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headquarters Supported by ESAE, the European Society of Association Executives, and UIA, the Union of International Associations


Edition November 2013



Do’s and don’ts of conference organising


Becoming a rock-solid association continent

Cape Town Meeting Media Company Meetings Industry Publishers HQ is published 5 times a year: March, May, June, September, November

> Malaysia Contents

A modern history

Colophon 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: Editor in Chief Marcel A.M. Vissers T. +32 (0)3 226 88 81 Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch T. +32 (0)2 761 70 52 Account Manager – International Sales Kelvin Lu T. +32 (0)2 761 70 59 Managing Editor Rémi Dévé T. +32 (0)2 761 70 58 Editor Katie Lau Cover © Moori | Design & Print Press Point Poelstraat 167 - 9820 Merelbeke T. +32 (0)9 362 52 50 - 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

Marcel A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief

People often ask me: ‘Excuse me, but what industry do you work in?’ I always do my best to explain that I’m involved in the meetings industry (Europe) or MICE (Asia) or business tourism (Africa). It’s certainly a contemporary industry with a big future because meetings always have an impact on many layers of society. If I were the president of Europe, I would strongly promote this industry. And as chief editor I never cease to promote the cause. This year, I will do it with ICCA, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, a golden jubilee!

For this festive occasion, ICCA has prepared an important document. In order for someone to understand an industry, they need to know its history. ICCA highlighted a few of the major milestones in the past 50 years of the industry in a paper called ‘A Modern History of International Association Meetings: 1963-2012’. And what do we learn here? First, that the meetings industry is a complex and fragmented industry, difficult to understand for outsiders. In essence it’s about congresses which are growing steadily and generate lots of money for society. The paper reveals that our world is undergoing a truly revolutionary period in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and innovation, and that association meetings provide an excellent insight into this dynamic, worldwide process. In addition, association meetings are a force for progress in the world. It is no coincidence that there is a parallel between the exponential growth of the international association meetings sector and progress in the fields of science, healthcare and technology. Association meetings are also important drivers of societal change and opportunities to address and understand some of the world’s most challenging problems. I’ll leave the final words to Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO: ‘This is something that every association should be doing: showcasing and shouting about inventions, discoveries, advances, solutions, collaboration and new pathways for the future’. I am already shouting! » More stories on

Contents GENERAL News 5 Association Portrait 9 IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 12

Cécile Caiati-Koch

Rémi Dévé

Kelvin Lu

ESAE & UIA Do’s and Don’ts of Conference Organising 14 SPECIAL FEATURE Asia-Pacific, a rock-solid association destination


DESTINATIONS Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre 29 The Philippines 31 Malaysia 32 Macao 35 Thailand 36 Basel, Switzerland 39 Nantes, France 41 Ghent, Belgium 42 Grimaldi Forum Monaco 44 Brussels, Belgium 47 Ireland 49 3

> News

ICC Jerusalem

Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre

ICC Jerusalem to undergo a large-scale expansion

Radisson Blu Announces Experience Meetings

Introducing Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre

ICC Jerusalem, Israel’s largest convention centre, is located at the entrance of Jerusalem, and hosts about 400-500 local and international events every year, with more than 400,000 participants and guests. The venue is currently built over an area of 31,000 m2, and includes 27 conference halls and exhibition areas, of different sizes. The new program includes the construction and extension of brand-new and modern convention space, which will spread over 56,000 square feet. There, you will find a congress hotel with 800 guest rooms, 6,000 m2 of exhibition areas, ballrooms, study halls, auditorium, VIP chambers, cabinet chambers and a communication centre.

Radisson Blu announced the rollout of Experience Meetings, launching across the globe in January 2014. Developed as a means to improve the effectiveness of meetings, the program will place a strong emphasis on innovations in food and beverage; changes to the spatial environment as well as advancements in meeting technology. Two of the key components are Brain Food and Brain Box. The former is the culinary component that was a collaboration between chefs and nutritionists, tasked with creating an elevated catering program that increases concentration and reduces fatigue. The latter is the ultimate think tank designed to boost creativity and inspire active engagement based on the four different learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, tactile and auditory.

Located in Muscat and operated by AEG Ogden, Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre will serve as a catalyst for the Sultanate of Oman to become a serious contender to attract international, regional and national business events.

World’s leading Melanoma experts to meet in Brisbane Brisbane has won the right to host up to 1,500 of the world’s leading Melanoma and skin cancer experts. Queensland has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world. Every year skin cancers account for 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers, with medical practitioners providing more than one million patient consultations resulting in a significant burden on the state’s health care system. The 9th World Congress of Melanoma will be held at the Brisbane Convention& Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in October 2017, providing a global platform for the world’s foremost researchers, skin cancer experts and medical professionals.

2013-2014 Meetings Industry Fairs EIBTM // 19-21 November 2013, Barcelona // AIME // 18-19 February 2014, Melbourne // GIBTM // 24-26 March 2014, Abu Dhabi // IMEX // 20-22 May 2014, Frankfurt //

The venue, set to be fully completed in 2016, will feature an elaborate tiered auditorium to seat 3,200 while the exhibition halls will feature 22,000 m2 of column-free exhibition space. Halls 1 and 2 will have a superior fit out, specialised acoustic treatment, advanced lighting and rigging requirements to act as a multi-purpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances, gala events on a larger scale of up to 10,000 seated, theatre-style. Architecturally advanced in design and capability, this world-class venue will be among the first to be built to meet the rigorous Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Oman and its capital city Muscat were recently acknowledged by both Lonely Planet and National Geographic for its range of attractions was very timely. Oman has been trading with the world for more than 5,000 years: its diverse landscape, natural attractions, pristine coastline and rich heritage and culture have contributed to its emergence as a business events destination, becoming the Arabian Tourism Capital in 2012.


> News

Julie-May Ellingson

Charles Bridge, Prague

New convention and hotel capacities for Berlin

Global Alliance appoints its first Chair

Another milestone for Berlin as a meeting destination: with the construction of a new convention centre and 700-room hotel, the Estrel is helping set the stage for Berlin to strengthen its leading position among meeting destinations in the world. The Estrel, already Europe’s largest convention, entertainment and hotel complex, will boast some new exhibition space of about 8,500 m2 and will be able to host events with up to 4,200 participants. Right now, the building complex with a striking glass façade holds a convention hall accommodating up to 6,000 people. The adjacent hotel has 1,125 rooms. /

The Global Alliance has appointed Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), as its new Chair. Global Alliance is an international

New incentive support and convention centre refurbishment in Prague Prague Convention Bureau has announced two exciting news. Prague City Council has approved a proposal of extended incentive support for international conventions, meaning Prague can now offer financial support to conventions fulfilling certain conditions. In addition, the development plan for the largest convention centre in Prague and Czech Republic, Prague Congress Centre, has also been approved by both City of Prague and Czech Government. Prague Convention Bureau considers these two steps as essential for its ambitious goals: Prague in the top ten world’s congress destinations by 2015 and top five by 2020. 6

group of conference and exhibition centres that have joined forces to offer a seamless conference and event experience to international associations and event organisers whose events rotate around the world. Global Alliance members include the Durban International Convention Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre, Centro Banamex in Mexico, Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool, and Advantage BOSTON. Ms Ellingson will help to raise the profile of the alliance as a leading provider of highquality convention centre services across multiple continents.

> Association portrait

Federation of China Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce (FCTACC) A talk with with Liu Youqian As the CEO of Federation of China Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce (FCTACC), Liu Youqian is widely respected for his expertise and insights on the development of domestic associations in China, where the central government still plays a pivotal role in modernising associations and slowly bringing them to international recognition.

© TTG Asia

Li Youqian

Having worked in the meetings and exhibitions industry since the early 1990s and specialised in community organisations and industry associations, Liu has conducted research on China’s MICE industry and edited books on national vocational education and conference marketing. Here Liu shares his thoughts with Katie Lau about the ever-changing environment of Chinese associations and the plans to branch out. HQ: How does your association operate? Liu Youqian: We are a member organisation specialising in providing legal surveys and policy analysis based on empirical research in trade and industry associations, usually commissioned by various departments from the central government. We also collaborate with other organisations and provide training and consultation on how to manage and run associations. Keeping a close eye on

international and domestic economic developments, we also organise meetings and conferences on an occasional basis to analyse the economic trends for senior members who hold management positions such as president and secretary-general. We work on a commission basis with government bodies and other associations for which we organise training, conferences and exchange activities to improve their management skills. HQ: What kind of events does your association organise? What kind of destinations do you choose? Liu Youqian: Apart from holding conferences on macroeconomic analysis, legal seminars, and consultation conferences for industry associations that are affected by changes in government functions, we also organise professional training for secretarygenerals of industry associations in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The choice of destinations depends on the nature of the event. Take the occasional economic analysis conferences for example, we tend to pick the China’s capital Beijing because the events involve government officials, academics and experts. However, for conferences on thematic surveys and analysis (on topics such as legislation) we tend to choose Guangdong or Zhejiang where industry associations are more reformed and maturely developed.

HQ: What is the destination selection process like? Liu Youqian: In general, we organise some activities with the organisations to find out about the themes of the event as well as the concerns and needs of our partner organisations before making the decision. HQ: How has the Chinese government affected the development and direction of your association and the association market in China? Liu Youqian: The Chinese government is highly supportive of the development of Chinese associations. This fact is reflected by the growing number of Chinese associations, which had reached more than 100,000 by the end of 2012. However, the government has always implemented a double management system when it comes to running associations and organisations of all sorts: the management unit has to be supervised by the authorities in charge of registration, which no doubt puts a damper on the development of associations. With this in mind, the current government is set to roll out a series of reforms to minimize the influence from the government’s executive authorities on an association’s management and operation. This is incredibly good news for us because from now on, associations will be developed according to market forces and principles.


> Association portrait

HQ: How are Chinese associations different from those in the West? Liu Youqian: They differ mainly in two areas: management structure and legal framework. Chinese associations are obliged to set up a business management unit, a prerequisite for their registration to be successfully approved by the government authorities. It implies that establishing an association in China is not only more difficult, but also in the process the association has become a kind of de-facto government organisation in itself. In terms of legal framework, the Chinese government is yet to create a set of laws and regulations especially for governing associations, recognising their legal status and monitoring their activities and behaviour. It’s quite different compared to other countries. HQ: As a CEO, what challenges do you face? Liu Youqian: As we are a member organisation that provides research and consultation services, I feel that the biggest challenge that Chinese associations face is the underdeveloped legal system coupled with the lack of complementary measures. The lack of a time frame for professionalisation and the shortage of professionals needed to run an association effectively also add to the problem. I feel very strongly about this because I have been an association specialist since 2000. I co-founded FTCACC in 2004, intended as a platform for industry and trade associations to exchange their ideas. Since 10

then we have achieved quite a lot, including consulting with international associations on legislation for FCTACC. In 2008, we helped persuade the government to establish a legal organisation devoted to providing support for the development of associations featuring a professional team consisting of government officials, academics and experts.

The Chinese government is highly supportive of the development of Chinese associations. This fact is reflected by the growing number of Chinese associations HQ: What are the future plans of your association? Liu Youqian: We hope to set up a well-developed association network that encourages the all-round development of industry and trade associations. We also hope that we’ll be capable of creating one or several internationally renowned brand-oriented campaigns that will serve as an excellent intellectual foundation for the development of our association and also more exchange and co-operation with international organisations such as The International Chamber of Commerce. (Eng) (Chi)


> Fair

The first-ever Association Day At IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific Riding on the success of Association Day in IT&CM China this April, IT&CMA launched the same event for the first time to capture the rapidly growing association market in Asia. Text Katie Lau The inaugural Association Day, which took place on October 2 at Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, Bangkok, brought together more than ten experts who shared their experience and insights in a series of educational forums attended by more than 20 association representatives from Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, the United States, and others.

to engage with their clients, such as total immersion in the local culture by offering visits to local bars and restaurants as well as live events such as art festivals and concerts for younger delegates. Talwar also noted that that collaboration between suppliers has become an increasingly viable option to drive more effective administration of the events and help associations grow quicker.

Association buyers are what the suppliers want, and the Association Day will be a permanent feature of IT&CMA in the future

Yvonne Hu, member of IAPCO (International Association of Professional Congress Organisers) and owner of a conference interpretation company in Australia, expected rising demand for interpretation services in Mandarin as outbound travel from the mainland Chinese is increasing.

‘We are acknowledging the importance of associations in the MICE industry through this dedicated one-day programme for association executives,’ said Darren Ng, managing director of TTG Asia Media, organiser of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific this year in Bangkok. ‘Association buyers are what the suppliers want, and the event will be a permanent feature of IT&CMA in the future.’

Steady growth

Darren Ng (right)


The event got off to a promising start with a forum that addressed the challenges facing both suppliers and associations. Noor Ahmad Hamid, regional director of Global Research Centre at ICCA Asia Pacific, said that the future of association congresses is looking bright with steady growth in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, but since delegates are having shorter meetings, time management has become increasingly important. As delegates are willing to spend more money, Rohit Talwar, CEO of the UK’s Fast Future Research, suggested that suppliers should look for more intelligent ways

Very basic In a subsequent forum about the present and future of the association industry in Asia, Jennifer Salsbury, senior director-international of China National Convention Centre, elaborated on the changes happening in China’s meetings market. While there are less signs of government control, holding meetings that conform to international standards remains a challenge. For example, the style of presentation is yet to be interactive in association conferences and the mainland Chinese are still alien to the concept of both PCO and “meeting quality”. Discussions with suppliers also tend to be ‘very basic and rate driven’. In view of the diversity in Asia, Quirine Laman Trip, group director of business development at Kenes Group that specialises in Asian medical and scientific meetings, said that regional differences should be carefully noted, citing the difference in the medical level between Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Do’s and don’ts of conference organising Alessandro Cortese

Meetings and conferences represent, for a vast number of associations, the main podium to drive knowledge dissemination and to design networking occasions between members and stakeholders. Text Alessandro Cortese, President of ESAE and CEO of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)

For a majority, it is also the main annual revenue generator. This implies that every cent of the profit made by the conference is needed to sustain other initiatives and activities that serve the mission of the organisation and deliver benefits to the members. If this is true for your organisation, there are some important aspects that you might want to keep into account when you plan your conference. Here are some ideas in a list surely not exhaustive and holistic. Each of the listed features would probably need more attention and elaboration. However, it will hopefully give some pertinent suggestions.

Remain in control of the key strategic assets of your conference Depending on the nature of your meeting, those could vary. However, if you aim 14

at growing and developing your meeting, there are at least two components you will always want to retain under the direct management of your organisation: programme management and industry relations.

sponsoring companies to the needs of the professionals attending the conference. This is a long-term process that needs constant and non-sales-oriented dialogue with the key companies in your industry.

Design the Programme of the conference with your leadership

Select destinations that understand your mission and vision and that can act as strategic partners

Only the association itself can give credibility to the content of the meeting with its reputation. Involve your key leaders in a programme committee and build a strong faculty. People come at your conference mainly because of the quality of its programme.

Engage in long-term industry relations A conference is not about selling square meters at an exhibition. It is about aligning the commercial desires of the

Talk to destinations and convention bureaus well before announcing the next city of your conference. Don’t just opt for a destination based on the concrete offer it puts on the table. On the contrary, create a common project for your association, your local community and the city hosting you. This is only possible when the destination made the effort to understand what your organisation is trying to achieve.

Involve your local communities in the vision of the conference Create a long-term project for your conference, defining the role it can play to help a local community to structure up and become stronger. Also, define the legacy of the meeting: what will remain after the conference is over for your members and the city? What is the difference that the conference made for the local community? Is this of general benefit?

A conference is not about selling square meters at an exhibition. It is about aligning the commercial desires of the sponsoring companies to the needs of the professionals attending the conference Do not test new features at your main event While technology brings many new opportunities to improve the experience of attendees at conferences, often associations try new ideas without a clear growth model. It is a pitfall. Only introduce permanent changes in the model of your conference, after they have proven successful in other initiatives.

Select carefully your suppliers While different management models are possible for conferences, it is important to take the time to review possible suppliers

and assess their level of expertise. Whenever possible, organise tenders and re-assess a choice on regular intervals. Companies have core competencies. Prefer to contract suppliers in the area of their core expertise.

Remember you are liable There are increasing compliance and taxation issues. Remember that your organisation carries a financial and legal liability for running its conference. Always assess

carefully if you have risks and retain direct control of all legal and tax matters.

And‌ Share practices and experiences about a particular method to run your conference, or a specific destination or a supplier with colleagues and peer association managers in other organisations. Many good networks exist, belong to one, or many of those as they importance of the advices you can get is invaluable.

ESAE’s learning events ESAE is launching its new PEER2PEER learning events series with one event per month, targeted at facilitating the knowledge exchange and sharing of best practice/best fit approaches among association professionals. Every month we will discuss a different topic, which is relevant to modern association management. Furthermore, through lively interaction among peers, ESAE is aiming at building a comprehensive learning platform for the associative sector in Brussels and in Europe. More info at


ECCO in Amsterdam How EU directives impact medical congresses The European Cancer Congress was held from 27 September to 1st October 2013 and we achieved a record number of participants - over 18,000 people descended on Amsterdam. With an exhibition of over 5,000 m2, the congress attracts and is sponsored by a number of pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Text Davi Kaur, Head of Congress Unit, ECCO (European CanCer Organisation) For an organisation like ECCO that supports multidisciplinarity, this congress is a melting pot of all stakeholders involved in cancer. These stakeholders are clinicians, surgeons, radiation oncologists, nurses, scientists, patient advocates and policy makers. All these people come together to be educated, to learn from each other in order for the cancer patient to receive the best treatment and care. The main part of any medical congress is its Continuing Medical Education (CME) accredited Scientific programme. Attached to the programme is the exhibition, this area allows participants to interact with company representatives to find out what products are or becoming available on the market. As the programme CME accredited, Industry is not allowed to hold any promotional sessions within the scientific programme. In 2001, an EU directive 2001/83/EC, which was then further adapted in 2004, was 16

established in which a framework was constructed for medicinal products for human use intended to protect public health and encourage innovation.

Free to decide EU directives put in place certain goals that must be achieved in every Member State. National authorities have to adapt their laws to meet these goals, but are free to decide how to do so. Directives are used to bring different national laws into line with each other, and are particularly common in matters affecting the operation of the single market. In the past few years, the compliance of this directive has been rigorously enforced, greatly impacting medical congresses. Article 86 in the EU directive 2001/83/EC lists the prohibition of advertising and promotion of prescription-only drugs to

the general public. It stipulates that advertising and promotion of the drugs should only be done to those qualified to prescribe and supply medicinal products. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Medicine Act (DMA) already incorporated the EU directive within its law. Aside from this legislation (the DMA), medicine advertising in the Netherlands is also subject to self-regulation. In 1999, a foundation was established for advertisements of prescription only medicines targeted at professional practitioners. The Foundation drew up the Code of Conduct on Medicines Advertising which elaborates the statutory rules (which only contain general premises and principles) and makes them usable in practice. The Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate from the Ministry of Health is responsible for monitoring compliance with the DMA. The Inspectorate can impose administrative

penalties for violations of the DMA. This code of conduct was monitored in national conferences. This year, the Dutch Inspectorate decided that it would extend the enforcement on international congresses. Unfortunately, this was never communicated to the Dutch venues or cities that host international conferences or the academic societies that organise the congresses.

Code of conduct The law and the code of conduct do not define who the public is but clearly define the prescribers who are medical doctors, specialised nurses, such as the oncology nurses and pharmacists. Any violation of the law meant penalties not only to the pharmaceutical industry but to the organisers as well. The fact that pharmaceutical industries could only advertise and promote their products to prescribers, for a congress like ours, posed a number of issues, our participants were multidisciplinary, including patient advocates. We only knew that enforcement existed five months before the congress and it did not allow time for industry to make changes to their booths such as having a corporate booth only or a booth in a booth concept where promotion is done within the booth only accessible to the relevant audience. It was too late for us to redesign the exhibition; the only solution left to us was to restrict access to the

reality, the general public have access to all types of medicine on the internet; to impose restrictions in a closed environment makes no sense. It uses to be that academic societies could put the onus on the pharmaceutical and medical devices companies to abide by the national law and codes of conduct, now medical societies and associations need to be aware of the national laws pertaining to the country. This can be lengthy and costly

The compliance of the law does not reflect the reality, the general public have access to all types of medicine on the internet; to impose restrictions in a closed environment makes no sense exhibition hall and badge all participants as prescribers and non-prescribers. The solution was not ideal and upset a number of our participants including non-prescriber exhibitors who felt that their rights had been violated. Our philosophy for the congress has always been that it is open to professionals only who have an interest in cancer. It is a closed and regulated environment, which ensures that there is always a fair exchange of dialogue between all stakeholders. The compliance of the law does not reflect the

process, lawyers specialised in healthcare need to be hired, to understand what the law and code of conducts actually mean to organising a congress in a particular country. Venues are booked in years in advance, meaning that the law can be changed without warning, creating extra onsite costs to ensure one abides by the law.

Becoming more selective As directives become enforced in most European countries, medical societies with large congresses will become more selective on the venues that they choose,

if compliance goes against the philosophy of the congress, societies will not take their congress to that country. This would mean that local and national doctors, nurses and researchers would miss out on the opportunity to be educated by high level global experts at low costs. As industry is reducing its sponsorship of delegates, this is an important factor to consider. The economic value in bringing a congress to a city and country is high. Not only the spend of a participant in the 4 or 5 days that they are in the city but also the local jobs created because of the congresses held in the city. A committee of leading congresses venues headed by the RAI are looking into the impact of this directive and seeing how it can be accommodated. The cancer patient advocates have launched a petition on how unfair the Dutch Medicine Act is regarding the communication between them and the pharmaceutical industry. We, the congress organisers, will have to review the way that we organise our congresses as it is not over yet, in the following years a new EU directive will be established for medical devices, this will prove to be much tougher than the current EU directive for medicinal products. 17

The do’s and don’ts of conference organising

Collaboration and Collaborative Communication Organising an event allows a meeting planner or a PCO to demonstrate their ability and the level of their service. If they get it right it is an opportunity to show how good they are, but if things go wrong… it will be hard to live down. Can a meeting be boiled down to a list of do’s and don’ts; a sort of roadmap to success? There are so many variables when planning an event, we have to define and identify the goals, the objectives and outcomes that we need to accomplish, as well as aligning all the different stakeholders involved in the planning.

Synchronised manner We need to consider preferences, expectations, schedules and different cultures and all these elements must work in a synchronised manner. Perhaps instead of a to-do list we can summarise the driving concept of a successful meeting in two important concepts: collaboration and collaborative communication.

In our industry we build and facilitate relationships. It is all about connecting the right people at the right time In our industry we build and facilitate relationships. It is all about connecting the right people at the right time. Unfortunately the more moving parts you have to get the work done, the more chance there is of creating confusion. Any product or service is the result of a much larger set of people, organisations, places and processes; a large number of interactions with people who must all be on the same page and that goes for the people within the same company. Collaboration becomes the key, whether it be between the PCO, the association, or suppliers. We have to align our vision to the objectives, PCOs must consider themselves as an extension of the client’s company and 18

the suppliers and partners must become an extension of the in-house team. If you are a PCO you need to understand your customer, if you are an association you need to understand your members and that means we need to listen and pay attention, be innovative and not just an imitator, be market knowledgeable and have the right resources and, most importantly, deliver what we promised. The strength of the conference organiser is in the service and the ability to use collective intelligence to the benefit of the event.

Trustworthy network Excellent supplier relationships win business for a destination, enhance the relationship with clients and improve service and reputation. This trustworthy network of suppliers

and partners is built and these relationships require two-way information. Most companies focus on what suppliers can do for them rather than on what they can do with the suppliers to lower costs and to increase the service level. A true partnership requires collaboration and communication. Share critical information as early as possible. Meet them face to face so that they can understand your client’s needs and the needs of the conference, make relationship meetings meaningful, work together to improve successful case stories, involve them in the meetings and site visits. And after the event it is important to have a wrap-up meeting, this helps everyone to understand what went well and what could have been done better and this is a great time to review feedback from all stakeholders.

consumers, consumer communities and firms, it is this collaborative communication and collaboration that makes up our ultimate to-do list in the meeting industry today.

This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, Past President and Council Member of IAPCO, and Vice President of AIM Group International, Rome, Italy. IAPCO represents today120 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and

A good buyer-seller relationship is a partnership, a win-win situation over the long run. A responsive supplier is an asset for our event and a supplier who is treated equitably and professionally is likely to communicate his positive experience to the external word raising your reputation.

In our job there is nothing more rewarding than working with a team of creative, enthusiastic and smart people to put together a valuable experience for others. All about growth and value creation, the market is becoming a forum for conversation and interaction between

national congresses, conventions and special events from 40 countries. /


For more info about UIA

Do’s & don’ts in conferencing… About videoconferencing Advanced preparation and testing is important for the success of a videoconference. Andrea Guido and Annalisa Trovò, World Mediation Forum, in collaboration with Università di Padova and Prâgmata Politika SRL Mediation Organism Not everyone will be familiar with the video­ conferencing system you use. Send information about the system to your speakers/ presenters and consider making a simple ‘how to’ document on key tasks (accessing the system and your specific conference etc.). Use screen shots to illustrate the necessary steps. Well in advance of your conference date: schedule a test session so that presenters can test their local computer, camera & speakers and internet connection. This will give them time to identify any issues which might cause problems for their participation.

A managed videoconference is a successful videoconference A videoconferencing platform that allows a coordinator to handle the organizational tasks is important. Such a system leaves the speakers to concentrate on their presentations without having to be concerned with technical issues. The meeting coordinator will be responsible for designing the session; uploading powerpoint or other documents from presenters; working with presenters to 20

insure their comfort in using the system; insuring that presenters are connected and online 30 minutes before their scheduled presentation; etc.

Have a back up plan Plan for possible problems that can occur. For example, a speaker might come online and experience problems with their camera or microphone on the conferencing system. Use Skype, for example, to allow them to complete their presentation. This is only a backup plan if you have tested Skype with them and they know how to use it. Always have local copies of all documents used in the presentations / sessions – power­ points, slides, handouts. Documents loaded online might not always be available for one reason or another. A USB stick with these files is an inexpensive way to save the day. Where possible, use the same computer for managing all conferencing sessions. Test in advance that it is in good working order. Have a laptop designated as a backup computer in case there is a problem with the primary computer.

General points about managing for success All presenters should receive the criteria and formatting requirements for their presentations. These should be strict guidelines on allotted time, number of slides, font style and size, etc. Distributing a template or preformatted document is a good way to insure uniform presentations. Guidelines on presentation structure should also be given to presenters to assist them in meeting their goals in the time allotted and facilitating the attention of the audience. Use speakers or students as chairpersons during group sessions which feature presentations. The chairperson will guide the group and strictly adhere to the time limits and scheduling agreed in advance with the presenters. Such guidance insures that the group sessions are able to function smoothly while completing their aims and benefiting from the skills of the assembled speakers and participants. Meetings are about meeting people: make some time and dedicated space for participants to meet informally with speakers. This could be a breakout room during a coffee break, for example.


from three angles Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) The view of Ellen Van Ree, Project Manager As an association your strongest assets are your members and the good relationship with industry partners and media. Involve these groups in developing your event, creating brand awareness, composing the conference programme etc. The objectives of professional event organisers are different than those of associations. A huge benefit of associations is that they can drive their event on content; professional event organisers are driving their event on revenues. Make sure you receive all your payments in advance, even though your delegates might have been members for years and are well known to you.   Depending on the size of your event, consider hiring a professional registration organisation. This can save a lot of time. Brief photographers in detail on which pictures you would like to have; the important moments/persons for them to capture, envision for which purpose you need the pictures (brochures, website, articles etc.). 

Do not assume that prices of suppliers will only increase 5% for the next year. Sometimes there are significant changes. Check the prices for the next year well in advance. Keep visitors on-site up to date via a mobile application. Inform your delegates about the app and how to download it before they arrive.   How much catering should you order? * For paid events: 10-15% less than the number of registrations * For free entrance events: 30-40% less than the number of registrations (if on-site registrations is possible than the number will be slightly compensated and you can order 30% less).

International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) The view of Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General The programme must be confirmed well in advance and for promotion the content must be described as much as the speakers. Be concise but clear. Use bullet points. For small industries like ours making a surplus on an event will depend on strong sponsorship, not on delegate income. Focus on a strong sponsor proposition and then deliver it and they will stick with you. Create a detailed event schedule with nothing missed out. On the day this is your lifeline. Make sure you give the organisers a treat afterwards and tell them how amazing they are. This is what motivates them to do a job which has such pressure over an intense period! 21

> Asia-Pacific


Becoming a rock-solid association continent It’s no secret. Asia-Pacific, as a whole, has become the destination where it all happens, where associations try to find new delegates, where headquarters of international associations even move to try to find new members. It’s not a trend, it’s a phenomenon. In addition to a big focus on the growth currently taking place in Asia-Pacific, this feature takes a look at very diverse destinations with clear added values for association meetings. From New Zealand to Malaysia, from Thailand to Australia, it’s an eclectic voyage Headquarters invites you to. Bird’s Nest Stadium, Beijing

IBTM Meetings Industry Report

All-round growth in Asia-Pacific The western world watched with envy as the economy in China grew by double digit figures each year since we first started researching the China and Asia meetings market in 2007. Growth has now slowed down to a forecast of 8 to 9% for the next year (a figure voiced with nervousness and doom in some newspapers). Many other Asian countries are predicted to have high growth -in the region of 6% for India and 4.5% for the ASEAN 5 (Source: IMF July 2013). These figures remain the envy of those parts of the world who are only just returning to growth such as the US and Europe. This growth in the economies in Asia has been mirrored by meteoric growth of the meetings industry over the last few years. This year’s UIA International Meeting Statistics reveal that nearly 24% of the meetings were held in the top three countries of Singapore, Japan and Republic of Korea during 2012. Yet, despite the dominance of Asian countries in the international meetings market, China is at just 19th position with 158 meetings compared to 1,055 in Singapore, and this shows a reduced number for China from a peak of 282 in 2010. It should be pointed out that the ICCA international meeting statistics, with different qualifying criteria, reveal a total of 311 meetings for China, yet they

The growth in the economies in Asia has been mirrored by meteoric growth of the meetings industry over the last few years too suggest slowing growth more recently. Why is this? One of the reasons for this is that the huge volume of meetings in the domestic market reduces availability of venues and hotel rooms for international events. This year’s IBTM Meetings Industry Report - China and Asia Focus show buyers had organised 6,106 events in

China in the last twelve months - an average of 44 events each - a much higher figure than last year. This compares to 25 events per buyer in the Americas region and 11 events per buyer for the Middle East region, emphasising the incredible volume of the meetings industry in China. The average spend per buyer on events in China was $818,038 -the highest of any of the survey regions for the IBTM Portfolio. The mean budget per event was $48,798, up from $45,877 last year. 60% of buyers had seen increased volume of events over the last 12 months and 57% said events business in Asia will increase over the next twelve months. However, this year’s government’s clamp down on spending has affected many hotels, restaurants and venues in China, particularly in Beijing, and they have experienced much lower occupancies, revenue and profit in recent months. So there is now an opportunity for more international events to fill the gaps left by reduced governmental meetings. 23

> Asia-Pacific

Many associations are keen to expand membership in China and holding their meetings here is an ideal way to raise profile and increase exposure. Healthcare, education and regeneration, all major issues for rapidly expanding nations, are major generators of conferences, meetings and exhibitions. However the need to partner with local associations and the delays in gaining licences for conferences can be very off putting. The collaboration needed to enable more cities to bid for international association meetings in future is developing well. Yet the obvious course of action now is for convention bureaus to be set up to take the cities to the next level and ease the process all round.


Great Wall of China

Developments taking place throughout China suggest there will be increased supply to accommodate international meetings. New convention centres are going up everywhere with exciting iconic buildings for Ningxia, Qingdao, Tianjin, Baiyun and Shijiazhuong city among others. The July 2013 STR Global Construction Pipeline shows the Asia Pacific hotel development pipeline comprises 1,831 hotels totalling 399,950 rooms, with 147,721 of those in China. All of these new suppliers will also need convention bureaus to help them win business. In addition this year’s IBTM Meetings Industry Report -China and Asia Focus reveals the rapid increase in outbound event business from China, with many more events going not just to other Asian countries but also to the USA, Australia, UK, Italy and France. With more business events going out of China and less money being spent on domestic government events, now is the perfect time for convention bureaus to be set up in China to structure the processes and coordination to enable cities to bid successfully for international meetings. The ICCA congress took place in Shanghai 3-6 November. Clearly as the congress was based here much of the programme focused on the developing meetings industry in 24


China, including a half day mini conference 5 November. I hope discussions will include the setting up of convention bureaus. China needs them now to help associations bring their conferences to China, and to ensure the facilities, service and marketing of everyone in the meetings industry understands international clients needs and maximises the potential international associations can offer them to boost the economy, not just in direct spend, but also with collaboration for the development of science, healthcare and industry. There is a move by the Chinese government to steer away from strong reliance on

manufacturing to a more service based economy and association development could definitely help this and ensure those economic growth figures remain high in the future.

This article was provided by Sally Greenhill, who conducted the IBTM Global Meetings Industry research 2013 available from or Sally Greenhill is Managing Director of The Right Solution, conference destination and venue consultants.

Sally Greenhill

> Asia-Pacific

Experience the knowledge and infrastructure in Australia Boosted by a steady stream of global conferences and events, Australia’s association market is thriving, with delegates revelling in the opportunity to travel down under for a trip to remember. As a destination renowned for its natural habitats, open and friendly culture and unique experiences, it is perhaps not surprising that when more than 20,000 people from 20 countries were asked in the 2010 Anholt Nation Brands Index which country they would like to visit, Australia was the most common answer. However, it is Australia’s growing reputation as a preferred destination for business events that is drawing a growing amount of interest from international visitors. In fact, Australia is an extremely popular destination within the APAC region, with Asia now responsible for 42% of over all business events spend in Australia.

The experience As the world’s sixth largest country, Australia offers a vast range of experiences for event groups. Whether it is discovering ancient tropical rainforests in Queensland, learning about Aboriginal culture in the Outback of the Northern Territory, or sailing on the iconic Sydney Harbour in New South Wales, Australia offers locations and experiences to inspire and invigorate. With so much to choose from, building an itinerary that captures as many of these experiences as possible for typically time poor delegates can be a challenge. Australia has something for everyone and is able to cater to associations events and conferences

of all sizes. All of the States and Territories offer world-class venues and experiences, so delegates can achieve an incredible amount in even a short amount of time. Sarah Markey-Hamm, CEO of ICMS (International Convention Management Services) reiterates this sentiment, but advises that for best results it is critical to work with local event providers. ‘There is no substitute for local knowledge when it comes to delivering an event experience that will engage delegates and also enhance your association’s reputation. Local event management suppliers will have superior relationships with vendors, which is extremely helpful when it comes to creating tailored experiences, and ensures better value for money for your Association and your delegates,’ she says.


> Asia-Pacific

More news from Melbourne The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) has an unequalled reputation for facilitating the delivery of high quality events in Melbourne and regional Victoria. MCB’s 260+ members are constantly updating their products and services to ensure every business event held in the state is met with innovation, diligence and professionalism. Recent MCB member developments include: Crown Entertainment Complex, Melbourne

Crown Entertainment Complex Worth more than AUD $90 million, Crown’s newest destination, The West End, is now operational. The 15,000 square metres of the Clarendon Street end of the Crown Entertainment Complex is complete with two new restaurants, The Merrywell and Cotta, and two new bars, Lumia and The Common Room. The stylish new zone offers visitors premium and casual gaming, live entertainment and sports streaming from around the globe, perfect for down time during a conference.

Melbourne Short Stay Apartments Melbourne Short Stay Apartments has recently unveiled a collection of deluxe category self-contained apartments, MP Deluxe, in an exciting new Southbank location, just metres from the Crown Entertainment Complex. Located in a brand new, 43-level residential tower, MP Deluxe is home to self-rated 4.5 star apartments, with floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views.

Mercure Portsea Resort & Golf Club Located just one hour and a half south of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, the new build Mercure Portsea Golf Club & Resort is now open. With panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay, the fully integrated multi-million dollar development incorporates 25 accommodation rooms, a comprehensive function complex that holds between 10 - 150 guests, and a new golf club house on one of Australia’s top 50 golf courses. 26

‘And speaking of value for money, it is also worth remembering that working with local associations and engaging local event and professional conference services providers can be tax efficient,’ she adds.

The infrastructure The ongoing investment in business events infrastructure and has cemented Australia’s reputation in the region and beyond as a destination that caters for delegates with exceptional facilities. Some of the new and exciting projects that have been announced in recent months include, among others, the redevelopment of the Sydney International Convention Centre, the expansion of the Adelaide Convention Centre designs to accentuate the natural beauty of its landscape with function rooms overlooking the River Torrens, and Perth’s Convention Centre plenary hall upgrade with seating of up to for 12,500. Adrienne Readings, general manager of Australia’s largest regional convention centre the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, recommends selecting state of the art convention facilities within close proximity to reliable and modern infrastructure if you want to ensure a successful delegate event experience. ‘The Gold Coast is very appealing as a destination, and is clearly famous for a myriad of leisure options offering added-value post business events,’ she says. ‘But it is the Gold Coast’s abundance of accommodation that suits all budgets, close proximity to two international airports, accessibility to low-cost airline carriers and the ability to bring the family along

that really makes for a perfect recipe for delegates.’

The knowledge Australia is proud of its innovation heritage, and that ethos is alive and well today. Commonly referred to locally as the ‘knowledge-based economy’, Australia has been quick to capitalise on this momentum to broaden its appeal for associated conferences and events. For example, Australia has attracted some of the world’s most significant global medical and scientific association events, such as the 34th International Conference on High Energy Physics in 2012, the International Congress of Pediatrics 2013, the 22nd World Diabetes Congress 2013, the Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress 2014 and the International AIDS Conference 2014. When it comes to knowledge, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre’s innovative Advocates program has delivered outstanding results since its formation three years ago. The group of leading Australian scientists, researchers, academics and business leaders which includes pioneer of the world’s first cancer vaccine, Professor Ian Frazer, continues to showcase and strengthen Brisbane’s standing as a centre of scientific excellence and initiate new international business for Brisbane and BCEC. They have assisted in securing 27 conferences and generating in excess of $43 million in economic benefit to Brisbane in just three years, and help promote and enhance Brisbane’s major strengths in the science and technology sectors, particularly in the areas of health, life sciences and engineering.

> Asia-Pacific

Recently confirmed advocate assisted conferences in Brisbane include, among others, the International Scientific Meeting of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 2015 (1,200 delegates), the SPE Unconventional Oil & Gas.Conference 2013 (1,200 delegates), the International Conference on Tropical Medicine & Malaria 2016 (2,000 delegates) and the World Congress of Melanoma (1,000 delegates). The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) recently re-launched its world leading Club Melbourne Ambassador Program to create an even stronger, more focused and more supportive network for

associations looking to secure and host international conferences in Melbourne. Since it was first started 8 years ago, the Club Melbourne Ambassador Program has helped to attract more than 70 international conferences, showcasing expertise in fields such as science, medicine and technology to the world and creating new global alliances and opportunities. MCEC’s Chief Executive Peter King explains how Club Melbourne provides a unique opportunity to connect prominent thinkers and leaders from around the world. ‘Through our Ambassadors’ hard work, MCEC regularly hosts some of the largest and

prestigious conferences in the world. These events connect world thought leaders and share knowledge, creating memorable experiences for our visitors and a lasting legacy for the community,’ he says. Whatever an association’s ultimate objectives are in bringing its members together to meet; whether it is to inform, engage or inspire, the location will play a critical role in the relative success of the event. By planning the event in Australia, it is easy to utilise the abundant world-class experiences, infrastructure and knowledge, which will drive delegate registrations and enhance the reputation of the association.

Mudbrick Vineyard, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Adventurous conferences in New Zealand New Zealand’s mix of breathtaking natural landscapes, world-class venues and unique visitor experiences makes it an ideal location for business events beyond convention. New Zealand could well be the place for adventure, rejuvenation and inspiration. And because it is compact and easy to get around, you can experience a whole lot in one trip. Flights between New Zealand’s cities are short and stunning mountains, rivers, beaches and forests are seldom far away by car. New Zealanders take pride in their reputation for friendliness and have wholeheartedly embraced the Māori concept of manaakitanga - the act of giving and making people feel welcome. Loosely translated as hospitality, manaakitanga plays a

key role in Māori society and inspires the New Zealand visitor experience.

Major centres The major centres of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch regularly host international conferences and national events. The largest of the three is Auckland, known for its sparkling harbour, designer shopping and proximity to some of New Zealand’s most stunning beaches. This sophisticated, multicultural city offers something for everyone, from jet boating and yachting on the harbour to sipping wine at a vineyard on nearby Waiheke Island.

The capital city of Wellington is the country’s cultural and political hub. Nestled between a stunning harbour and forest-clad hills and famed for coffee and craft beer, it’s easy to see why Lonely Planet dubbed the city the coolest little capital in the world. The garden city of Christchurch in the South Island is situated between the Southern Alps and the Pacific Ocean. Christchurch has bounced back from a major earthquake in 2011 to emerge as a city reimagined, complete with lively street art and innovative new designs like the “pop-up” Cardboard Cathedral and the quirky Re:Start shopping mall, built from brightly coloured shipping containers.


> Malaysia

A Memorable Experience at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Attending an event in another country is definitely an experience on its own. From trying the local cuisine and getting to know the people to simply learning about another culture, these are opportunities foreign delegates try their best to take advantage of, whenever the time and schedule permits. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), located in the heart of Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, has taken upon itself to offer visiting delegates not only a quality product and services, but also an enriching Malaysian experience and the best her culinary team has to offer.

An All-in-One Cultural Experience As part of efforts to enhance the delegate experience, the Centre’s unique complimentary cultural showcase of eight Malaysian arts and crafts - batik painting, basket weaving, wood carving, songket weaving, pewter smithing, henna painting and Chinese calligraphy presented to the sounds of the gamelan (traditional Malay orchestra) gives international delegates attending meetings at the facility, a snapshot of the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Offered under the Conventions Value-Add Programme designed specifically for event planners of international association meetings, the package also includes site inspections, pre-function meetings, a cocktail

reception or media conference fully hosted by the Centre, and 10 complimentary tickets to the PETRONAS Twin Towers’ Sky Bridge for a truly ‘birds’ eye’ view of the iconic Kuala Lumpur City Centre and its surrounds. And in Malaysia, no adventure is complete without exploring the local cuisine which, more often than not, is distinguished by one or more of the abundance of natural ingredients and spices popular in this melting pot of diverse cultures and ethnicities.

Culinary Creations beyond Standard Fare With food being the soul of any event here, the Centre has identified her food & beverage (F&B) offerings as an innovative proposition to continue exciting her guests’ tastebuds. Through the Culinaria brand, the Centre has taken a tantalising and distinctive approach to further promote creative food experiences for delegates and visitors. According to Angeline Lue, Director of Sales & Marketing, Culinaria embodies the

Centre’s innovative mind-set when it comes to dining, ‘to accentuate beyond the standard convention centre fare and presentation to encompass the promise of value, taste and experience. In addition, Culinaria expands the unique selling points of Malaysia; from her colourful multi-cultural mix to progressive nation realities and aligns it to the Centre’s tagline of “Where commerce, culture, colour converge”.’ Under Culinaria, the Centre’s culinary team takes the opportunity to create mouthwatering dishes while paving the way for her chefs to showcase their talents and versatility. State-of-the-art banqueting, quarterly cuisine promotions, enhanced themed and special dietary menus, as well as a host of healthy options in her Day Conference Packages (DCPs) and served at her public catering outlets, Park View Deck and West Wing Café, are set to evoke anticipation for a new dining experience among new and recurring patrons of the Centre.

Contact Angeline Lue Director of Sales & Marketing T. +603 2333 2828 29

> Philippines

Why there is more fun in the Philippines? We wrote already in our sister magazine MIM Europe that there is a new trend in meetings and incentive travel: international companies and associations are showing more interest in medium to long distance meeting trips. It’s not specifically about distant locations but rather their interest for the culture, nature and economic progress in the countries. Text Katie Lau

What about the land of 7,000 islands? Long overlooked by European organisers, the Philippines is home to a large number of coral-fringed islands rich in biodiversity, such as tropical rainforests, extensive mountain ranges, underwater landscapes, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Beyond the bustling capital of Manila, the Philippines boasts culturally diverse regions that showcase a spectrum of stunning beaches and disingenuous cultures. In Boracay, Western Visayas, you will find the Philippines’ answer to Indonesia’s Bali: the iconic White Beach is four kilometres of white, powdery fine sand dotted with resorts, shops, and restaurants. While in Central Visayas, there’s Cebu, the country’s second largest city known for its heritage, multiculturalism and white beaches. Outdoor ethusiasts would be spoiled for choice in Davao City, known for being the home of Mount Apo, the Philippines’ tallest mountain.

Another famous asset of the Philippines is the hospitality of the people. Despite having to endure more political dramas, social problems and natural disasters than the average country, Filipinos are known to be one of the most resilient, humble and happiest people in the world.

More events With an increase in the number of hosted international meetings (from 33 in 2011 to 48 in 2012 according to a recent ICCA study), the country is expected to keep the uptrend going this year, having hosted the South East Asia Premier Nautical Lifestyle Summer Expo with 4,000 participants in March or the 12th South East Asian Survey Congress attended by 1,000 in June. Upcoming events include the 5th World Eco-Tourism Conference in Cebu in November, the World Economic Forum East Asia Summit next year and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015. As an emerging MICE destination, the Philippines is spicing up its appeal by

The Philippines is multi-faceted: Manila or the beach, you choose!

adding more convention venues and luxury hotels, according to a country report by TTGAsia. The Mall of Asia Arena was opened in 2012 with a seating capacity of 16,000, plus other convention centres in Taguig, Davao and other areas. The completion of four integrated resorts at the Entertainment City, located close to Makati and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will provide over 3,200 luxury rooms and extensive MICE facilities, while luxury hotel chains such as Shangri-La, Grand Hyatt, Conrad and Hilton would also come online in the next four years. The launch of MICE Plus package by the Tourism Promotions Board will also include discounts on accommodation, F&B and venues, complimentary meeting rooms for briefing and transport for MICE delegates. Dedicated meeting coordinators would also be arranged for hotels and convention centres. 31

> Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

The Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Malaysia When we received an invitation to attend the 2013 Women Deliver 2013 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, in May, in order to experience it first hand, it was evident - at least in my humble opinion - that the only woman of the company should go - me! On top of that it had been a long time ago since I had last visited Kuala Lumpur, which is so dear to my heart, so it did not take long to convince me to fly over! Report Cécile Caiati-Koch Kuala Lumpur is special, its rich historical past with strong links to China, India and the Middle East shows that it has since long been the centre of Asia’s business life but it has also well integrated some western modernity. Between West and East, Malaysia is at a crossroads, and I could definitely feel it when I was there. The ‘Women Deliver’ is a global advocacy organisation which has as main target to improve the health and well-being of girls and women. It convenes global leaders to galvanize action on maternal health and women’s empowerment. Every three years a global conference is organised and in 2013 Malaysia had been selected to host the third congress. Dr. Raj Abdul Karim, the regional director of Women Deliver, explains: ‘Southeast Asia has made immensely progress on several aspects of women’s health and equality such as maternal health, family planning, gender equality and education and employment, and Malaysia has been a leader within the region.’ 32

Beehive More than 4,500 delegates from 149 countries came together in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). A colorful and lively bunch of people from all over the world joined to listen to some key speakers such as Melinda Gates from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Princess Mette Marit of Norway, and many more. More than 800 speeches and presentations were given during the 6 plenaries and 120 breakout sessions. Alan Mark Pryor, deputy general Manager of KLCC, confessed: ‘The operation side of the congress has been incredibly massive, not only did we have to organise the daily program with its many sessions, but it actually started already early morning with breakfast meetings and ended with evening functions. So it was like if we had three different operations per day, our staff really had to put in a lot of their energy, but all went well.’ The centre was much like a beehive, all floors busy with people communicating

with each other, and the exhibition hall occupied by some 120 organisations, whether from government, companies or civil society. One night the centre even organised a ‘market place’: shops and food stalls were displayed in the large corridors of the venue and the participants could try all kinds of different food. At that time I felt the motto of the place - ‘where commerce, culture and color converge’ - definitely made sense.

Gastronomy in Kuala Lumpur Looking for some trendy place to eat? No problem, whether you stay in the heart of the city or go to the countryside, you will find plenty of different kinds of restaurants. As Kuala Lumpur’s population consists of a lot of Chinese, you will find numerous restaurants in the busy lively streets where you can eat genuine good food. Or you can also go to the central market, where old-style (with a lot of wood) restaurants can be found as well. And a head and shoulder massage afterwards will make you feel great. Of course western style facilities can be found as well. High up in one of the iconic Petronas Twin towers you can have a nice meal at the Italian restaurant Marini’s on 57 – it’s just exquisite food with a beautiful

> Malaysia

Cultural showcase: Pewter Smithing

Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) Just an hour away from Kuala Lumpur by plane, a purpose-built convention centre on the mystical island of Borneo was built some years ago. In the capital state of Sarawak, Kuching, rich in some 700.000 inhabitants, this centre has become a facility association planners can’t do without. In 2014 the ICCA congress will take place there. Borneo Convention Centre Kuching

view on the city. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre had declared 2013 as their Year of Culinary Excellence. And indeed, not only is the variety of menus amazing, but the artistic presentation enhances the colorful experience created by their executive chef Richmond.

tell a lot about the history in her own peculiar way. There you can also participate in a workshop and create your own piece of jewellery. Walking around Dataran Merdeka - or Merdeka Square - is a very interesting

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre was much like a beehive, all floors busy with people communicating with each other, and the exhibition hall occupied by some 120 organisations Inspirational experiences A visit to the royal pewter factory, the world famous Royal Selangor, is really worthwhile. Not only can you visit the factory and the exhibition place with the decennia long history of objects, but with a bit of luck the Patroness of the family will guide you and

experience. In the old colonial heart of the city the Malaysian flag has been put up for the first time in 1957. You will find a blend of colonial, Moorish, Tudor and Neo-Gothic and Islamic styles in one area: the Royal Selangur Club building, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, the

National Historical Museum, the National Textile Museum, the Memorial Library and the St. Mary Anglican Cathedral. Isn’t this the proof of the rich diversity of the city and the country? A visit to the Batu Caves close to the city is only for the sporty types: 272 steps to be climbed before you actually get to the huge cave. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India dedicated to Lord Murugan. The area beneath the cave can be used for events and the huge statue of the god will definitely make the guests feel spiritual. More info



> Macao

Five reasons to hold a meeting in Macao Macao was one of the first crossroads of east and west, the meeting point for traders between Europe and Asia. Today, the city remains a point of contact between cultures, a vibrant shopping paradise and, over the past four centuries has evolved into a true blend of Chinese and Portuguese heritage that is utterly unique. Here are 5 reasons why you should hold your next meeting in Macao.

1 - World-class infrastructures

3 - Array of post- and preconference possibilities

In Macao, glamorous hotel resorts have been built around the foundations of casinos, the first of which opened its doors in 1962, and Macao is a magnet for thrill seekers. Through years of evolvement Macao has become an interesting meeting destination, with superb facilities and hotel infrastructure in place. Macao Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre, Cotai Strip, the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel are just a few examples of facilities accommodating thousands of delegates… and more!

Macao is a playground for tourists and a convenient, modern meeting destination for business. After a hard day’s work, groups can enjoy horseracing at Macao Jockey Club, while golf fans won’t want to miss out on the Macao Golf & Country Club, one of the most beautiful golf courses in Asia. Spas are also plentiful, with the best being a typical luxury hotel blend on ancient Eastern and modern Western treatments that epitomise Macao as a destination.

2 - Gastronomy, culture & shopping paradise

Several billion people and some of the world’s largest cities are within a five-hour flight of Macao. The Macao International Airport connects Macao to many Asia cities

Whether you would like to sample the local delicacies, be they Chinese Dim Sums, African Chicken or Portuguese egg tarts, walk the cobbled streets along Senado Square in the historic centre, and see the diverse religious monuments such as A-Ma Temple and the Ruins of St Paul’s, Macao is the place, featuring a UNESCO Listed World Heritage Site dating from its Portuguese colonial past. A great, walking city, Macao offers cuisines from around the world, while taking pride in its outstanding shopping and nightlife.

4 - Easy access

directly. Just a ferry ride away, the Hong Kong Int’l Airport is one of the world’s global airline hubs connecting to all continents. Ferries to Hong Kong and several Chinese ports link Macao to some of the world’s most vibrant economic centres.

5 - The Convention and Exhibition Stimulation Program In an effort to promote moderate economic diversification and development of the convention and exhibition industry in Macao, the Convention and Exhibition Stimulation Program aims to provide assistance and support to organisers and planners of conventions and exhibitions held in Macao, with the ultimate goal of sharpening the competitive edge of Macao’s convention and exhibition industry. This support is mainly financial, and conditions apply. More info



> Thailand

Thailand CONNECT

Your Global Business Events Connection Every year, more and more delegates attend association meetings in Thailand. As an exotic, hospitable destination, with a growing reputation for hosting exciting, well-run and successful business events, the country offers a vastly different and enjoyable experience. Easily accessible, with a superb accommodation network and high-class meeting facilities, Thailand is at the top of the list like never before.

Success that Breeds Global Success As the preferred business events destination in Asia for all meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), Thailand is your convenient portal to global success. Thanks to a winning combination of strategic location, dynamic economy and legendary hospitality, Thailand provides endless opportunities for business expansion. With Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) as your strategic partner, you can be sure of successful collaborations at all levels.

Where Business Mixes with Leisure Thailand’s wide choice of ingredients will undoubtedly make your business event a success and memorable experience. And the country’s world renown service sector can contribute with superior infrastructures:

international airports in every region and 5 MICE cities (along Bangkok and Pattaya, lie Chiang Mai, Phuket and Khon Kaen, definitely worth a MICE détour) comprising 8 professionally-managed ISO- and TISI- certified venues. The event programs can be creatively customised to make your event experience soar above the ordinary.

Where Growth Spurt Incoming Due to its unique geographical location and outstanding government support, Thailand is a regional hub for industries of all kinds, and an investment magnet. By organising business events there, at the gateway to ASEAN, you will be in an ideal position to enjoy the benefits from the emergent ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a new market of 600 million. Utilize Thailand’s business opportunities… and you will maximize your own connection growth today.

Where hospitality meets service excellence With decades of high quality experience, Thailand can ensure unmatched levels of coherence and efficiency throughout the country’s MICE personnel. Over the years, staff working in the industry have gained considerable expertise staging well-organised, stylish and popular events. Up-todate with international standards, globally hospitable par excellence, Thailand’s skilled specialists and friendly hosts will surpass expectations when organising any business events. Plan your next business events in Thailand, they can deliver productivity and inspire success! Connect Thailand. Asia’s capital for business events connection 37

Pillar-free event hall on the ground floor of the new Herzog & de Meuron building

©Basel Tourism

© MCH Messe Basel

© MCH Messe Basel

> Switzerland

New building designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron

Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau presents

Basel - The congress city with the world at your doorstep! Basel is a compact city ideal for congresses. The short distances are appreciated by conference organisers and visitors alike. Just 20 minutes from the city centre (by bus or by taxi), EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg connects the region with more than 70 major European destinations, including the hubs Paris, London, Frankfurt, Munich and Amsterdam.

Congress Center Basel The Congress Center Basel is located in the city centre, directly alongside Messe Basel, and a short walk from many hotels. Transfer to the Old Town takes 15 minutes on foot (or 5 minutes by tram). A striking new hall complex, designed by internationally acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron, was inaugurated in spring 2013, strengthening Basel’s position as Switzerland’s primary location for exhibitions and conventions. The new building is directly linked to the Congress Center Basel and combines optimum functionality with outstanding architectural style. The Congress Center Basel’s facilities are expanded considerably by the multifunctional Event Hall on the ground floor of the new building. Furthermore, 11 modular rooms were opened in August 2013 and can be used both individually and in combination with each other to accommodate events from 10 to 1,000 people. The new rooms - which have brought the total number of rooms at the Congress Center Basel up to 25 - are located on the ground floor where they are

directly accessible from the Congress Center Basel’s main entrance. They open up spectacular possibilities: a plenary event with over 5,000 participants and sufficient space for concurrent breakout sessions in immediate proximity is now an easy task at the Congress Center Basel.

Furthermore, there will be a new 4-star design hotel called The Passage. By the end of the year 2014 the city’s hotel capacity will consist of nearly 5,800 rooms, located 15 minutes from the city centre, including hotels in nearby Germany and France.

Record in number of visitors

Basel Tourism & Convention Bureau Astrid Dietschi / Stefan Bonsels T. +41 (0)61 268 68 10

The first conference hosted in these new rooms achieved a record in the number of visitors compared to previous years. This meeting titled “Environment and Health Bridging South, North, East and West” took place from 19-23 August 2013 and was organised by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in cooperation with the three international societies ISEE, ISES and ISIAQ, attracting some 1700 delegates.

New hotel projects New hotels will enable Basel to offer even more rooms and meeting capacity in the near future. In 2014 no less than two hotels of the Accor Group are due to open near the Swiss Railway Station SBB: the 4-star hotel Novotel and the 2-star hotel Ibis Budget.


Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau Myriam Winnepenninckx T. +32 2 345 83 57


© CiteCongresNantes

© La Cité-Nantes (V. Garnier)

> Nantes

La Cité Nantes Events Center

Strategically International In times when competition amongst various centres and destinations in the world is more intense than ever, there is one French venue that stands out in terms of “internationality”: La Cité Nantes Events Centre, indeed, has committed to become a centre, association organisers can’t do without. They’re surely putting in a lot of efforts to make it easy for planners to hold meetings of any size or format at La Cité.

All-round certifications

The Charter

To be taken seriously in this industry and so that potential clients speak the same language as you, it’s better for a venue to be certified in the areas it excels at. La Cité Nantes Events Center has understood so, and has become the latest AIPC (the international association of congress centres) member centre and the 1st French convention center to achieve AIPC Quality Standards certification with the successful completion of their audit. The program was developed as an industry-specific certification for confirming and documenting a centre’s accomplishments in key areas of convention centre performance.

Nantes offers exciting possibilities for hosting business events in a dynamic, open environment. It is to this aim that the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Saint-Nazaire agglomération and Nantes Métropole have developed a Charter for hosting events which encapsulates the entire city’s commitment to creating an attractive environment for business and sports events. This charter contains 27 collective pledges in support of all those involved in business events, whether as organisers or participants.

Since 2009, La Cité Nantes Events Center has also embarked on the path of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). As a result of its first AFNOR assessment on ISO 26000, La Cité has attained a ‘confirmed’ level. The result shows the ongoing commitment of the convention centre to sustainable development and social responsibility. The rating places La Cité in the top 30% of French companies.

OMAE2013, the 32nd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Artic Engineering, was held in June at La Cité. Professor Pierre Ferrant, Head, LHEEA Lab, Hydrodynamics, Energetics and Atmospheric Environment, and Chairman of OMAE2013, explains: ‘Nantes was a very natural choice for two reasons: first, the clear assets of the city in terms of quality of life and second, the extremely dynamic positioning of Nantes and

What they say about it

La Cité Nantes Events Center The fast facts • 300 events held each year • 3 international festivals • 40% international visitors, out of 600,000, 130 different nationalities • 3 auditoriums (450, 800 and 2,000 seats), 30 meeting rooms • Total capacity for a plenary: 2,000 pax • 6,000m2 of exhibition space • Nantes is connected to 15 French cities, 40 European and international destinations - just one-hour flight to the first European hubs of Paris, Amsterdam and London its region in the field of renewable marine energy. In line with Nantes Green Capital 2013, we put in place an organisation with minimum mobility, the conference and side events being held in the city centre, within walking distance or easily accessible by public transport. The conference registered 1,200 delegates and staged 900 presentations with 17 parallel sessions, record breaking figures since the creation of the conference in 1982!’

Contact Development Department La Cité Nantes Events Center Tel + 33 (0)2 51 88 20 39 or 33 (0)2 51 88 20 48 41

> Ghent

Ghent Sustainable as it gets

Ghent’s Veggieday shows the true spirit of the city

Ghent firmly believes in sustainability. By 2050 the city hopes to become a climateneutral city. The city council is playing an active role in the fight against global warming, and the local meetings industry will also play its part in being as green as possible in every area of endeavour. Whether it be politicians, citizens and businesses, Ghent is engaging all kinds of stakeholders in the run for being climate-friendly. Because the transition to a greener future involves everybody, working groups have been set up, from farming to arts and the classroom, with the aim of formulating precisely what it takes to be sustainable. For instance, residents of Ghent have now access to a dedicated website to sign a charter of commitment, calculate their climate impact and identify the insulation quality of their roofs using a thermographic map. A weekly ‘veggieday’ has also been created and sees many locals forgo meat on Thursdays, while others benefit from free advice and subsidies to carry out eco-friendly home improvements. In the words of deputy mayor Tom Balthazar, Ghent sees itself as a ‘creating city, a pioneer 42

in the development of a sustainable, solidary and open society’. In the future, Balthazar even dreams of ‘going on a walk with (his) grandchildren and joking about the unnecessary grief we had forty years earlier concerning the climate crisis’. But Ghent’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t date back from yesterday. In 2009 already, the city launched a participatory process called Climate Alliance, that helped analyze situations, offer solutions, develop networks and visions for the future as well as possible transition paths. Climate Alliance workgroups made the shift from vision to action, uniting stakeholders around concrete cases and objectives, while public climate forums guaranteed the interchange of experience. To mention one example, 23 cultural organisations

joined forces in the Green Track Climate Workgroup to reduce their own ecological footprint as well as that of their visitors. Ghent today facilitates the cooperation of stakeholders by exploiting financial leverages, actively matching relevant suppliers to tangible business cases and offering, for instance, relevant information.

The MUSIC Toolbox Another of Ghent’s aims is to objectify policy through instruments. In MUSIC (ie Mitigation in Urban areas: Solutions for Innovative Cities), the most relevant tools are the creation of energy maps gathering comprehensive geospatial data, and renewable energy scans identifying the current and future potential of renewables. It aligns different policy actions and spots opportunities for innovation. Finally, it defines actions with an investment cycle of 15-plus years that require preparation now.

> Ghent

Ghent has long been a signatory of Climate Alliance, the Kyoto Protocol and the Covenant of Mayors. In order to save energy, the city initiated a range of measures, including the replacement of 20.325 light bulbs in 24 of the city’s quarters to a strategic plan including corporate social responsibility for the harbour area. The broad offer for citizens features free energy scans and advice, subsidies for building rehabs as well as innovative initiatives such as ‘Thursday, Veggieday!’ which has been copied worldwide. Ghent’s has taken a far-sighted, participatory approach to the mitigation of climate change.

Whether it be politicians, citizens and businesses, Ghent is engaging all kinds of stakeholders in the run for being climate-friendly The Green Keys A Green Key is a quality label for environmentfriendly accommodation, hotels, meeting locations and attractions. It encourages tourist entrepreneurs to work as sustainably as possible. The Green Key is part of the Green Key program which runs in 17 countries. The participating organisations have to comply with a series of criteria as regards energy, water and mobility. The label is awarded for one year. Every year again the candidates have to show that their environment-friendly efforts are sufficient to obtain the label. This year’s green accommodations in Ghent are Ghent Marriott hotel, NH Sint Pieters Hotel, Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof, and Express by Holiday Inn, as well as the meeting locations Artexis-Flanders Expo, Handelsbeurs and Gent ICC.

Veggie Ghent Ghent is an organic heaven for vegetarians, there are dozens of fun, unique little restaurants, shops and even organic supermarkets welcoming you to explore local vegetables and specialties grown following the principles of eco-friendly cultivation. And don’t forget that Ghent has its official veggie day! Every Thursday schools and public service offices serve vegetarian meals to children and adults of all ages.

Green conferences in Ghent In the coming months, Ghent will host two important conferences on sustainability, in a broad sense.

Green catering Several caterers are proposing green solutions for your conferences, meetings or events, going from the coffee break to full-vegetarian or organic gala dinners. Tap water in carafes will also be provided instead of bottles, while tables will be fitted with organic cotton and waste optimized.

GENT CONVENTION BUREAU’s new contact details Gent Convention Bureau Predikherenlei 2, 9000 Gent New phone: +32 (0)9 266 56 52 New fax: +32 (0)9 266 56 73 New e-mail address:

EUROCITIES, 27-29 November 2013, ‘Smart citizens’ conference There is no such thing as a smart city without smart citizens! EUROCITIES 2013 Ghent will explore how innovation and new technology can be used to empower citizens and build more inclusive, more sustainable societies. How can smart technology lead to improved transport, better social cohesion and more efficient energy consumption in our cities? By working together with our citizens to create a ‘smart city ecosystem’, we can achieve a better quality of life for everyone. EcoProcura 2014, 24-26 September 2014 The EcoProcura series of conferences are dynamic and unique meeting places to exchange and equip participants with the latest essential information on implementing sustainable public procurement and procurement of innovation. 43

> Brussels

Mont des Arts, Brussels

The Green Key

For a sustainable stay in Brussels There are increasing concerns about sustainability in tourism these days. The growing number of different eco-labels and other certificates runs the risk of causing confusion. Here is a focus on the Green Key, a label backed by the Brussels-Capital Region for accommodations and venues of all kinds, with a definite added value for associations. Association planners are increasingly looking for destinations with a clear concern for sustainability. To respond to the interest expressed by the hotel industry, as well as by meeting organisers and tourist establishments alike, a clear, recognisable label for ‘green’ facilities has been introduced in Brussels. Today, the Green Key, as an international eco-label, has been awarded to over 2,100 tourism infrastructures worldwide. Represented in Wallonia and Brussels by the Fédération Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW), it was chosen as early as January 2011 in the European capital. The Green Key is given annually to tourism facilities, hotels, conference centres meeting venues and such, based on evaluation criteria rating overall environmental management, waste management, food and water, energy consumption and green open spaces, mobility and education, etc. Through these criteria of excellence, the Green Key programme aims to promote sustainable development in tourism infrastructure. By choosing Green Key accommodation, association planners can promote

their eco-friendliness as a way of life, not simply a marketing coup. An initiative of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the Green Key is, in Belgium, supported by the main stakeholders of the tourism industry: the Brussels Hotels Association (BHA), Brussels Special Venues, Bed and Brussels, Hostels in Brussels, in close collaboration with WallonieBruxelles Tourisme (WBT), VisitBrussels, Brussels Booking Desk (BBD) and the Brussels administration in charge of tourism. The Brussels hotel sector currently has almost 2,500 “Green Key” rooms, that is almost 16% of the rooms available in the city. In terms of accommodation for young people, almost 80% of the capacity is accredited, with the label now awarded to 4 out of 5 Brussels hostels, i.e. 4/5 of the available beds. The Green Key covers facilities catering to all kinds of budgets, and this is definitely an added value for association planners. More info on the Green Key More info on award-winning and coaching initiatives in Belgium and worldwide

Hotels with the “Green Key” label in Brussels Aloft Brussels Schuman Hotel Dolce La Hulpe Brussels Four Points by Sheraton Brussels Downtown Le Plaza Hotel Ibis Brussels Gare du Midi Le Méridien Bruxelles NH du Grand Sablon NH Stephanie Park Inn by Radisson Brussels Midi Radisson Blu EU Hotel Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Stanhope Hotel Thon Hotel EU

Venues with the “Green Key” label in Brussels Concert Noble Diamant Brussels Conference & Business Centre The Event Lounge Tour & Taxis This list is a work-in-progress. Other establishments are about to receive the Green Key label. More details in December 2013.


> Ireland

6 Reasons Why Ireland should be your next conference destination 1 - Easy Access Over 206 routes to Ireland - over 78 airlines!

2 - Accommodation Over 900 hotels - over 60,000 bedrooms. International brands and small boutique hotels. Every price range is available, from castles to campuses. Belfast Waterfront

3 - Venues From dedicated convention centres to medieval castles, for up to 8,000 delegates, Ireland is the home to state-of-the-art, unique and inspiring venues. Three examples, among many others: • Convention Centre Dublin (CCD): Although open just three years ago, the CCD in Dublin has hosted over 750 events with over 700,000 delegate days and has won 24 industry awards. Dublin has grown in recent years as a conference venue, confirmed by the fact that the city has moved up from 32nd to 22nd place in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) conference destination rankings, since the CCD opened in 2010. ( • Royal Dublin Society (RDS): The RDS is Ireland’s largest International Conference, Exhibition and Events venue. It hosts up to 500 events annually and attracts an average footfall of 1.5 million customers a year. It has over 20,000 m² of floor space; 10 multi-purpose exhibition halls ranging in size from 340 m² to 11,000 m². The RDS is now one of Europe’s leading venues from an ICT perspective. ( • Belfast Waterfront: Architecturally stunning, the award winning Belfast Waterfront is built to the highest specifications. It accommodates from 10 to over 2,000 delegates and has up to 2400m² of exhibition space throughout the building. A proposed £30m state of the art expansion is due for completion in 2016. (

Royal Dublin Society

4 - Friendly People What clients are saying about Ireland: ‘The Irish conference organisers are extremely supportive and professional. I think it’s the first time I’ve come to a market and I feel I don’t need to recruit people to do my job because I trust Ireland. I think you have a perfect team here, you have everything we need.’ Johan Gorecki, Globe Forum. ‘You’ve really got a nice combination of the exciting modern new that a lot of companies are looking for but, certainly with the traditional Ireland that people want to experience and know and love and captures everybody’s heart.’ Maureen Clark, HRG Worldwide.

6 - Conference Financial Support Scheme If you are thinking of bringing an international conference to Ireland, or you are already involved in this process, you may apply for financial support to assist you with your bid and maximize delegate attendance. Ireland takes pride in dedicated teams in Brussels and in Ireland who will help you with sourcing a venue, securing financial support, showcasing sample programs and putting you in contact with the right professionals in Ireland to provide you with services suited to your individual needs.

5 - Inspiring Places


A variety of cosmopolitan cities and serene countryside, a rich cultural heritage along with value for money.

Danielle Neyts Tourism Ireland Brussels T. +32(0)2 643 21 21 49

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