of the leading convention centres globally.

HQ: We also know you’ve established some great partnerships so your influence is all the more tangible…

opportunities for both venues while growing the international meetings business for Singapore as a whole. There is also an agreement with MCI, under whose terms Suntec Singapore will be the preferred partner and venue provider of MCI Group for conference placement.

HQ : So the future is definitely bright for you…

Pieter Idenburg: Even brighter than ever. In 2009, despite the global economic climate, we hosted 1,408 events and welcomed 6.7 million visitors to its venue - an increase of approximately 5% more visitors to its venue over 2008. 2010 has the hallmarks of being yet another busy year: many international associations have already chosen us for their conference. Just to name a few of course, we’re going to host the World Congress of Biomechanics, the Asia Pacific Congress of Allerology and Clinical Immunology or the 13th International Conference on Emergency Medicine 2010.

Pieter Idenburg: Suntec has an exclusive partnership with Resorts World Sentosa that will have the two properties crosssell each other to create real business


cover interview Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour

Ever-changing, ever-vibrant

Hong Kong An Interview with Gilly Wong

H on g Kon g ’ s location at the hea r t of the w o r l d ’ s fastest g r o w in g economies a lon g w ith its sophisticate d inf r ast r uctu r e , eas y accessi b i l it y, b usiness - f r ien d ly en v i r onment an d v i b r ant l ifest y l e con v e r g e to b ecome one of A sia - Pacific r e g ion ’ s p r emie r d estinations fo r association meetin g s . Gi l ly Won g , Gene r a l M anag e r , M I C E an d C r uise at M eetin g s an d E x hi b itions H on g Kon g ( M E H K ) , te l l s us mo r e a b out he r r o l e , H on g Kon g as a d estination of choice an d he r v ision of the A sia - Pacific r e g ion . Interview Marcel A.M. Vissers

HQ: Because you come originally from a different industrial sector, what are your experiences in general with the meetings industry in Hong Kong and the rest of the Asian-Pacific countries? Gilly Wong: I took up the position of General Manager, MICE and Cruise


in early 2009, after I joined the Hong Kong Tourism Board as the General Manager, Destination Marketing in October 2007. As a marketer for over 20 years in various industries, the first thing I always look at is to review and assess the business environment and the city’s product portfolio to design the right marketing strategies and programmes for the years ahead. It is

also important to listen to the views and plans of our partners, industry players and customers to ensure their desired value and experience could be met and exceeded in a sustainable manner. Hong Kong has been a popular meetings centre in Asia for many years and I am confident that the city will continue its popularity and lead despite of the growing competition in the region. As a vibrant and active international city, Hong Kong through the years has built many core strengths that always love by meeting planners and event organisers. Just to cite a few examples: Hong Kong’s strategic location in the heart of Asia and as the gateway to China enables over 50% of the world’s population to visit the city in five hours time, with over 60 airlines operate 2,400 flights a week to over 120 destinations worldwide, and

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close to 800 flights a week to China apart from convenient access to Pearl River Delta by road, rail and sea. A portfolio of world-class hotels and infrastructure with a proven track record to host world renowned events like SIBOS from SWIFT in 2009, ITU Telecom World, WTO 6th Ministerial Conference and many world’s or region’s largest exhibitions. 170 countries enjoy visa-free access from 7 to 180 days Outstanding software and business friendly environment on all front efficient transport network, ‘can-do’ professional services and superb organization ability, independent judiciary, safety, international banking system, no custom tariff on either imported or exported goods. A spectacular travel destination that offers unique fusion of Eastern and Western heritage and culture, together with diverse and sumptuous shopping and dining experience for all visitors.

HQ: Hong Kong created a new organization (and strategy) to fully put itself back on the international map. You call it a dedicated office: Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK). What are its main objectives? Gilly Wong: The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) established Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong (MEHK) in November 2008 to continue strengthening Hong Kong’s position as the premier meetings capital in Asia Pacific and to position the city as the ideal place to converge business opportunities, network, team spirit and ideas. Strategically MEHK focuses on three main areas - providing one-stop support for event organizers, offering tailor-made value-added hospitality programmes and championing promotional activities for Hong Kong.

The office also works closely with members of the Hong Kong Alliance Group including Hong Kong Trade Development Council, InvestHK, and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices to maximize synergy and value creation for MICE organisers.

In recent years the biggest island of Hong Kong - Lantau Island - has evolved to become a fantastic cluster of venues and attractions for events in different sizes. In terms of venues, Lantau Island houses the 70,000 m2 AsiaWorld-Expo and five world-class hotels providing close to 3,300 rooms.

T h e f re e e c o n o m i c n a t u re a n d ra p i d d e v e l o p m e n t o f H o n g Ko n g a t t ra c t e d m a n y c h a m b e rs o f c o m m e rc e a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s a c ro s s a b ro a d s p e c t r u m t o o p e n t h e i r l o c a l c h a p t e r i n H o n g Ko n g . M a n y o f t h e m a c h i e v e d significant international status HQ: Which meetings and incentive products (or new programs) do you want to promote in the near future? Could the new development area of Lantau Island, the area around Hong Kong National Airport or the Asia World Expo be relevant examples? Gilly Wong: From shopping, dining, attractions, heritage, living culture and green, the diverse nature and broad portfolio of venue choices offer Hong Kong the opportunity to develop packages for meetings organizers looking for different experience and at different budget level.

This beautiful island is also home of several best-loved cultural and contemporary landmarks, together with many shop and dine options such as the Ngong Ping Cable Car for a scenic journey to the mountain-top Giant Buddha, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tai O Fishing Village, Po Lin Monastery, D-Deck at Discovery Bay for Alfresco Dining, SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course and shopping outlets at SkyPlaza and Citygate. In coming years, the expansion and development of Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, the opening of the world’s tallest hotel Ritz Carlton and many other great hotels in Hong Kong, together with the Sky100

Victoria Harbour


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SIBOS (Swift International Banking Seminar) in 2009

Asia-World Expo, Lantau Island

W i t h t h e ra p i d e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t i n A s i a e s p e c i a l l y C h i n a , i n t e r n a t i o n a l a n d re g i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s a re l o o k i n g fo r e x p a n s i o n o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o c a p i t a l i z e o n t h e i r re c e n t g ro w t h m o m e n t u m viewing deck at the new International Commerce Centre, all pose opportunities for meetings of any kind.

needs of convention organizers and is planning for further upgrade. On this basis, the government will continue to monitor the long-term demand and plan for the provision of additional quality facilities when needed.

HQ: During the latest Swift Sibos congress in Hong Kong, Cliff Wallace of HKCEC told me it might be necessary to build a brand-new congress centre to meet the demands of ever-demanding association planners. What are your views on this?

HQ: Do you have a clear view on the number of headquarters of international and regional associations located in Hong Kong, and what their actual objectives are?

Gilly Wong: The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been monitoring the supply of and demand for convention and exhibition facilities in the market closely. Back in 2005, the government rendered its support to the expansion of the atrium link of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and the expansion was completed in April last year, which brought the total rentable space of this world-class convention and exhibition centre from about 72,000 m2 to 92,000 m2. Another major venue of Hong Kong, AsiaWorld-Expo, has also upgraded its facilities to meet the

Gilly Wong: The free economic nature and rapid development of Hong Kong attracted many chambers of commerce and international associations across a broad spectrum to open their local chapter in Hong Kong. Many of them achieved significant international status, made meaningful contribution to the community, and introduced many global and regional events to the city. Some examples are Lions Club International Hong Kong & Macau Chapter, Hong Kong Dental Association, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers and The Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society.

Giant Buddha on Lantau Island

In addition, we also witnessed the evolution of many home-grown events to become world-renowned events such as the Business of Design Week and Asia Financial Forum.

HQ: What future do you see for international associations in the AsianPacific countries, and what influence could this have on the organization of their congresses in Hong Kong? Gilly Wong: With the rapid economic development in Asia especially China, international and regional associations are looking for expansion opportunities to capitalize on their recent growth momentum. The close tide between China and Hong Kong, complemented by the city’s international profile, make Hong Kong a perfect platform to stage events that appeal multi-dimensional to the international, Asia and China audience. I expect this trend will continue and MEHK will maximize this strength to introduce new events to Hong Kong.


C hina Deyue Pavilion, Black Dragon Pool Park

leading and active role in the nation’s medical education, training and professional exchanges, CME and the establishment of the most prestigious China Medical Award. It holds a National Congress every 5 years, the most recent one being in 2009.

Umbrella organizations:

the special case of China I n C hina , an d p r o b a b ly unique ly, the associations a r e p r ima r i ly g r oupe d un d e r a num b e r of um b r e l l a o r g ani z ations . O ne has to b e a wa r e of the p r ocess fo r o b tainin g ‘ pe r missions ’ o r ‘ l icenses ’ to r un inte r nationa l meetin g s to un d e r stan d the nee d to b e a pa r t of one of these g r oupin g s .

The largest of these organizations is the Chinese Medical Association (CMA); there is also the China Academy of Science (CAS), the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) representing business interests.

MEDICAL & SCIENTIFIC Established in 1915, the CMA is registered as a corporate body and is headquartered in Beijing. It acts as a non-profit academic related organization formed by medical professionals in China and is affiliated to CAST (see below). It covers all


medical fields and includes 84 specialty societies with 460,000 members in national and local medical associations all over China. CMA publish 119 medical journals, a trade Newsletter ‘China Medical News’ and a consumer magazine ‘Health World’. CMA has a well-established conference organizing division and the events it organizes are seen as a major channel for medical exchange and cooperation between China and other parts of the world. The CMA and its societies are now a member of 33 international or regional medical organizations. In addition to the conference and publishing activity the CMA plays a

CAST is a non-profit, non-governmental organization of Chinese scientists and engineers. Tracing back to 1949 there were two scientific related organizations created - All-China Federation of Natural Science Societies and All-China Association for Science Popularization. In September 1958, the two organizations merged into a unified single organization - the China Association for Science and Technology. Today, CAST is composed of 167 national professional societies and hundreds of local branches at various levels. At present, CAST and its affiliated societies are members of more than 250 international scientific and engineering organizations. The National Congress of CAST meets every 5 years, the most recent Congress being in 2006. Among other things, the major goals of CAST are to promote the advancement of science by means of scientific exchanges, to popularize scientific knowledge among the general public, to safeguard the legitimate rights of scientists and engineers and organize them to participate in the political life of the state, to develop cooperative relations with the international science and technology communities, and to develop continued education through various training programs CAS covers approximately 190 associations. Formerly known as Academia Sinica, CAS is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People’s Republic of China and was founded in 1949. It is an institution of the State Council of China and is headquartered in Beijing, with institutes all over the country.

C hina

Ke y i n d i v i d u a l s a re e n c o u ra g e d t o h o l d p o s i t i o n s i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l o rg a n i z a t i o n s a n d a c t i v e l y l o o k fo r o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o p ro m o t e t h e C h i n e s e i n d u s t r y t h e y work in - one way being work exchanges and another b e i n g i n v i t a t i o n s t o re g i o n a l o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n c o n g re s s e s The CAS has six sections (Mathematics and Physics, Chemistry, Life Sciences and Medicine, Earth Sciences, Information Technical Sciences, and Technological Sciences) and 12 regional branches (Beijing, Shenyang, Changchun, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming, Xi’an, Lanzhou and Xinjiang). The CAS has over 100 institutes, one university (the University of Science and Technology of China at Hefei, Anhui) and one graduate school (the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences). CAS has 50,300 staff and over 40,000 ‘mobile researchers’. These CAS branches and offices are located in 20 provinces and municipalities throughout China. CAS has invested in or created over 430 science and technology based enterprises in 11 industries including 8 companies listed on stock exchanges, Lenovo being one of the most famous. Membership of the Academy represents the highest level of national honor for Chinese scientists.

The CAS attaches great importance to international cooperation and exchanges. It now works with the countries of advanced science and technology in Europe, America, Japan, Russia and Australia, promotes exchanges and cooperation with developing countries, especially those in the vicinity of China, and develops relations and cooperation with key international science and technology organizations.

BUSINESS-RELATED The CCPIT covers more business related topics and acts as a national Chamber of Commerce. It was established in May 1952 and comprises of VIPS, enterprises and organizations representing the economic and trade sectors in China. It is the most important and the largest institution for the promotion of foreign trade in China. The CCPIT produces economic data, creates diplomatic ties and is also active with trade arbitration issues.

The aims of the CCPIT are, among other things, to operate and promote foreign trade, to use foreign investment, to introduce advanced foreign technologies, to conduct activities of Sino-foreign economic and technological cooperation in various forms, and to promote the development of economic and trade relations between China and other countries and regions around the world. With the approval of the Chinese government, the CCPIT started to adopt a separate name China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) in 1988, which is used simultaneously with the CCPIT. The CCPIT admits new members from among enterprises in all parts of China and promotes trade through its functions of information consultation, exhibition, legal assistance and other fields. The CCPIT Automotive Sub-council organizes Auto China and other Chinese auto shows. In addition to CMA, CAST, CAS and CCPIT the universities, teaching hospitals, healthcare systems and other academic institutions all have international relations departments actively working towards making links with counterpart universities and establishments around the world. Key individuals are encouraged to hold positions in international organizations and actively look for opportunities to promote the Chinese industry they work in - one way being work exchanges and another being invitations to regional or international association congresses. There is a feeling that new associations will emerge with new areas of scientific research and specializations or new industries.




THUMBS UP FOR JAPAN! A Congress to Remember in Kyoto

Japan is a count ry w he r e t r a d ition , cu ltu r e an d techno lo g y meet to d e l i g ht a l l the senses . A s the H ono r a ry I nte r nationa l P r esi d ent of Comit é I nte r nationa l d ’ E sth é tique et d e Cosm é to lo g ie ( C I D E S CO ) , I ha d the p l easu r e of spen d in g fi v e day s in K yoto at the 5 8 th C I D E S CO Wo r l d Con g r ess an d E x hi b ition at the K yoto I nte r nationa l Confe r ence C ent r e f r om 1 2 - 1 4 S eptem b e r 2 0 0 9 . A l l in a l l , I was imp r esse d me w ith the g r acious an d effo r t l ess hospita l it y of the peop l e of Japan , thei r meticu lous attention to d etai l an d the E mpi r e ’ s r ich a r tistic he r itag e . Text Helene Bramwell, Honorary CIDESCO President

As a home for international Established in 1946, CIDESCO is a voluntary organisation committed to enhancing the standards of education in beauty and spa therapies worldwide. Today, we have a membership that includes 34 countries from five continents representing over 8,000 qualified therapists/students, as well as more than 250 CIDESCO accredited Schools and a steady increase in the number of CIDESCO Accredited Beauty Centres. The annual CIDESCO World Congress & Exhibition is a platform for the exchange of ideas, the introduction of new techniques, protocols and equipment, giving delegates the opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the globe. CIDESCO Section Presidents from the 34 countries attend to debate and discuss future activities.

Planning a congress in Japan When planning our annual high-profile gathering of leading beauty therapy industry professionals – this time in Japan – we were certainly spoilt for choice and had a few exotic and alluring alternatives in mind. However, our choice of Kyoto as a host city, the Kyoto International Conference Center as a venue, and Japan as a congress


destination, could not have been better. We were delighted with the warm reception and impeccable service we received from our associates and contacts in Japan in general - and Kyoto in particular. Indeed, what an absolute pleasure the trip turned out to be! On landing in Kyoto at Kansai International Airport, our delegation was welcomed with time-honored Japanese graciousness and hospitality. The seamless organisation of the CIDESCO Congress and Exhibition was evident every step of the way – top marks to the collaborative efforts of CIDESCO Section Japan, the JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) and the team at the Kyoto International Conference Center. Their dedication, professionalism and efficiency with regard to every aspect of our congress and exhibition ensured a flawless experience. Our national section CIDESCO Nippon was drawn to Kyoto for a number of reasons. Aside from the city’s worldfamous cuisine and culture, the ease of transportation, hotels located in close proximity to the venue, a wealth of sightseeing opportunities for delegates

during their free time made the venue a perfect choice.

At Kyoto Convention Center

Bounded by countryside, the Convention Center and its facilities were spot on for an international congress of this stature; and even more so in light of the environmental theme of the Congress. The Convention Center was well equipped to accommodate the various sessions we held during the Congress, some of which included demonstrations of manual techniques, requiring more intimate settings in smaller rooms. At the other end of the scale, the program also included keynote lectures which attracted over 1,000 attendees, all comfortably accommodated in the Conference Center’s Main Hall. Capacity and versatility aside, the Convention Hall also provides good facilities for interpreters, who were necessary for the majority of our events. We also used the services of a Professional Convention Organiser, which was invaluable in arranging such a large-scale event. They worked closely with both CIDESCO and the Kyoto Convention Bureau teams, assisting us with liaison on all levels - from producing the brochure to sourcing interpreters and vendors; selecting appropriate accommodation, venues and menus; and planning social events like the Gala Party - always a highlight of our social calendar. The Gala Party had a band and two geiko - trainee geisha - sponsored by one of the CIDESCO schools. The Welcome Party, too, was an illustrious affair, sponsored by Nippon Esthetique Kyokai (meaning ‘organisation’) with an entertainment line-up that included a band and stirring performances by taiko drummers.


Kiyomizu Temple

Kyoto International Conference Center

J a p a n ’s e f f i c i e n c y a n d p ro fe s s i o n a l i s m , i t s w o n d e r l a n d o f e x c i t i n g c i t i e s , a n d t h e o p p o r t u n i t y fo r d e l e g a t e s t o v i s i t n a t u ra l w o n d e rs t h a t c o m p e t e w i t h i t s c u l t u ra l t re a s u re s m a d e i t t h e p e r fe c t d e s t i n a t i o n fo r o u r c o n g re s s

lavish experience of the historical and traditional, alongside the contemporary and technically advanced. It has the ancient historical context and charm, coupled with the benefits of a fastpaced, modern metropolis.

Japan is all about harmony

Of all the countries we could have chosen for our Congress, Japan’s efficiency and professionalism, its wonderland of exciting cities and exquisite restaurants, and the opportunity for delegates to visit natural wonders that compete with its cultural treasures all along the archipelago made it the perfect destination for our important event. It is a place that continually delights and surprises.

The theme of the Congress and Exhibition – Harmonising the Skin and the Environment – was well suited to the host city, as Japan prides itself on its contribution to global efforts on sustainable living through initiatives like the renowned Kyoto Protocol of 1997. Moreover, the centuries old culture of innovation is substantiated today in the city’s position as a thriving centre of academic research and technological advancement. We were impressed to learn that, aside from its well-known history, Kyoto is home to thirty seven institutions of higher learning, as well as to the international headquarters of market leaders like Nintendo, Kyocera, Wacoal and Shimadzu. Having reigned as the imperial Japanese capital for over 1,000 years, the legacies of tradition and elegance are evidenced throughout the city in all facets of life. Kyoto’s designated

seventeen Cultural World Heritage Sites offered the perfect setting for a congress dedicated to the global development and future of the beauty therapy industry. Indeed, it was the popularity of performing arts in Kyoto that spawned the cosmetics industry in Japan centuries ago. Framed by the striking sights and sounds of its ancient cultural legacy, modern Kyoto is bustling and progressive. Aside from taking in its arts and crafts and splendid historical sights, we sampled its excellent public transport facilities via an extensive city subway system, which whisked us from one end of the city to the other, also giving us a taste of its modern architecture, international fine dining, shopping and round-the-clock entertainment.

MORE Information

I would highly recommend Kyoto as an international conference destination, as it is well placed to give visitors a





New Delhi, Jama Masjid

T he tit l e of this sho r t r epo r t is a question , an d the openin g sentence contains anothe r one : ‘ What is the ma x imum num b e r

of d e l e g ates that can comfo r ta b ly meet in N e w De l hi ? ’ Befo r e E I B T M 2 0 0 9 I cou l d ans w e r neithe r question . I t was at the t r a d e sho w w hen Rav i Ramas wam y of I n d e b o , an e x pe r ience d d estination manag ement compan y w ith a P CO d epa r tment in N e w De l hi , aske d me to come fin d out fo r m y se l f. I r espon d e d positi v e ly an d no w I kno w the ans w e r ! Text Marcel A.M.Vissers

India is building new congress centres

In 2007, the following article got my attention: ‘DLF Ltd has announced that the Delhi Development Authority has approved the design, development and operation of an international convention centre, proposed to be developed in Sector 24 of Dwarka, New Delhi. Located close to the international Airport of Delhi, in one of its fastest growing sub cities, this project aims to solve the long lasting shortage of convention venues in Delhi. It will play a key role in improving the


ability to attract revenue generating international conventions to the capital of India. The centre will be designed in accordance with the international norms, and will be comparable to the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore. The main convention hall will be a columnless structure with telescopic seating arrangements to accommodate seating for 12,000 delegates. It may be partitioned in multiple smaller halls.’ All this and much more was announced back then: a hotel complex, a

commercial complex and so on. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of it when I arrived in the Indian capital in late 2009. The project got blocked over a dispute about investors. For now it’s a missed opportunity for the city to become an more important name in the global meeting world. New Delhi will have to wait a little longer before it can call itself ‘new’ again on the international congress market. In the list of Top International Meeting Cities for 2009 (UIA), New Delhi ranks 30th. Where in this metropolis of almost fifteen million inhabitants are those meetings happening now? Five existing centres got our attention.

Habitat World Conference Centre

Habitat World (India Habitat Centre) houses India’s most comprehensive convention centre, including one of the best auditoria in the country. It’s equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and is ideal for large conferences, seminars, presentations and cultural performances of all kinds.


It has an unmatched inventory of over 20 venues for 10 to 1,500 people. The Habitat Centre is home to several leading corporate entities and non-profit organizations, but also houses a club, six restaurants, a visual arts gallery, and a library and resource centre. Habitat and environmental concern work as the functional backbone of the complex. Spread over nine acres in the heart of New Delhi, IHC has a built up area of approximately one million square feet. It incorporates innovative new technologies in building management systems, conference systems, communication and energy conservation, creating probably the most intelligent building in the country.

Ashok Convention Centre

The Ashok Convention Centre is one of the finest expressions of traditional Indian hospitality and grandeur. Located in the diplomatic enclave, spread over 21 acres of beautifully landscaped green surroundings, it is a distinctive landmark of the city. Its convention facilities live up to the demands of modern day clockwork efficiency, without losing the grace and warmth of the old world hospitality. It offers you the freedom to choose as much room as you need, from fairly compact suites to the spacious convention hall which has enough room to house 2,000 people in theatre style. It’s located in a 5 star hotel with a banquet hall, a cocktail lounge, a business centre and room for outdoor parties and gala or theme dinners.

Vigyan Bhawan Centre

The Vigyian Bhawan Centre was built in 1956 and has been the venue for many historical and politically important conferences and summits, attended by distinguished world leaders. The centre has a plenary hall with seating capacity for 1,200 delegates, fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual features, and six smaller halls with space for 65 to over 375 delegates. It is strategically located in one of the most beautiful locations in Delhi, near the President’s

estate, surrounded by lush green lawns and within walking distance of multiple tourist hotspots.

Hotel Centre Point

The Centre Point Hotel, located within range of most of the major attractions of New Delhi, is a promising option for business travelers. It was constructed in typical British Raj Style architecture and has all the facilities needed to hold business meetings, seminars, conferences and banquets, with a maximum capacity of 250 people. The front lawns can be used for business purposes and theme evenings.

Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre

Jet Airways

Jet Airways is a major Indian airline based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is India’s second largest airline after Air India and the market leader in the domestic sector. It operates over 400 flights daily to 67 destinations worldwide. Its main domestic hubs are Mumbai and Delhi. It has an international hub at Brussels Airport, Belgium. Jet Airways is owned by the Londonbased billionaire Naresh Goyal.

Located in the heart of New Delhi, Pragati Maidan Exhibition Centre is the largest and most popular event venue in India. It’s a huge complex with contemporary design, divided into smaller buildings and compounds, all surrounded by greenery. It’s equipped with all the modern facilities and has hosted many national and international exhibitions of all kinds. The complex has 19 big halls, with a total of 61.290 m2 exhibition space and an extra 10.000 m2 of open display place. So nowadays New Delhi can welcome groups of 1,500 to 2,500 delegates in the best of circumstances, and that service will almost certainly be optimal. The conference possibilities in hotels are also numerous, but watch the price tag and the period! It is also certainly a shame for the city not to have a convention bureau where objective information can be obtained. But who knows? That might change quickly…

For more information about congresses in New Delhi contact Indebo, a leading Destination Management Company in India. /

Taj Mahal

Salman Rushdie & Marcel A.M. Vissers During my visit of the Taj Mahal, I met Salman Rushdie and asked him about the palace of love. He said: ‘India’s Taj Mahal must be seen to remind us that the world is real, that the sound is truer than the echo, the original more forceful than its image in a mirror.’



lavasa Building a new conference destination I n I ndia , L avasa is a hill city, being built across 1 2, 50 0 acres, nestled amidst the majesty of the Sahyarid M ountains along the contours of the Warasgaon L ake. Some distance from M umbai and Pune, this new city embodies the spirit of human nature to aspire to a holistic life. U nique in its scale and in its guiding philosophy, it is the first and largest hill city, conceptualised in post independence I ndia . Text Igor Hendrickx and Rémi Dévé

This enormous project is led by HCC, one of India’s leading engineering and construction conglomerates and will take about 12 years. Interesting is the fact that amongst the strategic partnerships there are such professionals as AccorConvention Centre and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne. The most obvious advantage of building a city from the ground on up is of course that one can incorporate all the latest ideas, technologies and accommodations. But it’s not only the residents of Lavasa who will benefit from the state-of-the-art modern amenities while enjoying the tranquillity of

wide-open expanses and a scenic natural waterfront. Life here has been envisioned as energetic yet calm, aspirational yet affordable, hi-tech yet simple and urban yet close to nature. The self-contained world offers international associations an array of convention, educational, recreational and rejuvenation opportunities.

CONFERENCE POSSIBILITIES Rohit Ahuja, General Manager of Lavasa International Convention Centre (LICC), was kind enough to tell us a bit more about the conference possibilities of this destination. He explained

how the city caters specifically to associations: ‘To associations connectivity is the most important asset of a meeting centre. Offering 3,300m² of meetings space, the LICC is located away from the hustle and bustle of the city in a well controlled location. With 1 main hall partition able in to 8 smaller halls, the centre also offers 6 additional breakout rooms excluding a board room, media centre, VIP room and business centre. The extended foyer outdoors can be used for post conference events and parties, and the overall surroundings overlooking the majestic hills and lake act as perfect incentive for the delegates, added to which are leisure activities like water sports, long nature trails, adventure sports like trekking, rappelling or rock climbing, among other activities of course!’ But there’s more to Lavasa’s meetings industry than just the LICC, as Rohit Ahuja was quick to point out: ‘Lavasa is well connected to Pune city and is just a 90 minutes drive to the Pune International Airport. The accommodation options promise the presence of the international hospitality brand Accor with its network of hotels that are planned to cater to the needs of all guests and visitors. The



next phase of development at Lavasa also brings to paper many more international brands of hotels and food and beverage outlets.’ After IAPCO’s first regional seminar was held in Lavasa, Philippe Fournier, IAPCO President, observed that conferences are managed - culturally and traditionally - differently in India. Rohit was quick to respond: ‘Of course it’s not right to say all events are the same, especially if it is a large conference or a simple gathering. There is always something new and different about each one of them. Customization and personalization remain the key focus in Lavasa, either by adding a cultural touch in the way we welcome the delegates or serving the local cuisine to suit their palate. Organizing a planned cultural tour of the city pre or post the event, or bringing folk artists and artisans during the events and customizing them also adds to the exclusivity in the way we handle events at LICC.’

SHEER MANPOWER This only confirms what Roslyn McLeod, of Australia-based PCO arinex, said after her trip to Lavasa: ‘In our part of the world as in Europe, we simply do not have the sheer manpower at commercially viable rates to simply ‘turn on’ the amount of service, the variety of food dishes to accommodate so many different regional and religious demands and preferences. At this stage of the development of the Indian meetings industry, they have access to what seems to us unlimited

Lavasa International Convention Centre

We w i l l s e e A s i a e s c a l a t e i t s i n f ra s t r u c t u re t h i s d e c a d e a n d a s a re s u l t g e n e ra t e s t ro n g d o m e s t i c m a r ke t s i n m e e t i n g s . T h i s i s n e c e s s a r y t o g ro w t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l m a r ke t s i n e a c h c o u n t r y b e c a u s e t h e d o m e s t i c m a r ke t i s t h e t ra i n i n g g ro u n d fo r m a n y d e l e g a t e s w h o w i l l v e n t u re o u t t o i n t e r n a t i o n a l meetings resources. How well trained and able to perform is another question of course but it seems that if the inclination is there then India can produce what is needed.’ Could it be then that Lavasa in particular and India in general stand at the forefont of the development of the meetings industry in the Asia-Pacific region? Rohit Ahuja argues: ‘In India the meetings industry has recorded a 12% growth in the last quarter over last year’s figures. The focus of the industry is moving towards building Brand India as a meetings destination and offering leisure built around the congress/event. The need for trained meetings industry personnel - in keeping with the rapid expansion plans of the major players in the market - is most crucial today.’ Roslyn McLeod described the bigger picture as such: ‘We will see Asia escalate its infrastructure this decade and as a result generate strong domestic markets in meetings. This is necessary to grow the international


markets in each country because the domestic market is the training ground for many delegates who will venture out to international meetings and hosts who will want to bring their counterpart meetings to their countries. We could see happen in one decade what has taken the more established meetings industry in some Asian countries, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, three decades to reach.’ At any rate, we can expect to hear many more good things from Lavasa in the future. Dasve is only the first of four development centres in Lavasa, and focused on the meetings audience with residential options structured around architecture similar to the Goan and Mediterranean regions. The town centres will be ready to welcome residents and professionals this year. Mugaon is the second town to be developed in Lavasa and focuses on corporate and educational campuses, tourism, exploration, sport and R&D and is expected to be completed by 2015.


TA KE YO UR THI NK ING TO A WHOLE NEW PLACE. There’s just something about Australia that changes the way you think. At first glance you might think it’s the stunning natural settings like the Twelve Apostles or its unique meeting locations. But organise an event here and you’ll soon discover it’s something far deeper. A rich history of cultural freedom and innovation has helped Australians think differently for over 40,000 years. More recently, our fresh and imaginative approach has ensured the success of world-class corporate and association meetings, rewarding incentives and unrivalled global events. So if you’re after an event that will inspire new ideas, deliver real business results and return on investment, look no further than Australia. To get your clients thinking differently visit

HeadQuarters Asia Pacific #2  

The second issue of HeadQuarters Asia Pacific