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July 2016
In This Edition

Left Column

MPI research for IMEX America: More than 40 percent of meetings professionals use laptops & devices to capture content real-time

Austria, Vienna: Check-in at the congress center: full service for meeting guests

Czech Republic: Prague Introduces Mobile App for Meeting Planners

Germany, Cologne: new edition of Meeting Point Cologne showcases traditional and urban aspects of the city’s event industry.

Luxembourg: Organise a congress in the Safest City in the World

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority signs landmark agreement with PATA

Right Column

IMEX America launches new CSR project in sync with World Environment Day

Marriott Receives Antitrust Clearance from the European Union to Acquire Starwood

IBTM Africa – no hosted buyer programme in 2017

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

In the northern hemisphere the summer vacations are about to start, but we all know that this is merely a temporary speed reduction in our industry. We’ve just about than 3 ½ month until IMEX America opens its doors and hosted buyer applications are already open since almost a month. See the new CSR project launched for this year’s show in Las Vegas.

MPI has just published research on the use of laptops and devices capable of capturing content in real time – more than 40% of meeting professionals already use them.

Luxemburg is the seat of many national and European entities and has just been stated by Mercer to be the world’s safest city – a destination for you? In Vienna, Austria the city’s two largest conference centres now feature self-service check-in machines for delegates leaving Vienna by air.

Cologne, Germany published its new e-publication edition of Meeting Point Cologne – see the showcases and The Czech capital Prague introduces a new mobile app for meeting planners.

In Europe Marriott received antitrust Clearance to Acquire Starwood from the European Union.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has just signed an agreement to join the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) as first African national tourism organization.

And while we’re looking into Africa - we prepared our event calendar for 2017 for you and noticed on the IBTM Africa website that the event seems to have changed into an educational format and does not offer a hosted buyer programme at this moment. We will look into it and keep you updated.

As usual, you’re invited to share this newsflash with your colleagues. Click here to forward the edition!

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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MPI research for IMEX America: More than 40 percent of meetings professionals use laptops & devices to capture content real-time

Emphasizing the growing role that technology plays in the meetings world, key findings of new research carried out for IMEX America by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) show that more than 40 percent of the MPI Research Panel members surveyed use laptops or mobile devices to capture content real-time.

Of that group 10.5 percent of these professionals always use them for note taking and 31.6 percent use them sometimes. Handwritten notes continue to be the choice of the majority (57.1 percent) while just 0.8 percent record their observations.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group observed: “In an era when capturing live content on laptops, tablets and smartphones is intrinsic to our working lives, it is interesting to quantify the extent to which they are being used in conferences and meetings at present. With millennials “keyboarding” virtually everything from an early age, usage is only likely to increase in the near future.”

In this same research conducted in May, IMEX America also asked MPI members what the ideal length of a traditional conference presentation by a single speaker should be, excluding Q&A. 43.6 percent thought 30 minutes, 40.6 percent chose 20 minutes, 15 percent said it should be 15 minutes and only 0.8 percent selected 10 minutes.

Carina Bauer commented: “When I entered the industry 14 years ago, the usual conference speech was 45 to 60 minutes. This snapshot study shows that over 80 percent of attendees favour a 20 to 30-minute speech and I would not be surprised if this trend continues to reduce with the advance of TED-style programming and the desire for people to spend time exchanging ideas with their peers, as much as hearing from talking heads. MPI's recent World Education Congress (WEC) in Atlantic City showcased this trend well by having a great range of formats and lengths for sessions. One size fits all no longer works for the average conference attendee."

Austria, Vienna: Check-in at the congress center: full service for meeting guests

More than three-quarters of congress visitors travel to Vienna by air. A new service in the city helps them to cut travel time, freeing up precious hours for them to focus on their work. The capital’s two largest conference centers now feature self-service check-in machines.

Vienna has added yet another service for international conference participants: in addition to cut-price tickets for the Wiener Linien public transportation network, complimentary maps and information packs from the Vienna Convention Bureau, delegates traveling by air can now take advantage of a time-saving new feature. Permanently-installed self-service machines at the Austria Center Vienna and the Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center now enable passengers flying with Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss and Brussels to check in and print out their boarding passes on site. The machines are similar to the self-service terminals at the airport or checking in using a PC at home or in the office, with options including seat selection, upgrades to business class and booking add-on services. Congress check-in is available in 11 languages (German, English, French, Italian, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese and Japanese).

2015 another record year for Vienna as a meeting destination

Vienna’s meeting industry posted new records across the board in 2015. During the year, the capital hosted a total of 3,685 congresses and conferences, company meetings and incentives (just under 750 of which were international). The number of overnight stays attributable to these events came to 1.7 million, an increase of 13% on the previous year. The meeting industry’s contribution to Austrian GDP was up 16% year on year to EUR 1,038 million, passing the billion mark for the first time. One particularly striking aspect is that 81% of value added is attributable to international congresses, a segment that accounted for half of all meeting participants and 76% of overnight stays in 2015. Vienna offers direct flights to more than 180 destinations worldwide.

Czech Republic: Prague Introduces Mobile App for Meeting Planners

Prague Convention Bureau in cooperation with C.O.T. media publishing house and with the support of Prague City Tourism launched a mobile app to help meeting planners explore Prague congress opportunities. “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” app is available for smartphones with Android, iOS and Windows Phone operating systems free of charge.

Those interested can download the “Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide” in app stores from the second half of June. The mobile app is intended especially for meeting planners seeking the right venue and services providers for their event in Prague. Basic information about the capital, various types of conference venues, an overview of hotels and restaurants, professional conference organizers (PCOs) and destination management companies (DMC) as well as providers of other related services can be found via the app.

Mobile app complements the existing printed version of Prague Meeting Planners’ Guide and destination presentation, which we update regularly and their digital versions are available for download on our website. The key benefit of the app is that all the information is easily accessible and always at hand. The app also allows to filter the data according to various criteria, such as venue capacity or type,” said Roman Muška, Managing Director at Prague Convention Bureau.

The owners of Android based smartphones can download the app in English at iOS version is available on this link and Windows Phone here

Download your copy of MICE:destination now!Looking for destination features? Please check the list below and download your required edition with one simple click on the link!

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

Africa  Edition Link
Ethiopia May 2016
Ehtiopia Sept 2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Maurice, Seychelles Sept 2015
Asia – On Promotion: Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand Jan 2016
Australia Jan 2016
Hong Kong July 2015
Malaysia May 2016
The Philippines Mar 2015
Philippine Incentives May 2015
The Philippines Mar 2016
The Caribbean  Edition Link
Anguilla  May 2015
Jamaica  Jan 2015
Saint Lucia  July 2015
Middle East 
UAE, Dubai  Jan 2016
Malta May 2016
Madrid  Mar 2015
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  May 2015
Germany, Cologne: new edition of Meeting Point Cologne showcases traditional and urban aspects of the city’s event industry.

The new e-publication of Cologne Convention Bureau presents different facets of Cologne as a congress destination focussing on the bureau’s new campaign #urbanCGN – cologne urban lifestyle.

The latest edition of Meeting Point Cologne is now available. Published by Cologne Convention Bureau (CCB), the brochure once again highlights the many features that make Cologne one of the world’s top congress locations. In line with the Cologne Tourist Board campaign for 2016/17 #urbanCGN – cologne urban lifestyle, the new publication highlights the numerous spheres in which traditional and modern elements of the event industry can meet and create synergies in Cologne. The imagery of the brochure’s high-quality photography likewise reflects Cologne’s urbanity and atmosphere.

In a total of seven sections, Meeting Point Cologne presents all the many facets of the event industry in Cologne – ranging from business and science to congresses, trade fairs, incentive programmes, and arts and culture – along with lots of information, facts and tips. With its lively “Veedelskultur” – each neighbourhood has its own distinctive character – and its committed creative industry, Cologne offers not only individual visitors countless opportunities to discover the city’s charms as an urban space for living. In similar fashion, the conference industry is building on the #urbanCGN trend to explore new approaches and expand its portfolio. For example, locations such as former industrial properties are now providing the perfect urban environment for events; more and more caterers are moving into street food; and conference supporting programmes are being enriched by the incorporation of graffiti workshops and street-art tours.

Organisational help is available here from both the “Service” section of Meeting Point Cologne and the conference planner at, which list well over 100 location and event partners. Furthermore, especially themed #urbanCGN supporting programmes are also available there online.

In line with the competence area strategy pursued by the CCB in conjunction with the German Convention Bureau, Meeting Point Cologne once again features interviews with three key figures, all of whom offer an insight into their work and into Cologne’s strengths as a location for science and business. The interview with Prof. Dr. Reinhard Büttner, for example, Director of the Institute of Pathology at the University Hospital of Cologne, shows how science can be an important generator of conferences and congresses. He also offers a look forward to the World Pathology Congress, to be held in Cologne in September 2016.

The e-paper is available at A print copy can be ordered free of charge at Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Luxembourg: Organise a congress in the Safest City in the World

Even if Luxembourg is one of the smallest EU member states, the Grand Duchy is the very heart of a united Europe. Together with Brussels and Strasbourg, Luxembourg is the official home of various vital EU institutions. Due to its tradition, the capital is very multicultural and Luxembourg City is continuously solidifying its positions as a congress capital. At the same time, Luxembourg City is the safest capital in the world.

Contemporary architecture, designed by the biggest names of the international scene, characterises the silhouette of the Kirchberg quarter. The area, which is known for its financial services, is at the heart of a united Europe.

Luxembourg has great experience in organising European summits, events in the IT sector and hosting large audiences. At the same time, the Grand Duchy is also used to hosting seminars, company workshops and conferences. The country is in the agenda of the biggest Professional Congress Organisers, associations and European business federations, which plan their congresses and gatherings in Luxembourg. Situated in the heart of Western Europe and with excellent train connections, including the TGV, an international airport and its road network, the Luxembourgish capital is within easy reach.

National and European institutions, including the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and the translation centre have attracted law firms and businesses, which have decided to establish their main European or even international quarters here in Luxembourg.

The proximity of the University of Luxembourg and its scientific research is yet another advantage when organising international congresses on its campus or in Luxembourg. This link between business and science is established in a city, listed as UNESCO World Heritage, in which 70 % of residents come from 170 different countries. It comes as no surprise that Luxembourg is multilingual and has developed an international gastronomic scene, which reflects the different cultures.

For the first time this year, the international cabinet Mercer has published the ranking of the safest cities in the world. Out of 230 cities, Luxembourg is ranked as the safest city. The study is based on stability, crime numbers, maintaining public order and the country’s relation to others.

In terms of quality of life, Luxembourg ranks among the Top 20 in the world.

From 70 « smart cities » (< 500.000 inhabitants) Luxembourg is yet again at the top of the list. This is hardly surprising: a congress may be organised in the capital, while the reception or evening event is located in the midst of nature, in a wine cellar on the Moselle or in a medieval castle in the Ardennes region. Whatever the choice, the journey is less than 30 minutes.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority signs landmark agreement with PATA

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) is the first national tourism organisation from the continent of Africa to join the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The two organisations signed a Letter of Agreement during the annual Sanganai World Tourism Expo in Bulawayo held from June 16-18, 2016.

The Agreement reinforces Zimbabwe’s determination to increase the numbers of International Visitor Arrivals (IVAs) from influential source markets across the Asia Pacific region and the ZTA has already confirmed its participation at PATA Travel Mart 2016 in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia on September 7-9.

Addressing media and dignitaries at the signing ceremony in Bulawayo the ZTA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Karikoga Kaseke described as ‘paltry’ the numbers of Chinese visitors to Zimbabwe over the past 10 years, failing to surpass the 200,000 mark from a country that is projected to supply over 120 million outbound travellers by end of 2016.

“Gone are the days when just being a tourist destination was a selling point on its own. Now, with the growth of the digital world, destinations must be more innovative to get the much-needed attention from tourists in the face of growing competition. We have no doubt that the journey that we are embarking upon with PATA will go a long way to penetrating the huge Asia Pacific market,” he said. Zimbabwe is set to benefit more from working with PATA, a distinguished organisation and specialist in building businesses, networks, people, brands including insights as well as promoting the Asia and Pacific region based from experiences accumulated since its formation in 1951.

In welcoming the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to PATA the Association’s CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said that there would be close collaboration between the two organisations in support of the drive by the ZTA to attract more tourists from the Asia Pacific region in general and mainland China in particular.

“Zimbabwe is a fascinating country with many valuable tourism assets. The government’s new visa regime will enable easier access for visitors from many markets. I look forward to strengthening our ties with the public, private and academic sectors in Zimbabwe and I am convinced that PATA’s many membership benefits will act as a solid foundation for a new bridge that links Zimbabwe with the Asia Pacific region.”

Dr. Hardy has also pledged to align the Association’s main advocacy themes with key strategic issues, challenges and opportunities arising in Zimbabwe. These themes embrace and evolve around visa facilitation, human capital development, sustainability, crisis management/business recovery, and the ‘dispersal of tourists’ to lesser known, emerging areas of interest to local and international visitors.

PATA Travel Mart 2016: -

IMEX America launches new CSR project in sync with World Environment Day

IMEX Group has revealed a new volunteer CSR initiative that’s set to take place in Las Vegas the day before IMEX America 2016 opens.

The MeetGreen® Sustainability Report for IMEX America 2015 shows that concerted sustainability actions by hosted buyers, visitors, exhibitors and the organizing team continue to make a difference, reducing both waste and the environmental footprint of the show, and this latest CSR IMEX initiative is on lock step with that and the goals of the UN’s World Environment Day.

World Environment Day is marked by the UN to continue to bring global awareness to green interests like sustainable cities, the importance of bees in our world, wildlife preservation and much more. It also continues to drive forward the historic 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit.

In the spirit of this global movement, Garbage Grabbers – Clean Up in Las Vegas is a new project in which IMEX America is working with the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, the premier volunteer coordination group for nature and the outdoors in southern Nevada. On Monday October 17, volunteers attending the IMEX week will be invited to join IMEX America staff and Las Vegas residents in an organized clean-up of walking trails and parks. Everyone who would like to join the Garbage Grabbers should email Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented: “We’re thrilled to be launching this new project, which gives a fresh dimension to our legacy work in Las Vegas. It naturally complements our existing partnerships with The Shade Tree and Opportunity Village and gives industry volunteers a brand new way to show their love of the environment while, hopefully, making lifelong friends and new business connections.”

MeetGreen® Sustainability Report Highlights

Driving IMEX’s interest in helping to mitigate waste and build cleaner spaces were results from the MeetGreen® Sustainability Report from IMEX America 2015 where waste per participant was reduced by a substantial 13 per cent year-over-year. Energy use was also cut by 5 per cent, while paper use was down 12 per cent. According to the MeetGreen® Calculator of Overall Event Sustainability, IMEX America’s current score of 76.5 per cent [2011: 49.8 per cent] puts the trade show in the top 6 of 33 comparable events monitored by MeetGreen®.

The main results of the report are summarized in an infographic at

Environmental sustainability has always been a key value for the IMEX Group, which is committed to encouraging best practice and educating the global meetings and events industry through a range of activities and programmes at both IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America.

These include:

Badge Back – at the end of the show, buyers and exhibitors can place their badge in one of two boxes. Each box represents a local charity – The Shade Tree, a shelter for homeless and abused women and children; and Opportunity Village, Nevada’s largest not-for-profit organization providing vocational training, employment and arts-based programs for citizens with intellectual disabilities. Every recycled badge triggers a financial donation. In addition, 1,407 badges were collected last year and donated to the Teacher’s Exchange.
Clean the World – show participants are invited to recycle toiletries gathered from participating hotels. At the booth, attendees gather to build hygiene kits to be donated to The Shade Tree shelter.
Inspiration Hub – education on the show floor’s Inspiration Hub will again feature a variety of sessions addressing sustainability practices in the meetings and events industry.

For further details about sustainable activities at IMEX America and to download the 2015 Sustainability Report, please visit

The IMEX Group also reflects its commitment to sustainability at IMEX in Frankfurt. For details visit

Along with the International Congress and Convention Association, the IMEX Group is also a partner of the new Global Destination Sustainability Index, the first ever sustainability ranking for event destinations world worldwide, initiated by ICCA’s Scandinavian Chapter and MCI.

For further information about World Environment Day please visit Hosted buyer application for IMEX America is open.

To find out more please visit:


Marriott Receives Antitrust Clearance from the European Union to Acquire Starwood

Closing Anticipated in July 2016

Marriott International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide last week announced they have received unconditional clearance from the European Union for Marriott to acquire Starwood in a merger transaction.

In announcing the decision in a press release issued by the European Commission, the Commissioner for Competition, Margaret Vestager, said, “This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers. Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly."

The closing of the proposed merger is subject to obtaining additional antitrust clearances, including in China, and satisfying other customary closing conditions that are in the merger agreement. European Union clearance represents satisfaction of a major closing condition to the proposed merger.

Until legal close, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities.

Stockholders of both Marriott and Starwood overwhelmingly approved proposals related to the transaction on April 8 and Marriott and Starwood anticipate closing the transaction in July 2016. -

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Edition May 2016

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IBTM Africa – no hosted buyer programme in 2017

When preparing our MICE calendar for 2017, we noticed a significant change related to IBTM Africa.

In the past, the event has been held in Reed’s so-called table-top format. In the location, every exhibitor had a table with 2-3 visitor chairs where conversations with the buyers took place and the ratio of exhibitors and visitors were kept in a 1:1 ratio – limited to 60 hosted buyers.

According to the IBTM Africa website ibtm Africa will convert from the hosted buyer table-top format to an educational programme focussing on technology, future trends, procurement and consolidation and other highly relevant subjects. IBTM Africa will continue to take place during Reed’s Africa Travel Week.