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NEWSFLASH November 2015

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November 2015
 
Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

We’re almost at the end of 2015 and many of us are already looking into the next year. In many regions, strengthened demand gives reason to look forward to a good year in our industry. A record-breaking IMEX America is just past us and a promising ibtm world is opening its doors in just 2 weeks.

Great repeated awards have been received by Quito, Ecuador and Suntec Singapore during the last month and Visit Britain reports record numbers. Major investments are reported in Germany – Bonn, Leipzig and Berlin - and planned in Las Vegas.

If you are interested in Dubai, please note the Meeting & Incentive Forum Europe with its 2016 spring edition in Dubai. And if you have not applied for the MICE East Africa Expo & Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, please click here to apply: survey.micemm.com/index.php/374368/lang-en.

Do you plan meetings or incentives to Mexico? Readers in North America will soon receive an email from MICE Media Marketing requesting participation in a detailed survey of meetings potential for Mexico. I am confident the professional Meeting/Incentives planners we reach will join in this valuable research.

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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Group Interaction - the Key to Success of Face To Face Meetings

The key to the success of face to face meetings is group interaction, according to research conducted by imago in conjunction with Loughborough University and The Right Solution.

The research - Does the future have room for face-to-face communication - was conducted earlier this year amongst a sample of more than 750 event organisers, delegates, graduate and undergraduate students.

Eighty-eight percent of each group said that group interaction and discussion was the top benefit of meeting face to face in a learning environment, whilst 67% said knowledge sharing was another key benefit and 60% reported fewer communication barriers when meeting face to face.

Other results included:

48.4% of event organisers said face to face communication meant there were fewer distractions leading to greater concentration
22.1% of students said face to face communication allowed them to remember messages for longer
Face to face communication allowed delegates to read facial expressions and body language

imago's head of sales and marketing Emma Boynton says the research forms an important part of how the organisation will make meetings more successful for their clients. She comments: "In a modern world where we rely heavily on technology to conduct day to day business, our research highlights the importance of taking time away from the office to meet with our peers face to face. In particular, group interaction is key in making business meeting successful -- participants can retain knowledge for longer and they can read body language and facial expressions so there are no barriers to communication."

"We felt it was important to include students, particularly those on courses such as Loughborough University's MBA, in the research because they are the future of the meetings industry. They provide us with insight into the minds of future leaders, event delegates and organisers. The data gathered will allow us to create an environment in which successful outcomes from meetings can be achieved, providing organisers and delegates with a greater return on investment."

The research was undertaken by Loughborough University and imago. The Right Solution provided methodology, analysis and validation of the research which was conducted amongst 779 respondents using a mixture of focus groups, online and face to face questionnaires.

The final research paper is available to download from http://go.welcometoimago.com/meet-the-future. Follow the debate and share thoughts about the research on Twitter via #futureF2F

imago unifies Loughborough University's conference and events venues under one brand offering high quality meeting spaces, venues and accommodation along with excellent sports and leisure facilities. imago manages the AIM Gold accredited Burleigh Court and Holywell Park as well as Loughborough University's conference and events facilities and The Link Hotel.

www.welcometoimago.com

Visit the Philippines, where fun works.

Visit the Philippines, where fun works.

Studies show that spending time under the morning sun improves your health. Taking a break outdoors leads to better focus indoors. And smiling produces endorphins, which help you have more fun – even at work.

Here in the Philippines, we understand that your surroundings can affect the way that you do business. We know that world-class convention centers and world-famous beaches will give you the best of both worlds.

So for your next convention or business event, come visit our wonderful islands.

For more information on how we can make fun work for you, visit www.funworks.ph.

You can also e-mail us at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! or call (632) 5251153. Our office is at the 4th floor of Legaspi Towers 300, Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines.

Strong demand and line-up for IMEX in Frankfurt 2016

New educational initiatives, new exhibitors and high demand from across the industry are already laying down strong foundations for IMEX in Frankfurt 2016, taking place at Messe Frankfurt on 19 - 21 April 2016, one month earlier than usual.

Demand for the show from returning and new exhibitors continues to be exceptionally high from destinations, venues and service providers from across the world. Following the success of the 2015 hosted buyer programme – with 98% of buyers agreeing that they achieved their objectives at the show – a number of new hosted buyer groups have also already been confirmed. Plans to further develop the hosted buyer programme –including increasing the amount of time buyers spend at the show – will be announced later in the year.

The new education initiatives already confirmed are designed to meet the interests of the industry at different levels and to cover several key trends, including a new track on personal development, plus enhancements to the CSR and wellbeing programme.

A high level panel discussion on the rapidly developing sharing economy and its potential role in the meetings and events sector will be held on Wednesday 20 April. Reflecting on the growth of businesses such as Airbnb, Uber and Bookalokal, this session will look at how the industry can adapt to this trend and use it co-operatively. There will also be additional sessions on this theme at the Inspiration Hub during the show.

Also at a senior level will be the first PCMA Business School in Frankfurt providing MBA standard education presented by a university professor. This follows the successful implementation of PCMA’s signature Business School programme at IMEX America.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented: “We have worked hard to innovate and develop IMEX in Frankfurt from all angles – looking at the show experience for hosted buyers, exhibitors and other visitors. These innovations will be seen across the show – from small details in the hosted buyer lounge – to larger events and educational initiatives. As the industry continues to develop we are determined to ensure that IMEX in Frankfurt not only provides the industry with the business opportunities that it expects, but also provides buyers and suppliers alike with insights, new knowledge and inspiration for their own programmes, businesses or events.”

www.imex-frankfurt.com

Do You Plan Meetings to Mexico?

Global Meetings & Tourism Specialists, LLC, with partner, STA Consultores, SC, has just been awarded the Economic Impact Study project, sponsored by Mexico Tourism Board. The study will measure the economic impact of the meetings industry arriving to Mexico from North America, as well as globally.

MICE Media Marketing has been selected to assist in distribution of a detailed survey to gather information, history, booking patterns and trends for MICE business to Mexico. Readers of MICE Media Marketing in North America will soon receive a request to participate in this survey.

Eduardo Chaillo, owner Global Meetings & Tourism Specialists, LLC, has a long history in the MICE sector of tourism to Mexico, working for more than 12 years at the Mexico Tourism Board, ending as Executive Director for the Meetings and Incentive Industries in Washington DC responsible for developing alliances with all organizations, associations from the MICE arena. He now runs his own consultancy to the MICE and tourism industry.

Chaillo recently was given the JMIC’s Profile and Power Award, was recognized by Successful Meetings Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry. He was recognized as one of the Inductees for the CIC’s Hall of Leaders 2013 class.

www.gmtspec.com

Hosted Buyer Invitation:
MICE East Africa Forum & Expo 2016
9-11 June 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The first MICE industry trade show in East Africa will take place from June 6-9, 2016 at the Millenium Special Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The three-day event will offer 150 hosted buyers the opportunity to meet with more than 100 of the region’s top suppliers.

Attending the MICE East Africa Forum & Expo will allow you to experience Addis Ababa’s MICE infrastructure and the cities top level suppliers and meet with the major Ethiopian tourism offices; the East and Central African country tourism organizations, airlines, hotels and resorts with suitable MICE facilities, local venue providers and vendors, professional conference and event organizers, destination management companies etc.

The Hosted buyer programme includes round trip air tickets to/from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,u p to 4 night hotel accommodation during the show, free admission to the exhibition hall, the East Africa Innovation Center, the event’s networking functions, food & beverage services of the event, ground transportation and a minimum of 25 valuable business appointments during the 3-day event.

Information on micemm.com/index.php/hosted-buyer-events/mice-east-africa-forum-expo

Click here to apply: survey.micemm.com/index.php/374368/lang-en

Canada: Vancouver Convention Centre Launches Fresh New Website

It's a fresh way of looking at things. The Vancouver Convention Centre is proud to launch a refreshed website that offers innovative new tools and features for planners, exhibitors and attendees.

"After debuting our original website six years ago when we opened the Vancouver Convention Centre's West building, we know it's time to present something new and exciting for our clients, our partners and our community," said Claire Smith, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Vancouver Convention Centre. "We want to offer an enhanced user experience with our new site, providing practical tools and innovative technology features, and at the same time, resources that inspire meeting professionals."

The refreshed website features brand new online floor plans utilizing Google Streetview of the function spaces; simplified architecture for ease of navigation and flow; a dynamic homepage with live social media and news feeds; as well as an enhanced event calendar. The site is also optimized for an efficient and elevated mobile and tablet user experience.

Also new to the website is the Convention Centre blog, Inspired.
"We have always been proud to have a facility that is designed to inspire -- from our setting and views to our architecture and service," explained Smith. "In turn, the events we host inspire us on a daily basis. Our blog is a new platform to share ideas and innovations we observe from our events, as well as trends and tips that will provoke new thinking to help planners elevate their events."

"The Vancouver Convention Centre has always been in tune with the needs of the marketplace and the revamped website not only exceeds the needs of planners, it also deeply responds to the needs of delegates who are seeking very specific information," said Tahira Endean, Conference Producer, BC Innovation Council #BCTECH Summit. "I appreciate the understanding for both needs and applaud them on the work they have done to serve these needs."

www.vancouverconventioncentre.com

Ecuador, Quito: Leading South American Destination For Third Consecutive Year

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was awarded the "Leading South American Destination" distinction by the World Travel Awards for a third year in a row at the ceremony held in Bogotá, Colombia on October 10th. This award is considered "the Oscar of Tourism", it acknowledges Quito as a destination of excellence for travellers.

To win “Leading South American Destination” for the third time is the result of the arduous work performed by the Municipality of Quito through the Quito Turismo Metropolitan Company, both in the promotion and development of tourism, and in the different activities carried out in order to capture online votes.

Quito Turismo implemented several promotional activities with tour operators, hotels, universities, and private companies, between April and August 2015, in order to incentivize those Quiteños that are part of, or associated with, these organizations, to vote. 32 organizations involved in tourism were approached to obtain their staffs' votes. 7960 votes were gathered as a result of all the promotional activities performed.

The joint effort by the public and private sectors consolidates a coordinated work trajectory to strengthen touristic activity in Quito, with the current goal of positioning the city as a convention and conference destination, given that construction of the new Convention Center is set to begin, and Quito shall also host Habitat III, the United Nations' world urbanism conference.

www.quito.com.ec/en | www.quitoconventions.com.ec

Germany, Bonn, Leipzig + Berlin: Big Investments In New & Expanded Venues To Welcome Large Delegate Groups

Looking for spaces to accommodate as many as 1,500, 5,000 or even 12,000 delegates? A new main building at the World Conference Center in Bonn, the renovated KONGRESSHALLE am Zoo Leipzig and a second hall at Estrel Berlin, and the TITANIC Business Hotel Berlin are ready to serve the purpose.

Right now, or by the end of this year, planners have four new meeting venue choices in the cities of Bonn, Leipzig and Berlin --especially for larger delegate counts.

The World Conference Center Bonn (WorldCCBonn) has invested over $100million USD / €100million to create a new main Building unveiled this past June. Together with the existing Waterworks and Plenary Building, this new space can accommodate up to 5,000 delegates, and there are also four modular conference rooms with separate foyers to mix and match. This new contemporary Building combines seamlessly with neighbouring historic buildings, surrounding lawns, views of the Rhine River, and state of the art technology to deliver the whole package.

In Leipzig, working on the wild side is easy within the newly renovated KONGRESSHALLE, situated directly next to the Leipzig Zoo -- known as one of the world's most advanced zoos for its scientific excellence and 850-strong animal species and subspecies community. After investing $37million+ USD / €37 million in reconstruction and restoration, the 19th century KONGRESSHALLE building has been reborn, providing a historic yet state of the art meeting location in the heart of the city. The venue features a variety of design styles from contemporary and historic ... to art nouveau and art deco, and it includes 15 well equipped rooms and halls that holds 10 -- 1,200 people. It will host the International Congress of Zookeepers this month.

If Berlin is more your style, look to the popular Estrel Berlin which just added a new hall. Convention Hall II, which commanded a more than a $30million USD / €30 million investment, is located right next to the existing Berlin Congress and Messe Center and can accommodate up to 5,200 people. Together with Hall I, which has 60 conference rooms of all sizes, the Estrel Berlin now offers over 25,000 sq. m / 269,100 sq. ft. of space for galas, shows, concerts and conventions with capacities for up to 12,000 participants. The Estrel Berlin also features the Estrel Hotel with 1,125 rooms and the Estrel Festival Center theatre.

Finally, the new TITANIC Business Hotel Berlin, centrally located on the culturally-charged Chausseestrasse, will offer nearly 27K ft / 2,500 sq. m of meeting and event space with a 19K+ ft / 1,800 sq. m ballroom, 15 conference rooms and 389 guest rooms (including 14 suites). This property is the third venture by Turkish-German TITANIC Group in Berlin and ; it and will feature an authentic Turkish hammam (bath) and an indoor swimming pool.

www.gcb.de/en | www.germany-meetings.com

Great Britain: Record Number of Visits and Spend By International Visitors

The number of international visits to Britain continue to grow, with visitors spending more and inbound tourism setting new records for visits in the first six months of 2015 and very strong Quarter 2 (Q2) figures from the Office of National Statistics* show.

Britain has welcomed 3% more visits over the first six months of 2015, beating last year's record figures for the same period.

Spending in the first six months of 2015 increased by 2%, contributing £9.5bn to the UK economy. The English regions, outside London, were big winners with a 6% increase in both visits (4,049,000) and spend (£1.858bn) in Q2 compared to 2014.

Visits from Britain's two most valuable markets, USA and Germany, spent record amounts in the first six months, with visitors from India, Singapore and Sweden also increased their spending during this period and visitors from China, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates markets have indicated their growing love of Britain as a holiday destination with record numbers visiting during the first six months of 2015.

Strength in the numbers of visits from growth markets such as China -- rising 28% to a record 90,000 in the first half of the year - and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with record numbers of visits, 282,000 (2% rise), and spend of £677 million (up 3%) indicates the success of regional VisitBritain campaigns and commercial partnerships in both markets.

The number of visits from the US was up 3% to 1.4 million compared to the first six months of 2014, with spend up 2% to £1.3 billion -- a record on spend for any first six months, and a sign of the strengthening US economy. Italians and Belgians have also seen record numbers coming to the UK for the first six months of any year.

Business visits especially show signs of a strengthening recovery, with visits up 11% in the first six months, setting a new record of 4.4 million, the highest number of business visits ever in the first half of the year. Spend by this journey purpose has also been strong, up 17% compared to the first six months of 2015 - a record £2.6 billion.

The strength of Q2 inbound visitor numbers of 9.9 million (up 5% on last year) was bolstered by the even larger spend of almost £5.8 billion during visits between April and June, up by 7% compared to Q2 2014, which means the average spend per visit in Q2 rose from £573 last year to £584 in the same period this year.

Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy & Communications said: "The UK continues to be a draw to all visitors and the increase in business visits reflects the return to the UK as a place to come and do business. It is heartening to see the growth in visitor spend and numbers for Q2 as we continue to compete in an environment of shifting exchange rates. It is also positive to see record visits from China and the GCC and a continued return to growth from North America market, our most valuable market, during the first six months of this year."

www.visitbritain.org

*Source: International Passenger Survey, Office for National statistics
All spend is nominal

Singapore: Suntec Singapore Wins Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre

Award for the 10th Consecutive Year

Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre (Suntec Singapore) once again emerged as Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre at the 22nd Annual World Travel Awards (WTA). Held at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, Suntec Singapore picked up the award for the tenth consecutive year, reaffirming its regional market leadership position.

“Suntec Singapore is thrilled to be the leading meetings and conference centre in the region once again. This honour will spur us to greater heights to be the most innovative and client-focused venue. With our flexible, customisable spaces and cutting edge technology, we have delighted our clients by delivering a seamless customised experience where everything just works”, said Arun Madhok, CEO of Suntec Singapore.

The World Travel Awards is in its 22nd year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade. The award recognises and celebrates those organisations that push the boundaries of industry excellence. The Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony welcomed hundreds of industry professionals from around the region. The Awards will culminate in the Grand Final Gala Ceremony in Morocco.

World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke: “It is a pleasure to present Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre with the World Travel Awards trophy for Asia's Leading Meetings & Conference Centre for the tenth consecutive year. This is an incredible achievement and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the whole team there. I look forward to welcoming Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre to our Grand Final in Morocco later this year for our Grand Final 2015.”

Arun Madhok added, “It is a great honour to have received this tremendous vote of confidence and support from all our customers and partners for the past ten years. Winning this prestigious award this year is especially significant because we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary. I would like to dedicate this award to the outstanding team of MICE professionals at Suntec Singapore who have all contributed to this extraordinary achievement.”

Suntec Singapore is 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.

www.suntecsingapore.com

 
In This Edition

Left Column

Group Interaction - the Key to Success of Face To Face Meetings

Strong demand and line-up for IMEX in Frankfurt 2016

Do You Plan Meetings to Mexico?

Canada: Vancouver Convention Centre Launches Fresh New Website

Ecuador, Quito: Leading South American Destination For Third Consecutive Year

Germany, Bonn, Leipzig + Berlin: Big Investments In New & Expanded Venues To Welcome Large Delegate Groups

Great Britain: Record Number of Visits and Spend By International Visitors

Singapore: Suntec Singapore Wins Asia’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre

Right Column

ibtm world 2015 Announces the Top 10 Innovations Set to Transform the Global Meetings And Events Industry

UAE, Dubai: Meeting & Incentive Forum Europe Returns To Dubai For Spring 2016 Edition

USA: Las Vegas Convention Center District Expansion and Renovation Critical To Staying Competitive

 

Download your copy of MICE:destination now!

MICE:destination - the electronic magazine for the MICE industry. Click here to download edition September 2015 here from our website.

In the September 2015 edition, you will find:

In:Focus Indian Ocean - a destination made in paradise
In:Focus Ethiopia and East Africa - Ready for a MICE Industry Trade Show
In:Case An Extraordinary Experience at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
In:Show ITB Asia 2015 builds on Partnership with Global Business Travel Association
In:Show MICE EAST AFRICA FORUM & EXPO
In:Country Finland - A Path to Success
In:Search IACC - Exploring Generational Preferences of Meeting Planners in Australia Asia Pacific

Interested?
Don't hesitate to download your copy!

And yes of course, you are welcome to pass a copy on to your colleagues too!

ibtm world 2015 Announces the Top 10 Innovations Set to Transform the Global Meetings And Events Industry

Visit the Innovation Zone at ibtm world 2015 www.ibtmworld.com/visit

ibtm world has announced the Top 10 Innovations set to be showcased in this year’s Innovation Zone. The following companies were shortlisted from over 60 international applicants who submitted entries for the 2015 Technology and Innovation Watch Award this year.

InitLive - winner of the 2015 Technology and Innovation Watch award, a cloud-based system which includes a web service and a mobile device app that equips event planners, event staff and volunteers with a real-time communication system and a comprehensive scheduling service on the day of their events. www.initlive.com

EventPilot by ATIV Software, a high performance offline conference app which allows attendees to visually build and manage their schedule and also assists with expo/poster hall navigation, attendee engagement, and CME credit tracking. www.ativsoftware.com

Loopd Inc., a relational analytics tool that measures proximity-based human engagement for corporate events and is the industry’s only bi-directional solution that enables attendees to exchange contact information, collect marketing materials and passively check-in to speaker sessions. www.loopd.com

Interactio, a mobile system that replaces traditional translation equipment in live events. The interpreter is still at the venue and attendees listen to translation using their phones or tablets. www.interactio.io

EventCollab, a collaboration platform, providing a unique, cloud-based environment in which event teams at all stages of planning share schedules and documents, track time, assign tasks, and chat. www.eventcollab.com

CDEP by Slidebox, a new data exchange protocol for all providers of technical solutions in the MICE industry. With this universal language, organisations have only to maintain a single database and program-data will always be in sync and up-to-date. www.cdep.net

The Mash Machine by The Mo’Joes, an unexpected music instrument that allows a social experience with music. www.mashmachines.com

Path Event Learning Platform by Blue Sky Broadcast, a cloud-based approach to online learning and content management specifically for event-based learning programs. www.blueskybroadcast.com

SocialPoint Audience Engagement Platform by Interactive Meeting Technology, a cloud based audience engagement software to create audience engagement experiences including social media, trivia games, polling, speaker Q&A, surveys, etc. www.socialpoint.io

AroundThen, an app which makes business networking easier, using Bluetooth between devices to allow nearby users to find, connect and message each other, plus delivers delegate auto check-in, branded content and real-time tracking using Beacons. www.aroundthen.com

Commenting on the show feature, Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibition Director of ibtm world said, “This year we had more than sixty international applicants for the ibtm world 2015 Technology and Innovation Watch award and our independent panel of judges shortlisted these ten companies for their innovation, completeness of concept, and the value of their product to the meetings industry. The Innovation Zone is a unique opportunity for attendees to experience, interact with and learn about these exciting innovations.”

Silke Fleischer, CEO and co-founder, ATIV Software – Conference Apps for large meetings, commented, “We are honoured to see our EventPilot conference app selected as one of the top 10 event tech innovations this year. Our talented developers have always been on the cutting edge to drive event tech to new limits and far exceed the expectations of attendees or meeting planners. We are excited to show our latest features at the Innovation Zone in Barcelona."

Samuel J. Smith, Interactive Meeting Technology commented, “We are honoured and humbled to be recognised by ibtm world and the panel of judges. ibtm world is the best event industry trade show in Europe. We are excited to show the Global Meetings and Events industry how our software brings audience engagement to a whole new level.”

For more information on the Innovation Zone and the Top 10 Innovations, please visit: www.ibtmworld.com/izone For a full list of sessions, please visit www.ibtmworld.com/knowledge

ibtm world will take place from 17th – 19th November. www.ibtmworld.com

Did you already made your appointment with Berlin Convention Bureau at ibtm world?
Click here:
Click here to make your appointment at ibtm World
UAE, Dubai: Meeting & Incentive Forum Europe Returns To Dubai For Spring 2016 Edition

Following a successful Spring 2015 edition, the Meeting & Incentive (M&I) Forum is set to return to Dubai in 2016 to showcase the emirate as a premier business events destinations. Scheduled to take place on April 4 - 9, 2016 at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, the six-day event is being hosted by Dubai Business Events (DBE) -- the Official Convention Bureau, a division of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), in partnership with JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Emirates Airlines, Arabian Adventures and a number of other venues.

Over the course of the event, hosted meeting planners from around the world will conduct over 4,500 meetings with Dubai-based and European business event suppliers. The Forum is a platform for some of the world's leading business event executives to get an update on Dubai's constantly evolving infrastructure and experience the city's suitability for international meetings and conferences.

"Business events play a pivotal role in Dubai achieving the ambition of attracting 20 million visitors annually by 2020. Dubai is a robust business destination with world-class infrastructure, diverse capabilities and easy accessibility. By hosting the M&I Forum for the second year running, we are reiterating our commitment to establishing Dubai as a business hub to the world's leading business events executives" stated Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events.

M&I Forums are industry-leading trade events that feature intensive business networking held at the world's leading meetings destinations. The forum focuses completely on the business events industry with buyers from traditional and emerging markets converging in destinations across Europe, the Middle East and the US. With face-to-face meetings between hosted buyers and suppliers scheduled ahead of the meeting, the forum offers a strong platform to network, build relationships and explore synergies. The 2016 editions will place Dubai in the spotlight along with Scottsdale, AZ (USA), Madrid (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Prague (Czech Republic) and Izmir (Turkey).

Commenting on the return of the M&I Forum to Dubai, Richard Barnes, Managing Director of M&I Forums said: "Our return to Dubai signals the rise of Dubai as a global hub for business events. During our maiden outing to the city earlier this year, the buyers were impressed by the standard of its facilities and its ambition to develop it further. There is a growing appetite amongst buyers to forge strong networks in this market and its current pace of investment in the sector is only accelerating Dubai's development as one of the premier business event destinations in the world."

Delegates at M&I Forum Europe Spring will get access to Dubai's world-class transportation, hotels and meetings facilities. With a number of hotels under construction and several mega-entertainment sites in the making, including Dubai Parks & Resorts and Dubai Opera, the Forum will showcase Dubai's potential as the efficient host of international meetings and conferences. With three international terminals dedicated to linking Dubai to over 260 destinations around the globe, the city's accessibility to traditional and emerging source markets is also a pivotal factor in attracting international businesses and business travellers to the city.

Also on the agenda will be a number of dinners and receptions at some of Dubai's many unique venues, including evening functions in the desert.

For more information on M&I Forum Europe Spring 2016, visit: www.mi-forums.com

www.dubaitourism.ae - www.dubaibusinessevents.ae

USA: Las Vegas Convention Center District Expansion and Renovation Critical To Staying Competitive

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), along with some of the industry's top trade show organizers met in Las Vegas last week to advocate for the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center District (LVCCD.) LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter presented the LVCCD strategic master plan to the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC), which was formed through executive order by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to help prioritize Southern Nevada's tourism projects.

The LVCVA is seeking $1.4 billion in funding for the expansion and renovation of the LVCCD that is expected to create thousands of jobs, pump billions of dollars into the local economy and help maintain Las Vegas' 21 consecutive year run as the No. 1 trade show destination in North America.

The trade show industry is extremely competitive, and rival cities, aimed at stealing lucrative business, see Las Vegas as their biggest target. While not a current option, leaving Las Vegas is not out of the question if future needs are not met according to representatives from the city's largest trade shows including CES, National Association of Broadcasters, SEMA Show, International Council of Shopping Centers, ConExpo-CON/AGG and UBM-Advanstar. They formed a six-member panel and spoke candidly about the challenges they are facing to grow their shows and urged the committee to think strategically about the future of the trade show industry in Las Vegas and to act quickly.

In particular, all panel members pointed out their urgent need of additional space to keep hosting their very large shows in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Convention Center District is the most aggressive master plan the LVCVA has ever embarked on and addresses the needs of the destination today and moving forward for the next 25-30 years.

The SNTIC will consider funding options for the LVCCD and other tourism-related projects and make recommendations to Governor Sandoval next year.

The LVCCD strategic master plan includes the construction of a new 600,000-square-foot exhibit hall on the 26-acre Riviera site that will include corresponding meeting rooms, pre-function space, and service and support areas. In addition, the plan calls for the renovation of the existing 3.2 million-square-foot facility and additional improvements based on customer feedback.

www.lvcva.com - www.LasVegas.com

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