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News8 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 67AFRICA - Global workspace provider Regus has opened its first business centre in Madagascar, its 95th country.Regus is looking to grow its network by at least 75 per cent by 2014, adding 30 new countries. The Economist magazine has predicted that seven of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world will be in Africa. Regus CEO Mark Dixon said: "Africa is an important development market for companies of all sizes. "We have invested significantly in new centres in Madagascar, Zambia, Senegal, Ghana and Tanzania opening the way for businesses, to explore those emerging and frontier markets." Regus customers include more than half of the companies in the Fortune 500.CHINA - Reed Travel Exhibitions' international meetings industry event for the Chinese market, CIBTM, has published research indicating good growth in outbound events from China. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of buyers surveyed for The 2011 China and Asia Meetings Industry Research Report, and 52 per cent of suppliers, forecast they would increase the number of outbound events organised over the next year.Nearly half (48%) of hosted buyers surveyed said they were interested in placing business in Europe and Jeffrey Xu, Event Director CIBTM, expects the Chinese meetings market to grow significantly in 2012. Meetings Show UK launchChina outbound market movesFor all the latest breaking news, daily updates, visit:www.c-mw.netemail the cmw editorial team with all your industry news: pcolston@mashmedia.netQATAR - The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), has hosted 52 events involving 30,000 visitors since it opened at the end of 2011. The estimated delegate spend from overseas visitors is US$11.2m.The QNCC welcomed its first event in November 2011, for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) association, then hosted 1,200 delegates for the World Innovation Summit for Education 2011 (WISE) and the 20th World Petroleum Congress 2011, 4-8 December.Qatar up and running to 52 eventsRegus expands into MadagascarUK - UK-based Centaur Exhibitions has launched the Meetings Show UK, promising 1,000 hosted buyers when it debuts at London's new Olympia Hall in July 2013. Former Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) man Steve Knight has been recruited as Event Director. The move forced a fast reshuffle at his former employer. Knight had EUROPE - Nick de Bois, MP, and Chair of the Parliamentary Group for Events in the UK, will deliver the keynote at the IMEX opening ceremony in Frankfurt, 22 May. De Bois used to run an events company and will also speak at the IMEX Politicians Forum, this year to be held at Rocco Forte's Villa Kennedy hotel.IMEX organisers expect the Forum to attract 30 politicians from around the globe. MP to speak at IMEXfronted RTE's AIBTM show in Baltimore and joins the former RTE boss Paul Kennedy who is now Strategic Advisor at Centaur."Centaur's decision to launch a hosted buyer led meetings show has come at the perfect time for an industry looking to achieve maximum value from budgets and time," said Knight. RTE Portfolio Director Craig Moyes told CMW: "While a replacement for Steve Knight is being sought, Graeme Barnett is Interim Event Director for AIBTM and will be leading the show team from the the Reed Exhibition offices in Norwalk."Graeme continues with his role as Event Director for EIBTM but, while he is in the US, that show will be directed by Mandy Torrens, the IBTM Head of Marketing and Buyer Programmes who ran EIBTM from 2005 to 2009."The new Centaur show was announced as the current UK leading meetings show, International Confex opened at Excel London in March.Centaur Exhibitions' MD Andrew Evans said the Meetings Show UK was based on four things: "It's purely about the meetings, conference and incentives sector; it features a large-scale hosted buyer programme and thousands of pre-scheduled appointments which this generates; a professional education programme not on the show floor but in the Olympia Conference Centre, and a team of meeting industry professionals will manage the event, not exhibition organisers."

NewsISSUE 67 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 9events held at the new Qatar National Convention CentreQNCC52EUROPE - Reed Travel Exhibitions' EIBTM meetings industry show has added seven new members to its nine-strong advisory board. They will play a key role in helping shape the show's vision and planning, according to the company. Managing Director at the Switzerland Convention Bureau, Barbara Albrecht; Christoph Tessmar, Director of Barcelona Tourisme Convention Bureau; and Ole Sorang, Director of Regional Marketing at Rezidor are among the new names."The Advisory Board is a strategic element of the overall success of EIBTM," said Non-executive Chairman of RTE's meetings and business travel portfolio, Eric Rozenberg.Seven new names to advise EIBTMEUROPE - A US initiative, called The Global Entry System, designed to make delegate travel to and from the USA faster, has been presented at the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convening Leaders conference. The PCMA announced a partnership last month with Excel London to push the idea of delegates bypassing the unwieldy system of visas and immigration queuing. Excel London and London & Partners, the UK capital's convention bureau, hosted a stand with Homeland Security at Convening Leaders in the USA earlier this year and 300 event organisers were keen to begin the application process for the system. "We are behind any initiative that allows easier access to London PCMA champions global entry systemIn briefHelsinki contract for FazerFINLAND - The Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre (HECC) has renewed its contract with Fazer to run its 17 cafes and restaurants at the venue until 2017. "An event is a medium that provides experiences and entices all five senses. By co-operating closely with our restaurant partner, we wish to ensure that conference visitors also experience flavours to remember," said Christer Haglund, MD of the HECC. Abu Dhabi hotel guests and stay durations on the riseMIDDLE EAST - Abu Dhabi has recorded a five per cent rise in numbers of guests staying in its hotels and hotel apartments during February 2012, compared to the same month last year. The number of guest nights also climbed five per cent during the same period.Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority showed 184,296 guests stayed in the Emirate's hotels and hotel apartments during the month, with the UK remaining Abu Dhabi's largest international source market. The Emirate's growth record was maintained in part by Abu Dhabi's hosting of the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012, the largest-ever business event staged in the UAE capital. It attracted over 10,000 participants.Ascott goes greenerWORLD - Serviced accommodation provider Ascott has embarked on a global sustainability drive, with a Go Green @ Ascott initiative launched across the group's properties worldwide.Ascott claims to have reduced its water consumption nine per cent since 2008. "Ascott can make a significant positive impact on the environment, across the 21 countries where we operate," said Ascott's Chief Corporate Officer, Tony Soh. The company holds an Earth Day every first Friday of the month at its offices wordwide. Staff save energy and switch off beacon signage lights and other non-essential lighting.EUROPE - Emap Connect, the conference and exhibition division of Emap International, has rebranded as i2i Events Group and restructured as a standalone company.i2i Events is one of three new independent operating divisions established under a holding company (Emap) renamed Top Right Group.i2i Events Group is led by Mark Shashoua, appointed to run the business in November 2011 who says his focus is to build an international sales team and seek expansion opportunities in fast-growing markets, particularly China, Latin America and Singapore.i2i Event Group's portfolio includes the World Retail Congress, BETT, Naidex and Emap restructures into new trinity Spring Fair International. i2i Events Group also manages a new division, Lions Festivals. Shashoua added the changes provided "a great opportunity to grow our brands globally".for our clients and their delegates, and our support for the Global Entry System is especially important to our US customers," said James Rees, Excel's Director of Conference and Events. "This is a system that allows both delegate and event organisers to get pre-approved, quicker entry to and from the UK; we are delighted to be a part of bringing it into the events industry." The Global Entry System works through a credit card type visa holding a personalised chip. Owners can simply swipe their way through passport control and security. "This is a system that already exists in the States but one we have been leading in adopting for the conference and event community," says Deborah Sexton, President and CEO of PCMA. "Delegates can acquire a visa for five years."