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# Edition June 2013

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> Malaysia Contents

Colophon

Sometimes dreams do come true

HQ or Headquarters is a niche publication for European and international associations headquartered in Brussels and all major European cities dealing with the organisation of worldwide congresses. Published 5 times a year. Circulation: 5,000 copies. Subscriptions 65€ (all incl.) in Belgium, 75€ (all incl.) in the EU, 95€ (all incl.) in the rest of the world. One subscription entails 5 editions of Headquarters a year, including HQ Meeting Trends Special. To subscribe: www.headquartersmagazine.com Editor in Chief Marcel A.M. Vissers T. +32 (0)3 226 88 81 marcel@headquartersmagazine.com Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch T. +32 (0)2 761 70 52 cecile@headquartersmagazine.com Account Manager – International Sales Kelvin Lu T. +32 (0)2 761 70 59 kelvin@headquartersmagazine.com Managing Editor Rémi Dévé T. +32 (0)2 761 70 58 remi@headquartersmagazine.com Contributor Rose Kelleher Design & Print Press Point Poelstraat 167 - 9820 Merelbeke T. +32 (0)9 362 52 50 - www.presspoint.be Cover Han Qi Supported by ESAE, the European Society of Association Executives, and UIA, the Union of International Associations Address 59 rue René Declercq 1150 Brussels (Belgium) T. +32 (0)2 761 70 50 F. +32 (0)2 761 70 51 www.headquartersmagazine.com press@headquartersmagazine.com

Believe me when I say I’m a humanist, a European and a person who thinks that science is more important than religion. However, that doesn’t mean I’m just a down-to-earth realist quite the contrary. I’m also a dreamer, that’s for sure. In this respect, I had a dream five years ago to bring all professional associations whose first name begins with EU together around the table. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a kind of European Joint Meetings Industry Group and obtain more attention from the European Institutions. The table I selected was located in a typical Brussels venue where they serve excellent beer and delicious mussels: Chez Léon. Marcel A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief

Who were the guests? ESAE, EFAPCO, Brussels Convention Bureau and UIA. I must say I neglected FAIB and ECM at that particular time. What was the result? Little or nothing. Except for a great meal. The European motivation was missing. One question remained for myself: is it the task of a magazine to take such an initiative? I have learnt that a magazine can only be a signpost, an information medium and a sandwich man. The real driving forces must come from the industry itself. So five years of searching, assessing and exploring have passed. The result can now be seen. On 16 and 17 May I experienced the first European Association Summit (EAS) in Brussels (www.easummit.eu - more on this page 10). It was a heart-warming and historic event supported by Brussels Convention Bureau (a Hervé Bosquet effect!). I had prepared six questions very carefully for President Van Rompuy who gave the opening speech, but his advisor recommended that I should wait because it was too early. He told me: we are open, but are you all united? The latest good news for EJMIG (European Joint Meetings Industry Group) comes from EFAPCO with the announcement of the creation of the European Observatory. A great initiative. Our dreams are gradually coming true. Joint Voices!

» More stories on www.headquartersmagazine.com

Contents GENERAL News 4 Association Portrait 6 Viparis 9 Global Science & Convention Alliance 20

Cécile Caiati-Koch

Rémi Dévé

The European Association Summit

Kelvin Lu

SPECIAL FEATURE How to be competitive

18

ESAE & UIA Leveraging conference content

10

DESTINATIONS Rimini, Italy 22 Taiwan 24 Madrid, Spain 25 Macau 26 Thailand 28 Grimaldi Forum Monaco 32 Interlaken, Switzerland 35 Malaysia 36 DESTINATION SUPPLEMENTS England Hangzhou

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> News

Stuttgart bets on sustainability Since 2012 Stuttgart has become even more competitive and attractive as a conference and congress destination. Based on the results of a survey carried out last year, Stuttgart is now praised as ‘Germany’s most sustainable city’. In the Stuttgart Region countless events are staged around the theme of sustainabilty. Some of these are organised entirely in accordance with sustainable criteria, including CO2 compensation. The most recent example is the 39th GTM Germany Travel Mart™, which took place 5-7 May 2013 in Stuttgart. www.congress-stuttgart.de

Associations Round Table is an opportunity to learn through networking and through practice, meet representatives of other international associations and share experience and knowledge, and gain practical skills and tools to help you do your work better. This year the, for the first time, the Round Table comes to Asia, 23-24 October in Singapore, at Suntec International Convention & Exhibition Centre, with an expected 200 participants. www.uia.org

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IT&CM India // 20-22 August 2013 New Delhi // www.itcmindia.com CIBTM // 2-4 September 2013, Beijing // www.cibtm.com IBTM India // 12-14 September 2013, Mumbai // www.ibtmevents.com/IBTM-India IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific // 2-4 October 2013, Bangkok // www.itcma.com IMEX America // 15-17 October 2013, Las Vegas // www.imexamerica.com

UIA Associations Round Table in Asia For over 100 years the UIA has been working to promote and facilitate the work of international associations. The UIA

2013 Meetings Industry Fairs

EIBTM // 19-21 November 2013, Barcelona // www.eibtm.com Germany Travel Mart™, Stuttgart


> News

bids for large conference proposals in an efficient and fast way without holding preliminary discussions, and guarantee the availability of a maximum of 16,000 rooms. www.iamsterdam.com

Yokohama Wins the World Conference on Lung Cancer for 2017 CBC Convention Bureau

CBC Bureau to promote the business tourism in the Costa Brava Centre To promote business tourism, a type that generates five times more expense than the leisure one, a CBC Convention Bureau has been created, an entity that watches over the common interests of the sector representing a conglomerate of services. Early June, the first meeting of the hotel managers associated to CBC was celebrated at Mas Falet 1682 in Sant Antoni de Calonge. The director of the CBC, Elisabeth Vidal, has valued the meeting very positively: ‘All the hotel managers have agreed there is a need to unify efforts and promote our territory under the umbrella of the CBC, creating synergies between local suppliers.’ www.cbcbureau.com

Amsterdam ready for city-wide congresses Since April 2013, Amsterdam Marketing is able to guarantee organisers of international, city-wide congresses the availability of a maximum of 16,000 hotel rooms in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Marketing has also given them permission to offer their customers hotel rooms with the ‘I amsterdam approved’ quality seal as part of the package. The congress and the three, four and five star hotels must specify beforehand in a charter how many rooms they can offer the city wide congress organisers. By doing so, the city will be able to field

While Japan has consistently boasted one of the best reports cards in the world on health, cancer has remained a black spot. Lung cancer became the major cause of cancer deaths among Japanese for the first time in 1998, surpassing stomach cancer, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Therefore, the announcement by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) that Yokohama will host its World Conference on Lung Cancer in 2017 was very well received. Not only will the Japanese have a chance to showcase their own R&D in this field, the convergence of some 6,000 delegates from all over the world will mean a wonderful opportunity for robust networking and exchange of ideas among like-minded peers. www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp

Two new members for JMIC Philippe Fournier, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), announced that ASAE and the Centre for Association Leadership and IFES, the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services, have joined the Council, taking its membership to fifteen major international industry organizations. ‘The addition of these two international organizations to our Council further strengthens JMIC’s ability to bring together and represent the global meetings industry at a time when there is a greater need than ever for us to be able to present a united front on key issues‘, said Fournier. www.themeetingsindustry.org

Healthy Heart Roadshow, Glasgow

EuroHeartCare Congress in Glasgow The EuroHeartCare Congress took place in Glasgow on the 22-23 March 2013, at the Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC). The congress provided opportunities for the coordination and promotion of scientific research, international networking, and continued education for nurses and allied health professionals. Glasgow is one of the UK and Europe’s most progressive business tourism cities, with a proven track record in successfully delivering medical and scientific conferences. According to the European Society of Cardiology, the SECC and Glasgow were the venue and destination of choice because of ‘flexibility, cost effectiveness, creativity, willingness to adapt to our needs when possible, and their constant brainstorming and invention. They’re always a step ahead of you in trying to make the congress a success’. Medical and scientific associations are looking for new and innovative ways to engage with the general public, achieve strategic objectives, and deliver a lasting legacy for the association in the host city. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) has a developed network of city partners that links the association to world leading medical and scientific expertise. GCMB provided the European Society of Cardiology with excellent opportunities to access an existing influential ambassador community. Through engaging with city partners GCMB created an innovative public engagement event that would leave a lasting legacy and raise the profile of EuroHeartCare in the city. The Healthy Heart Roadshow, in partnership with the European Society of Cardiology, the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Ambulance Service, took place in the St Enoch Centre shopping mall and offered lifestyle assessments to help people live more healthily and reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. www.seeglasgow.com 5


> Association portrait

A talk with the European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) Annette Bourgelle is the Events & Corporate Affairs Manager of EGA, the European Generic Medicines Association, based in Brussels. Annette explains how the association operates, what kind of events they organise and how eventful an association’s life can be.

Annette Bourgelle

HQ: Could you briefly present EGA? Annette Bourgelle: The EGA is the official representative body of the European generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical industry, which is at the forefront of providing highquality affordable medicines to millions of Europeans and stimulating competitiveness and innovation in the pharmaceutical sector. Formed in 1993, the EGA represents generic pharmaceutical companies and their subsidiaries from throughout Europe, either directly or through national associations. 6

Companies represented within the EGA provide over 150,000 jobs in Europe. Costeffective generic medicines save EU patients and healthcare systems over €35 billion each year, thus helping to ensure patient access to essential medicines and providing urgently needed budget headroom for the purchase of new and innovative treatments.   HQ: What do you find most challenging to achieve as an association? Annette Bourgelle: In an era when increasing demands are being made on Europe’s health­ care services, the challenge for generic and biosimilar medicines is to provide a major benefit to society by ensuring patient access to quality, safe and effective medicines while reducing the cost of pharmaceutical care. The EGA plays an important consultative part in European healthcare policy-making

and provides key educational role for its members. The EGA and its members work with European national governments and the EU institutions to develop affordable solutions for pharmaceutical care and to increase Europe’s competitive strength in the global pharmaceutical medicines market. The objectives of the association are, without any profit purpose, to represent, support and develop the common scientific and technical interests of the generic pharmaceutical industry and the biosimilar industry or national or European associations of such, firms, companies or other legal bodies active in the generic pharmaceutical or the biosimilar industries. Those interests shall include, but shall not be restricted to, developments within the European Union, Europe as a whole and relations between the European Union and third countries.


> Association portrait

HQ: What kind of events do you organise? And what is the association’s decision process concerning the organisation of your events?  Annette Bourgelle: We organise several conferences per year, following take place on a yearly basis: • the EGA Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Conference (in London - generally in January) • the EGA Pharmacovigilance Discussion Forum (in London - generally in January) • the EGA Legal Affairs Forum (in Brussels generally in March) • the EGA International Symposium on Biosimilar Medicines (in London generally in April) • the EGA yearly cocktail at EGA office, generally in September The EGA Annual Conference takes place generally in June, the venue of the Annual Conference is decided each year and does not follow a particular pattern. The destination is decided following several criteria such as connectivity with transports, relevance of the legislative agenda, relevance of the country for the generic industry and costs in general. Attractiveness for participants is also taken into consideration.

connected to the EU Presidency calendar or relevance of markets developments at national level • Launch of reports generally in Brussels • EGA Symposium on Bioequivalence in Brussels • EGA South East Europe Pharmaceutical Symposium - generally in EU candidate countries or in London   HQ: What kind of venues do you need and what criteria must they satisfy? Annette Bourgelle: We mostly choose European capitals and countries where we have active members. The venue has to be easily accessible, spacious enough to welcome at least 150 to 250 delegates. Attention is also given to the availability of attractive locations to promote exhibitions and enhance our Member’s image. HQ: How do you see the future of the association? How would you summarize new trends in the association congress world? Annette Bourgelle: Multimedia is definitely going to play an increasing role in the way we organise our conferences. Online broadcasting such as webinar is a strong trend that we will certainly follow in the near future. Interaction with social media is also a gateway

Multimedia is definitely going to play an increasing role in the way we organise our conferences. Online broadcasting such as webinar is a strong trend to more dynamic exchanges not only with delegates and but also with outsiders. We have also been approached with an idea to develop b2b contacts within the conference, to facilitate networking among delegates.

• 15th Annual IGPA Conference 4-6 December 2012 Kyoto, Japan • 6th EGA Pharmacovigilance Discussion Forum 16 January 2013 London, United Kingdom • 12th EGA Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Conference 17-18 January 2013 London, United Kingdom • 9th EGA Legal Affairs Forum 19-20 March 2013 Brussels, Belgium • 11th EGA International Symposium on Biosimilar Medicines 25-26 April 2013 London, United Kingdom

HQ: Any memorable destination for one of your events? If yes, why? Annette Bourgelle: One memorable destination was Istanbul where the EGA annual conference was held in 2007. The venue was amazing and the programme, especially the social programme, pleased the delegates. The active role of the local association members and sponsors played a crucial role in this success. www.egagenerics.com

www.photographybyfocus.com

Depending on the agenda, we also organise on an ad-hoc basis: • Parliamentary events generally in Brussels • Roundtable discussions in cooperation with our local associations sometimes

Selected List of EGA’s past events • 18th EGA Annual Conference 13-15 June 2012 St Julian’s, Malta

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> Viparis

Cnit Paris La Défense

Patrick Mallejacq

Viparis key figures • 1,000 events per year: 300 trade shows 125 conferences 500 corporate events 110 performances • 9 million visitors • 629,337 sqm • 13 amphitheaters accommodating between 168 and 3,723 persons • 239 meeting rooms • 34 halls of between 1,060 sqm and 72,002 sqm • 28 multipurpose spaces

© Viparis

Paris hosts the Transport Research Arena in 2014

Paris is hosting the 5th edition of the Transport Research Arena conference in April 2014, at CNIT Paris La Défense, a venue of the Viparis Group. Patrick Mallejacq, Director for International Affairs at IFSTTAR, the French institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks, explains why Paris was selected for this prestigious event.

HQ: Can you give us a brief description of your event and the challenges you face to make it a success? Patrick Mallejacq: TRA is an eagerly awaited event, not only in Europe but also in other countries outside our continent. The theme of the 5th edition is ‘Transport Solutions: from Research to Deployment’. This edition will, for the first time, be hosted together with other transport events, offering new views on several topics. The 2014 conference is unique because it will mark the beginning of the Horizon 2020 European Framework Programme for research and innovation. HQ: Why was Paris chosen to host this event? Patrick Mallejacq: Paris region is a dynamic metropolis. The large-scale project called ‘Grand Paris’ will make the Paris region even more attractive to the rest of Europe. Also research plays an extensive role: number of clusters of excellence have been developed over the past 10 years in order to strengthen the position of Paris as a World Metropolis. One example would be the Cluster of Excellence for Greater Paris as a Sustainable

City which works every day on identifying efficient solutions for tomorrow’s mobility. For all this reasons, added to fact that It is also the most accessible city in Europe, we choose to hold TRA 2014 in Paris. HQ: Why did you choose the venue CNIT Paris La Défense? Patrick Mallejacq: Having the exclusivity of the venue is a great advantage! It is modern and elegant place, close to the French Ecology Ministry and located at only 10 minutes from the Champs-Elysées. Added to this, The Cnit Paris La défense is located in the La Défense district, at the centre of a major transport network, combining metro, tram lines and suburban trains. It offers several accommodations hotels, shops, restaurants… These advantages offer participants practicality and efficiency. HQ: How was the enquiry and the follow up handled by the Viparis team? Patrick Mallejacq: If the 2014 conference looks so promising, it is certainly thanks to Viparis team who helps the hosts in

organising the event. They are reactive and adapt themselves to our strategic issues and work approach in order to meet our needs. They are present from the beginning of the project and along its preparation, it’s absolutely necessary to make our event and our 12 smaller conferences successful. As soon as we express a new request, Viparis is able to quickly work on an efficient solution. We are really working in close partnership. It’s a real pleasure to cooperate with them. On a daily-basis and at every stage of our partnership, VIPARIS tailor-make their solutions for a very successful event! Viparis - 10 outstanding venues in Paris: Paris Nord Villepinte - Paris expo Porte de Versailles - Paris Le Bourget - Le Palais des Congrès de Paris Carrousel du Louvre - Cnit Paris La Défense Palais des Congrès de Versailles - Espace Champerret Le Palais des Congrès d’Issy - Espace Grande Arche

Contact Viparis 2, place de la Porte Maillot 75017 Paris T. +33 (0)1 40 68 22 22 sarah.dupons@viparis.com www.venuesinparis.com 9


How to leverage your conference content

The example of the European Association Summit The first Edition of the European Association Summit took place in Brussels, May 16-18, 2013. Conceived as a high level conference crafted by association executives for association executives, the Summit gathered over 100 senior association managers, with the intent of sharing best practices and reflecting on the utility and the developments of the profession. Text Alessandro Cortese, Vice President of ESAE and CEO of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) The European Association Summit was made possible thanks to the convinced support of the Brussels authorities and their deep understanding of the role that international associations can play in the development of the Region. While several other meetings exist today, offering educational content to association executives, the Summit brought some aspects that seem to differ from the rest of the offering. First and foremost, the program was designed, on the model of a scientific congress, by a ‘Scientific Committee’ made of several association executives, with an interesting mix of competencies and representing the many facets of the profession. Besides representatives from the ESAE, FAIB an UIA, the key organisations representing the profession, members of the committee came also from professional associations, trade organisations and federations, giving a good photograph of the landscape of professional association management and its educational needs. The program included debates, workshops and more ‘academic’ sessions, the latter being the goal per se of the summit, not a side feature. As a result, sessions focused mainly on strategy and best practices in processes and operations, instead of discussing about congress management. 10

In that sense, the meeting looked similar to what happens during several medical congresses where speakers are selected between the number of persons who have indicated their interest to participate and have a topic or experiences to share with their peers. In fact, all speakers were participating to the different sessions with all other colleagues attending, in a vibrant peerto-peer perspective. This concept, translated into a very engaged audience and in extremely interactive sessions and debates. While the Summit had its core reason of being in the educational offer of sessions, several supporting companies and partners also attended the meeting through dedicated moments of interaction with the association executives. That interaction took place during the social moments of the meeting, allowing the fact that all sessions and debates could focus on the ‘academic’ aspects, without any commercial contamination during the sessions. Association CEOs learn by interacting, discussing, participating and debating, more than by attending yet another session designed by someone who is supposed to know best what they need to learn. The educational environment, that a meeting creates, can therefore become

a crucial element with regards to the ability to attract executive level association managers, allowing the best possible conditions for peer-to-peer interaction. The Summit succeeded in doing so. Finally, associations do not live in social and economical isolation and need to confront with companies from all industries and policy makers to better understand how to play a role in the development of the economical and political environment. With this goal, the European Association Summit was proposed to be part of the European Business Summit, generating two important additional benefits for the attendance of the meeting. On one side, association executives had the chance to network with representatives of different industries or professions (engineering, medical, finance, energy…), therefore also finding value in the meeting, while representing their association. On the other, they had the opportunity to meet with the European political and economical leadership and hear about the key issues that are expected to impact on the ability to leverage the maturity of association management as a recognized profession. www.esae.org


Promoting & leveraging meeting content Tight budgets and growing competition are prompting associations to squeeze extra value out of their conferences. Web-based libraries of digitised abstracts and recorded sessions are dramatic value enhancers for members. But they yield many other benefits too. Text Phil Forte, Blue Sky International

only account for about 25% of the total revenues of a typical movie!

The evolving event: changing the success metrics

Creating a content lifecycle is not a new idea

An important first step in developing a plan to leverage meeting content is for the entire organisation’s team to achieve buy-in on the premise that the conference content has value beyond the actual event.

Many organisations do not offer an alternative way to participate and learn from the event. In most cases their message is ‘you either attend our conference in our chosen city, at our chosen time, or you get nothing’. Other industries deliver their content via alternative means. Why not association meetings?

Today’s professionals expect to be able to get access to meeting content anywhere, anytime, via any device. If meeting sessions are streamed live or available soon after a session, it can help them get more out of their busy conference schedules. Online access is also invaluable to those who cannot make it to a particular conference because of schedule conflicts.

Once this occurs, it allows the creation of a plan to efficiently cultivate a tradition that will benefit both the live and virtual audiences. Traditionally when a presenter is selected for a particular presentation, the audience size is limited to the size of the meeting room. Now, that presentation can be delivered to a significantly broader audience. Presentation ‘impressions’ can now be expanded beyond the four walls of the meeting room and include non-attending members as well as potential members that find value in the conference content. As a result, it is possible to multiply the presentation ‘impressions’ by a factor of 10. With the use of reporting tools and analytics, the organisation can aggregate all the viewing statistics (both live and virtual) and determine the entire participation of the conference content rather than just the live attendance of the conference.

Members’ expectations with content

Member recruitment and retention both benefit when a conference lifespan extends beyond the event itself A great example is how Hollywood recognises the value of its content. The studios leverage the value of their movies by delivering their content through a very established life cycle that initially delivers via a theatrical release (in a cinema), which requires its audience to go to a specific venue to watch the content at a predetermined time. Hollywood then takes that content and delivers it through a number of other channels such as online services (iTunes/Netflix), pay-per–view, DVDs, premium cable, basic cable and then eventually network television. Cinema revenues

Member recruitment and retention both benefit when a conference lifespan extends beyond the event itself. While nothing replaces the face-to-face networking value of attending an important conference or symposium, combining an ondemand library of meeting content with a well-developed social media outreach programme sparks member conversations and interactions. These can continue long after the conference is over, turning up the volume for the association as a whole. Event sponsors likewise may be delighted to pay for a presence in this virtual market space. 11


E-learning statistics show growth! In past years, association executives expressed concerns about cannibalising meeting attendance if they put meeting content online. Quite the opposite has occurred, according to implementers. Early adopters have discovered that live audiences have remained steady. These associations have also built whole new audiences that are often willing to pay for online access. Many position their online meeting libraries as part of their e-learning programmes. Upwards of 75% of associations now offer some sort of e-learning programmes through their websites, with many more planning to offer them within the next year.

These programmes provide professional development opportunities for members, who often have exclusive or lower-priced access to them than non-members. About a third of associations charge for all of their e-learning offerings, while about half charge for some.

Best practices and getting started Association executives are finding that the initial investment to create an online library increases overall returns to the organisation through: · new memberships · better retention of existing members · creating new revenue streams through virtual proceedings and extended sponsorships · extending the reach of the brand.

Groups eager to begin often don’t know where to start. We generally advise them to begin with one or two pieces of the total solution, such as recording the conference sessions or digitising abstracts and posters. This is an easy way to increase audience and leverage content far beyond the meeting itself.

For more information contact Phil Forte (pforte@blueskybroadcast.com) at Blue Sky International (BSI). BSI provides technology solutions for online content management and education portals to offer the worldwide association community a fully integrated digital education service, and is a strategic partner of MCI (www.mci-group.com).

Attention, please! Why is there such a need to focus on delivering content value in meetings nowadays? Content is king, or so we are told through many articles and discussions within our beloved meetings industry. Of course it is! I would argue it always has been, but times change and so do business environments. Rather than the content itself, and the increasing variety of delivery tools, we should consider the factors enhancing attention and reception. In the meetings industry around associations responsible executives have had to redefine and reorganise their activities because of budget restrictions and competition. Potential delegates have similarly had to minimize their conference attendance on the basis of budget, time and regulatory restrictions. It is a trend well documented. The result of this trend is that the active organisations - both commercial and not-forprofit - are trimming down the edges of our market place, and necessarily have started to look for better delivery and reception of content. However, sometimes it just feels as if we are re-inventing the wheel, when it comes to addressing topics on how to capture the attention of meeting attendees. 12

First of all, there is the overflow of information in sound bites, nowadays continuously delivered to all of us desk tigers in electronic format. The volume of information available freely through internet and other media sources to potential meeting delegates is beyond boundaries and often beyond control. Wanted or unwanted, the bits and pieces of information reach all of us through our various electronic portals and it is significantly affecting our ways to

process content properly. Even more difficult is to judge the quality of this content and its usefulness for the recipient. As a result the attention span of an average meeting attendee seems to reach its limits much faster. Without access to platforms that offer sorted and selected information, prepared and served in the right order at the right time, our delegates are as lost as we all are in the content jungle.


This brings us to the actual value of the content delivered. There is a clear distinction between all of those who act in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, and those who actually have and share the knowledge. The latter can only determine the real value of content. Thus, those of us who operate as facilitators and service providers should be focusing on the delivery of content and seek appropriate advice on the value of it. Especially in meetings with scientific, academic or very specific content the peer-topeer communication requires a good understanding, in order to be efficiently facilitated. The experience of committees and faculty of associations in these areas, who are responsible for creating the meeting’s content, mostly guarantees the received value, either in a positive or a negative way. In other words, if the content of any meeting proposal has value at all, as perceived by a majority of potential attendees, there is a reason to meet. In whichever way, shape or format possible, peers will seek each other to exchange information that is vital to their work. It is this premise that allows commercial service providers to connect with such groups and develop a relationship, turning a contact into a client. Subsequently, in the world of business meetings and events there is a continuous need to evaluate and innovate the needs of these clients.

Now we are facing a time in which technological developments are fast and furious, leaving little opportunity for effective implementation in meeting formats. Moreover, the social adaptation to available tools has proven to be difficult at best. How often do we ask ourselves: “to ‘tweet’ or not to ‘tweet’?” The availability of excellent tools has not only created attractive opportunities to communicate, but also laid bare the limitations of the human mind to focus. For example, we may still be trying to deliver the best application for mobile devices in order to let our delegates get engaged, but

In order to achieve the attention of the delegate before, during and after the meeting, one needs to apply a specific diversification of the available tools and the messages, appropriate to the audience Professional Congress Organizers (PCOs) consider it one of their tasks - and prerogatives - to consult their clients on how to leverage the available content. Having made a profession out of organising congresses - the much discussed ‘P’ in PCO the true pioneers within our industry were of course as much focused on leveraging content, as the PCOs of today. And the evolution of the role of a PCO - serving as a local, core or in-house provider - has not changed this either. The circumstances were different, but the need to capture the audience’s attention was and remains the same.

to get their real attention has become a more important issue. In order to achieve the attention of the delegate before, during and after the meeting, one needs to apply a specific diversification of the available tools and the messages, appropriate to the audience. It is nice to develop an application that allows delegates to search for restaurants around the conference centre, but resources may be limited and the audience might rather have a functional reference tool for scientific content. For educational purposes, the online meeting library is a great

tool, increasing the usage of content, as well as offering the content provider with a source of revenue. In time this tool might completely replace the library of hard copies and as such the change is merely in terms of shape. The real challenge the PCOs will face is to manage the diversification of approach and application, with so many tools and so much content available to reach an audience with a growing attention deficit. For now, associations and their suppliers should certainly consider the advantages of leveraging the content via the social media and other online applications. Within the parameters of cost-effectiveness and user-friendliness there are many ways to serve all associations, great and small. But to capture and retain the actual attention of their delegates, and providing them with valuable content on both short and long term, requires a development of our minds, rather than of tools.

This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Michel Neijmann, Managing Partner, K2 Conference and Event management Co., Istanbul, Turkey. IAPCO represents today 115 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 42 countries. info@iacpo.org / www.iapco.org

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What’s happening at the ESAE?

An interview from the ESAE with the ESAE Christoph Raudonat

A lot of people in the association world probably wondered what is happening at the ESAE now that it has moved its administrative offices from Brussels to London. To shed some light on a few of the unanswered questions and to dare a glimpse into the future, here are the Top 10 questions from the ESAE to the ESAE, by Christoph Raudonat, Director.

1. You are no longer working through London. That is right. The ESAE was moved over to Brussels late last year after our leadership did some heavy thinking about what should happen with the society in the future. While the ESAE’s management company in the UK looked after the ESAE for years with great enthusiasm and commitment, we all felt that the Brussels association market was something we should be closer connected to. Therefore, a move to Brussels seemed like the best option to decrease the distance to members and be where the action is. We are still deeply grateful for all the work done by our UK friends and we certainly would have never made it without them. We do realise now, though, that being in Brussels was the only way forward as it is so much easier to organise a get-together for association executives also on short notice and be involved in the discussion with sister organizations such as the FAIB and the UIA. 2. What does 2013 look like for you? Currently very busy, but I believe that everyone is facing the same difficulties in managing their time. The year started full throttle with the membership renewals and we are pleased to see so many members standing by our side for yet another year. In 14

addition, we had to undertake some administrative spring cleaning and sort out all our physical files in the new office, work with new providers and, finally, look into some succession planning at leadership level. Our president for many years, Luc Maene, graciously retired from his position at the end of last year and the ESAE is thus looking for a new president. At the same time, several board positions are up for rotation and thus it is a pretty exciting time to see the ESAE change and make plans for the future. 3. What will be your primary goal? Our primary goal is to redefine the purpose of the ESAE and focus on the needs of its target group: the European Association Executives. Unfortunately, the ESAE did not organise much last year but we took some time to reflect. A reputation analysis was carried out by our director and we launched a new membership survey to benchmark the society and feel the pulse of the environment. We learned that a more thorough renewal of the society’s purpose was necessary to be fit for the future. 4. What will be your next steps concretely? As a first administrative step we had to make our new address official, of course, in order to be fully functional. This was quite

important. As next steps, the board is currently working on a new strategy and an update of the society’s governance guidelines. We felt that in order to better respond to the needs of our members, the ESAE would have to renew itself, also to be able to lead by example. We hope that both projects will be sufficiently advanced for the General Assembly on June 4, so that the new board will be able to build on current efforts. 5. Sounds ambitious. How are you planning to reach out to your constituency? There are several plans. One channel that we have left out in the past is social media. In order to reach as many people as possible, you have to be social and engage actively on the various platforms that are available. The ESAE currently has a LinkedIn group, which is more or less active, and we are aiming at engaging with Facebook and Twitter as well. At the same time, we have renewed our webspace with a new website and are sending regular email newsletters. This has already helped the ESAE to attract a few new members. In addition, we, of course, plan to hold again and more face-to-face meetings. Initially, these will focus on Brussels but with growth in other European countries we are looking at rolling out events also outside of Brussels.


6. How will you achieve growth in the near future? That is difficult to predict at this point. The ESAE’s budget is very limited and it will be hard to make ends meet. Having said that, you don’t gain without investing. Thus we are looking at building the society’s reputation by providing networking sessions and seminars to attract association managers to join the ranks and utilize the platform that exists for their use. From there we can move on to more elaborate projects such as certification programs, trainings, etc. 7. Are there any planned events in 2013? Planned yes, communicated no. We have many ideas and a preliminary event calendar. Furthermore, we are discussing with partner organisations to perhaps join forces and work together on some programs to share the risk and save costs. 8. We know of the UIA, the FAIB and then there are plans for an association center in Brussels as well. How does the ESAE fit in all of this? As said, the ESAE is mainly focusing on association leadership individually. The other organisations look at associations as a whole. It also appears that therefore the

education part for association leadership falls squarely into the ESAE’s lap, so to say. 9. What is the ESAE’s relationship with the ASAE?

vehicles for such a social engagement. We are also seeing that more and more young people are getting actively involved in associations, both as volunteers as well as active members. This is a positive trend for associa-

Our primary goal is to redefine the purpose of the ESAE and focus on the needs of its target group: the European Association Executives. ASAE and ESAE are great friends. The ASAE is such a large and wonderful organisation with so much of information to share. ESAE members get access to the online resources of the ASAE as part of their ESAE membership, which is a real advantage and we are looking forward to keeping this relationship up, close and personal. 10. Do you dare to glimpse in the crystal ball and tell the readers a bit about the future for associations in Europe? That is a tough question. As part of some research recently undertaken, I would guess a hazard that associations will play a more important role in the socio-political landscape of Europe. Social dialogue partners are much needed not only at EU level but also at national levels. Associations are the perfect

tions in Europe and shows that people want to be engaged in the shaping of society. Together with the notion that associations slowly are and should be run more like businesses, it leaves one to wonder whether or not we see a new form of socio-economic models developing. There certainly is space for innovation in this sector.

Christoph Raudonat is a Change and Reputation Management Consultant. He has been working in and with the non-profit sector for many years and is now the director of the European Society of Association Executives.

For any information on the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), please contact Christoph Raudonat, office@esae.org or +32 498 598 578 15


> UIA

Virtual conferences

Improve your content, get online

In this digitally connected world, could virtual participants meaningfully follow and take part in an IIED conference, cutting carbon footprints and expense? Text Suzanne Fisher, web content manager at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) attending an international conference is Last year at a conference I met a project financially impossible. manager and mum who said that she and many of her colleagues were increasGenerating evidence through hands-on ingly opting out of attending conferences. research with grassroots partners is one of Worried about her carbon footprint, the IIED’s key aims. Helping participants get expense of flights and accommodation and inside conference rooms where knowledge being away from her family, she felt conferis being shared, and helping them actively ences didn’t always justify the expense and participate in proceedings by asking extra exhaust fumes. And for many people, 16

questions or leaving comments is an important part of that work. This year at CBA7 the web team at IIED used a number of different technologies to do just that. We used Scribble Live, also used by a number of news agencies, including Reuters, CNN and the Press Association, to report live from the conference. Once up and running, it allowed participants (both those at the conference and also ‘virtual’ online ones) to:


UIA|Union of International Associations

• read curated content on the live blog, including comments and social media postings that participants had published on social media accounts and which were then pulled through onto the live blog page • live ‘report’ from the event (through comments and social media content) • leave comments - for instance, by watching the live web cast and then asking questions online.

How we did it The live pages were actually running on the Scribble live site, so we needed to make alterations to make the pages conform to the IIED site design. The web team adapted some of the style sheet (CSS) settings on the Scribble live template, changing fonts, font sizes and colours, so that it sat seamlessly when embedded within the IIED website. And we embedded the live blogging technology onto our website to ensure that we generated traffic on our site. All the content posted by participants ‘pulled through’ onto a dashboard, and was checked before it was posted live to ensure no defamatory comments or spam ended up on the live blog.

The result Was the hard work worth it? The online statistics suggests it was. We had 203 comments on the live blog. This means that during the four day conference 203 people bothered to log in and participate in the discussion, which shows a high level of interest. Overall we had 3,568 unique page views on our CBA7 web pages (including the live blog and the highlights pages) from 21-29 April 2013. If we include the CBArelated blogs and press releases in total the figure is 4,367 unique page views for this time period. This is an impressive achievement for eight days. Likely a two-hour online debate on how the poorest can act to adapt, hosted by IIED

and AlertNet Climate and held a few weeks before the event, helped drive online traffic and interest in the conference. According to AlertNet Climate, that chat alone had 832 unique visitors, 80 of whom posted comments themselves. At least some of those participants likely followed CBA7 virtually.

and that we couldn’t live report on the conference. Many of the hotel conference rooms, where side events were being held, didn’t have wifi. All of this no doubt had an impact on people’s social media and web participation, as most people couldn’t get onto the live blog to comment or onto

Of course, there are important perks to attending conferences. Meeting someone face to face over a coffee is invariably better than communicating virtually Viewer figures were higher on the first day and then progressively tailed off on the following days. We can only guess why, but generally the live blogging model works best in short and sharp bursts - and it’s harder to maintain momentum over a four day period.

social media to live tweet from the side panel sessions, or lost their connection in the main hall and gave up.

Teething problems

Of course, there are important perks to attending conferences. Meeting someone face to face over a coffee is invariably better than communicating virtually. Most of the community-based adaptation conferences involved participants visiting communities and projects to see first-hand how communities are adapting to climate change. That kind of experience can’t be replicated online.

We produced a web page with highlights from the live blog each day, including social media, comments and web link highlights from the day. The first day I tried to use Scribble live to do this, but found that it only pulled through the first day of social media data. On contacting Scribble live, they said this was a bug they were addressing. So, my experience was that this functionality is still in its infancy. I switched to using Storify, which is built to curate user generated content on the last three days. Given the number of comments we received, we were under-resourced to respond to all the virtual participants in a timely and meaningful way. Many comments were quite technical in nature, and required responses from researchers. We will need to think this through in more detail before the next ‘virtual’ event. A major obstacle that we faced in Bangladesh was connectivity. It often dropped out in the main conference hall, which meant that at times the live web cast stopped working for virtual participants

But, the figures show that, despite the obstacles, there was great interest to follow the proceedings and to take part.

But this was an important first step in helping virtual participants take part. And it made me wonder: will we all be virtual participants by 2020?

This blog was first published on IIED: http://www.iied.org/virtual-conferences-notfuture-now. For over 12 years Suzanne Fisher has been telling stories through radio, online and print to bring about positive social change. With over 12 years communications experience, she’s conceived and managed radio drama series, reported from African countries in the midst of civil war, including Sierra Leone, Burundi and Liberia, and Nigeria. She’s worked as a writer, an editor, a radio producer, a communications manager and researcher and a web editor.

For more info on UIA, visit www.uia.org 17


> Research

Remaining competitive in a crisis

Ireland’s conferencing providers have changed tack by actively targeting the associations market

It’s fair to say that recovery in the global meetings and convention industry has been painfully slow. Competition among destinations is stronger than ever, and instead of resting on their laurels and waiting for the sun to come back out, DMOs need to consider what they can change about the way they do business in order to gain back that competitive advantage... Text Rose Kelleher ‘The fundamental flaw of destination marketing organisations is to view the forces of change as merely a temporary issue which, in turn, results in a failure to learn and to unlearn,’ speaker Daniel Fesenmaier recently told a conference on regional tourism in San Sebastian, Spain. As the go-to teams for the best local knowledge and deals, DMOs have spent years crafting the in-market relationships that meetings professionals can rely on to connect them with the right partners to help execute a successful event. But Fesenmaier’s message is clear: DMOs around Europe need to reinvent these relationships and the way they 18

do business with meeting groups, in order to rise to the challenge of slashed budgets and help companies contain costs for their meetings, conventions, product launches and incentive programs. A down economy impacts the destinations and the customer in vastly different ways. While the meeting planner is worried about a reduction in attendance and the resulting financial shortfall, as well as power at the negotiating table (plus figuring out how to cleverly eliminate extravagances - once de rigueur in more affluent times without reducing the quality of experience),

DMOs are experiencing unprecedented competition, all while falling victim to reduced budgets and close financial scrutiny from stakeholders urging them to spend responsibly while producing solid results.

No more business as usual Not a single segment of the MICE industry has escaped unscathed. Destinations need to change their mindset and become more aggressive and creative in prospecting for business. Ireland, one of the EU’s worst hit countries economically, provides a good example: the country’s conferencing providers have changed tack by actively targeting the associations market. Ireland’s business has traditionally been limited to incentive and corporate business, which suffered considerably in the wake of the recession.


> Research

Fáilte Ireland response has been to make considerable efforts to target the association customers, which generally have long lead times - sometimes booking more than three years in advance - and are less affected by wider economic trends. New policies have achieved a massive year-onyear increase in Ireland’s revenue from US business tourists.

Get locals on board For many years, partners such as hotels have enjoyed a seemingly endless run of economic good fortune, resulting in a ‘seller’s market’ sales approach practiced by many DMOs. All that has changed. In the new paradigm, destinations need to consider themselves a part of the customer’s team when approaching facilities, suppliers, and government, fighting for the best possible deal on behalf of the customer. They need to cut to the chase with the best possible deal from the beginning, thus demonstrating to the customer that they are respected. Engaging locals through grassroots campaigning can inform them about the benefits of tourism to the community, and creating local interest in tourism and garner support for future projects (see box text on Sicily) can help in positioning a destination. Destination Marketing Association International advises their members to take city officials on sales calls or involve them in discussions during the customer’s site inspection. This, they claim, will show the customer that their business is important to the destination, will allow the official to hear the concerns of customers, and may result in the city offering additional concessions. Helping local businesses package their services can help secure a meeting, as

does including more complimentary DMO services in a bid - such as attendance promotion activities, providing media or PR assistance, registration staff and restaurant reservation services for attendees. Above all, DMOs need to be creative. Makings sure websites provide real-time access to knowledge is vital - planners who need to make fast decisions want information at their fingertips that is reliable, up to date, and easy to find. And lets not forget people power: sales people need to be energised, educated, and fully focused on their mission.

Destinations need to change their mindset and become more aggressive and creative in prospecting for business But perhaps now more than ever, it is important to focus on the substance, not the fluff throughout the sales process: extravagant extras will come across as excessive and in poor taste. And as if it hasn’t been repeated enough: DMOs need to get social. ‘The older and more established the DMO, the less likely they are to adopt newer web technologies. The younger DMOs are much more willing to try and adopt technologies that are web 2.0 or SaaS,’ says Stephen Joyce, CEO of Rezgo, a software as a service online reservation system for tour and activity operators. He advises DMOs to start integrating smaller less expensive technologies that fall below the budgetary constraints of the organisation. Stephen says, ‘Don’t be afraid to try something new. Create a specific project around a destination using hosted video on Youtube, photos hosted on Flickr, and user generated content. The technologies are all available online and are free.’

Sicily’s grassroots goals: getting the community on board The island of Sicily has long played host to marauding invaders and pleasure seekers - but like all its European neighbours, it’s suffering from a drop in visitor numbers. Cue a diverse team of entrepreneurial locals who have pledged to develop the island’s brand by setting up the Passionate Minds initiative, also known as the Sicilian Heritage Fund. This group of artisans and local producers have banded together to work to staunch the problems of what they see as Sicilian modernisation - the overdevelopment and the proliferation of ugly concrete functional constructions - and to remind visitors and inhabitants how beautiful the island is and should remain. ‘Italy has such a huge cultural history and the government has very little money to take care of it,’ says Francesco Padova, one of the co-founders. He and the rest of the group decided to take care of preserving parts of Sicilian art and architecture themselves. Padova formed the group along with artisan chocolatier Franco Ruta and the two recruited one of the island’s pre-eminent historic photographers, a professor of architecture and aestheticism in Milan, a food historian, and the island’s most famous chef. The group’s main goal is what Padova calls ‘preservation of cultural heritage,’ which includes monument restoration, museum financing, and promotion of Sicily’s gastronomic past and future.

19


> Alliance

Focus

Global Science & Convention Alliance (GSCA)

Four cities spread over the world have combined their forces in a brand-new alliance in order to be able to offer international associations the benefit of their strength and information know-how with a particular emphasis on science-based international congresses. It’s called the Global Science & Convention Alliance (GSCA) and we’ll tell you what it’s all about. Text Cécile Caiati-Koch the idea and, after internal discussions, decided to come on board.

Current President Bernard Keller and Past President Hoon Chae

Where did it all start? It actually dawned on the people of Daejeon, a city in South Korea, 50 km south of Seoul. DIME (Daejeon International Marketing Enterprise, a meetings industry alliance) realized that the centralization of science based institutes in their city could be a strong asset in promoting the destination to the international science world, but also understood that such a promotion carried out alone would not get the anticipated result. Therefore they contacted other similar cities in the world to see what they could do to organize some kind of global marketing approach. ‘lt makes good business sense given the number of meeting industry events based around science and research to unite our resources, draw on the strengths of each destination and form the ‘Science Alliance’ to attract such events’ said Mr. Hoon Chae, President of DIME and former first president of the Global Science & Convention Alliance. Hyderabad in India, Adelaide in Australia and Toulouse in France were intrigued by 20

What are the common characteristics of these four cities? · All destinations are small to medium global cities, geographically unique and rich in history and culture · Each city is strong in scientific innovation and research · Each city is home to a world-class convention space What are other benefits for the international associations? ‘We have developed a unique database which all members can consult in order to know how to pitch a bid for a certain association’, said the new president of the alliance, Mr. Bernard Keller. All specific requirements of an association which has already worked with one of the partners are put in this database so the other members know exactly what is of importance.

Introducing the four cities DAEJEON (South Korea) Daejeon is nicknamed ‘Asia’s Silicon Valley’ and ‘High technology city’. It has 18 universities including KAIST, Chungnam National University, Hanbat National University, Hannam University and UST (Korea University of Science and Technology). Other several important research institutes are based in the

city. Daedeok Innopolis (Daedeok Research and Development Special Zone) is composed of 28 state-run research centres as well as 79 private research institutes with as many as 20,000 researchers. In addition, Daejeon established the WTA (World Technopolis Association) in 1998 with the view of realizing regional development through international cooperation with world science cities. HYDERABAD (India) Historically, Hyderabad was known for its pearl and diamond trading centres. Industrialisation brought major Indian manufacturing, research, and financial institutions to the city, such as the Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the National Geophysical Research Institute, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and the National Mineral Development Corporation. The formation of an information technology Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by the state agencies attracted global and Indian companies to set up operations in the city. The emergence of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries during the 1990s earned it the titles of ‘India’s pharmaceutical capital’ and the ‘Genome Valley of India’. ‘Dynastic grandeur in the heart of modern India’ is a baseline which suits the ancient city situated in the middle of India as a glove.


> Alliance

ADELAIDE (Australia) Manufacturing, defence technology, high-tech electronic systems and research, commodity export and corresponding industries are Adelaide’s strengths. The city has over 40% of Australia’s high-tech electronics industry which designs and produces electronic systems that are sold worldwide for applications in medical, communications, defence, automotive, food and wine processing and industrial sectors. Adelaide wants to position itself as ‘Australia’s education hub’ and markets itself as a Learning City. The number of international students studying in Adelaide has increased rapidly in recent years to 23,300. In addition to the city’s existing institutions, foreign institutions have been drawn to set up campuses in order to increase its attractiveness as an education hub.

Daejeon, South Korea

‘It makes good business sense given the number of meeting industry events based around science and research to unite our resources’ TOULOUSE (France) Toulouse, based in south-west France, is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the Aerospace Valley, considered as a global cluster. The city also hosts l’Oncopôle de Toulouse, the largest cancer research centre in Europe, the European headquarters of Intel and CNES’s, Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe. Thalès Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites, EADS’s satellite system sub­ sidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 119,000 students, is the thirdlargest university campus of France.

Hyderabad, India

The strengths of the individual destinations will of course be highly beneficial to Associations and lnstitutes seeking destination options for their events with shared intelligence and resources offering advantages on many levels to organisers. In the coming years, the alliance says, additional partners are likely to be invited to assist with expanding the objectives of the partnership.

Contact François Lafont VP of Business Development So Toulouse +335 81 31 30 22 f.lafont@so-toulouse.com www.globalsciencealliance.com

© Ville de Toulouse - Patrice Nin

Adelaide, Australia

HeadQuarters Europe and Asia Pacific magazines will keep you updated on a regular basis on this alliance, as it has established a special relation with it.

Toulouse, France

21


> Rimini

Rimini

A whirlwind of events

Tiberius Bridge in the historical centre of Rimini, lit up on The Pink Night

Living in Rimini you get used to the daily hustle and bustle generated by events, performances, shows and all sorts of happenings. When you come to Rimini you are inevitably drawn into the pulsating character of the city, finding yourself immersed in the array of initiatives and activities that bring it to life. It exudes a contagious enthusiasm that amazes and excites, both for the city’s ability to constantly reinvent itself, while preserving tradition, and for the variety of interests and sectors it spans across and enhances. Rimini provides a stage for the most diverse range of personalities to express themselves in a season that runs the whole year. A perfect example is the coexistence, in the space of a few months and in two key locations, of classical music concerts of international calibre, namely the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana - this year in its 64th edition, at the Palacongressi di Rimini - and the melting pot of sounds reverberating at the

Molo and Pink Once again this year, the Molo Street Parade will be the ideal sneak preview to the celebrations that will follow and come to a climax with The Pink Night, more commonly referred to as ‘Summer’s New Year’s Eve’, capable of attracting as many as 2 million tourists to the Riviera every year. Friday July 5 kicks off a weekend of hundreds of events that will animate the Romagna coast-

Rimini draws on its tradition and creativity to reinvent itself, proving time and time again to be a destination par excellence innovative Molo Street Parade. On June 29, from sunset to midnight, one kilometre of the port canal transforms into the biggest, jaw-dropping open air Italian club, with docked fishing trawlers metamorphosing into huge floating sound systems at the hands of internationally renowned deejays. Music broadens its horizons and pumps out over the sea while on land the local speciality, oily fish, is served to the pulsating crowd. 22

line: concerts in the piazzas, parties on the beach, children’s entertainment, restaurants, shops and museums open till late and the city’s main monuments bathed in pink light. Fashion and trends exploded in the spectacular Calzedonia Summer Show 2013, presenting this year’s beachwear collection at the Palacongressi di Rimini. A moment of international glamour as the Riviera hosted

Skin playing as dj and the crowd gathered on the pier during the Molo Street Parade

stars, models, actresses, press and guests from all around the world. The new Palacongressi, managed by the Convention Bureau della Riviera di Rimini, is the perfect venue for both national and international congresses and conventions, among the best in Europe in terms of capacity, state-of-the-art technology and professional resources. In addition to a wealth of entertainment, Rimini also plays host to numerous cultural initiatives, embracing art, literature and cinema. Homeland of Federico Fellini, the city portrays in its character and in its perspectives evident signs of the dreamy and visionary humanity created by the director. To mark the twentieth anniversary of his death, various and diverse locations around the city, both institutional and informal, will provide the backdrop for Fellini-inspired events: concerts, conversations, shows, films, performances and dance.


> Rimini

Beach Games - a feast of fun and entertainment along the coast

A moment during the spectacular Calzedonia Summer Show 2013 inside the Palacongressi di Rimini

Cheer for Rimini For sport and wellness enthusiasts a number on the rise going by the record edition of the Rimini Wellness exhibition held in May at the Rimini Trade Fair centre - the Riviera Beach Games are not to be missed. A multitude of tournaments, from the ‘classics’ such as beach tennis, beach volley, beach soccer and foot volley (home to the Riviera), to sea sports like regattas, canoe and kayak challenges, to beach training (Marines-style), Nordic walking and cheecoting, the marble game on played on sand tracks akin to Formula 1 racing! Great interest is being generated by the European Cheerleading Championships, taking place on 29 and 30 June at the Palacongressi di Rimini, where contests, displays and acrobatic choreographies will wow spectators. A real crowd puller in terms of sporting events was the prestigious 2013 Fed Cup - the international women’s tennis competition held in February - whereas September will see the return of the traditional World MotoGP on the Misano World Circuit. If Rimini is your destination in the late summer or in October, don’t miss out on the chance to delve into topics of social interest and current affairs. From 20 to 23 September, the BlogFest will bring

Opening concert of the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana at the Palacongressi di Rimini in 2012

together everything that revolves around the web community and that springs from blogs, Facebook, Twitter, chats, forums or any other form of social communication. Devices, presentations, games will accompany conferences with some of the big names in the blogosphere and journalism. Save the date on 25 to 27 October for the return of International Days, organised by the Studio Pio Manzù Research Centre in Rimini, the consolidated appointment with culture, politics and economy, with particular emphasis on environmental, technical and developmental problems.

soul, respecting its origins and promoting innovation. It draws on its tradition and creativity to reinvent itself, proving time and time again to be a destination par excellence, a work in progress, the place to be.

Rimini is a hive of activity, generating events which enhance and intensify its very

Scan this QR code and check out the Rimini destination video!

Contact Coralie Delaubert Marketing Executive T. +39 0541 711504 delaubert@riminiconvention.it www.riminipalacongressi.it www.riminiconvention.it

23


> Taiwan

Competitive Taiwan A new MICE era International Association of Travel & Tourism Professionals) World Congress 2008

Walter Yeh, Vice Managing Director of the Taiwan’s MICE Industry Pilot Program (MEET TAIWAN), explains what Taiwan’s plan is to remain a competitive MICE destination. HQ: The MEET TAIWAN campaign recently came to an end, and a brandnew project was launched. Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) took over the role of MEET TAIWAN. What changes will this bring? Walter Yeh: Taiwan will certainly gain higher profile as a prime international MICE destination as TAITRA consolidates several Bureau of Foreign Trade programs to execute the Taiwan’s MICE Industry Pilot Program. TAITRA can add its vast network of oversea branch offices and turn on its massive networking resources that link prominent international organisations. Remember too that TAITRA has more than four decades of hands-on specialized experience in organizing exhibitions, conferences and exhibition venues and possesses a deep understanding of the industry. The new four-year Taiwan’s Mice Industry Pilot Program enhances the former program to further open Taiwan firms to the international market and explore new territories. Two new fields being added in the new plan are those of Green MICE and cloud-computing technology. HQ: At the last ICCA Congress, MEET TAIWAN won the prestigious Best Marketing Award. What is your marketing plan for the coming years? Walter Yeh: The new MEET TAIWAN program aims to make Taiwan well-known for its high-quality service MICE industry. The long-term objective is to improve service 24

efficiency, enhance international visibility and competiveness of the MEET TAIWAN brand, and promote Taiwan as one of the best MICE destinations in the world. This year, prioritized target regions will revolve around the principle markets identified by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for instance, emerging economies including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia. Of course, the burgeoning market in Mainland China is no exception. HQ: Taiwan is now on the international meetings map. But what are you going to do to remain competitive? Walter Yeh: When marketing MICE, we must emphasize our own strengths and make good use of Taiwan’s industrial base and export-oriented characteristics. Domestic-oriented exhibitions should not be neglected, but according to the above analysis, our stress should still be placed upon promoting professional international exhibitions. In view of the rapid growth in Mainland China, public associations will also take the initiative to organize exhibitions in the Mainland, in addition to the cross-strait exhibitions for electronics, food, computers, etc. that have been continuously held in Taiwan. HQ: Can you tell us the recent developments in your country in the field of meetings industry? Walter Yeh: Taiwan’s competitive industries

Walter Yeh

such as ICT, bicycles, and auto parts and accessories drew lots of participants to Taiwan’s exhibitions and conferences. Their continuous competitiveness will remain key factors in attracting foreign delegates and exhibitors to meet in Taiwan. Taiwan has many famous exhibitions such as Computex Taipei, Taipei Cycle, TIMTOS, AMPA and more! But many of them are distributed in the different venues in Taipei city due to the lack of show space. Therefore, the BOFT and other government units are promoting the building of new venues to solve the problem. Increased international flight routes have opened more options on scheduling, locations and services for foreigners. The convenience and availability of public transportation within the island also influences tourism in different part of the city and between cities. The degree of new tech adaption will differentiate Taiwan’s service level of MICE activities from other parts of the Asian Pacific. Such new tech as integrated systems can provide efficiency, improvements and cost saving as well as the systematic service in a standard process to explore new international markets. More info www.meettaïwan.com


> Madrid

Palacio de Cibeles

Royal Palace

Madrid

Fully committed to Convention Tourism Each year, Madrid welcomes more than a million business tourists, no less than 1/8 of all tourists visiting the city (over eight million in 2012). Let’s find out what so great about the Spanish capital! The city’s communications system is one of its key assets. Madrid is the undisputed hub between Europe and South America and has vast potential to become the primary gateway to North America: Madrid-Barajas, Europe’s fourth airport in number of passengers with over 45 million, operates direct flights to 200 destinations around the world. Madrid boasts an extensive urban and intercity public transport and it’s the European capital with most national highspeed train links -21 in total.

Value for money Offering excellent value for money, Madrid has 234 hotels within the 3, 4 and 5-star category, able to accommodate a combined total of nearly eighty thousand guests. It also boasts some 120,000 catering establishments encompassing restaurants, cafés, clubs and cocktail bars. Its fabulous restaurants include nine Michelin-star recipients, six of which are two-star establishments. The kilometre-long Art Walk is home to three of the world’s finest art galleries the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museums - receiving over seven million visitors each year. The region’s excellent climate with 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, the safety

factor, the quality of life and the multi-cultural ambience combine to create a perfect fusion between business world and leisure attractions. Throughout 2013, Madrid City Council is to intensify its promotional actions in order to remain a benchmark: Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau, which boasts almost 200 partners, is in charge of promoting this tourist sector by way of activities, a comprehensive media campaign and handling proposals to hold conferences and corporate events.

What’s up in Madrid The work undertaken by institutions and companies in Madrid has allowed the city to achieve the fourth position of the International Congress and Convention Association ranking for international conference venues. In 2013, Madrid is to host the EULAR 2013 (European League Against Rheumatism) congress in June, with 15,000 attendees and the Microsoft TechED 2013 event, with 4,500 attendees. In 2014, Madrid will host ESMO 2014 (European Society for Medical Oncology), with some 12,000 attendees. The city will also be holding major international trade fairs such as Fitur and Arco

City council Cristal Gallery

at the most important trade fair park in Spain and one of the top in Europe: IFEMA (200,000m2 of exhibition space plus 2 auditoriums with a combined area of 10,000 m2). The Príncipe Felipe Conference Centre is the city’s largest auditorium, able to accommodate 2,242 people. It boasts a prime location at a top hotel within the airport catchment area. The Municipal Conference Centre is another of the city’s large exhibition and conference centres. It re-opened in late April following preventive works to upgrade safety levels. It has an auditorium for 1,800 people, a multi-purpose hall of 2,200 m2, meeting rooms of differing sizes, exhibition spaces, VIP area and parking, thus offering facilities for a wide range of actions and projects.

Contact Madrid Convention Bureau T. +34 91 758 55 28 info.mcb@esmadrid.com www.esmadrid.com/mcb

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26


> Macau

Macau

Meetings and more

Until now, Macau was relatively unknown to the MICE world. Its image was mostly a touristic one, and it’s still one of Asia’s favorite gaming destinations. Things are changing rapidly now, as new developments in this beautiful destination are legion! The casino sector, particularly in its post liberalization phase since 2002, has been the principal driver behind the phenomenal growth in tourism witnessed by Macau in recent years. Given the risk of over-reliance on a single growth engine, policymakers have recognized the significance of the MICE sector in contributing to a sustainable and robust increase of Macau’s tourism driven economy. The unprecedented spurt in tourism infrastructure development is transforming this once sleepy enclave into a now more-than- emerging MICE destination.

Macau for MICE is more Let’s put it bluntly, the casinos are the “old tourist’s side” of the city. MICE travelers will be more inclined to discover the Macau’s hidden values: the architecture, the history, the ties with Portugal, the new conference hotels, the relative tranquillity of the streets, the lovely avenues, the nice restaurants and a lot of different types of people. This is exactly the image the new Macau MICE industry generation wants to promote. With a bouquet of state-of-the-art meetings facilities, Macau, along its array of

other entertainment and leisure assets, definitely has a competitive advantage over well established MICE destinations in the region. Macau can therefore expect its business visitor profile to grow not just quantitatively, but also qualitatively, turning to association planners to prove them it’s not all about gambling, it’s also about history and culture and much more!

Compact and easily accessible Being only 28,6 km2 in total, nowhere in Macau is too far away. The compactness of the city makes travel time short (never more than 30 minutes!) and delegates will get more time to enjoy their stay. Macau International Airport is serviced by nine airlines and is only a 45 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong International Airport, the world’s fifth busiest airport. In 2005 the Historic Centre of Macau was officially listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. It is the oldest, the most complete and consolidated array of European architectural legacy standing intact on Chinese territory, which retained their original function and spirit to the present day.

The Macau Convention Stimulation Program One of the most important developments in Macau’s MICE scene was the establishment in August 2011 of the unit Macau Economic Services, Macau’s first dedicated MICE department. In 2012 they launched a remarkable promotion program, aiming o provide assistance and support to organisers and planners of conventions. The program targets conventions and exhibitions already confirmed in Macau. The basic package includes a lot of complimentary promotional and informational material (video, welcome gifts, etc.). Delegates will get, for example, free admission to the Wine Museum and the Grand Prix Museum. There is also financial support for accommodation and food and beverage, and an attractive package for keynote speakers and heads of delegations as well. The financial support for potential events includes bidding support and site inspection. Information about this attractive stimulation program can be obtained at Macau Economic Services (Conventions & Exhibitions Department), email: ddceae@economia.gov.mo, website: www.economia.gov.mo 27


> Thailand

Thailand An array of diverse MICE destinations If you choose Asia for your meetings, then choose Thailand, as the country will provide unique opportunities for growth! Thailand is indeed in the top four destinations in Asia, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Country and City Rankings 2012 released in May 2013. Thailand’s spot will be further strengthened because, even if Bangkok remains the key choice, other secondary cities, like Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya, all extend their international connections to become international MICE destinations.

with remarkable success. With all these indispensable ingredients, Pattaya has been selected to host the 21st International Union on Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion and Education - IUHPE 2013.

Chiang Mai, the economic hub of northern Thailand, just one hour from Bangkok by plane, is reachable via flights from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Lao PDR, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan and Singapore, making the city’s international airport the third busiest in Thailand with more than 15,000 flights a year. With more than 33,000 hotel rooms and over 1,000 seat modern convention halls, Chiang Mai’s facilities are more than ready for large meetings. Combining like no other culture, ancient heritage and green commitment, Chiang Mai is aiming to become an unmissable MICE destination - it has already hosted several international meetings with flying colours, and will soon welcome the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry World Polymer Congress 2014 (IUPAC) and the 45th International Symposium on Macromolecules 2014 (MACRO).

TCEB is ready to make sure your meetings are a success no matter where you go in the country. Stay tuned for more destinations.

Another attractive destination, Phuket Island, a world-renowned destination in the South of Thailand about one hour flight from Bangkok, is home to around 40,000 hotel rooms. The island boasts a wide

choice of meeting venues in a wide collection of international hotels. With the second busiest international airport of Thailand handling 10 million passengers last year and 46,000 flights a year, Phuket has flight connections with India, the Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. Recently announcing MICE as one key growth engine, the island has already demonstrated its capacity to host meetings like the 13th Asia Pacific Industrial Engineering and Management System Conference 2012, and the 10th World Buffalo Congress and the 7th Asian Buffalo Congress (2013).

Contact Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) meetings@tceb.or.th www.tceb.or.th

Last but not least is Pattaya, a vibrant destination and the economic centre of Eastern Thailand, also known as the country’s first official MICE city. No doubt Pattaya, just one hour drive from Bangkok airport, is well-equipped with the largest multi-purpose convention centre in Eastern Thailand, over 20,000 hotel rooms, and modern facilities altogether. With the city’s dedicated team and its distinct products and services designed especially for meeting delegates and planners, your meeting’s requirements will be fulfilled 29


> Shanghai

Shanghai

Meetings with a spirit Shanghai is already preparing for the 52nd ICCA Congress to be held in November 2013. But it should really come as no surprise the renowned meetings association selected the city. When it comes to international organisations, Shanghai has many tricks up its sleeves, Patrick Chen, Deputy Director at Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA), explains. HQ: According to you, what are Shanghai’s biggest assets when it comes to international associations? Patrick Chen: Due to its either developing or well-developed industries in various fields, there is first a potential expansion of membership in Shanghai, as well as potential business opportunities both for the congress sponsors and exhibitors. The city is the place where modern elements co-exist with traditional features, where the West meets the East, making the destination very appealing. With two international airports and connections with 231 cities, Shanghai is also accessible. Then there is of course all the world-class congress facilities. Currently, Shanghai has two convention centres: Shanghai International Convention Center and Shanghai Expo Center, catering to largescale conventions and congresses. Shanghai Exhibition and Convention Center of Int’l Sourcing, a third convention centre in the city centre, will also open later this year. And let me mention the people in Shanghai, who are well-known for their hardworking spirit and efficiency-oriented mindset!

familiarization trip for planners, provide the delegates with a welcome kit, assist with the bidding, coordinate issues like visas and invitation letters, coordinate with venues, hotels, PCOs and DMCs, come up with suggestions with Chinese spirit for social events… and much more! HQ: How has Shanghai changed over the years as an association destination? Patrick Chen: Shanghai is a destination for business events. Every year, it hosts hundreds of corporate meetings, association meetings and incentive events. In terms of association meetings, more and more international associations have realised the importance and significance of choosing Shanghai for their next event as Shanghai has either well-developed or developing industry in various fields. Over the past 10 years, according to ICCA, Shanghai hosted from 32 international association meetings in 2002 to 72 in 2011.

Overall, we will offer any conference delegate a memorable, rich experience, because Shanghai has expertise in hosting highprofile meetings and events of all kinds.

HQ: What do you think will be the ICCA congress effect on Shanghai? Patrick Chen: The Congress will be a milestone and new horizons will be explored for the future development of the meetings industry in Shanghai as well as whole China. On this occasion, the meetings industry community in China will be more engaged with the global community.

HQ: How does Shanghai Tourism Administration specifically cater to associations? Patrick Chen: Simply put, we have a wide range of offers to make the life of international associations easy should they choose Shanghai for their meeting(s). We host

Additionally, the ICCA Congress will expose ICCA global members to the cultural riches and business opportunities in China. And the ICCA Congress will transfer much needed knowledge and expertise to the current and future leaders of China’s meetings industry.

Contact Patrick Chen Deputy Director International Tourism Promotion Department Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration woya@meet-in-shanghai.net www.meet-in-shanghai.net 31


> Switzerland

Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau presents

EVENTFUL INTERLAKEN

Ideal for international congresses Interlaken, in the heart of Switzerland, is surrounded by mountains and lakes, providing unique side locations for almost every type of event. The town’s tradition of staging events goes back for more than a hundred years: the historic rooms of the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken as well as the legendary grand hotels have hosted many important conferences, as well as glittering high calibre banquets. Nowadays Interlaken is known best for staging successful events such as a Swiss Economic Forum or international conventions in the medical industry.

Congress Centre fits all needs The Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken - situated in the very heart of the town - offers modern architecture combined with historic ambiance and plain classiness. The total surface of 5,000 m2 for events with a capacity for more than 2,000 people is ideal for nearly every type of event. Over 1,500 rooms in three- to five-star hotels are located in close proximity of the Congress Centre and can convenientely be reached on foot.

Association congresses The choice of event location for an association congress is often a question of the capacity, the professional quality of all services and an attractive location, as well as security. All of this is guaranteed, together with the necessary competence, experience and the will for extraordinary commitment. In addition, Interlaken supports your association branch when competing in advance of candidature. Get in touch and let them know what you need! Services for associations and congress organisers: · Assistance in bidding for international conferences

· Assistance in the analysis, planning and organisation of events · Assistance in the acquisition of local sponsors · Excellent transfer facilities for conference guests thanks to partnership agreements with Swiss International Airlines, Europcar and Swiss Travel System   Additionally, you can use Interlaken’s administrative secretariat to help you organise your event. Their reservation system was developed to suit the requirements of congresses and large events and helps you to get ahead and lower your costs. Other services: · Reservation of hotel rooms, congress and/or seminar rooms as well as other event locations in Interlaken and its surroundings · Catering-excellence at the Congress Centre Kursaal Interlaken or in the region · Organisation of congress equipment · Organisation of event decoration · Organisation of social programmes and excursions · Welcome at the airport or train station · Organisation of event staff · On-site visits

Interlaken Congress & Events Your local specialist Successful events are based on exact planning, many years of experience, good contacts and most particularly attention to detail. This is Interlaken’s core competence. With their services, they will facilitate the organisation of your events for you.

Contact Interlaken Congress & Events AG Strandbadstrasse 44 3800 Interlaken +41 33 827 62 00 marketing@interlaken-congress.ch www.interlaken-congress.ch

Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau Myriam Winnepenninckx +32 (0)2 345 83 57 scib.belux@switzerland.com www.MySwitzerland.com/meetings

35


> Malaysia

Mount Kinabalu

© Melissa Ewot / Sabah Tourism

Pangkor Laut

Mari Mari Cultural Village

In & out Malaysia What to do before and after your event Here in Headquarters, we have already written extensively about Malaysia as an ideal association destination, with easy accessibility, high-class infrastructure, and a very dynamic convention bureau on the ready to make your event a success. But what to do when your congress is over or when it has yet to start? Here are a few ideas.

In Sabah, the easternmost state in Malaysia Near Kota Kinabalu lies Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Suluk, a heaven on earth for anyone keen on diving and underwater photography, especially if you’re into rare species of marine life. During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attracts whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. Non-diving visitors can

At the Mari-mari Culture Village, situated amidst a remote forest setting in Kionsom, Inanam, 25 minutes away from the bustling city, visitors will be introduced to various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities - the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun - built by descendants of the tribes which they represent. There there’s a rich display of unique ingenious architecture, simulated lives and ritualistic ceremonies, including blowpipemaking, fire-starting using bamboo, and tattoo-making.

Whether you’re into culture, sport or all about leaving a legacy, Malaysia can provide the framework to fulfil your wildest dreams still have fun in the islands with snorkelling and other water sports activity in Pulau Sapi and Manukan and seawalking in Pulau Sapi.

Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak between the Himalayas & the New Guinea, is one of the world’s youngest batholiths, home

to Kinabalu Park, Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the legends of the Kadazan-Dusun people, Sabah’s largest ethnic group. Covering an area of 754 square kilometers, with four climatic zones and one of the richest collections of flora and fauna in the world, the park’s biggest attraction is Mount Kinabalu and the Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden. Worth noting is that the park boasts a variety of accommodation, restaurants and an exhibition centre.

In and around Sandakan, the second-largest city in Sabah Located along the stretch of Jalan Istana in Sandakan, Agnes Keith House lies in the former British colonial government quarters, called Newlands. The famous American writer, Agnes Newton Keith, penned Land Below The Wind in 1939 there. This heritage house provides interesting insights to life during British North Borneo and is furnished with reproductions of colonial furniture and antiques.

37


> Malaysia

Described by WWF as ‘the best-managed edible birds’ nest cave in the world’, Gomantong Caves is nested in the heartland of the Gomantong Rainforest Reserve, a birds’ haven since the 13th century, when Chinese traders came to Sandakan in search of precious nests. There are two cave complexes - Simud Hitam (Black Cave) soaring up to 90 metres high and the more accessible of the two - and Simud Putih (White Cave), where the more valuable nests are found. The resident creatures of the caves include swiftlets (from which the nests are collected) and bats among others. In addition other birds such as serpent eagles, bat hawks and kingfishers can be spotted. Set in the lush 4,300-hectare Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the Centre under the administration of the Wildlife Department of Sabah gives business tourists and researchers the opportunity to watch the orang utan up close in their natural habitat at the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary. Viewing and feeding the animals are definitely a must, but the place also focuses on public education on conservation, research and assistance on other endangered species such as the rhinoceros. Trekking through the mangrove forest is an option, and arrangements for a boat return or accommodation in chalets in the forest are available. Last but not least there is the Sukau area and its beautiful Kinabatangan River sustaining one of the world’s richest eco­ systems, with five distinct habitats (dipterocarp or dry, waterlogged and limestone forests, and freshwater and saline swamps) and home to other primates, birds species and wildlife. Day or night safaris there are a must-do. Many major local destination management companies run lodges in the Sukau area with packages that include accommodation, transportation, meals and guided expeditions.

Contact Malaysia’s European Representative Ms Anne Ridyard myceb@moulden-marketing.co.uk T. +44 (0) 1628 526184 F. +44 (0) 1628 521116 www.myceb.com.my

38

Tungku Abdul Rahman Park

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary

Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s key usp Location & Accessibility · Malaysia is strategically located between the booming economies of China and India, and right in the middle of Asia where over 55% of the world’s population reside · Direct access to/from over 100 destinations worldwide with 56 airlines including low cost carriers providing direct access · International airport hubs in Malaysia include Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. Malaysia is also well-served by 16 domestic airports. Accolades · The Globe Shopper Index for Asia Pacific, Malaysia is ranked 2nd as the best shopping destination in Asia Pacific and 4th best shopping destination in the world by CNN Travel; · Ranked 5th Most Price Competitive Country in the World for Travel 2012 by Travel & Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum; · 9th Most Visited Country in the world (2009, 2010, 2011) as ranked by United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) Tourism Highlights 2012; · 10th World’s Friendliest Countries 2012 – Forbes; Accommodation & Meeting Venues · A wide range of international hotels such as Hilton, Grand Hyatt, Intercontinental, Le Meridien, Mandarin Oriental, JW Marriott, Novotel, Park Royal, Shangri-la, Sheraton, and more. · Examples of national branded hotels include Sunway Resort & Spa, Royale Chulan, Pangkor Laut, Tanjung Jara, and more. · New properties include Grand Hyatt, Aloft Kuala Lumpur, The Majestic Hotel and upcoming St Regis · Malaysia’s largest city Kuala Lumpur has accommodation for large scale conventions with over 36,000 rooms. · Key destinations such as Penang, Langkawi, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching also provide a wide selection of accommodation options across all budgets.



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