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No. 15 May 2015 €19 / 165 SEK

HANS GORDON Aviation Psychologist Breaking Point When Control Snaps



Europe’s Europe’slargest largestfully fullyintegral integral hotel hoteland andcongress congressfacility facility is located located here.« here.«



Delegate satisfaction Delegate s is 6.5 out of 7.« is 6.5 out o

satisfaction index gothenburg


satisfaction index gothenburg


Photo: Göran Assner, Emil Fagander, Gothia Towers, Lindholmen Science Park, Superstudio D&D, Jennie Smith, Kim Svensson


Our bustling city is often host to major international Our bustling meetings city and events. is often host to Gothenburg Gothenburg has anhas almost an unbelievable almost unbelievable The entire city is your venue thanks to its size The andentire that is only city oneisofyour the venue tha concentration concentration of big-city of attributes big-city — attributes all — all reasons that make Gothenburg the leadingreasons destination for that sustainable make Gothenburg meetings in the Nordic region. Great quality meetings comes at a cost in below the Nordic average region. G contained contained withinwithin a pocket-sized a pocket-sized format. format. European level — the relaxed and friendly atmosphere European is just level part— of the the deal. relaxed an Meeting Meeting venues, venues, hotels and hotels entertainment and entertainment Welcome to Gothenburg — aWelcome part of West Sweden. to Gothenbu are are located located withinwithin walking distance. walking distance.

Göteborg Göteborg & Co.& Convention Co. Convention Bureau | T: +46Bureau (0)31-368 4000 | T:| +46 E: (0)31-368 4000 || E: |

▲ © Gothia Towers


ith its large open harbour and proud seafaring tradition, it is natural that Gothenburg is known as Sweden’s most outward looking city. In recent years the city gained reputation as a great meetings destination. Gothenburg now also boasts Europe’s largest fully integral hotel and meetings facility. Visitors have commented upon Sweden’s second city having the feel of a “cosmopolitan village”. Perhaps this is down to the fact that, with around half a million inhabitants, Gothenburg is extremely compact – a modern Northern European city that has retained much of its traditional, rugged small-town charm. Having emerged from the shadow of larger Nordic neighbours like Stockholm and Copenhagen, the city’s tourism industry has enjoyed an unbroken 20-year growth. As demand for both business and leisure accommodation increases, new hotels are being built and the hotel capacity is almost 12,000 rooms in total. Yet there’s still plenty of room to move around. – Practically everything you expect to find in a large lively city is within walking distance in Gothenburg. We offer an open and relaxed atmosphere, great places to eat, trendy shops and an absolutely stunning archipelago, says Annika Hallman at Gothenburg Convention Bureau. International delegates also seem to appreciate the city and have given the destination 6.5 out of 7 in the 2014 satisfaction index survey. – Sustainability is a major concern for us and we are proud to say that we can offer congress organisers environmentally friendly arrangements, Annika continues.


▲ Dragon Award © Dick Gillberg

Located a mere 20 minute ride from the Gothenburg Landvetter international airport the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre offers an impressive landmark with its three hotel towers – the third tower opened in December 2014 – with 1,200 rooms including the five-star “Upper House”. The 100-meter tall third tower has made the venue the largest fully integral hotel and meetings facility in Europe. Carin Kindbom, President and CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, sees the new hotel as a boost for Gothenburg. – The intention is to achieve strong growth on the meetings side, she points out. She sees great potential, especially for international congresses. – With one of the largest hotels in Europe as an integral part of our facility, we want to attract more congresses and foreign visitors every year, something that will benefit all hotels, restaurants, shops, transport companies and the like in Gothenburg. In Carin Kindbom’s view, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is uniquely placed. – We’re in the middle of town, right on the “Avenue of Events”, within walking distance of pretty much everything. So, we have everything we need to take on the battle for the biggest events. Through Gothenburg flows the mighty Gota River which for centuries was Sweden’s gateway to the world. And, in a way, it still is since the city is home to the largest commercial port in Scandinavia. On the northern side of the river three large shipyards were part of the city’s industrial heritage. This is where you find Lindholmen Science Park, an open and unique innovative environment just by the riverside, where industry,

▲ © ÄlvstrandenUtveckling/Hans Wretling

▲ Julstaden Göteborg © Dick Gillberg

academy and the public sectors meets and collaborate. It is home to some 350 companies including some of Sweden’s best-known such as Volvo, Ericsson and Semcon. Since 2013 you also find CEVT, China Euro Vehicle Technology. It is also the campus for 8,000 students from Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg; it is a great location for meetings and conferences. – Lindholmen Conference Centre has a total capacity of 1,000 people, and the largest meeting room seats 600 people. Together with the next-door hotel we offer partnership solutions with up to 15 meeting rooms, says Marcus Danielsson, Vice President at Lindholmen Conference Centre. The adjacent Radisson Blu Riverside Hotel with 265 rooms opened in 2013 and is overlooking the scenic harbour. – Since the hotel opened we have experienced growing interest for Lindholmen as an event arena, says Malin Franck, General Manager at the hotel. – One of our advantages is the location close to the water, Marcus continues, and the great open spaces which can be used for outdoor receptions and spectacular events. It is relaxing just to stroll along the quay, and it is only 10 minutes from the railway station. Right across the street from the railway station is the Clarion Hotel Post. The imposing 1920s brick facade is facing a bustling square with trams, buses and people. This used to be the city’s main post office, but reopened as a hotel in 2012 after a thorough and careful renovation. Now it boasts 300 rooms in the old part,

and another 200 rooms in the new 10-storey building with a rooftop swimming pool. As a conference venue, Clarion Hotel Post offers facilities for 2–1,000 people. The largest hall is 900 sqm and can host banquets for up to 800 seated guests. – The hotel has a very attractive location at the bustling railway station. It is also a meeting point for the locals with several different restaurants and bars. Old meets new in this building which creates a certain atmosphere, says Susanna Blomstervall, Sales Manager for meetings and events. More info at


Activate your audience

with an unforgettable experience Every year, we inspire over 1.3 million attendees through creative meetings, events, congresses and incentives.

If you’d like your next event to drive lasting results, visit for more information

Unforgettable you can leave the islands, but never forget them

FINALLY 444 Hotel rooms 24 Conference rooms 1500 Delegates 2 Restaurants by Marcus Samuelsson 1 Sky Bar

OPEN! See you at



The meeting spot Never satisfied, ever evolving, always engaging. Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, is small but full of personality. A visionary city with a strong will and the confidence to be itself and go its own way.

Creative people, companies and students are thriving in the sharing is caring-culture, and in 2013 Malmö ranked fourth on Forbes list over the most innovative cities… in the world. Kind of great for a city with 300k inhabitants.

The great Öresund bridge connects Malmö with the Danish capital Copenhagen, only 30 minutes away, making it really easy to experience two countries in a single visit.

in the melting pot. Malmö is the gateway between Europe and Sweden, and combines the vibrant urban life of a metropolis with the quaint charm of Southern Sweden. It is the city of youth and diversity. 50 percent of the population are younger than 30 and, in total, the people of Malmö speak 176 different languages.

So, if you are looking for a highly accessible – yet off the beaten track – destination for your next meeting, you have found the spot. We love Malmö and we bet you will too!

Meet us at IMEX, Swedish stand F200.

Coex and World Trade Center Seoul Launched the annual C-Festival, showcasing fusion of ­creative culture into MICE Industry


ttracting 3 million to Korea’s newest Creative Culture Festival makes Coex and World Trade Center a mustvisit landmark in Seoul. C-Festival took place at World Trade Centre Seoul Complex from April 30th to May 10th 2015. While celebrating the launch of Coex’s MICE Cluster initiative, C-Festival is positioned as Korea’s Creative Culture Festival with dozens of mixed culture events. Multiple exhibitions, grand sales, K-Pop concerts, and more are expected to draw up to 3 million domestic and overseas visitors to the exhibition center and surrounding area in Gangnam, Seoul. Timed perfectly over major holidays in Asia, including Japanese Golden Week (May 1st – 6th), Chinese Workers’ Week (May 1st – 5th), International Workers’ Day (May 1st) and Korean Tourism Week (May 1st – 11th), C-Festival generated tour packages and special incentives for overseas guests. The festival was composed of four core programs, namely AsiaMania, Creative U, Culture-Tech, and Music & Multimedia Showcase. K-Pop celebrity supporters ‘EXO’ are the official C-Festival ambassadors, and they did created a welcome video available on the C-Festival website. The key exhibition of the fair, AsiaMania saw participation from culture, tourism, and entertainment organizations across Korea, China, Russia, Japan and other Asian countries. AsiaMania took place at Coex Hall A from April 30th to May 3rd. The fair provided fun and interactive space for Asia’s iconic brands, traditions, and products, while including culture experiences, food tasting, cosmetics, arts and crafts, fashion, and travel information from a variety of Asian countries. Russia was selected as the Official Guest Country, with a dedicated pavilion offering a wealth of information and exclusive hands-on activities. Russia’s participation in AsiaADVERTORIAL

Mania coincides with the 2014–2015 official Korea–Russia ‘Mutual Visit Year,’ with visa exemptions and other incentives encouraging travel between the two nations. Meanwhile, Creative U was a creative exhibition platform for art and design, which featured both well-known and up-and-coming artists and designers. Culture Tech did show the convergence of culture and technology by showcasing items relevant to Korean Wave and technology goods. Music & Multimedia Showcase in the other hand provides the platform for highlighting Korean music and media. The MICE cluster consisted of 13 institutions and companies – The Korea International Trade Association, Coex, Coex Mall, City Airport, Logis & Travel, Grand Korea Leisure, Megabox, Seoul Ocean Aquarium, Our Home, SM Entertainment, Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Han Moo Shopping, Han Moo Convention, Hotel Lotte Duty Free Shop, MICE Cluster was been established under the Korea International Trade Association’s leadership in September 2013 in a bid to foster the Korea World Trade Center as Asia’s MICE business hub. In order to activate and foster the local service industry, MICE Cluster has formed a consultative body and is planning to create a new business model based on MICE industry, which embodies huge impact over economy. Within this context, starting from C-Festival 2015, MICE Cluster plans to host this festival on an annual basis by developing and utilizing contents where the audience can come in contact with Korea’s differentiated content converging culture, arts and technology. Through such initiative, MICE Cluster aims at attracting foreign capital and creating added-value by attracting more buyers and tourists and eventually making the Korea World Trade Center as a must visit spot for them.

Meeting planners are the real stars in Berlin. We know all there is to know about arranging meetings.

Visit us at IMEX, Booth F 100-40

Do you need to arrange a meeting, convention or any other type of event at short notice? If so, the Berlin Convention Office is on hand 24/7 to give you all the support you need. We work closely with local partners across the city and can quickly provide you with relevant advice, help and information. With the Berlin Convention Office, you can rest assured that your event is in good hands. Member of

Berlin is the country’s largest ­scientific centre


ith four internationally renowned universities, seven universities of applied sciences, 22 technology parks and business incubators as well as 70 nonuniversity research institutions, the German capital is the country’s largest scientific centre. This innovative environment makes Berlin an internationally sought-after destination for highclass science events. The Visit Berlin Berlin Convention Office is in close contact with institutions across the city, strengthening ties of universities and institutes with countries abroad. Our contacts also help us to handle requests for keynote speakers, says Heike Mahmoud, Director of Conventions at Visit Berlin. Science, education, knowledge generates meetings and what does this mean for the development of the city Berlin? Each factor supports the other: As we strengthen Berlin as a centre for science and research, the city will become more interesting for events in this sector, which in turn will encourage highlyqualified people such as scientists and professors to move to the city. This is an important prerequisite for the transformation of Berlin into an “intelligent city” (Smart City). The Berlin-Brandenburg capital region is one of the most prolific centres of higher education and research in Europe. How does Visit Berlin explore this knowledge to create more congresses and conferences? Working inside some of the universities? Berlin is one of the leading cities for medical conferences in Europe. One highlight in 2015 will be the annual World Health Summit, an important international forum addressing global health care issues. In October, more than 1,000 experts from 90 nations will be coming to Berlin, including Nobel laureates, health ministers, and corporate CEOs, putting the German capital in the global health care spotlight.

We work in close cooperation with Berlin’s universities and foundations such as the Technical University, the Humboldt University, the Charité Hospital, and the Einstein Foundation. We would like to expand this cooperation in the future. One of our first joint projects will be our exhibition stand at IMEX in Frankfurt, where, together with 27 of the city’s partners, we will not only present the wide range of offerings Berlin has available for meetings, conventions, and incentives, but also the excellent research opportunities available in Berlin. Together with the Technical University of Berlin, we will be presenting a unique project at booth F 100-40: iBOSS, a sustainable approach to building satellites on a modular basis. This will allow them to be rehabilitated while still in orbit, instead of letting them drift loose as debris into outer space. This project is just one example of the innovative power here in Berlin. What about the economic impact for Berlin when it comes how important are the congresses, conferences and events for the Berlin conventional venues? The Berlin convention industry has seen rapid growth for years and is a key economic factor for the city. Last year saw some 11 million participants (up  3 % over the previous year) coming to more than 131,000 events (up 4 %) held in the German capital. This is an average of 360 events and 30,000 participants each day. Berlin’s meeting and convention industry generated €2.2 billion in 2014 (up 9 % over 2013) and is responsible for approximately 38,000 full-time jobs in the German capital. Measured by the number of participants, meetings and conferences related to science and research represented 15 per cent of the total in 2014 (up from 14 % in 2013). Medical congresses make a considerable contribution to our city’s economy.


Ireland Taking care of business


reland is one of the world’s leading locations for business, positioned at the natural gateway to Europe and a key location for many organisations seeking a European base. Ireland was voted as one of the best countries in the world for ease of doing business by Forbes and it’s easy to see why. It is ranked first in the world for availability of skilled labour, is one of the top 20 most innovative countries in the world, is the only English speaking country in the Eurozone and has an extremely pro-business environment. While the global downturn impacted significantly on Ireland, the country is on the road to recovery and continues to attract investment by some of the world’s largest companies. As a result, Ireland’s economic growth rate surged last year, making it the fastest growing economy in the EU according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ireland is a happening place and is the internet and games capital of Europe. Global players in the ICT sector such as Intel, HP, IBM, Microsoft and Apple have long-established operations in Ireland. They have been joined by newer leading-edge giants such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, PayPal, eBay, Twitter and most recently Airbnb. More than 50 % of the world’s leading Financial Services firms also have operations in Ireland including Bank of America, BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Cisco Systems, Citibank, HSBC and KBC. In addition, the Life Science sector includes a large majority of the top global companies such as Abbott, Bayer, Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic who have helped make Ireland’s Western corridor the best medical devices ecosystem in the EU regulatory environment. With so many European headquarters based in Ireland, it’s hard to deny that one of the best countries in the world for doing business, is also the perfect destination for hosting business events. The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) opened in September 2010 and is Ireland’s only purpose built conference centre. Situated in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin, The CCD is perfectly designed ADVERTORIAL

to enable networking and movement of delegates throughout the inspirational space – accommodating conferences of up to 5,500 delegates. The venue is located just 20 minutes from Dublin Airport which serves 57 airlines and 175 routes, including direct flights to the UK, Europe, the US and the Middle East. Over the past four and a half years, The CCD has hosted over 1,000 events, won 27 industry awards and welcomed high calibre conferences including the International Bar Association Conference (5,200 delegates), Euroscience Open Forum (4,500 delegates), the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases (2,500 delegates), the One Young World Summit (2,000 delegates) and the European People’s Party Election Congress (2,200 delegates), as well as a diverse range of corporate clients including NetApp, Facebook, Google, Intel and KPMG. Dublin’s small, compact size and The CCD’s city centre location gives conference organisers the option of over 19,000 competitively priced accommodation options, all within a 10km radius of The CCD. It also gives conference visitors the added bonus of getting out and soaking up the culture and hospitality of one of Europe’s most popular capital cities during their stay. The future is not just looking bright for Ireland, but also for The CCD which has confirmed a host of high-profile international conferences up until 2018 including the 68th ESOMAR Congress 2015, the Physiological Society Annual Meeting 2016, the 32nd International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology 2016, MicroTAS 2016, the International Conference on Information Systems 2016, Eurospine 2017, World Congress of Biomechanics 2018 and the 37th International Symposium on Combustion 2018. More info at









Your events deserve Paris HÔTEL SALOMON DE ROTHSCHILD

Palais des congrès de Versailles LE Palais des congrès de Paris

Paris nord Villepinte

Espace Grande Arche Le palais des congrès d’Issy

Paris le Bourget


Espace Champerret

Carrousel du Louvre

Paris expo Porte de Versailles


New partnership for Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild


iparis adds a symbol of the French “savoir vivre” to it’s portfolio. The Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild is a listed historical monument in the heart of Paris’s 8th arrondissement, just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe. As part of a recent refurbishment, the building has been thoroughly modernised and offers a showcase setting for some one hundred events each year. French and international guests alike are captivated by the building’s eighteenth-century allure and the cuisine of renowned chef Yannick Alléno. Renaud Hamaide, CEO of Viparis, welcomes this new partnership: “Viparis is extremely pleased to add one of Paris’s crown jewels, the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, to its portfolio. It will provide a unique setting for high-profile conferences and events, and it secures Viparis’s position as market leader in Parisian event planning.”

The Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild at a glance: ƒƒ More than 1,600 m² of indoor reception areas, including: ƒƒ 8 recently-renovated eighteenth-century reception rooms (between 65 and 120 m²) ƒƒ A 500 m² salon ƒƒ Modular spaces that can accommodate from ten to 1,500 guests ƒƒ Cutting-edge technological fittings ƒƒ 3,900 m² of gardens and outdoor spaces ƒƒ A cour d’honneur ƒƒ The “jardin aux biches” and the Balzac rotunda ƒƒ Access to the grounds adjoining the Fondation Balza More info at



No. 15 PUBLISHER Roger Kellerman

May 2015 Converting ideas into impact



The DNA of a Destination Atti Soenarso: Changes are afoot with regard to Fam Trips.


Hans Gordon, Aviation Psychologist Breaking point – when control snaps.

Katarina Brandt, Tomas Dalström, Gary Getz, Hans Gordon, Roger Kellerman, Annette Lefterow, Robin Sharma, Atti Soenarso, Mike van der Vijver PHOTOGRAPHERS  Sara Appelgren, Stephanie Blomkamp, Claire Droppert, Anders Engström, Lois Lammerhuber, Yanan Li, Simon C Maxwell, Jon van Terry, Anders Wejheden, Graeme Wilson TRANSL ATION  Dennis Brice


Designing Meeting Places Acclaimed architect Larry K. Oltmanns shares his insights.


On Hierarchy

Hans Gordon: Is it possible to meet on a level playing field? 62 MEETINGS FOR GROWTH

Annika Wennerblom, City Manager “Meetings will pave the way to creating new innovations.”

EDITOR Pravasan Pillay


EDITORIAL RAYS OF SUNSHINE  Bimo’s celloensemble

+ Teitur + London Here East + M A Charpentier + The Literary Hub SUBSCRIPTION Four issues: Sweden €39, Europe €73, Outside Europe €77. Buy at or Single copies are €15 + postage when ordered online.  CONTACT  Meetings International Publishing, P.O. Box 224, SE-271 25 Ystad, Sweden, Editorial Office +46 8 612 42 20, Commercial Office +46 72 551 70 97,, ­ 



Meeting Design III Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver discuss programme design.


To Be as Fast as You Can – Move Slow Annette Lefterow on our ‘inner economy’.

INSTAGRAM @meetingsinternational @postcardbymeetings  PRINTED BY  Trydells Tryckeri – environmentally certified

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Turning Distraction into Action Corbin Ball illuminates Second Screen Technology.



Reproduction of articles and other material, whole or in part, is forbidden without the prior consent of the publishers. Quoting, however, is encouraged as long as the source is stated.

Una Tellhed unpacks the mysteries of creativity. 122 KELLERMAN

Digging Deeper Roger Kellerman looks forward to Business Intelligence Report #2. Meetings International is a member of ICCA, MPI, SITE and The International­Federation of Audit Bureaux of ­Circulations, IFABC.

Meetings International Publishing uses environmentally certified printing, paper and distribution.

Stockholm – where creativity meets technology in new and exciting ways.

Photo: Jens Assur

Creativity appears to be contagious. At least it does in Stockholm where it’s currently rubbing off from more traditionally creative types – like artists, musicians and filmmakers – onto a new breed of tech entrepreneurs and world-conquering businesses. If you’re looking for an exciting place for your next meeting or congress, you really should take a look at Stockholm – and let that creative bug spread among you and your colleagues too.

Photo: Annika Berglund

Jonas Norberg, Jonas Norberg, CEO/Co-founder CEO/Co-founder of of Pacemaker, Pacemaker, gives a presentatation gives a presentatation of of his company’s his company’s groundbreaking groundbreaking DJ app DJ app for iTunes and for iTunes Spotify andat Spotify the at Polar the Polar Talks Talks 2014. The 2014. next Polar The next Talks Polarwill Talksbe will held be held at Filmstaden at Filmstaden Sergel inSergel Stockholm in Stockholm 8 June. 8 June.

”The prize, ”The the prize, ceremony the ceremony and and the collaborations the collaborations it leadsit to leads have to have contributedcontributed to positioning to positioning Stockholm Stockholm as one the world’s as one theleading world’s leading music music centers.” centers.” Marie Ledin,Marie Managing Ledin, Managing Director Director of of Polar Music Polar Prize Music Prize

Polar Talks of creative There is no shortage of the creative One of world’s largest One of the world’s largest Polar Talks The Polar Talks Theutilize Polar Talks theutilize talents the talents of the of guests the guests arted their geniuses whoexporters have startedof their music exporters of music gathered for the gathered annual for the Polar annual Music Polar Music PrizePrize and gone careers on in Stockholm andisgone on Stockholm the birthplace Stockholm of the Swedish is the birthplace of the Swedish ceremony. Talks have The Talks evolved have evolved into an into an om. There to international stardom. There music phenomenon, and ismusic currently phenomenon, one of andthe is currentlyceremony. one of the The international think international tankthink andtank offer andaoffer collection a collection rgman, was actress Ingrid worldsBergman, leading music exporters worldsbehind leading music the U.S. exporters behind the U.S. of verbal “jam of sessions”, verbal “jam sessions”, where inspiring where inspiring man (no reladirector Ingmar andBergman the UK. (no Butrelait’s not only andabout the UK.present-day But it’s not only about present-day presentations presentations cover hot cover topics hotlike topics advances like advances in in p band ABBA tion), super mega popAvicii bandand ABBA acts like Icona Pop. acts like The Avicii songs and Icona of Pop. The songs of technology and technology general and trendspotting general trendspotting in a in series a series house- and the international houseproducers like the late Denniz producers Pop like and theMax late Denniz Pop and Max of panel of panel discussions that are that interesting are interesting to to wedish House music phenomenon Martin,Swedish with an House astoundingMartin, 17 Billboard with an astounding num- 17 Billboard num- discussions anyone, not only anyone, music not only buffs. music buffs. current music Mafia. And ofber course, musichave ber ones current to his name, topped ones tointernational his name, have topped international Avicii along stars like Robyn andfor Avicii alongPut all this charts decades. chartsmusical for decades. talent Put all this musical talent A summer Aweek summerin week Stockholm in Stockholm r screen with like stars of the silverwith screen like together Stockholm’s world-leading together with Stockholm’s tech, world-leading tech, full of music full and of music tech and tech and actress the Skarsgårdand family and actressthat Spotify, it’s no surprise and it’sthe no surprise onlinethat Spotify, the online During one extraordinary summer summer weekweek (June (June o mention Noomi Rapace. music Not service to mention that revolutionised music service the way that revolutionised music theDuring way musicone extraordinary 8-13), Stockholm 8-13), will Stockholm play host will play tohost thousands to thousands ofof ors Tomas celebrated film directors Tomas is distributed, was started inis Stockholm. distributed, was started in Stockholm. global heavyweights global heavyweights in the music, in the music, tech, tech, venture venture ndersson. Alfredsson and Roy Andersson. cap, fashion, media cap, fashion, andmedia creative and creative industries. industries. what really The list goes on. Polar But what Music really Prize Polar Music Prize Not only will Not Daniel only will Ek,Daniel CEO-founder Ek, CEO-founder of of is the way sets Stockholm apart is Music the way The Polar Prize, the The musical Polar Music equivalent Prize, the musical equivalent Spotify, and Ash Spotify, Pournouri, and Ash Pournouri, founder founder of At of At xed withthat creativityof gets themixed Nobelwith Prize (also from of the Stockholm), Nobel Prize (also from Stockholm), Management Night Management (Avicii), (Avicii), host the hostinaugural the inaugural ew and technology towas form new and founded in 1989 by thewas late founded Stig ”Stikkan” in 1989 by the late StigNight ”Stikkan” Symposium Stockholm Symposium Stockholm June 8 through June 8 through 13. 13. The The s. In fact, exciting the collaborations. Anderson – Inpublisher, fact, the lyricist Anderson and manager – publisher,of lyricist and manager of rest of the week rest of will thebe week equally will be equally filled filled withwith mumuStockholm creative are industries in–Stockholm are ABBA and is considered ABBA one of – and theis most considered one of the most sic and entertainment. sic and entertainment. Or howOr about: how about: the Polar the Polar on a real roll.prestigious in the world. This prestigious years in winners, the world. This years winners, Music Music Polar Prize Talks and Polar (see Talks above), (see above), DenDenEvelyn Glennie and Emmylou EvelynHarris, Glenniewill and Emmylou Harris, will Prize and niz niz Pop Scandinavian Awards, Scandinavian MusicMusic Summit, Summit, receive their awards from the receive hand theirof awards Hisfrom Ma-the hand of HisPop Ma- Awards, the incrediblythe popular incrediblySummerburst popular Summerburst Festival Festival jesty, King Carl XVI Gustaf, jesty, inKing the Carl Stockholm XVI Gustaf, in the Stockholm and AVICII Fest. and AVICII The culminating Fest. The culminating moment moment will will Concert Hall on June 9. Concert Hall on June 9.

be the Brilliant Minds Conference on June 1112, hosted at Grand Hôtel Stockholm, where the brightest and most influential people in the music and tech industries will attend. Stockholm – the film location Stockholm is built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges with sparkling blue water, luscious green parks and stunning vistas everywhere you look. Factor in the city’s unique mix of old and new, and you quickly realise that Stockholm is a city perfectly suited for filmmaking. The Stockholm Film Commission is central to Stockholm’s efforts to attract professional filmmakers and provides support and assistance for international and Swedish film-producers interested in shooting in the region. Photo: FRSM/Jonas Feinberg

The Millennium Trilogy The Millennium Trilogy is a great example of film making in Stockholm. It all started as three completed, but never published novels, by the deceased author Stieg Larsson and soon snowballed into an international phenomenon. To date, no fewer than four Millennium films have been recorded in Stockholm. The first Swedish one by Niels Arden Oplev and the next two by

Daniel Alfredsson. The American film based on the first novel in the series was directed by David Fincher and shot on location in Stockholm. The franchise has since expanded into a platform which includes city tours and an app in which the user can walk in the footsteps of the main character and discover the Millennium universe. Expert help – free of charge Stockholm Convention Bureau is here to make things easier for organizers. As a part of Stockholm Visitors Board, we provide a free-of-charge service offering all the support you need to plan a successful meeting. If you want to know more about what we offer and why creative companies and organizations keep coming back to Stockholm, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

For more advice on your next meeting, send us an email or give us a call. Stockholm Visitors Board Stockholm Convention Bureau Phone: +46 8 508 28 551


What would your homescreen look like if you only had apps from Stockholm? The image to the left shows some of the many apps and applications that originate from Stockholm. But why has Stockholm turned into this creative melting-pot full of unexpected cross-collaborations, you might ask? Well, perhaps it’s as simple as the principle of creativity attracting creativity just the way retail trade attracts more retail trade in a shopping mall?

28 | INTRO

The DNA OF A DESTINATION What does a study trip entail with regard to meetings and events? There are several schools of thought, this is one: Media and/or buyers are invited to a Fam Trip. You fly (most often) to the destination, are fetched at the airport by a chauffeur and driven to the hotel, usually a 4 or 5-star. Perhaps a tour of the hotel before lunch. The meal can just as well be taken in the neighbouring top restaurant. If not earlier it is now you meet the liaison person who will be with the group in the coming days. This is where it becomes rather embarrassing as several of the invited dinner guests have forgotten their business cards. Usual line: “I’ll email one later.” The afternoon is spent viewing three more hotels, either recently opened or refurbished, followed in the evening by a nice meal in another fine restaurant. The gist of the day is primarily the people you meet for lunch and later for dinner. If you are in luck there are some interesting people on the trip who have knowledge and insights that could prove useful in your articles. Day two consists of two event venues, just as many restaurants and

hotels, appointments with respective meeting place marketing, PR and/ or media representatives, and all the delegates get a USB stick containing images and text. Lunch at a popular restaurant that turns out to be the favourite haunt of your host. For dinner: Another formidable restaurant; even had a mention in the New York Times (it lived up to it). But changes are afoot with regard to Fam Trips. Of course we should look at hotels, restaurants and meetings venues, but we should primarily be meeting people who create and share the latest developments, innovations, knowledge streams and give you and your fellow travellers ‘aha’ moments. “You don’t mean that your mayor actually realises what meetings and events generate financially and knowledge-wise for your town?” During my recent trips to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and, most recently, Tech City in London, I noticed the level of insight has reached new heights. I now meet business leaders from diverse areas, people who represent chambers of commerce, representatives of science parks and engineering companies, investors, leading research scientists,

urban developers, entrepreneurs, public officials, etc. Together they can provide the pieces of the puzzle (content, content, content) to a destination’s creative and financial development. Imagine being able to expand on your thoughts together with other people who are keen to relate what they are doing while having new viewpoints and ideas added to your thoughts. We are now shifting to a whole new level with new players and I promise you we cannot hang about. The Netherlands and London are way ahead in this and are creating better conditions for new meetings in every conceivable area. A talking point: do those destinations, from different perspectives, qualify to develop sustainable meetings venues while contributing to the success of creative clusters?

Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. She has worked for Scandinavia’s largest daily newspaper, was TV4’s first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings. photo Magnus Malmberg


lounge with a spectacular view of stockholm

Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre

a strong injection to Stockholm as a convention city There are many who say that the Stockholm Waterfront Congress

the airport in 20 minutes by train. They can walk directly from Arlanda

Centre has become a strong injection to Stockholm as a convention

Express terminal to the congress centre.

destination. From here, in the city centre you have a view over the City Hall,

– When we told a U.S. customer that we have over three thousand hotel rooms within five minutes walking distance, she did not believe

with the Blue Hall, where the winners and their guests eat the Nobel

that this could be true. Of course it is also important that Stockholm is

Award dinner. You can also overlook parts of Sweden’s third largest

a safe city to walk in, says Kenth Larsson.

lake, Mälaren, and a great portion of the city’s beautiful buildings and scenery. – When we meet with clients around the world we can see that our

Collaboration is key to Stockholm Waterfront and they see themselves as a complement to the activities that are otherwise in the Stockholm meetings market and the cooperation with competitors

efforts have contributed to a renewed curiosity in Stockholm. Many

floats very well. They provide each other with guests and their part-

organizers see another reason to have Stockholm on their short list of

ners will find new business for Waterfront, because the others cannot

cities in Europe, says Kenth Larsson, Director of Sales & Marketing.

take congresses up to 3,000 guests in size, but it also means that the

Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre have found their specialty

Waterfront provides many hotels with many guests when large meet-

and the competitors have to focus on their own niche even more

ings and events are in the house. Up to 3,000 people is not enormous,

than they did before. That means that Stockholm has become even

but perfectly adequate, as approximately 80 percent of all large meet-

stronger as a convention and event destination.

ings and conventions are somewhere between 500 to 2,000 people.

– When we make a bid to try to win an international congress, we

The combination of hotel and congress centre in the same building

normally compete with three to ten destinations – and today Stock-

is unique in Europe and with this city position – in the world. Before

holm is often on the list when it comes to cities in Europe for the major

breaking ground Sam Holmberg and Kenth Larsson went around the

conferences, says Sam Holmberg, CEO of Stockholm Waterfront Con-

world for inspiration.

gress Centre. He also believes that it is important that they are in the city centre of Stockholm, but also that their customers can get from

– Hotels are easier to compare, it’s about the same type of, as an example, procedures and logistics, but when it comes to the congress

Stockholm WaterFront congreSS centre

centre, there was no place that fully met our thoughts and ideas. We

stimulating way. There is free wifi, which Rezidor was one of the first

did find bits and pieces for our concept in different places.

hotel chains in the world to introduce.

The congress centre is flexible, with movable walls and platforms.

When John McEnroe stayed at Waterfront, he was impressed that

It offers small meeting rooms and large conference rooms, which seats

he at a first class hotel could walk directly from his room within only

up to 3,000 people and has a ceiling height of 17 meters. They also

two minutes and play tennis in the redecorated adjacent Congress

have a separate AV team and their own equipment. Some of the major

Hall. McEnroe took part in the tournament Kings of Tennis, which

conferences that have been here are FERMA 2011 (Risk Manage-

included Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and others. Other well-known

ment with over 1,500 participants), Escaide 2011 (European Scientific

artists who played in the main congress hall are Sting and Bob Dylan.

Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology), SpaceOps

The Dalai Lama also held a highly acclaimed lecture here.

2012 (International Conference on Space Operations), Eurotox 2012

When Sting was here, he said at the end of the concert that he

(Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology), IFPA 2012 (World

liked the acoustics very much and it was one of the best facilities he’d

Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference), and ICSC 2013 (Retail Real

played in.

Estate Industry). That the brain is the goal of all communication Waterfront takes very seriously – which has resulted in the concept ‘Experience Meetings’. One example: We have all sat and nodded off after an ordinary

– Good sound is one of the key success factors we planned before building the place and that has worked very well. I am very proud of that, says Sam Holmberg. Waterfront has invested in solar energy and on a sunny day it has

– conference lunch – which resulted in the body’s satiety signals which

the power of one megawatt, which among other things is enough

restricts our ability to be nimble and absorb information.

to produce the hot water needed. In the basement there is also the

With the help of experts, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group developed

possibility to freeze up to 250 tons of ice in five large containers. This is

the concept Brainfood, which helps us stay more creative throughout

to create cooling in parts of the house that need it. At Waterfront they

the day.

redistribute the heat – from surplus to shortfall – through an advanced

Another example is the creative ‘Brain Box room’ – which all guests in the house can reserve and use. Here’s a big wall to write on, stimulating colors, more reclining seats and the ability to surprise in a

climate control system.

a1 auditorium

Both the hotel and congress centre are certified by Green Building


certification and the hotel was the first Swan eco labeled hotel on the

Location Stockholm City

same day as the opening.

Opened January 2011

Responsible Business is Carlson Rezidor’s CSR program which the

Powered by Carlson Rezidor Hotel group

hotel and congress centre belong to. The program has 3 pillars: Think

Total area 14,000 square meters that can be sec-

Planet, Think People and Think Together. Ethics is one of the guiding

tioned and combined into a large number of different

principles and the hotel group has been a 4 time winner of the World’s

solutions - for 500, 1,000 or 3,000 persons. The

Most Ethical Company Award.

venue can cater for gala dinners up to 2,000 persons,

Sam Holmberg and Kenth Larsson also note that they can have

concerts, large business meetings, exhibitions etc.

as many flexible and movable walls as you like, superior technology

Foyer Additional 3,000 sqm of possibilities.

and design – but it’s worth nothing if the service culture is not in the

Largest congress hall 3,000 people

house 24/7. The ’100 % Satisfaction Guarantee policy’ is of course

Other meeting facilities More than 20 rooms. From the

something else that’s a great tool that’s good for both the guests and

VIP room for 12 and others up to 600 people.

the employees.

Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, first class facilities with

– My philosophy is that everything starts with employees. Often you start at the other end by primarily looking at profit, then the customer and ultimately the employees. We must give employees the opportunity to do their job in the best way by giving them strong tools, training and good working conditions. When they know what to do, what is expected and when they enjoy their work, it becomes rather obvious. The result is that the customers will be happy and when they are satisfied good results will follow, says Sam Holmberg.

direct access 414 rooms Within 300 meters 3,500 extra hotel rooms



image ©




Tomas Dalström PHOTOS

Sara Appelgren





On 24 March 2015 a co-pilot deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. The BBC rang Aviation Psychologist Hans Gordon to ask if he would take part in a radio programme, World Forum, to which listeners from all over the world call to ask questions of an expert panel. The following day he appeared in one of the BBC’s TV programmes. He also assisted Sweden’s largest TV channels, newspapers and radio programmes. The most common questions were: do all countries and airlines have aptitude tests? Are pilots monitored, medically as well as psychologically? To what extent are pilots found to be unsuitable? Hans Gordon is one of the world’s most experienced and knowledgeable aviation psychologists. He has done it for 50 years and is now in part-time retirement. You might recognise his name. He has written a series of articles under the heading Psychological Meetings for Meetings International since 2002.

The interview uncovers a patchwork of decisions, measures and approaches with regard to the recruitment of pilots. Things differ between countries and regions, but also within countries themselves. Hans Gordon says he is unable to comment in detail on the various parts of the world, but he is generally aware of how things work. “There are no mandatory requirements for psychological aptitude tests when recruiting pilots in large parts of the world, that is left to the airlines themselves. This means that 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“ Things were said that weren’t meant and things were meant that weren’t said”

some airlines conduct psychological tests in an attempt to assess whether a person is functioning reasonably well, socially and professionally. Then there are airlines that can’t afford it. They cut corners and cross their fingers that anyone trained at an aviation school has the right qualities. The aviation school, most often private, has approved the student. Some budget airlines conduct some form of aptitude test, usually very simplified, that are not always compiled or evaluated by psychologists.” We rewind the tape to Sweden in the 1950s to see where it all began. Hans Gordon is 15 and has a deep interest in what is going on inside of people and between people. He even buys a psychology book from his savings. “I think my interest in psychology stemmed from growing up in a family where things were going on all the time that I couldn’t figure out. Things were said that weren’t meant and things were meant that weren’t said.” The decision to study psychology at what is now Stockholm University was a no-brainer. He alternated between psychology, sociology and pedagogics. At the pedagogics departMEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

ment was a professor called Arne Trankell. “He was a strong character and something of a celebrity. I was destined to become one of his closest associates.” In the early 1950s, Arne Trankell was given an assignment by the SAS airline company, which had been formed just two years previous. They had noticed a vast difference in quality between the pilots; some were very self-assured while others had problems as soon as they began learning about the various types of aircraft. There were also those with social and mental problems. Management had heard that KLM, among others, used an aptitude test and selection process when recruiting new pilots. Arne Trankell, who had previously conducted a survey into military pilots, visited KLM to see how they worked. “When he came home he said that their methods were alright but he could do a lot better. And he was allowed to. But SAS continued with their recruitment tests and paid no attention at first to the psychologist’s answers. They said they weren’t sure if we were right so they would con-






“ I usually differentiate between what is known as a psychologist’s assessment and a test”

tinue with their own assessments and compare them with ours. I think that was a very wise decision. After two to three years it was plain to see that the psychologists were right. This guy is good but that one’s not so good, just like my future colleagues had predicted. SAS then made a policy decision to recruit only pilots who had undergone psychological aptitude tests and been approved. “Trankell and his team developed the methods and in the mid-1960s Thai Airways International came into the picture. They were planning an international airline and consulted SAS, who entered a joint venture project with them. SAS/Thai appointed several SAS staff, including a Swedish flight operations manager. When he saw how the quality of the pilots varied he decided they would use the same type of aptitude test and selection process as in Scandinavia.” When Arne Trankell died in 1984, Hans Gordon was offered the chance to take over the main responsibility for the psychological testing. He agreed. “Together with my young wife, a behavioural scientist, we formed Gordon Consulting and the Scandina-

vian Institute of Aviation Psychology. I was already a trained and experienced psychotherapist, so I had the clinical part along with knowledge of testing and investigation techniques. With these two backgrounds I’ve worked a great deal with airlines and shipping companies, which came into the picture in the 1990s. They’d discovered that even naval officers varied in quality.” Back to 2015 and a spring day in Stockholm. Aircraft on their way to Bromma Airport coast pass the conservatory window. Psychologists are schooled differently, have different backgrounds and interests; some are interested in the cognitive while others are more test fixated and base everything on the test results. So how things turn out when a prospective pilot meets a psychologist depends on who they happen to meet. “I usually differentiate between what is known as a psychologist’s assessment and a test. When I receive anybody who is taking a test I tell them they’re not only there to be tested but to be assessed, and the assessment begins the minute they walk through the door. The assessment includes everything about them 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“Each one of us has our breaking point”

that I perceive. Their life experiences, what they’ve gone through, what they’ve learned from their experiences, how they’ve grown as a person, how they’ve reached various stages of maturity, etc. These are vital aspects. “Testing usually looks at the purely cognitive skills, which are also significant because we people differ very much in that respect. This could involve logical analyses, spatial ability, working memory and multitasking capacity. We also look at their social life, the relationships they’ve had, how close and how long they’ve lasted, their family life and where their experiences have come in handy. In education they use the term test wiseness, which means I can do a test several times, prepare myself and learn what’s expected of me. “With regard to the actual testing tools, even they differ from one psychologist to the next and between different psychology institutes. Some develop their own while others buy them. The means you could get vastly different results from different psychologists. If you want to achieve even better results by taking a test twice then you should either go to the same psychologist or two with similar tests. But if you come to me, I MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

not only assess how you manage the tests, I also carry out a more extensive personality test.” But can’t a respondent figure out how to answer the questions, realise it’s not wise to reveal that they’ve got few social contacts and become aggressive when somebody does this or that? Could it be that the co-pilot who crashed the plane had been manipulative in some way? “Personality is a complex thing. We people are creatures bursting at the seams with impulses and urges. We train during our early life in our trouble-free social environments to keep a balance between different types of internal urges and power games. This doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared, we just have them under reasonable control. That which we call the maturity process is actually gaining reasonable control over our own powers in our social interplay with others. The problem is, we can’t have reasonable control on any given occasion, but when the pressure dramatically increases from the outside world is when we may lose control. Each one of us has our breaking point. “I look at it this way: a pilot candidate could come and showcase a repertoire of fully approved behavioural

patterns and ways to collaborate, and so forth. If they later encounter circumstances that are extremely stressful and demanding and they begin to falter and not be bothered to keep up any longer, then that person is approaching their breaking point. That could well have been the case with this co-pilot. I know nothing about the case, I’m merely speculating. He could even have encountered a series of circumstances following his first aptitude test. Or perhaps the people who investigated him at the beginning did not possess enough clinical expertise but merely based everything on the cognitive test data and considered him to be a talented and quick-thinking person who reacted as expected, and so forth. So he gains approval for the tests but nobody has really looked into his personal background. This could also be the case.” Many feel that Lufthansa, who own Germanwings, bear a lot of responsibility for what happened. Hans Gordon is not so sure. “It’s a tricky one. Lufthansa has worked closely with DLR (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) for many years, a company specialising in selection tests. They are renowned for being very precise in






“We people are creatures bursting at the seams with impulses and urges”

their testing models. Then of course I have no idea as to the clinical expertise or experience of their psychologists. But I do know that DLR uses ingenious testing methods. “I’ve no way of knowing whether the co-pilot had taken DLR’s tests from the beginning, but I would have thought so. Lufthansa have to put their trust in the reports that say he is fully fit to pursue his aviation career. “All professional pilots have to take a medical every year. If they want to hide something it’s not easy for the doctor to see. Also, not many doctors are trained in, or have any experience of, psychology or psychiatry. In my experience, not many things are discovered that could lead to any great measures being taken, alternatively, a licence being revoked and eventual dismissal.” What responsibility does a doctor and other medical staff have if they discover somebody has serious problems? “In Sweden an aviation psychologist and doctor have to report any suspected problems that could entail risks. The EU has well-documented procedures. If a pilot shows signs of strange behaviour then they are referred to an aviation psychologist for

further examination, but something serious must have taken place where it is evident the pilot has suffered a human error or been lacking in judgement in some way. “Some US states have more stringent security demands while other have less. It’s up to the local experts to judge whether it’s necessary. Some Asian countries are way ahead while some parts of Asia and Africa have no procedures or authorities working on these issues. I could add that all airlines that are part of international transport organisations must comply with a comprehensive set of regulations, but their regulations are seldom written down to the finest detail. They usually leave it to the airline manager of each company to judge whether it’s necessary to send somebody for an examination.” Hans Gordon says that it is very difficult to examine a person who has grown up in a completely different culture. “During my years at Thai Airways I probably made mistakes and let people through who I shouldn’t have. But in broad terms it has gone well. I’ve had the privilege of working with SAS and Thai for over 40 years. When you work with people with other

cultural backgrounds you should get into the culture as much as possible. If we compare the Scandinavian and Thai cultures, like I’ve worked with, there are huge differences in growing up conditions, upbringing etcetera. It takes a long time to learn that. You have to interview, interview and interview so you learn from those you interview. I read a lot about Thai history, culture and literature. “The Scandinavian countries have three different cultures with great differences. They reflect how people assess, view themselves and act. The differences are enormous despite us living so close together. And then there are the gender differences. Thai Airways International has still not employed a woman pilot. The air operations are still uncertain about investing in women captains. We’ve shown them that there are plenty of women who are very good pilots, but there are gender differences and they are also in the culture, the background you have and your interests, and so forth. Men are often more interested in technical analyses and technical and dynamic power, and so forth. It could, for example, be about having to explain what it actually entails to be up 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“You have to interview, interview and interview so you learn from those you interview”

in the sky in an aircraft. Men are often more interested and go in for that while many women aren’t and therefore don’t perform as well in that respect. On the other hand, they’re just as excellent in, for example, tests in logical analysis, spatial orientation, multi-tasking and working memory. We have customs from our cultures but there are probably also genetical differences in how we think, what we are interested in and what we do. It’s not by chance that more guys apply to technical education.” Hans Gordon says that the plane disaster in the Alps is already having an impact on the airline industry. There should always be two pilots in the cockpit, but the Germanwings captain had left the cockpit to go to the toilet. Due to what happened, some airlines like Norwegian declared that a pilot should never be left alone in the cockpit. Should one of the pilots need to check something at the back of the plane or go to the toilet then another member of the cabin staff must go in the cockpit. “I don’t think that’s a very wellthought out decision, more like grandstanding. What could other staff do anyway if the pilot starts fiddling MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

with buttons and levers? They know nothing about that and would be helpless. I’m attending a congress in Sweden this autumn in which airline managers and aeromedics from all the airlines will be taking part. We will be discussing how to further improve security. Internationally, demands will probably be made from other countries for improved selection trials and training programmes to detect those who are failing and get them back on track. I’m not overly optimistic and don’t think there will be much change. There are so many companies working with very tight margins. The very tight financial restraints make it difficult for any resource-demanding efforts. The large international airlines like SAS, British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France could, however, by more interested in implementing changes to further increase security. That’s what’s happened with the corresponding airlines in the Middle East and Asia. “Meanwhile, lots of small budget airlines have appeared on the scene that have grown rapidly. They would find it more difficult to fund any advanced testing of their pilots. There

are also countries with no tradition of cooperation between government bodies and airlines.” Hans Gordon does, however, have no fear of flying as a passenger. He puts his faith in the statistics. “Every second of every minute a plane takes off or lands somewhere in the world and very few accidents occur.”



Rotterdam, the second largest city in The Netherlands, is going from strength to strength. Badly bombed during the Second World War, Europe’s largest seaport has been transformed into an urban, global and creative meeting place for medicine, life science, foodstuffs, cleantech, shipping, logistics, design, architecture, and art and music. The feeling of renewal is in the air. Newly started engineering companies are flourishing thanks to the combination of cheap office premises, young and well-educated people and a host of meeting places for investors, businesspeople and entrepreneurs. Rotterdam has been a geographic node and meeting place for 400 years, not only in The Netherlands but the rest of Europe. Good infrastructure and excellent connections to and from the city are clear advantages to anybody wishing to implement any sort of meeting here. For example, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is just 26 minutes away by train. Thanks to several strategic political decisions, with Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb at the helm Rotterdam has steered a new course towards success and self-reliance. The city has been successful in its use of the Triple Helix and Penta Helix models, and has fully understood the contribution MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

made by meetings and events. Close collaboration between the public and private sectors also contributes to Rotterdam’s progress. It is inspiring to come to a city that focuses on sustainable urban development by converting industrial properties into exciting meetings venues. It is obvious that the city has a strategic plan, works with business intelligence, focuses on the local economy and visualises clusters. It also has the insight to understand that meetings and events generate knowledge and innovation, which, in the long term, leads to positive progress. Rotterdam is cosmopolitan with a spectacular avant-garde skyline. And not only that, people from all over the world have chosen to live here. The 600,000 or so inhabitants come from around 170 countries. More and more international companies are realising the strategic location of the city and opening offices here. One of them is Chinese company, ZPMC, the world’s largest manufacturer of lifting cranes who recently opened their European office here. Rotterdam has always attracted talent. Erasmus University is ranked among the best universities in the world, and Willem de Koonig Acad-

emy is ranked internationally as the best media, art and design school. Meetings like international congresses and sports events have already placed Rotterdam on the map as a suitable destination. One can only hope that more meetings planners discover the creative meeting places such as the Dakakker roof garden, the luxury liner SS Rotterdam that sailed the Holland–America line, Suite Hotel Pincoffs, Hotel Nhow, Hilton, Bilderberg Parkhotel, Markthal, Erasmus Medical Centre, the Ahoy fair and congress venue and Postillion Convention Centre WTC Rotterdam. Rotterdam has succeeded in refining its ID by telling a new story about an old city. We will not be surprised if World Expo 2025 finds its way here. Rotterdam Economic Council was formed by Rotterdam Partners. It is made up of representatives from leading countries and cultural, social and educational institutions. The members contribute with their experience, skills and knowledge to a sound policy that goes hand-in-hand with the vision of the City Administration

Drijvend Paviljoen, Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands


photo Claire Droppert



Meet us at stand E120


Dreaming of Holland

Say goodbye to sleepless nights searching for the perfect destination. Holland has all the ingredients dreams are made of. Come to the Holland Meeting Point (E100) during IMEX Frankfurt 2015 and ďŹ nd out why Holland is the Dream Destination for your next business event.

Don’t forget to pick up your FREE travel pillow at the Holland stand E100 during IMEX. Rest assured!

From left to right: Lena Palmén, municipal commissioner, Social Democrats, Tom Andersson, second deputy chairman of the council and municipal commissioner, Green Party, Morgan Hjalmarsson, municipal commissioner, Liberal Party, Annette Carlson, deputy chairman of the council and municipal commissioner, Moderate Party, Ulf Olsson, chairman of the council and municipal commissioner, Moderate Party photo Anders Engström  

RADAR | 49

Municipal Executive Board in Borås “MEETINGS ARE SEEN AS A SEPARATE STRATEGY AREA” Borås, in the west of Sweden with a population of 107,000, is one of many Swedish cities where politicians understand the significance of the meetings industry in future planning. Local politicians have also begun to realise the value in the knowledge transfer generated by meetings and events. The city’s vision, Borås 2025, focuses on the meetings between people. Meetings in which trust and respect are key elements and which fully utilise individual strengths, know-how, skills and ideas. Borås is undergoing rapid expansion. The university, local council and businesses have built a platform

in the Triple Helix model where the leading figures and political parties are in agreement over a strategic development model that gives the meeting a central role. “The way to get university, business and politics to work in harness is to create more meetings,” says Annette Carlson, municipal commissioner and deputy chairman of the council. The next step, the Penta Helix model, focuses on non-profit cultural initiatives and local residents/visitors. Borås has reached this point.


photo Stephanie Blomkamp






Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Stephanie Blomkamp Simon C Maxwell





Larry K. Oltmanns is an internationally renowned design leader of over 60 completed projects on five continents. He is a very famous architect in the meeting industry having designed a lot of convention centers such as Coex in Seoul, as a part of Korea World Trade Center, Suntech Singapore, Hong Kong Convention Centre, Melbourne, Adelaide, Bangalore and Dallas. But also Dublin International Airport and the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. As we see it you could say he is the man designing the meeting industry.

photo Simon C Maxwell

The location means a lot to the building's appearance. Are locations in a way talking to you?

“Location means everything to the appearance of a building. For all of our projects we start with the city plan, and we ask ourselves what the building can do to make the city better. I believe that every building, no matter how small, has a responsibility to make connections, to create public spaces, and to increase urban vitality. “In this sense every work of Architecture is also a piece of Urban Design. Since a lot of our work is done abroad, we probably tend to take less for granted than a local firm might do. We visit the city with our eyes open and we are naturally led to consider what it is that makes each city unique, and how we can capture the spirit of

the city in the building. In the case of a convention centre, there is also the opportunity for symbolism. “Since convention centres are by nature public buildings, we believe that they should represent the people, the city, and the region or country in which they are built. In other words, we seek to imbue the design with meaning. The case of Coex in Seoul is an interesting one. Here we had an existing building to deal with, one that looked, when we started designing in 1995, like a relic from the past. In fact, one of the primary components in the original building, the Trade Mart, was itself an obsolete function, having been replaced over the years by private showrooms in successful headquarters buildings all over the city. 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“We consciously sought in enlarging the existing building to completely transform the identity of the building in order to express in it the remarkable technological and financial progress that had taken place in South Korea in the intervening years. To this we added a political dimension that was also intended to be a reflection on progress, for who could have imagined even twenty

Even the people who are the strongest advocates start talking about Rate of Return, and what kind of profit the centre will generate on an annual basis. “The convention centre is not the business, the city is the business. Every casino operator today understands that entertainment and leisure are the magnets that draw people in, and that once there, the customer will

“The convention centre is not the business, the city is the business”

years before that Seoul would host ASEM 2000, an important Asian and European event attended by 24 heads of state? ASEM was in fact the opening event for the new and improved Coex, and it inspired the visual theme of ‘pairs’, an expression of partnership and of South Korea's ascendancy as an important player on the world stage.” Is there a bigger picture that politicians seem not to understand? Or is it the owners who only want to spend less dollars and still think that they have to build more profitable? Or is it the architect who doesn't understand the difference between a convention center and a concert hall?

“The proposition in building a convention centre is basically the same anywhere in the world: if you attract more visitors to a place, the long-term financial benefits will far outweigh the short-term expense. The idea is so simple and yet, as soon as the project enters into the realm of politics, everything suddenly seems to become impossibly complicated. MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

spend money in many other places within the development. It's a similar deal for the convention centre: when a thousand doctors converge on the host city to exchange ideas, they spend money elsewhere in the city: in the hotels, restaurants, shops, and other local businesses. When they return home, if the experience was a good one, they speak to their colleagues about what a great place the city was. Pretty soon you start seeing articles in high-end travel magazines and it becomes necessary to expand the arrivals area at the airport to handle the success. “The convention centre is part of an investment package, like all the other urban improvement projects that contribute to the stature and quality of a city, and its success needs to be measured broadly. The politicians who understand this simple idea are less inclined to look for budget cuts that keep the convention centre from realising its full potential.”

What is your philosophy behind your way of thinking about meeting places? You have also designed for example the NATO headquarters.

“My abiding passion in architecture has always been about creating places where people can meet. Isn't this what cities are really all about? Broadening the definition of urban design to include the design of convention centres came naturally to me. It started with the Hong Kong Convention Centre in 1993, and I have since come to realise that all successful buildings should in fact be thought of as meeting places. “The NATO headquarters building in Brussels was conceived as a very special meeting place, one in which the most important meetings have always taken place ‘in the corridors’ before the formal meetings in which decisions are announced. In our design concept we chose not only to facilitate these casual encounters, but to celebrate them. The form of the building is an expression of unity, and the place where one feels the sense of alliance most strongly is in the central space, which we call the Agora. It is here that the building is at its most insistent in promoting dialogue. “I am convinced that the absolute coincidence of function and meaning is one of the reasons why our scheme was chosen as the winner of the design competition, and why NATO has been steadfast in its commitment to building the vision we initially proposed.” How come you have got all these design missions to build convention centers?

“I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons Vx3 keeps getting selected to design convention centres all over the world is because of our commitment to the convention industry. I have always believed that as architects we have a responsibility to apply our


“All successful buildings should in fact be thought of as meeting places”

creativity towards making each building as ideally suited as possible to its function and to suggesting new ways for people to live and to enjoy life. “This means among other things that we need to spend time understanding our clients' businesses. I have been attending ICCA conferences and IMEX exhibitions for nearly 20 years and have found them to be great places for keeping abreast of what is happening in the industry. Wherever I travel I make it a point to visit the local convention centre and to speak with the operators about what works, what doesn't work, and how the customers' expectations are changing. “Most people in the industry tell me that the best architect is the one who knows the client's business nearly as well as the client. Knowledge and commitment allow us to be more proactive in the design process and to take things to a different level. A dialogue between experts is like playing tennis with someone who is really good: the quality of the game is bound to be better.” What are the most important things when you start to design a convention center?

“Without any doubt the most important factor I consider before even

starting to design is perception. What do people think they know about the place? Is the perception good or bad? The answers to these questions tell us whether we can take advantage of a good location by associating the building with the qualities that people already appreciate or if we need the image of the building to help change perceptions by showing us new things to see. “For example, on the most fundamental level the convention centre in Hong Kong is intended to capture the energy of the Victoria Harbour. Its form reminds us of the city lights, the floating restaurants, the night markets, the incredible shopping experience, the festivals and the dragon boats, and all the other activities that make Hong Kong such a compelling destination. Of course locating the building at the harbour's edge made our work a lot easier! “Now contrast this strategy with the convention centre we designed for a site on the outskirts of Jakarta, a city with mental associations that are perhaps less attractive. For the project in Jakarta we chose to relate to the undiscovered charms of the islands and to the potential of the experience after the convention. In-

donesia after all consists of thousands of islands, some with familiar names like Java, Bali, Papua, and Sumatra. “The building design employs the rich colours of the jungle: deep reddish earth tones reminiscent of mahogany, and a lush palette of greens, to evoke feelings of excitement related to discovery of the exotic, the primitive, and the unknown. The facade of the building filters the light of the sun like the tree canopy in a rain forest (at the same time blocking views of the highway adjacent to the building). In Hong Kong the image and experience of the building are constant reminders of where you actually are; in Jakarta they remind you of where else in the country you should go when the convention is over.” This interview is actually longer. You can find the full version on our web site: www. It will also appear in our forthcoming Meetings International Business Intelligence Report #2 this autumn.


RADAR | 57

All Eyes on ABERDEEN

photo Graeme Wilson

The Scottish city of Aberdeen has been ranked as one of the most competitive cities in the UK. A large infrastructure investment programme for meetings and events is currently underway. ‘Keep the economic impact coming to our region, and attract people and keep them here’ is an oft-used expression. Several large investments have already been made with more to come in the next five to six years. The number of hotel rooms has risen significantly in recent years, with many more planned, a total of a thousand to be exact. Today there are 4,000 beds in the three to five star range. Internationally, The Granite City, with its population of 230,000, including 50,000 students, is wellknown to anybody acquainted with the oil and gas industry. The city works strategically in accordance with the triple helix model and has realised the potential that meetings and events have for local communities. A survey from 2013 shows that over 14,000 events were held in Aberdeen that year, filling the city coffers with direct tax revenues exceeding €76 million. During the economic downturn, Aberdeen bucked the trend compared to other parts of the UK. The city is often referred to as an economic microclimate, meaning it is more open for new investment. Key industries include energy, life science, real estate and tourism. Unemployment is down to 2.3 per cent, the lowest in the UK. Aberdeen’s strong economic growth has attracted large sustain-

able investments, many new company start-ups and, crucially, people with higher education. The city is often referred to as the Energy Capital of Europe and attracts congresses, conferences and corporate events pertaining to the energy industry. Sixty three thousand people attended the 4-day Offshore Europe 2013 congress, generating around €55 million in tourism revenues. In June 2013, Aberdeen City Council clubbed through the building of a new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), with the grand opening planned for the turn of the year 2017/18. The current venue is no longer fit for purpose for the 600 or so events carried out every year and the arena’s physical limitations have reached breaking point. The new AECC will not only ensure that Aberdeen continues to attract large events, but also a greater proportion of congresses, conferences, exhibitions and concerts. AECC is already a key part of the city’s infrastructure and contributes with around €63 million to the local economy. The new multi-purpose arena is also part of a strategic general plan. Not only will the venue be the most sustainable in the UK, it will also include three hotels with a total of 500 beds, a business park, an energy centre and green open spaces. The main exhibition hall is 9,000 square metres with the capacity for 15,000 standing and 10,000 sitting guests. The idea is to be able to hold three parallel meetings with different or-

ganisers. Aberdeen is also one of the spearheads of the UK economy and has been a leading light in the global energy industry for 40 years. Several international companies have opened offices here, generating a whole host of meetings and events. The two universities are the city’s academic meeting places: The University of Aberdeen’s King’s College (max 400 people) and The Robert Gordon Institute of Technology (300 people). They offer historical environments suitable for company events, dinner parties and mingles. For banquets and corporate events there are several castles to choose from within a stone’s throw of the city centre: Fyvie Castle (a favourite), Castle Fraser, Drum Castle and Crathes Castle. The recently refurbished The Beach Ballroom is a classic Scottish venue in the art deco style right next to the beach promenade. It is also possible to combine meetings with a round of golf. There are 30 courses within a 30-minute drive, including the world famous, stunningly beautiful Trump International Golf Links. If you are keen to see more of the area there are 70 golf courses in northeast Scotland to choose from. Do not hesitate to add Aberdeen to your list of future meetings destinations.





Hans Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Authorised Psychologist, specialised in Aviation Psychology. Authorised psychotherapist, since 1987 running Gordon Consulting. Has for decades been engaged by airline companies, among them SAS and Thai Airways International. photo Sara Appelgren

image © Strozier

Is It Possible to Meet ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD? The large, open, four-wheel drive jeep bumped along the rutted dirt road in the South African safari park. Suddenly there they were basking on a grass verge at the side of the road. The male with his dark brown mane on his side sleeping, the female on her stomach with head raised and nostrils dilated. She was of course aware of our arrival. She probably knew ten minutes before when she first heard the diesel engine and the rumble of the wheels on the ground. The three full-grown cubs lay beside her resting and monitoring her movements. In hushed voices we asked our driver come guide if we weren’t asking for trouble stopping so close to a lion family. Not if we remain calm and collected in our seats, he replied after switching off the engine. The lions see us and the vehicle as a single object, he assured us. It’s too large and complex a prey for them, he said. But, should one of you get the urge to climb out of the vehicle onto the ground, your neck would be snapped like a twig in a flash and your body would be dragged away like any other prey. Lions are highly skilled predators. There was admiration in his voice, reinforced with a smile. Lion prides have a strict hierarchy. The male lion may be terrifyingly large but it is usually the female who decides when and if to hunt and the

type of prey. It is she with her combination of astute hunting skills and stamina who stamps her authority, especially in bringing up her cubs. The male is the territorial guard and commander. Stray lions that venture too close could find themselves in mortal danger if they don’t beat a hasty retreat when the male lion raises its head in a mighty roar. This strict hierarchy is found among several animal species, both large and small. The guide continues: See how the young male, the son in the family, goes up and gently rubs against his father. Similar to how a domestic cat rubs against a person’s leg. It looks cute, as though the son is looking for some affection. But that’s not really what it’s about. The son is checking his father’s muscle strength. As soon as the father starts getting old and weak a battle starts over the division of roles in the family. This is when the father could find himself in a vulnerable position. Is it possible to draw conclusions from the world of these primates about our planet’s ruling, and thus far, most bestial predator, Homo sapiens, us people? Let us see. Thirteen years ago I wrote an article in Meetings International about an experiment I conducted during my time as a senior lecturer at Stockholm University’s Education Department. 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


I began the first lecture of a course in group and organisational psychology by stacking all the desks and chairs along the walls and writing on the whiteboard in block capitals: PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THE FURNITURE. I entered the room just as the lecture was scheduled to begin. Most of the students were lined up along the stacked furniture looking confused and uncertain. I went to the middle

conformity to law where equality is a prerequisite for progress. In the best scenario, equality and mutual admiration leads to socially sustainable solidarity within the group, and therewith less anxiety over the course of events. However, there are no trouble-free organisational structures. Should the ring of solidarity, characterised by unwavering social equality between

“You may place me at the fancy dinner table, but please, not to the left of the hostess whatever you do!” of the room and presented myself and the course before saying: “Please begin!”. Things naturally became somewhat chaotic. No furniture, no framework, not even a teacher who provided structure in the shape of goals and tasks. Most of them reacted with a mixture of confusion and discernible passivity. They remained where they were and took no constructive action whatsoever. A couple of students began showing frustration bordering on rage: “I came here to listen to a lecture not to be a guinea pig for cranky experiments!” After five or six minutes a couple of students declared they were no longer obeying the command on the whiteboard, took a chair each and sat down. This is what the rest had been waiting for. They were soon all sat on chairs in a large circle. The circle is formed, usually subconsciously, with the aim of putting up a united front. This kind of united front could be said to have its roots in basic Aristotelian logic: in times of crisis people seek to cooperate through MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

the individuals, withstand the rigours of time, the demands on the members of the organisation would soon increase with more responsibility and a much heavier distribution of tasks. The cooperation mode would quickly switch to competition mode, resulting in envy towards the more enterprising and quick-thinking members. Even Aristotle in his day maintained that cooperation is always followed by competition, which has to be understood and accepted by everybody concerned if it is to lead to something sustainable. But as everybody knows, competition easily glides into rivalry and conflict, and thereafter struggle. It can of course be restrained and handled, but if the ring of equality is to survive then the members need to find ways of communicating and arguing their cause with their antagonists. Is there anything that is trained and developed to an acceptable level in social systems? Yes, in some cultures and contexts, but far from all. Training verbalism

and argumentation technique requires intellect and the willingness to survey the situation one finds oneself in from different angles. The majority of the Homo sapiens species either can’t or won’t act as diplomats. Instead they choose Fight or Flight, something that is usually accepted and encouraged by the subgroups they belong to. Fists and weapons, alternatively, poisoning, instead of fangs and claws, or just fleeing from what is clearly becoming a risk zone. One way to escape the risk zone is to use our society’s most common organisational blueprint: hierarchy. Within its four walls a strong leadership is called for, where the dream of the super hero is legion and there is room for lying low should the demands become too great. This room, or ‘shelter’, is there for those who for various reasons want to withhold and thus camouflage their competence. In a classroom, to take just one example, there are always those who sit at the back. It is the same in the workplace and most organisations. Here at the back of the class or the bottom of the steps nobody can see me. And you may place me at the fancy dinner table, but please, not to the left of the hostess whatever you do! And then of course there are those with the fully grown mane, the lion men, the alpha males, or the corresponding hyper-intelligent and highly competitive leaders among women, the alpha females. But, as everybody knows, they don’t make up the majority of the human flock. Is it possible to meet on a level playing field? Possibly in the lift or in the corridor outside the apartments where we live in our own little worlds. At all other times we follow the hierarchal blueprint that is so well established among most primates and in most cultures.


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The Swedish city of Trollhättan with its population of around 56,000 has several strategies to promote growth and development. One is meetings and events. TEXT

Atti Soenarso The council did a spot check of all the meetings in the city and made a list of which ones to continue with in order to attract more visitors. Meetings were also placed near the top of the agenda as a way of getting council leaders and politicians to understand the difference between tourism and meetings. “We realised we needed to look at the issue from a different angle. In 2013 we set up the Trollhättan Convention Bureau to attract more meetings, but we kept it separate from our tourism company,” explains City Manager Annika Wennerblom. “Meetings have a strategic function and we needed a plan to lift the city a few notches knowledge-wise in a way that would benefit meetings venues, hotels, restaurants and other commerce. We understood that the Convention Bureau belonged together with our business section, not our tourism company. This is a strategy


Sara Appelgren to develop commerce and the city as a whole.” Trollhättan aims to become the leading meetings city in the Fyrbodal region. According to Annika Wennerblom, Trollhätten has the best vantage point in its part of the region. Also, the university and private sector have a very successful partnership. A joint effort is required to attract different types of meetings to Trollhättan. She names University West as a magnet for conferences and congresses. The university has 15,000 students and is an international leader in several research fields. The business sector also generates plenty of meetings and possesses a broad range of knowledge and expertise. One example of a knowledgeintensive company is GKN, previously Volvo Aero, who invest in space technology and space research. The County Hospital is another meetingsintensive workplace mentioned by 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Annika Wennerblom: ‘an organisation with a high level of expertise’, where meetings and education are also key factors. Added to this are all the council activities. “The council has challenged all its staff to play host to meetings and contribute to Trollhätten’s development. The city has enormous potential. We have an excellent infrastructure to cater for different types of meetings. Meetings are a crucial strategic tool and we are striving to use them as an instrument, a vital injection for Trollhättan’s growth and development.” Annika Wennerblom knows the long-term synergies she wants to see from the investment in meetings city Trollhättan. With regard to the hardware, the city already has good venues but she would not stand in the way of more and even better meetings facilities.


“New hotels would give a positive kick. Meetings delegates have to stay somewhere.” With regard to the software, Annika Wennerblom says that Trollhättan has a long history as an industrial city but has taken great leaps towards becoming a knowledge city. “We should be aware that many of our local residents still consider Trollhättan as being an industrial town. There is still great sadness over the closure of Saab Automobiles here, but we think that modern technology will give us a fair chance to retain the car manufacturing industry. It’s not about being at the forefront of mass production but getting new knowledge for new times. Who knows, in five to ten years’ time we could be developing the latest electric vehicles.” There is broad consensus among the political parties: Trollhättan has

the goal of becoming the leading meetings city in the region. “When politicians see the good that comes out of collaboration with regard to development they put their weight behind the important decisions.” On the question of her own commitment to creating more meetings for Trollhättan, she replies that she is in the strategic management group for the E-society and is also a member of the Municipal Management Association, which holds annual meetings for its hundred or so members. “I’m also on the board of the Ågrenska Academy, a national competence centre for rare diseases. Trollhättan helped to develop a model to raise awareness among public authorities of rare disorders.” Annika Wennerblom’s commitment to attracting more meetings to


Trollhättan cannot be denied. The city is keen for people to have a positive picture of Trollhätten. “We have to create that image ourselves, of course. To bring meetings to the public eye, I will be attending all sorts of meetings both large and small at national and regional level together with our employees. Here there is a clear consensus.” She explains they will be visiting different places to get new perspectives on what they themselves accomplish. This analysis will give them a clearer view of the direction in which the various streams are heading. The new knowledge and insight will then be implemented in their work. “It doesn’t mean that everybody will attend everything, we need to take care of things on the home front as well, and we have to be careful not to distance ourselves from those who

work here in Trollhättan, but we need new ideas and approaches.” Annika Wennerblom emphasises the importance of Trollhättan not shutting itself off from the rest of the world. We have to learn to see ourselves as others do and to understand what is going on in the world. Our staff have to work with the world around them for the sake of the city’s development.” She takes the town’s vision, ‘Trollhättan, a proud and pioneering city looking to the future’, as an example. “The creation of more meetings is all part of our vision. We should feel pleasure in inviting people here. We have good hospitality, good facilities and a pleasant environment. Meetings will pave the way to creating new innovations, which is just as important.”

Annika Wennerblom points to the successful partnership between Trollhättan and the West Sweden Meeting Industry Council, an organisation that works to develop meetings as a strategic tool in the Västra Götaland region. “It’s vitally important that they continue doing what they do. They are part of several local, regional, national and global networks. When we collaborate with them those doors open up to us as well.”






text Gary Getz, CEO, Strategos

image ©

Gary Getz At Strategos, when we talk with prospective clients the conversation almost always centers on one of three topics: ƒƒ The desire to create a differentiated competitive strategy. ƒƒ The launch of an initiative to build a lasting “culture of innovation”. ƒƒ The perceived need for “better ideas” to enable growth. Of course, all of these are completely valid goals. Helping clients with strategy, capability, and opportunities forms the foundation of our value proposition; and using a variety of novel insights about customers, capabilities, and external change drivers to identify a rich set of growth ideas is a core part of that. But did you notice what’s missing? All too often, the goal of generating new ideas takes on a life of its own, divorced from the need to bring ideas to successful commercial realization. And in instances in which companies have been working for a while to

build innovation capabilities or culture, it can be all too easy to get stuck in Ideation Limbo – that place where lots of energy has been expended and great ideas generated, but over time enthusiasm starts to ebb as employees and executives begin to wonder when tangible business results will ever begin to be visible. What’s Going On? As we have reviewed a multitude of client experiences, we have identified a number of root causes of this phenomenon: The desire to “start at the beginning”. It seems that humans like to work through processes from left to right, and the innovation process is no exception; it can seem almost unnatural to begin efforts somewhere in the middle of the opportunity life cycle. A sense that a company’s existing growth ideas are not good enough to merit development through what we call “late stage” innovation, the chain of activities that begins once an idea 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“It seems that humans like to work through processes from left to right, and the innovation process is no exception”

has first been identified and reaches through elaboration, experimentation, and execution. A belief on the part of companies that “we are good at implementation”. While this may be true of execution of well-practiced habits within the core operation, it is actually surprising how bad companies are at executing even modest adjacencies. An eagerness to “get our people involved” and a belief that the easiest way to do this is by engaging them in idea creation. This seems to be particularly true when culture change is an explicit part of the company’s goal and executives view results as secondary to the objective of stimulating buzz. Confusing invention, the creation of new ideas, for innovation – the identification and application of ideas to yield a commercial result. Inattention to the creation of a “demand function” for the ideas generated by early-stage efforts. For innovation to work, the policies, processes, and infrastructure to enable the free flow of ideas to realization need to be in place, and executives need to have clear motivations to pull new ideas through the pipeline; MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

too often, these are absent and the result is a large number of ideas with nowhere to go. For better or worse, the messages received from innovation consultancies over the years; from design thinking seminars to innovation jams to idea-market software, there is a great deal out there about early-stage innovation but much less about converting ideas to impact. In many cases, the result of all of the above is that as they execute innovation programs, companies violate what we might call the Law of Innovation Entropy. In its simplest form, the idea here is that there are two sources of energy that sustain a company’s innovation change efforts: the natural enthusiasm of employees as they become engaged in innovation, and the positive business outcomes that result. The “entropy” part is that this energy is constantly dissipating and will vanish completely if not constantly replenished. As time elapses, the storehouse of employee (and executive) enthusiasm is not infinite: if as an employee you have contributed a great idea but it seems to go nowhere, or if from a corporate perspective the innovation

program seems to be a matter of lots of talk and no results, the insidious Law of Innovation Entropy will inevitably drain the life out of your efforts. So What Can You Do? We are certainly not the first to notice the ideation–execution gap, but our in-depth experience over the past 20 years has given us a number of insights into what you can do to ensure that you are achieving results: Balance early-stage discovery and idea generation with a healthy dose of late-stage idea improvement, experimentation, and commercialization. At the margin, consider taking a leap of faith and beginning your innovation change program with late-stage challenges that convert ideas to near-term business impact while building employee skills. We are actually recommending this route more and more these days as a possible starting point for comprehensive embedment of innovation capabilities; once a few success stories are in hand, it becomes easier to go back to “the beginning” and launch a journey of early-stage discovery of new opportunity spaces. Give the late-stage process a better chance of success by establishing


“The storehouse of employee (and executive) enthusiasm is not infinite”

clear executive metrics that drive demand for innovation ideas, along with the supporting infrastructure such as seed funds and innovation coaching that are needed to pull ideas through the pipe. Apply what we call Agile Commercialization approaches to free new ideas from the constraints of traditional stage-gate models. Turn small ideas into big ones and collections of ideas into opportunity domains. While it is often true that a company’s stockpile of new offering or internal improvement ideas consists mostly of incremental thoughts, techniques like the Strategos Action Lab provide a way of stretching small starting points into more powerful business concepts. And by grouping related ideas into larger domains that are organized around a common customer or stakeholder benefit, companies can mobilize resources behind big opportunity spaces rather than depending on the validity of single, often small, starting ideas. Finally, do not abandon the need to conduct early-stage discovery and idea generation as well! Our proprietary Discovery Lenses and idea generation approaches have been widely-

implemented and much-imitated over the years for a reason – they do work, and play a critical role in expanding the portfolio of innovative growth opportunities. Over the years, whether it has been the Game Changer program at Shell, Korean communications company KT’s stream of Late-Stage Challenges, or our joint work now underway at a leading consumer packaged goods company to implement a broad-based “Ideas to Impact” process, our clients have found that late-stage is a great stage. As you think about your innovation model, and particularly if you are at the point of launching a comprehensive program to establish innovation as a competence in your organization, think carefully about the role that moving ideas to impact should play.


From informal get-togethers to major congresses Stockholmsmässan is Scandinavia’s largest exhibition and congress center. A unique range of skills and strong owners – the City of Stockholm and Stockholm’s Chamber of Commerce – make us an inspiring and reliable host for your event. Our attractive meeting rooms are the perfect choice for any meeting, from informal get-togethers to major international congresses. Love to meet you!


The Sound Says Freedom Exists Allegro After a black day, I play Haydn, and feel a little warmth in my hands. The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall. The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence. The sound says that freedom exists and someone pays no tax to Caesar. I shove my hands in my haydnpockets and act like a man who is calm about it all. I raise my haydnflag. The signal is: “We do not surrender. But want peace.” The music is a house of glass standing on a slope; rocks are flying, rocks are rolling. The rocks roll straight through the house but every pane of glass is still whole.

photo Yanan Li

World-famous Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer (1931–2015) won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011 “… because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality”. We’re eagerly awaiting the upcoming book “I arbetets utkanter” (Bonniers) with previously unpublished material.







Atti Soenarso


Leremy Gan





image © Gan

Into the Heart of Meetings is the first book on Meeting Design and is about the art of matching a meeting’s form and format to its content and aims. Under the heading, Meetings Live, and over four issues, we are publishing a summary of the book’s main content along with some essential excerpts, and we are doing so in collaboration with Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver. They have run Mind Meeting for the past twelve years and are specialists in designing fruitful programmes for international conferences, congresses, seminars and workshops. Their innovative design format has received a good deal of global attention due to the format also taking up strategy issues in organisational development. Naturally, this summary and the excerpts cannot do real justice to the complexity of the topic or to the wealth of examples in the book itself. It will, however, give you a good idea of the authors’ main lines of thought. The first article in this series of four focused on the characteristics of meetings as a form of communications. It recognised seven features that make of meetings that peculiar kind of human encounter. In the second article, the focus zoomed in on the person or party who takes the initiative to hold the meeting: the meeting owner. This third article is

about the actual design work: what is a programme design and how do you make one. What is a Designed Programme?

What exactly do people mean when they talk about the design of a programme? The answer is deceptively simple: The design of a programme is a description of what each participant should be doing with the content of the meeting at any point in time. Now you may say that that sounds easy and that it is always the case. In actual fact, during the vast majority of meetings, those responsible for the meeting have little or no idea of what participants are doing. Are they sitting and listening attentively to a speaker as good school boys and girls? Are they actively processing the content that is offered? Or are their thoughts completely somewhere else? With that interesting character seated a couple of rows before them who they

are dying to have a chat with? Or with their next holiday destination? The weak point of many poorly designed programmes is that there is only a loose relationship between what participants are doing and what is required to actually hammer out the meeting objectives into clear outcomes. The previous article in this series already pointed out that many meeting owners do not formulate their objectives clearly. That is one half of the explanation. The other half is that meeting programmes tend to be diffuse. In order to achieve clear outcomes, it is necessary to influence the behaviour of participants in an effective way; to decide with the highest degree of precision possible which activities and behaviours are needed to produce the outcomes. The Design Dance

Influencing the behaviour of humans is not easy. It is a process fraught 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“The design process itself cannot be a linear sequence of predictable steps. It is more like dancing”

with unpredictable turns, fascinating paradoxes and a lot of irrationality. Therefore also, Meeting Design is not a simple and straightforward activity; it is not engineering in the traditional sense of the word. The design process itself cannot be a linear sequence of predictable steps. It is more like dancing. The designer dances with the meeting owner and at the same time with the participants and with the content. Like the dynamics of a rumba or a waltz, the music gives the rhythm but the steps can vary infinitely. Yet, they form a comprehensive and logical sequence. At the same time, the process is a peculiar mixture of intellectual analysis, artistic boldness and common sense. The final result of all of the design work, however is extremely concrete, just like the steps of dancers. It takes the form of a script. And returning to our starting point, the script provides that description of all the activities for all those involved in the meeting. Content Flow and Experience Concept

The previous article introduced the notions of Content Flow and Experience Concept. It is only natural that they provide the basic input for the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

design, together with the objectives the meeting owner has formulated. What needs to be achieved overall; where do we want the content to go; and what is the experience for the participants? Finding answers to these three questions is the first step in designing the programme. The Experience Concept comes especially in very handy. The meeting owner has formulated it as a recognisable activity and as a result, it generally comes with a timeline naturally suggesting a series of possible or necessary events. The Meeting Designer does not simply put these events in the programme as real experiences, but they are a kind of metaphor for what the participants will be doing. The meeting should look and feel like the Experience Concept. While working on the programme design, the Meeting Designer constantly wonders how to shape these activities in order to achieve the meeting’s objectives. For instance, should the participants produce an intermediate outcome? And if so, how should that outcome be shared? What must be the next step in order to make best use of it? All these considerations hang together in an organic way – the process is not a fixed and

logical sequence of independent steps and choices. Designing means making choices

Everything in and around the meeting is potentially part of the design. This means that the designer interacts very closely with the meeting owner. A vast range of choices needs to be made together. Many choices of a conceptual nature, but also a lot of practicalities. What is the right venue, for instance? Venues can have a significant impact on the likelihood that objectives will be achieved or not. They definitely influence the Experience Concept enormously. The relationship is not always without friction. Suppose the meeting owner decides the Experience Concept is “A Church Service”. Meanwhile, however, he may have already secured meeting facilities in a theme park. At that point the meeting designer has a problem. Either the venue needs to be cancelled, or it needs to be changed in such a way that participants can still experience a church service. In general, the sooner the meeting designer is involved in thinking about the programme, the smaller the chance that the venue is not suitable


“First of all, in order to provide content, a person doesn’t always have to speak”

for the objectives, the Experience Concept or the Content Flow. Having to adapt the venue significantly to these goals can be a lot of fun, but also quite costly. Other choices involve the seating of participants, work that needs to be done during the actual programme and technical aids. As for technology, it needs to be useful with a view to achieving any of the goals and objectives. If there is not a direct relationship, there is no need. That is not to say that well-designed meetings do not require any technical support; of course they so. The point is that it is never a good idea to include technological novelties and fads for their own sake. That risks distracting participants from the real reason why they are attending the meeting. You don’t want your participants sitting constantly with their noses closer to their mobile phones rather than to other participants, do you? During the meeting it is necessary that all those involved in production and execution are aware of the entire programme and its overall objectives. They can then adopt the most helpful “Facilitation Style” and will have a better idea of what to do should unexpected events occur.

Vital: Content Providers

Harking back once more to the previous article, it introduced the notion of content analysis. To obtain the right Content Flow, the meeting designer needs to take a deep look at the meeting’s content to decide how it should best be made to flow. Only then is the choice made of who needs to provide content input and how. In more traditionally conceived programmes, speakers are approached in the first knee-jerk reflex of many meeting owners and planners. Moreover, the choice of what content to deliver is often left to these people themselves. You will not be surprised that the meeting designer goes about this differently. First of all, in order to provide content, a person doesn’t always have to speak. He (more rarely She) can also draw, write a poem, play music, paint, dance, etc, The form in which they provide their content can be inspired by theatre, video, ballet, yes, even television! It is preferable, therefore, to refer to Content Providers, rather than to speakers, as it limits the role of these vital characters too much. Clearly, going about the management of ‘speakers’ as indicated above may harbour some sensitivities. It

goes beyond the scope of this article to discuss these in depth. What can be said, however, is that the clearer the meeting owner has committed to his objectives and the better he understands the connection between the various parts of the programme and those objectives, the easier it is to convince him that content should be provided in a certain way – and not necessarily in the way a speaker proposes. It is in this area that the interventions of a meeting designer are most easily visible. The End

In the design, the beginning and the end always receive a disproportionate amount of attention and energy. The start because it is the moment the conventions for the meeting are set (see the first article for the notion of Elementary Meetings). In turn, that determines the so-called togetherness environment the delegates perceive. All of this has an immediate impact on how they will behave during the meeting and, as a consequence, on the outcomes. Talking about outcomes, the end is a crucial moment, because it marks the moment when the results of the meeting are transported into the 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


world outside. We all know examples of meetings where participants were heavily inspired and sincerely willing to start doing things differently after the meeting (which is the whole point of having the meeting anyway). That there is a gap between this immediate post-meeting enthusiasm and reality is a physiological inevitability. The real world can be far away from the

part in it. That has the added advantage of closing with a joint activity – always a ‘high’! 3. When conceiving the meeting’s finale, make sure to cater for different learning needs. Some people produce their best results by doing something physical, other by means of verbal or visual means of communication. Since

“We have learned, for instance, that frontal teaching is an ineffective method for teaching people something” meeting room. So what can the meeting designer do in order to bridge the gap in the best possible way? Here are four guidelines to design endings to meetings with more impact. 1. Make sure it is clear who is the owner of the outcomes. Often, this is left hanging in the air somewhere. Diffuse again. Stating clearly at end of the meeting who is expected to take the outcomes and start doing something with them leads to responsibility and accountability. This works best if it is made visible, for instance by handing over the outcomes to someone in particular, for instance the director, or the manager of the R&D centre. 2. Design something that feels like a ‘ritual’ to the participants. It helps to smoothen the passage between the world inside the meeting room and the real world. Such a ritual works best if many or all of the participants can take


it is likely that the meeting will have participants with a mix of preferences (unless your meeting is only for carpenters or poets), the activity should address the mix of the learning styles, as well (with thanks to Kolb, of course). 4. Get the meeting owner to commit to a plan that will deliver the follow-up to the meeting and ensure that participants know this. Nothing is worse than obtaining great outcomes, followed by a breath-taking vacuum in the months after the meeting. It is extremely demotivating. Designing for Outcomes

It is of vital importance to underline once more that designing meeting programmes is not just an exercise done for the fun of it. True, generally meeting designers work with fun. It is impossible to produce something creative and inspiring out of drudgery. The main message underlying all of the 300 pages of Into the Heart of Meetings is that meetings with welldesigned programmes produce better

results: better outcomes and a greater durability of those outcomes in the real world. The authors believe that meetings can be better and more effective. That is not to say that meetings of the past have been worthless – not in the least. It does mean that the world is moving on. We have learned a lot about human behaviour and how to influence it. We have learned, for instance, that frontal teaching is an ineffective method for teaching people something. So why continue doing it? Out of inertia? If we know that meetings can be held in more engaging and effective ways, it is the task of the meetings industry to learn about these better ways and divulge them. And make their clients happy! Tell us what you think!

As in the previous article, we hope that as a meeting professional, you will have recognised many of your own experiences and ideas in the issues raised above. And as in the previous case, we would like to provoke you into openly agreeing or disagreeing with us! Send us your opinions on this content, preferably with your arguments: Opinions alone rarely lead to better insights – motivations do. The “hottest” comments will be the basis for the fourth article in this series and the most insightful reaction wins a free copy of Into the Heart of Meetings. © 2013–2015 MindMeeting, Mike van der Vijver and Meetings International Publishing. You can follow Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver on Twitter: @mindmeeting and @mikevijv.

How much do you know about IMEX? As the countdown to IMEX 2015 begins, how much do you know about the meetings industry’s annual event? You may already know that every May, IMEX in Frankfurt attracts event planners from around the world who come to do business with destinations, venues and international suppliers. You may also know that IMEX provides great networking and education opportunities. But did you know that this huge event is run by a small company of just over 50 people? And being a small team, we’re very much in touch with the feedback from the show floor. When we hear from visitors that they’ve got a month ahead of schedule by doing business at IMEX, or that they’ve gathered some brilliant ideas from the show, it makes us want to dance in the aisles. And those who have been before will know that quite a lot of dancing goes on in the aisles at IMEX. IMEX. A small, friendly company hosting a big, friendly event. Come and join us 19-21 May 2015 in fabulous Frankfurt. Register now for IMEX 2015 Call +44 (0)1273 227311 Email @imex_group The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events




In today’s world, safety and security are of vital importance. Perhaps more than ever before. This is the view of Bert van Walbeek, who goes on to say that crisis management and finding the right employees is closely linked. TEXT

Atti Soenarso As one of the more well-known Masters of Disasters in Asia, Bert van Walbeek has lectured on crisis management and recovery for 45 years. He recently lectured 700 buyers and suppliers under the heading: What else can go wrong? Are we still in the people business? Together with the PATA organisation, he designed a brochure about risk and crisis management entitled: Expect the Unexpected. He followed this up in 2006 with the organisation’s first courses on the subject. His company, The Winning Edge, has several risk prevention projects underway, including crisis management, in Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Macao, Malaysia, Mauritius, Pakistan and Thailand. Bert van Walbeek first became aware of the Safehotels Alliance when he took part in a UNISDR (The United Nations Office for Disaster


Jon van Terry Risk Reduction) meeting in Manila about a year ago. It was not long after the devastating Typhon Haiyan had killed thousands of people in the Philippines. At a side event to the meeting, he led a debate on whether it was really possible to make hotels safe. The day before the meeting he searched for information containing ideas about improving safety along with any new approaches taken by hotels and hotel organisations. A small working group was formed. “That was when I found Safehotels and saw how they worked more detailed with safety also from a broader perspective. I immediately saw several mutual possibilities.” Bert van Walbeek realised early on the importance of safety and security for business travellers and their travel managers, travel organisers and hotel owners. He says that security is one of three criteria along with 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


accessibility and value for money when business travellers chose their accommodation. “Asia is an enormous challenge. Congress and meetings delegates, and even tourists, want to feel secure. But they don’t want to be aware of it going on around them or feel surrounded by guards and security people. Large destinations are vulnerable due to the continuous flow of people in and out of large hotels in city centres making

increase, even in Thailand. The Thai culture is still very much based on just ignoring risks. Instead they put their faith in fate and pure chance sorting out any unpleasant situations.” He uses another example to explain: “Why don’t they wear helmets when driving their motorbikes? Despite the many fatalities and injuries caused by motorbike accidents, most

“Safety and security that doesn’t respond rapidly is no good for business” the hotels a ‘soft target’. Maintaining a high level of customer service while guaranteeing safety in the public areas of a hotel is a challenge for any hotel owner. It’s difficult to tell the difference between genuine guests and people with evil intentions.” Bert van Walbeek says that many hotels around the world try to keep up appearances: ‘If the city is relatively secure then so is our hotel’, but not much is needed for that perception to falter. He takes large football matches as an example. “A club’s image could be shaken to its foundations in an instant if something goes wrong. This is also the case for successful hotels. All too many hotels get by on the attitude ‘It won’t happen to us’. If you close your eyes, ears and all other information channels then you are guaranteed not see or hear anything.” With regards to Bangkok and Thailand as markets, Bert van Walbeek uses one of his favourite expressions: Every crisis has a silver lining. “They offer great opportunities, particularly as crises are on the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

of them still ride without a helmet. The dangers are not really understood because ‘It will never happen to me’.” But change is imminent. Bert van Walbeek is beginning to notice how the frequent crises in the country are forcing meetings and event organisers and large hotels to take another approach. “The problem is that most security programmes on the market are either too expensive or too complex, so they just don’t bother. The greatest advantage with Safehotels’ certification process is that it can be implemented in stages, making the investment more acceptable for hotels and arenas.” Other challenges mentioned by Bert van Walbeek include the changes in human behaviour and expectations, the increasingly disruptive technology we use and the negative publicity surrounding natural disasters, unrest and the rising number of traffic accidents. “Keeping consumer information factual, balanced and timely is not

only a duty but also a commercial challenge.” He says it is all about equipping individuals with the tools to enable them to actively and positively handle their situations. To reach a point where you not only improve customer and employee trust, but also enable organisations and sectors to face the challenges and become stronger in the process. “Today, finding the right employees and crisis management is closely linked. Safety and security issues are more important now than ever before.” Bert van Walbeek says that Safehotels’ certification solutions and training courses help to answer the question of ‘how’ in a simpler way than before. “Things really take off when the owners and management begin to realise that the brand they have built up for years is a key part of their marketing and that safety and security that doesn’t respond rapidly is no good for business. Unfortunately they need to suffer, like we’re doing now in Thailand, before they see the light.” The partnership between Safehotels and The Winning Edge offers Asia a new approach to hotel security, but Asia is a potpourri of cultural diversity. Bert van Walbeek believes a large network of partners is required, plus everybody should speak and understand the local language and be well-versed in any potential local disasters. “When we’ve achieved success in Thailand, the word will spread to neighbouring countries Burma, Laos and Cambodia. Asia stands for 21 per cent of the global hotel rooms, which, when last counted in 2012, totalled three million. So yes, there is plenty to do.”

7-9 July 2015 • Olympia, London

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Annette Lefterow, is a leading global wellness expert with over 30 years’ experience. She is a pioneer within wellness management and wellness economy, develops winning health and training concepts and runs a digital health platform within corporate wellness. She is also a lecturer, writer, consultant and a health entrepreneur. photo Sara Appelgren

Move Slow TO BE AS FAST AS YOU CAN Mental health problems are on the rise and noticeably among children and young people. Anxiety, stress, insomnia and burnout affect our social health, personally as well as professionally. We need to find ways to alleviate stress and bolster our mental prowess, our social and spiritual immune system. Companies like Google offer their employees yoga and meditation. We live in a pioneering age of mental and physical well-being. Prioritise your selfcare and nurture your functions and independence. Rather like using an oxygen mask on an aeroplane: help yourself first to enable you to help others. Tend to your mental strength and willpower. There is a new concept on the market known as the wellness economy. In a very short time the global wellness industry has overtaken the pharmaceutical industry. Sales now top the $3.4 trillion mark. Wellness encompasses physical exercise, digital health, occupational health, spa, tourism and a host of products and services on an ever-expanding global market. But wellness also embraces MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

our ‘inner economy’, our health balance sheet and financial statement. We must conserve our energy, create a balance between exertion and rest so we have energy over for recreational purposes. Planning is essential but it is also important to be flexible and practical in our quest to achieve inner balance. More established methods and philosophies such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness will help you to sharpen your attentiveness and optimise your efficiency levels. They will also enable you to switch off when a storm is afoot. The body could be put off balance by too little or too much sleep and too little or too much exercise. It is all about the ability to balance our health. Do not borrow too much from your energy reserves because the interest payments could be too high. Live now. Live well. Live balanced. Manage your inner and outer resources. Leading yourself, and others, requires balance, strength and agility in the physical, mental and social sense. The inner leadership must embrace self-discipline in order for it to act for


“We need to mix our communication to make it as simple, nutritious and digestible as possible”

your own good. The outer leadership demands your involvement, strength and ability to lead others in the conscious present. You need access to exercises and tools that make you more effective, which are grounded in reality and powerful enough to face up to today's challenges and opportunities. When I train and lecture in health I use a programme called Wellness Management. With the help of mindset meditations (a combination of meditation, breathing techniques, yoga and visualisation) we build strength where it is most needed. A solid foundation is a prerequisite for standing strong in the face of life's constant changes. There is a yoga position called mountain pose (Tadasana). It is simple to execute. You practice standing completely still while concentrating on your breathing. Inhaling and exhaling meet each other at an even pace. Your gaze is steady and focuses on one spot without taking in what you see. You practice keeping your balance, what I usually call balancing your imbalance, that which takes place between imbalance and balance.

Each yoga pose has its own interpretation and metaphor. The mountain pose emphasises the importance of staying calm in a storm. Improve your ability to control your reactions. Be mindful and ease up when the pace gets too hot. I usually say move slow to be as fast as you can. Conscious breathing and mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety and is the key to success within stress management. Keeping our balance when the foundations are shaking bolsters our inner capacity to feel trust and assurance in times of uncertainty. When we manage to control our reaction in real time and handle others' reactions without losing our balance is when we are balanced, or rather balancing … Balance is not the art of being in balance but the ability to balance that which takes place between imbalance and balance. This also concerns our ability to communicate our message to others clearly and concisely. The tougher the message, the greater the need for calm and assured communication. To breathe in the sounds of the words you convey by being assured and in control of the moment.

Things that are uttered in silence are heard loud and clear. Just as with green soups and blended smoothies, we need to mix our communication to make it as simple, nutritious and digestible as possible. I call that Wellness Management.





photo Wien Tourismus, Lois Lammerhuber

Vienna’s Second-Best CONGRESS RESULT IN 2014 Vienna reported its second-best congress result in 2014. There were considerable increases in the number of events compared to 2013, as well as in the resulting overnights and valueadded generated. Nevertheless, the result fell just short of the record for 2012. This was the résumé of a press conference given by Director of Tourism Norbert Kettner and Christian Mutschlechner, head of the Vienna Tourist Board’s Vienna Convention Bureau, held last month. During this press conference, Heinz W. Engl, Rector of the University of Vienna, gave an insight into the relationships between university involvement and the volume of congresses in Vienna. “In 2014 the congress city of Vienna achieved significant increases in all key indicators,” reported Kettner. “The number of conferences and corporate events was up 6 percent to a total of 3,582, which represents an all-time high. The resulting overnights also rose by 6 percent, and the total of 1,490,695 was only slightly below the record for 2012. The Austrian value-added generated by Vienna’s meetings industry increased 8 percent to 898.9 million euros, also the second-best figure after 2012.

This means that in 2014 the Vienna conference industry contributed 11 percent to Vienna’s total volume of 13.5 million overnights. It also secured a total of more than 17,000 year-round jobs in the whole of Austria. I would like to warmly congratulate all those involved in the ongoing success of Vienna’s tourism industry for this impressive overall performance. Vienna’s economy benefits enormously, and that’s far beyond the tourist sector, because it is common knowledge that congress delegates are a particularly big-spending travelling public. Last year they spent an average of 474 euros per head and overnight in Vienna. The comparable figure for all visitors to Vienna is about 250 euros.” However, it is not only with respect to their spending that Vienna’s congress delegates differ from holiday travelers. They also travel much more frequently by plane: 72 percent of them come to Vienna by air, while the figure for other city tourists is just 42 percent. In contrast to almost every other country in the world, Austria levies a flight tax which, according to Kettner, is a considerable competitive disadvantage. “Not only for the

congress industry,” he emphasized, “but it is completely counter-productive for the implementation of one of the main objectives of the Tourism Strategy Vienna 2020. Our aim is to introduce direct flights to and from 20 additional major cities all over the world by this date as an essential condition for achieving two other objectives: growing overnights by 40 percent and boosting the net room revenues of the hospitality sector by 60 percent. This is why we carry out active airline marketing in cooperation with Vienna International Airport. The flight tax represents a considerable drawback in this context.” Substantial revenues for companies and fiscal authorities throughout Austria

Of the 3,582 events staged in Vienna in 2014, 1,458 were congresses (+19 %), 679 of them national (+25 %), and 779 international (+15 %). No fewer than 2,124 of the events (–2 %) were corporate events (conferences and incentives), 832 of them national (+2 %), and 1,292 international (–4 %). The value-added generated nationwide by all these events and 2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


their fiscal effects were calculated using the Event Model Austria developed by Martina Stoff-Hochreiner. Value-added in the amount of 898.9 million euros (+8 %) includes all domestic turnover. This figure comprises both direct spending by event attendees, organizers, exhibitors and accompanying persons, as well as revenues resulting from events in

added generated by Vienna’s entire conference industry. Congresses on human medicine themes are exceptionally important with respect to both international and national congresses in Vienna. The previous year they accounted for 20 % of all congress events. The fields of economics and politics ranked in second place (15 %), followed by

“Vienna achieved significant increases in all key indicators” “upstream” economic sectors (e.g. construction industry, foodstuffs and stimulants industry, printing industry, banks, insurance companies, telecommunications companies, etc.). In 2014 the Vienna convention sector generated tax revenues in the amount of 253.5 million euros, of which 166.9 million euros went to the federal government, 30.4 million euros to Vienna, and the remainder to the other Austrian provinces and local authorities. Decisive factor behind Vienna’s success: international and human medicine congresses

International congresses are an indispensable factor in the success story of the congress city of Vienna. For decades now, they have not only kept Vienna at the top of the relevant global rankings, but year after year have also been a decisive factor in the city’s congress report. In 2014 they accounted for just over a fifth of all events (22 %), but attracted nearly half of all conference guests to Vienna (49 %), generating 72 % of congress overnights and 77 % of the valueMEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

natural sciences and technology (14 %) ahead of congresses focusing on human disciplines, and the field of IT and communications. Apart from their sheer quantity, human medicine congresses make the biggest impact on all economic aspects of the Vienna convention business due to their large numbers of delegates. A key factor for the volume of congresses in Vienna – not only, but particularly in the field of human medicine – is Vienna’s significance as a university city, with the University of Vienna occupying a leading position here. The decisive consideration in this context is that its achievements in research and teaching have a strong international impact. Norbert Kettner explains: “The competitive advantage of such a historic and continually cultivated reputation cannot be overstated. However, the role of the University of Vienna in the city’s congress sector extends far beyond that. By this I mean the active involvement of the academic community in congress acquisition, an activity carried out alongside work in their respective fields of expertise.”

University of Vienna: exemplary “allround service” for congresses

Scientific congresses and conferences have always been closely linked to universities. Congresses not only facilitate international networking in various areas of expertise, but also cast an international spotlight on the university and its location or home city. The University of Vienna recognized the multiple benefits of this, and in the 1990s began to expedite and support the organization of congresses. However, at that time many aspects of the legal environment of congress organization were still rather tricky, because as a federal institution the university had no basic infrastructure at its disposal. Following the granting of autonomy in 2002 and the subsequent transformation of the universities into independent, performance-oriented institutions with greater responsibilities, the University of Vienna carried out an internal needs analysis in the field of “events & congresses”, and went on to develop a business plan. The university gradually built up a complete range of services, from initial planning phase to congress follow up, and successively concentrated this task in its “Event Management”. Initially launched as a special project in the year 2007, after a successful trial run in 2013, it was finally permanently established as a service facility in the organization chart of the University of Vienna. In the meantime, this service is very much in demand both internally and externally. In 2014 an external evaluation of the University of Vienna’s event management carried out by international experts from America and Germany arrived at the following conclusion: compared to similar facilities at universities both in Europe and in the USA, the service was assessed as



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“Human medicine congresses make the biggest impact on all economic aspects of the Vienna convention business”

being very advanced, and the congress department was even described as exemplary. This professional level was “rarely found at German universities”, and the event management of the University of Vienna “played a leading role in this sector in Austria and Germany.” Over 1,500 events were staged the previous year – and that in addition to regular research and teaching. Overall, last year Vienna hosted a total of 1,458 national and international congresses, 434 of which (30 %) at one of the universities, and more than half of them (246) at the University of Vienna. “The University of Vienna extensively supports the positioning of the City of Vienna as a leading congress city,” commented Rector Heinz W. Engl. “In 2014 a total of around 32,500 delegates from all over the world travelled to Vienna to attend national and international conferences and congresses held here. With events facilities and lecture halls at 63 different locations, the University of Vienna is one of the most important venues in Vienna – and indeed in Austria as a whole.” Christian Mutschlechner, Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau (VCB) of the Vienna Tourist Board,

emphasizes that “The University of Vienna is a stroke of luck for the VCB in a number of ways. Not only on account of its support for Vienna’s acquisition of congresses, but also due to its efficient in-house event management, which acts as a ‘Professional Congress Organizer’ for all the congresses held at any of its locations. It offers a ‘full service’ to congress organizers, ranging from making bookings, delegate registration, technical equipment and fitting-out of premises to logistics services, IT support, printing and web services all the way through to marketing activities and assistance with financing, sponsoring and budget control. This ‘comprehensive package’ ensures that organizers receive these services in optimal quality, because nobody knows the various premises better and has greater experience with their specific possibilities than such an ‘inhouse’ event management.” VCB gearing up for pharmaceutical industry’s planned disclosure of cash flows to physicians from 2016

is the disclosure requirement for members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry Associations (EFPIA) that comes into force in the year 2016. From this date, the association, to which nearly all the pharmaceutical companies in Europe belong, has obligated its members to publish on a voluntary basis any financial contributions made to physicians, preferably complete with names. This will also include payment of congress participation fees. Christian Mutschlechner made the following point in this context: “Ever since October 2014, we have carried out a survey of relevant congress delegates in order to assess the possible effects of this measure, and so as to be able to develop strategies for dealing with it in good time. The findings of this survey will be incorporated into the Vienna Congress Survey which we produce every five years. It’s just been carried out again this year, and will be published together with the results of our survey.”

One of the secrets of the VCB’s success is anticipating developments in the global convention business. The latest issue at the current time




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photo ©

Working FOR A BETTER WORLD Fifteen years ago Swedish booking company, Bokningsbolaget, introduced a loyalty programme in support of humanitarian and environmental initiatives. It has resulted in close on €900,000 of profits during these years being donated to a selection of relief organisations. The privately owned company began operations in 1984, has 30 employees and offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. They handle around 6,000 different types of meetings every year. All four partners are actively involved in the company. Bokningsbolaget is one of the biggest suppliers in Sweden of global conferences and events. They want to work for a better world by donating money to charity. The more successful they are, the more they can contribute. Turnover 2014: €1.15 million. Bokningsbolaget is probably one of the companies in Sweden that donates the most money in proportion to their profits. Every year 0.3 percent of their turnover from all the conferences and events they book goes to Save the Children, The Red Cross and The World Wildlife Fund. This amounts from 25 to 50 percent drawn from their profits every year. The total amount for the 2014 bookings was €52,500. “We want to feel like winners and contributing makes us feel that way. This is part of our vision. We hope that our customers will see the loyalty programme as another good reason to return to us for the next conference or event,” says Marketing Manager Ingela Engblom. The Red Cross is one of the relief organisations that Bokningsbolaget


Katarina Brandt

has chosen to collaborate with. It is the world’s leading humanitarian organisation with a presence in 189 countries and a special mandate to help people in war and conflict zones. The Swedish company’s help went to building sturdy houses and subsidising thousands of families who lost their homes and belongings to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Red Cross staff and volunteers are also in place in West Africa to help fight Ebola, where they run Ebola clinics and prevent the disease from spreading. “The funding we receive is vitally important,” explains Project Coordinator Nils Nilsson, who works with The Red Cross corporate partnerships. “We’ve collaborated since 2002 and during this time have organised clothes collections, first aid sessions and provided exposure in each other’s channels.” WWF is another relief organisation that receives support. It is one of the world’s leading non-profit nature protection organisations with projects in over 100 countries. One requirement for the WWF corporate partnerships is that the companies realise the importance and value of sustainable business and that they themselves use natural resources wisely. “Bokningsbolaget has a clear environmental vision,” says Elin Bergman, Manager of Corporate Partnerships at WWF, who works with the organisation’s corporate partnerships. “They guide their customers in a positive direction and help them make good environmental choices. On top of the financial support we also get exposure in their catalogue.

This is important because it encourages others to support us and the other organisations.” Since 1990 the number of children who die from illnesses that are easy to cure or prevent has been cut by half. But 18,000 small children still die every day. Save the Children operates in 120 countries and is involved in the global project Every One, an initiative with a vision that no child needs to die before they reach adulthood. The money from Bokningsbolaget is a vital contribution in that struggle. Maja Lidsheim Haak, Project Manager at Save the Children: “Not many can match Bokningsbolaget because they donate such a large proportion of their profit. The money we receive is used on direct initiatives and outreach work. We also help each other with various communication activities. We’re very pleased with the collaboration.” The three organisations have been selected in consultation with customers and employees. They represent a good mixture thanks to the different directions their operations take, covering everything from animals and nature and children’s rights to helping people in need around the world. The money is accumulated in a pot and at year-end the customers choose how they want the funds allocated between the organisations. An active choice that is very much appreciated. This year’s allocation

Save the Children = €18,500 Red Cross = €16,000 WWF = €17,600




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New Seminars and Exhibitors TAKES IMEX FRANKFURT UP A NOTCH Innovative seminars, a host of new exhibitors, several Hosted Buyer groups and an opening speech by one of the world’s top business leaders has the organisers purring over a potential influx of buyers to Frankfurt on the 19th to the 21st of May. An estimated 4,000 Hosted Buyers from all over the world are expected in Frankfurt with 34 new groups of buyers from France, the UK, the Middle East, Asia and the USA. They will have the opportunity to meet new exhibitors from all the continents and all meetings industry market segments. New upgraded meetings and incentive destinations are wellrepresented. Lithuania, Prague, Ras Al Khaimah, Meet Taiwan, Kaohsiung City and the Faroe Islands will rub shoulders with the large established destinations. Several exhibitors have ordered larger exhibition booths this year compared to previous years. Among them Singapore, China, Macao, Azerbaijan, Austria, Visit Brussels, Costa Rica, Peru, Brand USA and hotel chain Preferred Hotels. The Concierge

concept launched last year has been further enhanced to include lounge services with free baggage storage, Wi-Fi and web seminars, among other things. The event organisers are once again introducing several new streams to the education programme. The Inspiration Hub has 170 sessions, 30 of which are in German. Early risers are offered a session on business networking and creating trust. Two new formats focus specifically on young people who are relatively new in the meetings industry, as well as older professionals who need new impulses. New this year is The Creative Thursday, a collection of interactive sessions by the International Special Events Society (ISES) into forming effective partnerships with suppliers. The red carpet is being rolled out for the visit of renowned business leader, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company. He will be making the opening speech. Bill McDermott strongly believes in active meetings as a way of

generating growth and profit, and is a dedicated supporter of more professional meetings throughout the business world. Frankfurt will once again play host to 300 meetings professionals from congress and event organisers, over 100 private sector meetings planners, 40 ministers, and mayors and senior government officials from all over the world who will have the opportunity to network and take part in seminars tailored to their needs by the organiser. This is a new programme developed together with the International Association of facilitators (IAF ) and Kevin Kelly, Exclusive Corporate, IMEX, who will talk about how success nearly always stems from a well thought out design that grew from a simple idea. The theme of the Politicians Forum this year is How Do I Attract More Meetings and Events to My Destination? Ray Bloom is Chairman and Founder of the IMEX Group. He says that the many new exhibitors from all the continents and all the meetings market segments have ena2015 No. 15 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL

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“The Creative Thursday, creating effective partnerships with suppliers”

bled them to raise the bar for a much improved event. The increase in the number of buyer groups and education sessions bear witness to this. “We’re very honoured to have one of the world’s foremost business leaders, Bill McDermott, as main speaker at the opening. We’re looking forward to welcoming him and the global meetings industry to Frankfurt.” Health and well-being, sustainability and diversity all have their given place on the education programme. There is a new well-being initiative which is designed to help buyers stay alert and rejuvenated during the hectic days of the event. In addition, there is a new meditation room with yoga, relaxation and conversation to allow exhibition visitors to recharge their batteries between their tightly scheduled meetings and sessions. The diversity programme will include a session on the impact of gender and generational shifts in the meetings industry and one entitled The Young Leading the … Not so Young, while the sustainability stream will include one on innovative approaches to corporate social responsibility. MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015

Over 100 students from universities in eight countries the world over will be coming to take part in the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum. FLF is for final year students studying meetings and conventions, tourism and hospitality at university or college. The forum is currently implemented in 13 countries. The event at IMEX Frankfurt is the largest of its kind. The Future Leaders Forum has an extensive education programme, including inspirational and interactive sessions with experts in a variety of key subject areas. For example: forming business relationships and creating the right sort of meetings environment. The students also participate in popular roundtable meetings with well-reputed people from the industry; from arenas, congress and convention bureaus, relevant organisations and public bodies. The forum is an opportunity to network and form valuable business contacts. The highlight of the Future Leaders Forum is the International University Challenge. The winners of each local challenge meet in Frankfurt to compete against each other. The winner takes home the

prestigious MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. The forum is well-established and respected by employers the world over. For them it offers an excellent opportunity to identify and take under their wings the most enthusiastic and talented students and trainees. “The aim of our collaboration with MPI and MCI is to support the development of future generations of students in the meetings and events industry. This we do by delivering a programme of new valuable insights and a good education,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. So far 110 Future Leaders Forums have been implemented and roughly 6,500 students have completed the programme since it began twelve years ago.

Why meet in West Sweden? Our part of the world has been an important meeting place for thousands of years. We have a lot of experience in arranging prestigious international conferences and take great pride in having hosted many small and medium sized meetings again and again. Our Convention Bureaus in West Sweden will be happy to help you plan your next meeting. Get in touch with us - it could be your best decision ever!

West Sweden Meeting Industry Council is affiliated to Region Västra GÜtaland. We develop and market West Sweden as a destination for meetings.




Turning Distraction INTO ACTION TEXT

image ©

Corbin Ball The mobile revolution has happened. Nearly everyone is carrying around at least one smart mobile device and checking it an average of more than 150 times a day! Attendees are bringing their mobile devices into the meeting rooms and using them. Participants are tweeting event content, posting photos to Instagram, taking pictures of slides, fact-checking, and taking notes. However, these mobile screens are also distraction temptations and are often used for non-meeting related tasks. The siren call of these glowing screens is hard to resist, especially if the presenter is not engaging or the material presented is boring – or both. Meeting hosts, meeting planners and speakers should be asking what can be done to keep participants’ attention. The obvious answer is to provide compelling content and excellent speakers – it should be the speaker’s responsibility to keep the audience engaged. In addition, however, there are new technologies that use participants’ mobile devices to help them focus on the presentation rather than distracting them away for other things. Second Screen Technology refers to the use of a mobile device to provide an enhanced viewing experience for other content usually with

interactive features. This is seen most often on television, but increasingly so at events. Presenter content, such as slides, polling, video, notes, social media links, can be pushed to any device in real-time during a presentation. There are a number of interesting second screen event tools. Here is a sampling: Lintelus (formerly Nice Meeting)

Lintelus allows a speaker to send slides to every mobile device in the meeting room. Participants can take notes digitally while viewing the presenter’s slides and can save the notes for later review and/or reporting. There are also integrated live polling capabilities with the results appearing on the screen and on the mobile devices. Participants can also use the system to ask questions, to chat and to tweet. In short, the mobile devices in the room are used to engage and focus the participants on the content, rather than distracting them from it. This system is web-based requiring either internet access or a local wireless network. It can be run directly from PowerPoint and requires no app to download. Pricing: Fees range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending upon the size of the event, number of sessions, if a moderator is requested

and if staffing is needed to provide an internet appliance which secures information and provides Wi-Fi stability. FXP | touch Provided by www.klowd. com and rebranded and distributed for meetings by Freeman

Similar to Lintelus, this product also allows presenters to share their slides to anyone with a mobile device with web access (including remote audiences). Participants can respond to poll questions, ask questions through the system and amplify the social media impact by posting comments and sharing the presentation to Twitter, Facebook and other channels. One of the strengths of FXP | touch is the analytic capabilities that measure real-time participant engagement, focus, and all activities when using the system. The name and email address of attendees are recorded as well as the exact moment they joined. The FXP | touch platform also calculates an overall score for each presentation based on attendance, interaction and engagement. Pricing: Fees start at $15,000/event and are based on the number of presentations and users.



Evenium Connex Me products-connexme.jsf

Connex Me has similar features to the above products including web-based slide distribution, digital note taking on the slides, live sharing of the slides, audience response polling, live questions. This is part of an event app which includes agendas, push noti-

including live polling and social Q&A where audience members can upvote the questions they like. There are lead capture capabilities if desired, and also raffle capabilities to randomly pick a member of the audience. Meeting Pulse’s second screen feature is the real-time Pulse which allows the speaker to see in real-time the pulse of the room. The attendees’

“The siren call of these glowing screens is hard to resist” fications, private messaging to other attendees, session evaluations and event analytics. Connex Me is a native event app (both iOS and Android) with web applications for the interactive features. Pricing: Fees start at $499 for one event with up to 200 participants and email only support. Premium services are $2,000 for one event of up to 2000 participants, phone/email support, branding with sponsorship opportunities or $9,000/year for unlimited events. Meeting Pulse

Meeting Pulse does not provide slide distribution to second screens. However, this web-based system is affordable and provides a range of options

opening second screen web app displays four buttons. Participants can vote at any time that they: 1) like the content being delivered, 2) disagree with it, 3) are confused by it or 4) they want the speaker to speed up. The speaker can see the audience sentiment immediately and react to the room’s feedback as it happens. At the end of the presentation, the speaker or event host can see the spikes of audience emotions correlated to the timeline of the presentation. Poll results, questionnaire responses, questions, votes and participant profiles are all saved in the report as well. Pricing: Fees range from $19.95/ month for up to 100 attendees to $149.95/month for up to 10 hosts and up to 750 attendees.

Microsoft’s Bing Pulse

Bing Pulse also does not provide slide distribution to the second screens. It is primarily a web-based polling and voting tool with social media integration. However, once participants sign in, they can vote every five seconds on what is being said (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, and strongly disagree). The analytics resulting from this can yield a second-by-second analysis of audience sentiment. This can be segmented by any of the demographics (such as age, gender, etc.) requested in the sign-in process. Bing Pulse works in a meeting situation or even with large national television audiences. News media, for example, have used Bing Pulse to measure selected viewer sentiment during televised programs such as the recent State of the Union address. Pricing: Currently, the trial basis is free for a person or entity located in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia, New Zealand, or Singapore. Once this unspecified trial period is over, the prices are estimated to range from $200–$1,000 per event. The genie is out of the bottle and is not going back. Mobile devices are being used in meeting rooms. The products listed above can help focus what may be a distraction to actions that engage the participants in the meeting content and help to increase the learning process.

Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES is a speaker and independent third-party consultant focusing on meetings technology. With 20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. He can be contacted at his extensive web site and followed on Twitter @corbinball.




stand f100/42.





Just a Moment, Please Tonight we’re meeting Sir Albert at the hotel in Amsterdam that bears his name. It’s a meeting that came about by chance. We were taking a stroll in Vondelpark and sat on a bench next to a man and his black Labrador retriever. Courteous smiles, nothing more. As he got up to leave he said: “Excuse me, I’m new in Amsterdam, could you possibly visit me next week? I live in …” And he gave us his visiting card: Sir Albert, Albert Cuypstraat 2–6. Wait a minute; does he really live in that 19th century converted diamond factory? Thursday afternoon the following week we walked through the door to a warm welcome from a well-dressed man who asked us to sit in a living room, or possibly a lounge, that had Persian carpets to muffle any noise. It’s light and airy with a high ceiling and large windows and we agree that this is probably

how a modern aristocrat would choose to live surrounded by books, drinks, dinky canapés and iPods. We’re not really sure if we are at Sir Albert’s place. Perhaps it is a design hotel after all? Maybe it’s the details that form the big picture? We see design from yesterday, updated today. While waiting for Sir Albert we focus our attention on an old world globe that appears to be hovering in a wooden frame. The atmosphere in the room, along with the relaxing music, makes us suppress our voices and gestures while we trace the multi-coloured pins stuck all over the globe. Red pins in Southeast Asia, blue in Europe and yellow in North America. Has Sir Albert visited all these places? Are they places he’d like to visit? What did he do there? We might get the answers to those questions when we meet, provided we ask them.




from 2 to 3000 persons

• 14000m2 flexible meeting and exhibition space • Auditorium for up to 3000 persons, exhibition spaces and 20 smaller meeting rooms with flexible solutions • 21 km of stainless steel bars gives the conference centre a spectacular undulating form • A total of 3000 tons of steel. 6700m stone and 14500m glass was used in the construction the most central location

• 414 stylish rooms including three suites, several rooms with a breathtaking view of Riddarfjärden • Right next to Stockholm Central Station, City Terminal and Arlanda Express • Award-winning breakfast buffet • RBG Bar & Grill offers international flavors with a local touch directly from the grill

stockholm Waterfront congress centre radisson Blu Waterfront hotel Nils Ericsons Plan 4, Stockholm Tel: +46 8 5050 6000

SHARMA | 107

In a survey of 22,000 business people ranking top leadership gurus, Robin Sharma was #2, with Jack Welch. Sharma’s books have sold millions of copies in over 60 countries. His new book is “The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life” (Simon & Schuster). Robin Sharma’s blog is at photo Sara Appelgren

I’ve Been Longing TO WRITE THIS PIECE FOR YOU Why? Because learning the latest science plus methods to improve your willpower is one of the best ways to create immense success. At the base of all legendary performance in business, sports, music, relationships and life lies a strong character born from well practiced self-control. Study Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer. Gandhi and Zuckerberg. Darwin to Gaga. They all rose to where they are via the vehicle of inner strength. You see it takes self-discipline to: … put in the 10 years of practice research like Anders Ericsson’s has taught us is the minimal amount of training time needed before geniuslevel performances begin to present themselves. … make the sacrifices needed to be made to get epic results. You can play video games for hours each day or become the undisputed master of your craft. But you can’t do both. … to be relentless and display the grit needed to stay in the game and remain loyal to your vision long after the initial inspiration has vanished. … keep learning each day, iterating your moves and optimizing your performance. … remain focused, centered and devoted in the face of the inevitable

ridicule and laughter that your aim for iconic will generate. People residing within The Cult of Average don’t like to see others rise. It threatens their security. And spotlights their low self-worth. As well, it’s my humble observation that we live in a world that doesn’t value the development of willpower so much. We revere the over-selfied TV stars and pedestal the viral video “fails”. But … … the craftsperson quietly making art in her studio gets no due. … the startup entrepreneur who gave up his luxuries to launch the dream is considered crazy. … the mother or father who resists many social obligations to spend peak-quality time with their children is called an outlier. … the manager who awakes at 5 am to run their morning ritual so they fly at work is labelled an eccentric. Society invites us to pursue instant pleasure plus fast bursts of joy plus quick hits of feeling good. But as you know if you’ve been following my work for a while: To have the results only 5 percent have, you have to do what only 5 percent are willing to do. And high on the list is the pursuit of self-discipline. So here are some of

the keys (many confirmed by recent research and good science) to help you to install world-class willpower:


Please know that self-control (scientists refer to it as “selfregulation”) has been found to be a lot like a muscle: the more you exercise it the stronger it grows. It’s pure myth that elite achievers are born with gifts you don’t have. And buying into that idea is a great way to avoid the discomfort of doing the work you need to do to enjoy the success you deserve to have.


Research is also revealing that, every day, we draw willpower from the same reservoir. This means that checking your social notifications, watching the news, surfing the web and shopping online steals the self-discipline that could be used for developing a core skill, scaling your business, getting ultra-fit, nourishing a gorgeous family life or strengthening your internal world.


108 | SHARMA

“People residing within The Cult of Average don’t like to see others rise”


As you exercise the muscle of your will by making decisions, taking actions and pursuing activities, your self-control “muscle” depletes. One of the world’s foremost researchers in this field, Roy Baumeister (definitely read his superb book Willpower) calls this phenomenon “ego depletion”. This explains the behavior of celebrities that have destroyed their careers by one foolish move: they used up so much of their self-discipline energy on their crafts/practicing/performing that they had none left to wisely handle a temptation.


By installing a daily routine to ensure “willpower renewal”, you’ll avoid ego depletion – and perform at your highest level. I suggest you schedule practices like visualization, conversation, smart entertainment and even napping into your day to make that happen.


By pushing yourself to do what’s important but not easy, your self-control reservoir will expand. The places where your discomfort lives are the places where your power lies. MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 15 2015


Science also confirms that when we are tired, under stress and depleted, we have low glucose in our systems. And low levels of glucose diminish our selfdiscipline. By eating low glycemic index foods like meat, vegetables and nuts, you’ll avoid that crash. And getting enough sleep also keeps your glucose levels where they should be. Sleep-deprived people don’t do beautiful work. Hope all this helps. I know you have the capacity for your own form of greatness. I hope you’ll do whatever it takes to realize it.






Tomas Dalström PHOTOS

Anders Wejheden





Una Tellhed is Doctor of Psychology and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, Lund University. She is also co-author of the book Kreativitet – teori och praktik ur psykologiskt perspektiv (Creativity – Theory and Practice from a Psychological Perspective) published last year. What is your definition of creativity?

“Creativity is normally defined as something new and useful. I think most people see it as something new and original. But it has to be useful as well. You can have an original concept that isn’t particularly useful.” So it has to be commercially viable seen from a business perspective?

“Yes. What is useful depends on what field we’re talking about. In the art world, for instance, it could be valuable in some other way. Whether something is of value also depends on the context. A work of art could be deemed as being completely worthless in one century and extremely valuable in the next. Something regarded as worthless or ugly is suddenly seen as creative.” What is the G Factor and what role does it play in the creative process?

“The G Factor is the general intelligence. We possess different types

of abilities. We could excel in maths, music, languages, etc. People who are good at maths are quite often good at languages too. There’s a general intelligence that makes us good at several things.” Are the same tests used to measure both intelligence and creativity?

“The most commonly used intelligence tests do not measure the same thing as the most commonly used creativity tests. There is a difference between creativity and intelligence. But there is a weak link. A person with general intelligence, the G Factor, is normally a little more creative.” Two other terms are divergent and convergent thinking. Could you explain them and their importance with regard to creativity?

“Divergent thinking is the actual prototype for creativity that enables us to come up with many unusual ideas.



Thoughts abound amidst wild associations. Many regard divergent thinking as being vitally important because it helps us to link up unusual information and unusual aspects and associations. Convergent thinking is what is measured in the classical intelligence test. That you answer a question, plus the processes required to be able to

1. Problem analysis = convergent thinking; 2. Idea generation = divergent thinking; 3. Evaluation = convergent thinking; 4. Application = convergent thinking.” What is an insight and an insight problem?

“You can have an original concept that isn’t particularly useful”

answer it. It’s an analytical approach that requires an answer.” Do I use divergent thinking when I come up with ideas for an event that has speakers and entertainment, etc.?

“Yes, you do. You could brainstorm with others or with yourself.” How do I use these two types of thinking in my daily life?

“We alternate between them. It’s important to be flexible. When you need to come up with a new idea then you can use divergent ‘many ideas’ thinking, but you can also do it using logic. There are studies that show good ideas are possible through logical/analytical thinking, that is to say convergent. But the classical way to create a new event is brainstorming with wild associations. It then enters a phase where, with your convergent/ analytical thinking, you evaluate the ideas: are they good or bad, are they useful? You can divide the creative process into four phases:


“Insight is a subconscious process. When we get an insight it’s sent from the unconscious mind to our working memory where it becomes conscious. An insight problem requires a unique solution. It’s about ‘set shifting’, or changing the approach in order to create a unique solution.” (A little brain teaser: Divide a cake into eight equal parts by making three straight cuts with the cake slicer. The solution is at the end of the article.) Taking a break, which forms a part of the creative phase, is called incubation. Researchers say it’s important. For what reason?

“Incubation means to brood. When you want to come up with an idea or solve a problem, you set a goal, take a break and let your brain brood over it. That’s when ideas are hatched, in the best case scenario, seemingly from nowhere. Most researchers today say that most thinking is unconscious thinking. It’s thinking without beaming the conscious spotlight on it. Brain work without being aware of it, in other words.”

How important is it to set a goal?

“Research shows that it increases the chances of hatching a creative idea.” Why is the break so important?

“Convergent thinking, that is to say the analytical process, is what researchers have studied the most. It involves tricky problems that require a different or creative approach. When a problem arises the brain chooses to solve it the same way it has always done.” The brain is lazy, as we usually say …

“Yes, it normally works and it’s a clever strategy as long as it’s not a bothersome creative problem. This is where a break can clear the mind and help you see things in a different light. You let go of the fixation.” Fixation, is that what is generally known as automatic thinking?

“Yes. We need to be effective. Automatisation frees up resources for more important brain work. Most researchers agree that the unconscious is not only about, for example, locking the door using autopilot. It’s not just routines, schedules and robotic thinking, but also a more active thinking that could perhaps become conscious.” How important is a break in divergent thinking?

“The break appears to have a more potent effect here. It’s believed that the break gives you a broader focus of attention by linking together notions that it wouldn’t normally do. If you try to solve a tricky problem using conscious analytical thinking it gives you a rather narrow perspective because you have to focus.”

You’re referring to the working memory which can only handle seven items at a time, that is constantly receiving new information that is constantly being deleted to make room for new information?



Simple, practical and efficient Every project is unique, so we always start out from your particular needs. We’ve gathered project managers, service staff and technical specialists all under one roof. We also offer every service you can think of. This means you won’t need to search for any additional third-party services – simple, practical and efficient. Love to meet you!


“That’s when ideas are hatched, in the best case scenario, seemingly from nowhere”

“Exactly, it all becomes very tight. When you release the focus and do something else you can let go of the associative, unconscious thought processes.” An easy distracting task is best for hatching ideas. Better than rest or no break at all. Could you give some examples of easy distracting tasks?

“Taking a shower and cooking are two common examples. You have to use a trial and error approach. Many say there’s nothing like a jogging session to stimulate the thought processes.” But that should be a light jogging session according to Noble Prize winner Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. If he jogs faster than his normal brisk walking pace, he has to concentrate on keeping the same pace. This overloads the working memory and stops him thinking clearly.

“Yes, and his mood deteriorates too when the going gets tough, which also has an impact.”

Does our mood affect us in any other way?

“Studies into the connection between creativity and mood show that feeling alert and happy is a better mental state than feeling calm and peaceful. In other words, it’s better to

distract yourself with something that cheers you up rather than just staring at the ceiling.” Is sleep categorised as a break?

“Yes. During rapid eye movement sleep we see high activity in the brain, and it is associative. It could lead to many good ideas and we even solve problems easier. There is research that shows that creativity increases after taking a short nap. Thinking outside the box can be difficult. What tips does research provide?

“Give it time. The first ideas are usually the same old ones. Experiments show that people who put more effort into brainstorming come up with more original ideas. It’s important not to be too restrictive in generating ideas by thinking something isn’t such a good idea. Let experts and beginners work together because they have different approaches to the problem. The expert has an incredibly broad knowledge base and knows what is new and what has been done, but might sometimes become a little fixated. While the beginner has no idea and will probably come up with plenty of useless things, but there could be one or two gems among them.”

According to one theory, hyper intelligent people are also very creative. Is that so?

“There’s little to support that in the divergent thinking research.” Who is the most creative, the research student or the professor?

“That depends. The best thing is for them to collaborate, and they most often do. We talk of the 10-year rule. Really good things don’t emerge until maybe ten years of delving into a subject. You have to acquaint yourself with the entire field, what’s new and ensure that the ideas you get actually expand on the knowledge you already possess. If you have masses of knowledge it will hatch plenty of interesting ideas. And, of course, you can analyse them. Then there’s the fixation that can turn things on its head. One tip is for experts to learn a new field. This will enable them to see their old field from a different angle.” Not many people in the IT and computer game industry have ten years of experience but they still come up with brilliant and commercially successful ideas.

“The amount of knowledge you need depends on what you’re going to produce.” And perhaps the size of the field. The computer games industry is relatively



“There is research that shows that creativity increases after taking a short nap”

new and you could probably learn all you need to know quite quickly compared to a psychology professor, for example.

“Quite, and profound knowledge is not always necessary in coming up with new ideas. Sometimes it’s enough to be able to merge two concepts to get a useful product. There’s creativity in the large and the small, and in everyday things.”

How do I become more creative? Say I’m working in the meetings industry and have a large international psychologists’ congress to arrange, how do I piece together a congress that is interesting, stimulating and instructive?

“I think you should start by jointly identifying where problems lie and the needs you may have to satisfy, etc. This is where you use your convergent thinking, the analytical process, to analyse what it is you’re aiming for. Then I’d suggest a lively and fun activity. I think it’s important to do

something that you think is fun as well. The aim is to put everyone into a good frame of mind to help them release their thoughts, to distract them with something different, to get the associative processes working by releasing the fixations. Then you can start brainstorming ideas. Preferably together, but you can do it by yourself as well. You need a high level of tolerance with no criticism involved. It’s about creating as many ideas as possible. The first ideas are probably not the best in the world, but you don’t stop there. Wind down with a few breaks so you don’t get too tired or fixated. It could be a good idea to mix the group and invite some beginners who are not yet fixated. It’s important to treat everybody with respect so they feel safe in thinking out loud and sharing their ideas. The next step is to evaluate and analyse the ideas, which is when we return to the analytical thinking. Are they useful ideas?”

What kind of time-frame are we looking at?

“It’s difficult to say, but working against the clock is not normally beneficial for the creative process. It’s a good idea to spread it over a few days. It’s always helpful to take a short nap, as is sleeping on it.” The solution to the cake brain teaser: Slice the cake in two like when making two flan bottoms. Cut the cake twice from top to bottom and you get eight pieces.

Tomas Dalström is an author, journalist, lecturer and innovator with a passion for the brain. Author of the book “Bäst i text · Läseboken/Skrivboken” (Best in Text · The Reading Book/The Writing Book) about writing texts that communicate on the terms of the brain, he also runs and blogs about the brain and communication at photo Sara Appelgren


Welcome to the Swedish capital of Textile trade

A new large venue at Oslo Airport

5000 m2 of space to play with Thon Congress Gardermoen is a flexible hall for all kinds of events, conferences, conventions, banquets, exhibitions and kickoffs, loacated only 10 minutes from Oslo Airport. • Plan 1 has a 2567 m² congress hall that can be divided into three parts. • Plan 2 has meeting rooms in size between 50 and 200 m². • Associated mingle area Thon Hotels has with its two hotels at Gardermoen 695 rooms in total and can accommodate nearly 1,400 overnight guests at any time. With the hotels’ central location to Oslo Airport as well as to Oslo, all factors are favorable for large, complex and efficient fairs, events and congresses. For more information, please visit:

“The Flying Grass Carpet” – A project by Studio ID Eddy and HUNK-design

RADAR | 121

The Flying Grass Carpet IS BACK IN ROTTERDAM The world´s largest travelling artpiece is back in Rotterdam after seven years of travels and adventures. Till 30th June The Flying Grass Carpet, a project by Studio ID Eddy and HUNKdesign, will green up the Grotekerkplein in Rotterdam. “We invite you for a opening with a blissful picnic, a spectacular dance performance by Conny Janssen Danst, Circus Rotjeknor for children’s activities and some cheerful music by DJ Meneer Jansen,” says Eddy Kaijser of Studio ID Eddy. “We conceptualized and developed this project and Rotterdam was in 2008 one of the first cities where we rolled it out. It feels great that our Carpet is, after 7 years of travels and more than 20 destinations, back in our hometown. Feel free to enjoy, meet, play and celebrate with us.”

The art-piece, a Dutch Design Award winner 2009, is designed to look like an immense Persian rug with its pattern executed in different types of artificial grass, giving it a typical look and touch. The design consists of different parts that can be adjusted to any location. The size of the Carpet can be altered from 18×22 metres to 25×36 metres. “Landed in a city the Carpet works well for all kinds of events. As with ordinary parks, people can lie down on the grass or play ball with their friends. But its attractive appearance is also perfect for special events. It’s an excellent spot to have a Frisbee tournament, a city picnic and all sorts of contests and performances. “Now that city centres all over the world are rapidly being privatized,

the public domain is under pressure and is losing its quality. “The Carpet delivers a beautiful alternative for city dwellers to enjoy the city. It brings instant cosiness and a green leisure feeling to any city where it lands.” Read more about the project on ­



Roger Kellerman Publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. Has close to 30 years’ experience of the global meeting industry. Founder of Mötesindustriveckan. photo Sara Appelgren

Digging Deeper

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE REPORT #2 Last year at the EIBTM in Barcelona we launched our first International Business Intelligence Report. The reception was extremely positive. It was truly something that no other magazine publishers have ever produced in the global meetings and events industry. So now we take the next step and for the first time, we broaden our focus to the African continent, a continent that will be developed at a furious pace over the next 20 years – also in the meetings and events industry. The transformation and development has already started, perhaps most evident in South Africa, but now door after door is opening in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya. They have been close to breakthrough and now are becoming increasingly clearer in their communication, saying that we are developed and that we want to become more visible in the global meetings and events industry. Just look at the Calabar International Convention Centre in what is known as Nigeria’s most beautiful state, Cross River. The inauguration takes place during the third quarter of this year. We are also digging deeper into the differences between meetings – which we claim is science – and tour-


ism which is not. And looking at the world’s universities, the real motor in the meetings industry, we are approaching Harvard, MIT, Rothmans, Copenhagen Business School, Insead in Paris, and Moscow. The big ones: AMEX/CWT/HRG – is this the future or the past? They are flying under the radar and I wonder why? We are getting even more under the skin of Holland, learning more about social development and how the Dutch cooperate. Short distances between cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Maastricht make it easy to explore and share knowledge. Are they living in the future already today? We are also looking closer at interesting clusters, knowledge hubs and inspiring networks and, of course, much more. It will be good. You just wait and see. If you think we are missing something, please let us know at and we will get back to you to learn more.

Making business a pleasure

Conventions don´t have to be conventional A business trip to Madrid seems less like hard work than most. Sunny weather, conveniently located conference venues and gourmet lunches are just some of the bonuses for when you visit on business. A„er a busy day, Madrid’s famous museums and elegant stores are a great way to recharge before sampling the vibrant nightlife. Relax over tapas in an outdoor café or dance until dawn. Whatever you do, Madrid is the business. (+34) 91 758 55 28

At this very moment Markus Hengstschläger is giving a lecture on human DNA in Vienna. Change the DNA of your meetings now!


Prof. Markus Hengstschläger, Director of the Institute of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Vienna © Andreas Hofer

Profile for Meetings International

Meetings International #15, May 2015 (English)  

Meetings International #15, May 2015 (English)  

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