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NR 1 – m a r c h 2012

• It Takes T wo to Tango • The Swiss Out of the Box • From Russia with Love

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contents

Cover photo Tango Rojo Tango, Argentina

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editorial

By Yolanda & Kim

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share +

Share + meets X pert

06 E y e w i t n e s s

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It Takes Two to Tango

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o n c e i n a li f e t i m e

Unite with locals, a different incentive

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l e t m e e n t e r ta i n y o u

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check it out

Where the Dutch meet the French

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g r o u p s s -x x l

A Small group enjoying XXL adventures

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column

When is ‘New’ truly ‘New’?

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close & personal

The Swiss approach to

‘Out of the Box’ thinking

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s u s ta i n a bili t y D I Y

From Russia with love

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snap shot

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FY I

VAT

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Story

Bonvivant on a bike

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column

El Zanjon, A vision narrated 25 years later

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zoom in

Essawhere? Essaouria!

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food for thought

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e d ito r ial

Editorial #1 2012 Yes you lucky, lucky people. We have done all the hard work for you and found yet some fabulous new FACES, PLACES & CASES to share from Argentina to Russia.

We will end with a strolling dinner in the place to be in Frankfurt; Kameha Suite. Would you like to be part of this interesting meeting; bring on the message!

2012 will be a challenging year for all of us. Economies are still not strong in Europe however South America and Asia show quite some economic growth. The lifecycle of the good old incentive seems to be under pressure. Changed VAT rules & regulations in Europe cause some unpleasant surprises but hey… our business is like show business; let’s keep up the good spirit and look to the bright side of life.

A new FACE this year is John Gallery. His 25-year career in hotel & conference venue management made him a real guru on this topic. Give it up for John; our new columnist.

In our first magazine of 2012 we kick of with the theme OUT OF THE BOX. We bring funky stories (we visited Buenos Aires last February!) and inspiring insights (read the story about the marketing focus of Switzerland) and much, much more all with a link to the theme. Our message; read it! Treat yourself a digital moment and see it as a dose of new energy and inspiration for your daily work in the event industry. Very much OUT OF THE BOX is our next real life event. Just before IMEX starts we will treat our most valued members on a gathering in Frankfurt. Here we share some mystery guests from the global events scene and have some intense discussions on the business of 2012. 4 share today | 01.2012

Last but certainly not least; your personal tailormade E-magazine. Yes! We make this happen together with our art director. Wouldn’t it be magic to sell your stories and to show your network to your global clientele? Our know-how is complimentary included. Interested just call or email us. Happy reading, Kim & Yolanda


share +

Share + meets X pert Already one quarter past of 2012, talking about time travels fast. Here some interesting developments to share! We are proud to introduce our new module; a pool of experts. To meet the requests for expertise of our members on various subjects, SHARE TODAY launched a new module; Xperts. This pool of experts represents disciplines that help the Event Professional in other expertise than their own. Xperts are persons with highqualified experience and knowledge on a certain subject. Curious who are in? Check it out by clicking here.

Talking about new uploads. We have a new member to introduce; Rui Calapez of Buzz Portugal DM. Some of our members uploaded their new faces, places and cases. Lisette changed hers about Switzerland and if you want to know more about Norway, check out Karina’s portfolio. To see the best of Hichams’ faces, places and cases you surely must see these two episodes of the series ‘Born to Explore’ hosted by the famous world-class explorer Richard Wiese. They are a result of a recommendation of Activ Travel as one of the best DMCs in Morocco by the US Moroccan tourism board office to a production company resulting in shooting for the American TV network ABC. We are happy to share two episodes: The Lost Village and Mysteries of the Nomads. Want to know more? Our SHARE+ members & Xperts are visible on our website. Some of them are sharing their faces, places & cases too. Curious? We invite you to take a look. Are you also ready for some serious sharing in 2012? SHARE TODAY can become your platform too. For more information about the SHARE+ membership, please contact us at info@sharetoday.com share today | 01.2012 5


It Takes Two to Tango! T ext & P h otos K im A l d e r d en & Yolan d a L ogt

Monday morning, a full inbox to start with, ok, just another day in the office... but one message drew our attention: a personal invitation to Buenos Aires. Us? Moi? Yes!

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e y e witness

A visit to an unknown city is always exiting. A 14hour direct KLM flight brings us from Amsterdam to sizzling Buenos Aires; the temperature hits 35C. The view from our room on the 15th floor of the Sofitel reminds us a bit of Havana. We are thrilled to see many more faces from this inspiring city during our visit. Plaza de Mayo Alejandro, ‘Alex’ to friends, is our personal guide. He teaches us a lot about the history of his country. Although he tries to be objective and to give us a positive focus on the possibilities of Argentina we can feel his ‘scars’ of the past. His emotions as well as ours - are real and right at the surface as we watch the weekly protest walk of the ‘Madres de Plaza de Mayo.’ These Mothers are a phenomenon and are welcomed like rock stars. For more than 30 years they have sought answers to the reasons behind the disappearance of their beloved family members, carrying their loved ones’ pictures during each protest walk. It was a very touching moment during our visit. Puerto Madero Of course we are very eager to learn more about the role of tourism in Argentina. The economy is

based upon 5 important industries: meat, oil, gas, wheat and tourism. The meat part could not be missed! Our first lunch consisted of a steak of at least 500 grams! The funky restaurant Cabana las Lilas looks like a sister venue of a London Docksbased gourmet palace. Puerto Madero was developed 15 years ago and is today a modern harbour with a great variety of restaurants, office buildings and luxury apartments. Is your client a lifestyle traveller who is not afraid of good design? You will find heaven in the Faena hotel which is temple to Philippe Starck and a must-visit because of the magical Rojo Tango show that is performed here every night. To complete the experience, arrive in style in front of the red carpet by your chauffeurdriven classic cars San Telmo However, we all know that tourism is much more than just an excellent hotel. Corporate events play an important role in Buenos Aires. Events such as international meetings, incentives, and PR & marketing events are organized on a large scale. Seeking that one special place, we are privileged to meet the 72-year old Jorge Eckstein who takes us on a journey of a lifetime to tell us all about the renovation of ‘his’ El Zanjon: a multifunctional venue, a museum, an exhibit hall, an event location, a wedding place and a stage for a signature tango show. We do not doubt for a single moment that all the possiblities of this magnificent place are real. What a beauty in the heart of Buenos Aires. To feel the right vibe from the master himself, read his column in this issue. ®

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e y e witness

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e y e witness

Barrios Local flavor still exists in Argentina and moreover in Buenos Aires. You can feel the difference in certain parts of town. Various neighbourhoods such as La Boca, Recoleta, San Telmo and Palermo Soho have their own identity and offer a great podium to stage your events. Recoleta for instance is dominated by the unique necropolis with more than 5000 mausolea. Enormous almost palace like structures exist right beside little ruins along green lanes. The highlight here for almost every visitor is the final resting place of Evita. For an evidently lighter part of the tour we ride bikes. For this occasion it seems to be tailor made for us! Our bikes are orange, the colour of the Dutch with a logo of KLM on the side! As Dutchies, we feel instantly at home on our bike ride. Pampas There isn’t a single moment to get bored in Buenos Aires. However, we need to depart for our visit to the famous pampas. Estancia El Rosario is a 1 1/2 hour drive from the city centre. Upon arrival our bus is welcomed by gauchos on their horses holding the Argentinian and Dutch flags.

A table under the trees awaits us, covered with white linen and spread generously with nice wines and empenadas. Here we are warmly welcomed by the owners themselves: Franchesco and Florencia Guevara. In contrast to the seasonal habits of a lot of other wealthy estancia owners, this family lives on the estancia year round. Besides breeding polo horses, they operate 16 rooms. A stay here means becoming part of the family. Again we are impressed by their friendliness. Before we enjoy our lunch the gauchos show off their abilities on their horses. Ever tried to catch a ring on horseback with only a small stick? After our asado lunch with fresh vegetables and lovely Argentine Malbec wine we all agree: this was surely not our last visit to Buenos Aires! √ It must have been a challenge to surprise 6 ladies each with 20 years or more MICE experience. KLM and Accor dared to take that risk. With success! Argentina surprised us all and will certainly remain prominent on our events map. Thank you KLM, Accor and Argentina en Colores. share today | 01.2012 11


Unite with locals, a different incentive A true meeting of hearts text Yolan d a L ogt p h otos A u t h entico r e

Looking for a more indepth approach to a destination? Try Scandinavia, specifically Norway. ‘Feel’ the soul of this country by meeting the ‘Ildsjel’. 12 share today | 01.2012


once in a lifetime

Norway is probably one of the most unusual countries in Europe, with incomparable contrasts in nature, colors, people and history. There isn’t a better way to explore this special country than by mingling with the inhabitants. We would like to present a mixture of ideas based on the philosophy of the passionate local people, called ‘ildsjel’ in Norwegian. There is no identical word in English, but we like to translate the idea to ‘fire soul’. These ‘fire souls’ are the bridge builders between people, tradition and local nature. An authentic incentive The core value of an incentive where one unites with the locals is to ‘touch the heart’ of the guests and let them experience the authentic Norway by meeting passionate locals. Sometimes it takes some convincing skills to get the approval of the agency and client for their group to be hosted by local people in an authentic little fjord village right at the waterfront. But once the delegates stay at the private homes, not a single one complains about a bed, a room or their host. They all will be flabbergasted by the warmth and special attention that contrasts with a more ordinary hotel stay. During the day activities are based on the local culture; a true meeting of hearts—combined with lots of fun—slowly creates bonds that continue to grow. Both cultures, the local and the one visiting, learn about each other, but above all the guests get a true insight into the Norwegian soul and life.

Activities Even the activities are in the hands of ‘Ildsjels,’ like taking a chartered boat through the wonderful fjord area to the completely different Solstrand Hotel, one of the most special Spa hotels right at the Hardangerfjord. The hotel, in private hands for four generations and built out of wood, dates from the 19th century when European aristocracy spent their vacations in the Norwegian fjord area. The group is welcomed by a local brass band of young boys typical for the village and schools in the Bergen area. Finally the guests reach the famous Folgefønna glacier by boat where they enjoy a glacier walk. As a big surprise and wow moment, a helicopter takes them down into a small village where we end the day with a dinner in a local barn. Another example of a day with the locals is a pallet of different activities offered directly from the places they stay. These activities range from a flight by a seaplane, a ride by a zodiac boat, a kayak tour to a fishing trip in a historical fishing boat. In between, lunch is served in a wonderful park right at the waterfront: a barbecue with a huge fire. And what is more memorable than listening to both the locals and the clients tell their stories of the day around the campfire? Time to put Norway on your hotlist to explore more! √ For more information contact Authenticore or send an email to info@authenticore.no

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- advertisement ’ He w ho r e t ur ns f rom a j our ne y is no t t he s a me a s he w ho l ef t ’ (C hine se prov er b)

AU T HE N T IC ORE cr e ate s e x per ie nc e s w i t h c on te n t ba sed on loc a l ins pir ed peopl e (f ir e soul s ) w ho l i v e t heir dr e a m a nd bur n f or some t hing . W e bel ie v e t hat our t r a de ins pir e s to be cur ious a bou t o t her cult ur e s , t r a di t ions a nd w ay s of l ife . Disc ov er w i t h us

T HE SO U L OF NOR WAY

www.authenticore.no | Uranienborg Terrasse 9 | 0351 Oslo-Norway Tel.: +47 22 06 50 20 | info@authenticore.no


let me ente r tain y o u

w e b s i t e s & A p p s oksBooks Your event on your smart phone Create your mobile event guide in only a few minutes via this website. www.twoppy.com

Out of the Box Conference An interdisciplinary meeting in which experts from a variety of backgrounds can discuss human problems of common interest hoping that these meetings will enable people of different backgrounds to find a common language that will initiate ideas for sustainable global solutions to emerge. Furthermore conference authors are inspired to cooperate in putting together chapters for the (first) Out of the Box Book. The conference takes place in Slovenia from 1517 May 2012. www.outofthebox.si Engaging event apps Inludus embraces technology to bring people together for a more enjoyable efficient & effective information exchange. Perfect for your events. www.inludus.com Timeclock Tracks time per project and the hourly rate. It has the ability to export files to excel so you know exactly how much time you spend per client.

Cool Hotels Cool Prices We all know how fun and exciting travel can be. But as with all good things in life, it’s too easy to deny yourself. This accessible Style guide edition profiles the coolest hotels for more modest budgets. Each featured hostelry offers comfort, style and sophistication. It just goes to show that high-end design can equal affordability. ISBN 978 3 8327 9398 City Notebooks As an event planner you always walk with little notebooks to write down addresses, tips, tricks and contacts. Moleskine has handy city booklets with basic information, maps, curious facts and plenty blank pages for your own notes. The first guide you write yourself! Available in 44 editions. By the way did you know you also have customized editions of a moleskine notebook?

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Where the Dutch meet the French

Check-it-out takes you around the globe to meet extra-ordinary places. text & p h otos Yolan d a L ogt

A gem in the northeast Caribbean and one of the smallest islands divided between two nations is St Maarten or St Martin. The southern Dutch part comprises the Sint Maarten part of the Dutch Antilles. The northern French part comprises the CollectivitĂŠ de SaintMartin and is an overseas collectivity of France. Because of this partition, the island offers all-in-one gourmet food, excellent accommodations, pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife and a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a Caribbean twist. Here are some pearls to create that special touch for your meeting or incentive. 16 share today | 01.2012


c h eck it o u t

Where to sleep? Sonesto Maho Beach & Resort is the perfect hotel for big meeting or conference groups. The large and luxurious resort lies directly on the beach and only five minutes from the airport (actually you can see the airplanes’ spectacular landings from its beach). It features several highly regarded in-house restaurants and caters with its conference facilities to business travelers as well. At its doorstep you will find many restaurants, shops, nightclubs, bars, the Casino Royal and an 18-hole golf course to find some leisure between the meetings. www.sonesta.com/MahoBeach In for more luxury, choose La Samanna Resort & Spa, an Orient-Express hotel set near St Martin’s finest beach, Baie Longue, ranked by leading hotel critics in the top 10 Caribbean’s hotel retreats. The Rendezvous Pavilion has three thoughtfully designed meeting rooms, with conference & secretarial services and audiovisual equipment. Other venues for meetings and banquets can be found on the property or offsite. And, of course, your group can enjoy all

the wonderful amenities that La Samanna has to offer. Perfect for incentive groups as well as for meetings. www.lasamanna.com If you have a small incentive group who wants privacy and exclusivity try Le Karibuni Lodge, a idyllic hideaway built on top of a hill overlooking the Bay of Cul de Sac and the three tiny islands: Pinel, Little Key and Tintamarre. They offer six spacious suites with private patio or balcony space surrounded by a tropical garden. The suites can be connected through the terraces. By integrating Caribbean and modern styles with elegance and charm Le Karibuni Lodge creates a unique, warm and relaxing atmosphere. www.lekaribuni.com ®

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c h eck it o u t

Where to meet, dine or just have fun! Calmos Café in Grand Case is the place to plunge your toes in the sand and watch the surf come in while eating tasty bites like swordfish and shrimp kebabs and trying new island [?]. On your way out, stop by the C’est La Vie gift shop for apparel that sums up the feeling of St. Maarten. The “C’est La Vie” logo is printed on everything from t-shirts to underwear. www.calmoscafe.com

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One of the most beautiful spots can be found on Pinel Island. In front of the French Cul the Sac, the island offers a beautiful beach, excellent for swimming and snorkeling. No wonder it is a popular daytrip for tourists and groups. Discover the exotic little restaurant known for its fantastic Caribbean cuisine. The French owners Eric & Marion started this restaurant many years ago when only few people visited this little island. Now its fine food and relaxing atmosphere is well known all over the globe. If you haven’t had a fresh lobster at the Karibuni restaurant you haven’t tasted paradise yet! http://visitpinel.com/about.php Looking for something more in nature? Go to the Treelounge, hidden in the forest near the highest point of St Maarten. Enjoy the music and


c h eck it o u t

What to do? Thinking of Caribbean Islands makes you often think of laziness, sun, sea and beach. There are plenty of ingredients that will fit your group’s recipe.

ambiance-driven chilled experience where old school meets new guard. Where the traditional concept of tapas has morphed into a mindbending experience (that’s from the strong cocktails of course). Isn’t that ‘Caribbean Cool’? http://loteriefarm.com/index.html More in for lounging? Find yourself or your group at Palm Beach lounge bar and restaurant at Orient Beach. Not only the beach is beautiful but, by using the right lounge furniture and great statues, a tranquil atmosphere has been created even when it is crowded. In combination with the delicious food and cocktails this is a lovely place to be. www.palmbeachsxm.net

Some highlights: - Visit the neighbor islands by boat or plane: St. Barth’s, Anguilla, Saba or St Eustatius - Discover St Martin with a treasure hunt around the island by jeeps or squads - Organize Beach Olympics: sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing or waterskiing ending by Caribbean beach BBQ with a live band - Private shopping with vendors in Marigot - Organize a golf tournament at Mullet Bay - Gambling workshops on the Dutch side of the island - Catamaran sail to Pinel Island or Creole Rock with a picnic lunch and snorkeling - Helicopter rides around St Martin - Enjoy a sunset cruise around the island with a cocktail workshop: are you the next Tom Cruise? - Last but not least, be part of America’s Cup Sailing Regatta. √ There is excellent air accessibility into St. Martin through the Princess Juliana International Airport, allowing for daily direct flights from the USA, France and the Netherlands. For more information about Dutch St Maarten contact our SHARE+ member, Lydia Haveman share today | 01.2012 19


A Small group enjoying XXL adventures Czech Republic as playfield for your next incentive text L in d a B enmamma r p h otos V ana d oo

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groups s - xxl

As a DMC, we are often asked to come up with various events that comprise “out of the box” ideas and I must say that, in general, we rise to the occasion very responsibly. Just the actual creation itself and description of a programme is accompanied by a certain dose of adrenalin. We always let the reigns go loose on our fantasy and hope that we will be able to experience our proposed scenario in reality. However, the majority of these original and audacious programmes unfortunately end up tucked away in a drawer. Often finances are to blame, sometimes the client will ultimately decide to play it safe and stick to well-established stereotypes and thus end up betting on only the appeal and tourist attractions of the given destination. However, today we have the pleasure of talking about the other bunch – incentive programmes, which are lucky enough to transform into a reality and at the end of which we have a satisfied client, and a unique and unforgettable experience, which is forever written down in the memories of all participants. FORD in South Africa ordered just such a programme. The company decided to reward its best dealers with a unique incentive programme in the Czech Republic. 8 dealers and their spouses thus experienced a week filled with action, excitement, fun and extraordinary experiences.

We broke the programme into several thematic blocks, each taking place elsewhere in the Republic. The Czech Republic is full of surprising places, fairytale castles and chateaux, magical corners and breathtaking scenery. The entire programme was kicked off in Prague. Learning about the city of culture, music and architecture was truly exclusive. We prepared the first surprise for clients in the library of the gem of Prague, Strahov Monastery, in the form of a private concert. Be a Dragon Racer However, the first from a spectrum of untraditional relaxation is up next. Our client was drawn to adrenaline and untraditional experiences, which is why we let it go a little in this direction and did not hold back on our fantasy. And to our great pleasure, all of the ideas were confirmed and realised. We have Dragon Boating planned for day 3 in Prague. If adrenalin is what we wanted, then adrenalin is what we got - so off to the water we go to the Vltava River, which flows through the heart of Prague. ®

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groups s - xxl

Even in spite of the unfavourable weather, the mood of the entire team was excellent from the very morning; however, one has to admit that reproduced dance music and a small dose of alcohol in the form of traditional liqueur – Becherovka, helped set the mood. The following morning, we departed from the luxury Le Palais boutique hotel in Prague to Central Bohemia approx. 50 km from Prague, where real “WOW” awaits the group, not only from the aspect of accommodation, but also in terms of the upcoming programme. We arrived at the gates of the unique chateau hotel Mcely, a five-star eco chic chateau hotel, the first and only one of its kind in the Czech Republic. The quality of service, beauty of the interiors and impressive setting in the surrounding countryside were conceived for the most demanding of clients. None of the guests suspected that very unusual 22 share today | 01.2012

creatures and scenery began gathering at the chateau during the afternoon and that very fantastical yet scary things are being prepared in the surrounding forest… It is very busy behind the scenes as a night battle, “night courage walk” is prepared for the evening, which is a traditional summer activity for all Czech children and their parents, and it is bound to be a premiere for the majority of guests from South Africa. I have to admit that preparing the night battle for the foreign guests was a premiere for most of us as well but also a lot of fun. We engaged a number of our friends in the preparations, where everyone contributed their experience and ideas from their own childhood and scout camp leaders helped prepare these programmes for us. We borrowed all sorts of scary artefacts from film studios and thematic costumes from carnival studios.


groups s - xxl

Meet Dracula and his friends The evening is truly warm and the sky is starry. Everything is ideal for a night stroll in the forest. While savouring dessert, strange sounds start echoing throughout the castle and the staff begins acting a little strangely. Doesn’t the waiter suddenly have larger teeth and redder eyes? All of the local inhabitants have been haunted by a terrible curse for centuries. Once a year (this date just happens to be that day) they transform into horrible creatures, which are dangerous to all living beings. Only a foreigner can destroy this curse by collecting the blood of 12 virgins during the night, who are guarded by forest spirits, vampires and other extraterrestrial beings. Around 10 PM hair-raising sounds were also coming from outside. It took longer for some to find the courage to go and two women even decided to stay behind in the hotel. During the journey, participants met various scary creatures, such as Frankenstein, a coffin with a vampire, skeletons and many forest spirits. Believe it or not, even adults are scared of the dark and

unknown… The local alchemist prepared magical drinks with smoke rising from them for everyone on the terrace and this evening ended up being extended into the early hours of the morning. A Day in the Army The following morning, everyone received a military uniform and once again, nobody had any idea about what was going to happen. Once the helicopter landed on the local football field, the programme of the day finally gained a more specific shape. We flew by helicopter to the former Russian military base, which is located almost 15 km away from Chateau Mcely. Another adrenaline experience. ‘A day in the army’ is once again riddled with a story, which gains credibility thanks to the great acting performance of the organisers of this programme. Attention privates! Your training has just begun. Nobody was bored this day. We experienced a genuine drill, roping down from the helicopter and sitting behind the wheel of an armoured tank. Men and women - everyone was drawn into the action and everyone ended their day full of unforgettable experiences and extraordinary adventure. It is often said that the Czech Republic is a small country with big opportunities. If you are drawn by adrenaline and have a taste for something untraditional you can enjoy a whole scale of untraditional adventures with us. √ Note: Do you want to know more? Contact Linda herself. share today | 01.2012 23


MORE ABOUT john

When is ‘New’ truly ‘New’? Running a consultancy provides an interesting perspective on business as it means that I am never in one business all the time, but jump in and out of different businesses every week. One day it is a pancakes race on Shrove Tuesday, the next a corporate presentation, on another day an online marketing initiative for an independent business… and much more. As long as I remember which business I am involved with each day, it means I can keep ahead and make sure clients are receiving NEW ideas and initiatives on a regular basis. The needs, desires and challenges of each business can be very similar so an important line of differential must be maintained. So what is NEW? Marketing and advertising people know that the word ‘new’ is one of the classic word tools in presenting products along with ‘free’, ‘now’, ‘easy’, ‘because’, ‘how to’ (I know, two words) and importantly, you/your and so on... ‘New’ ideas emerge in the meetings media every week and the people making announcements about these ‘new’ products are very proud of their achievements. Sadly, the announcement of something ‘new’ is often an existing idea redeveloped, but the job of the PR is to convince the reader that it is new. But what is really ‘New’? The world economic climate may be a clue to the inventiveness that leads us to create something new. Without the economic meltdown for 24 share today | 01.2012


COLUMN

example, would we have seen the emergence of Hybrid Meetings? This idea has brought the use of technology and face-to-face meetings together. The happy coincidence of easier to use software and broadband rollout at the same time as economic uncertainty has pushed the Hybrid Meetings concept to the fore. People can now participate in events more easily from a distance and the use of this technique is increasing. This ‘New’ is saving time and costs for companies and individuals.

found “that 64% of employers do not consult with their audience before deciding what reward to offer. Meanwhile, less than 5% of event budgets are devoted to pre-event communications yet 89% of respondents rated pre-event marketing as very important or essential to the success of a meeting. Other findings included that 67% of staff would prefer to be with their spouse or partner on an incentive trip than with their colleagues and 94% think VIP celebrity speakers are not very important.”

As for incentive programmes, the market has changed demonstrably and planners are seeking more ‘New’ ideas that offer ‘responsible rewards’ or rewards with a conscience (note to bankers); or more excitement for less cost. Meanwhile, Richard Branson (the ace self-publicist) has announced ‘Virgin Galactic – the opportunity to take part in commercial space tourism – this is definitely ‘New’ and launched, literally and appropriately in New Mexico! Pioneers often face major hurdles and doubt and are ridiculed (this happened when we developed LateMeetings.com which is now in the mainstream of a major corporate business) but Branson is one modern exemplar of the ‘can do’ approach to business. Outcomes from pioneering initiatives either flop or eventually percolate into the mainstream. ‘Incentives in Space’ has a ring to it – is it now time for planners to boldly go where no planner has gone before!? That’s New.

As well as space travel could the new, ‘New’ in the incentive market be something old such as more time with friends and family? If it means more effective outcomes from the meeting or event and especially for the attendee, then why not – just check with the spouses first! Or perhaps the new ‘New’ is simply about communicating more effectively. The fact we have the tools to communicate quickly and instantly does not mean we always do it well. For the next ‘New’ perhaps the important thing is to spend more time communicating, listening, understanding and then acting upon our ‘New‘ ideas.

Naturally, we cannot all be pioneers and it is interesting to hear from P&MM’s recent industry survey of more than 400 organisations, which

John Gallery established Great Potential, following a successful 25-year career in hotel & conference venue management. John is cofounder of LateMeetings.com, sold in 2009. His new business ‘Hands Free Management’ provides management contracts for independent hotels and tourism businesses. share today | 01.2012 25


The Swiss approach to ‘Out of the Box’ thinking How a country creates a strong marketing concept around a simple theme. text Yolan d a L ogt p h otos S wit z e r lan d T o u r ism

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close & pe r sonal

Out of the Box…real hard to put your finger on or give a definition that says it all. In Switzerland they do it their way. Curious? We certainly were. That’s why we asked some questions to Rafael Enzler, Marketing, Brand Management & Strategic Partnerships Executive Vice President and head of this years project ‘water’. Q. Are you creating your marketing ideas within your team, in other words do you start with a brainstorm? Or do you involve an advertising company? ‘Our creative process involves a lot of people with different knowledge. The overall topic (water) for 2012 has been chosen based on results of our market research department’ says Enzler. ‘We try to find possibilities to differentiate ourselves from other destinations. Once the topic is defined our product management defines together with our content/editorial team the key messages to be communicated. Further our advertising agency develops ideas for the campaign based on the overall topic.’ ®

For more information about the blue wonder – Rhine 2012 project: http://MySwitzerland.com/blue More exciting events look at www.myswitzerland.com/en/service-updates/ events.html?strubrik=1474 share today | 01.2012 27


close & pe r sonal

Q. Was there a specific reason to choose WATER as a subject?

Q. Can you take us through the process of developing the total concept?

Enzler: ‘Water is an important travel reason to Switzerland, for example Switzerland has 7.000 lakes. Switzerland offers numerous possibilities to experience water in different ways, also for groups. Additionally this topic stresses our positioning as a sustainable destination.’ www.myswitzerland.com/en/destinations/ waterland-switzerland.html

‘Of course I can. It is not that difficult, we just follow these steps: 1. Define the overall topic 2. Define the key messages 3. Create the campaign tools 4. Define the marketing-mix 5. Make a planning of the implementation in the target markets

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It sounds simple but talking and brainstorming always takes time, especially to find the right words and definitions.’ Q. Will the concept ‘WATER’ be used throughout the whole year? ‘No’, stated Enzler. ‘The concept will be used for our summer promotion. For the winter season we chose a different approach. The overall budget for promoting summer in Switzerland is about 40 million Swiss Francs. This also includes overhead costs. So we can do quite some nice things for that.’ Q. Will the communication be an integrated mix of above-the-line and below-the-line communication? Enzler; ‘Yes, it certainly will. Every campaign of Switzerland Tourism uses four groups of marketing instruments: 1. Promotion (TV spot, inserts in magazines, advertisements, travel fairs) 2. Key Media Management (organization of media trips to Switzerland, organization of media conferences in the target markets) 3. Key Account Management (joint marketing activities with local tour operators, FAM trips) and 4. Online marketing (traditional online campaigns, social media activities, newsletter)’

Q. What is the specific target group for the total communication? Our readers are coming from the global events industry so we are anxious to hear if there is a specific events target group involved. ‘Our target group is quite broad’, tells Enzler. ‘Our summer campaign has worldwide focus. We focus mainly on the leisure traveler, but as you know Switzerland is an excellent destination for groups. Beside the mentioned campaign a dedicated promotion will be executed to attract meeting and incentive travelers.’ http://www. myswitzerland.com/en/meetings.html As if this would not be enough as a summer campaign, the Swiss run an additional special project called ‘the blue wonder - Rhine 2012’. In May 2012, Ernst Bromeis-Camichel will be swimming the length of the Rhine from the source in Graubünden to the river mouth. He will be the very first person to have done this and for him it will be the achievement of a significant goal. Switzerland Tourism will use this project to attract people to discover Switzerland through blogs, events and media stories.

For us this campaign proofs how a small country is able to create an enormous buzz around a rather basic theme. Thumps up for the Swiss! √

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From Russia with love

When I finally met Ola Kastensson last summer, I was amazed by the enthusiastic stories he told about his Russia. Especially how he integrated charity into his events, but moreover how Russkie Prostori adapted corporate sustainability as part of their business strategy. text Yolan d a L ogt p h otos R u sskie P r osto r i

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Nowadays clients ask more and more for a kind of ‘good cause’ as an element in their incentive or event program. Many suppliers - from hotels to local agents respond to this demand. However, how many do really speak from their hearts instead of seeing it as a business opportunity? Ola belongs to the ones who do care. Read his story…

How it started We had a request for a seven-day Canadian incentive to provide some charity options during their stay. It could be a visit to a good cause or a ‘hand over’ of a gift. We did some investigation at the children’s shelter for street children, which was fully sponsored by private funds only, and also checked an orphanage hospital with limited governmental funding. The client finally decided to provide an x-ray machine for this specific hospital. To meet a different reality was very touching for all of us, client and staff. That was exactly the moment that Russkie Prostori decided to offer ‘hands-on’ activities and help with a personal touch ‘sharing and caring’ instead of only providing a check and a handshake. Elena (Ola’s wife and business partner) and I discussed what we could do personally and brought our sons’ baby things to the hospital. Those of our staff who wanted to join us were involved by just

being there for comfort or to bring presents and play games. Staff involvement We decided for the following year to bring all staff members in to help organize a New Year’s party with Father Frost (Santa), presents, games and entertainment, which was half the budget. The other half we spent on medicine needed. The feeling of seeing the children hunting bubbles and presents, smiling and laughing was so heartbreaking and unique... However, we realized cash money was what the children’s shelter really needed, as many organizations provided clothes, toys, even computers and ‘things,’ but this did not pay for rent, electricity and other communal costs and repairs urgently needed. To meet this need, Russkie Prostori created a company fund that requires us, for every client we receive, to provide quarterly donations. ® share today | 01.2012 31


s u stainabilit y D I Y

You might think this doesn’t look like serious money, however; during the last 7 years the fund has accumulated a significant amount. Client’s involvement We decided to give back more to the community and bring people together with humanitarian action involving ‘contact ‘ instead of providing just checks. But more importantly, we were careful not to provoke any ‘discomfort’ during the encounters. We started to offer clients an opportunity to sponsor pioneer camps for children of orphanages - to pay for a month stay in the countryside (today state funded). Now we bring groups during ‘parents’ day with presents, playing and BBQ – in other words, we mingle and experience a normal life. Another example 32 share today | 01.2012

is a group will go to various department stores and buy New Year’s decorations and New Year’s presents and bring them to organizations in need which then creates a remembrance of each New Year to bring the same decoration for many years to come. ‘What comes around goes around’ is proven by the next example: We received a contribution during a familiarization trip, as the totals neared our commitment. We used this contribution to rent a coach, arranged to pick up some children, and together with some of our colleagues, we had a great day at an amusement park, treated them with burgers, lemonade and did a lot of hugging and playing. It was so touching when the kids asked with big eyes ‘please come back the next weekend too…’


s u stainabilit y D I Y

Trusted relationships  To establish a relationship is very important for both parties, clients and ourselves. Knowing that everything is done correctly and getting feedback on results is critical for further action. We try to get companies involved in the places we’ve been, as it’s much easier to be sure that a contribution will be distributed adequately, and be beneficial for the children as well. Today many companies give gifts, material help and assistance however the need is big for monetary assistance to pay for community charges and additional expenses. Future  In spite of things getting better every year, focus must be put on the future. Talking about legacy and moving forward – we are proud that our now 10-year-old son is presently deeply involved in our charities, and successfully convincing people to support research for children with heart and lung problems. He is actually making record sales of Heart Pins for a school project with his engagement. To give is one thing but to know that you actually are doing something means everything, and if you can create a feeling that something means something for someone really it can change you as a person. At SHARE TODAY we certainly could not say it any better. We trust this story will inspire others. For sure Russkie Prostori underlines the expression: From Russia With Love. √

More information click on Russkie Prostori or Ola Kastensson. share today | 01.2012 33


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Your next meeting venue? A focus on global meetings in our next E-magazine. p h oto U niquely N orthwest share today | 01.2012

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FYI

‘Welcome to the world of VAT! This is why my job is so exciting. Every country has it’s own rules and regulations, and most entrepreneurs need an expert to guide them through what seems like a forest filled with traps.’ Rob Kok is one of our Xperts who is willing to share his knowledge with our members and readers. Here’s an example: Rui Calapez, General Manager at Buzz Travel in Portugal, picked up some VAT insights from Rob last year during our meeting in Frankfurt. The new rules will become effective 1 april 2012 in the EU. At that time Rui did not know anything about the European Margin Scheme Directive. Back in the office he took the time to discuss the VAT implementation with his colleague and local VAT officer. Hurray! Rui even saved money by organizing his administration in the right order.

Rob Kok smiled when we contacted him to ask for his feedback. ‘A so to say golden tip! And I am more than happy that I was able to put Rui Calapez on this track. VAT is my world and I know how to play the game.’ √

SHARE TODAY knows that you always can use experts who are able to assist you in matters which are not your own expertise. That is why we have created a pool of Xperts. In each issue one of our Xperts gets a voice. And if you are reading this and an urgent question pops up, just email us! We guarantee you won’t be disappointed by the answer.

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Bonvivant on a bike text A nnemarie T he - V egt p h otos d u vine

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Let us start this time with a word association exercise: name the keywords you think of when hearing: ‘bicycle’, ‘adventure’ and ‘tours’ Let me guess: top gear, tough and rough? Persistence? What kind of accommodation and food do you think of? Let me guess again: (Back to) Basic? Relinquish any luxury? Sleeping in a tent or a simple lodge? Self prepared meals from a gas burner or a roll from the local bakery? Next step: now start Googling. Begin by searching on the keywords: bicycle + adventure + tours What kind of organisations do you find? Right, the ones organising tours as described above. No luxury. No added value. Then add to the key words: luxury + incentive. Result? Du Vine Adventures! DuVine Adventures is an USA-based company offering high-level bike tours and active adventure trips all over the world. Each trip is unique, custom made and with personalised service, whether it concerns leisure or a corporate client. On top of that the tours always include the best accommodation and gourmet meals. This way Du Vine is different and almost no equivalent can be found. A few examples to make you want to enjoy one of their rides. They offer Bike Tours for Honeymooners, Yoga Bike Tours and Pro Series. And the top of the bill tour ‘Chef on Wheels’.

A culinary chef travels with the guests and spoils them with tasty creations using local ingredients found en route. OK, do you agree it is something different? ® The digital business card of this company is an easy to navigate website. The message is clear; is all about BIKE, EAT, DRINK, SLEEP. By sharing great pictures, short movies and a well balanced social media mix you feel welcome at the DuVine platform. See for yourself www.duvine.com share today | 01.2012 39


sto r y

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Corporate client challenges are more than welcome with the DuVine team. Completely tailor-made and once in a life time trips are possible Of course the starting point is always an adventurous bike tour but with DuVine’s added value: just that extra subtle nuance, that small detail or extraordinary surprise. Also in terms of service DuVine goes one step further. Apart from the extra service like pre and post travel planning, guests can also order their bike gear in advance with DuVine. Some examples of corporate and especially themed events One example of a typical DuVine corporate event was a recent four-day bike tour for 70 attorneys through the Provence, France. According to DuVines’ standard, the guests stayed in luxury accommodation and enjoyed gourmet food during their fully organised bike tour. The accommodations were historical and the restaurants the most renowned of the region. Gastronomic elements were naturally part of the programme in this part of the world. Truffles, wine, olives, olive oil, the best herbs and asparagus, all elements that were part of the ride. Gourmet lunches and dinner at unique venues were all included, but of course the DuVine programme took a turn to the unexpected: a gastronomic picnic was ‘served’ en route.

DuVine and Charity It is not only luxury adventure they sell. Every year DuVine organises a 6-day and 374 mile charity bicycle ride along the Oregon Coastline. Together with several sponsors the ride is organised up until the smallest detail, all to support the promotion of the Arthritis Foundation’s message. And DuVine wouldn’t be DuVine if they wouldn’t add unbeatable ingredients into the programme-recipe: like sleeping in a camp in the Aquarium. √

Tourleader Camille “What a tour! Provence offers so much to see, from hilltop villages, vibrant lavender and stunning roman ruins, we experienced so much: meeting the mayor of Gordes, dancing to the sounds of gypsy accordion music, tasting great Chateauneuf du Pape wines, enjoying a truffle themed lunch, hitching a ride in a 2CV, seeing how olive oil is made... The beautiful Provençal weather, paired with some amazing rides, boosted spirits throughout the tour. On the final day we were invited to visit a private sculpture garden along our route. This special treat, and a walk amongst modern art, was enjoyed by all” share today | 01.2012 41


col u mn

El Zanjon, A vision In modern films it often happens that the last scene is displayed at the beginning and only at the end it is fully understood. That is what happens when you arrive at El Zanjón, behind an 1890 facade and a solid iron door; an impressive mass of ancient bricks and arches welcomes you into the origins of the city. This project, an example of ‘Rearchitecture’ was selected among the 10 finalists to the Gubbio Award (economic reuse combining preservation and innovation). It was distinguished with a special mention for the integration of important archaeological remains to the old urban maze. The architectural frame and detail developed to enhance this project was described as Timeless Architecture in the Journal of Architecture. UK 2003. Today it is a fascinating museum, also used as a venue for private events, (Corporate or Social). This is an unusual use of a Memory Site. But how did this happen? I can clearly remember that warm morning on December 1985 when I entered the abandoned ruin for the first time. It was almost daring to enter through a balcony and find an old mansion full of rubble up to the first floor. I stood there, amazed at the view of the old watchtower. I should describe my first reflection on that vision. ‘I have discovered the Past of the city.’ You cannot buy the past with money. You need time to have a past. These clear principles geared this Project through the next 25 years. Months later, destiny intervened with an accidental finding of a tunnel.

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COLUMN

narrated 25 years later The discoveries went on and on. Old cisterns, septic tanks, old walls and the remains of ancient houses going back to the 1700`s were shadowed by a series of tunnels running hidden under different properties that covered the whole block. Many of those houses integrate the complex today. It was only eleven years after the first discovery when a decision was made concerning a use that would conciliate the economic and physical sustainability of this ‘Object Singulier’.

I have tried to explain briefly what has been done in these 25 years of work, which constitute also a large part of my working life. I should mention that the philosophy behind this Idea was triggered by the concept of respecting the fundamental value, which in this case was the past of the city. The word Conciliation describes the way all variables apparently antagonistic, business & culture, past and present were handled. These clear principles geared this Project even though it is a commercial development.

While all these ideas were being developed and turned into a physical reality, a historical research was taking place to complete the educational objective of this site even when it was used for entertainment purposes. Special programs were developed to create edutainment, (education plus entertainment). The creation of poetry, literature, visual arts constitute now part of the new heritage that we have added to the one that was found at the site. All of these create subtle links to the past of this Idea Site. We have now a tangible object that has been recovered and an intangible one in constant evolution.

Today, 27 years after my first step into that ruin, I will be narrating this experience in the first Colloquium on Tourist Routes, between Memory and Development (UNESCO), to be held in Quebec. I should end my column with a phrase I mention almost too often: ‘You do not know what you see; you see what you know’ by Jean Piaget. It took me a long time to be able to see... I would be extremely happy if one day some of our readers visit El Zanjón... They will see because they already know.

Jorge Eckstein, a remarkable man we met during our visit at Buenos Aires (BA). An inspiring person who thinks out of the box and is a magical story teller. For sure you must see him and his creation El Zanjón when visiting BA for your next event. The location is superb as an extraordinary venue and with the mind of Jorge turned into a stage for your show, congress, dining place or ….. share today | 01.2012 43


Essawhere? Essaouria! T ext A nnemarie T he - V egt & P h otos A ctiv T r avel

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That Morocco is the ultimate incentive and event destination is already generally known. The imperial cities like Rabat, Fez, Meknes and especially Marrakech are well-known MICE destinations. Here you can find an ideal combination of the ravishing atmosphere of 1001-night with the riads, palaces, surrounding deserts and colourful souks with the availability of high level hotel and conference facilities. This does make Morocco distinctive from other destinations around the Mediterranean Sea. Today there is another destination within Morocco that can be added to the row of cities mentioned above: Essaouira. The old medina of Essaouira is listed as an UNESCO Heritage. Since centuries it is a harbour town of considerable importance. It has been a Portuguese establishment in the early 16th century, later colonised by France and the present city was built in de 18th century. This former hippy, historic, artistic, cultural and surf resort along the Atlantic Coast has recently been revealed as a new incentive destination. Main reason is the opening of the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa. This eco resort offers 5 star accommodation for incentive and conference groups.

Not just a resort The Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa is not just a resort. It’s the first eco resort of Morocco and is situated along a 4 km sand dune in an almost 600 hectare unspoilt nature Ž

reserve with 15 km of paths. The resort has share today | 01.2012 45


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everything you can imagine a 5 star property has to offer. The resort has an architectural design and reflects a perfect match between Moorish tradition and contemporary design, inspired by nature. It breaths, due to the concept Chic & Nature, elegant chic in combination with simplicity and authenticity’.

The expert We consulted Hicham Tahri from Activ Travel in Casablanca, a connoisseur in this area. ‘Essaouira is indeed an innovative destination for MICE programs. Many activity options are available however the local suppliers do not have the same incentive approach as in Marrakech but that is exactly the charm of Essaouira. WOW feeling could be worked around exclusive arrangements such as Meet the artisans, interactive workshops in a local riad where drawing and painting lessons are given by local artisans or Gourmet stay, a private visit to an Argan oil cooperative & the Val d’Argan vineyard combined with cooking classes. And for the sports lovers I personally will guide your group during our Atlastic tour. It is another way to discover the contrast of Morocco by combining skiing days in the high Atlas Mountains and a kite surfing stay in Essaouira beach.’ Quite a promise of Hicham! We challenge you to offer Essaouira as your next MICE destination. √

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foo d fo r t h o u g h t

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Share Today Magazine issue 1-2012