Share your Knowledge and Insights with Global Meetings and Events Professionals

Speaker submissions now open for IMEX in Frankfurt 2017

The IMEX team is inviting speakers and topic experts to submit session proposals for the professional education programme at IMEX in Frankfurt 2017, which takes place 16 – 18 May. 

 

The sessions, which can be delivered in English or German, should tie in with one of the show’s 10 tracks: Trends and Research, Business skills, Diversity, Health and wellbeing, Personal development, Technology, Creative learning, General education, Marketing/Social media and Sustainability. 

 

In addition, the IMEX team is particularly interested in receiving proposals on event security, contracting and negotiation skills. 

 

The renowned education programme at the show is part of the IMEX Group’s commitment to advancing industry standards, supporting meetings and events professionals and showcasing important, emerging trends. The IMEX Group recently defined its mission as: “Our sole aim is to unite and advance the meetings industry – doing everything we can to educate, innovate and help our clients make powerful connections with the right people.” 

 

The aim of the show’s education programme, which is continuously reviewed and redeveloped in response to attendee feedback, is to provide meetings and events industry professionals of all abilities and experience with new ideas, tools and strategies that benefit their organisations, and their own careers. 

 

Elisabeth Pine from Pine Communication+Training, who was one of the speakers at IMEX in Frankfurt last year, explains: “I used to come here as a visitor for years, always enjoying the amazing education programme, so it was a real privilege to be able to give back as a speaker. The audience was attentive and appreciative and the networking opportunities fantastic. I’m already looking forward to submitting new session ideas for the upcoming show!”

 

The closing deadline for speaker submissions is 16 January 2017

 

Full details at www.imex-frankfurt.com/events/education/speaker-submissions

Asia’s Most Outstanding Venue

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Wins  “Outstanding Venue Award” At AFECA Awards 2016

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) General Manager, Alan Pryor, is all smiles after the venue recently won the “Outstanding Venue Award” at the AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations) Awards 2016 in Xiamen, China.

“We are honoured to receive our first AFECA award and very much appreciate the recognition from AFECA. This accolade recognises the efforts and commitment of our team and our philosophy to be the perfect business events partner for our clients. Of further significance is our constant commitment to investment in the maintenance and upgrade of our infrastructure in order to ensure we remain a market leader and Malaysia’s premier purpose-built convention centre,” shared a delighted Alan Pryor, the Centre’s General Manager.

“We have a huge passion for the business events industry which extends beyond our own venue. This is evidenced by our ongoing commitment to industry advocacy, professional development, environmental sustainability and product innovation, which elevates our contribution to the development of the industry supply chain,” Alan elaborated.

“This award and acknowledgement by our industry peers provides additional motivation for our team to continue to enhance our partnership philosophy to benefit our clients and the business events industry,” concluded Alan.

Organised by the Asian Federation of Exhibitions and Convention Associations (AFECA), the AFECA Awards is an annual regional event to promote business events industry best practices in Asia; maintain the high standards of exhibitions, conferences, events and related activities; and celebrate and acknowledge excellence in the exhibition and convention industry. It also recognises the contributions made by AFECA members in the global marketplace.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.

Prague Will Host the Congress of Congresses

The Czech capital will welcome meetings professionals including top planners from all over the world for the 56th Congress of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which will take place between 12 and 15 November 2017. 

Prague Convention Bureau and other Local Host Committee representatives received the formal handover from the 2016 Congress hosts during the Congress Closing Ceremony on 16 November this year, in Kuching, Malaysia, symbolised by the passing over of the ICCA Congress flag.  Delegates were treated to world-class opera singing from Martin Matoušek, a short introduction on why Prague has become one of Europe’s top meetings destinations, and an authentic Czech lunch menu, to introduce them to some of the delights that will await them at the 2017 Congress.

Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO commented: “Our Czech hosts really grabbed the opportunity to showcase why they were awarded the chance to host the ICCA Congress, not only highlighting Prague’s cultural appeal, but also by supporting the presence of a particularly impressive Czech technology expert speaker in this year’s education programme, to let our members know they will be intellectually stimulated at the 2017 Congress as well as inspired by the city itself.”

ICCA -the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities. The annual ICCA Congress serves as a platform for networking, education and best practice sharing for the association’s members and newly also for pre-selected association delegates from the meetings industry.

“Based on our estimates, around 1,200 event planners and association representatives could attend the Congress in Prague, which would be a record number in the whole ICCA Congress history. A key contribution of this event to Prague lies in increasing awareness about MICE opportunities of Prague and the Czech Republic and that not only among the Congress’s delegates, but thanks to the communication accompanying the next edition of the Congress among the professional community as well,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

Prague Convention Bureau with the handover of the 56th ICCA Congress launched also a year-long marketing campaign and social media contest “Bridge to Prague” to promote the capital as an important historical, cultural and business crossroad. At the same time, the campaign builds on the celebrations of the 660th anniversary of the laying of Charles Bridge’s – one of the famous Prague monuments – foundation stone next year.

About Prague Convention Bureau

Prague Convention Bureau (PCB) is a non-profit organization established in 2008. The company acts as an official representative of the Prague congress tourism and promotes the city as a one of the European leading congress destinations. Together with Czech tourism bodies, partners and members the PCB offers effective assistance in organizing conferences, meetings, seminars, exhibitions and incentive events in Prague.

About ICCA

ICCA -the International Congress and Convention Association- is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. ICCA represents the main specialists in organising, transporting, and accommodating international meetings and events, and comprises over 1,000 member companies and organisations in over 90 countries worldwide. ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities. For more information visit www.iccaworld.org.

For more information about the ICCA Congress visit: http://www.congress2017.iccaworld.org/

The IMEX A to Z of 2017: 5 trends to watch as the year unfolds

2016 was no slouch of a year for the meetings industry nor, indeed, for the world at large. Dramatic forces were at play and many of us shared a sense that, even if we wanted to grasp the pace or nature of change taking place, we barely had the time or the head space to do so. 2016 was pivotal – and it felt like it.

 

Looking ahead to 2017, IMEX has identified five trends which, starting at A and ending at Z, are anything but simple or linear in the impact they’ll have on the meetings and events industry. In fact, we already predict that by 2018 ‘clarity’ will be the watchword of the moment.

 

AI & VR

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) used to be the future. Then, over the last two years, the first VR headsets started to appear at IMEX (Frankfurt and America), with destinations and venues as the ‘early adopters’. By the end of 2016, both technologies had made the final transition from fringe to freely available. The future had arrived.

Grip, the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) event networking solution won the #IMEXpitch at IMEX America in Las Vegas. Elsewhere, at IBM’s World of Watson conference, AI was the ‘driver’ of a 3D-printed, driverless minibus that toured the show floor, giving passengers restaurant recommendations.

 

In the world of virtual reality, WorldViz, a behind-the-scenes VR company that’s been working on large-scale, enterprise solutions, launched its new platform for business communication. The project, codenamed “Skofield”, allows remote users to make cross-platform presentations in VR. 

 

Both AI and VR offer exciting new frontiers for suppliers in the meetings and events industry. Expect AI, and especially VR (not forgetting Augmented Reality), to capture both the imagination and the headlines in 2017.

 

Tech-connecting

One of the challenges of being at a large business event is the lingering sense that there are potential (and great) new contacts all around. But do we all identify, locate and then meet those new contacts? The rise of social media but, more importantly, of networking technologies and apps is fast changing our ability to satisfy that need. This urge to find and connect with ‘the right kind’ of each other at live events is what IMEX calls ‘finding your tribe.’

 

This trend is about both targeting and personalisation. Witness Loopd, winners of the 2015 IMEXpitch and (once again) Grip, the 2016 IMEXpitch winners. Equally, Zenvoy, partnered with IMEX to provide a pre, during and post-show ‘match-making’ service for buyers/attendees to meet or work with each other; a natural add-on to the show’s core appointment system, which enables buyers to meet with exhibitors.

 

Witness too the rise of snapchat and private messaging. Many of the big conversations at shows, conferences and other events are now happening online – and in private. Where social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram bring the immediate show experience – and audience feedback – to life in a dynamic way (especially with the advent of Facebook Live), Snapchat and private messaging services allow sub-groups and ‘tribes’ to find each other, talk and make plans in private.

 

As many of these tech-connecting services race to become the favourite, go-to brand of the moment, expect to see some triumph and scale up to great acclaim, while others simply don’t – or can’t – keep pace.

 

Disruption

‘Are PCOs and hotels prepared to manage the increasing disruption and challenges in accommodation services for international meetings?’ was the title of a hot-topic discussion at ICCA’s recent Conference in Kuching, Malaysia.

 

‘Increasing disruption’ aptly sums up the prevalence of disruptive forces not only in the meetings and events industry but also all around us. The ICCA discussion focussed on the impact of booking portals and event scammers with fake websites but Airbnb has similar potential to disrupt the traditional meetings space market.

 

‘Disruption’ could easily lay claim to being THE word of 2016.  Dr Kaihan Krippendorff’s PCMA Business School session at IMEX in Frankfurt – ‘The Outthinker Playbook – Devising Disruptive Strategies’ drew a large and eager audience, as did Jay Samit’s presentation ‘Disrupt You!’ at IMEX America 2016.

 

‘Disruption’ also describes the impact of unexpected political results in 2016 – namely Brexit and the U.S. Presidential election. Even though the fallout has so far been short-term, most organisations (in all industries worldwide) are on alert for the long-term consequences. Harking back to a favoured phrase from five or six years ago, 2017 heralds a sense that ‘disruption’ is set to be the ‘new normal’. 

 

Unsubscribing
Last year at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference, Professor Sir Cary Cooper said a compulsion to deal with messages caused UK employees to become less productive than many of their international counterparts.
“For people to be working at night, weekends and holiday on emails is not good for the health of our country,” he told the BBC. “We need to ban emails [sent and received] within the same building,” he said, advocating instead for face-to-face meetings and phone calls.

 

Independent research by Atos Origin highlighted that the average employee spends 40% of their working week dealing with internal emails which add no value to the business.

 

Add to that newsletters, social media notifications and e-shots and it’s clear to see why many people are eager to seize back their time.  In effect, this trend is a flight towards more authentic and meaningful productivity.

Expect unsubscribes and opt-outs to rise as individuals reclaim their inboxes, their sanity and their time.

In turn, the purposeful creation and appreciation of ‘no-thing’ time (using planning approaches such as White Space) will win more and more fans in 2017.

 

Zs

Workplace demographic shifts really gathered pace in 2016, with Generation Z now heading over the horizon.  By the end of this decade Zs will account for around 20 per cent of the work force.

 

Born in the late 1990s onwards, Zs were the first to grow up with the Internet and portable technology at their fingertips, virtually from birth! According to various research reports, compared with those born in the 15 or so years before them – Generation Y, the Millennials – they are distinctly different (hence their disparaging, alternative label, ‘Generation Snowflake’…because every little snowflake is unique).

 

From a communications and meetings perspective, Zs are tech-intuitive, tech-based multi-taskers and good at online collaboration but tend to have weaker face-to-face and social skills, are liable to be distracted easily and have a short attention span.

 

According to the 2015 Way to Work survey by Adecco Staffing USA, as employees Zs want financial stability (a result of living through recession and the burden of student debt), a dream job, entrepreneurial opportunities, a flexible work-life balance, regular face-to-face mentoring and plenty of feedback from the boss. In pursuit of this they’re likely to job-hop in their early years.

 

As an event or meetings audience Zs are set to place strong, new demands on planners, venues and brands. Whether they prove to be high value or just high maintenance, 2017 should reveal all.

 

The IMEX team is now inviting speakers and topic experts to submit session proposals for the professional education programme at IMEX in Frankfurt 2017. The sessions, which can be delivered in English or German, should tie in with one of the show’s 10 tracks, ‘Trends and Research’ being one of them. The others are: Business skills, Diversity, Health and wellbeing, Personal development, Technology, Creative learning, General education, Marketing/social media and Sustainability. In addition, the team is particularly interested in receiving sessions on event security, contracting and negotiation. Closing deadline 16 January 2017.

 

Full details at www.imex-frankfurt.com/events/education/speaker-submissions

Team San Jose Appoints Industry Veteran as Director of Sales and Destination Services

Longtime Team San Jose Employee Cheryl Little Promoted to Lead Sales and Destination Services Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Team San Jose is pleased to announce the recent promotion of
Cheryl Little to Director of Sales and Destination Services. Little has been with Team San Jose for
26-years and her expertise will help Team San Jose drive group sales and room nights.
“Cheryl is one of our longest tenured employees at Team San Jose and has been an integral part of our organization’s success from the beginning,” said Team San Jose CEO Karolyn Kirchgesler.

“She has helped us achieve our performance goals for four consecutive years and assisted in leading our team to exceed their sales goals during our convention center renovation and expansion when there was limited venue space available.”

Little will lead sales efforts responsible for the economic performance of the organization throughroom night production and facility revenue. She will also lead the promotion and selling of CVB services as a destination management company, including housing, registration and off-site events.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to take a greater leadership role for the sales and destination
services team,” said Little. “Over the past five years we’ve seen over a million room nights booked and I look forward to working with this team as we continue to build on our success.”

Little transitioned to sales when she began as the national sales manager for the state association market at Team San Jose, and served in that capacity for five years. She spent the next 14-years as Director of Destination Services, where she was responsible for an increase in sales year-over-year.

She also served as the Associate Director of Sales for six years driving the sales to team reach their performance goals for four consecutive years.

As Director of Group Sales, Little oversaw a housing increase of 104 percent, a 15 percent increase in registration and helped develop a unique venues program to bring conventioneers into San Jose’s cultural facilities and hidden gems.

59% Recurrent Clients for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre!

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) 2016 focus on its partnership approach and customised solutions have resulted in a strong retention of its client base. In the first 10 months of this year (between 1 January and 31 October), the Centre hosted 644 events, of which 59% or 377 were recurrent clients. These events have attracted over 1.01 million delegates and visitors and generated RM382 million in economic impact to Malaysia.

Speaking on the sidelines of IBTM World 2016 (The Global Meetings & Events Expo), the Centre’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Angeline van den Broecke explained, of the 377 repeat events held in the first 10 months, the Exhibitions segment was the venue’s strongest performer with 84% recurrent exhibitions. This was followed by the Corporate segment (made up of Meetings and Events, Banquets and Functions, and Entertainment events) with 327 repeat events. The Conferences, Congresses and Conventions segment recorded 47% recurrent events.

“We have found that adopting a customised, partnership approach builds better collaboration and assists us to deliver more effectively to our client’s objectives. This also assists us to help organisers maximise floor space, reduce build up and breakdown time and apply solutions to drive cost containment without negatively impacting on the content of the event,” Angeline continued.

This commitment to a flexible and innovative mind-set, resulted in numerous awards and accolades in 2016. This includes the “Best Convention Centre” at the Going Places Readers’ Choice Awards 2015 and “Outstanding Venue Award” at the AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations) Awards 2016. The Centre also received the AEG 1EARTH Greeny Award 2016 for its environmental sustainability efforts.

“While our partnership approach and customised solutions have been key to our success in 2016, we also placed great emphasis on investing in information technology (IT) and audio-visual (AV) upgrades this year to maintain our position as the most technologically-advanced venue in Malaysia and enhance our capability to meet the rapidly changing needs of our clients,” explained Angeline.

Upgrades completed in this year include the installation of LAN (Local Area Network) ports with a bandwidth of 1Gbps and a 20Gbps distribution backbone utilising single mode fibre optic cables, as well as the RM3.1 million (€665,000) investment to enhance the AV capabilities in the venue’s 21 meeting rooms – all designed to enrich the delegates and visitors experience.

Looking ahead, the Centre’s 2017 calendar of events includes various high-profile events such as the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2017, 7th Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE) 2017, 19th Asia Oil & Gas Conference (AOGC) 2017, Asia Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference 2017, Breakbulk Southeast Asia 2017, SME Solutions Expo & ITX Asia 2017, Asia Pacific Retailers Convention & Exhibition (APRCE) 2017, International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2017, Asia Petroleum Geoscience Conference & Exhibition (APGCE) 2017, 11th Congress of The Asia-Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society 2017 and 17th Asian Battery Conference 2017. These events are expected to attract over 500,000 delegates and visitors to the Centre.

Attendees at IBTM World are welcome to visit BOOTH H60 to learn more about the fantastic business event opportunities provided by Malaysia and why the Centre is the perfect business events partner.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.

Suntec Singapore Welcomes First-to-Singapore Events in 2017

The Centre showcases a strong line up with its annual 88 Key Events announcement

Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre has unveiled its annual 88 Key Events for 2017 as it comes off the back of another outstanding year. In 2016, the Centre hosted 1379 events and won 12 awards. With the Centre gearing up for a busy calendar in 2017, the roster of key events will feature large international and local exhibitions and conferences across a vibrant mix of sectors. A number of these events will be held in Singapore for the first time and have selected Suntec Singapore as their venue of choice.

Influential events held in Singapore for the first time include the 9th WCA Worldwide Conference, the most important global freight forwarding event that draws over 2,500 logistics professionals, BirdLife International World Congress 2017 that brings together the top 800 global conservation leaders from over 120 countries, and UFI Open Seminar in Asia 2017.

Mark Cochrane, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific, UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, remarked, “Singapore has long been established as one of the key exhibition markets in Asia. Singapore’s MICE industry is recognised around the world for its high standards of professionalism and for its world-class infrastructure. Suntec Singapore plays a key role in that well-deserved reputation. Suntec Singapore is known for its strong management team, its excellent facilities and its awarding-winning catering. For all of these reasons, UFI is very pleased to be bringing the 2017 edition of the UFI Open Seminar in Asia to Singapore.”

Well known for its outstanding and wide range of F&B choices delivered by its award-winning team of chefs, Suntec Singapore has always provided the perfect backdrop to host F&B shows. Speciality & Fine Food Asia incorporating Speciality Chocolate Asia, UK’s biggest gourmet trade show, will be launching its inaugural Asia edition in the Centre. “We will bring the vibrancy and excitement that buyers love about our London event to Southeast Asia. The team of professionals at Suntec Singapore with their impeccable service and appreciation of our business gives us great confidence of a partner who can help us achieve our goals,” said Christopher McCuin, Group Business Development Director, Montgomery.

As one of the most technologically advanced MICE venues, Suntec Singapore will once again feature core technology events like SEAMLESS Asia, the largest regional event on cards and payment with 7,000 tech and e-commerce professionals, and BroadcastAsia2017, the premier and largest broadcast and media technology show in the region.

With more than 17,000 attendees and 650 exhibitors expected, Mr Calvin Koh, Assistant Project Director (Communications Events), Singapore Exhibition Services – organiser of BroadcastAsia, remarked, “We have chosen Suntec Singapore for its outstanding facilities that is powered by cutting-edge technology deployed at the Centre. We are very impressed with the venue-wide, free high-speed WiFi and the comprehensive network of interactive digital screens that offer us the opportunity to better design the way we communicate with our visitors on way-finding and the daily show programmes.”

With about 60 medical and healthcare related events held at the Centre annually, Suntec Singapore, which is PhRMA-code compliant, continues to be a key regional hub for new and returning medical shows such as the 32nd Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2017, Asia Hospice Conference 2017, Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress 2017, Asia PCR/Sing LIVE, and ESMO Asia 2017.

Prof Wong Tien Yin, Congress President of the 32nd Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2017, commented, “Suntec Singapore has very flexible spaces that we are able to customise and configure to create ‘venues within venue’ for our programme, which require concurrent session rooms, exhibition halls and socialising areas. Being a vertically-stacked building, our delegates will always be close by the rooms that they need to be at.”

Completing the well-balanced mix of events are the consumer lifestyle, technology and entertainment events. These range from the well regarded Singapore Contemporary Art Show, the highly popular Singapore Motorshow, the unique Anime Festival Asia to the perennial crowd-pulling tech events of COMEX 2017 and ITShow 2017, and family-oriented shows like BookFest 2017, Baby World 2017 and Rise and Shine 2017. Rounding out the roster are live concerts which include world class acts like the Bryan Adams Get Up tour.

“We value the confidence placed in us by new and repeat clients who have chosen Suntec Singapore as the preferred place to meet,” said Arun Madhok, Chief Executive Officer, Suntec Singapore. “Suntec Singapore leads the industry through innovation and the relentless pursuit of excellence. We have successfully combined the ideal location, flexible meeting spaces, new technology, culinary excellence, and our team of dedicated service professionals to offer a seamless, customised experience for our clients and their guests,” he explained.

In 2016, the Centre had introduced a slew of innovations that helped organisers reap efficiencies. These included the private online accommodation booking service, the ImmersiveAV Suite with panoramic screens and holographic technology that transform audience experiences, and event traffic intelligence using WiFi data analytics to help organisers make data-driven decisions. In 2017, Suntec Singapore will expand its collaboration with strategic partners with the right expertise to deliver new value-added services that can help organisers significantly improve the dynamics of how experiences are created at the Centre.

“Suntec Singapore received 12 prestigious industry awards in 2016, including the ‘Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre’ from the World Travel Awards. We are delighted to be recognised by our clients and peers for our efforts and achievements, and heartened by their strong continued support which has resulted in the outstanding line up of events for 2017,” Arun remarked.

About Suntec Singapore
Suntec Singapore is the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre, located at the heart of Asia’s most integrated meetings, conventions and exhibitions hub. With great versatility featuring 42,000 m² of flexible customisable space, free WiFi, digital signage, an excellent range of culinary choices and a dedicated team of service experts, this award-winning facility can cater to events from 10 to 10,000 persons.

Only 20 minutes from Changi International Airport, Suntec Singapore is conveniently located in the Central Business District and just minutes from the city’s entertainment and cultural attractions. Suntec Singapore offers direct access to 5,200 hotel rooms, 1,000 retail outlets, 300 restaurants, 6 museums and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

SPIN Names Industry Veteran ​Rod Abraham as Executive Director

SPIN: Senior Planners Industry Network has selected as its Executive Director Rod Abraham, veteran industry leader and consultant. Abraham replaces Mike Vennerstrom, CMP, who served as interim Executive Director since January.

SPIN, founded by Shawna Suckow in 2008, has quickly grown to 3,000+ senior planner members who have at least ten years’ experience. According to Suckow, “SPIN is ready to move to the next level of growth, and value to both our planner members and our supplier partners. I know Rod has the industry experience, reputation, relationships and business savvy to help us do that.”

Bringing invaluable experience to the team
A charter member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), his service and recognition includes two-time Chair of the MPI Foundation board of trustees, member of the MPI international board of directors, recipient of MPI’s first-ever Appreciation Award, MPI International Planner of the Year and trustee of the Society of Incentive Travel Executives Foundation.

A former association executive, Abraham left his senior vice president position to pioneer outsourced meeting management services. He is also the founder and former chief executive of PMPN, the Professional Meeting Planners Network (now PlannerNet). Named one of the meeting industry’s 25 Most Influential, Abraham has been an advisor to industry groups and has served in numerous leadership positions locally, nationally and internationally. He continues his longtime passion of helping entrepreneurs start, survive and succeed as small business owners.

On a local level, Abraham’s service has included president of the MPI Greater Philadelphia Chapter and president of the Delaware Valley Society of Association Executives. He also chaired the Durham Convention Center Authority. He was named Planner of the Year by his Philadelphia-based MPI peers.

A sought-after thought leader, Abraham has helped lead several industry standards-setting initiatives and has served on advisory boards of Disney, Omni, Sonesta and Westin, the International Association of Conference Centers and Certain Software. He has been a guest lecturer at Drexel University, University Nevada-Las Vegas, Virginia Tech, East Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte.

Rod now brings his years of expertise to help SPIN. “I am excited, energized and anxious to get started. I look forward to working with Shawna, her team and the many volunteer leaders whose commitment has achieved an impressive foundation for future growth.”

For more information:
Shawna Suckow – Shawna@spinplanners.com, 651.470.0066
Rod Abraham – Rod@spinplanners.com, 919.280.0889

Business cities expert, Greg Clark, announced as IMEX in Frankfurt 2017 keynote

Greg Clark, a leading advisor, advocate and mentor on cities and businesses will be the keynote speaker at the IMEX in Frankfurt Opening Ceremony 2017, and will also speak at the show’s industry-leading advocacy event, the IMEX Politician’s Forum.


With an increasing number of destinations around the globe consistently understanding the full power and impact of their ‘beyond tourism’ benefits, his contribution is likely to be widely anticipated.    


Greg holds many high-level positions and honours including Chairman of the Business of Cities and Chairman of the OECD LEED Forum on Local Development and Investment Strategies. He is a Global Fellow of the Metropolitan Programme and Global Cities Initiative at The Brookings Institution, Professor and co-Chairman of City Leadership Initiative’s Advisory Board at University College London, and a Senior Fellow at the European Urban Land Institute.


Rod Cameron, Executive Director at the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), who is instrumental in planning the Forum programme, explains:


“From his position as a global authority and advisor on city development, Greg Clark has come to appreciate the fundamental role that conferences, conventions and exhibitions play in facilitating the transitions and advancements cities and countries must make in order to pursue their economic and social development aspirations.


“At IMEX in Frankfurt, he will explain how this knowledge can be used to strategic advantage by governments, and his participation is another significant step toward the broadening appreciation of the meetings industry as an instrument of global economic and societal advancement at a time when this has become particularly critical in maintaining international progress.”


For more than a decade, the IMEX Politicians Forum has brought meetings industry leaders together with representatives of governments and government agencies to provide a platform for dialogue and a focus for advocacy efforts. In recent years, the Forum has gained more momentum, reflecting a new awareness and appreciation of the importance of political advocacy among destinations worldwide.


Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, adds: “As a global cities expert, Greg has significant insight into the role of meetings and events in transforming the economic future of cities across the world. He is one of many expert speakers and innovations we have lined up for the show, which promise to deliver unparalleled insight, education and business opportunities.”


Political advocacy remains high on the agenda at IMEX, and the Politicians Forum will once again bring together 40+ politicians, including national and regional government ministers, and political influencers plus 80 industry leaders. It is one of several of the show’s major features to receive a new format and new speakers for 2017. These include Association Day, which will have a tightly tailored new programme, and Exclusively Corporate, the show’s dedicated education and networking day for in-house (corporate) meetings planners and directors, which has also been carefully redesigned.


IMEX is also set to announce a series of new educational initiatives in the new year.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Gains EarthCheck Certification For The Tenth Consecutive Year

“Gaining our 10th consecutive EarthCheck Bronze certification affirms our commitment to being an internationally recognised convention centre that operates its business in a responsible and sustainable manner. It also reflects our support of the long-term sustainability goals of the business events industry in Malaysia,” explains Pryor.

The EarthCheck certification encompasses 8 areas of assessment, Policy, Energy, Water, Waste Sent to Landfill, Community Commitment, Paper Products, Cleaning Products and Pesticide Product.

“The effort and dedication demonstrated by every team member is integral in our endeavour to maintain this globally-recognised and respected certification. The benchmarks set by EarthCheck are a strong motivator for us to continue implementing sustainable best practices into our business operations.”

According to Pryor, three of the Centre’s areas of assessment including, waste sent to landfill, paper products and cleaning products were 91%, 100% and 100% above the best practice level, which received a star rating.

Over the next 12 months, the Centre aims to achieve best practice level in the remaining assessment areas, he concluded.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.