Monthly Archives: December 2016

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.