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4www. c- mw. net Conference+ Meetings WorldMarch 2010 NEWS Norway adds routes to attract business Marriott launches virtual meetings Chinese spies target UK events? Davos guard chief dead Gun conference arrests UK- 02' s management company Anschutz Entertainment Group Europe ( AEG) has announced details of its hotel and event space plans for London's O2. Our UK sister publication Conference Newsreported before Christmas that the group was in the process of finalising plans for another large events centre for London Eastside. The news followed Excel London's own new- build, due to open in May, and which has lays claim to be London's first International Convention Centre. AEG's plans include a four- star, 450- bed hotel and apartments. The new event space will include space for banqueting for up to 3,000 people next to the main O2 Arena. The site already has outline consent. WORLD - Hotel group Marriott International has rolled out its first Gothere Virtual Meetings studios at its New York Marriott East Side Hotel, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and the Cisco offices in London, with plans to expand to 25 hotels globally in its first phase. The service enables groups to meet in multiple locations worldwide in real time by combining high- definition video and real time audio. Marriott says its corporate customers told the company " they would hold more productive, small meetings at its hotels if an appealing virtual meeting option was available". O2 Arena AEG details O2 plans NORWAY- Airline carrier Norwegian is targeting business and leisure tourism in western Norway by launching an additional six new routes and a new aircraft from March. New destinations include Copenhagen ( weekdays and Sundays), Stockholm, Barcelona, Roma, Chania- Crete and Antalya in Turkey; and more departures to London, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia. Norwegian will increase the number of flights on its Bergen to London route from 10 to 13 a week from winter 2010, to capture an increased interest from the business market. UK- The British secret services have accused China of ' bugging and burgling' UK exhibitors and businesses at international trade fairs and conventions to obtain sensitive commercial secrets. A leaked MI5 document claims Chinese undercover intelligence officers approached UK businessmen with gifts of cameras and memory sticks containing Trojan viruses. The bugs would provide China with remote access to users' computers, according to a report in The Sunday Times. Are virtual meetings the way of the future? SWITZERLAND- The Swiss police chief in charge of security at the World Economic Forum in Davos was found dead in his hotel room after the event. " All indications point to a suicide," a police statement said. Commander Dr Markus Reinhardt had been in charge of security at the five- day forum, attended by around 2,500 of the world's business and political elite. There were 4,000 soldiers on duty at the resort amid fortress- like security for the annual gathering. photo: andrew_ i_ w, flickr Taking off: Norwegian adds routes photo: Jeff Kubina, flickr USA- Police arrested 21 arms industry executives on 18 January as they arrived in Las Vegas for the 2010 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Tradeshow and Conference. Federal agents used the meeting as an opportunity to arrest the suspects all at once. They are accused of bribing officials in an unnamed African country in an effort to secure an arms contract. Abu Dhabi hotel fund UAE- According to Emirates news agency WAM, Abu Dhabi National Hotels ( ADNH) has agreed a deal with four lenders to provide an AED1.5bn loan facility, the first syndicated borrowing of ADNH. The money is to finance the company's projects " to support the growth of Abu Dhabi's economy and tourism infrastructure," says the chairman of ADNH, Saif Al Hajeri.

March 2010Conference+ Meetings World www. c- mw. net 5 NEWS Clash over Indonesia visa changes INDONESIA- According to a local Indonesian newspaper the Jakarta Globe, two government departments are set to clash over a decision to scrap its US$ 10 seven- day visa- on-arrival ( VOA) for leisure and business tourists arriving in the country. With the removal of the short-term visa, travellers now have the only option of paying ADNEC seeks Emirati employees UBM's cancelled events bounce back Snow show Denver's biggest event Collective partnership for Convention 2020 Expo Hire name change ABU DHABI - Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company ( ADNEC) proved a popular employer during the opening day of the Tawdheef recruitment fair held 2- 4 February, at the company's own Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. Hundreds of job seekers uploaded CVs on computers at the ADNEC stand and discussed career opportunities with ADNEC staff. The company recently announced a goal of 35 per cent emiratisation by the end of 2010, for positions identified as being suitable for UAE nationals. USA- The SnowSports Industries America ( SIA) Snow Show was the largest convention booking in Denver's history. The ski and snowboard show, at the Colorado Convention Centre from 28 to 31 January, brought 18,000 retailers, manufacturers and decision-makers, and boosted the local economy by an estimated US$ 30m. Colorado governor Bill Ritter says: " It's no secret that Colorado is seen around the world as the snow sports capital of America, so it is a natural fit for us to host the premier snow sports industry trade show". No more short- term visas New venue for snow show US$ 25 for a 30- day visa. The government hope is to encourage foreign visitors to stay longer. However, tourism ministry director general of destination development, Firmansyah Hakim told the Jakarta Globe newspaper he is worried the regulation would affect foreign visitors who make frequent short stays. INDIA- United Business Media claims the pharmaceutical events it cancelled in 2008 as a result of the Mumbai terror attacks grew by a fifth in 2009. Both CPhI India and P- MEC India are allegedly making the most of a thriving Indian pharmaceutical market, with exhibitor growth up 20 per cent and delegate growth up five per cent on their 2007 outings. The organiser says the increase in numbers at last year's events reflects continued growth in the fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals industries on the Indian sub- continent. photo: chris. corwin, flickr WORLD- A collective of international conference venues and organisations have partnered on a strategic study, Convention 2020. The project will be run by Fast Future Research, and will examine trends and challenges that might influence the meetings industry. Founding sponsors include ICCA and IMEX. Fast Future CEO, Rohit Talwar, says: " The aim is to take a challenging view at the forces, trends and ideas that will shape the industry over the next 10 years." AUSTRALIA- Conference supplier Expo Hire has changed its name to ExpoNet. With offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne, the company has a new website and logo as part of its strategy to re- establish itself. Adoption of the ExpoNet name follows Exhibition Hire's acquisition of Expo Hire in late 2008. India pharma events grew in 2009 ACTA wins Aquaculture congress bid AUSTRALIA- The Adelaide Convention Tourism Authority ( ACTA) has won the bid to host the 2014 World Aquaculture Congress. More than 3,000 delegates and 200 exhibitors are expected to attend the four- day event, injecting an estimated AUD$ 11.5m in economic impact for the region.