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NR 1 – december 2010

• A ghost town as set ting for your event! • liu ping: from red guard girl to ceo • No guts no glory conferencing





























- advertisement -


Thanks! We are very proud to present the first issue of SHARE TODAY. After months of brainstorming, designing, developing, producing and issuing a zero number in August, we finally can launch our first edition of SHARE TODAY magazine. In this process we were very fortunate to have great sparring partners such as editors, translators, photographers and colleagues from the field that helped us by just listening or giving valuable feedback. A thank you for this issue to Ina Lee Selden, Anette Wezenberg, Erik Vermeulen, Liu Ping, Neil Darish, Jos Beltman, Mieke Zwart, Michael Diederich, Toine Doreleijers, Ellen van Ree, Gijs Bierenbroodspot and Robertjan Lievaart. Not to forget our friends and family who had enthusiasm and trust in our idea. All these supports motivate us to go forward and to make SHARE TODAY a success. Yolanda

China Star Professional Programs (China Star) is the leading DMC and PCO based in Beijing and Shanghai with the services covering the whole China. Because of its outstanding service rendered, China Star has been highly praised and recognized by its clients and the municipal government. China Star is also very active in the associations of SITE, MPI and ICCA etc.


& Kim


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editorial By Yolanda & Kim share+ Proud to present... story Out of the Box into the Trash l e t m e e n t e r ta i n y o u Books, sites, fun & more check it out Canvas Chic meets Corporate Cool column Meet Mr. PR Eye witness A Ghost Town as setting for your Event s u s ta i n a b i l i t y Certifications in the sustainable world snap shot Once in a lifetime Stilettos in the Train column Leadership Journey close and personal From Red Guard girl to CEO g r o u p s s -x x l Si si Italia f o r y o u r i n f o r m at i o n No Guts no Glory Conferencing food for thought


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e dito rial

s ha re +

Creative chaos & a 1000 details, that’s us!


What if the best ideas usually come up in complete chaos and combine that with being almost maniacal on details to get the best results? Hello, nice meeting you, that’s us! The perfect match to start a new business. It took us almost a year to finalize our brand new concept. Gathering information, talking to lots of experts and living the life of ‘checks’; Website ready? Check! Pic’s with the right flavour? Check! Right tone of voice? Check! Survey? Check! Business cards done? Check! Promo material tradeshow? Check! Check, check, check…..resulting in a soft launch of SHARE TODAY in August by launching our website and a #0 issue of our free digi magazine. After adjusting little things and taking the remarks of readers in consideration, we are now ready to ‘conquer’ the events world. SHARE TODAY provides an invigoration meeting place where global event professionals connect and share. We are convinced that sharing knowledge will become, if not already, key in our industry. Radical transparancy is already the business mantra in our market. With 2011

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Meet our SHARE+ members

SHARE+ members are carefully chosen professionals and key players in the global events industry. These global faces all have built a name for themselves in our field and can rely on a team of professional staff members at their international home bases. But there is more: these

knocking on our doors we better learn from each other than hide our event jewels in our office.

personalities are willing to take the extra step and move the extra mile for success. They are true and authentic event pro’s, solid characters with an eye for detail and they can 100% rely on their own local network of different kinds of experts.

Event pro’s from all over the world convinced us that now is the time to connect faces, places & cases. Are we different than other network groups? 1. Yes, because the format of our E mag is a podium to stage global events to global readers. 2. Yes, because we only share and connect true event personalities; people who have a history in events for minimum 10 years and who are the key players today. 3. Yes, because we also want you to be proactive. We are happy & proud to launch our #1 edition, let creative chaos & a thousand details rule in 2011. Enjoy reading. Yolanda Logt & Kim Alderden p.s Do you like our magazine? Subscribe and spread the word! Would you like to share a comment? Please do at SHARE TODAY is present on linked in (groups) and on twitter (faceplacecase)

Proudly we present our first members: LISETTE VAN DOLDEREN, Key Account Manager at Switzerland Tourism

LIU PING, CEO of China Star Professional Programs

“The industry is always on the move and you have to keep up with the flow. Be active, creative and present are my key words.”

“I am always optimistic about the events industry. Though there are always ups and downs. I always believe that people need to be inspired and motivated. Events are always the best option for team building with collective spirit and of course for the promotion and advertising of the enterprises. The charm of China is something difficult to refuse. As a local DMC, we have to keep learning, to improve service and to be ready at any time to offer the most inspiring programs.”

LYDIA HAVEMAN, Director of Interreps B.V. “This events industry is as much changing as the world is momentarily. Difference may be that the event industry may even be leading where it concerns change. In this business it’s a matter of looking quite a time ahead and plan with a relatively unknown future in mind while being able to adjust instantly if things turn out to be different.”

For more information about the SHARE+ membership, please contact us at

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sto ry

Out of the Box into the Trash You‘ve all have been there. Your client wants ‘an out of the box’ concept. Hurray for your idea after the presentation! Then it’s back into the carton once the project is approved. It even happens to the Big Apple…

te x t I N A L E E sel d en p h oto yolan d a logt

One night, in New York Harbor, 800 tiny flames glittered as our privately chartered ferry sailed past the Statue of Liberty. The twinkling came from miniature Lady Liberty cigarette lighters. A sort of rock concert tribute to the real mistress of the entrance to New York. The idea of using these simple, inexpensive cigarette lighters was a hard sell. Not unlike so many good ideas that fit the initial request for fun, creative, unusual, cost effective ideas that will make it past the CFO.   We find that clients clamor to be “out of the box”, but by the time a proposal makes its way up and down the corporate ladder, and through committee meetings, the itinerary is safely sealed back into the carton.   Not that a box in New York is a bad place to be. Great food, super tour guides, interesting people watching and spectacular entertainment. And with our penchant for tearing down and building up, there is always something new to see. But it’s the new way of seeing, a different vantage point that makes an incentive trip that “you wouldn’t believe what we did “ experience.

Here are just a few of the ideas that make it up the corporate ladder, but rarely come down again:

Night bike ride through Central Park Guests attach a “miner’s headlight” to their helmets and set off for an hour’s leisurely ride 6 share today | 01.2010

through the park. On a recent ride, we passed a couple of guys with a huge telescopic device and paused to look at the stars. Another night hundreds of runners accompanied us down a hill.

Dining in the Dark

In five years, we’ve only been able to convince one client to include this fun experience. Diners wear masks while they eat. They never see the restaurant, never see the food. The delicious four course meal with wine pairing also includes an excellent soloist (last time it was an amazing jazz saxophonist). It’s excellent value, different, and the perfect ice breaker as guests discuss (guess) what they are eating.

DIY Trash fashion show We all know NYC for its true highlight; shop till you drop! Sporty guy? Fashion Victim? Vintage lover? Eat your heart out! But how about designing your own style from trash? ® share today | 01.2010 7


let me ente rtain you

sites websiteswebsites WeB Tourism Update Online, which forms part of the Now Media (Pty) Ltd stable of travel trade news and promotional tools, serves as an online news resource for overseas and local tour operators and agents packaging Southern Africa. With such facilities as online video streaming and daily news, the site serves as a comprehensive news resource for anything you need to know about tourism in the region.

Great fun to mix & match with trashy materials as plastic bags, newspapers etc. A local designer is part of the jury together with the CEO or even the CSO (Chief Sustainable Officer) of the company. Silly prizes for the winner and great fun.

Cher and Marilyn As one of your VIP’s steps in to the elevator on the way to breakfast, Cher suddenly steps into the lift and asks the VIP to zip up her dress. The VIP obligingly helps. Later, at breakfast, Cher comes by to thank the participant and table hops in high camp style. During the visit, other “celebrities” appear at key moments. Woody Allen might ask the group to detour around his shoot. Madonna’s driver might stop the coach on the way to the airport and plead with the driver to rescue his client from a malfunctioning limousine. Madonna boards the coach, is dropped at her residence on Central Park West. The last day, as the bus pauses for the guide to point out a monument, Marilyn Monroe, standing on a subway grate, tries to get control

of her white dress. She waves goodbye to the group. Of course, Marilyn’s cameo throws into question all of what has gone before. Was that really Cher, Woody, Madonna? What part of the trip was staged? What wasn’t? Confusion reigns! For the twinkle lights aboard the boat, I had to beg to include them in the program. At the end of the gala dinner at Ellis Island, when the waiters offered the lighters on silver trays, there was laughter and glee. Everyone activated the lighters and swayed back and forth together in front of the Statue. The lighters cost less than $10 each. The moment was priceless. √

With special thanks to Ina Lee Selden of Manhattan Passport who shared her ideas that unfortunately only rarely make it. Do you have similar examples? We invite you to share them. You will see that you can learn from

Tourism Update is a monthly magazine with several bumper issues, including ITB, Indaba, Business Tourism, Neighboring Countries and World Travel Market. Access a digital edition of Tourism Update at

the wonderful recipes in other parts of this website. Jummie… Help for those who want to make use of green lodging. This website maintains the most comprehensive resource available anywhere of ‘green properties’ including resorts and hotels with ratings and reviews. Sexy cities? Check. Sybaritic retreats? Check. Undiscovered hotel gems? Check. Foodie guides to your favourite spots around the world? You wil find them on this website. Now sit back and let them inspire you. Besides

each others’ ideas instead of keeping them all in your personal ‘trashbox’… 8 share today | 01.2010

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c heck it out

‘Summers only’

Canvas Chic meets Corporate Cool Canvas is cool these days. A number of interesting tented camps can be found all around the globe. Some of these locations appeal to the adventurist and others to the people who prefer to relax. The good news is that each of these camps caters to the needs of corporate events. Time to check out some of these tented camps on the most extraordinary locations.

Meet John & Adele, passionate hosts at Clayocout Wilderness Resort. A, so to say ‘summers only’ hideaway within an hour reach from Vancouver by seaplane. The flight is spectacular, especially because you get a bird’s eye view on the camp. Upon arrival in this hidden secret that opens the doors from May to the end of September, you are warmly welcomed by John & Adele and their team of guides and dogs. The big bunch of doggies is around to protect everyone from the bears because, yes indeed, you find this camp in the heart of bear country. John is a great story teller but read between the lines and you instantly learn what the do’s and don’ts are in this place. A stay in Clayocout brings you back to the heart of Canadian nature. You cannot come closer to an authentic experience than this. But, though staying authentic, this experience is blended with a 2010 lifestyle that makes this camp a stunning place to visit. During your stay you take part in the activity program, carefully designed around the culinary treats of this camp. Adventurous outdoor experiences go hand in hand with mouthwatering dishes. Your catch of the day (sure…salmon!) is by dinner time the most fresh sushi you every tasted.

The range of activities vary from fishing, whale watching, hiking, horseback riding, shooting, painting and of course bear watching…..and more. The camp can be rented out exclusively for a minimum of 30 guests but smaller exclusive corporate groups are more than welcome also. On the European continent Canvas projects open more and more these days. A summer sister from Clayocout Wilderness resort can be found in the South West of France. A bit less adventurous because of the lack of bears but very attractive if you like ‘La Douce France’.

Simply Canvas consists of 6 luxury safari tents for a maximum of 24 guests. You’ll experience warm hospitality from the hosts Sandra & Santi and have the luxury of having your own bathroom per tent. Check it out on ®

te x t K im A l d e r d en p h oto C layocout, W hite D esert, S imply C anvas , cop y w r ig h t W h itepo d

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Clayocout Wilderness Camp can host guests in 20 white Inuit tents. Meals are served in the main log cabin with open kitchen and huge fireplaces. share today | 01.2010 11

c h eck it out

other pic ture

‘Winter treat’

c heck it out

> XF2: we go into totally unexplored mountain ranges and clients have even named new summits.

White Desert, a great name for an even greater experience! White Desert opens the canvas doors only in the months of November and December, summer time in the Antarctic. The entrepreneur who created this place is

Patrick Woodhead. SHARE TODAY was curious to learn about the X Factor and checked him out personally. “There is no other luxury experience in Antarctica that also meets the true interior. In terms of X factors, here is a couple off the top of my head! “ XF 1: we are the only ones visiting a 6,000 strong emperor penguin colony with their newly hatched chicks. 12 share today | 01.2010

XF 3: we have unique ice waves right underneath our camp. XF 4: we have world champion polar explorers as guides with only 12 clients for 6 guides. XF 5: clients fly in a private jet making the trip of 5hrs from Cape Town to Antarctica. One X factor is missing though; in the 5 years of operation, not a single corporate group has visited this unique destination. Let’s share this location amongst global event professionals and find the first CSO (Chief Sustainable Officer)

who likes a challenge for the next annual board meeting. A winter brother from White Desert is definitely Whitepod in Switzerland. This highly exclusive Alpine experience and high tech eco for just 30 guests is situated at a height of 1700 m in the Swiss Alps. Each pod is equipped with traditional furnishing and high quality insulation that, in combination with a simple wood burning stove, keeps you comfortably warm. See for yourself at √

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Meet Mr. PR In my profession there are some things you just can’t avoid. You fly to your destination—a distant country, an unknown island or a dynamic city, and there they are—the local circus waiting to welcome you with pomp and circumstance, pumped with pride and energetic as a double-espresso, trying to present to you their venue in the best possible light. And why wouldn’t they? In most cases they’re footing at least part of the bill to fly in prospects, organizers and other business professionals, including journalists. From their point of view they are investing in the future, hoping to see their hard-earned dollars, drachmas and euros turn a profit. Sometimes this comes in the form of a booking, or in my case, in the form of publicity. That makes sense, right?

In my business we call this phenomena site-inspection. You love it or you hate it, there is no in between. And which category do I belong to? Well, dear reader, you’ll have to continue on till the end to discover the answer for yourself…

of Gordon Ramsay in the basement of the RitzCarlton in Wicklow—where we were allowed to watch the chef’s prepare their cuisine of a good three minutes—enough time to get your mouth watering, but apparently, not enough time to eat anything... All part of the job. But no matter where or when, it always happens under the watchful eye of a PR person trained to talk a mile a minute. Armed with folders and USB sticks, everything but the kitchen sink and a stopwatch... but they really don’t need the stopwatch. The mantra always seems to be, “Hurry along, please”. The group is herded from the meeting room to the board room, rushed from the penthouse to the executive suite. Hotel, resort, hotel, resort... sometimes ten in one day! Site-Inspections. They come in all shapes and sizes and I’ve seen most of the extremes. But the most bizarre case is forever etched in my mind. Many years ago a colleague and I, both of us working as beauty editors for lifestyle magazines, were invited to a factory tour for a new foreign

company with spectacular products. We both thought, “A scoop?” The fact that the trip was on a Saturday — my one free day — was irrelevant. All part of the job, right? The deal was this: we would meet the PR man in central Holland and continue on with him to the factory. My colleague conveniently dived into the back seat to catch up on her sleep forcing me to sit up front with the PR man and keep the conversation going... After more than 150 kilometers I didn’t have anything else to say... So I look out the window and suddenly wonder, why is there a sign on the freeway announcing Basel. Basel? We’re going all the way to Switzerland?! 18 hours later... It’s the middle of the night and we’re almost back to Amsterdam, exhausted and a bit pissed off... When we arrived at the factory that Saturday afternoon we learned a very important fact about the factory... It was closed on Saturdays. Thanks a lot Mr. PR guy. I guess its all part of the job, right?

Inspections? Get my point?!

At the age of 10, she already won first prize in a writing competition for a Dutch newspaper and fell in It could be a hop, skip and a jump to Vienna, visiting various congress and events locations and then reporting on them. It might be a trip to a 5 star resort on a French Polynesian island to investigate on the safe depths of pools with diving boards. I may have to visit a convention hall of megalomaniac proportion to report on the newest catering facilities. I once even visited the kitchen 14 share today | 01.2010

love with writing. Ellen van Ree works as a freelance journalist/editor for a variety of magazines, mostly related to the travel industry. Her passion for writing, as well as for other cultures, traveling and life are apparent in her features. SHARE TODAY welcomes Ellen as one of its columnists. She will lead you through a world of experiences written with humor, creativity, inspiration and sometimes provocation. Just read and experience it for yourself!

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slide show

A Ghost Town as setting for your Event!


There I encountered my first beautiful view at the Root Glacier that I would climb later. At the other end of the bridge a minivan was waiting to bring us to the Hotel Ma Johnson in McCarthy. As soon as you enter the main street, McCarthy is not much more than that, you feel like you are in the middle of a western movie with the typical hotel, restaurant and saloon all with verandas, facing the dirt road. That’s where I met Neil Darish. I had great talks with him enjoying a good glass wine and fine food. Ever eaten a 10-course dinner of 5 star quality with a choice of 150 wines in the middle of nowhere as preparation for a next day adventure at the glaciers? A really special

Introduction Yolanda Logt

experience in an extraordinary environment.’

Hotel Ma Johnson in McCarthy

‘In June 2009 I visited Alaska. One of the places I will never forget is McCarthy in the very center of Wrangell St. Elias. Imagine sitting in your rental car for 2 hours, driving on a bumpy untarred road with many potholes. For the daring people amongst us…it’s actually not allowed by your rental

‘You really think John Wayne will appear around the corner any minute.’

company. For groups I certainly recommend the short flight by private plane. Just when you start thinking your kidneys will end up behind your ears or you imagine you just saw a bear, you are rewarded. We reached a small parking place where I could leave the car for the next 3 nights and took my luggage

p h oto S Yolan d a L ogt & M c C a r t h y

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over the walking bridge to the other side.

Neils story McCarthy is a restored ghost town in 13 million acre wonderland of mountains and glaciers of Wrangell St. Elias, America’s largest National Park. With 4 major mountain ranges and more glaciers than anywhere else in North America, it is no wonder that the National Park Service describes this park as having “more superlatives than any other national park.” I am writing this just as the 2010 summer season has come to an end. Now it’s just me and a few dozen other local residents, living in a wilderness larger than Switzerland (and with more mountains) in this remote Alaskan outpost. McCarthy was the “sin city” to the “company town” of Kennicott, the copper mining town that together with McCarthy

represents the best-preserved ghost towns in America. This park is also part of the largest internationally protected wilderness on earth. 100 years ago, McCarthy got its start as the support town for the Kennicott Copper mines just 5 miles away. In the heyday, McCarthy was the largest town in Alaska, and because of the mine technology available here, McCarthy had more modern amenities than most of the United States at that time. Electricity, heated boardwalks and even a dressmaker’s shop were in McCarthy by 1916. The owners of McCarthy Lodge & the Ma Johnson’s Hotel have been actively restoring this town since 2001. ® share today | 01.2010 17


S ustainabilit y D I Y *

slide show


McCarthy is the very last remote community still inside a National Park in America. Remarkably, the towns have not been hit by tourism in a destructive way. Indeed, less than 200 visitors a day ever make it to this massive park. This makes the dramatic trip to McCarthy something special as every visitor realizes immediately that this place should be well known, and yet few have ever seen or heard of the area. What remains of the 400 buildings that once stood here is enough to tug at visitors while they marvel at such a remote outpost that effectively illustrates man’s ability to harness nature to such an extraordinary degree. Today, adventures such as rafting, mountain climbing, glacier hikes, flight seeing, gourmet dining, and ghost town exploration are just some of the activities that await you. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of these two ghost towns is that

The historic buildings, filled with artifacts of the town’s past, are the perfect setting for a memorable event. Groups “owning” the town for the weekend have had extraordinary team building encounters while taking in the remote community of hardy Alaskans living a self-reliant lifestyle in a magnificent locale. √

Will this be the setting for your next incentive or meeting?

Neil Darish is a remarkable man with his own wonderful, for others maybe strange or at least remarkable, dreams like serving 5 star food in a town like McCarthy. After travelling the world in an international job he came at a point where he thought is this it (don’t we all?). A friend of Neils’

Certifications in the sustainable world, ready for some confusion? te x t A nette W ezenbe r g & Yolan d a L ogt p h oto wil d r et r eat. com / inte r net

The meetings and events world is getting confused about the many certifications for sustainability. Certifications are meant to help us to decide if a partner is trustworthy or not, but which rating means what? Which one can we trust the most is the key question besides which one fits us best?

grew up in McCarthy and had some property there that he still owed money on. He convinced Neil to travel to Alaska to check out the town. Neil paid the balance owed on the property, and dreamt for years of going back and restoring some of the town. It took many years after that first visit to realize that perhaps it is time to stop all the travels and start the McCarthy restoration. Now he is highly visible in town and owns the only accommodation in the town of McCarthy and the only bar for 60 miles. Time to share this extraordinary place with the world. 18 share today | 01.2010

There is no worldwide standard certification and we have a choice of many certifications. To name a few: Rainforest Alliance, Green Key, Green Globe, LEED, Energy Star Label, IBEX, GreenKey, NordicSwan, BlueFlagEurope, EMAS etc. It is easy to lose track.

Many organizations already do what’s right for the environment and society. Pioneering innovators are on the sustainable road of authenticity such as Aveda and the Bodyshop. For these organizations we do not need the proof of certifications as they have incorporated social values and respect for ® share today | 01.2010 19

Sustainabilit y DIY*

Sustainability D I Y *

nature in their mission statement and proven it as such. However, for other organizations certifications and ratings are, for the moment at least, proof of their intention to be sustainable. If an organization wants to join this changing world, getting certified is the best option. The shortest route is to become a supplier on the sustainable list. To face this challenge many organizations appoint sustainability managers. They have to ensure that the organization adapts to a changing world and is recognized by the customer who wants to work with a sustainable partner. It is important to be clear: Tell the truth! When not all your light bulbs are energy saving, at least communicate how far you are.

You want to be sustainable? Start simple. Start with a sustainable meeting or event! How do you organize your meeting in a sustainable way? Just an example of a small event to make it more tangible: start by looking for the right partners. Then pick an easy to reach destination. From Amsterdam to for example Berlin is a good choice. It ranks relatively high on the list of Environmental Performance Index and there is a good train connection between Amsterdam and Berlin. When arrived at Berlin Hauptbahnhof it is easy to change trains and proceed the journey to Potsdamerplatz Bahnhof and arrive at the newly opened Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz.

It will be lunch time by then (and yes all are hungry!) and the group will be surprised by an original way of enjoying a lunch buffet. Apparently Jamie Oliver joined forces with Scandic and advised them on pure and healthy food, full of inspiration and energy. Just what you need before a meeting. In the meeting rooms you’ll see that low energy bulbs are used and waste sorting bins are present. Even the water is handled in a sustainable way. It is offered in bottles or carafes coming from own dispensers. Notebooks are from FSC paper but most of the communication is done digitally via screens. Presentations given are immediately available after the meetings on the participants’ laptop. Keep the energy going after the meeting and jump on bikes for a bicycle tour through Berlin; an unique way to explore the city. Big finale of the day, a great dinner called Jamie’s dinner date: a 3-course meal of carefully selected ingredients. Just what everyone needs after the bike ride. As a remembrance of the meeting there will be stainless steel bottles present with the company logo.

Did you know there are special suppliers for sustainable gifts and give-aways?

Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz

This example is only a small event. Imagine what you can do when your event lasts longer or is bigger! Again start with the right sustainable partners. Keep asking yourself questions and yes even about the details. You will see how easy it can be to organize your sustainable event! One last tip: when using transportation like busses or aircrafts think of the emission of CO2. Use the Event CO2 calculator from the Climate Neutral Group to measure this. √

Next edition: How to measure sustainability in your event! Sources: ISO 26000 - Guidance on Social Responsibility and its Impact on the Hotel Industry. By Chris Knop – Director, Avasara Consulting Limited, 22nd September 2010.

Anette Wezenberg is founder and owner of Sustainable Lady. She has this one passion to make the world a better place by helping companies in the travel industry setting up and implementing sustainable strategy starting with awareness and education throughout a company.

Bahnhof Berlin Potsdamer Platz 20 share today | 01.2010

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snap s hot

A new way of traveling to remote areas in South America, based on in-depth exploration of the surroundings and luxury of the essential. Read about it in next issue.

p h oto E x plo r a

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A true ‘once in a lifetime’ experience; Amsterdam – Venice on the famous Orient Express. Normally you embark this train in London or Paris en route to Venice. But for the first time in history this train took off from Amsterdam. Traveling on board of this historic train is like playing a part in a movie set in a bygone era. James Sherwood is the man who made it all happen. In 1978 he and his wife Shirley visited some old and abandoned Pullman carriages. It was then and there that they felt something could be saved from the deterioration they saw. For a century the Orient Express had been a symbol of luxury travel in Europe. Stories where excitement, romance and intrigue all play a part are well known. Mr. Sherwood managed to track down 30 carriages from the 1920’s and had them lovingly restored by expert craftsmen.

Stilettos in the Train

How lucky we are today with his decision and how lucky I was to join this inaugural trip from

With a smiling host who is available 24/7 and the

Amsterdam to Venice. The maximum capacity of

accurately held schedule of this adventure, you

the train is 180 guests in double cabins.

feel like a princess.

Every cabin is filled with wonderful details such as

Dress code obliged; I love it! Everyone in Black

fresh flowers, a handwritten invitation for lunch

tie & fabulous dresses which perfectly match the

and dinner, a small hand basin and dressing gowns

table silver and Chrystal. With a magical French

for him and her. Who cares about not having a

chef on board the dinner is a highlight and after

shower or toilet facility and two single beds?

dinner? The bar carriage; a grand piano, gin-tonics

T e x t K I M A L D E R D E N – p h o t o S K I M A L D E R D E N & J o s b e ltman

Yes! That wonderful feeling when you’ve made the impossible possible; we all recognize it, don’t we? Or that moment when you arrive at a stunning location or enter a gorgeous setting and you know this is it: here & now. We call these experiences ‘Once in a Lifetime’. We are happy to share these great stories.

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MORE ABOUT TOINE or Pimms, great stories and new friends. The next morning our host serves breakfast in our cabin and we are going to enjoy a gorgeous day through the Austrian mountains. There is time to read or stroll along the carriages and chat with other



Leadership Journey

guests. Again the chef and his equip surprise us with a lovely lunch followed by an afternoon tea in

It is dark. I am outside. It is cold. A fire keeps me warm.

our cabin. At 6 pm sharp our adventure on board

The fire that was lit ceremoniously. There are stones in

is over and I walk down the central station of

the fire, that we will use later for the sweat cabin, when

Venice on my stilettos. Time to change shoes.

they are red and glowing. Around me some twenty persons from different cultures. Fascinated I glance

The Hotel Cipriani in Venice was Orient-Express Hotels’ first acquisition and in 1994 Sherwood was made the 15th honorary citizen of Venice since the founding of the Italian Republic in 1867. In 2004, he was awarded the National Order of the Southern Cross by the Brazilian Government and an Outstanding Achievement Award at the European Hotel Design Conference in London. Orient-Express Hotels, Trains and Cruises ( is a hotel and leisure company providing luxury travel experiences for discerning travelers in areas of outstanding cultural, historic or recreational interest.  Founded in 1976 when the company acquired Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Orient-Express owns or has investments in 49 businesses: more that 35 highly individual hotels, three restaurants, six tourist trains and two river cruise operations, located in 22 countries worldwide.  The company believes that discerning travelers will choose a famous individual property in preference to a chain brand, so none of its businesses is called Orient-Express except the fabled Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train which operates through Europe, linking London, Paris and Venice. Orient-Express chooses to own or part-own its businesses, believing equity returns are greater than management fee income alone and continues to seek out unique properties with expansion potential and introduce new experiences, restoring romance, glamour and style to international travel. 26 share today | 01.2010

around the circle. CEOs, managers, entrepreneurs, accidental passers-by and Native Americans are all following silently the rituals from the chief. Impressive words are launched into the evening. This fire ceremony does something to me. It is an unique moment on a beautiful location with special people. I am on a Leadership Journey.

Books are written about it, articles published and speeches are filled with it, the authentic leader. Road maps are invented to bring you back to your authentic self. Step by step the road is explained to willing listeners. Travel to different continents to learn from ancient cultures, get inspired, see the light and return home a different person. I have accompanied other people on their journey to authenticity. I have been in the most amazing places and have had many encounters with very special persons. Each encounter included a life lesson and made me more mature. I joined the Inuits and learnt about their harsh share today | 01.2010 27



existence, the discipline to take good care of yourself and your materials because mother nature is ruthless. The Native Americans taught me about sharing and that all belongs to mother nature. In Zimbabwe I learnt about prejudices and in Morocco I experienced what true hospitality means. After all these lessons the search for the holy grail in me continues. And, I learnt, so it does for many other.

Every day I meet people looking for direction in their lives. Travelling helps. You collect impressions, you meet other cultures, it brings peace. Followed by inspiration to learn, change, adapt your behaviour and become a better person. For yourself and for others.

Our conference centre. The leaders of this world pay good money to help them in their search for handles on the journey to a better life. And that helps. Step by step. But you decide what to do with the wisdom you collect. I do sometimes ask myself how many moments of insight you need to really change. And for all those people who do not have a big enough budget or a boss who will pay, take a walk through the forest, play with your children or just sit on a rock in the sun and muse. That’s inspiring too and much closer to home. In the end there is an authentic leader nearby, the leader in all of us.

Have a nice Journey.

Let us introduce you to another columnist, Toine Doreleijers. He lives in Austria and the Netherlands, is married and father of two sons. Toine enjoys life by travelling, being adventurous (ever heard of ‘suppen’ and telemarken?) and passionately bringing people into action. It’s no wonder that Toine works as an independent trainer, a coach and an events organizer. Energetic is the word that suits Toine best. His finest hour? A leadership journey with Native Americans in upper Michigan, USA. There’s no need to say that Toine has a lot to share.

28 share today | 01.2010 With its excellent infrastructure, ease of access and breathtaking scenery, Switzerland is the ideal location for your meetings. For assistance with the planning of your event please contact the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau: phone 020 620 58 61,, or visit us on Aletschglacier, Valais

In an ultimate attempt I even followed a Jamie Oliver zero-calory-diet with a ‘do not try this at home’ recipe. Or, a Vision Quest of 4 days no food and drinks. It resulted in a beautiful, ready for the beach body, a few days entirely depending on myself and I experienced some very inspiring moments. All this under the supervision of Native Americans.

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close & personal

Q. Has it always been your dream to put your personal story on paper?

From Red Guard girl to CEO Meet an inspiring Chinese female entrepreneur The life of Mrs. Liu Ping reads like a book and she is going to share that life next year. Written by herself; a true autobiography. It would not surprise us if this book ends up in a Hollywood or Bollywood blockbuster. We are proud that she wants to share her intriguing story with us, how she managed to become the CEO of a key player in the Chinese Event industry; China Star Professional Programs. te x t K im A l d e r d en p h oto liu ping

A. China is a complicated country for its history, culture, economy and political system. It is impossible to make foreigners understand China in a short visit. Westerners have a lot prejudices and misconceptions about China. It feels like I have never enough time to share my stories with Western friends and explain to them what regular Chinese people think about their own country. So I decided to write a book. I would like to share my stories and the stories of people around me, in the last 30 years mainly Western friends, and hopefully my stories will help to make people understand China and the Chinese people a bit more. Liu Ping is writing Chinese articles about the meetings & incentive industry and publishes these on her blog ( heping1955). Besides that she does not hesitate to write about political topics as well, for example about family planning and religious issues in China, Tibet and Taiwan. Her articles are always based on her own personal experiences. The next natural step is therefore the launch of her own personal story in a book called ‘From Red Guard to CEO - Growing Up with New China’. Liu Ping told us that the book will be published in the beginning of 2011. We step back in time and learn some of Liu Ping’s youth and ambitions in those days in China. Did she dream about travelling abroad? Well, the

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answer might surprise you; “I never imagined a life in the travel industry when I was a child. I wanted to be a soldier serving in the army and become a female general.” Already prove that Liu Ping’s ambition to become a powerful woman was born.

Q. Can you still remember your first journey abroad? And about your first event? A. My first visit to a place outside China was in 1985 to Moscow. The Red Square was the first location I wanted to go when I arrived in Moscow. I had seen the military parade at the Red Square in movies numerous times. When we were little children, we believed that the Soviet Union was the symbol of communism and the best place in the world. Standing in the center of the Red Square, I felt my heart rising and falling like the waves in the ocean. I couldn’t believe that a child that grew up in the mountains of Guizhou in Southwest China was on this square where all revolutionaries of the world longed to be. My first event was with a state-owned company. At that time, Chinese travel companies did not know how to deal with incentive products. Incentive groups were treated as leisure groups with nothing special and creative added. I cannot remember my exact first event, but I remember I felt embarrassed and ashamed because of the harsh complaints from the foreign tour manager. ® share today | 01.2010 31

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see website Q. In China you were one of the first female business women who started her own commercial company. Can you share some of this start-up with us? A. I have worked for state-owned enterprises for about 30 years, since I was 15. I decided to quit and start my own business. I am much happier running my own company. I can make my own decisions about marketing strategy and company management without any political interference. I try to prevent corruption and bureaucracy and make China Star Professional Programs a


professional DMC and PCO measuring up to international standards. Learning from foreign cultures is a great value in the business model of China Star. In the last 5 years, China Star invited 10 Dutch students for an internship in China. Another two from NHTV University are scheduled to come in 2011. “I like to see the Chinese youth mingled with European youth to learn from each other and build up friendships. It will benefit both sides. It is important for Chinese young professionals to understand the mentality of Europeans and people from other continents so they can serve them better and vice versa”.

China Star Professional Programs is a share-holding company with 30 employees, with Liu Ping as CEO, David Liu President and Frank Feng Vice president. China Star runs the following departments: • Department of MICE • Department of Professional Exchange and Outbound Travel • Department of Logistics and Overall Management • Department of Finance Within China Star operates an independent Shanghai based company. Xiao Yun, a very talented Shanghai girl, takes care of the daily operation together with several local staff members. Both companies share the same strategy and policy for market development and will separately follow the local government to some international travel shows to promote China Star. Focus on the company’s rules and standards is very important. Each year a budget is spent on education for staff all over the country. Next to an annual and nation wide training session, they organize tailor made training for special events or freelancers. Besides that local partners and guides from cities all over China are being kept updated and trained whenever necessary. 32 share today | 01.2010

close & personal

Q. In this issue of SHARE TODAY we recommend some tented camps. If I am correctly informed you organised your own camp at the foot of the Great Wall. It sounds exiting … A. Yes, indeed I did. We set up a tailor made camp by the Great Wall for American students last year in August and it was very successful and loved by the students. We will do the same thing for four student groups next year. It is a great experience to camp by the Great Wall. However, camping is still not very popular in China and we have to tackle a lot of difficulties and go through procedures for safety and security. But we very much like to keep exploring and improving the product so that it becomes attractive to all sorts of clients. My other wish is to promote Tibet as a destination for incentive groups. My earlier visits there have convinced me of the impact this country has on clients. We just finished our first incentive group of 24 Americans in Tibet.

Q. What more can we expect from such a dynamic lady in the near future? A. “Well, China is still a developing country with a lot of poverty-stricken areas. So China Star will continue to take its CSR and try to help those who need our help. At the same time, I take my own social responsibility and work as a volunteer to teach and train the young generation that will work in our industry in the future in college. I also will continue to explore China more. For example, spend one whole month in Southwest China for a deep inspection of the local people’s life, tradition, culture, art and the nature, etc. Our respect for this ambitious lady with so much wisdom and integrity grew more and more during this interview. Liu Ping convinced us of her believe in and adaptation of new business models in the Events Industry by becoming our first SHARE+ partner. “Welcome and thank you very much for your trust”. √ share today | 01.2010 33

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Slide show

Si si Italia te x t K im A l d e r d en p h oto www. b y blosa r t h otel .com

“Si si, una strada molta rustica e poi una casa abbandonata…”

Of course I knew that the country side in Italy is ‘molto rustico’ but the route to the wine house of Giuseppe Quintarelli was a real treasure hunt. I was travelling with a client who was a true Amarone addict and when he tasted the Alzero 1998 from this Italian winehouse his mission was accomplished. Going the extra mile; isn’t that what usually put a smile on the faces of our valued clients? During this site-inspection we did not had any intention to go treasure hunting for wines because we were scouting Verona and Venice for a family event. The highlight? An opera of Romeo & Julia in the arena of Verona. The occasion? The 50th anniversary of a marriage. The briefing? Gran crus, oldtimers, gondolas and palazzos. I love these kind of challenges; drawing the perfect picture for a fancy family event. This group was small in terms of guests (certainly not in Euro’s) only 14-17 persons were involved. We found the most stunning locations in Verona and Venice. A must see according to our local DMC was the Byblos hotel, perfectly situated for a visit to the opera, with a lovely garden and dito staff.

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The best feature was the contemporary art throughout the hotel. Indeed contemporary with a capital C! A naked Kate Moss in the lobby, grafitti art on the walls that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Berlin Wall in the old days and nude breasts all over the ceiling. Maybe a bit to kinky for a bunch of 70-something clientele? But certainly not for me. The contrast between these two C’s (country side versus contemporary art) in one day could not have been larger. That is what I love about Italians, they know how to live larger than life. share today | 01.2010 35


No Guts no Glory

Conferencing! te x t E rik V ermeulen p h oto an af r ican ant h olog y

3 T’s andand 4 E’s to 3 T’s 4 E’s to glorify your next event.

“Inthe thewake wakeofofthe theglobal globaleconomic economic In downturn, conference organisers and potential attendees are asking themselves the same tough questions. Even in a small country like South Africa (which I call home) the data surrounding the meetings industry is staggering. Figures highlight 2 things – the average conference attendee must be bored out of their minds, and secondly, it must be increasingly difficult for event organisers to attract attendees and sponsors to their conferences”. conferences.

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In this article I’m going to look at how event organisers can be a bit gutsier, how they can try something new and different to allow their event to stand out from the clutter. I’ll look at the industry from two angles. I’ll be looking at what goes on in the heads of the average attendee to try and make some suggestions as to how we can alleviate the “sameness” effect; and secondly I’ll be looking at the platform side of the industry to answer the question “what should we offer from the podium”. 3 T’s for the Delegate I’ve been looking at audiences in 22 countries from the platform for 16 years, and it’s incredible what one can tell about them just from how they react. I find out even more about them during lunch breaks and dinners – particularly since my area of expertise is “the business of people”, and they are, after all, people! Here’s what I see going on in their heads when attending a conference. TRAVEL Not only are conference delegates weary of travel as a result of the effects of airline disruptions, increased security measures (I don’t care who you are, it’s not pleasant being stripped to your underwear because you have an odd name), and even the dodgy meals; but they no longer see the value of spending hours in transit. I mean what’s the point of having your event at some remote resort when the programme does not allow delegates to enjoy the surroundings? I’ve travelled to the most beautiful cities and greatest resorts, but all I see of them is the inside

of the conference room and fleeting highlights as I drive back to the airport. TIME Every single one of our conference delegates – or potential conference delegates – is time starved. They all work in a modern business environment that demands that they are always on, always connected and always available. It’s business 24/7 baby! It’s also very likely that their company has made some cutbacks post-recession so they’re doing two people’s work. Now we want to come to our conference? And stay there for 3 days? Come on!! We’ve got to find ways to do more with less! Why, for example, are we still stuck in the rut that keynote presentations must be 45 mins? Particularly when speakers, thought leaders and academics from all over world are clamouring to speak at TED for 20 minutes!! Shorter presentations and keynotes will most definitely create more value and energy at conferences. It’s time to break the mould. This will also lead to packing more value into a shorter time. 3 day conferences will turn into 2 day events. This will make them more accessible – and more affordable to the time-starved audience. TECHNOLOGY It’s time the conferencing industry – and by default the hospitality industry – realise that charging for bandwidth is a naff and outdated ® share today | 01.2010 37


foo d fo r t houg ht

concept. So is charging for data projectors (unbelievably some organisers still encounter this). It’s time we extend the reach of our events beyond the four walls of the rooms in which they are held. It’s time that we set up dedicated social media feeds (on Twitter for example) that carry the messages of our speakers to anyone who cares to listen. It’s also very useful for creating immediate feedback to speakers about their content. Good speakers will welcome this as it allows them to know what exactly they could be expanding on and what they can move on from!

event organisers, attendees and speakers. Event attendees can provide constructive feedback for the speakers they’ve heard as well as track the talks they’ve attended and research upcoming talks. Speakers can get constructive feedback directly – and immediately – from attendees and find out how they can improve their content and delivery for next time. They can also establish a SpeakerRating, which will help them grow their reputation. Organisers can research and choose the best speakers and presentations for their next event. √

Get used to the idea that it’s not only at Geek conferences that delegates want to have their laptops and BlackBerrys active and in front of them throughout. Provide the necessary power plugs and internet access. Why not have a live Twitter feed on a dedicated screen at the front of the room where people can share their insights, log their comments, and arrange to meet up during breaks? Now we’re also getting real conversation going – and networking! And now audiences can use to rate every performance, every talk, on both content and delivery – and do it real time. SpeakerRate is a community site that is aimed at

CURIOUS ABOUT THE 4 E’S? More tips about speakers, how to choose them or as being a speaker how to keep the attention of your audience: click here. I hope that these elements and the tips for speakers provide some food for thought and that, as a conference organiser, your have the guts to try something new to make your event glorious. Remember that if you’re not growing, you’re dying!

‘I haven’t failed, I had 10.000 ideas that did not work’ Benjamin Franklin

Erik Vermeulen has been a Business consultant and international Keynote speaker since 1994. He specializes in Corporate Behavior strategies. Erik explores trends and behaviors that have shaped the business world, and ones that will be required to motivate and improve performance in a post-recession business world where corporate spin become less powerful than customer and employee experience.

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