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NEWSFLASH January 2015

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   January  2015
Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

we hope you had a great festive season and a good start into 2015.


We all have been deeply shaken by the horrendous terroristic assassination on the offices and editorial staff of "Charlie Hebdo" and the kosher supermarket in Paris last week. In France, like everywhere, we are trying to cope with the stupefying attack on our society and our freedoms of press and opinion and we sympathise with the families of the victims. To us, the importance of living in mutual respect peacefully together with our neighbors – disregarding their religion, ethnic group or any other criteria – ranks high in our values.

We hold up our pens to honor all victims of the terroristic attacks.

When looking on our industry, we are featuring two stories predicting the year 2015 – 'IMEX Identifies Four Key Trends For 2015" and the "American Express Global Business Travel Predictions 2015". Both are essays of the original articles which are available in full length on our website.

In Asia-Pacific we feature two new venues – The Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview, Shanghai, China who has been confirmed to host the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner of IT&CM China (14-16 April 2015) and the ska Co Ex, in Pekanbaru Riau, Indonesia – Swiss-Belhotel Internationals first convention and exhibition centre.

Not to forget an important improvement for many visitors of INDIA! India has implemented a new Tourist Visa on Arrival procedure for passport holders of 43 countries if specific entry airports are used. See the details here.

In Europe, we have welcomed Lithuania into the EURO area on January 1; please see exchange information and rates for Litas – in case you have remaining local currency. At the same time, please pay attention to Convene - a meetings industry market place for the Baltic Sea Region taking place from 11-12 February 2015. If you have business interest in the region, sign up for the hosted buyer or visitor program.

And lastly – in France we see the protection plan VIGIPIRATE deployed to the highest level in the Ile-de-France – the Paris Region. Please see the list of measures taken within this level and adjust the timings of your event's elements that might be affected, to fully enjoy beautiful France.

As always, we deliver the news into your mailbox and the pdf edition of this newsletter is available for download. Do you think your colleagues and co-workers would be interested in this newsletter? Click here to forward this edition of NEWSFLASH.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
Mice Media Marketing
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IMEX Identifies Four Key Trends For 2015

The IMEX Group, organizers of the annual IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America trade shows for the global meetings, incentive travel and events industry, presents a round-up of industry predictions for the year ahead.

1. 'Play' Gives New Meaning To Profit

In 2014, 'play' was highlighted as a tool for unlocking creativity and new sources of competitive advantage that returned business. Predictions for 2015 indicate that up to 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as their primary mechanism for transforming business operations. IMEX America Keynote Steve Gross also advocated that "When people get together through meetings and events it is critical to deliver playfulness which helps them engage, connect and explore, to enjoy being there ... in the now."

The rise of "double bottom line" companies and entrepreneurs appears to support this trend. In the new business matrix where "profits meet purpose" it's often the case that playfulness, creativity and fewer corporate do's and don'ts are fundamental values in the mix.

2. 50 Shades of Apps

Apps continue to be 'sexy' (in advertising parlance) and their strength and novelty will be unbounded in 2015. However, the trend of apps is heading towards seamless integration of various media platforms fulfilling the specific customer and market needs, while providing real-time analytics and incorporating interactivity, such as live messaging, polling and other instant engagement and feedback mechanics.

3. Let's Take It "Outside"

In 2015 expect to see meeting spaces and formats going through even more of a revolution, as the principles of meeting design become more firmly embedded throughout the supply chain. Where WiFi allows set meetings free to 'roam' it also creates a subtle pressure to be 'always on'.

Suggestions vary from 50-minute meetings, allowing rest periods, and punctuality throughout the schedule, to walking/standing meetings. Research results indicate that workers are more engaged, less territorial and more collaborative when they're working on a project while standing upright.

The 'slow meetings' trend reappears with its principles of face-to-face meetings, no devices, no distractions and a focus on less, rather than more. Add a five-minute guided meditation at the front of your meeting and your gathering is now bang on trend.

4. Wellness Is Fit As A Fiddle

Beyond just drinking water, eating protein-laden nuts and taking a quick, rejuvenating massage, bringing a higher level of spiritual awareness, is starting to make its way into meeting keynotes, sessions and formats. When both Time Magazine and Forbes give space to a topic then it has surely 'arrived'. In this case it's mindfulness that's earning the "ink." Also, with leading proponents endorsing the business and spiritual benefits of meditation, the meetings industry and meeting planners have a great opportunity -- and importantly, the permission - to shift this new slant on wellness out of the spa and into the spotlight.

Many of the themes above will be reflected in the education programs and initiatives on offer at both IMEX in Frankfurt May 19 -- 21st at Messe Frankfurt and IMEX America, Oct 13 -- 15 (Smart Monday, Oct 14) in Las Vegas, 2015. -

Click here to read the article in full length.

American Express Global Business Travel Predictions 2015

American Express Global Business Travel Predicts Regional Economic Climates To Drive Air, Hotel And Ground Transportation Price Changes In 2015

Modest global economic growth and shifts in supply and demand expected to affect pricing across multiple regions.

American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2015 predicts air, hotel and ground transportation prices to be neutral to slightly higher across all regions in 2015. Looking at individual countries, the developments are expected to be mostly in line with that countries' industry and economy conditions during the year.

Improving economy in the USA States will likely cause price increases across all categories.

The mainly static condition in Europe is expected to vary only in the UK, where strong country-level financials and expectations cause continued growth.

The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience more moderate price increases, as China stabilizes. In particular, this will be reflected in tempered hotel rate increases for the year.

Limited new hotel openings in many major markets; air industry consolidation; a higher focus on yield management worldwide and a slight increase in demand will shift pricing power towards suppliers during the year. Buyers are recommended to analyze their companies travel spending to prepare supplier negotiations.

Regional development projections:

Region Business Class Economy Hotel Car Rental Base Rates
Short Haul Long Haul Short
North America 2% - 6% 1% - 4% 2% - 5% 1% - 3% 3% - 6% 3.5% - 7% 0.5% - 1%
Latin America -1% - 3% 2% - 5% -1% - 3% -2% - 3% 5% - 8% 5% - 7% 1.8% - 2.1%
Europe -5% - -2% -1% - 1% 0% - 2% -1% - 2% 1% - 6% 0% - 5% -0.9% - 0.6%
Middle East, Africa -2% - 0% -1% - 2% -1% - 1% -5% - -2% 1% - 6% 0% - 5% 1% - 2%
APAC Domest. 0% - 2% 0% - 3% 0.8%
APAC Intl. -1% - 2% -1% - 1%
Intra-APAC 1% - 2% 0% - 2%

Source: American Express Global Business Travel Forecast 2015

Please read the full report on

China: Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview Confirmed As IT&CM China 2015 Opening Ceremony Venue
  Property Outline
  Guest rooms 317
  Meeting rooms 12
  Breakout meeting room(s) up to 12
  Event/meeting space 2,800 sqm
30,139 sq ft

IT&CM China - taking place from 14 to 16 April 2015 – confirmed Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview as the Official Venue for the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner to some 1,000 delegates.

The hotel is located within 15km from the event's new venue at Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center of International Sourcing.

"IT&CM China is a very important event for the MICE industry. As a MICE-focused hotel and being the newest Marriott Hotel in Shanghai, we are excited about partnering such an influential event…" Ricky Lam, General Manager of Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview said. "As one of the latest additions to Shanghai's rapidly developing Zhabei District, Marriott Hotel Parkview exemplifies the growth and expansion of the city's MICE market. As an Official Hotel, we are looking forward to showcasing our impressive facilities to domestic and international buyers and delegates."

In addition, all delegates of IT&CM China and debuting CTW China, will have the chance to experience Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview during the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Dinner on 14 April 2015. As the official venue of this networking event, Lam promises an exciting evening of entertainment and dining that will leave delegates with a deep and lasting impression of the hotel. -

Indonesia: Swiss-Belhotel International Opens Its First Convention & Exhibition Centre In Pekanbaru

Swiss-Belhotel International has opened its first convention and exhibition centre, ska Co Ex, in Pekanbaru Riau, Indonesia, an international-standard venue for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions located in the heart of the city.

The global hospitality management chain will manage the facility, featuring four ballrooms, which can accommodate up to 3,000 guests and five function rooms, which can cater to up to 200 guests.

ska Co Ex is located in the business district of Pekanbaru, Riau, with convenient access to other business areas and the government district. Moreover it is situated in the same complex as Swiss-Belinn ska Pekanbaru and ska Mall, offering star-rated accommodation services and the largest shopping mall in the city.

Guests will have access to a complete range of facilities including VIP rooms and lift access, a bridal room, business centre, Chinese restaurant and a spacious parking area. With numerous distinctively designed meeting rooms and halls, ska Co Ex is expected to become the destination of choice for discerning meeting planners and organisers in Pekanbaru.

In This Edition

Left Column

IMEX Identifies Four Key Trends For 2015

American Express Global Business Travel Predictions 2015

China: Shanghai Marriott Hotel Parkview Confirmed As IT&CM China 2015 Opening Ceremony Venue

Indonesia: Swiss-Belhotel International Opens Its First Convention & Exhibition Centre In Pekanbaru

Right Column

France: Highest Level of Plan Vigipirate Deployed in the Paris Region

India: New Tourist Visa on Arrival Procedure

Lithuania joined the Euro area on January 1, 2015

Lithuania: Convene – a meetings industry market place for the Baltic Sea Region

France: Highest Level of Plan Vigipirate Deployed in the Paris Region

The entire world has been deeply shaken by the horrendous terroristic assassinations on the offices and editorial staff of "Charlie Hebdo" last Wednesday in Paris. In France, like everywhere, people are trying to cope with the stupefying attack on the freedoms of press and personal opinion and sympathise with the victims.

Beside the activation of the crisis management centers and putting the law enforcement forces on alert, the definite threat level also deploys military forces to reinforce police and gendarmerie throughout the country. Reinforcement of measures to detect explosives and of identity checks are deployed and parking prohibition zones around all schools are established.

Please consider these situations and allow adequate buffer time at airports, train stations and bus terminals and for transfers. Despite the shock and horror of these events – please keep in mind that this has been a highly targeted attack. The general situation in France is safe.


India: New Tourist Visa on Arrival Procedure

Tourist visa regulations for India have been eased for passport holders of 43 countries. Travellers arriving in India with the sole objective of recreation, sightseeing, casual visits to friends and/or relatives, short duration medical treatment and casual business visits if the entry airports are Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai or Trivandrum.

In order to obtain the tourist visa on arrival, visitors' passports have to have at least 6 months validity at the date of arrival in India and require at least two blank pages for stamps of the immigration officer. A return- or onward journey ticket and sufficient travel funding is required and an online application has to be registered between 4 and 34 days ahead of the scheduled arrival on the designated website.

A non-refundable visa fee of 60 USD will be charged online and the visitor has to produce the Electronic Travel Authorisation with him/her on immigration.

Visa on Arrival Facility is available for passport holders of following countries: Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

Visa on Arrival facility is not available to diplomatic/official passport holders or to persons endorsed in Parent's or Spouse's Passports, each must have an individual passport. International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or are of Pakistani origin must apply for a regular Visa at an Indian Mission. Download the Information Brochure here or visit for detailed information and online visa application.

Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa, Sochi

Lithuania joined the Euro area on January 1, 2015

According to the European Central Bank, the irrevocably fixed exchange rate is €1= LTL 3.45280.

Litas banknotes and coins can be exchanged within the indicated dates at:

  • • 330 post offices and some credit unions in Lithuania at the fixed exchange rate, free of charge, until 1 March 2015.
  • • All banks until 30 June 2015
  • • Certain banks will continue to exchange Litas banknotes until 31 December 2015.
  • • At other euro area national central banks free of charge, at the fixed exchange rate from 1 January to 28 February 2015. The amount that can be exchanged is limited to €1,000 for any given party/transaction on any one day.

Lietuvos bankas will exchange Litas banknotes and coins at the fixed exchange rate in unlimited amounts for an indefinite period. This service is also free of charge. Click here to find the addresses for Lietuvos bankas.

Lithuania: Convene – a meetings industry market place for the Baltic Sea Region

CONVENE is an annual business-to-business two day event for the meetings industry for the countries of the Baltic. It is an international showcase for the regional meetings industry which accelerates the interest in, and demand for, holding meetings, incentives and conferences in the region.

Launched by Vilnius Convention Bureau the event every year offers a fully hosted buyer programme which accommodates 160+ qualified buyers from whole Europe. Up to 100 exhibitors including convention bureaux, hotels, conference centres, special venues, DMCs, PCOs, specialist suppliers from Lithuania and seven other countries of the region (Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia Finland, Sweden, Belarus) are showcasing their meeting products and services. The event is supported by a major professional education programme and a series of high quality business networking events. CONVENE will offer a number of fam tours to Lithuania and neighbouring destinations that wish to host the international buyers attending the event.

With a strong focus on education and knowledge, CONVENE aims to equip the buyer and supplier communities with the tools to create more effective meetings and events.

Hosted Buyer registration: Now Open

Visitors: International and Lithuanian trade visitors and trade media representatives
Visitors registration: Now Open

Exhibitors: Exhibitors from all Lithuania and the Baltic Sea region representing the Meetings industry
Exhibitors' registration: Now Open

Mice Media Marketing, Farébersviller, France
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