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NEWSFLASH January 2017

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January 2017
In This Edition

Left Column

Australia, Brisbane: Tourism Australia's major Business Events showcase to be hosted in Brisbane

BestCities Gets Ready to Welcome Madrid to Global Alliance

Giving Good Launches as the Industry’s Go-To Community Outreach Resource

Introducing the First Sustainability Incentive Program

PATA invites Submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2017

Industry Digital Award driving international venue standards

Right Column

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

Click here to view past editions!

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

We hope you had a joyful festive season and a good start into the year. After settling back into business, it is our great pleasure to continue to deliver the latest industry news to you. In this edition, we’re looking into the 5 trends IMEX recommends to watch in 2017.

We are pleased to introduce two new resources to you:

PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) announced the launch of the business events industry’s Giving Good online resource – take a look at it!

Travelindex announced the first sustainability incentive program - Sustainable First - aiming to recognize individuals, companies and organizations making significant efforts and contributing to the environmental, social and economic welfare.

Award submissions are invited for the Industry Digital Award and for the PATA Face of the Future 2017. See the details in the articles.

Tourism Australia's major Business Events showcase Dreamtime will be hosted from 3 to 6 December 2017 in Brisbane, Queensland.

The BestCities Global Alliance will welcome Madrid as its’ 12th member.

Last, but not least – we have asked you to register your interest for a Hosted Buyer Event in Mauritius. We are very happy to inform you that the dates are now determined. The Event will take place from March 19 – date of arrival in Mauritius – to March 24, date of departure from Mauritius. We will follow up on this extraordinary event during the next couple of days – please stay tuned!

As usual, you are welcome to share this edition of NEWSFLASH with your colleagues and friends. Should you celebrate the Chinese New Year – HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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Australia, Brisbane: Tourism Australia's major Business Events showcase to be hosted in Brisbane

Tourism Australia announced that its signature event for promoting Australia as a world-class incentive destination, Dreamtime, will be held in Brisbane, Queensland for the first time ever.

As part of the Dreamtime program, Australian industry will have the opportunity to meet and do business with qualified buyers from key markets including Greater China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, USA and the United Kingdom during business sessions – helping to secure future incentive business for Australia.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said Dreamtime has a strong track record in driving real business outcomes for the Australian business events industry.

“Dreamtime is Australia’s largest business events showcase, and taking the event to Brisbane is an exciting development for a city that is continuing to raise its profile internationally as an ideal incentive destination,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

“The event has proven its value to the Australian business events industry, producing solid results in raising the Australia’s profile internationally and developing new business, with a survey of those who took part in the Dreamtime 2015 event so far confirming it generated over 60 incentive business leads worth AUD40 million.

“Dreamtime is unquestionably the perfect platform to showcase our country’s outstanding products and experiences whilst also demonstrating our industry’s event delivery capabilities to buyers and media from around the world,” Mr O’Sullivan said.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he was delighted Tourism Australia had decided to bring Dreamtime to Brisbane for the first time next year.

“Hosting Dreamtime again demonstrates our New World City’s ability to attract key business events,” Cr Quirk said.

“Dreamtime gives us the opportunity to showcase our vibrant hotels, venues, team-building offerings and leisure experiences to key global incentive decision-makers, who are responsible for bringing in large groups that support our tourism industry and broader visitor economy,” said Cr Quirk.

Brisbane Marketing’s Convention Bureau General Manager Rob Nelson said the bureau was proud to work with Tourism Australia to bring Dreamtime to the city.

“Having been successful for a number of years in the highly competitive association conference sector, we want to increase awareness of Brisbane’s remarkable incentive products and experiences. I think the buyers and media attending Dreamtime will be pleasantly surprised and inspired by what Brisbane and our surrounding region have to offer,” Mr Nelson said.

The Dreamtime program also includes a destination showcase, dedicated media event and networking opportunities to allow the maximum engagement between Australian industry and international business events buyers.

Dreamtime 2017 will be held from 3 to 6 December in Brisbane, with international buyers and media then continuing on educational visits to other Australian destinations.

Key Facts – Dreamtime 2015

95 hosted buyers and 21 media attended the Dreamtime 2015 event
94 per cent of buyers indicated they were either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the Dreamtime program
95 per cent of buyers stated they were more likely to send business to Australia as a result of attending Dreamtime
More than 150 pieces of media coverage were generated for Australia, with an estimated reach of 23 million people.
BestCities Gets Ready to Welcome Madrid to Global Alliance

BestCities Global Alliance is cementing its reputation as the world’s leading convention tourism destination partnership, with the announcement that Madrid is set to become its twelfth member in 2017.

Revealed today (10 January) at PCMA’s Convening Leaders conference in Austin, Texas, the Spanish capital’s Madrid Convention Bureau (MCB) has been accepted as the newest member of the alliance, which also includes Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

MCB is expected to become a full partner in spring 2017, following a comprehensive internal review to ensure the city surpasses the highest quality commitments required of all BestCities partners.

BestCities Board Chair, Jonas Wilstrup, Convention Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau said: “Madrid is one of most established and vibrant international conference destinations in the world and we are proud to welcome them into our alliance. The combination of the exceptional work by MCB, supported by the city’s premiere meeting venues, modern infrastructure and rich cultural offering, make it the ideal candidate to join the BestCities family.

“Achieving and maintaining a standard of excellence that surpasses our clients’ expectations is at the heart of BestCities offering. Madrid’s preliminary membership not only further strengthens the alliance and its profile in Europe, but will help BestCities build on its ambitions and commitment to help clients create lasting legacies for their organisations and events.”

With Madrid ranked fifth in the world by the ICCA International Congress rankings and voted “2016 Best MICE Destination” at the 2016 IBTA Business Travel Awards, MCB is one of the world’s most experienced and successful convention bureaus. During the last year, the city hosted 14,283 meetings, welcoming over 1 million delegates.

A popular destination for international association meetings, high profile events coming to Madrid in 2017 include the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology ESMO 2017, the European Congress of Medical Oncology EULAR 2017 and the 54th. European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association congress.

David Noack Pérez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau said: “Madrid is a lively and friendly city where everyone feels at home; at the same time, it offers a safe and comfortable setting where taking time out and doing business are equally enjoyable. Its rich artistic and natural heritage, cutting-edge transport network, quality accommodation, fine cuisine and the passion locals show when enjoying our city's day and night life make Madrid one of the most attractive cities.

“MCB is confident on the fact that becoming a member of BestCities will not only enrich our knowledge as a CB but also that Madrid can for sure enrich the excellent offer for holding events that BestCities represents. Our aim, in short, is to guarantee that in Madrid, each congress held will be a unique and successful experience and this association will contribute on it.”

MCBs’ preliminary BestCities membership follows in the footsteps of Greater Bogotá Convention Bureau, who became a full BestCities partner in April last year, the first Latin American bureau to join the high profile alliance.

For more information on BestCities and its upcoming events visit or @BestCitiesGA

Giving Good Launches as the Industry’s Go-To Community Outreach Resource

PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) announced the launch of the business events industry’s Giving Good online resource at Convening Leaders 2017.

This comprehensive online resource enables event organisers to find, vet and book community impact projects. This industry resource provides a snapshot of key information which organisers need to add a give-back element to their event. Features include the ability to connect with other event organisers, get additional information from destination service departments, or reach out to the community impact project directly for further information. Giving Good was design to be an organiser’s first stop when booking community outreach programmes.

Giving Good began with an Innovation Grant from ASAE in 2014, to assist in getting the project initiated. In 2015 PCMA created a beta site via their Conscious Meeting Project, initially launched at Convening Leaders in January 2016 with 13 supporting destinations. Immediately, the resource received rave reviews from destinations and event organisers alike. With the support of ASAE, DMAI, IAEE and MPI, Giving Good is well on its way to being an essential industry resource for event organisers. There are over 30 destinations now featuring their community impact projects on Giving Good and it is growing daily.

“We are thrilled to be able to launch this industry resource benefitting business event professionals looking to incorporative a give-back element to their event,” said Deborah Sexton, President and CEO, PCMA. “The support of the major industry organisations has catapulted this project to the next level expanding its reach to all event organisers. In the coming year, we look forward gathering and reporting on social impact data showcasing the many positive outcomes of business events.”

For more information on Giving Good, visit the industry website at

Introducing the First Sustainability Incentive Program

Travelindex announced the first sustainability incentive program; Sustainable First. Sustainable First is not a certification program but aims to recognize individuals, companies and organizations making significant efforts and contributing to the environmental, social and economic welfare of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Sustainability is central to economic growth. For the private sector, it represents greater environmental and social responsibility as well as a new landscape of business opportunity in particular for the tourism sector. Tourism plays a key role in delivering sustainable solutions and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has declared 2017 "International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development".

Sustainable First intends to inspire actions and strategies for moving towards a more sustainable pattern of development in tourism providing prosperity and opportunities for all. The program's vision is to make the tourism industry the leading activity sector in implementing sustainable strategies.

Bernard Metzger, Founder of Travelindex, said; "Currently, there are over 128 organizations offering certification programs and multiple challenges are associated with the current status of sustainability certification, i.e. the proliferation of schemes has lead to confusion among actors involved and consumers are unsure of credibility, reducing the value of the certification.

Bernard further added, "the recognition methodology used at "Sustainable First" is based on a 3-tier patented Travelindex algorithm and the Sustainable Recognition Index. They include crowd wisdom, self-assessment and expert opinions. Travelindex will work closely with recognized and reputable organizations in the fields of development, tourism, environment and sustainability."

Join in this exciting journey and send your ideas and suggestions to: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

PATA invites Submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2017

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is now accepting submissions for PATA Face of the Future 2017. The winner will receive complimentary round-trip economy class air ticket and two-night accommodation to attend the Association’s Dinner and Awards Presentation during the PATA Annual Summit, May 18-21, 2017 at the Jetwing Blue Hotel in Negombo, Sri Lanka. Deadline for submissions is March 17, 2017.

The winner will also be invited to join a panel discussion on ‘The Real Future of Tourism - Young Tourism Professionals’ and share their ideas with other industry leaders. The winner benefits from global media exposure via PATA’s far-reaching communication channels and will be invited to join the PATA Executive Board as a non-voting member and observer.

PATA is an organisation dedicated to human capital development across the broad spectrum of the travel and tourism industry. The primary focus of the Association’s Human Capital Development programme for 2017 is on the ‘Young Tourism Professional’

(YTP). The Association presents the Face of the Future annual award to an exceptional ‘rising star’ in the industry. All recipients of this prestigious award have exhibited initiative and leadership in the advancement of tourism as well as demonstrating commitment to the sustainable development of the Asia Pacific travel industry in line with PATA’s mission.

“PATA has always put great emphasis on human capital development within the Asia Pacific region and our Face of the Future award provides us with the perfect opportunity to showcase a young tourism professional who is making a meaningful and effective contribution to the responsible development of the travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “As the PATA Face of the Future the winner will lend a voice to young tourism professionals everywhere - not only during the panel session at the PATA Annual Summit in Sri Lanka but as a non-voting member of our Executive Board.”

For further information about the PATA Face of the Future 2017, please visit

Industry Digital Award driving international venue standards

As the deadline (28th February) approaches for the 2017 Global Digital Infrastructure Award, leading conference and hotel venues are invited to submit an application. The award has been brought to you by a partnership of leading international experts in the meetings industry. It serves to celebrate and inspire change in the digital infrastructure and services made available in meeting venues around the world. Now in its fourth year, INCON has teamed up with a broad coalition of strategic partners to support the development and promotion of the global award. The partners include: IACC, ICCA, Best Cities, IMEX, The Iceberg and media partner Association Meetings International.

The previous award winners: Austria Center Vienna, MCEC and Darmstadtium benefited from some impressive opportunities to showcase their venue’s technological capability and to present their venue as Best in Class through their award case studies. Roslyn McLeod, INCON Co Chair said: "by giving visibility to the venues that are delivering excellent services we hope to inspire improvements to digital infrastructure across all venues which should be of tremendous value to delegates, clients, meeting planners and to the broader meetings industry".

The Award judge Bob Heile is involved in more than eleven different conferences on WIFI and digital communications annually, where he tests at first hand the quality of digital communications in venues across the globe. He explains: "Events turn into disasters when venues do not appreciate the importance of crucial background services like WIFI connections. The Award offers an opportunity to showcase venues that have worked really hard to put in place excellent digital infrastructure which permits event planners to deliver even better meetings". Bob, together with an international panel of judges will review the award applications and the winners will be announced at IMEX Frankfurt in May 2017.

An application can be completed from the INCON website: There is no entry fee. All it takes for a venue to be considered is to fill in an application with full details about your venue and return it by 28th February 2017.

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.


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.


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.


‘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’.


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.


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.

Full details at


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