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MIM Europe Magazine, the meetings and incentives magazine for European corporate planners, in exclusive partnership with by EUMA, the European Association of Management Assistants. August 2011 Edition.



ALAN LEIBMAN Kerzner Group


on European Cities Marketing

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general > editorial



MARCEL A.M. VISSERS Owner - Editor in chief


European Management Assistants Association. 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)761 70 59 Managing Editor Rémi Dévé T : +32 (0)761 70 58 Editor Rose Kelleher Address 59, rue René Declercq B - 1150 Brussels (Belgium) T: +32 (0)2 761 70 50 F: +32 (0)2 761 70 51 Publisher Meeting Media Company Marcel A.M. Vissers Mechelseplein 23, bus 1 B - 2000 Antwerpen (Belgium)

What motivates me? This question of motivation rises almost every day, in almost every part of life: fitness, nutrition, studies, smoking, etc. But one of the more important areas is work. Because work takes up a large portion of our lives and greatly contributes to our level of happiness. Hundreds of scientists have studied hundreds of ways of motivating people at work. Some individuals don’t need a lot of motivation to start working, others need to be stimulated constantly to maintain their drive. It’s not an easy subject. Would people be more motivated if they got a bigger paycheck at the end of the month? Some of us most certainly would. Would people work harder if they got an iPad at the end of the year? Some of us would as well. But after many years of studying the subject, these scientists found out that one motivator is almost always successful: traveling. Why? Because in every person there’s a ‘desire to travel’ hidden somewhere. And that’s even without speaking about DRD4, the adventure gene present more or less in every human being. A study by Professor Philip L. Pearce of James Cook University in Australia tells us that there are five main reasons why most people love to travel: 1. The quest for novelty 2. The desire to escape everyday reality 3. The desire to strengthen a relationship with a travelling companion 4. The desire to exercise autonomy 5. Experience nature, along with self-development and stimulation An incentive organizer that succeeds in converting these travel motivations (depending on the goal of the trip) in a program will make a lot of people dream. Even better, he will stimulate others to perform better. And that’s the exact essence of incentive travel. For this Incentive Special, we asked Rose Kelleher, our seasoned investigator, to write a few articles about the matter. I’m still enjoying them to the fullest every single day. /

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HOTELS & AIRLINES Qatar Airways 31 Martin’s Hotels 29 Kerzner Group 40 DESTINATIONS Reunion Catalunya Taiwan Macau Scotland

32 35 36 39 42

All you need to know MIM magazine PROFILE Distribution + MIMmagazine is a pan-European magazine + Circulation of 5,000 copies + Audience control pending (end 2011)1 )

10% 32%


Readership The readership of MIMmagazine consists of three buyer groups: + The corporate readership, highly qualified decision makers within the larger companies in Europe and its capital city Brussels: 58% + The members of EUMA, the only pan-European professional organisation for Management Assistants (1,600 European members): 32% + The European Meetings Industry, international professional agencies (PCO’s, Incentive Houses, Event Agencies): 10%

3% 3% 3% 6% 2% 20% 2% 33%


Corporate readership + Senior Management: 20% Management: 28% Management Assistants: 33% HR + Training: 2% Purchasing: 3% PR & Coordination: 2% Travel Coordination Managers: 3% Communication Managers: 3% Meeting Planning Corporates: 6% + Members of EUMA All top level Management Assistants with buying or influential power + Professional agencies The senior level of management of the PCO’s, Incentive Houses, and Event Agencies


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Event Management today and tomorrow

2011 EUMA CONFERENCE in Zürich An Interview with Christian Studer, CEO of Bright Entertainment

Bright Entertainment AG is developing corporate events and is acting as agent for artists and speakers worldwide. The company organizes management weeks, events for top managements, incentives, customer and staff events and takes care of product presentations and luxurious private events the world over. Founder and CEO Christian Studer is the president of the ISI Verband Künstler- und Eventagenturen Schweiz (Swiss Association of Artists- and Event Agencies).

MIM: What has changed in the last decades in event organization? Christian Studer: The event organization is in a constant change. It’s being adjusted Christian Studer to the needs of live communication. New media, new ideas, the creative integration of marketing as well as the pace of the realization and the quality in the details are much more pronounced today. Yet, even the first real events in Circus Maximus bore resemblance to some of those parameters. It has to be said that the stimulus satiation has arrived in the event sector too. Each company active in live marketing does events. It’s a must. This means that the fact that events and incentives are operated professionally becomes even more important. MIM: Have you been affected by the international crisis? How far do companies have cut their event budgets, or have they at all?


Christian Studer: It’s got much better in the last few months. But, indeed, we have found that most companies cut their event budgets short. On the other side the order situation for the Bright Entertainment AG improved at the same time. It became clear that a lot of companies set value on modesty but still wanted high quality, image transfer and sustainability. The set up and positioning of a brand or a company remain very important. MIM: Many companies prefer to keep the organization of their events in-house. From which point is it more reasonable to outsource event management and why? Christian Studer: The Bright Entertainment AG distinguishes between the ‘provider of idea’, the ‘team player’ and the ‘general contractor’. That allows a company to decide according to their resources, budget and manpower how much they want to get involved. New ideas, creative approaches and lateral thinking sometimes require courage. An outside agency can provide that more easily. Yet it’s very important to

have capable people at the interfaces in order to reach the goal efficiently. MIM: What makes an event unforgettable? How to organize THE perfect event? Christian Studer: It’s of high importance to captivate the five senses. One has to experience the event, live through it. A dramaturgy with a well-composed arc of suspense that leads to the appropriate highlights is crucial. If those aspects are implemented on a high quality level with a well-thought time management, success is guaranteed. MIM: What are the future trends of company events? Christian Studer: Customer needs and authentic quality rating will get more important. Good entertainment will remain an important aspect but it’s not the artist that’s in the focus but the event as a whole. This is to be seen as an addition to classical communication and to below-the-line-measurements.

International quality network of management support professionals >

EUMA Conference 2011 7 October 2011 at Swissôtel Zürich-Oerlikon Programme + Thursday 6 October 2011 Pre-conference tours and welcome reception at Radisson Blu Hotel, Zürich-Airport

+ Friday 7 October 2011 EUMA Conference 2011 ‘Moving forward in a Fast Changing World’ Conference Dinner at Restaurant Albisguetli, Zürich

Conference speeches and workshops Inclusion and Diversity - a Business Driver For companies, a diverse talent pool is a key success factor, but how do they manage the cultural, ethnic and gender diversity in their daily business? At Novartis, Valerie Gürtler-Doyle is Head Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). She leads the Novartis International D&I Council and President of the Swiss Diversity Roundtable

Office-chic look - Moving forward in a perfectly stylish manner Enjoy the business style guide presented by one of the most famous stylists and former actor Clifford Lilley. Clifford Lilley, born in 1951 in South Africa, works as professional Image & Lifestyle Consultant with a diverse customers group, including business managers.

New World of Work Our worlds of work are in a state of flux, the ways, in which work can be organized become more and more complex and innovative, presenting both opportunities and challenges for companies, management and individuals. Kevyn Eva Norton has been working for Microsoft in Switzerland since 1984. She is Project Manager for the ‘Live & Work Initiative’ and leads further projects related to the new world of work around the globe.

A view from the future Book a journey through time starting in 2030 and go back in time recalling major

+ Saturday 8 October 2011 EUMA AGM (only for members) and post-conference tours

+ Sunday 9 October 2011 post-conference tours

Register on

events and developments in the world of today and tomorrow. After completing various strategic projects in voluntary climate protection initiatives, Tobias Heimpel co-founded ClimatePartner Switzerland AG in September 2006. Tobias gives regular lectures to increase awareness for climate and environment around the world.

Active Networking Learn about cultural differences in networking in a global world and train yourself in various role-plays. Dr. Monika Clausen uniquely links natural science and management knowledge with a resource oriented and solution focused attitude. She is well known as a team coach, sparring partner for management and trainer.

Stress Management by laughing Laughing keeps you healthy! Laughter yoga is one of the most playful and easyto-practice ‘medicines’ against the effects of negative stress. Discover the power of eye contact and enjoy laughter yoga exercises combined with yogic breath. Claude Meggi Messer, has gained much life experience through various jobs, works now as a Laughter Yoga business trainer and is member of the Laughter Yoga Therapists Association and Humor Care Switzerland.

Everything at a glance with Mindmaps Do you lack an overview of the multiple tasks that face you during your daily work? You will learn and practice how to plan and organize through MindMapping and see how MindManager, the software for MindMapping, can help you to bring

EUMA EUropean Management Assistants, EUMA, is the only Europe-wide quality network of top management assistants who focus on their self-development and professional evolution, and reflect on the future of their profession. The association is a non-profit association, has no political aims and does not engage in political or trade union activities. EUMA provides a forum for management assistants, employers and educators to promote an understanding of the training, experience and career opportunities necessary for the development of its members. EUMA promotes an image of the management assistant as an essential element of the management team. EUMA was founded in 1974, and is currently represented by over 1300 members in 26 countries.

structure into your daily work. After many years as Executive Assistant, Sabine Schmelzer established her own consulting agency focused on IT-related trainings.

Ayurveda & Burnout Estimated 15% of the working population across all professions undergo a burnout once in their life. In Ayurveda a syndrome like burnout would be referred to as the ‘Ojas’ or ‘Chi’ (life energy) being used up. In this workshop you will learn how to recognize burnout, how to prevent it and how to treat burnout through Ayurveda, Aroma Therapy and coaching. Anja Fiedler, 44, looks back on long international management career. In July 2010, she founded ‘Ojananada’ in Basel. As a certified coach, yoga trainer and Ayurveda, Aroma Therapy and Thai massage therapist she helps companies in developing and retaining key talents as well as preventing illness related absenteeism costs.

Event Management trends How do you turn your conference and meetings into unforgettable business events? Follow the latest event management trends and you will light up any ordinary business event (and make your boss and colleagues happy)! After finishing a very successful long-term career in Private Banking with Credit Suisse, Maya Salzmann has been Member of the Board of Directors of Bright Entertainment AG since 2011. Her credo ‘whatever I do I do it right and have a good time’ perfectly reflects the philosophy of Bright Entertainment.


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interview > Heike Mahmoud


Heike Mahmoud ‘Europe plays one of the leading roles in the meeting industry’ Heike Mahmoud, CMP, was elected as European Cities Marketing’s new Vice President (Conventions) last June. After working in several sales and marketing positions in congress hotels and then as an exhibition organizer and a PCO, Heike took up her current post as the Convention Director of Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin in July 2001. A darling and a trained professional alike, she explains her vision of ECM in particular and the meetings industry in general.

Heike Mahmoud


MIM: We still regret the fact that the European Federation of Conference Towns (EFCT) doesn’t exist anymore, but your appointment as Vice-President (Conventions) of European Cities Marketing (ECM) could mean the start of new era. Do you feel the same? Heike Mahmoud: The EFCT was exclusively geared to the meetings industry, that’s correct. Following the merger of EFCT and European Cities Tourism (ECT) in 2007, ECM has become a powerful organisation which safeguards the interests of all its members in Europe. This definitely makes sense, because tourism cannot do without the convention business and vice versa. There are synergies to tap; in an ideal case the two segments complement each other. Consequently, they strengthen the appearance and marketing of every single city, every member, with the goal of attracting more customers. A new era? Let me put it this way: ECM has so far been very successful on the

market, but the convention area is lacking a stronger perception. Following our events ‘Meet Europe’, ‘Mercado’ and ‘ECM Summer School’ as well as the support of the ‘Politicians Forum at IMEX’, we are already very well positioned but other topics should be covered as well. Our customers and the markets are changing very rapidly. This is to be taken more into consideration in our future conventions and communications and we will take up these topical challenges. Our members are to be closely integrated into this process, because the goal is to further develop and upgrade ECM as a strong partner within the meetings industry in Europe.

MIM: A big responsibility now rests up on your shoulders: to give the meetings industry a clear identity. How European are you and how does this express itself practically? How will you teach European cities to actually think European? Heike Mahmoud: Europe plays one of the leading roles in the meeting industry;

this is supported by statistics of various industry associations, such as ICCA and MPI. Our goal should be to consolidate and expand this positioning. However, we can only succeed if we are engaged in intense networking, exchanges and continuing education efforts as an important contribution to the future of the organisation. Europe means diversity, different strengths, close ties to history, modern times and the future. Every city, every destination has its own USPs. This must be highlighted even more distinctively for the customer; every single member must be provided with the know-how enabling it to acquire even more meeting and convention customers. The range of topics is wide: case studies - best practices - what are the learnings? What information should convention statistics include? How is an ambassador programme set up? What types of conventions are organized and what are their typical features? etc.


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If you only go to one show a year this is an annual must attend event without a doubt. Tim Procter – Air Charter Ltd.

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interview > Heike Mahmoud


This also means that an exchange and deeper understanding of conventions and large-scale events have to be promoted amongst our colleagues in the cities themselves. It will be possible to meet the objectives together only if mutual information is secured.

MIM: ECM is doing a very good job, especially in tourism. But it seems there’s still a gap between the association market and ECM. Associations say they have no business with tourism and that they’re not a part of the meetings industry. But they are still major clients of the cities. How will you deal with this problem? Heike Mahmoud: I wouldn’t call it a gap, because associations are part of the customer structure of the convention bureaus. They are an important part of the meeting industry all over the world. As cities, we can improve our service offerings for the associations: blocking and booking of hotel allotments, organisation of the look and feel of the city itself, sale of tickets for public transportation, contact with tourism partners for evening programmes, contact with politicians for opening speeches and patronage of conventions, contact with scientists and universities, etc. This short list clearly shows that the tourism and convention segments are intermingling. However, there should only be one contact for the associations, namely the convention bureau. This is where all the information and services come together and the requests of customers can be individually met.


MIM: A lot of convention bureaus (cities) show that they are no longer putting in big efforts for the corporate market (incentives) and that they leave the promotion of this market in the hands of agencies. They concentrate fully on the association market. Do you think they make the right decision?

In addition, partners from the universities and the scientific institutes are of decisive importance. There is still a high potential in cooperation which is not yet fully exploited.

Heike Mahmoud: The association market is a long-term business and it is right for most cities to focus on association customers. The bidding process is often very extensive, so that the convention bureaus can provide valuable marketing services in order to acquire a convention for the city. The long-term nature, i.e. often several years in advance, also ensures a long-term base occupancy of the hotels and convention centres, and that’s very positive.

Heike Mahmoud: We will include the two target groups in our activities, in order to take the diversity of the market into due account. A novelty will be the setting up of ‘Convention Knowledge Groups’ in order to be able to discuss these very requirements in the knowledge groups.

Having said this, I also think that a convention bureau should not neglect the corporate business and work with PCOs. Corporates organise numerous meetings, from annual general meetings of stocklisted companies with several thousand participants to VIP or board meetings with a smaller number of participants. Incentive trips are regaining importance and are more often anchored in the marketing and motivation mix of companies. Sustainability and CSR play an important role in this connection. Convention bureaus should have a whole range of offerings and information available in this area. At the Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin we have, for instance, created a new platform called ‘BerlinCentive’, where customers are provided with targeted information and ideas on the website.

MIM: Then what will your ECM programme for the meetings industry consist of?

Topics such as social media, demo-graphic change, hybrid meetings, meeting structure, generation X, Y, Z as congress participants, new sponsoring concepts etc. will play an important role in this connection. We will reinforce communication with the ECM members so that the Board is aware of the expectations we must meet, the topics to be granted top priority and the changes to be brought about. Every single member is invited to contribute personal input. This is the only way to do justice to the diversity of the industry and the customers and be successful in the long term. I would like to contribute my part to the further development of ECM with a special focus on conventions, so that it continues to be a strong organization for all cities and destinations in Europe. www.

MIM 11

general > ICCA

ICCA’s Top Meetings Destinations in 2010 According to the ICCA country and city rankings 2010, the number of international association meetings continue to increase significantly. The city and country rankings of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) cover meetings organised by international associations which take place on a regular basis and which rotate between a minimum of three countries. The data represents a ‘snapshot’ of qualifying events in the ICCA Association Database as sampled on 9 May 2011. NUMBER OF MEETINGS PER COUNTRY RANK
























United Kingdom
























































Buenos Aires





















Republic of Korea





















Hong Kong


MIM 12


ICCA’s Association Database is designed as a sales and marketing resource for its members to target future international association meetings, which is why it does not include one-off events or those which do not move between locations. This year the ICCA Data researchers have identified 9,120 events which took place in 2010, 826 events more than were identified last year and an all-time record. Partly this reflects the strength of the association meetings market despite the recent economic downturn; partly it is thanks to a record number of ICCA members sending us their calendar information to help identify new events. ICCA CEO Martin Sirk says: ‘Some of this significant increase in numbers of association meetings in 2010 is certainly due to our continued investment in research and the great feedback from ICCA members, but it seems clear to me that we’re in the midst of an extended period of astonishing dynamism: 2009 and 2008 were similarly buoyant in terms of new association event creation. This surely has to be driven by the acceleration of new scientific and technological developments, and the need to discuss these complex changes faceto-face. Anyone who wants to understand what the Information Revolution really looks like just needs to consider how the association meetings sector is evolving.’ As has been the case since 2004, USA and Germany are the number one and two countries respectively measured by the number of international meetings organised in 2010. However, if comparing the United States to the European Union, counting only the top 6 European countries (Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland), Europe leads by 2,348 to 623

general > ICCA

History of Dress to Impress Awards 2007: October 27-31 Pattaya, Thailand - Touch of Gold 2008: November 1-5 Victoria, Canada - Canada Fresh 2009: November 7-11 Florence, Italy - Designer Catwalk 2010: October 23-27 Hyderabad, India - Indian Memories 2011: October Leipzig - 1920’s Cabaret Style

ICCA Delegates in 1920’s Cabaret Style

The 5th Dress to Impress Awards 2011 in Leipzig ICCA is known in the association world for its premium gala dinners. They are probably the best in the business. Often, gala dinners are boring - but not an ICCA one. People look forward to them. They skip interesting conferences to make time to buy unusual party outfits. And why is it so? Because it’s the Dress to Impress night, during which MIM Europe Magazine hands out coveted trophies. TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

Touch of gold - explaining why no US city is mentioned in the top 20 city ranking. The gap between the USA and Germany is shrinking from 137 to 81 meetings, compared to the 2009 figures. Spain, third country in the ranking since 2007, remains third. The United Kingdom and France both climb one place to respectively fourth and fifth at the cost of Italy, which now ranks sixth. Japan and China-P.R. both also climb one place and Brazil drops two places and is now ninth. Switzerland is a newcomer in the top 10. The top 5 cities are the same as in the 2009 ranking. For the sixth year in a row, Vienna is the most popular city, even though it organized 6 meetings less compared to 2009, which means other cities are gaining ground on Vienna. Like last year, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and Singapore make up the top 5 cities. Remarkable climbers are Madrid (jumps from 13 to 6), Istanbul (from 17 to 7), Sydney (from 27 to 10) and Taipei (from 25 to 11). Copenhagen and Stockholm dropped out of the top 10 and Bangkok dropped out of the top 20. For Bangkok political unrest can clearly be appointed as a cause for this drop. When creating a city ranking measured by total number of participants hosted at all meetings in 2010, Stockholm is third, which means it has hosted less but bigger meetings.

It started very spontaneously in Pattaya, Thailand in 2007, when the ICCA congress was themed ‘A touch of gold’ in celebration of the Royal Anniversary. Then it occurred to me: why not extend this theme to the gala dinner? A few brave delegates decorated themselves with shiny golden accessories and, together with some enthusiasts, MIM scanned the crowd to see who stood out. Prizes were awarded to the best dressed people in the form of Belgian chocolates.

‘retro’ theme - smart and chic, glamorous and sleek, elegant-yet-fun, silk scarves & feather boas, spiced up with a little late-night decadence perhaps! Once more we invite ICCA delegates to show off their creative side by inventing their own interpretation of our theme.’ If anyone else has another luminous idea, don’t hesitate to send them to me at

The following year in Vancouver, more labor was put into the preparations and the awards got an artistic touch. Afterwards in Florence, it attracted the public’s attention for the first time. Together with ICCA, we set up some rules. Last year in Hyderabad it was such a dress up party that special clothing is from now on a must-do at gala dinners. The Dress to Impress Awards have evolved into a valuable sponsoring formula just over a few years.

Cabaret Style People are already looking forward to the 50th ICCA Congress in Leipzig from October 22 to 26. A record breaking number of attendants - over 1,000 I am told are expected. Definitely a milestone in the meetings history. And what to expect from the Dress to Impress night? After consulting the organizers and the main sponsor (the regional government), we went for 1920’s Cabaret Style. Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, says: ‘This year’s Gala evening dress code follows a

MIM 13

The 1st Education and Inspiration Meeting & Event Planners Forum

SQUARE, Brussels September 29th, 2011 From 8.30am until 6.30pm

By giving people the power to share, you're making the world more transparent. Mark Zuckerberg: co-founder Facebook

Objectives? Meetopolis, first cross-industry training and inspiration platform for corporate and association meeting & event planners, will approach all of the needs and issues that you meet in your day-to-day tasks… Organised according to an original and innovating approach, without any direct selling, Meetopolis has been designed to be the meeting, education and inspiration place where you will be able to exchange and share information, ideas, knowledge and experiences with your peers of the associative and corporate worlds, with no competition whatsoever.

Who should attend? Meetopolis, open exclusively to Senior as well as Junior corporate and association meeting & event planners… and all the pleople involved in conferences, conventions, seminars, incentive events, training sessions, team building activities, events, business travels and meetings of every variety in Belgium and further afield.

Why the Forum?

Advantages and benefits?

Association & Corporate planners more often work in isolation in their sector and rarely have the opportunity to share experiences with their peers (from other sector).

These are: > a unique opportunity close to you to meet and share one whole day with 250 to 300 people doing the same planner job as you > the possibility to discover new ways to work and answers to your needs, issues and questions > the opportunity to compare your practices and experiences with fellow members > the guarantee to find new and creative ideas for your meetings & events > a chance to make many new contacts with your peers > the occasion to pick up the new main market trends > high degree education programme to learn about several key subjects > study and practice new animation and networking techniques > with no competition and without any direct selling > immediately transposable in your day-to-day tasks

With Meetopolis, delegates will learn about the latest trends in conference management and how to leverage educational content; get engaged in high level strategic discussions; and participate in roundtable discussions on key topics answering to their needs, issues and questions (see preliminary programme by clicking below).

Concept? The Meetopolis concepts engage participants actively and have a new creative approach to a far more flexible use of conference facilities.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn and network with your colleagues/peers from the association and corporate worlds. Register now !

This is not a how-to session. Instead you will engage in an interactive discussion on the application of the topics/themes and what it means for your day-to-day work.

The concepts will help planners to transform the traditional one-way communication standards into a creative forum, in which the participants are actively involved in obtaining the tools and knowledge they need to strengthen their companies’ or associations’ overall objectives and strategies.

To get the special pre-register rate and do as your many planner colleagues, please register on-line before 16 September 2011! You want to come with colleagues or friends also involved in the Meetings & Events Industry, please discover also on-line the advantage rates for you all

Final Program - Registration Form - More info on MIM 14

where ideas take off

special feature > incentives

special feature

The ‘new normal’ for incentives

Have 2010’s optimistic prophecies for the MICE industry come true? So far 2011 has shown that though things are looking up, it’s not quite business as usual for incentives. TEXT ROSE KELLEHER

As we move further into 2011, we can see signs of improving economic conditions across Europe. Tension is easing in private sector boardrooms and after a period of prudence, attention may now be returned to recognising and rewarding top performers. But meetings have been shown to be recovering much faster than incentives, and surveys show that the incentives landscape is changing.

Out of the woods? Despite highly differentiated economies in Europe, business watchers are displaying uncharacteristic optimism for economic recovery. The International Monetary Fund published a sunny regional economic outlook in May. ITB Berlin declared earlier this year that ‘the global crisis is over’. A survey published by the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives (SITE) found that 84% of its members said they expect to increase motivational travel in the next couple of years. US News and World Report have even declared that based on job-growth projections, salary data, and job satisfaction, ‘event planner’ is listed as one of the 50 hottest jobs for 2011. UK agency Grass Roots released their annual Meetings Industry Report for 2011. The report finds that organisations that have undergone restructuring are inevitably left with staff unsure about their futures. As a result ‘these companies have to look at how to restore morale and to get the best from a slimmed-down workforce. Consequently, motivation programmes are back on the corporate agenda, and corporates are turning to... the overseas incentive.’ They add: ‘A high proportion of Grass Roots’ clients choose travel as part

SPECIAL FEATURE: INCENTIVES + Trends in Incentives . . . . 15 Are incentives back on the map? Do we have reasons to be optimistic?

+ A Question of Motive . . . 17 The prospect of incentive travel has shown to be a great stimulator, succeeding in driving productivity.

of their incentive offering and the demand for information on ‘exclusive to the destination experiences’ continues to grow.’ Top Incentive Trends for 2011, the St-Louis, USA, based Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) report, shows the marketplace is certainly improving, though still sensitive to budgets and costs. Measures being taken by planners to reduce costs include shortening programme duration, reducing

+ Organising your Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 How to measure the real ROI of your incentives.

+ The Psychology of the Sojourner . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 An interview with Michael Brein, whose work revolves around examining people’s travel experiences.

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special feature > incentives subject

In-demand destinations in 2011 according to Great Hotels of the World Great Hotels of the World are experiencing an upsurge in enquiries through their MICE desk in 2011, and have listed this year’s best destinations for incentives. Not surprisingly, the Balkans’ shimmering coast feature twice, with Croatia and Montenegro’s charm, booming infrastructure and incentives options making them top of planners’ lists this year. Other top destinations listed by GHOTW include: South Africa, with excellent value for money and a perfectly executed World Cup to showcase its MICE infrastructure. India, according to the report, has been increasingly featuring on incentive programmes in recent years. Lisbon is emerging as one of Europe’s top MICE destinations and has been one of the most popular requests through the Great Hotels’ MICE desk in the past year. Turkey, too, is set for an exciting 2011. The nearby Greek Islands, particularly Crete, Rhodes and Mykonos have meetings and conference facilities in abundance and a mild year-round climate. These Mediterranean hotspots are experiencing a 20% increase in enquiries for meetings and incentives in 2011 in comparison to 2010. Iceland is a great setting for an incentive trip, with enquiries doubling in the past 6 months. Sardinia has frequent flights to most European cities and is seeing more enquiries this year from top companies. The City’s Tourism Organisation of Seoul, South Korea, the second biggest city in the world, is aiming to develop it into one of the world’s top five convention cities.

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the number of participants, reducing sponsored trip activities, using all-inclusive destinations, scheduling off-season, using domestic locations, using properties within driving distance and offering fewer meal functions.

As we move further into 2011, we can see signs of improving economic conditions across Europe. Tension is easing in private sector boardrooms

Key changes According to Davidson’s report, the average number of nights per trip have fallen from 6.5 to 4. Trips are increasingly less extravagant, with destinations tending to be domestic or shorter haul international. However, there is a growing interest and activity in longer haul flights that have been downgraded from business class to economy. In some cases, hotel standards have moved one tier down. There is now also almost always a business element to the trip, such as discussions about corporate strategy and direction. There may well also be a ‘corporate giving’ element to the trip, such as a team-building project that, for example, supports a local charity or community.

The story so far Business rationale At the end of 2010, Rob Davidson, Senior Lecturer in Events Management at the University of Greenwich, presented a report at the EIBTM in Barcelona which showed that with the recovery have come changes. Incentives programmes, he found, have increasingly been required to provide a well defined ROI. Proposals must provide hard data about the value of the programme, requiring planners to go back every year and justify why a company needs an incentive programme. A SITE survey found that 73% of respondents see a growing need to provide those types of results to stakeholders.

At this point in the year, there is not a wealth of actual data to determine if the MICE sector lives up to optimistic prophecies. The ‘Meeting & Event Barometer 2011’ for Germany, the largest outbound market within the European MICE industry, offers some positive indications. The study finds that there are more events, more participants and larger budgets compared to 2010. According to a representative of SITE Ireland, ‘there does not appear to be anything strikingly different in terms of trends with pre and post, just less finances available’, adding ‘incentive travel has returned from the US predominantly, and they are still coming for Golf. Companies are a lot more cost conscious and tend

special feature > incentives

to offer their clients options to purchase extra tours themselves. There is always interest in excursions to explore the natural landscape here and traditional cultural nights is at the forefront.’ Patrick Patridge of SITE Germany says: ‘Incentive travel is being booked once again as a response to economic uplift, but at far shorter notice - with short lead-in times. Programmes can also be packages at a lower price with building block options rather than customised programmes. Many end-user clients are seeking more time for meeting and training aspects during programmes.’

A question of motive Technically, managers don’t motivate, they give staff a reason to motivate themselves. The prospect of travel has shown to be a great stimulator, succeeding in demonstrating respect for employees while driving productivity. TEXT ROSE KELLEHER

According to the IRF’s paper ‘Top Incentive Trends for 2011’, integrating technologies into strategy will be key for successful incentive programmes in the future. In its Global Workforce Study, Towers Watson found that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the third most important driver of employee engagement. The concept of CSR has emerged as a significant element for many programmes. Also, the focus is on much more than just the sales programmes due to the number of studies that show the power of incentives to drive employee engagement. The paper also refers to future markets. India is now ranked third in searches for ‘employee recognition’ - just behind the US and Philippines. India was just behind the US in searches for ‘sales incentives’. This shows immense promise for incentives services overseas. The paper also found that the preference for ‘experience’ is on the rise. Cruise ships are also featuring more and more as floating incentives venues. In 2011, for the first time four of the world’s leading cruise lines are participating at GIBTM. ‘Corporate business accounts for 10% of our total bookings for 2010. The insurance and pharmaceutical industries especially, are interested in booking meetings & incentives on cruise ships’, said Lakshmi Durai, Executive Director Royal Caribbean, Middle East.

Mary Kay Ash, one of the world’s most outstanding businesswomen, once said: ‘There are two things people want more than sex and money - recognition and praise.’ Ash affirmed this belief in a bestselling management book she wrote in frustration after being passed over for promotion for a man she had trained herself. She founded her own company, Mary Kay Cosmetics in 1963 and went on to implement a celebrated incentives programme, which awarded top performers with pink Cadillacs, bee-shaped diamond brooches and, not surprisingly, all-expenses-paid team holidays.

their job. They enjoy work for its own sake; a job well done is its own reward. That’s called intrinsic motivation, and is a human resources manager’s dream. Intrinsically motivated employees might say that they find their job ‘interesting’ or ‘fulfilling’. For most people, however, there is also some satisfaction in rewards which are contingent upon performance of a task. This is extrinsic motivation, because it comes from outside the individual. Examples include a money reward or a trip to an exotic locale. In this case, the employer is not quite motivating employees, but rather giving them a reason to motivate themselves.

Managers are often mystified by motivation. That might be because we all want different things. Most people will find at least some satisfaction in simply doing

Carrots and sticks Motivation, regardless of the methods used to inspire it, is the driving force behind achieving our aspirations. Most

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special feature > incentives

managers make the mistake of thinking that their employees are only driven by money, but among the motivators often listed by employees are status, praise and acknowledgement, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism and results. The job of a targetdriven incentive is not to heap more work on employees. It instills in them a reason to be motivated in their work. It is supposed to make them feel that they are an important, functioning component of the business, and to glean some satisfaction in a reward that comes from the successful completion of a task. Psychologist Frederick Herzber, found that the things that motivate people can change over their lifetime, but ‘respect for me as a person’ is one of the top motivating factors throughout. These days, employees tend to quit their jobs when they don’t receive praise or recognition for the work they’ve done well. They feel

they are not respected. We all know at least one under-appreciated worker who spends their days trawling job sites and their evenings grumbling into their wine about their boss lack of notice. Such examples are a waste of often great talent and a drain on resources. Listless, bored employees slumped in their swivel chairs do not a great company make. Business gurus recommend different ways to show appreciation, and there is currently an abundance of articles on the internet advising managers on how to reward staff without spending a post-crisis penny. Praise, and letting staff in on decision making are two ways to motivate for free. But travel is still one of those mystifyingly simple and inspiring incentives which cannot be replicated by an official pat on the back from management.

Motivating after the crunch In a time of change and uncertainty,

success will depend on staff being able to perform at the top of their game. Doing so with the extra pressures of the current atmosphere deserves to be recognised. The need for performance, and for the motivation to perform, is at an all time high. Staff will be required to draw on all of their talents. These days we might assume that investing in motivation programmes no longer a sensible priority, but think about the logic of that statement. Travel is proven to be a great motivator. Those left behind after restructuring are uncertain. Instilling confidence and morale in the team is of the essence. Teams will be smaller and demoralised, and getting staff to work together is vital. The relationships that employees build in pursuit of a common goal are essential for success. And that common goal means not just meeting corporate targets, but meeting corporate targets in probably the toughest economic conditions many staffers have ever experienced.

special feature > incentives

The economy hurts twice Dismissing the value of incentive travel doesn’t just disregard a great motivator. It also costs jobs.

Motivation, regardless of the methods used to inspire it, is the driving force behind achieving our aspirations

Spending money to reward top performers is not something that is understood well even in business circles. The general public are less aware, still. That’s why this industry gets less than glowing press coverage, when it gets any at all. Unless one understands that it’s a management tool, it can be difficult to justify to the average person that incentive travel is a necessary instrument in driving profits. Consider what happened to the incentives sector in the United States in 2008. A well-known story, it illustrates the need for a public rethink about the MICE sector. In September 2008, one week after the US Federal Reserve created an 85 billion dollar bailout fund for AIG, America’s biggest insurer, high performing insurance agents of the firm were treated to an incentive trip. The bill came to roughly 450,000 dollars, including 5,000 dollars at the bar. It would appear, in hindsight, to be a mistake. The media had a field day. Though standard practice at the time, the timing was very, very bad. The image of insurance agents practicing their swing and sipping brandy at taxpayer’s expense entered the popular imagination. Another report surfaced, detailing a hunting trip in England the following month (at this point AIG had been given a further 37 billion dollars). Incentive travel entered a period of rapid decline everywhere in the world, as company bosses, even those whose shareholders didn’t include the government, attempted to shore up their image under scrutiny. Many incentive trips were cancelled. The phenomenon has since been dubbed the AIG effect. Incentive travel plans were cut, not just to save money but to save face. But those who suffered the worst were average workers who depend on the industry for their livelihoods.

Putting a face to a name It was time for policy makers and the media to hear about the vast economic

impact of meetings and incentives. In response, the tourism lobby went on a mission to put a face to the thousand invisible hospitality employees who were suffering as a result of mass cancellations. A search was launched for ‘Joe the Bellman’ or ‘Jane the hostess’, and average porter or hotel worker whose ‘down-home’ image could be used to garner public support for a faltering luxury travel sector. The campaign partly put an end to the intense media-backed public rage directed at corporate travel, and the industry is slowly bouncing back. It was a dire situation that illustrated the lack of awareness about the importance of the MICE industry for the economy. As we can see, the negative knock-on effects of bad publicity are twofold: companies lose their best motivational

tool, and hospitality workers lose their jobs. On the other hand, the brouhaha that followed the debacle has introduced some positive reflection. Nobody likes the ‘fat cat’moniker. The fabled ‘doctors going to conferences in Hawaii’ image is so scorned that it has necessitated (apart from fancy PR) more focus on learning and knowledge sharing in the design of incentive travel programmes, the incorporation of a stronger business element, a stronger corporate social responsibility element, a social and environmental legacy element, plus enhanced transparency. Trends in this industry drift like mist over the ocean from the United States, and the design of European incentives is largely being inspired by the new, improved, transparent and accountable practices that beginning to drift from across the pond.

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special feature > incentives

The bones of a good incentive programme The design of the incentive travel programme is a fine art, though it may seem straightforward enough. Simply put, it is a motivational tool that helps a company strengthen productivity in order to ultimately meet business objectives. It achieves this by giving participants the chance to earn a travel reward, so long as they reach a specific target or targets. The correct design of the programme must adhere to certain ground rules: + the selection criteria for participants absolutely must be tied to business objectives. Providing constant updates on progress towards the goals of the participants is also key, as anticipation can be a key motivator. It won’t do just to set it up and then forget about it. + It is important for planners to ensure that the incentive programme has the backing of someone in senior management who commands respect, can allocate resources and provide on-going backing. Such personalities will also reinforce the organisation’s commitment to the programme. + The organisation should also keep detailed records to show the participants’ contribution to actual financial goals. It is also a good idea to include networking opportunities to bring top performers together. Top performers and senior management should also be given the opportunity to collaborate. + Measurement is a key element in any performance improvement effort and particularly to the development of any incentive plan. It is essential that it be made crystal clear that the incentive programme will ultimately lead to outcomes that will positively influence the organisation’s bottom line. + Planning requires the identification from the very beginning the desired outcome(s) for the company. Going hand in hand with the understanding goals is the ability to measure progress (see next article).

Organise your objectives Perfunctory satisfactory surveys are not enough to determine if an incentive programme has done its job. Making a highly focused list of desired outcomes is the first step in attempting to achieve them. TEXT ROSE KELLEHER

In 1972, the King of Bhutan suggested to the United Nations that the economic indicator ‘Gross Domestic Product’ be replaced with the more holistic ‘Gross Domestic Happiness’. The idea sparked the imagination of Western economists, who agreed that a happy society is more likely to be a prosperous society. But Bhutan’s efforts to define an indicator of progress in holistic and psychological terms has been hampered by one major drawback, one that is familiar to incentive planners. How do you measure it? Like many psychological and social indicators, GDH can’t be defined with mathematical precision. Quantifying ‘the feel good factor’ of an incentive trip, like in Bhutan’s experiment, is complex. And it’s only going to get harder as more and more non-sales staff are brought on board. After the completion of an incentive travel programme, companies distribute a satisfaction survey. If everyone says they had a great time on the trip, it must have ‘worked’. Sales, revenue and market share are measured. If these have gone up, the programme is assumed to have done its job. The most basic measurement approach is the The ‘Dupont Equation’, whereby ROI is calculated by dividing the income achieved after deducting expenses or margin by the cost of the incentive programme: ROI = Net income (margin) / incentive investment. Planners may then implement the ‘Incremental Sales Method’, whereby financing of the next incentive travel programme comes from a percentage of the incremental sales that directly result

special feature > incentives

from the previous programme. This works well the first time round, but is difficult to track for subsequent programmes. But a study conducted by researchers from Ryerson University in Toronto called ‘Determining the ROI of Incentive Travel Programmes’ offers a more comprehensive (if terribly complex) approach that requires thorough preparation and analysis. It requires the construction of an ‘Attribute Evaluation Tool’, by deciding which finelytuned attributes of the programme (such as ‘Increase rivalry among sales force’ or ‘Cultivate relationship with other successful people’) are the most crucial. The planner must: 1. review the attributes of an incentive travel programme 2. review corporate goals 3. identify potential programme goals 4. divide potential attributes into shortterm or long-term goals 5. prioritise short-term goals Using what’s called a ‘Programme ROI Measures’ template, it is then necessary to create a ‘Programme Measures’ list and, by following certain steps, calculate the programme impact and, in turn, the ROI.

Despite the challenges faced by those who attempt to attach a dollar value to incentive travel, many still consider it a value-added feature

The study makes available the templates required for implementing the procedure. Most importantly, this approach emphasises the identification of the most valuable outcomes of the programme. Once clearly focused, they become easier to measure. Interestingly, the research found that in evaluating the list of 48 ‘attributes’ of the programme, winners and planners assigned different levels of importance to different attributes. Winners tend to believe that incentive programmes are there to shift attention more to specific services or product. They are less receptive to the idea that the purpose of a trip is to boost intangibles like morale and loyalty. They are more inclined towards shorttermism. Planners on the other hand are more inclined to attach importance to less

tangible indicators. A good programme will satisfy both planners’ and winners’ expectations. Despite the challenges faced by those who attempt to attach a dollar value to incentive travel, many still consider it a value-added feature, meaning it cannot be eliminated without reducing the quality of performance of an organisation.

Sources 6000077/determining-the-returnon-investment-of-incentive-travelprogrammes/ 0/White%20Papers/ MeasuringResults.pdf

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More and more global organisations and associations are making the decision to Meet in Ireland, where working hard and an easy-going nature go hand in hand. Where else can you ďŹ nd state-of-the-art conference facilities and cutting edge professionalism amongst a young and vibrant population? Welcome to Ireland – the perfect place to meet. Where 100,000 welcomes and our enviable passion for life always ensure an enjoyable experience for both event organisers and delegates alike. Visit and plan your next conference with us.

special feature > incentives

We have recruited the help of self-styled travel psychologist Michael Brein Ph.D. to tell help us understand the psychology of the sojourner and to tell us what we already know: travel makes us happy. Mr. Brein, author of several travel guides, avid explorer, and onetime staffer at the Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau explains why travel is worth more than gold for a productive workforce. INTERVIEW ROSE KELLEHER

The Psychology of the Sojourner A happy worker is a productive worker, as they say. Anecdotally, we all know that when done properly, incentive trips can influence employee behaviour, engage team members, and ultimately increases profits. To examine why, perhaps it is time to ask what, exactly, happens to our grey matter when we roam? Michael Brein’s work revolves around examining people’s travel experiences. Psychology is the study of people’s behaviour, and in today’s highly competitive and global economy, understanding the traveler can be imperative to commercial success.

MIM: First of all, tell us about your work. Michael Brein: There are many courses devoted to Tourism, and even though Tourism is multi-disciplinary, the psychology of travel is just not taught. I was the first person to create the sub-psychology and the term ‘Travel Psychologist’, while working on my Ph.D. Travel has become a huge part of our lives. Like other disciplines of psychology, I help people think

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about what they are going to do when they travel. I have also been contacted by companies like hotel property chains, who ask my advice on the behaviour of tourists, and also magazines similar to MIM. I understand that meetings and incentives are not tourism. I became sensitive to the fact when I worked for the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, and with our floundering economies, meetings and incentives are a very important sub focus of Tourism that deserve attention.

MIM: Why do we like to travel so much? Michael Brein: Travel satisfies the innate thirst for experience and knowledge. After our lower-order needs are met for food, water, shelter, and so forth, we crave new experiences and knowledge. Travel is the best means to satisfy the inborn curiosity about what’s ‘on the other side of the hill’.

MIM: Why is it such a good motivator? Michael Brein: When you think about a vacation or trip, it’s larger than life. And

because it’s larger than life, it has a value that is larger than life. Meeting the everyday challenges of a trip abroad has the universal effect of making people feel good about themselves. We all like to try on a different hat sometimes. Travel allows us to leave behind the mundane existence that we lead in order to try out new aspects of ourselves. Isn’t it exciting that we can be more like the person we think we are?

MIM: But why does it makes us feel so good? Michael Brein: Travel makes us better people. When we conquer that first communication hurdle with a foreign culture we get a certain adrenaline rush. It also encourages us to reflect on their existence, and it reduces anxieties and enhances self-esteem. There are many encounters with new and perhaps scary things when we venture into a new culture, and we feel a sense of achievement in the day-to-day accomplishments we experience, in a relatively safe way. For incentives trips, the basic principle is the same.

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LET GOOD THINGS HAPPEN Mercure Meetings in Belgium & Luxembourg





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special feature > incentives

MIM: Why does travel work better that, say, a week off at home? Michael Brein: Travel is a great way to step out of the ordinary, to try being someone else for a while. You cannot replicate that by staying at home.

MIM: It has been proven to drive profits better than a lump sum. Why? Michael Brein: For all its power, a €100 bill cannot conjure the sights, sounds, smells, and impressions of an exotic locale. The important thing about going on an incentive trip are fulfilling basic needs and wants that go beyond the euro or the dollar. The whole idea of going on a journey is that you can be more of who you like to be, more than who you are in your mundane life. We all have parts of ourselves and we have to give a chance to express them.

MIM: Is travel changing? Michael Brein: Travel is a regular thing now. We are even becoming travel fatigued from too much travel for work. It can get repetitive. Incentive planners need to constantly update and reassess travel options to make available for clients. You always have to create something newer and more exciting. The weirder and more unusual, the better - the more something is a little bit different. The goal is to take an old thing and make it more and more appealing.

Companies who opt for incentives programmes with unusual or quirky activities are giving employees an experience that gives them bragging rights

MIM: What about the ‘experience’ element of incentive programmes?

than what you can be is just wonderful. That is what gives mountain climbers and white water rafters such a high. You can get a high in a number of different ways.

Michael Brein: I think the companies who opt for incentives programmes with unusual or quirky activities are giving employees an experience that gives them bragging rights: the right to come back and say ‘I swam in freezing water, or I took a canoe on the Zambizi river and survived the elephants’ - that’s my personal favourite brag! Incentives planners don’t want to expose participants to a dangerous situation, of course, but they want to bring participants to the point where to make it thrilling and exciting and different, something that can give a group a feeling of increased self esteem. Concerning the rise of ‘voluntourism’ and CSR elements of travel, if I have an interest in helping other people, for example, and doing something to help improve the lives of others, which I can’t normally do at home, there is nothing that makes me feel better than the opportunity to do that. To be all that you can be, to be more

MIM: Incentives aim to reward, inspire and motivate, but also build team spirit. How does travel do that? Michael Brein: Traveling in a group develops interpersonal relationships. Adapting to the ways of a completely different culture can be a challenge, as can interpersonal relationships in the workplace. You have less strife when people try to understand each other. Intercultural communication can also apply at work. I knew from the beginning that travel was tremendously important for different people to get along better.

MIM: How can it benefit an organisation? Michael Brein: Consider what I like to call the ‘Western Walkabout’. When young people are sent abroad for a semester or for the summer, it’s not strictly to set them out in the world to have a good time. People realise that travel is a way to grow,

a way to mature, a way to become an adult, and a way to get a better understanding of the world. It’s priceless. It’s worth more than a few euros.

MIM: What do you think of travel-as-reward? Michael Brein: We want to improve what we can for the lifestyle of people who we work with because work is a huge part of our lives. Rewarding good productive workers with experiences that will be memorable and stay with them for the rest of their lives has the effect of making the workplace happier, especially if their trip means that they get along better together with each other. But one shouldn’t design an incentive trip strictly around the notion that one-sizefits-all because we all want different things. If you know you’re gonna have a group of varying age and socio-economic levels, I hope planners do their research to find out how staff feel about the programme, for example, how they feel about ‘voluntourism’. That’s where good planning comes in.

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destinations > new Europe Budapest

Getting to know

the new (incentive) Europe Prague CZECH REPUBLIC

SLOVAKIA Bratislava Vienna AUSTRIA









SERBIA Belgrade







Some people say there are no new (incentive) destinations to be found. Everything has been visited at least once. But when you take a look at some of the new EU member states, or the ones still waiting to join in, you start changing your mind quite quickly. I for one would love to go to a new destination like Albania or Macedonia for an incentive trip. TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

Budapest HUNGARY









join in July 2013. Macedonia and Turkey are still negotiating their admittance. On July 17, 2009 Iceland officially applied for membership. In June 2010, during the European Summit, it was decided to open negotiations with the island as well.

In 2004 the EU expanded like it never did before. Instead of 15 member states, there were 25. The ten newest members were Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Montenegro applied in 2008, Albania and Serbia in 2009. Montenegro received the status of candidate member state in December 2010. Negotiations will begin when the needed progress is made in certain areas. Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia are countries that will most likely be considered for EU-membership in the near future.

Bulgaria and Romania followed on 1 January 2007. 2004 had proved to be too soon for them. Negotiations with Croatia finished last June. According to the European Commission, the country can

A good way to discover these new countries is to follow where the big hotel chains open their newest venues. Where are Radisson Blu or Kempinski building new hotels for example?

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Let’s briefly overview some of the new (candidate) member states.

Slovakia Kempinski opened a brand-new hotel on the shores of the Donau in Bratislava, which marks the beginning of Slovakia’s rise as an incentive destination. Some will say there’s no exciting activities to do in this country. These people should leave the capital and go for a group trip to Cunovo, 17 km outside the city. Visit the Divoka Voda Complex, which is formidable for rafting, hydro-speed boating and canoeing. Almost every water sport can be learned or practiced here.

Bulgaria Forests, mountains and lakes: Bulgaria is full of them, but that doesn’t make it an incentive destination. Sofia is a vivid,

destinations > new Europe

Conventa 2012 in full gear Conventa, the business-to-business event in the area of meeting industry in South East Europe, is in full gear. The fourth edition of the exhibition for meetings, events & incentive travel will be held on the 18th and 19th of January in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Conventa is known for facilitating personal contacts between an international hosted buyer and regional buyer community and the wide choice of meeting supplier businesses by offering a unique opportunity to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof. Sofia, Bulgaria Dubrovnik, Croatia

Growing and developing is something Conventa strives to. Over the three years, the number of exhibitors and hosted buyers has increased significantly, bringing 139 exhibitors from South East Europe and 271 hosted buyers from all over Europe to the same place in 2011. Based on the questionnaire that was sent out after the event, 92 % of the respondents agreed that Conventa is important for their business. Moreover, 82 % of the attending exhibitors have replied that it is very likely that they will exhibit again in 2012. 300 selected hosted buyers from all over Europe will have the opportunity to pre-schedule 3,800 meetings with 140 exhibitors from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria and Italy. The participants will be able to network, listen to renowned professionals from the meeting industry, gain in depth knowledge and get to know the current trends. To experience first hand what the South East Europe region has to offer, selected hosted buyers will have a chance to attend famtrips to several chosen destinations in the region.

interesting city though, with a wide range of clubs and restaurants, a lot of culture to be discovered, and in very close proximity to an array of popular ski resorts. This capital is a real gem, waiting to be discovered.

Albania Capacities of business and conference facilities in Albania are experiencing significant expansion due to the country’s economic, social, cultural and political development. The number of meetings and events held there rises each year. While Tirana provides the main setting for these events, other cities are getting increasingly busier as they expand their economic and social networks. The Sheraton Hotel in the capital for example can accommodate conferences for up to 500 delegates.

Serbia Serbia is one of Europe’s fastest growing incentive destinations. It offers an extraordinary range of unique travel options for business, fun and adventure: from bustling cities to scenic landscapes and glorious mountain hideaways. Belgrade invested more than € 1 billion in hotels and infrastructure development, with plans underway for the construction of several new international hotels. With over 6,000 delegate seats, the Sava Center is southeast Europe’s largest conference facility. Conveniently located 15 minutes from the airport and ten minutes from Belgrade’s city centre, the facility is within walking distance from several major hotels, offering 2,000 rooms.

incentives and meetings in Kosovo available, but that doesn’t mean that Europe’s youngest country doesn’t have the facilities. The Emerald Hotel in the capital Prishtina for example can house conferences for up to 800 delegates. It’s a fresh capital full of activities and home to a lot of foreign companies. Restaurants, bars and entertainment are everywhere to be found.

Kosovo There’s not that much information about

Kempinski Hotel River Park, Bratislava

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general > Hotel

People attending an event are rarely aware that it has not been easy to organise, and that its planning and development have required discipline, precision and time. And if the participants at the event don’t notice the workload that has generated its success, it’s because every detail of the event in question has been worked out and very precisely assigned.

Genval Waterworld A rallye in 2CV cars

Martin’s Hotels

launches new team building event configuration management tool A practical, immediate tool To make their event as successful as hoped in the allotted time, event managers will probably find it extremely useful to have a clear, immediate overview of the entire offer from a prospective service provider. They might also appreciate the effectiveness of being able to configure all of their selection criteria at the same time, with a few simple clicks, and, while doing this, submit a request to receive a tailormade quotation within 24 hours. This is precisely what the Martin’s Hotels Group has to offer event managers from autumn 2011 on its website, thanks to its new team building event configuration management tool, which will enable them to instantly view the available offer, configure their choices and request a quotation.

A natural continuation This new facilitating tool comes hot on the heels of the highly successful tool recently implemented to help event managers configure their seminars and conferences held in Martin’s Hotels. A pioneer on the Belgian market for 3 to 5 star hotel and conference centres,

the hotel group, which has a presence in 6 cities in Belgium (Brussels, Genval, Waterloo, Leuven, Mechelen and Bruges), is also a pioneer in terms of incentives and team building. Martin’s Hotels has proven experience in event management, and works with highly reputed partners to organise team-building events in Brussels, Walloon Brabant and Flanders. The number one priority is always to ensure that guests’ needs are met, by offering them a single point of contact who will take care of the entire event. Whether these team-building activities and motivational seminars are aimed at managers or staff, Martin’s Hotels develops original options that translate the needs and objectives of event managers into a genuine collective experience that will be worthwhile and never forgotten. The starting point is to make their lives easier.

The selection criteria for the configuration management tool: + Indoor, outdoor or mixed activity + Location (6 cities in Belgium) + Type (fun, team building, cooking, culture, sustainability, etc.) + Duration (from one hour to half day, whole day, etc.) + Number of participants + Your budget + The bestselling team building events offered by Martin’s Hotels A team-building activity, playing CSI

Visit and click on the Meetings & More section, or go to T. +32 2 655 03 88 (FR-UK) or +32 2 655 05 23 (NL-UK)

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general > airlines

Qatar Airways: 5-star comfort in the sky The perfect solution for your MICE travel Since 31st January 2011, Qatar Airways operates 5 flights a week between Brussels and Doha. Flights from Brussels are operated by an Airbus 330-200 in a 2 class configuration offering 24 seats in Business Class and 236 seats in Economy Class. Thanks to the ideal location of its hub in Doha, Qatar Airways now operates flights on more than 100 destinations in the world.

Qatar airways also offers up to 900 different ways to spend time on board, including multilingual movies, documentaries, history features, audio and video, interactive gaming and even playlist creation.

dedicated Premium Terminal. The Premium Terminal offers a high airport experience with dining restaurants, duty free shopping, a business centre with meeting rooms.

Frequent flyers Program

Services and products Qatar Airways has been named Airline of the Year 2011, further cementing its status as a world leading airline. It is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and flies one of the youngest and most modern fleet of aircrafts in the sky today. Passengers can enjoy the comfort and service provided by its award winning cabin crew. They can experience fine dining on board, regardless of their class of service. Both Economy and Business Class offer wide and spacious comfortable seats (up to 86cm seat pitch and 46cm seat width in Economy Class, 152cm seat pitch and 52cm seat width with 170 degree recliner, foot rest and massage settings in Business Class). Qatar Airways was voted World’s Best Business Class Catering at the 2010 Skytrax World Airline Awards and has also been awarded for the quality of the wines and champagne served onboard. The airline’s award winning chefs use only the best ingredients to conjure up an exquisite and eclectic menu that are served ‘à l’assiette’ in Business Class.

Privilege Club is one of the most generous loyalty programs in the world. Members quickly earn Qmiles that can be burned in redemption tickets or upgrades. Members can also enjoy advantages such as excess luggage and Lounge access while travelling. Joining Privilege club is easy, quick and free with just a few clicks on

At the airport In Brussels, Business Class passengers as well as Silver and Gold Privilege Club members who fly with Qatar Airways have access to the British Airways lounge.

Qatar Airways has been named Airline of the Year 2011, further cementing its status as a world leading airline Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport First and Business Travelers flying to or transiting in Doha with Qatar Airways have the exclusive access to this world-class

Online Check Online check in is the best way to avoid queue at the check-in desk. At Qatar Airways it’s available 36 hours to 90 minutes before departure from most cities across our network. Fast bag drop are available for passengers with luggage to check-in. Contact Office contact hours: Monday-Friday from 9:00 to 17:00 T. +32 (0)2 511 85 30

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© Serge Gelabert

destinations > Reunion

Reunion A life-size playground The French island of Reunion offers just about all of the leisure opportunities you can imagine (except, perhaps, winter sports). For the rest, everything’s possible, in all seasons and in total safety. Reunion’s diversity will astonish you. Few regions in the world present such a variety of interesting attractions in such a small area. All in the same day, you can travel across the volcano’s quasi-lunar landscape, explore the luxuriant pristine forest, gaze upon the majestic waterfalls, climb the foothills of grandiose mountains, stand dreaming before the silky swaying fields of sugar cane, and laze about on the soft sand by the coral reef lagoon, watching the sunset. Including an incentive activity in your event will enable you to gather your entire team around a unifying and convivial activity! In addition to having a good time, by participating in an out-of-the-ordinary activity in

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Reunion’s diversity will astonish you. Few regions in the world present such a variety of interesting attractions in such a small area a surprising venue, your team members will come to know each other better, increase their teamwork capacities and, in general, expand their accustomed limits.

Cultural theme activities When it comes to museums, Reunion has something for every taste. The Villèle museum recounts the daily life of the sprawling colonial estates. Stella Matutina tells the epic tale of the sugar industry at the site of a former plantation. And so many other places - like the Maison du Volcan, the Natural History Museum, Maison du Curcuma, the vanilla museum, or the museum of the mountain folk - will make you a connoisseur of the local treasures. But culture is not merely to be studied: it must also be lived. Discover the soul of Reunion by taking part in a traditional dance show: the moringues (a dance in which the steps resemble certain martial

Nothing is more pleasant than to play 9 or 18 holes on one of the island’s three golf courses. Wooded, flowery and peaceful, as you follow the fairways, they often give onto stunning views of the coastal landscapes. Golf du bassin bleu 75 rue Mahatma Gandhi – Villèle 97435 Saint Gilles les Hauts T. +262 262 700 300

Hiking in Mafate

© Emmanuel Virin

Unforgettable, cosy aerial tours for gaining altitude Surfing

Discovery and sportive activities In the canyons and rivers for powerful and unique sensations: with its tropical climate, the hills provide Reunion with the magnificent streams suited to activities in fresh flowing water. Flowing down from the summits to return to the ocean, they work their way along a multitude of passages, forming deep canyons in exquisitely beautiful scenery. These natural marvels have become a paradise for canyoning, aquatic hikes, kayaking, hydrospeed and rafting. New sensations guaranteed!

© Emmanuel Virin

Niagara vertical/Via ferrata Sainte-Suzanne T. +33(0)6 92 48 55 55

Nautical activities for team-building The Indian Ocean’s warm waters (21 - 26°C) all year round offer a range of activities to awaken the senses and team spirit: + An introduction to surfing in order to rediscover and strengthen the essential senses: equilibrium, concentration…. There are lots of local spots, including the celebrated ‘gauche de St-Leu’, mythical waves that every connoisseur dreams of: the frequent home of prestigious competitions. + The surfing practice kit, which offers all the pleasure of surfing as you are towed by a giant kite. This activity is made for those who love an adrenalin rush and who will take advantage of the lovely windy days to pursue sensation and challenge. + Challenges at sea to discover the wildlife, regattas around the island, deep-sea diving, jet-skiing, water-skiing, sports fishing…

Earthly activities for keeping your feet on the ground Canyoning

Walking, golf, photographic and gastronomic challenges… They are tailor-made for stimulating competitive and team spirit. An excellent way to meet the local population, to share their vision of the destination and a moment of the island’s history.

of waymarked trails; on horseback for fabulous rides to the foot of the Massif de la Fournaise, or in the volcanic, lunar landscapes of the Plaine-des-Cafres, or the savannah of the Cap la Houssaye - all unique! Plus: via 4x4 for motorised sports enthusiasts!

More than 1000 km of waymarked paths put themselves at the service of hikers. For example: a hike in the ‘Hikers’ Paradise’ of the Mafate caldera (without a road or a car), or on the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, takes you into an enchanting, magical environment. But hiking can take other forms as well: by mountain bike on the 1200 km

Airborne possibilities are endless here. Starting with paragliding or hang-gliding. Today, the island is a destination cherished by hang-gliding enthusiasts worldwide for the quality of its take-off sites, which host international tournaments. But beginners will also do well here: to soar in a twoseater on a maiden flight - accompanied by the white tropical birds that are emblematic of the island, aligned like an arrow is an unforgettable experience.

© IRT Emmanuel Virin

arts movements) the maloya (songs and dances originating in Madagascar and Africa) or the Séga. + Taste the local flavours in a class on Reunion cuisine and the discovery of rum. + Immerse yourself in the island’s history as you re-live a Pirate evening at the edge of the lagoon. + Travel on The Spice Route by way of an introduction to perfumes and spices. + Begin to speak Créole.

© IRT Emmanuel Virin

© IRT Serge Gelabert

destinations > Reunion

Paragliding in Saint Leu

The most adventurous can try skydiving. Others will prefer to fly over the island in a helicopter. Or perhaps in a microlight, the ideal mode of transport for taking sublime photos of the volcano, the cirques and the emerald lagoon. Add to the intense sensations of paragliding, hang-gliding or helicopter the pleasure awarded to the eyes. Between the green of her mountains and the blue of the sea, La Reunion is even more beautiful seen from the air.

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Cette campagne de promotion HVWFR¿QDQFpHSDU l’Union Européenne


© IRT - Emmanuel Virin

© IRT - Éric Lamblin

© IRT - Emmanuel Virin

© IRT - Emmanuel Virin

© Serge Gélabert

destinations > Catalunya

Catalunya and its many hidden gems Last June, the Catalunya Convention Bureau organised a famtrip to which MIM Europe Magazine was invited. Participants, such as Chinese, Russians, Americans and of course a lot of Europeans, came from all over the world in total there were around 70 persons. The guests had to choose among 4 different programs: we went for the ‘Inland Fast Connection’ trip as we wanted to discover the Catalunya region rather than Barcelona. Needless to say we were happy we made this choice as the landscape is really beautiful, as we have discovered fascinating venues all over the region. It’s easy to travel from Barcelona to its surrounding region: thanks to the very comfortable high speed train, in one hour you find yourself in Lleida, the capital of the region Terres de Lleida. The tremendous diversity of the landscape is truly surprising as you travel across the thousand of enchanting routes leading to the city. Lleida has a rich cultural heritage you should see the cathedral! - but it also boasts modern infrastructures such as the new beautiful Conference Hall, la Llotja de Lleida (max 1,000 pax).

The tremendous diversity of the landscape in Catalunya is truly surprising Just outside the city you will find the Finca Prats hotel, a golf and spa resort. It’s a very modern venue with 40 rooms set in a splendid landscape. One of its assets is definitely its very large wellness centre which invites you to relax and enjoy. The hotel can also take care of all kinds of activities such as horse-back riding, golf, etc. In central Catalunya lies a city called Granollers, less than 30 km from Barcelona. It’s a town with character that can accommodate small or medium-sized meetings and congresses. Again, it boasts

a great combination of historical buildings and modern facilities for this purpose. (max 1,200 pax). Adding on, in Vilanova del Vallés you will find a magic place, the Mas de Sant Llei. In an idyllic setting, surrounded by woods, indeed emerges a stately building dating back to the Middle Ages. It has been restored with a lot of taste and offers all kinds of services for events. Gala diners, teambuilding and other sport activities can be organized here. Not far from the Mas you can find the Circuit de Catalunya Grand Prix track, which can also be used for group activities. Another town in the Catalunya region is Terrassa, which is a university and industrial town with more than 210,000 inhabitants. Here you can find Catalan Art Nouveau style, even in industrial buildings such as the Aymerich textile mill, which usually hosts exhibitions but which can also be used for small events.

Hotel La Mola

Mas de Sant Llei

The last gem we will remember is La Mola, situated just 25 minutes from Barcelona. A simply stunning hotel and conference venue with a modern and stylish interior. It is set in the beautiful gorgeous foothills of La Mola Mountain. The facility combines a spacious conference and meeting venue, 4,000 m2 of flexible meeting space, break-out areas, in a modern and relaxed environment. More information

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destinations > Baltimore

Fells Point

Introducing Baltimore Baltimore had many reasons to host the AIBTM show. In the last decade massive renovation work was done and the city looked for a vehicle to show off the changes. It’s easy to understand the fair brought not only thousands of visitors to the city, but during the whole week other industry events took place. This definitely gave Baltimore the boost they were longing for. REPORT CECILE CAIAITI-KOCH Baltimore Museum of Art

The renovations consisted of renovating the congress centre by, among other things, adding a remarkable green roof on its terrace, building a number of highquality hotels, all at walkable distance from the centre, and improving Baltimore’s accessibility thanks to its international airport. Let me also mention the free, green Charm City Circulator on and off which you can hop to visit the city’s many diverse neighbourhoods.

York in terms of arriving immigrants, the Star-Spangled Banner Flag was created here. The National Anthem was even composed there after a battle against England - this battle will be commemorated just before AIBTM next year with a display of international Tall Ships. Edgar Allan Poe also lived in Baltimore for a while and found the city enthralling. If history is not your cup of tea, you can visit the Baltimore Museum of Art which showcases works of Matisse, Van Gogh and Picasso. The beautiful facility itself can also serve very well for functions of any kind. There is also the American Visionary Art Museum in the newly developed harbor area, with its huge works of art hanging on the walls. Last but not least is the inner harbor the heart of the city, which is definitely worth a visit. You can of course find there the famous crab restaurants Baltimore is reknown for. Chesapeake Bay’s crab cakes are the region’s signature - a must if you ask me!

Historical, hip and crab city Baltimore is proud of its glorious past: the city boasted the second harbor after New

Contact Visit Baltimore:

Impressions of AIBTM 2011 At long last, the first edition of the AIBTM, the Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition took place in June this year in Baltimore, Maryland. Reed Exhibition had announced the opening some years ago, but had postponed the event due to the economical and financial global crises. If you expected a massive event like the ones we’re used to in Europe, you were wrong: a mere 183 number of booths was counted of which quite some, especially Northern American destinations, were quite small! 740 hosted buyers were present, plus 806 ‘registered trade buyers’, the so-called independent visitors. This did not fill the hallways. Was this due to the quality of the education program that ran at the same time of the fair? Or is it a chicken and egg problem? To be examined by the organizers, I would say. AIBTM #2 will take place in Baltimore 19-21 June 2012.

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destinations > Macau Macau’s skyline

The Venetian

The Venetian, the facts

Are there still new MICE destinations?

Introducing Macau People often say there are no more new countries to discover on this planet. The world has 194 independent states, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of meetings destinations are still virtually unknown to most of us. And I’m not only talking about countries but also about certain regions and areas with special status. Macau is such an area. TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

As Asia’s largest integrated resort, The Venetian Macau offers more than 100,000 m2 of flexible convention and exhibition space - giving you ample room to host large-scale events. + Cotai Strip CotaiExpo - more than 75,000 m2 of exhibition space + 25,000 m2 of flexible meeting and ballroom space + 108 flexible meeting rooms + 6,500 m2 of pillarless ballroom space

Not just a gambling city anymore After the IT&CM China fair in Shanghai, I took some time off to visit Macau. It was my first visit. Like most of you I’m sure, I thought it was just a gambling hole. But my curiosity had been aroused for a few years after I had talked, on various fairs, with Bruno Simoes, of Doc-DMC. He always said the same thing: come visit Macau, a lot is happening here. I thought: Macau is not suitable for European markets because when Europeans hear the word ‘casino’, they don’t want to go. I decided to go anyway.

A new power destination… and a huge hotel It’s probably the same for everyone visiting Macau for the first time: it’s like casinos are around the corner of every street. I

was brave enough to take a closer look and became amazed by the architecture of the city, its history, its ties with Portugal, the new hotels, the relative quietness of the streets, the nice avenues with appealing shops, the nice restaurants and the great diversity of people. This is exactly the new image the young generation in the MICE industry of Macau wants to promote. A visit to Macau wouldn’t be complete without a stop at a spectacular venue raising a lot of controversy on an architectural level. For a certain category of meeting planners, this venue is a gift from heaven. Just because absolutely everything is there, under one roof. Like a copy of The Venetian in Las Vegas, The Venetian in Macau opened in 2007. With almost

50,000 m2 of casino space it’s five times bigger than its older American brother. It’s also the largest hotel in Asia and surface-wise the fourth biggest building in the whole world. There are even little canals you can sail on! The ceiling is also famous, because it makes you feel like the heavens are moving with you. It’s not only an immense hotel (it boasts 3,000 suites!), but it’s also a shopping and dining paradise. There are 300 premier boutiques, over 35 restaurants and a myriad of sporting, leisure and conference facilities. The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel will play a crucial role in making Macau one of Asia’s most exciting entertainment destinations and premiere convention and exhibition venues.

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general > Hotels One&Only Le Saint Geran

Kerzner Group Larger than life

Alan Leibman

Three world-class resorts, several premier destinations, one uncompromising vision: Kerzner Group sees it big. The company has three brands: Atlantis is made up of two properties, the largest of which is Atlantis, Paradise Island, a 3,400-room ocean-themed destination resort in The Bahamas. There is also Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai. Kerzner owns and operates seven of the top-rated luxury resort properties in the world, under the One&Only brand, which are located in the Bahamas, Mexico, Mauritius, the Maldives, South Africa and Dubai. In addition, Kerzner opened Mazagan in Morocco in 2009, adding another destination resort and casino property to its portfolio. Alan Leibman, President EMEA, Kerzner International, explains his vision of the MICE industry.

MIM: We understand your have a new MICE organization since the beginning of the year - can you explain your strategy? Alan Leibman: The MICE segment has always been a priority segment for us, across all of our brands. The great thing about our portfolio of resorts is that guests can really choose the experience that is right for their group. At Atlantis, guests can come and be part of the action, enjoy a wide variety of dining experiences, including three by world renowned chefs, brave a slide through a shark infested lagoon at the largest water park in the Middle East, swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay and then indulge in the ShuiQi Spa. At One&Only, each resort is completely bespoke and incorporates a true sense of place for each destination, whether it be Arabic chic at One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm in Dubai, Cape Town’s

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sophisticated urban resort at One&Only Capetown, the ultimate island glamour at One&Only Reethi Rah or the ultimate Grande Dame of Mauritius at One&Only Le Saint Geran. Mazagan is able to offer beachfront golf and gaming in Morocco. By using our regional team, who are not only experts of their markets but all of our resorts, we can tailor a bespoke experience that is right for each client. We wanted the MICE experience from the beginning to be reflective of the experience that the groups will experience at each resort.

MIM: You never communicated under the Kerzner name. Why have you chosen to communicate brand by brand? Alan Leibman: We have always strategically chosen to highlight each individual

brand. Each brand provides such a different experience to guests and we feel that consumers want to understand the brand intimately, regardless if they are choosing for leisure or MICE. In the MICE segment, this allows us to really identify what each group wants and be able to guide each group towards the right experience.

MIM: The market considers One&Only as exclusive resorts but more for individual clients. How do you position these properties for the MICE segment? Alan Leibman: Each One&Only resort offers guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture - from the Arabian mystery of the One&Only Royal Mirage to the urban chic of the One&Only Capetown to the classic Mauritian elegance of One&Only Le Saint Geran. The resorts complement the

general > Hotels One&Only Reetih Rah Maldives

traditions, the people and crafts of their surroundings, with the freshness of local charm, warmed by genuine hospitality and invigorated with a lively local energy. That being said, each resort in the One&Only collection not only offers a strong sense of place in design and ambiance, but also an unparalleled commitment to the finest MICE experience on every possible level. Luxurious accommodations are complemented by personalized and friendly service, pampering spas, lively entertainment and a host of activities, as well as unforgettable culinary adventures from some of the world’s most accomplished chefs.

One&Only Palmilla

back riding, quading, as well as the more traditional golf and gaming. At Atlantis, we have 17 hectares of water park adventure at Aquaventure, Dolphin Bay, home to our family of dolphins - a perfect location for an interaction or even a cocktail party, a spa with 27 treatment rooms and over 18 restaurants, bars and lounges.

MIM: The venues are magnificent and sell themselves. Why should planners choose your properties?

Alan Leibman: Mazagan and Atlantis, The Palm were built with large groups in mind. With the large variety of accommodations, the size of the respective conference centres and the number of activities that each resort offers, both properties are perfect for larger groups. In addition, with all of the direct air coming into both destinations, each location makes it easy for groups as well.

Alan Leibman: Each of our resorts is an entertainment experience - whether it be a concert at Nasimi Beach at Atlantis, The Palm, the lastest DJ in Sanctuary at Mazagan or a bespoke dining experience on a private beach at One&Only Reethi Rah. Service is of the utmost importance to us in all of our resorts, true genuine service; team members that welcome you back year after year and remember your favorite wine. Location is paramount in all of our resorts so you actually feel a sense of place in any destination - to the warm Arabian hospitality in Dubai to the sophisticated chic of Capetown, each with its own personality. Design is also a very important element across all resorts, highlighting the attention to detail in all aspects of the resorts.

Again, I think it goes back to what each individual group is looking for. At Mazagan, we have over 50 team building experiences on site including an adventure park, horse

We have very dynamic pricing across all of our resorts and can work with each group to find what resort works best for the experience they are looking for.

MIM: Please tell us about your strategy to attract larger meetings to Mazagan in Morocco & Atlantis brands.

Also, pricing is seasonal and as the group market traditionally can be more flexible with dates, this flexibility helps our resorts work to meet the client’s budget demands.

MIM: What do you see happening in the MICE industry in the coming 12 months, specifically in the area of ‘employee recognition’? Alan Leibman: Developing committed passionate people is one of the core values of Kerzner International - across all of our brands. Our greatest asset is our people and we are constantly striving to ensure that our team is happy and also recognized for their contributions. I am very proud that we are a very entrepreneurial organization and team members are rewarded for constant innovation. This is done across a variety of methods including awards, continued training as well promotions, we are always looking to promote from within. I have personally been with this company for almost 20 years and I am so proud to see the team around me continue to grow, develop and be challenged.

Contact Mathilde Rose Director, Group Sales Kerzner International Resorts, Inc. Telephone +33 1 42 61 80 62

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destinations > Scotland

Wow balls on Loch Ness

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Scotland Fun par excellence Whenever one thinks about Scotland, words like ‘castle’, ‘sheep’, ‘ghost’, ‘history’ come to mind. Rarely ‘fun’, ‘sports’, ‘physical activity’, ‘teambuilding’. This article is all about fighting clichés. As it prepares to stage two of the world’s greatest sporting events in 2014, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, Scotland as a leading active destination, ideal for incentives, is on the map as never before. I personally experienced it during an entertaining trip in early June. REPORT RÉMI DÉVÉ When it comes to challenging corporate incentives, Scotland has nothing to blush about. With its wide adventure infrastucture (to be found at each corner of every winding road it seems) and fascinating landscapes, the region has become in a short space of time the destination of choice for many demanding corporate planners, looking for special physical or mental challenges. 2011 has been branded the Year of Active Scotland and it seemed only natural I was invited on a press trip to experience these activities for myself. The busy programme included activities whose mere description aroused my well-behaved curiosity: ‘Wow Balls’, ‘RIB rides on Loch Ness’, ‘Clay Pigeon shooting’. Honestly, I had no idea you could do all that (and more !) in

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Scotland. I was in for an active journey, me who’s more used to visiting conference hotels and congress centres… Indeed, Scotland plays host to many activities across the length and breadth of the country. From outdoor active pursuits such as kayaking, cycling, quad biking and walking, to indoor adventure activities such as indoor ice and rock climbing and aerial assault courses, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. A wide range of operators are on hand to organise unique corporate activities where both business and healthy-living can go hand in hand while enjoying Scotland’s wild beauty - just google ‘Boots’n’ Paddles’ or ‘Cruise Loch Ness’ and you’re in for a memorable ride. Space and time won’t allow me to paint a whole picture of what the country has to

offer of course. So I will just write about my personal favorites. I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like to walk on water and I know now: to do so, I only had to step inside a giant inflatable sphere, just outside the beautiful Aldourie Castle. Once I was sealed up, I crawled to Loch Ness and could move onto the water, backwards and forwards, side to side and most of the time upside down… If you’re looking for a all-under-on-roof concept, Crieff Hydro is definitely the place. Set in a lush 900 acre estate in the Perthshire countryside, the resort offers, in addition to meeting facilities for up to 500 delegates, no less than 40 outdoor activities including off-road driving and quad bike courses, horse riding, archery, laserquest, climbing, and newly introduced off-road Segway tours.The resort also boasts ts very own 18-hole Culcrieff Golf Club, set high in the Strathearn Valley with spectacular views. With such a wide variety of options combined with the fresh air, beautiful remote landscapes, and yet with excellent accessibility, Scotland is perfect for corporate groups to escape, appreciate the outdoors and get fighting fit. More on this to come later. More information choose-scotland/activities

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin

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The #116 edition of MIM Europe Magazine