Monthly Archives: April 2011

Liverpool To Host The World’s Largest Cancer Surgeons Conference In 2014

One of Liverpool’s ambassadors, consultant liver surgeon, Mr Graeme Poston from University Hospital Aintree, alongside Liverpool Convention Bureau and ACC Liverpool , has helped to secure the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) conference, to be held from 14th – 16th September 2014.

ESSO represents more than 2,000 cancer surgeons from across Europe and the Middle East and with the conference estimated to bring in between 600-800 delegates to the ACC Liverpool , it is also expected to generate around £1.4 million in economic benefit for the city.

The ESSO conference is the largest gathering of cancer surgeons in the world. A special Lord Mayor’s reception will be held for delegates travelling to Liverpool.

Carol O’Reilly, Liverpool Convention Bureau Manager comments; “This win is a great coup for the city and a reward for our collaborative efforts in securing the event.”

We faced competition from capital cities including Athens, Geneva and Berlin, so quite rightly we are extremely proud to have secured such a high profile conference, which underlines our international reach and expert knowledge.”

Mr Poston, who has also been appointed as President-elect of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) continues; “A lot of hard work goes into these bids. Clinicians work very closely with venue management teams and Liverpool Convention Bureau to present the best possible bids for bringing major conferences to the city.”

“It is very competitive, but Liverpool’s worldwide recognition through music and football gives us an advantage. We are building on that by demonstrating that we can successfully host major events.”

Jacquie Rogers, General Manager of BT Convention Centre, part of ACC Liverpool added; “It is great to see the city being backed by members of the medical profession and with this kind of support and endorsement, ACC Liverpool is being recognised as a skilled and adaptable venue to host major association events of this nature. We look forward to welcoming ESSO in 2014.”

Securing the ESSO conference is the latest in a series of major clinical events to be secured by bids from clinicians across the city, with the support of the convention bureau and venues.

These include the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS) in 2008, the Association of Surgeons Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) and the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) in 2010, while 2012 will see the city play host to the UK Digestive Disorders Federation (DDF) which includes AUGIS and BSG.

Mr Poston, who recently won a lifetime achievement award for excellence in cancer surgery, added: “Success breeds success and the more times the city hosts clinical conferences, the more we can convince leading clinicians from across the world that they are coming to the right place to share best practise and help to improve the quality of care for all of our patients.”

Visit Fairfax Wins Big at 2011 Virgo Travel & Tourism Awards

Fairfax County CVB Lauded by the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus

Fairfax County, VA – Visit Fairfax ( was honored with four awards at the third annual Virgo Travel & Tourism Awards dinner, held Tuesday night at the Marriott Chesapeake in Chesapeake, Virginia. In addition to the three awards for the tourism organization’s advertising and PR efforts and a joint-effort put forth by the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium, Visit Fairfax’s marketing manager Patrick Lennon received the DMO “Rising Star” Leadership Award, which “honors a DMO tourism professional whose leadership efforts have greatly benefited the travel and tourism industry.”

In addition to Mr. Lennon’s award, Visit Fairfax received Virgo Awards in the following categories:

Advertising and Promotions – Interactive (web sites, interactive CDs/DVDs, kiosks, multi-media) for the Visit Fairfax interactive mobile app for the iPhone and iPad, which is available for download on the iTunes app store at

Public Relations Initiative (community awareness campaigns and community pride initiatives) for the National Tourism Week Job Fair held last May in conjunction with National Tourism Week, as well as our Travel Facts Brochure. Both efforts went far to highlight the benefits of tourism with regard to economic impact and job creation while also providing an opportunity for the Fairfax County tourism community to connect with prospective employees.

Regional Marketing Initiative (two or more cities, counties or towns that have established a program, event, or campaign that markets a region as a consolidated destination): As part of the Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium (NVVC), the award was bestowed to the group at large in recognition of the opening evening event of American Bus Marketplace 2010 held at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens and was attended by more than 1800 national travel professionals and tour operators selling group travel. The guests were transported in time and place to experience Northern Virginia’s rich mélange of tourism products available in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon, and Prince William/Manassas.

The annual Virgo Awards, presented by the Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (VACVB), are handed out to “individuals, groups, businesses and destination marketing organizations that significantly contribute to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s economy through tourism promotion and development.”

Visit Fairfax is the official tourism organization for Fairfax County, Virginia. Charged with destination marketing and tourism promotion, it is directed by many of the County’s top tourism and hospitality leaders. For more information, please visit

Portugal Opens in Brazil

After two years of careful planning, Lisbon-based, destination management company TLC has opened a brand new operation in Brazil and undertaken a complete rebrand at the same time.

“Behind the new branding sits a refined service proposition and skill set that is more aligned to the needs of today’s market” says Chairman, Diogo Assis.

The business model has proved to be a success with clients, one of the reasons they wanted to see a similar model operating in Brazil, especially given the increasing interest in the country by event organisers. Interest in Brazil is heightened due to Brazil playing host to the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.

The company has a team in place, headed by Miguel Assis, who has relocated to Brazil. He has responsibility for the international market and for Brazilian clients with events for Portugal. The company has opened with confirmed business, the first event operation to take place in May.

Full details can be seen on , the brand new website covering Portugal and Brazil.

Editor’s notes:
tlc is a privately owned company which has been operating since 2002. It has offices in Lisbon, Portugal, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The company provides specialist event destination services in Portugal and Brazil, including skills and know-how to conceive, plan and deliver custom events. In 2010, it handled 80 events with a total of 11,000 delegates.

The company has a global client base and two sales offices: one in North America – World Marketing Group (WMG) led by Jane E. Schuldt, CITE, and the second in the U.K. – Global Marketing Connections (GMC), led by Susan Scales.

events by tlc was an industry category winner in the recent M&IT Travel Industry Awards 2011 for Portugal

Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort Sweetens the Bahamas’ Instant Airfare Credit Promotion with Exclusive Savings

For a Limited Time Only, Travelers Choosing Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort for Their Bahamas Getaway Receive a $300 Instant Air Credit PLUS a Free Night,
Food and Beverage Credits and More!

Nassau, The Bahamas – Travelers looking to take advantage of the Bahamas’ $300 Instant Air Credit promotion should look no further than the exclusive offer now available at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort, valid for bookings made through May 9, 2011. The resort is combining the destination’s airfare credit program with its incredible Sunsational Savings package, offering travelers an impressive incentive to vacation on the white-sand beaches of Nassau.

With this new combined package, guests who book a flight and a minimum four-night stay at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort by May 9 – for travel April 24 through December 22, 2011 – will receive:

• 4th night free
• $100 food and beverage credit for stays up to five nights or $200 for stays of six nights or longer
• Complimentary non-motorized water sports including snorkeling, sailing and wind surfing

And, last but certainly not least, vacationers booking this package will get a $300 instant air credit!

The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is the perfect resort for a fun-filled Bahamian getaway. Vacationers can enjoy a romantic walk on the beach or a relaxing day at the resort’s spa, and families have the opportunity to take part in the “Love Your Family” program which offers unique complimentary daily and nightly activities for kids and adults. Also nearby and available to guests are the Crystal Palace Casino and Cable Beach Golf Club.

Easily accessible to travelers throughout the US and Canada, the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is located 15 minutes from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is serviced by a number of domestic and international carriers.

To book the Sunsational Savings package in conjunction with the $300 Instant Air Credit offer, travelers should visit and use promo code BAH300F.

Disclaimer: $300 Instant Air Credit is valid for new Continental US bookings for a limited time only, for travel 4/24/11 through 12/22/2011 to the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort. Bookings originating from US gateways require a 4-night minimum stay. Maximum one Instant Air Credit offer per room, minimum double occupancy, single occupancy is not eligible, and exclude government taxes and fees, including the September 11th Security Fee, up to $130, which must be paid at time of booking and are fully non-refundable. Baggage fees may not be included. Bookings originating from Florida gateways also require a 4-night minimum stay and companion airfare includes government taxes and fees. Blackout dates may apply. $300 Instant Air Credit applies when traveling from any city in the United States or Canada to The Bahamas. Offer is fully pre-paid and non-refundable, no changes to reservation will be allowed. Promotion is not applicable to group bookings or combinable with any other promotion. Both passengers must be booked for the same flight and itinerary cannot include voluntary stopovers. Offer is subject to availability and may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions and limitations may apply.

About the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort
Situated on a 1,000-foot stretch of one of Nassau’s spectacular white-sand beaches, the 694-room Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is set on seven exquisite acres of stunning waterscape, including three freshwater pools with flowing waterfalls, a swim-up bar and oversized whirlpools nestled among tropical landscaping. The resort houses six restaurants and lounges serving a variety of island specialties and international cuisine. The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort is 15 minutes from Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is serviced by a number of domestic and international carriers. Visit the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on Facebook and Twitter.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Notches Up Another Successful Year

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) recorded another year of growth for financial year ended 31 March 2011 with the number of events hosted at 1,181, an increase of 19% from 990 (events) in the previous corresponding period, and over 1.9 million delegates and visitors in attendance.

This in turn, saw its economic impact contribution to Kuala Lumpur city and Malaysia jump 68% to RM773 million, from RM460 million.

Datuk Peter Brokenshire , General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre , attributed the improved performance to better yield management, utilisation of space and quality of events together with a loyal client base.

All business segments ie, Banquets & Functions, Exhibitions, Meetings & Events, TenOnCall and Entertainment experienced growth while Conventions, maintained at 35 events, included such notables as the 6th World Islamic Economic Forum, World Engineering Science and Technology Conference, World Halal Forum and World Congress of Accountants (WCOA) 2010 which recorded the highest number of participants in the WCOA’s history.

The period in review also saw the Centre gain further international and regional recognition when it became the first convention centre in Malaysia to be awarded ISO 14001:2004 and the first in Asia; and one of only 12 AIPC centres worldwide, to receive the AIPC Gold Quality Standards certification.

In addition, it strengthened its ‘preferred venue’ status with investments in new products and services.

This included the upgrading of its state-of-the-art audiovisual (AV) equipment with the latest data projection, complimentary Internet services on three levels (of the facility) and expanding its ‘We Have A Deal For You’ (WHAD) with PlenaryOnCall comprising six per seat basis half-day and full-day packages for a minimum 150 persons for its 470-seat Plenary Theatre.

It was also good news for the Centre and the industry, when the Malaysian government gave due recognition to the business tourism industry by endorsing it as part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and approving a RM25 million Subvention Fund to increase its (local business tourism industry) competitiveness in the global arena.

Moving forward, the Centre is poised for bigger things as its owner, KLCC Holdings Sdn Bhd has committed to the development of Lot 91 adjacent to the Centre. “The expansion, with anticipated completion by late 2013,” said Datuk Brokenshire, “will open up opportunities for the Centre to attract and accommodate larger events.”

In addition, the Centre is looking forward to the completion of the upcoming 450-room Grand Hyatt Hotel and Impiana KLCC Hotel Phase 2 expansion project of 180 rooms to the existing 322 units. This, together with the ‘Greater Kuala Lumpur Development and Economic Transformation Programme’ that includes two kilometers of completed overhead pedestrian walkways linking major places of interests and hotels around Kuala Lumpur city and the overhead bridge linking Impiana Hotel directly to the Centre, will boost the Centre’s central location in the city centre.

Despite continuing investments in the Centre and the precinct, the Centre is not resting on its laurels.

“Cognisant of increasing competition, especially regionally, our strategy for growth will entail entering new markets such as the USA whilst continuing to innovate and develop products and services to offer new insights and experiences so clients have more options when considering the Centre for their events,” concluded Datuk Brokenshire.

Downtown Overland Park to host the Clock Tower Art & Music Festival

Art, music, food, drinks and fun are in order.

Overland Park, Kan. – Historic downtown Overland Park will be host to the Clock Tower Art & Music Festival, Friday, June 17 and Saturday, 18.

The Clock Tower Art & Music Festival is a high-quality art and craft festival, located on Santa Fe Drive, between 79th and 80th Streets. Art, crafts, great music, and delicious food will make your trip to downtown OP a wonderful experience. Enjoy an adult beverage while you peruse the art. And don’t forget to visit downtown’s unique and eclectic specialty shops while you’re here. As well, the Overland Park farmers’ market will be open on Saturday during the event.

FESTIVAL RECEPTION: Friday, June 17; 6-9 p.m.
A festival reception will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday evening on the clock tower patio in conjunction with downtown merchants’ Third Friday Art Market. The Art Market is a monthly event during which downtown merchants stay open late, some with entertainment and specials. Adult beverages will be available on the patio for the evening.
Jazz group Firehouse4 will perform on the clock tower patio from 6-9 p.m.

VENDOR SHOW: Saturday, June 18; 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
The art and craft show is open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jazz group BongoTini will performs 10-11:30 a.m. , and jazz fusion group Heat Index performs 12-4 p.m., both on the clock tower patio. The selection process for artisans and high-end crafters was to deliver an elevated caliber of offerings to this year’s festival.
States Deborah Crane, event director, “Our shops and galleries offer exceptional high quality goods, and this year we looked at the festival as a way to bring high quality art and upscale crafters to the area. There will not be resale or retail goods at the festival.”

For more information on the event or being a vendor, visit, or call (913) 642-2222.

About Historic Downtown Overland Park
Downtown Overland Park is a 25-block area, boasting a vibrant shopping and restaurant district that features more than 250 locally-owned and operated venues. For more information about Downtown Overland Park or any of its unique shopping, entertainment, dining, living and service opportunities, call (913) 642-2222 or visit

South Carolina’s Charleston Place Hotel Becomes Newest Member of Associated Luxury Hotels

WASHINGTON, DC – Charleston Place Hotel, located in the heart of historic and picturesque Charleston, South Carolina, has been accepted as a new member of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). Widely regarded as Charleston’s finest hotel, the 435-room hotel will now receive dedicated National Sales services and support by ALHI and its professional sales force throughout North America.

ALHI ( is a prestigious dues-based membership National Sales organization that represents more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts worldwide to the meetings and incentive marketplace. There is no cost to planners’ or executives’ organizations to utilize the National Sales services of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the organization to serve planners.

Spreading Wings of Access

“Charleston Place Hotel is a fabulous choice for meetings, and blends Old World charm with stylish first-class facilities in the heart of the truly great Southern city of Charleston,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “Ideally located within the historic centre of Charleston, the hotel offers exceptional meeting space, elegant guest rooms, and outstanding offerings like its beautiful spa and fitness areas. Now with much added airlift into Charleston from gateways around America — essentially spreading wings of access to the destination – we expect even more groups to discover this incredible hotel and marvelous city which provide gracious Southern hospitality. It is an outstanding choice for groups.”

Described as a perfect blend between 18th century style and 21st century comfort, Charleston Place Hotel is located in the heart of Charleston, one of America’s oldest and most charming cities. Featuring 435 luxurious guest rooms and suites, which includes rooms on The Club private concierge level, the hotel offers over 40,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 14,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Additional offerings include a full-service European spa, The Shops at Charleston Place with 28 world-class boutiques, a rooftop infinity tub, the Four-Star Charleston Grill, and the popular Thoroughbred Club which features live music.

Area offerings in Charleston include tours of mansions and museums, horse-drawn carriage rides, and historic monuments such as Fort Sumter. Antebellum Plantations, pristine beaches, and world-class golf courses are within 30 minutes of the hotel. Charleston International Airport is just 10 miles from the hotel.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for 25 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 100,000 rooms and suites and more than 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced National Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs.

Member hotels include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting and incentive resorts, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.

For a complete list of ALHI’s entire worldwide portfolio, visit On the site, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Diego, Savannah, Toronto and Washington, DC. Go to to identify the “ALHI Contacts” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2010-2011 ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit

Adding Value up to the Last Minute at IMEX in Frankfurt 2011

In the final run-up to IMEX in Frankfurt, which takes place at Messe Frankfurt May 24 – 26, the IMEX Group has announced a variety of additions to its program, including more exhibitors and a number of important new hosted buyer groups.

Among the key international hotel groups and 20 new hosted buyer groups already confirmed for IMEX, there will be some new groups with exceptional international buying power. These include a new group of buyers from Merck Global meetings, a company which has an annual meeting spend of $700 million. Another first-time group will comprise buyers from AC Forum who place and plan some of the world’s largest conventions.

US buyer numbers are also set to be higher than last year, fuelled in part by the launch of IMEX America in October as well as new association partnerships. These include an important group from IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. In addition, SportAccord Convention, the umbrella organisation for all Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations, which has 104 members around the world, will be bringing a hosted buyer group to Frankfurt for the first time. In total IMEX expects a record number of hosted buyers to attend the show, exceeding last year’s attendance of 3,870.

IMEX always welcomes hundreds of new exhibiting companies from across the world each year and 2011 is no exception. Amongst the new stands at the show will be Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, The Balearics, H10 Hotels from Spain, Gdansk Convention Bureau, Malla Travel & Trek Services Nepal and Dragonfly Africa. New technology exhibitors include Getyoo, PowerVote and Eventsforce. Exhibitors returning to IMEX in 2011 include Latvia, Riga Tourism Development Bureau, Hyatt Hotels, Costa Rica and Lithuania Tourism Association. Armenia also returns with their own stand following a successful participation in the IMEX Wild Card scheme in 2008.

A host of established exhibitors have also increased their participation this year by taking larger stands. This includes Thailand, Paris, Moscow, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Boston, Poznan in Poland, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Corinthia Hotels, Arosa Hotels, Air Charter and Compagnie du Ponant cruise line.

Chief among the fresh developments at this year’s award-winning trade show is a range of technological and social media tools specially designed to help buyers and exhibitors maxmise business and networking before and during the show.

New app and QR codes

A new mobile phone app, developed in partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and QuickMobile, will allow iphone, blackberry and android smartphone users to access additional information about the show plus have a direct link to their IMEX online diaries as well as links to the IMEX social media pages. IMEX has also been quick to develop QR codes (also known as 2-D codes or mobile tags) which the show organisers will use to share event and seminar information at point of delivery and also on information boards around the halls. The codes are easy to use and most smartphone users can download a free QR reader from their provider or apps store.

Developments aimed specifically at enhancing exhibitors’ ability to do more business during IMEX include the opening up of group appointments to all hosted buyers and visitors and the ability to send email broadcasts to targeted hosted buyers via the IMEX website.

In addition, for the first time the IMEX i-Meet Group will be open to all IMEX attendees including hosted buyers, visitors and exhibitors to help them make direct contact and connect with peers, prospects and suppliers in advance of the show.
This year hosted buyers will also have access to free wi-fi throughout the halls as a result of a new service courtesy of Destination Frankfurt Rhein-Main.

Professional education has the edge

The variety of educational events and seminars continues to expand at IMEX every year. Attendees will be urged ‘not just to attend IMEX but to be their best’ at the show. As part of its partnership with Meetings Mindset®, visitors will have access to a new Online Performance Center, which launches on April 11th. Here they will be able to set measurable goals for the show and also receive guidance on how best to achieve them. Onsite Meetings Mindset® will have an exhibition stand providing free brain training techniques and practical tips on improving meeting performance. There will also be a dedicated seminar, entitled “Are you in the Meetings Mindset®?” IMEX organisers will also be exploring the use of scent to enhance learning and concentration by installing a scent machine in one of the seminar rooms.

This year’s show offers visitors, buyers and exhibitors a choice of 80 different educational events, all free of charge and with no need to book (a full schedule is available online at As well as new ‘hot topic’ campfire sessions, which will provide short, informal learning to small groups on the show floor, three 20 minute marketing power sessions will also be provided especially for exhibitors by tmf dialogmarketing GmbH. These short, intensive master classes are designed to allow exhibitors and stand partners to release staff members for quick-fire professional education without interfering with their stand duties during the show.

Anticipating another strong turnout at IMEX in Frankfurt, Ray Bloom, IMEX Chairman comments: “Yet again we have aimed to both increase the strength of our hosted buyer programme and, importantly, the quality and buying power of those buyers who come to the show. As each year goes by, the global market changes and influential new markets and sectors emerge. We work closely with intermediaries the world over to make sure that IMEX is tapping into every last inch of potential these markets provide. What is more, we continue to invest in the technology that drives communications and business between exhibitors and buyers; the quality and type of industry partnerships we need to leverage and the relevance of scope of our educational offerings. As I’ve said before, IMEX is so much more than a trade show – and that is why many thousands in our industry wouldn’t dream of missing it. They know they can’t afford to.”

Play & Win a Trip to Switzerland!

Any idea where to place Montreux, St. Moritz or Lugano on a map?

Test your Swiss geographical knowledge and you could win a trip to Switzerland!!! Start playing now on!

Good luck!

Spring is in the Air!!

Spring has arrived in Washington DC and if you are looking for a unique venue to host your upcoming corporate dinner, client reception, networking happy hour or special event then the 20 F Street NW Conference Center is the place to be. Conveniently located on Capitol Hill and just one block from Union Station it’s the ideal location for any event.

The South Terrace with its spectacular views of the Capitol Dome and Washington Monument is the perfect place for your Special Event. It can accommodate up to 175pp for a standing reception and 120pp for a plated dinner and is the place where your guests can share an experience to be remembered.

The larger North Terrace which also has a Capitol View can accommodate up to 250pp for a standing cocktail reception and 150pp for a plated dinner. Call today to book your space 202-672-1515 or email For more information on the facility please go to our website at