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No. 20 Nov 2017 €19 / SEK 165






To find out more: commercial@viparis.com


On 22 November 2017, the new Pavilion 7, entirely redesigned by Valode & Pistre, will house Paris Convention Centre, Europe’s largest conference complex. This new site, will help keep Paris the world’s top destination for international business travelers, and will provide the capital with a world-class space that can accommodate the very largest conferences at a site which is 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower. With a 5,200-seat plenary hall connected to 44,000 square metres of exhibition space, This exciting new venue will provide contemporary, made-to-measure spaces. The Centre is an architectural tour de force that is part of a project to modernise Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, the fourth most-visited site in Paris (after Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur, the Louvre, and before the Eiffel Tower). Paris Convention Centre is already a success – several conferences involving more than 30,000 participants have reserved the venue, and large-scale events are already planned through 2022. www.parisconventioncentre.com

Viparis manages 10 exceptional venues in Greater Paris and is the leader for congress and trade shows in Europe. www.venuesinparis.com


Paddy Neumann: rocket man Australian rocket scientist Dr Paddy Neumann has invented technology that could revolutionise space travel: his rocket drive recycles space junk for fuel and is set to be tested on the International Space Station. Like many kids, Paddy Neumann wanted to be an astronaut when he grew up. And like most kids, his childhood space travel dreams didn’t quite work out the way he planned. Still, Neumann’s consolation prize is close to the next best thing. The Australian rocket scientist has developed technology that could change the way we travel in space. Alongside Professors Marcela Bilek and David McKenzie from his alma mater, the University of Sydney, Dr Neumann has designed a rocket propulsion system that will be tested on the International Space Station in a year-long experiment. Neumann’s idea is for spacecraft to use an ion thruster that recycles space junk for fuel – technology that could efficiently power a return trip to Mars without refuelling.

“You can get to Mars in a few different ways depending on what technology you use and how much money you want to spend,” says Neumann. “A traditional chemical rocket is going to burn a lot of fuel to get to where you want to go and would require several large rockets to bring back a few kilograms of rock from the surface of Mars. “With our system, we believe we can get a payload from lower Earth orbit to Mars and back without needing to be refuelled.” Named the Neumann Drive, the innovative rocket engine heats solid metal that turns into plasma to propel the space vehicle. While ion thrusters have previously been used on space missions, they employed Xenon gas atoms as propellant – and these are expensive,

of limited supply and cumbersome to deploy. The Neumann Drive’s use of widely available metals could be a breakthrough for space travel. “Just like an arc welder creates plasma from the iron and carbon in its welding rod, we create aluminium plasma from an aluminium cathode or titanium from a titanium cathode,” explains Neumann. “The plasma comes streaming away from the cathode and moves very fast – maybe 110 kilometres per second. As it moves away from the cathode you get a reaction force just like when you are firing a bullet out of a gun. That’s basically how a rocket works – you shoot stuff out one end really fast and get a push in the other direction.”

TURNING SPACE JUNK INTO ROCKET FUEL The Neumann Drive has several potential advantages over traditional chemical rocket propulsion. While not capable of launching a spaceship into orbit from Earth (powerful rockets are still required to counter gravity), reduced fuel payloads and the ability to refuel in space opens up a whole new world of reusable spacecraft to undertake long missions across the solar system. “With our system, you can change the economics of how a space tow truck or tugboat can be used, as well as satellite maintenance and delivery,” Neumann says. Metal as fuel is a key element of the Neumann Drive – an approach that has also created an opportunity to pioneer a use for recycled space junk. As Neumann explains, the Earth’s lower orbit is littered with dead satellites and floating debris that are dangerous to functioning satellites and spacecraft. Much of that junk is made from aluminium, titanium or magnesium. “Our drive system runs on what are called ‘aerospace metals’,” Neumann says. “You can put anything solid in our drive to run on the cathode, turn it into short sharp blasts of plasma, and get thrust out of it. It doesn’t matter what metal we use. “If we were to recycle space junk, we would be actively removing debris from the near-Earth environment, lowering rates of collision, increasing the lifespan of valuable assets in orbit, and processing it for fuel for the drives. We have created a market for material in space, sourced from space.”

FROM THE CITY OF LIGHT TO OUTER SPACE Neumann grew up and attended school in Perth, Western Australia, a city made famous in 1962 when residents turned on house lights to be visible to astronaut John Glenn – the first American to orbit the Earth – as he passed overhead in the Friendship 7 spacecraft. The event marked Perth as ‘The City of Light’.

It was during high school, while attending a winter science camp called the International Science School, at the University of Sydney, that Neumann’s fascination with physics was confirmed. A scholarship to study at the University of Sydney followed and the door opened to double undergraduate degrees – a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (graduating with Honours) and a Bachelor of Science specialising in Physics. The common theme in Neumann’s academic career is the development of thruster technology for aerospace use. Neumann’s PhD project focused on specific fuel options for the drive. “I tested 11 different materials,” he says of his research project. “Some were pretty solid contenders for consideration and others you wouldn’t use in a million years as rocket fuel. But the way they failed told us a lot about what was happening in the plasma. Sometimes you learn more from what you fail at.”

LIFT OFF TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION The next step for Neumann was to translate his academic achievements into a commercial start-up (his university professors assigned their rights as coinventors of the technology to Neumann). He chose the South Australian city of Adelaide as headquarters – a location that offered a competitive economic environment for a new business supported by venture capital and grants. Neumann Space now has six employees. The latest landmark for the Neumann Drive was formalised in late 2016, when Neumann Space agreed to a deal for European company Airbus Defence and Space to transport a drive to the International Space Station in 2018 for a 12-month test program. Tests will take place on the Bartolomeo platform, a commercial research platform attached to the European Columbus module of the International Space Station. The aim is to demonstrate how the drive performs in a real out of world environment for an extended period.

“We need to take our drive up to space, turn it on and fire off a bunch of plasma,” Neumann says. “We need to go through all the operations to prove the drive does work in space.” Demonstrating its owner’s entrepreneurial smarts, Neumann Space also plans to sublease additional space it has rented on the Bartolomeo platform to other research projects. Another long-term objective: Neumann intends to show Australians can contribute to global space technology research and development from their home base. “Australia is not known for its space and rocketry, but there is definitely an Australian space diaspora,” Neumann says. “There are a lot of Australians working on cutting-edge research in satellite dynamics and ground-based observations, mostly working overseas with NASA, the European Space Agency or private companies like Airbus, Boeing or Lockheed. Neumann Space hopes to be an Australian company that manufactures components for spacecraft in Australia that people are willing to pay for and help give Australia more of a civil space industry.” First published on www.australiaunlimited.com Author: Matthew Hall

For more stories on some of Australian’s brightest people, read the latest edition of Australia Innovates magazine at www.australia.com/businessevents Or contact Business Events Australia today and find out for yourself why there’s nothing like Australia for business events. Simon Gidman Business Events Manager UK/Europe T: +44 207 438 4633 E: sgidman@tourism.australia.com

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To see what we can offer you for your event, please visit: www.rai.nl/ideas www.rai.nl




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Welcome to Amsterdam

The most compact metropolis in the world! With its vibrant city centre, easy access, countless hotels and an abundance of culture and history, Amsterdam is probably the only capital city where you can easily see people on the street that you met the day before. Amsterdam as your business ecosystem For each event to be highly visible and make a lasting impression, RAI Amsterdam works in close cooperation with local authorities and stakeholders. Take advantage of our network within the city and beyond, including: Holland Marketing, Amsterdam Marketing, Amsterdam Economic Board and the City Wide Events Taskforce. We can open doors to business and government authorities, knowledge institutes, media partners and our extensive network of suppliers.

Use our knowledge to empower your business We offer access to our vast knowledge of national and international events and the intellectual capital of our company, team and partners. We believe in knowledge sharing. Through our published trend reports, blogs, and operational manuals – written by our event teams – we offer you different insights. Our experience and highly skilled teams ensure that you have access to the latest developments within the international event industry. Please visit us at the Holland stand F30. We look forward to a dialogue. RAI Amsterdam ADVERTORIAL

Flavours of Madrid Madrid's gastronomy faithfully reflects its outgoing, diverse and innovative character. Traditional culinary delights are valued as highly as the very latest tendencies. Some of the world's most innovative chefs have placed the city firmly at the forefront of international cuisine. Locals and visitors alike sample and applaud their latest accomplishments while still enjoying their favourite traditional tapas. This approach to good dining has given rise to a wide variety of superb restaurants. Indeed, Madrid boasts over 3,000 such establishments, including traditional taverns, century-old restaurants, gastrobars and Michelin-star restaurants. Platea Madrid: A new way of understanding leisure and gastronomy, with top Michelin-starred chefs such as Ricard Camarena, Platea Madrid offers 6,000 m² fully customizable, with an impressive pre-installed technical rider, capacity to cater for even the largest of audio-visual events. The height of the space and its distribution, make possible the most impressive product presentations, such as aerial dance extravaganzas which stun audiences thanks to the 20 metre ceiling height, incredible bands or up to 3 cars filling in the unique stage of Platea. Canalla Bistró: the most eclectic, bold, cosmopolitan restaurant by Ricard Camarena (3 Michelin stars and 3 Repsol Suns) has opened in Madrid to serve his highly original gastronomic options. Located on the first floor of Platea Madrid, Canalla Bistró serves SPONSORED CONTENT

delightful dishes that highlight the superb raw ingredients and the personal creativity of this Valencian chef, who, in his own words, treats his diners to “eclectic, rule-breaking, cosmopolitan food whose flavours will take them on a trip around the world.” Somos: the restaurant at Hotel Barceló Torre de Madrid is the first in the city to have two separate menus: one with a selection of lunchtime dishes, another for dinner. Lunchtime options include Mediterranean inspired creations with a nod at the cuisine of Madrid, while dinner is a more sophisticated, avant-garde affair, with oriental influences.

Another point of view Thanks to the climate of Madrid, as the temperature starts rising in Spring, tables and chairs begin to spread out across pavements and the rooftops of hotels and emblematic buildings. After touring the city, relax in an outdoor café, or terraza, and enjoy a drink or a meal, listening to your favorite music. This is the essence of Madrid, and its many outdoor bars offer something to satisfy all tastes. Casa Suecia: this restaurant is located in the emblematic NH Collection Suecia hotel, between Paseo del Prado and Calle Alcalá, offering the culinary proposals of Chef Lluís Canadell. It is an inspiring space whose dishes combine the finest ingredients with leading references from haute cuisine. Terraza de Cibeles: this great viewing point which spans the large tower of the Cibeles Palace enables visitors to admire a panoramic view of the city of Madrid while tasting a cocktail or just a coffee. The convergence of the Gran Vía and Calle Alcalá, Paseo de la Castellana or El Retiro Park are some of the tourist attractions that can be admired from a privileged position. Find out more on esmadrid.com/mcb

Agustín Martínez © Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau, 2013


adrid, a lively cosmopolitan and friendly city where everyone feels at home. A place for business and new trends, the capital of Spain offers a safe, comfortable setting where taking time out and doing business are equally enjoyable. Its rich artistic and natural heritage, cutting-edge transport network, quality accommodation, fine cuisine and the passion locals show when enjoying their city's day and night life make it one of the most attractive cities in the world.


Lively and friendly Madrid

BOST conve ON n

tions BRING YOUR EVENT TO BOSTON With Two U.S. Convention Centers Packed With Golden Opportunities



Only Boston offers two AIPC-Gold-Certified convention centers – the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the Hynes Convention Center. Each is packed with award-winning services teams, flexible exhibit space and industry-leading technology – including free Wi-Fi. So you have the opportunity to build your event with the gold standard of meeting space. Schedule a site visit or learn more at SignatureBoston.com or +1 617-954-2800.

Impeccable South Korea


here is little to hide the fact South Korea has been affected by a string of strained relationships. A Beijing angry over the deployment of the US Army's THAAD anti-missile program; a noisy neighbor to the north. But while the white noise of politics might have the media buzzing, for residents in South Korea its business as usual. In Seoul that means a thriving economy, new business opportunities, and a wide range of extraordinary incentives for big and small teams alike. Despite political tensions Korea has continued to have an incredibly successful meetings year in 2017. In the midst of sabre rattling between North Korea and the United States in September, 30,000 delegates for the Union of International Architects Congress were busy enjoying the facilities at the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center and the Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Another 2,500 delegates gathered at the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center for the 77th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. So how does Seoul stay one of the top convention cities in Asia?

stunning auditoriums. With three five-star hotels right on site, and connected Asia's largest underground shopping center, the Coex Starfield Mall, it's no wonder that so many organizations choose the center to host their events. From high level political meetings like the ASEM Summit and G20, to massive international events like the Union of International Architects Congress, Coex has played host to the best in the business.

One of the safest cities in the world

A Supportive Convention Bureau

Seoul's sprawling urban jungle can be intimidating at first, but despite being one of the largest cities in the world, it's also one of the safest. Beating out the most well known cities in the United States, Seoul ranks as one of the top 15 safest cities in the world as ranked by The Economist's Safe Cities Index. Street crime rates are incredibly low, and crimes against tourists virtually unheard of.

The Seoul Tourism Organization's convention bureau is always looking towards the future to make hosting events in Seoul easier. This includes making more exhibitions and conventions eligible for financial support, developing promotion packages, and programs to provide delegates with unforgettable experiences with Korean history and pop culture. This includes programs like the Seoul MICE Card, which functions as a pre-paid travel card that allows participants of qualifying events to see attractions around the city, and the Discover Pass, a 24-hour pass providing access to 15 of the city's most popular sites.

World Class MICE Facilities Located in Seoul's famous Gangnam district, the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center is home to award-winning convention facilities. Spread over four floors, Coex has 36,000 m² of exhibition space, 54 meeting rooms dividable into 90 spaces, and two

Impeccable Transit System Seoul has made getting around the city easy with one of the most impressively connected transit systems in the world. Getting to Coex from airport is as simple as taking a comfy ride in a limousine bus and arriving at the City Airport Terminal right on site. Once there, getting around to see the city is as simple as hopping on one of the two subway lines connected to the center. Most of the cities historic and pop culture attractions are accessible within a 30-minute ride, and multilingual signage and announcements make navigating a breeze.

Find out more on www.coexcenter.com SPONSORED CONTENT

World's first concept flight of the autonomous Air Taxi / Volocopter


he world's first self-flying taxi service set to be introduced by Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has made it's maiden flight. The two-seater AAT, capable of transporting people without human intervention or a pilot, has been supplied by Volocopter, a Germany-based specialist manufacturer of autonomous air vehicles. The test flight was held at a location near the Jumeirah Beach Park.

He further said that adopting advanced innovative technologies and applications that help to enhance services for the community is key to topping global competitiveness rankings.

“After the remarkable success of the first driverless metro in the region, we are glad to witness today the test flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi,” said HH Sheikh Hamdan. “This is another testament to our commitment to driving positive change. We are constantly exploring opportunities to serve the community and advance the prosperity and happiness of society.”

His Highness stressed the importance of the transportation sector, which he said is a vital driver of the development process and an indicator of the level of advancement of the nation. He hailed the remarkable progress achieved in this sector through a number of landmark projects that have maintained the highest international standards while remaining true to the principles of environmental sustainability.


“Encouraging innovation and adopting the latest technologies contribute not only to the country's development but also build bridges into the future,” he added

Powered by clean electricity and featuring low noise levels, the AAT is an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Its current prototype version has a maximum flight time of approximately 30 minutes at a cruise speed of 50 km/h, and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h. All these features will evolve in the production vehicles. The AAT measures about two metres in height, and the diameter of the rotor rim, including propellers, is just over seven metres.

Over the next five years, the RTA will collaborate with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that the operational requirements for implementing AAT services are put in place. These requirements include developing laws and policies governing certification of the aircraft and AAT operations at an Emirate and Federal level, defining aerial routes and corridors, designing and locating take-off and landing points, setting standards for official operators of AAT services in Dubai, identifying the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and specifying security and safety standards for the AAT. SPONSORED CONTENT

Nikolay Kazakov

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan was briefed about the integration of the AAT with public transport systems such as the Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, public buses, marine transit modes and taxis. The briefing also covered the procedures for making the AAT service available to the public through a smart mobility app. The app will allow customers to book flights, receive booking reference details and track the route of the AAT.


HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA said: “The Autonomous Air Taxi has a variety of unique features that include top security and safety standards, and multiple redundancies in all critical components such as propellers, motors, power source, electronics and flight controls. It is also fitted with optional emergency parachutes, nine independent battery systems, and a battery quick-charge and plug-in system, which takes two hours to reach full charge in the prototype version, a time that will be significantly reduced in the production version.�

Emirates and Flydubai join forces, announce extensive partnership agreement ƒƒ Partnership includes an expansive codeshare agreement, schedule alignment and network optimisation. ƒƒ Passenger benefits to include access to over 200 unique destinations, seamless travel experience and frequent flyer programmes alignment. ƒƒ Both airlines to continue being managed independently.


mirates and Flydubai has unveiled an extensive partnership which will see the two Dubai-based airlines join forces to offer customers unmatched travel options. Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other's network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth. The innovative partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated SPONSORED CONTENT

scheduling. The new model will give Flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up Flydubai's robust regional network. The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; currently the world's busiest for international passengers.  HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of Flydubai, said: «This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, Flydubai, and Dubai aviation. Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai.”

Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). Flydubai operates 58 next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points. The partnership is working to optimise the networks and schedules of both airlines, to open up new city-pair connections offering consumers greater choice. Additionally, this will help both airlines feed more traffic into each other's complementary networks. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and Flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.  The Emirates and Flydubai teams are working together on a number of initiatives spanning commercial, network planning, airport operations, customer journey, and frequent flyer programmes alignment.  The partnership will be rolled out over the coming months, with the first enhanced code-sharing arrangements starting in the last quarter of 2017. Further details will be communicated as they become available. Fully owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), both Emirates and Flydubai are operated independently and under separate management teams.

About Flydubai Dubai-based Flydubai strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its everexpanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, Flydubai has: ƒƒ Created a network of more than 90 destinations in 44 countries. ƒƒ Opened up 63 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai. ƒƒ Operates a single fleet type of 58 next-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 aircraft by the end of 2023. ƒƒ In addition, Flydubai's agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai's economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai's vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.


50 Tesla electric vehicles to Dubai Taxi fleet


H Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, and Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has launched the operation of 50 Tesla electric vehicles to the limo fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation. HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) attended the launch of these vehicles which are fitted with several components of selfdriving techniques. The operation of Tesla electric vehicles is a manifestation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. It also replicates the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative of HH, and the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at converting 25 % of total journeys into driverless journeys by 2030 SPONSORED CONTENT

and is part of RTA's expeditious efforts to provide self-driving transit means by going through technological tests designed for autonomous transit means. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports along with senior executives of Dubai Airports attended the launch ceremony which was held at the entrance of the Dubai International Airport. Also in attendance was Peter Bardenfleth, representing Tesla, the world's leading manufacturer of autonomous vehicles. Sheikh Ahmed attended a briefing by Mattar Al Tayer about the operational plan of Tesla vehicles as part of Dubai Taxi limousines fleet. “The RTA has recently taken delivery of 50 Tesla vehicles as part of a deal for 200 vehicles signed last February on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017. Accordingly, 75 vehicles will be supplied in 2018, and 75 others to be delivered in 2019. The Dubai Taxi Corporation has coordinated with the concerned

parties to provide the needed infrastructure to ensure the operation of these vehicles including the provision of 13 electric recharging stations,” said Al Tayer.

confidence behind the wheel, increase their safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable by reducing the driver's workload,” added Al Tayer.

“The vehicles contracted by the RTA are of two models: S from Sedan and X from SUVs of Tesla make. Model S has garnered the largest possible rating of safety at the time of launch as it can cover the longest distance amongst electric vehicles. Besides its performance & facilities, Model X has a unique feature as it is fitted with falcon wing doors, panoramic windshield, a seven-seat configuration that provides an unprecedented level of comfort, and manoeuvrability. Both models can benefit from the free over-the-air software updates that add new features and functionality over time. Besides deploying robust electric vehicles, Tesla has also designed a new and unique series of power generation and storage such as Powerwall and Powerpack technologies and batteries. When combined, the three key components can make a positive impact on the world: electric cars, renewable energy and batteries.

Afterwards, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, accompanied by Mattar Al Tayer, boarded one of the vehicles for a short tour. HH then launched the operation of Tesla vehicles and posed for photos with attendees with the fleet on the background. Last year, Tesla developed a hybrid system for the generation and storage of solar energy in Tesla vehicles and broadening the scope of the company to manufacture heavy vehicles and trucks. It has also improved the autonomous driving systems to migrate from the semi-autonomous to the fully autonomous system. It is also working on improving the shared transport through the development of service systems for the upcoming generation.

“Tesla vehicles procured by the RTA of Models S and X are equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level greater than that of a human driver. Tesla's Autopilot is designed as a hands-on experience to give drivers more SPONSORED CONTENT


atti.soenarso@meetingsinternational.com PUBLISHER Roger Kellerman

roger.kellerman@meetingsinternational.com GLOBAL SALES DIRECTOR  Graham Jones

graham.jones@meetingsinternational.com EDITOR Pravasan Pillay

TEXT Per Brinkemo, Robert Cotter,

Tomas Dalström, Roger Kellerman, Thomas Ramsøy,

No. 20 

Nov 2017 Knowledge Transition


A Congress is a Workplace Atti Soenarso: Perhaps it is time to sharpen the tone.

Robin Sharma, Sharp Brains, Atti Soenarso, Rohit Talwar, Mike Van der Vijver, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington PHOTOS  Sara Appelgren (incl. cover), Roman Babakin,

Axel Laramée, Magnus Malmberg, Catalin Marin, Gyi Nsea, Andrew Rich, Atti Soenarso

ART DIRECTOR  kellermandesign.com



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20 | INTRO

A Congress IS A WORKPLACE During a recent conversation with Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, in the Braindate Room of the Prague Congress Center at the ICCA World Congress, we began discussing how delegates would explain their participation in the congress to their managers and colleagues. Last year when the congress was held in Kuching on Borneo, several Convention Bureaus refused to send their employees to Malaysia for fear of what the newspapers at home would write. Or, as a delegate in Prague put it: “It's more politically correct to attend a congress in Europe.” We ourselves lean towards the section of the media that expects the management of a Convention Bureau to allow as many employees as possible to attend an ICCA congress wherever it is in the world. Last year we were many who went to Malaysia, this year we met in Prague, next year we will meet again in Dubai. In the eyes of many companies, organisations and, not least, the media, the attractiveness of the destination seems to overshadow the purpose of the congress itself. Perhaps it is time to sharpen the tone. A congress is a facilitated external workplace. Delegates from 81 countries made their way to Prague to maintain and expand their networks, to share

knowledge and experience, catch up with new ideas and get one or two aha! moments. And we get all of this while at work. We arrive at an external workplace where everything is served on a plate for a whole week: seminars, Wi-Fi, chats with colleagues during coffee breaks, lunches and dinners, and on the bus to and from the evening programmes. Could it be any more efficient? At an ICCA congress you will also be informed of the future meetings that could be coming to your town's congress centre and hotels. Here you will find suppliers, PCOs and DMCs. In other words, all the people who create all the congresses, particularly the associations that have produced the world's foremost knowledge congresses for decades. If we cannot explain that to our local media then it is, frankly, rather embarrassing. It is about more than just filling hotel rooms and restaurants. It is about honing our own skills, developing our universities and colleges, our politicians, maybe even the odd journalist who would rather focus on every penny spent than show an interest in the work you are doing or what a congress entails. Prepare your arguments, have control over your expenditure and be transparent towards the people who

question your organisation's participation at a congress. By being wellprepared prior to arriving at your external workplace, the congress, you can contribute to making the working days more worthwhile throughout the year. Not only for you but your organisation. At the end of the day, perhaps even the journalist will find a good story in what you have achieved. Let me take a good example: Sadiq Aman Khan is a British Labour politician. In May last year he became the new mayor of London. When Khan understood what a medical congress could bring to London and the people living there, he said obvious things like: “We will hold more medical congresses in London because they enable our doctors to hone their skills.” Indirectly, he also said: “If the people working to attract more international congresses to our city do not do their job by being a part of international networks then how will we ever find the best congresses?”  ICCA congresses are not unnecessary. They are crucial for your town and your regional development. If you are not seen, you do not exist.

Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for close to 40 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


Tradefairtournament ballcongresshow symposiumconcert banquetconference exhibitionsummit forumcelebration annualmeeting conventiongala? Events in all their facets are our daily business; however, they are anything but everyday. For 777 years, we have been putting our experience and passion not only into one of the world’s most popular event locations, but into the smallest event detail. Because your encounters are close to our heart.






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Sara Appelgren

With its tree-lined boulevards, Venetianstyle canals, bustling seaport and rugged archipelago coastline just west of the city centre, Sweden's second city of Gothenburg has much to excite an avid photographer. This may go some way to explaining why, in the mid twentieth century, city native Viktor Hasselblad founded his eponymous camera brand that would become recognised as one of the finest in the world, of such a high quality that NASA engaged their equipment to capture the official images of its maiden space exploration voyages. The Hasselblad story is just one of many in the rich industrial tapestry of Gothenburg, a city that is today home to globally recognised giants such as Volvo, Stena Line, AstraZeneca and many others besides. Indeed, it was the city's industrial might that was also pivotal in initiating the Swedish Exhibition and Congress Centre (SECC), the Scandinavian region's first – and today its premier – trade fair located right in the heart of the city, the royal inauguration for which

will be celebrating its centenary next year. “To really understand SECC you have to go right back to July 1918, because Gothenburg was the first city in the Scandinavian countries to have this Swedish exhibition and it was actually the first such exhibition in the Nordic countries,” explains Carin Kindbom, CEO of SECC. “One part of the history and one part of the business sector that still remains is that there is this very 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“ As a foundation we never distribute any profits and we can reinvest everything we earn”

Gothia Towers


in a venue that is growing like a boom economy have given further impetus to current expansion plans set to be realised in the coming decade. “We have large investment plans due to the growth that we've already seen in increased capacity that we added between 2011–2015,” says Carin Kindbom. “We have also worked hard to develop new plans for our facility and our different products, to which we would like to add even more value.” “For the venue itself it's about three different areas that you will see come on stream over the next decade,” adds Carin Kindbom. “The first is for new entrances, as we have too low a capacity with entrances at the moment. The second is for more hotel capacity, which is crucial for our growth and it's one of the most important parts of the all under one roof business model. And the third is for more flexible meeting halls. Those are the three main changes that will be seen in the next ten years.” “To facilitate guests staying and taking part in a conference our concept is very important and we also receive many more questions for major events and global events asking for more and more rooms located ‘all under one roof’ and with our business


strong industry sector and we also have a lot of cooperation in the city that is very strong. I think those are two aspects that also make our own ambition so strong to go further with expansion, with both the location that we have and also with using the advantages of this location within the Scandinavian countries.” Ambitious future expansion plans for SECC will be embellishing a venue that has already evolved enormously over the century of its existence. Starting out from its earliest hall constructed in 1923, the cavernous Stora Maskinhallen, the complex has since replenished itself and mushroomed with three hotel towers, Gothia Towers, that were built over a 30-year period from 1984 to 2014, along the way to becoming a venue that currently offers more than 40,000 square metres of exhibition and congress space and 1,200 hotel rooms, alongside a wealth of entertainment and recreation options, such as an art gallery, pop-up theatre and three-storey spa, all of which makes it no less than Europe's largest, fully integrated hotel and congress centre. Burgeoning annual visitor numbers nudging ever closer to the two million mark along with the annual shattering of previous sales records







Sara Appelgren

“ Art is also an important add-on for us”

model. Therefore, in ten years our goal is also to reach 2,000 hotel rooms all under the one roof.” The ‘all under one roof’ business approach is considered a key USP of SECC, one that will help to further bolster its core business of meetings and events but not detract from it by a potential perception of an imbalance of entertainment facilities, especially given their city centre setting. “Our core business is meetings in different ways and that's what everything revolves around, so we would like to add to the meetings ‘the total experience’ – that's our business model and we are very confident about the core business, which is the foundation for everything. The flows that the meetings give us offer the possibility to add entertainment and not the other way around.” “Culture is therefore of course very important for us and we work hard to add culture in different ways to our total package, as well as sports and entertainment in the city, so I would say that we have a good cooperation that is actually one of the secrets of our success,” adds Carin Kindbom. “Art is also an important add-on for us to give the total experience new dimensions; we want to be

professional and give the customers different spaces to be in, so that sitting in one lounge area will be completely different to the next one they sit in. We also have a gallery that is a pop-up rotating different art and sculpture, but that does not compete with the art galleries in the city.” Guiding both the management of such a multi-faceted facility and the oversight of its expansion plans, as well as ensuring the optimum balance of uses is struck within the venue for continued prosperity, is a robust organisational structure that nurtures the conditions for success to continue to breed success towards SECC's overall goal, which is to become Europe's most attractive venue in the not too distant future. “SECC has from the outset been a financially independent foundation and the mission has been the same since the start: promote industry and cooperate with industry in the different unique sectors we have here,” says Carin Kindbom. “We therefore act like any professional company all the time – we are driven to have good earnings and to have a strong cash flow, but as a foundation we never distribute any profits and we can reinvest everything we earn for our




“In the last two years and up to as recently as this autumn we've had a lot of site visits, and we're getting more and more interesting visits and working a lot to get people here, because when you get people here they really like it,” says Carin Kindbom. “The hard thing is to get them here, but we're actually very pleased to be able to have so many requests to come here. Something that we would like to have would be for even more people from this business – we've had a lot of international academic conferences and large corporate events, but now we can see that professional congress organisers come here to have their conferences, and that's good for us.” “We've just had ECOC 2017 (European Conference on Optical Communication) with about 1,200 delegates from Asia, the US and Europe, which is the perfect fit for our venue,” adds Carin Kindbom. “I would like to see more conferences with around 1,000 people as well as corporate events of course, which is when all of them can stay in our hotel and for a 2–3 dayduration get to see all of our facility. I'd also like to see more events of the 3,000–5,000 delegate scale coming in, as I think that's also a perfect fit


ambitions. And we have very large ambitions.” “I would say that in the last ten years the plans and ambitions have been higher than ever, and I would say that that is also how we are going to go forward in the future. We have seen that our investments have been successful on the market – we have been successful with the markets that we have wanted to approach and also the different segments of business, especially international business. When we decided to take the ‘all under one roof’ new business model we made an important step – it's not easy for just any venue to adopt this business model, because a crucial thing is to have the city centre location.” Using the central location allied to a fresh business model has undoubtedly reaped dividends in recent years, both in terms of events taking place at SECC but, perhaps even more so, in the amount of interest in the venue and the city that is being expressed by both major events and event organisers. It has also put the wind in SECC's sail in terms of setting targets for the type and scale of events it would like to secure more of as it pursues its expansion plans and longer term goals.

Sara Appelgren

“ To really understand SECC you have to go right back to July 1918”






“ The ‘all under one roof ’ business approach is considered a key USP”


Gothia Towers

for our venue, and if there's one event in particular that we want to attract then it would be a UN conference.” With progressively greater goals to reflect the lofty ambitions of SECC, so too come the progressively greater demands and expectations from both event organisers as well as visitors, especially so in the realms of CSR and sustainability, but perhaps more importantly than anything else in today's global event industry climate – and particularly the case for a large-scale inner city venue – that of safety and security. “Safety and security is of course a key priority for us and especially when you're having more and more international events with people that might need to be treated in different ways and offered protection, but also with issues such as crowd management, which is important to have proper risk management in place for,” says Carin Kindbom. “We're all world citizens and safety is most likely at the top of the agenda at many places – we prioritise safety management and these questions are extremely important, so we work closely with security police and safety organisations in order to make our venue safe and secure in every aspect. Everyone must be totally

confident of staying at and visiting SECC.” “For CSR, the main thing we do on a yearly basis is to work with local organisations for good causes and it's mainly two of them – the Gothenburg rescue mission, which helps people on the margins of society in different ways and it is something a lot of the people working here are very proud of, and we also work with friends of El Sistema in Gothenburg, also a local organisation with roots in Venezuela to help young children,” adds Carin Kindbom. “For CSR we have a fixed programme as a base, because you have to look at the long-term with this. We also have different add-on projects, of course, and these could be in sports, for example we put on discos during Gothia Cup, a summer soccer tournament, and other different kinds of events. “With our CSR in mind, just the other day I was even at a concert in the city centre of Gothenburg with many refugees playing in El Sistema and I should also add that we have in our daily work a lot of people of different backgrounds working here with us,” says Carin Kindbom. “In fact, for everything in-house we have a lot of different skills and a 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“Sustainability is one of the things through which we've actually been able to gain business”

with other Nordic cities,” says Carin Kindbom. “In fact, we have different exhibitions that we rotate between us and also look for other types of cooperation. And within Gothenburg we cooperate as well, for example in connection with the European Summit in November when we welcome a large number of head of states and governments to the city.” In the years to come and as such collaboration continues and expansion plans start to take root, SECC is set to host a number of major events, including the European Stroke Organisation Conference and European Association of Hospital Pharmacists in 2018, each of which will bring in around 4,000 delegates and further boost the venue's status. Looking ahead, it's very safe to say that Gothenburg's SECC appeal can only get better.

Sara Appelgren


and is one of our main strategies is that we want to reassure all of our customers that they will have a venue and a meeting that is as sustainable as their own brands would be, and for this I would say that the competition is even harder for international events than for national.” Having consolidated their position as Scandinavia's pre-eminent meeting and event venue and with one eye firmly on the goal of assuming the European crown, the ambitions of SECC might naturally give rise to some neighbourly concern, both nationally and regionally, that Gothenburg could be gobbling up an unfair proportion of the industry profile, as well as the gains to be had from hosting events. The broad issues of cooperation and collaboration are therefore central to their longer-term journey. “The number of events that has grown in the last three years have been for different kinds of international events and those that we are attracting now are not in any competition with other Swedish cities, because they are asking for our business model of a city centre location and all under one roof, which you can't find in Stockholm or Malmo or Copenhagen, so it's not competition


lot of different nationalities, as well as young people starting out in their first job, and we are also trying to moderate different first job opportunities to be even easier to access for young people or for anyone interested in starting out with us. We see that we can be a very important starting point in a person's career.” Capturing complete client needs in terms of security and CSR has not hindered SECC's attention to detail for matters of sustainability, in their own way playing a part in helping lift the city of Gothenburg to a number one ranking in the Global Destination Sustainability Index. “Sustainability is one of the things through which we've actually been able to gain business, because we're working very hard on our sustainability programme,” says Carin Kindbom. “We collaborate with several key players in the city and have been addressing sustainability for many years, so today it permeates our whole operations, from cleaning and shipments to food and drink.” “In recent years, we've also been certified to the event sustainability standard ISO 20121 and BREEAM, which is the world's leading environmental rating system for buildings. One of the things that is important




While There's Life, THERE'S HOPE


© iStockphoto.com/Pixtum

“We wish to have some fun in this paper … We shall try to domesticate as much as possible of the casual cheerfulness that is drifting about in an unfriendly world … We shall have something to say about religion, about politics, fashion, society, literature, the stage, the stock exchange, and the police station, and we will speak out what is in our mind as fairly, as truthfully, and as decently as we know how.” From the very first issue of Life magazine, January 4, 1883







Rohit Talwar Steve Wells Alexandra Whittington

With the holidays around the corner it looks like tech is on everyone's wish list: home automation, robots, toys that learn your name, a phone with a built in AI assistant. The tech evangelists would have us believe that technology makes our lives easier and more enjoyable, right? Before you answer that question, read this article as it highlights several key pressure points where AI is creeping into our day-to-day life, and examines aspects of what the future might look like should present trends continue. Could AI adopt biases that limit human rights? Should selfdriving cars be trusted? Is technology rewriting the social contract between workers and bosses? What are the possible future paths for AI and robotics in society?

The Social Consequences of Automation – Fueling the Public Debate Our recent article for

the Financial Times on five key societal challenges and priorities arising from digital transformation has received tremendous coverage and generated considerable debate. Fast Future 1: Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity The first book in the

new Fast Future series explores critical emerging issues arising from the rapid pace of development in artificial intelligence (AI). The authors argue for a forward looking and conscious approach to the development and deployment of AI to ensure that it genuinely serves humanity's best interest. Through a series of articles, 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“Firms of all sizes and in all sectors, will need to strike a fine balance between AI and the human workforce”

they present a compelling case to get beyond the genuine stupidity of narrow, short term, and alarmist thinking and look at AI from a long-term holistic perspective. The reality is that AI will almost certainly impact current sectors and jobs – and hopefully enable new ones. A smart approach requires us to think about and experiment with strategies for adopting and absorbing the impacts of AI –encompassing education systems, reskilling the workforce, unemployment and guaranteed basic incomes, robot taxes, job creation, encouraging new ventures, research and development to enable tomorrow's industries, and dealing with the mental health impacts. The book explores the potential impacts on sectors ranging from healthcare and automotive to legal and education. The implications for business itself are also examined from leadership and HR to sales and business ethics. AI and Robotics in Society In

preparation for the launch of our forthcoming book Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, the team have been answering a number of journalistic MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

enquiries in recent weeks on different aspects of how AI and robotics might impact society – here's what we had to say: Leadership and Artificial Intelligence There is a growing risk that

firms will become over-reliant on technology and ignore the value of humans. Smart technology will increasingly replace even complex roles; however, it will be some time before it can outperform humans in problem solving, creativity, negotiation, collaborative design, conflict resolution, and crisis response. We need to think about how to invest in staff to maximise their potential with technology in an enabling role, how to care for those whose roles and departments are being disrupted by AI, and how to raise everyone's digital literacy so they understand the nature of the technology that is bringing about such change in their world. Firms of all sizes and in all sectors, will need to strike a fine balance between AI and the human workforce in their organisations. Careful decisions about which roles and functions to automate should guide AI strategy in business—a simple “bottom line” approach will compromise the human

element and could erode the firm's uniqueness over time. It will also be important to show compassion and support to employees being displaced by new technology. The gifts from AI to society include smarter decision making and the capacity to draw new insights from vast arrays of data. The technology also offers the potential for costsaving replacement of humans, and efficiency-oriented high-volume applications which are simply beyond human capacity to execute in a meaningful time frame. However, a sweeping implementation of AI without regard for the impact on employees would be bad internal PR at the least, and could actually have devastating consequences in terms of customer appeal and local reputation for a business. Furthermore, the cost of widespread unemployment cannot be carried by the public alone; private industry will almost certainly be expected to contribute to a solution for the economic instability that rash automation would create. Reflecting on the Dangers of Bias in AI What potential risks might emerge

from bias being built into or learned by AI applications? Rohit Talwar, CEO,


“We still have a way to go before there is a solid element of trust between humans and smart, observant technology”

Fast Future: “We could use AI to look for hidden bias in all situations from dating and retail through to recruitment and criminal justice.” Alexandra Whittington, Foresight Director, Fast Future: “We should take special care with the use of AI around marginalised populations of all kinds. This includes the LGBT community but others, too, like the elderly, disabled, the poor, and children. There is a lot of development being done around healthcare and domestic care-giving robots with AI, for example. It is essential that we avoid the risk of dehumanisation of the person being cared for when we leave children, or an elderly person, alone with these technologies. It was recently reported that some children's products that were connected to the internet via household Wi-Fi were recording audio and the transcripts were being sent to advertisers. We still have a way to go before there is a solid element of trust between humans and smart, observant technology.” The Future Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Cars “New ‘autonomous

people moving units’ can be designed around their primary purpose: moving people around on business, on

leisure, on holiday and hold out the promise of being inherently safer, more fuel efficient and productive – freeing up drivers’ time. We might also observe in the future self-owning, self-monitoring, self-diagnosing cars that use peer networks to connect with other smart vehicles to form self-insurance pools. Vehicle to vehicle communications will make traffic flow smoother and smarter and autonomous cars could bring an end to individual ownership – self-owning vehicles could earn money all day from transporting people and share that revenue with whoever manufactures, services and refuels them. Other features can be enhanced such as the safety advantage of facing away from the direction of travel, windows could be completely removed to be replaced by lightweight, self-healing materials (improving vehicle performance) capable of displaying any chosen projection from the view outside to a view of the sky at night. Towns and cities would benefit through lower pollution, reduced traffic congestion, lower car parking requirements and new service propositions such as mobile doctors’

surgeries which visit the patient to enable remote diagnosis and conversation while the doctor remains in their office. We could see the emergence of per mile/per trip/per second insurance in which drivers pay more if the roads are busier or there are more humans at the wheel. Dynamic insurance would be based on feedback from an AI that is monitoring the driver's mental health, reaction times, body language, and vital signs – upping the cost per trip if you are in an agitated state. Smart vehicles could do traffic management between themselves in a dynamic network. Vehicle to Vehicle (or, V2V) and, eventually, Vehicle to Everything (V2E) communications could be built into the Internet of Things, which would mean data sensors everywhere. We could also 3D-print spare parts and do customisations at home. Manufacturers will be able to 3D-print one-off replicas of models from the past and concept cars that never made it to production. Dynamic ads personalised to the viewer on the outside of the car could help fund the costs of car purchase and ownership.”



“Smart vehicles could do traffic management between themselves in a dynamic network”

Steve Wells, COO, Fast Future: “Artificial intelligence could radically change car servicing in the future. Components will be continuously monitored against increasingly large and sophisticated data sets – covering both the way the vehicle is driven and the service history of the component in other vehicles. Analysis of the data will provide the opportunity to replace a component before breakdown; thus reducing costs and the inefficiency of withdrawing the vehicle from service. While this is of course helpful to all vehicle owners, the advantages to fleet and commercial operators would be significant. Autonomous vehicles could even be set up to drive themselves to the service centre for component replacement. 3D printing represents a potential game changer for the automotive industry; not just in manufacturing, but also in service and maintenance. Take the example of a 3D-printed car with 50 components compared to a current day car with 5,000. Firstly, there are fewer components to go wrong. Not only that, we would see components manufactured at the service centres when replacements are required. The component MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

specification could be downloaded from the manufacturer's database and printed on the service centre's printer.” Maria Romero, Foresight Researcher, Fast Future: “The combination of AI and fully electric cars would simplify these machines as we know them today. Tesla's cars today already have an extra front trunk. With the introduction of AI to manufacturing and design, some car parts would be able to adapt to several functions, eliminating unnecessary redundancy. A steering wheel could be designed to morph into a headrest when not in use, for example. Vehicles themselves could gain modular capacities to enhance the passenger experience; autonomous cars could become programmed to behave as pods that link up with other pods, creating in effect an ad hoc mass transportation system. With less to maintain and AI monitoring the car's performance constantly, less time and money would be required for maintenance. Physical repair shops might be rare and centralised. AI-to-AI online assisting would be the norm. A specialised self-driving repair fleet would attend major cases wherever the vehicle is.

The user interface (UI) will be key for the future of smart cars. UI customer support could become the main issue with these vehicles. Repair shops would need to focus their services on the UI to be able to respond to the rising demand. Driverless cars should create safer roads for everyone. However, an extended consequence of a dramatic reduction in car accidents might also cause organ shortages. This market gap could be filled by an increase in regenerative medicine, nanomedicine and smart implants. Ultimately, organ shortages might open up the opportunity to present human augmentation as a socially acceptable option. Driverless cars could become an extension of – or actually replace – your home. Combined with trends like remote working, gig working, co-working, informal and seasonal work, along with other fluctuations in employment for which “the office” has become moot, we could imagine a future where people can literally live safely on the road. Physical addresses might be replaced by our cars’ IP addresses and delivery system would know to adjust dynamically. Parking areas could turn into leasing spaces to

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“Physicians’ training will increasingly include data management capabilities”

‘park’ your home for ‘extended’ (a day or two?) periods of time.” All ages can travel safely As our

(Western) population continues to age and is projected to possibly live to 120 or more, self-driving cars could become a life saver. We shouldn't have to worry about elderly people driving and putting themselves and others in danger because they're too stubborn to give up that independence. They'll maintain their independence and dignity by calling on self-driving cars to transport them safely to where ever they need to go. Silver alerts (US missing person alerts for elderly drivers) could be a thing of the past as caretakers would be able to program and monitor where seniors go. Similarly, kids will be able to travel anywhere safely. We may see teen hackers overriding parental controls and joyriding across the city. I'd love to see tech savvy granny break out of the care facility, hack a car, and go joyriding with Ethel and Mildred to Luby's for the senior liver and onion special. In terms of insurance: Who is at fault when the car has an accident? Who pays for damages to the car and to the humans? Will individuals’

insurance rates drastically decrease with self-driving cars?” April Koury, Editorial Director, Fast Future: “I believe that driverless cars will help to improve road safety. Driverless cars wouldn't exceed the speed limit. This coupled with GPS using live traffic alerts could drastically reduce traffic on the roads. I believe that driverless cars could help most with avoiding drunk drivers; the self-driving car would take passengers home safely without risking anyone's life.” What Doctors Need to Know About AI Healthcare AI applications should

enable huge amounts of data from multiple sources to be aggregated, analysed and extrapolated – allowing ever more sophisticated and comprehensive insights, inferences and causal patterns to be identified. For example, data could be combined from wearable devices, healthcare records, genetic information, family histories, food diaries, shopping purchases, patient income statements, public health sources, and local authority databases. AI is already in place in ‘smart cities’ – locality infrastructures designed to inform management

decisions on everything from street lighting, to traffic control and policing. Smart city networks capture massive amounts of information about the population and its patterns of behaviour using a range of sensors and data collated via diverse devices ranging from street cameras and building management systems through to mobile phones and wearable technology. This Internet of Things (IoT) generates huge volumes of data, which is transmitted and shared via cloud computing and interpreted using AI processing capabilities. As part of the smart city concept, we should see the emergence of smart hospitals, with the medical equipment, beds and physical fabric of the hospital all providing data about patients, professionals, the building infrastructure, and logistics (flows of people, goods and health information) through the hospital. Which patients have been left unattended for an excessive period? What services are being used the most? How did the infrastructure of the emergency room cope? Where are resources laying idle? Which department is under, or even, over staffed?



“Driverless cars could become an extension of, or actually replace, your home”

How can resources and personnel be deployed more effectively? Using AI, trends can be monitored in real time and predictions made as to where and when to deploy people and physical resources to maximum benefit. So, for example, if an AI ‘notices’ that the emergency room sees the most heart attacks on Friday afternoons, extra emergency room doctors and cardiologists can be deployed ahead of time. Big and small tech companies are investing heavily in developing health businesses. Physicians’ training will increasingly include data management capabilities, less memorising and more communication skills. Medical malpractice insurance will probably extend to cover their use of AI. Given the lower margin of error expected with AI diagnostics, medical professional liability insurance prices could decrease. AI could evolve into “Big Mother,” a type of AI that will tell you what's best for your health making decisions for you – like taking you to the gym instead of the bar. Technological, integrated, frictionless, transparent yet secure health systems will attract patients, but price might be the main reason MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

why patients incorporate more and more AI into their health routines. AI diagnosis, medical triage and treatments don't need to be perfect, they need to be “good enough” for patients to make the trade from human to AI healthcare. How Might AI Shape the Future of the Paycheck? The technology is

reaching the point where we could do per-minute or even per-second payments and have different payment rates depending on the time of day you worked – potentially tied to some measure of your productivity. These measures might prove unpopular with employees because pay statements would get ever-more lengthy and complex. For employers where staff are out on the road e.g. sales people, drivers, maintenance staff – this would be a real boon as they could start to pay differential rates for sitting in traffic versus doing the job. The downside is that it might encourage dangerous driving and speeding as workers try to minimise idle time. Generally, as technology replaces humans, competition for jobs may increase and we could see payment approaches more tied to performance and the productive time worked – for

example – only paying full rates for time at your desk/work station and reduced rates for any breaks. As artificially intelligent software is increasingly integrated into businesses, companies should have no problems automating daily or even hourly payments to any of their employees. Accounting software may become intelligent enough to recognise different types of employees – temps, contract workers, full salaried employees, for example – process and pay out paychecks per employee type, and adjust the company's books automatically, with little to no oversight from human accountants. With even greater integration, the outputs of the employee, contractor, and supplier may be directly linked to the payment process as salaries or invoices are paid in outcomes not effort/inputs. How Might AI Help with Gun Control? There are four key ways that AI

and low cost emerging technologies could help with civilian gun control: Prevention. Cheap sensors in the gun and bullets could detect that there were multiple people in the impact area and disable the gun or divert the bullet.


Deterrence. Cheap cameras in the gun and bullet connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) would allow for each firing to be recorded and an image of the shooter and target to be captured – with the information to be shared with the relevant agencies in a secure registry. Detection. Next generation scanners could be installed at the entrances and exits of public spaces such as hotels and stations and image recognition software could instantly detect the presence of weapons which would then be traceable throughout the space. Usage control. Simple biometric ID technology could be built into guns to ensure that only the registered user could fire them – preventing accidental or deliberate misuse.

Presuming the right to carry arms is retained, then AI can support the assessment of the likely suitability of an individual to exercise that right. The combination of health, work, education, social media, and criminal records can help to develop a risk profile that provides the basis of a pre-purchase license. Genetic information can be included to ensure the license applicant and purchaser are one and the same individual. Of course, the supporting political decision would need to ensure a consistent application of a nation-wide approach for the technology to be deployed effectively.

Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells and Alexandra Whittington are futurists with Fast Future.

When heart meets business. It seems possible to enfold the whole world in an embrace. Your ideas start to feel at home expressed in 305,407 m2 of space. 19 trade fair halls swell with all the new opportunities you can envisage. Somehow you know you’ve reached the right destination: www.messe-duesseldorf.com 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL

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CWT Global Forecast MEETINGS & EVENTS 2018 There is nothing to balance when it comes to safety and security. Security should be high on the planning agenda. You have a duty of care to protect your attendees throughout the duration of the event. Indeed, it's likely that in some jurisdictions, your legal duty of care requirements will increase. Physical security A good starting

point is to choose a location where people feel comfortable. This is true for every type of meeting or event but it's particularly true of incentive events. Unsurprisingly, people aren't as motivated if they think they'll be uncomfortable in the reward location. There are some places you wouldn't consider for any type of travel, but we've also seen incidents in major event locations in recent months. Those incidents have had an impact in the immediate aftermath but the downturn doesn't last long.

In the current climate, visible security – in the form of security guards or ID checks – can actually add to the attendee experience, if only as reassurance that safety has been taken seriously. At a lot of events today, security is like domestic flights in the US 20 years ago, when you could just walk up to the gate without going through any form of check. That's changing. Security is now included as a significant part of the planning process and there's been an industry-wide tightening of procedures. Cybersecurity There is a similar

compromise to strike with cybersecurity. Ideally you want to provide Wi-Fi that's easy to access but cybersecurity is about limiting access and/or protecting it. It is an increasing concern at corporate events but it needs to be balanced with the fact that technology is such

a great enabler. While there isn't a huge appetite to reduce technology's impact, event agencies are helping mitigate the potential risks without being too intrusive. Cybersecurity measures include physical security, close monitoring and even corporate security. An incident at the head office can compromise an event as much as any local attack—a malware infestation or attendee data leak, for example. You can also change the Wi-Fi password every day, notifying attendees through the event app. Global spending on cybersecurity products and services will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the next five years – from 2017 to 2021. Cybersecurity damage will cost the world $6 trillion by 2021. Source: Cybersecurity Ventures





Pixabay.com/Andrew Rich

Sharp Brains In a modern society we are confronted with a wide range of increasingly abstract and interconnected problems. Successfully dealing with such an environment requires a highly fit brain, capable of adapting to new situations and challenges throughout life. Consequently, we expect cross-training the brain to soon become as mainstream as cross-training the body is today, going beyond unstructured mental activity and aiming at maximizing a variety of brain functions. The goal of our new book is to help readers navigate the growing landscape of lifestyle and brain training options to enhance brain health and performance across their lifespans.

However, we need to recognise that such an activity may take thousands of hours before paying off in terms of brain fitness. It constitutes a great and pleasurable mental effort, and helps build cognitive reserve, but it is different by nature from more targeted, efficient, and complementary brain training interventions. To take an analogy from the world of physical fitness, it makes sense to stay fit by playing pickup soccer games and also by training specific muscle groups and capacities such as cardio endurance, abdominal muscles, and thigh muscle. It is not one or the other.

How is brain training different from mental stimulation?

This is the million dollar question. Evidence is growing that some forms of brain training can work, especially when based on cognitive training, cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation and/or biofeedback. The question remains, however, how to maximise the likelihood of transfer from training to daily life. Why do we still often hear that brain training does not work? Because of the different understandings of what “brain training” and “work” mean. A machine to train abdominal muscles probably won't

Anything we do involving novelty, variety, and challenge stimulates the brain and can contribute to building capacity and brain reserve. For instance, learning how to play the piano activates a number of brain functions (attention, memory, motor skills, etc.), which triggers changes in the underlying neuronal networks. Indeed, musicians have larger brain volume in areas that are important for playing an instrument: motor, auditory and visuospatial regions.

Under what conditions can brain training work?

“work” if what we measure is blood pressure. A “plane” won't fly if it wasn't a plane to start with, but a donkey. The most critical factor in determining whether a brain training method or program works is the extent to which the training affects “transfer” to benefits in daily life. We know from common experience that practice usually triggers improvement in the practiced task. Based on our analysis of dozens of documented examples of brain training techniques that “work” or “transfer,” we propose that these five conditions must be met for any kind of brain training, from meditation to technology-based programs, to translate into meaningful real world improvements:


It must engage and exercise a core brain-based capacity or neural circuit identified to be relevant to real-life outcomes, such as

executive attention, working memory, speed of processing and emotional regulation, as well as others discussed throughout the interviews with scientists in this book. Many supposed “brain training” games fail to provide any actual “brain training” because they were never really designed to target specific and relevant brain functions. 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“We expect cross-training the brain to soon become as mainstream as crosstraining the body is today”


It must target a performance bottleneck – otherwise it is

an exercise in vanity similar to building the largest biceps in town while neglecting the rest of the body. A critical question to ask is: Which brain function do I need to optimise? With physical fitness, effective training begins with a target in mind: Is the goal to train abdominal muscles? Biceps? Cardio capacity? So it goes for brain fitness, where the question becomes: Is the goal to optimise driving-related cognitive skills? Concentration? Memory? Regulating stress and emotions? The choice of a technique or technology should be driven by your goal. For instance, if you need to train your executive functions but use a program designed to enhance speed of processing, you may well conclude that this program does not “work.” But this program may work for somebody whose bottleneck is speed of processing (as often happens in older adults).



A minimum “dose” of 15 hours total per targeted brain function, performed over eight

weeks or less, is necessary for real improvement. Training only a few hours across a wide variety of brain functions, such as in the “BBC brain training” experiment, should not be expected to trigger real-world benefits, in the same way that going to the gym a couple times per month and doing an assortment of undirected exercises cannot be expected to result in increased muscle strength and physical fitness.


Training must adapt to performance, require effortful attention, and increase in difficulty. This is a key advantage

of computerized “brain training” over pen-and-paper-based activities. Think about the number of hours you have spent doing crossword or Sudoku puzzles, or mastering any new subject for that matter, in a way that was either too easy for you and became boring or way too difficult and became frustrating. Interactive training has the capacity to constantly monitor your level of performance and adapt accordingly.


Continued practice is required for continued benefits Just

as you wouldn't expect to derive lifelong benefits from running a few hours this month, and then not exercising ever again, you shouldn't expect lifelong benefits from a onetime brain training activity. Remember that “cells that wire together” – while the minimum dose described above may act as a threshold to start seeing some benefits, continued practice, either at a reduced number of hours or as a periodic “booster,” is a final condition for transfer to real-world benefits over time. This is an adapted excerpt from the book The Sharp Brains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimise Brain Health and Performance at Any Age.

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Business Events MUST ADOPT OLYMPIC SAFETY STANDARDS It is the tale of two cities. The city that changed the way the world hosts Olympic events, Sydney; and the city that changed the way the world hosts Olympic events in a new world order, where security has podium position, London. Amidst heightened global security conversations the former DirectorGeneral of the British Security Service MI5 and Chief Security Officer for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Lord Jonathan Evans, addressed a high-calibre audience at Australia House in London overnight, which included the Australian High Commissioner to the UK, The Hon. Alexander Downer AC, and more than 20 Association leaders. Hosted by Business Events Sydney and the new International Convention Centre Sydney Lord Evans provided valuable insights on how international business event organisers should look to the learnings of previous Olympic events when it comes to issues of security and cyber security in today's changing global environment. “Collaborative activity between the venue, the event organisers, law enforcement and security authorities is critical. Being able to access the best intelligence, the best law enforcement capabilities is a very important underpinning to the security for major events. During the London Olympics, success meant tremendous support from all of our

colleagues, and in particular from Australian intelligence.” Business Events Sydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith, said that there are significant gains for modern day business event organisers in working more closely with their Convention Bureau partners to harness their connections within a city. “As the world changes, globalisation is forever present. With the digitisation of our economy standard practice, it is more important now than ever before that association leaders work closely with destination leaders to assure the integrity of their event and the safety and security of attendees.” “Sydney is a dynamic, modern global city and we are keenly aware of the safety and security needs of event organisers. As business leaders, to successfully partner with event organisers we work in close collaboration with a number of stakeholders across both the public and private sectors in bringing together our clients with the relevant policy, protocol and law enforcement agencies to ensure seamless and cohesive partnership regarding safety and security,” added Lewis-Smith. The city's premier, new major business events venue, ICC Sydney, was designed with security in mind. Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said the new world-class facility was built to host the world's most prominent speakers and events.

“Entry, egress and the ability to isolate areas across the venue are core to our operation but more important is our management experience in high profile events, our technology systems and the strength of our partnerships with law enforcement agencies. “Within our first month of operation, ICC Sydney had already successfully hosted major events and their security requirements for guests such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indonesian President Joko Widodo and regularly welcomes Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull,” he said. New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. Adam Marshall MP, confirmed the NSW Government's commitment to ensuring safety and security of events in the city and state. “The NSW Government takes event security very seriously. We want our international and domestic guests to have the best experience they can while they are here. The Government has taken all precautions to ensure there are strong measures in place, actively work with our law enforcement agencies to assure our community there is a coordinated approach to safety and security in our harbour city,” said Minister Marshall.





The Clan Mentality is the Norm WE ARE THE ONES WHO STICK OUT TEXT

Native American girl photo © iStock.com/LazorPhotography

Per Brinkemo

Sweden was a clan society so long ago that we have lost track of everything it entails. It is therefore no great surprise that we find some international political events difficult to comprehend and are unable to adequately provide for immigrants from clanbased societies. Basically, all asylum seekers come from clan communities, writes author Per Brinkemo. In the middle of my lecture on integration and the confrontation between the Somali clan communities and the strong state, a blond, blue-eyed woman stood up. “It's so amazing to hear about the Somali clans and their oral tradition. I recognise almost all of it.” And then she began to yoik. The woman belonged to the Swedish indigenous people, the Sami, and yoik is their traditional form of song. A nomadic people. A clan-based people (‘sogaid’ is one of several words for the extended Sami family) with a strong colloquial tradition. A people intimately one with

nature who cherish their culture and traditions. But of our own indigenous people we are blissfully ignorant. We have lived under a state for so many centuries that we no longer understand. We find it difficult to interpret and understand people with other experiences than our own. Swedes are individualists, secularised, disconnected and foreign, not only to others but to each other. In our arrogance, being one with the state, we think we are normal. The norm for everything and everyone, and fail to see that it is we who are the odd ones out, we who stick out from both a global as well as historical perspective. To most Swedes the word clan sounds strange and exotic – not to mention peculiar. From having been dormant for so long the word has sprung up again, mostly used by a younger generation of computer gamers (Clan Wars, Clash of Clans), but also in popular culture in films like 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“It takes time for clan-based people to put their trust in systems intended for everyone”

Avatar and the dramatisation of Jean M Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear. But outside the romanticised world of computer games and films, clan stands for something much deeper and indigenous. Clan is, and always has been, a fundamental part of human history. Many of the world's communities are ruled by a clan system. In places like Yemen, Afghanistan, Libya and Sudan, the clan system is the unquestionable organisational form of society. The clan system also lives on in Central Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Africa. Even in relatively well-developed democracies such as India, Taiwan and the Philippines, the clan system still plays a significant role. It impacts people's daily lives, their values and worldly views. The degree of clan influence varies between different countries and communities. Egypt and China are countries that are partly characterised by a clan system. In Libya and Somalia, the clan system permeates everything. Sweden was once a clan society (dynasties). Norway, Denmark, England, Germany and Italy likewise. Scotland was one of the last western countries to abandon the clan system. It was in 1745 after the English MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

had crushed the clan system with the brutal ethnic cleansing of the highland clans. It has been so long since Europe (with the exception of southern Italy and Albania) left the clan system – in Sweden it was during a drawn-out process between the 14th and 17th centuries – that we have lost the ability to understand what it is and what it entails. So much so that we find some international political events difficult to comprehend and are unable to adequately provide for immigrants from clan-based societies. Basically, all asylum seekers in Sweden come from strong clan societies. Clan is the preliminary stage of a state-run society and is primarily based on blood ties. When there is no state whatsoever (Somalia), or when there is one but highly untrustworthy (Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan), people are forced to seek security elsewhere. Humanity has a strong tendency to seek security, protection and identity through blood ties. The saying blood is thicker than water should not be taken lightly. People in clan communities can often rattle off their ancestors 10, 20, 30 generations back in time. A common ancestor, real or fictitious, unites groups of people in

societies that are either stateless or where people do not trust the state. Clan communities automatically become collectivistic. In such societies, the desires of the individual take second place to the family, the clan and the collective. Judicially, clan societies do not judge individuals. They judge collectively. In clan societies, the offender is not punished. Clan law in its most pronounced form is based on compensation. If somebody kills another person, the killer's clan must compensate the victim's family. If for some reason the killer's clan refuses, the victim's family is entitled to claim blood vengeance. A life for a life, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. This means that as a member of a clan you are an inseparable and tangible part of a larger “we”. On the values scale, clan societies are conservative – particularly regarding gender roles, child-rearing and sexuality. It is in clan societies that honour culture arises. Honour does not stem from religion. As already mentioned, clan societies put bloodlines first. A new-born child must be able to enter the family line. It is not only the man who has to be certain that the child is his. This is an issue for the whole family and the reason for the huge

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“In our arrogance, being one with the state, we think we are normal”

fixation on the woman's sexuality and virginity. Another common feature of clan communities is the oral tradition. Stories with a moral to them, wisdom and proverbs, are handed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next. In cultures with an oral tradition, the spoken word weighs heavier than the written word. Going from an oral tradition to an extreme ‘paper society’ like Sweden has done is guaranteed to meet obstacles along the way. It usually takes time for oral language to take psychological command over the written word. Some time ago I published a book entitled Between Clan and State – Somalis in Sweden. In it I show what it means to move from a clan-based society, with no experience of bureaucracy, public authorities and institutions, to a strong state like Sweden. I write about the initial difficulty of navigating among government authorities and the risk involved in not daring to extend trust from the structures of the clan community to something as abstract as a state. I write that it takes time for clan-based people to put their trust in systems intended for everyone, not just for certain groups in society. People from clan communities also find it difficult

to understand that laws can extend into what they consider to be their private sphere, particularly regarding child-rearing, gender roles and sexuality. For too long, we in Sweden have been oblivious to our own social system and the ones that many immigrants come from. We are not even aware of our own indigenous Sami people. For example, how many people know that Sami has far more words than Swedish to describe family relationships? In stateless societies, or societies with weak or corrupt states, the family is far more important than in a state-run society like Sweden. This we must learn so that we can meet and understand immigrants – as well as our own indigenous population. Per Brinkemo is a journalist and the author of Between Clan and State – Somalis in Sweden, and Dumped, about an abandoned Somali boy.





Glasgow Botanic Gardens photo © iStock.com/RomanBabakin

GDS-Index RELEASES CITY RANKINGS The Global Destination Sustainability Index, GDS-Index, has released its second ranking of the sustainability performance of 40 meeting and events cities worldwide. The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations through knowledge sharing, capacity building, and benchmarking across four key areas: city environmental strategy and infrastructure; city social sustainability performance; industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres); and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives. The 2017 results were announced at the International Congress and Convention Association Congress, with the Overall Leadership Award going to Gothenburg, who also won the Innovation Award for their pioneering app which facilitates greater accessibility for events. Glasgow was recognised with the Most Improved Award for their sterling achievement in engaging stakeholders through their “People Make Glasgow Greener” campaign and for driving sustainability performance in the last year. The cities with the highest overall scores

1. Gothenburg 2. Oslo 3. Copenhagen & Reykjavik 

92 % 85 % 82 %

4. Glasgow 5. Stuttgart 6. Helsinki 7. Uppsala 8. Zurich 9. Malmö 10. Västerås

80 % 79 % 78 % 77 % 76 % 74 % 69 %

With a score of 92 out of a possible 100 points, Gothenburg came top of the list of meeting and event cities in the GDS-Index. Camilla Nyman, CEO of Göteborg & Co. says: “The goal for Gothenburg is to be in the absolute top league in sustainability. All the initiatives that the city takes in collaboration with local business contribute to this success. This is very much in line with our ambition to keep on pushing every aspect of sustainability.” Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, comments: “This is a fantastic achievement for the city which would not have been possible without the collaboration between the city's tourism and hospitality sectors, academic and business communities, and local government partners. It's hugely motivating to see our efforts in this area being recognised. Glasgow is working towards becoming one of Europe's most sustainable cities by 2020 and to maintain our position as one of the world's premier conference destinations we recognise the importance of enhancing our sustainable

business tourism offering. Glasgow is at the forefront of developments in the energy, sustainability and low carbon industries and in turn, this has had a hugely positive impact on the volume of conferences we're attracting in these sectors.” “This year's awards and ranking prove that the GDS-Index delivers results for the CB, for clients and participants”, says Guy Bigwood, GDSIndex Project Director. Destinations with a sustainability strategy for the meetings industry increased by 25 per cent, average CB sustainability performance rose by 11 per cent, with destinations such as Oslo, Aarhus and Malmö increasing their overall performance by more than 20 per cent. Five new cities joined the GDSIndex in 2017 including Brussels, Goyang, Dublin, Lausanne-Montreux and Prague. “I would like to congratulate the award-winning destinations for their achievements and for being beacons of leadership. I also want to recognise all the destinations in the programme for their commitment to driving performance in their destinations,” says Guy Bigwood.




Lunch with the Financial Times Few books with interviews from journals are published and even fewer are inspiring. Luckily there are always exceptions. Lunch with the FT is a selection of 52 classic interviews with, for example, film stars, politicians, writers, dissidents, personalities in sports, fashion, design, food. The list of people who have lunched with the magazine’s columnists and correspondents since 1994 is like an ­international “who’s who” of our time.


© iStockphoto.com/EdStock/Gyi Nsea

The book gives you the opportunity to be the fly on the wall quietly listening to what ­Angela Merkel, Michael O’Leary, Martin Amis, George Soros, P Diddy, Angelina Jolie and Jimmy Carter think, and what they think about. You will also hear how a super wealthy business man is paying African presidents to resign, and listen to one of the Arab world’s most infamous sons. More lunch meetings are available here: www.ft.com/intl/life-arts/lunch-with-the-ft








Atti Soenarso PHOTOS



Catalin Marin, momentaryawe.com

Catalin Marin Axel Laramée Atti Soenarso




La Perle is a theatrical aquatic show created by Franco Dragone and performed on a dry and wet stage. It involves acrobatics, visual illusions and music to tell a story tinged with flavours from the UAE.


Axel Laramée

The arrival of La Perle at Al Habtoor City in Dubai marks a new chapter for live performance in the Middle East. It is the first time in the region that a show is a permanent destination-defining attraction all year round. The show is a new, innovative cultural experience that one can only be a part of in Dubai. The idea to bring a permanent show to the region is two-fold. Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group had been to Las Vegas and watched La Rêve, one of Franco Dragone's shows. Al Habtoor became inspired to bring a permanent resident show to Dubai. Mohammed Al Habtoor then reached out to Franco Dragone, the one person he knew would be able to make his vision reality. As with all Dragone shows, Franco Dragone takes inspiration from the region he

is building the show in. Then he fuses the world's best human talents, artistic disciplines and technical innovations to bring local stories alive and immerse spectators in the ultimate spectator experience. La Perle, located in a purposebuilt venue, feels intimate despite its scale; 1,300 seats that wrap around a circular stage, which has a deep body of water at its centre. It has been a long process. La Perle first broke ground almost five years ago, but for the majority of the cast and crew, the journey began two– three years ago. Three auditions were held in five countries, UK, US, Australia, Cuba and Germany to find the crème de la crème of artists. “In October 2016, we began “Training and Formation”, where we took the largest sound stage in the region, Dubai Studio. It was here the artists learnt the key skills and 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


can wonder: How do emotions and creations work together? “Emotions can be both a help and hindrance when it comes to creating a show. The passion, energy and raw emotion that every artist puts into the show is phenomenal, but it can be physically draining. The artists have to learn to restrict their emotions, so they have the endurance to perform

“The show is a new, innovative cultural experience that one can only be a part of in Dubai”


two shows nightly,” says Tara Young. There are some challenges the crew had to overcome, as can be expected when you are building a theatre with technology so advanced it had not been used before now. “Being an aqua theatre, we are also working with water, a very temperamental element. But we have managed to overcome the obstacles to create a most spectacular show.” Franco Dragone, who comes from a Cirque du Soleil background, has said: “From the hour-and-a-half creation we do, we can heal some souls. We are dreamers. We call it entertainment, but we hope it's something more – a little piece of eternity.”

3. There are 135 loudspeakers, making for a 360-degree sound experience. 4. All lights are moving lights with a lifetime of more than 10,000 hours. 5. The theatre can ‘rain’ inside the auditorium because of two water pumps capable of delivering 9,000 litres of water per minute. 6. There is a six-metre tall articulated puppet in the show that's managed by six performers on the floor and one on top. 7. Everything in the theatre is a projection screen: the seats, the walls, the floor and the building's dome. 8. Performers will jump from a 25-metre height, performing aerial fest in the air. 9. To ensure the safety of the performers, there will be scubadivers in the water at all times. 10. The pool is cleaned by an independent system 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is never emptied.

Ten things to know about La Perle

1. The pool at the centre of the stage has a capacity of 2.7 million litres of water, nearly triple the amount of water in an Olympic pool.

Atti Soenarso

had our first performance.” It is a diverse crew with 65 artists from 23 different countries, 25 artistic staff and 70 crew members resulting in a team of about 160 people. The crew working backstage is large and diverse. Behind the scenes are a team of around 70 experts including technicians, stage managers, automation, translators, a performance wellness team, riggers and sound engineers, to name but a few. They are all superstars, who have worked all over the world on some of the biggest shows and events in the world. “Franco Dragone's impulse is to create a world of escape, where no matter what's happening in the outside world, when the audience steps through the theatre doors, they are transported into another world. I think that is exactly what La Perle does,” says Tara Young. Having seen the interactive, theatre experience with inspiration from Dubai's past, present and future, one

2. The sound system works above and below water, so artists and technicians can hear music and communications underwater.


trained their bodies to be conditioned so when the creation of La Perle began, the artists were ready,” says Tara Young, Resident Artistic Director. “In May 2017, we moved into the theatre at Al Habtoor City and Franco Dragone began Creation, where he live directs and “creates the show”. From then, we were in creation until the end of August, when we finally





Baltic Sea Region Exhibition for Meetings, Events and Incentives

Emerging Baltic Sea Region market Most desirable suppliers Fully hosted buyer programme 3700+ pre-scheduled appointments Strong focus on education and knowledge Unrivalled networking opportunities


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AIME LAUNCHES EXHIBITOR EDUCATIONAL SERIES The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) has announced the introduction of a free series of educational sessions designed to support exhibitors to maximise their investment in the lead up to and during the show in February. The series which includes two webinars and one face-to-face seminar, aims to provide a deeper understanding of MICE buyers to enable better engagement with delegates and maximise every connection made during the expo. Topics covered across the series include ‘Understanding the MICE client’, ‘Effective client engagement for sustainable long-term relationship building’ and ‘Making the most of your opportunity’. The sessions will be hosted by Louise Harrison, Motive Networks, Coach and Consultant to the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE) industry. With nearly 30 years’ experience managing corporate conferences, product launches, incentive travel reward programs, association meetings, congresses and exhibitions across the globe, Louise will share her specialist experience with the AIME exhibitor community. Louise Harrison, commented on the introduction of this educational series for exhibitors and the value it has for those who participate.

“This is a great initiative for AIME exhibitors to expand their knowledge and reach in the MICE industry. It's all about the way we communicate with each other and the development of long-term relationships that result in higher ROI. “Across the series I will share insights on how to identify with a buyer and enhance the value of your connections, what influences a buying decision, how to be confident and deliver more effective proposals, along with making the most of appointments while at AIME. “This is something that adds tremendous value to an exhibitor who might not have engaged a consultant, or is exhibiting for the first time. I am delighted that I can share the expertise I've gained from 30 years in the industry, and look forward to attending AIME,” said Harrison. Angela Sciacca, Project Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said the value of the series for exhibitors’ ROI is priceless. “The creation of this education series aligns with the launch of our AIME “First Timers” area which will showcase a number of the industry's latest rising star companies and local businesses. For First Timers and industry stalwarts alike, it's vital to know your target audience, what they're looking for and what

motivates them, especially in our changing industry landscape. This is a huge advantage and opportunity for exhibitors to learn how to increase engagement at AIME 2018,” said Sciacca. AIME will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 20–21 February 2018.


The number of conference and convention delegates visiting Hamburg continues to grow. According to the Conference and Convention Market Survey, commissioned by the Hamburg Convention Bureau, the number of overnight stays attributable to meetings, incentives, conferences and events increased from 2.3 million in 2013 to 3 million in 2016, worth more than 706 million euro. Since the Hamburg Convention Bureau launched its first Conference and Convention Market Survey in 2014, the share of MICE-driven overnight stays in Hamburg has increased by 700,000. In 2013, the city welcomed 2.3 million conference and convention delegates, rising to just MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

over 3 million in 2016. The share of total nights spent in Hamburg hotels increased from 21 per cent in 2013 to 25 per cent in 2016. Florian Gerdes, Marketing Manager Conventions at Hamburg Convention Bureau, says: “The results of the survey confirm that meetings and events play an increasingly important role in the prosperity of Hamburg. The MICE market not only brings monetary value to the city, it also significantly contributes to further developing the city's key economic sectors, including medicine, media, logistics and transport.” Last year, the number of business events increased from 57,000 to 64,000 compared with the same

period in 2015. 1.8 million event delegates visited the city – of these, 19 per cent came from abroad, a three per cent increase from 2015. The top industries to hold events in Hamburg include financial services, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, medicine and medical technology, logistics and transport as well as media and publishing. The new CCH – Congress Center Hamburg – is set to be one of Europe's largest congress centres when it reopens next year.



© iStockphoto.com/mh-fotos

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Let Prague Inspire You! The City of a Hundred Spires on the Vltava River is known to people from all over the world and it ranks among the most beautiful cities in Europe. Let Prague inspire you, just as it inspired many significant artists and scientists in the past. The Prague Convention Bureau team is ready to help you with any corporate or association queries you may have! Prague is never off-season and with direct routes from 162 destinations, nearly 800 hotels and 92,000 hotel beds, the city can accommodate the most demanding clientele. The city offers many options: you can hold a meeting in one of the monumental historical palaces or in a  comfortable contemporary venue. You can have a pint in a traditional Czech brewery or enjoy fine dining in a Michelinstarred restaurant. You can take a historical tram ride or use the efficient public transportation system. All this together makes Prague an extraordinary, attractive place, ideal for all types of meetings and incentive programs.

Rytířská 26 110 00 Prague 1 | CZ T: +420 224 235 159 info@pragueconvention.cz



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 founded the Titan Academy and his blog is at robinsharma.com. photo

Sara Appelgren

60 Tips FOR A STUNNINGLY GREAT LIFE I want to shift gears from leadership to a pure focus on crafting an exceptional life for this post. Ultimately, life goes by in a blink. And too many people live the same year 80 times. To avoid getting to the end and feeling flooded with regret over a life halflived, read (and then apply) these tips: 1. Exercise daily. 2. Get serious about gratitude. 3. See your work as a craft. 4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst. 5. Keep a journal. 6. Read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 7. Plan a schedule for your week. 8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life. 9. Say no to distractions. 10. Drink a lot of water. 11. Improve your work every single day. 12. Get a mentor. 13. Hire a coach. 14. Get up at 5am each day. 15. Eat less food. 16. Find more heroes. 17. Be a hero to someone. 18. Smile at strangers. 19. Be the most ethical person you know.

20. Don't settle for anything less than excellence. 21. Savor life's simplest pleasures. 22. Save 10 % of your income each month. 23. Spend time at art galleries. 24. Walk in the woods. 25. Write thank you letters to those who've helped you. 26. Forgive those who've wronged you. 27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades. 28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love. 29. Have 5 great friends. 30. Become stunningly polite. 31. Unplug your TV. 32. Sell your TV. 33. Read daily. 34. Avoid the news. 35. Be content with what you have. 36. Pursue your dreams. 37. Be authentic. 38. Be passionate. 39. Say sorry when you know you should. 40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another. 41. Have a vision for your life. 42. Know your strengths.

43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack. 44. Be patient. 45. Don't give up. 46. Clean up your messes. 47. Use impeccable words. 48. Travel more. 49. Read As You Think. 50. Honor your parents. 51. Tip taxi drivers well. 52. Be a great teammate. 53. Give no energy to critics. 54. Spend time in the mountains. 55. Know your top 5 values. 56. Shift from being busy to achieving results. 57. Innovate and iterate. 58. Speak less. Listen more. 59. Be the best person you know. 60. Make your life matter. Please pass this list on to a friend. Thank you.




Going BEHIND THE MIND Digital advertising An interesting

study shows that advertising on a computer screen or mobile display puts significantly more burden on the brain compared to printed advertising. The message comes across as more fragmented and the consumer risks missing it entirely. Added to this, the emotional transmission is weaker in digital communication and the reader forms a less emotional link with the brand. Printed advertising The emotional

arousal is greater on paper, the cognitive stress lower and the attention higher. “People can more easily focus on physical advertising.” This means that the brain can process more complex messages on paper. It is therefore possible to communicate longer and more detailed messages compared to digital communication. Paper + digital The study shows

that when “the consumer first sees

the printed advertisement, the brand gets a strong, positive emotional response – as does the subsequent digital advertisement, which enhances the effect of the brand communication.” 1 + 1 = 3. If you do the opposite of digital first and then printed, you do not get this effect.  The findings are from the world's first neuromarketing study. It was based on real brands and advertising campaigns and was carried out in Sweden and Denmark. A hundred Swedes looked at advertising from Ikea, Panduro Hobby, ICA, and Lindex and a hundred Danes looked at advertising from Ikea, Panduro Hobby, Super Brugsen and Plantorama. They looked at the same material in printed and digital form. It is considered a comprehensive study with this methodology. The study was conducted by Neurons Inc, a consultancy with origins in Copenhagen Business School and 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


Copenhagen University Hospital, market research specialist Ipsos, and Post Nord, who financed the study. The findings are consistent with previous studies, but are considered more reliable as the study used real brands. The trio investigated how advertising from different channels affects the brain, a subject of interest to all marketers. They used an eye movement camera to record what the

cognitive stress, email and banners in particular. Cognitive stress can be triggered by the need to understand something and to succeed. Stress can also be triggered by social and physical factors and affect the performance of our working memory. “This underlines the importance of simplifying digital communication to avoid information overload on consumers. Previous studies by Neu-

“The emotional arousal is greater on paper, the cognitive stress lower and the attention higher” subjects looked at, and EEG technology where electrodes are attached to the head to record brain activity at millisecond level. The subjects also answered some questions. The basis of the study is that our motivation is linked to a future behaviour, “that is, if you are drawn to something, it is much more likely that you will act on it … High motivation is linked to a more positive feeling and has proven to be a reliable signal for purchase.” The study shows that too much information and stress makes it more difficult to feel high motivation. As a matter of interest, prior to the study, the subjects claimed to have a positive attitude towards digital advertising. But that did not tally with how they responded. “In other words, there is a difference between what consumers think they prefer and what their brains react strongest to. Differences that they are not aware of.” The fact is that all the digital channels studied – advertisements, email and banners – showed an increase in MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

rons Inc show that digital channels generally generate higher cognitive stress and therewith less emotional arousal.” Why is the working memory important in this process? Imagine an hourglass. The upper part symbolises the information that comes into the brain through our external senses. This text, for example, is coming in through the eyes. From the eyes it passes on to the working memory in the narrowest part of the hourglass, from where it continues to the longterm memory at the bottom of the glass and fetches information stored there to enhance understanding. The working memory is vital because it plays a part in almost everything you do during the day that requires a lot of brain work. It: ƒƒ only has room for 7 ± 2 units ƒƒ is continuously deleted and can only retain information for three to four seconds ƒƒ is constantly filled ƒƒ can only do one thing at a time.

Somebody has said that the working memory has space for only one telephone number, but not the area code. When entering a new phone number, you must memorise it quietly until you have entered the last digit. If somebody interrupts you while you are doing it, your working memory crashes when you reply. The telephone number is erased and when you need it again you will have to memorise it one more time. Note that we are only talking about a few digits … To assess how easily we can absorb different types of information, neuroscientists measure our cognitive stress, i.e. how mentally stressful it is for us to understand something. If a message enters the brain rapidly (without the working memory crashing) and is easy to understand, the chances are that it will be stored in the long-term memory. The working memory is one problem, scrolling another because it can also cause stress. Scrolling is namely the worst way to get through a text. You keep losing your way and get no overview. As soon as you know where you are in the text, you move it and lose your way again. The test with the eye movement camera showed that our gaze sweeps backwards and forwards to find where to start reading, says Gustaf Öqvist Seimyr, expert in Computational Linguistics and eye movement measurements at the Bernadotte Laboratory, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. When you scroll, your attention moves from a block of text to a single sentence that you use as a marker to find your way. Every time you scroll, the pressure increases on your working memory. This results in lost focus, energy, time and reading rhythm. For example, it is twice as difficult to absorb information on a mobile phone than on a computer.



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“All the digital channels studied – advertisements, email and banners – showed an increase in cognitive stress”

You must scroll more because reading on a mobile is like looking through a keyhole where you only see small bits at a time. The less you see and the less that is explained, the more you must remember. Imagine stopping at a heading further down the page and beginning reading there. You see the name of a person mentioned before. If it were on printed paper you would just glance up to see who they were and then continue reading. On a mobile you must scroll up and when you are scrolling down again you must remember where you were and keep that information alive by repeating it. This is strenuous on our tiny working memory and it affects our reading comprehension. The backlight is what makes it difficult to read properly on a computer screen, tablet or smartphone. ƒƒ On a backlit screen the text shines brighter against the surroundings, it is brighter than what is behind the screen. This contrast is stressful on the eyes and brain. ƒƒ A reflective screen with indirect light works the same as when we read from paper. We use light from the surroundings; a lamp or daylight. Reflective screens reflect as much light as the surroundings provide, meaning no great

contrasts. This gives better readability generally and far superior readability in strong daylight. All developers strive to create a digital reading experience that is as good as reading from paper. Because we use indirect light from the surroundings, paper reflects the same amount of light as the surroundings provide. There is less contrast. With paper advertisements, the emotional intensity, or cognitive stress, is lower and the attention higher. It is higher in all the elements studied: product, price, offers, logotype and ‘call to action’, so the medium you choose to read from has a great influence on the impact of the advertisement. All marketers aim for their message to be stored in the reader's brain. Understanding the way that the brain stores information is therefore vital in convincing people that their product is the best. Imagine a lump of plasticine. It symbolises the longterm memory. Somebody once said that the first time we do something it is like drawing a thin line in plasticine with your little finger. The next time the line gets deeper. The deeper the groove the easier it is for us to remember what we need to remember. This explains why brand builders

and sellers of a product or service repeat the message over again. Things we read or see during a day are stored temporarily in our lobus temporalis. These memories are moved to the long-term memory and programmed there during REM sleep. The brain processes memories that have a special significance for our future. It also programmes the emotions attached to each memory. The stronger the emotions the more important they are to you. This takes place during REM sleep and the emotions affect your choices. As an example, a visit to a restaurant with a friendly reception is valued higher than an unfriendly one. The probability of returning after a poor reception is naturally very small. This is a somewhat ingenious subconscious process that maximises things we like. As stated earlier, the study shows that the emotional arousal is weaker on digital media than paper. Some hints:


For example, when reading a newspaper or browsing direct advertising, we are less stressed by the advertising message than when we browse a mobile or computer. The digital advertisement burdens the brain more, leading to reduced 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“It shows that younger people prefer the physical form of marketing”

arousal. The message must therefore be kept short and sweet, especially if communicating via a mobile. As we know, it is twice as difficult to grasp information on a mobile phone than on a computer and reading comprehension is poorer on a computer than on paper.


Digital advertising stresses the brain more and readers tire more quickly. Most manage to identify the product, but after that the arousal level sinks dramatically. Fewer than 50 per cent of readers look at the price, offers and call to action. Just one out of four notice sender logotypes on digital advertisements. The corresponding figures for printed advertising are significantly higher throughout. The solution is to focus on the key elements in the digital channels.


Something that surprises many is the fact that the findings are universal, meaning they can be applied to any age and target audience. “Many think that communicating with young people in the digital channels gives a greater impact. But this study shows that physical communication provokes more motivation, emotional arousal and attention in all recipients, even the younger 18 to 30-year-olds. The explanation for the lower age limit is that by law we are not allowed to expose people under 18 years of age to advertising. But the result would have been the same even for them because they have the same brain as we older people, and it has not been updated for 40,000 years. Millennials – people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – do not react any differently than older people.” Of all the findings

from Behind the Mind, that one is probably the most unexpected. It shows that younger people prefer the physical form of marketing. Yes, they live a digital lifestyle in a digital world, but it means they have become accustomed to sifting out digital advertisements. All quotes are from Behind the Mind unless otherwise specified.

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 veryimportantbrains.se and blogs about the brain and communication at bastitext.se. photo


Sara Appelgren

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


Visit us at IBTM world, booth F50-24

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. convention.visitBerlin.com





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Where Event Design AND MEETINGS MANAGEMENT MEET Historically, the primary goals of Meetings Management have been to contain costs and drive savings, mitigate risk, ensure compliance to industry regulations and produce quality events. That’s right. Event quality was part of the initial conversation. However, because the buyer typically bought with a procurement lens and was most concerned with savings and compliance, event quality did not often receive the attention it deserved. With new customer types emerging and a focus on stakeholder engagement within Meetings Management, event quality is back on the table – taking on central importance as a goal for many programs. These days, in order to have a successful program, organisations must pay attention to the quality of their events in order to drive high attendee engagement and satisfaction. They must also be able to measure that satisfaction and demonstrate the event-specific return on investment (ROI). Savings and compliance are now table stakes, and if individual events do not meet the needs of an organisation’s meeting stakeholders,

the enterprise-level Meetings Management program will not succeed. Event design is a critical element in delivering on all three goals of a meeting. This is especially true for delivering high attendee engagement and satisfaction, which is imperative for developing brand loyalty, lead generation and sales. Meeting attendees come to events with the same expectations they have in their personal lives. Their expectations have been “consumerised” (meaning they expect to be courted and catered to, entertained and engaged). Standing in front of an audience with a runof-the-mill PowerPoint presentation will not cut it. Excellent logistics and engaging communications before, during and post event are a must, and events that excite are expected. This is where Event Design and Meetings Management meet. There is an excellent toolkit of design elements that integrate innovative components to make the biggest impression and create unique experiences for attendees. We want them to look forward to attending, enjoy themselves during the event, become motivated while there and

rave about it after they leave. A few design aspects to consider are the location of the event, the flow and format of the event, catering, room set-up, entertainment and how the event organisers interact with the attendees throughout the life of the event. The Space Regarding locations,

more and more hoteliers are now offering interesting spaces within their venues and coupling them with a variety of room set-ups that are more conducive to your event goals. Meeting spaces are no longer limited to your standard hotel conference room or ball room. Meet in the hotel kitchen and cook a meal together, or breakout in an outdoor space to brainstorm amongst the group. Work with the catering department to provide unique meals and snacks, arrange for décor and seating that’s conducive to your event type. Consider mixing up your session types by providing targeted and truly interactive attendee content. Transform your breakouts into interactive sessions and vary the format from one to the next by changing their 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“The event attendee is looking for a community to connect with”

length, moving from classroom-style to smaller groups to facilitate having informal and more targeted discussions. Also, consider unusual venues for your events, such as restaurants and other unique hospitality event spaces like yachts, museums, tree houses, sports stadiums, warehouses, ice bars, arboretums, castles and so on. The communications How event

organisers communicate and interact with their attendees is also becoming an important design element for events, as today’s attendees expect to be recognised and interacted with on a personalised basis. For events where the primary goal is to move customers along their sales lifecycle or to deepen their brand loyalty, attendees expect organisers to know them well. Social media contact with participants and digital event tools are important contributors to this effort. Using the full suite of available platforms in the online space is a good way to build excitement and a sense of community prior to an event. During the event, social media tools can be used to increase and measure engagement, and post event they can be used to continue the sense of community and sustain connections with customers.


The engagement Attendee engage-

ment and tracking tools are another way to enhance the customer experience while simultaneously facilitating measurements. These tools include event apps, second screen applications, beacons and smart badges which provide technical and behavioral data such as marketing effectiveness, event cadence, attendee interest and audience participation. Measuring attendee engagement with digital tools not only provides important data for ROI reporting but also provides up-to-the-minute insight into an attendee’s level of satisfaction and engagement with the event. Real-time attendee engagement and satisfaction data informs the event organisers of needed changes and enables them to make changes to their event design as it progresses. Creating a sense of community, engaging attendees throughout the event lifecycle and using engagement tools to enhance the attendee experience all benefit the attendees and also the event stakeholders, who get insight into effective content and engagement during speakers and sessions, event goals success and critical ROI data. These factors will give the meeting stakeholder every reason to remain within the enterprise Meetings Management program.

The engagement continued While

the broader objectives of your meetings program are tied to the company’s overall goals and are typically driven by cost containment, risk mitigation and compliance, we cannot discount the customers to this service. The event attendee is looking for a community to connect with and engaging content that will inform their buying decision, engagement level, etc. The meetings stakeholders are looking for engaged and motivated attendees who will, at a minimum, continue to engage and remain loyal to the brand or commit to your organisation. Event Design is a critical element in accomplishing the stakeholder and overall company goals, as well as ensuring stakeholders buy in, feedback and commitment to your organisation’s Meetings Management program. Article from BCD Meetings & Events ­published by permission.

Frankfurt 15–17 May 2018

Make a date with IMEX 2018 We’re already planning a great show. You’re invited to shape it and stay connected. Help us build the show YOU want to experience. Complete our (new) post show survey. Tell us what you think. We’ll listen and learn. Also, look out for our new IMEXfiles – a bright and daringly different monthly read.

Although it’s a year away, be among the first to register your interest 15–17 May 2018.


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Mike van der Vijver is a Meeting Designer and author of “Into the Heart of Meetings,” the first book ever about Meeting Design. He has over 25 years of experience in meetings and works on the edge of what is generally accepted in meetings – sometimes beyond. mike@mindmeeting.org

Locusts OR LEGACY? Last summer, I was out on a stroll in the old part of Naples in Italy, walking the exact same roads the Romans built over 20 centuries ago. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe and I have the privilege of living there – at least, part-time. To my surprise (and annoyance) at some point a policeman stopped me: I wasn’t allowed in. A major fashion and perfume brand was holding an event and almost the entire old town had been closed to the public. For three days. A few weeks later, a news item caught my attention. In the picturesque port of Dubrovnik, the local government had installed cameras surveying the centre of town. They wanted to count exactly how many tourists there were and fix a ceiling for the maximum acceptable number. Something like 6,700 at first count. The news item mentioned other cities that had problems with the mass presence of non-locals, such as Venice, Barcelona, and others. In several of these places, citizens had begun to protest against the never-ending sound of baggage trolley wheels trailing through their quiet streets and the large flocks of foreigners just about everywhere. I felt there was a connection between the two stories, but it took me some time to grasp it. And

while shaving one morning, it hit me. Locusts. That was it. One of the biblical plagues: Locusts that arrive in masses through the air and eat everything. Tourists and meeting participants hit a destination and leave a barren emptiness and waste. Yes, they bring heaps of money, but it is the same as for any economic activity: money is not value. Money is just money. The locusts clog up your streets and monuments, they make your art treasures invisible, they eat your food and leave lots of dirty dishes, sheets and towels. Clearly, in the long term, these plagues cannot be sustainable. In order to maintain a license-tooperate, these industries need to do better … Tourism is not my field, so let’s focus on meetings and events. There seems to be a growing awareness in the meetings business that meetings are not part of the hospitality industry. That they are a vital part of the knowledge-intensive economy, producing innovation, exchange of know-how, inspiration, change and transformation. If that is the case, why does the industry treat the places where they go so carelessly? Of course, there is often a CSR-related activity in the shadow of major meetings, but with the exception of 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“Meeting participants hit a destination and leave a barren emptiness and waste”

a small minority of medical conferences, these activities are feel-good examples of charity. Commendable and good, but only a fraction of the potential legacy that the event could generate. Meetings and events are temporary communities of the brightest minds in any field. A good battery of the available brainpower on any human endeavour converges in one place for a few days, with the opportunity to tap into the inestimable wisdom of that crowd. And what do these people do? They stick together inside often scruffy meeting rooms and watch stale PowerPoint presentations. The relationships they have with the world outside takes place essentially through visits to pretty venues and drinks in local bars. Now that is what I call a waste! It is almost embarrassing if you think of it. What if we were to bring the local community and the event community together in an authentic conversation? What if the specialised know-how of the temporary meeting community were unleashed on some challenge, problem or opportunity the local society would want to solve or benefit from? What if the visiting community were to leave an indelible sign of its presence? What if the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

transformative power of meetings were to have a long-term impact on that local society? Two communities who get together and who bequeath something to each other. Now that would be a real legacy! From the perspective of a meeting designer, this would be a great gift to work on. Instead of mainly finding alternatives for presenters who are made to speak in public but have a different profession, the meeting community would do their learning, motivation, networking, knowledge exchange in real-life situations. The past couple of days, I have tried several mental experiments, but I haven’t been able to come up with a topic that would not lend itself for this approach. Sooner or later, all meetings and events have a bearing on real life. So why not speed up that process and establish the relationship with real life as the event unfolds. We need to rethink the paradigm of meeting in a destination. This article expresses the personal views of the author. Please contact me with any reactions or suggestions: mike@mindmeeting.org

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“When you are writing you should subtract and scale down. The very core should be as clear and simple as possible. Then you build it up and make your song complex through arrangements and production. Everything must correspond, melody, harmony, rhythm” Benny Andersson







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Thomas Ramsøy Some scientific discoveries surprise even the scientist that make them. A group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has challenged a basic assumption about memory encoding in the brain. We use to think that memories are stored in the hippocampus for a short period and then, if consolidated, they pass onto the long-term storage in the neocortex. In this study, Takashi Kitamura and his team have demonstrated that memory consolidation works totally different. The memories are stored in both places, and as the neocortex memory matures overtime, the hippocampus memories gradually become silent. “It is immature or silent for the first several days after formation,” Professor Susumu Tonegawa said, referring to the memories stored in the cortex. This consolidation process depends on afferents from both the hippocampus and the amygdala. The researchers also showed the longterm memory never matured if the connection between the hippocampus and the cortex was blocked. This new finding is utterly surprising, and requires a rewriting of the textbooks on the causal mechanisms of memory. Practically speaking, this means that there can be traces of long-term learning even without the involvement of working memory. As some applied neuroscience

companies suggest that a measure of working memory is the sole source of encoding and memory, this puts a dent in that claim. Rather, we should seek to understand, measure and affect these different and parallel systems of memory. The study, published in Science, is a shift in memory encoding. The CEO of Neurons Inc, PhD. Professor Thomas Ramsøy, has received the news with great enthusiasm: “If this holds up for humans – we don't know yet – we may think that some things can be learned through two mechanisms. That said, we should remember that the memories shown here are not explicit, declarative memories, but rather basic, emotional memories. Not that this is less relevant, either for humans in general or for consumer behaviours. But it suggests that the models we've used so far are more heterogeneous than we've known. “Turning this on its head, in time we may be able to understand and affect these memories differently. How cool would it be to test whether we could construct conflicting memories between short-term and long-term, which would create a dissociation in animal/human behaviour without having an odd feeling about it? “Curiously, when I was working the lab of the now famous Moser couple and Nobel laureates in Trondheim, we ablated the hippocampus to

see how it affected spatial learning. However, that deficiency seemed to discontinue after a few days post-surgery, and rats that were tested after a few days (no training in between) did better than those that were tested shortly after the ablation. I should probably reach out to the Mosers and ask them.” Memory encoding is a widely used success index in branding and advertising, and understanding the mechanisms underlying such processes is crucial to measure and affect memory. These findings provide unprecedented insights for human brain disease (such as Alzheimer's disease) and have great potential applications in Consumer Neuroscience as well.

“This new finding is utterly surprising, and requires a rewriting of the textbooks” This article is published with ­permission of Neurons Inc.




VISION | 101

Neom THE SAUDI ARABIAN CITY OF THE FUTURE The Super-City called Neom, short for Neo-Mustaqbal, a Latin-Arabic term meaning “new future”, is scheduled to start taking shape in 2020 with the main city opening five years later. The $500 billion mega city will have artificial intelligence at its core, including the must-have Neom app. The city will be powered entirely by wind and solar energy. Neom, which will focus on food, water, mobility, entertainment, media, biotechnology, technological and digital sciences and living, is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to diversify its revenue, which has slumped as oil prices collapsed in 2014. The 26,500 square kilometres (10,230 square miles) zone will be situated on Saudi Arabia's border with Jordan and Egypt, while 70 per cent of the world's population will be able to reach it within eight hours. Overlooking the waterfront of the Red Sea to the South and the West, and the Gulf of Aqaba, Neom enjoys an uninterrupted coastline stretching over 468 km, with a dramatic mountain backdrop rising to 2,500 metres to the East. A constant breeze leads to mild temperatures.

According to its mastermind, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, everything in Neom life will be connected via an app which will give residents control over what they want to do. Neom is born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life. Neom aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology. Investments and financing will play a vital role in Neom, set to be spearheaded by the Kingdom's economy and supported by PIF (Public Investment Fund) – a major global fund with access to a worldwide network of investors and major companies – set to be brought onboard to drive the success of Neom. With the ambition of becoming one of the world's future economic and scientific capitals, in addition to being the future commerce capital of Saudi Arabia, Neom is set to attract new foreign direct investment that will contribute to PIF's long-term 2017 No. 20 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL

102 | VISION

“The city will have no supermarkets to visit because everything you need will be delivered to you using the latest technology”

growth strategy aimed at strengthening the Saudi Arabian economy. Neom is developed to be independent of the Kingdom's existing governmental framework, excluding sovereignty. Neom will adopt a regulatory framework that fosters technological as well as societal innovation and entrepreneurship in accordance with international best practices. Investors, businesses, and innovators will be consulted at every step of the development in how best to create the economic framework, design the urban plans, and attract top quality talent that will drive the growth of this zone and its resident population. “Neom will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects. Future technologies form the cornerstone for Neom's development: Disruptive solutions for transportation from automated driving to passenger drones, new ways of growing and processing food, healthcare centered around the patient for their holistic well-being, wireless high speed internet as a free MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 20 2017

good called “digital air”, free worldclass continuous online education, full scale e-governance putting city services at your fingertips, building codes that make net-zero carbon houses the standard, a city layout that encourages walking and bicycling and all solely powered by renewable energy just to name a few. All of this will allow for a new way of life to emerge that takes into account the ambitions and outlooks of humankind paired with best future technologies and outstanding economic prospects,” says Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Neom will achieve its ambitious goals of becoming among the top secure areas in the world – if not the most– by adopting the future technologies in the fields of security and safety. This will raise the standards of public life activities and ensure the safety and protection of residents, visitors, and investors. All services and processes in Neom will be a hundred per cent fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world, and in turn be implemented on all activities such as legal, government, and investment procedures among others. Additionally, Neom will be subject to the highest

sustainability standards, and will provide all transactions, procedures, and claims through paperless and electronic means. A new concept for the workforce will be implemented, based on attracting high-caliber human resources with unique competencies for full-time innovation, decision making and business leadership. Repetitive and arduous tasks will be fully automated and handled by robots, which may exceed the population, likely making the Neom's GDP per capita the highest in the world. All these elements will put Neom at the world's forefront in terms of efficiency which will make it the best destination in the world to live in. In an interview with Bloomberg, the Crown Prince said the city will have no supermarkets to visit because everything you need will be delivered to you using the latest technology. He said: “Everything will have a link to artificial intelligence, to the Internet of Things – everything. Your medical file will be connected with your home supply, with your car, linked to your family, linked to your other files, and the system develops itself in how to provide you with better things.



104 | VISION

“Today all the clouds available are separate – the car is by itself, the Apple watch is by itself, everything is by itself. There, everything will be connected. Nobody can live in Neom without the Neom application we'll have – or visit Neom.” The Crown Prince told Bloomberg that the first phase of the giant project will be Neom Bay, which will be like the Hamptons in New York. The plan includes a bridge spanning the Red Sea, connecting the proposed city with Egypt and the rest of Africa. Some 10,000 square miles have been allocated for the development of an urban area stretching into Jordan and Egypt. New technology will transform mobility and livability in Neom, he said, adding that the likes of Amazon, Airbus and Alibaba have registered an


interest in being involved in the city's development. “There are many enormous companies, enormous, considered among the most important companies in the world, that want to do their new projects in Neom to take advantage of this opportunity,” he noted. Asked if Dubai is worried about the impact Neom may have on its own ambitions, the Crown Prince said: “I think we are creating new demand and this will help Dubai and it will help other hubs in the Middle East. I don't think Hong Kong harmed Singapore or Singapore harmed Hong Kong. They are creating good demand around each other. “It will help Dubai, it will help Bahrain. It will help especially Kuwait. Kuwait will export to Europe faster and cheaper than now through

the pipelines and the railways to Neom, immediately to Egypt, to the north of Sinai, to Europe.” He said all nationalities would be welcomed to live in Neom but, like the rest of the Gulf kingdom, alcohol will be banned. “We can do 98 per cent of the standards applied in similar cities. But there is 2 per cent we can't do, like for example alcohol. A foreigner who desires alcohol can either go to Egypt or Jordan.” Klaus Kleinfeld, who was ousted in April as chief of US engineering firm Arconic and who will now be CEO for the Neom project, will lead an advisory team of more than 100 “world class” people.


Roger Kellerman Publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. Has over 30 years’ experience of the global meeting industry. Founder of Mötesindustriveckan. twitter.com/thekellerman photo

Sara Appelgren

Obligations, ENGAGEMENT AND LEGACY At last, the international meeting industry begins to discuss its obligations, engagement, and the legacy we will be leaving for future generations. At the ICCA World Congress in Prague recently we were around 1,300 people who met and worked in the largest ICCA congress so far. We met many exciting people from many countries. In total, there were participants from 81 countries. We spoke with Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney and Director, Convention Centers AEG Ogden. For the centre, which opened in December a year ago, the word ‘obligation’ is high on the agenda. According to Geoff Donaghy, the obligations are many when building a congress facility capable of conducting three parallel events with three premises for 2,500, 1,000 and 800 people. There is also a 8,000 seat theatre and a 32,600 square metre exhibition centre. Australia's largest ballroom seats 2,000 for dinner and 3,500 for a cocktail. And all this in central Sydney, Darling Harbor. One important obligation is security and Geoff Donaghy expects to maintain such a high level of security that customers should feel that nothing unexpected can happen there. Sydney is recognised internationally as a safe city in which to host


major events, and is ranked seventh overall in a recent report from The Economist Intelligence Unit, looking at the safest global cities. At ICC Sydney, you will not enter the house unless you can prove that you have a reason to do so. This can be expected to apply to all international facilities in the world in the future. It's more crucial now than before that the association is managed closely with the landlords to ensure the integrity of their event and the safety and security of participants, and to continue to review and improve their protocols. Serving food is another key factor when it comes to obligations. That includes working together with artisan farmers and producers. It strengthens regional businesses by fostering growth and job opportunities. A win for the centre, their clients and the community. A strong commitment from the whole team is also one of the keys, Geoff Donaghy says. Without a wholehearted commitment, it simply does not make for good results. And when we talk about obligations and engagement that's also the foundation of our legacy for those who take over after us. The heritage now developed by thinkers and performers like Geoff Donaghy and his

team is not only beneficial to themselves but also improves the meeting and events industry, universities, cities and regions as a whole. Through a meeting industry that works with obligations, engagement and legacy in a sustainable way, we all contribute to a better world.









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. way to recharge before sampling the vibrant nightlife. Relax over tapas in an outdoor cafÊ or dance until dawn. Whatever you do, Madrid is the business. info.mcb@esmadrid.com (+34) 91 578 77 96 www.esmadrid.com/mcb


ŠVienna Tourist Board/C. Stemper




Presenting the next big thing. In a place that really is big enough

Profile for Meetings International

Meetings International #20, Nov 2017 (English)  

Meetings International #20, Nov 2017 (English)  

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