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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."

News10 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 67Jump in EIBTM's audited attendance of 15,219 for 2011ABC6.9%Thailand-Vietnam MoUASIA - The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on MICE collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). The MoU, signed in Hanoi, paves the way for joint work on bilateral trade missions, meetings and trade events, cross-promotion, and market surveys in the ASEAN region.Bilateral Thai-Vietnamese trade increased 25 per cent in 2011, to reach US$9bn. Thailand ranked ninth and Vietnam 13th the ICCA Country Rankings 2010. San Diego realignmentAMERICAS - The San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) is transferring its citywide sales and marketing efforts to the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau (SDCVB), effective 1 July 2012.The realignment is designed to make the destination more effective in the national group meetings market by providing unified sales and marketing."The transition is important as the destination looks to support the Phase 3 expansion of the Center," said Carol Wallace, President and CEO of SDCCC.Management of the 241,547sqm facility will remain with the SDCCC.Seoul gears up for KMEASIA - Seoul is to host South Korea's largest MICE show for a third year in succession. The Korea MICE Expo (KME) will run 3-5 July and applications are open for hosted buyers. The 2012 KME is expected to draw 200 exhibitors, 300 local and international buyers, and over 3,000 visitors to Seoul's largest convention centre, COEX. German partner for GBTAEUROPE - The Global Business Travel Association will work with German business travel association VDR as its European partner. Paul Tilstone, MD of GBTA in Europe, said: "This demonstrates the value the Germans can clearly see in being part of the GBTA family in Europe and beyond." In briefEUROPE - The Gdansk Convention Bureau (GCB) claims to be the first Polish bureau to sign up to the social media portal based on geo-location, Foursquare. The bureau also recently joined search engine Google's own social networking site, Google+ with the aim of attracting the attention of the international meetings industry. The GCB says social media allows it to conduct an intensified promotion for both business products and destination. The bureau's brand page on Foursquare is dedicated mostly Gdansk Foursquare behind social mediaVisitors can see the location on the map, browse through photos and see opinions of other users. One of Foursquare's options is to make a 'check-in', or informing other users about your place of stay and your impressions of it. Gdansk Convention Bureau CEO, Anna Górska, says presence in different social media gives the opportunity to establish a bigger co-operation network. "After industry meetings and international business tourism fairs, social media let us keep in touch and exchange information with the attendees," she says. NewcastleGateshead centre back onEUROPE - The Arts Council England (ACE) has agreed to put in £10m (US$16m) of funding towards a new events venue in Newcastle, UK. The new plan, more modest than the International Convention and Exhibition Centre blueprint which failed to attract financial support last EUROPE - International hotel group Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is set to open its first hotel in Eastern Europe, the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv. The hotel in the capital of Ukraine joins a growing portfolio of Fairmont hotels in Europe, including the soon-to-open Fairmont Baku in Azerbaijan.The hotel in the Ukrainian capital offers a business centre, 1,210sqm of meetings space, including a 480sqm ballroom, and eight private dining rooms. The hotel will open in time for the UEFA Euro Championship, 8 June-1 July 2012. Fairmont opensJuly, would see a 3,000sqm in Eastern Europeevent space built adjacent to the existing Sage centre.The ACE funding success now triggers a search for the remainder of the investment necessary to complete the £30m plan. It would be ACE's largest contribution to any project outside of London.Motivcom profits up 6%EUROPE - Motivcom, parent company of event management businesses including P&MM, AYMTM, Goldserve and Zibrant, has posted gross profits up six per cent for 2011.The gross profit of £29.5m (US$47.2m) followed £3m invested in new IT technology and two strategic acquisitions. The group has £5m in net cash reserves, and dividends to shareholders increased by 25 per cent cent.The events division contributed 55 per cent of the group's gross profit. to smartphone and tablet users and recommends tourist attractions, business tourism locations such as hotels, conference venues, events, incentive offers, selected restaurants and PCOs. ASIA - The CEO of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Martin Sirk, delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the three-day IT&CM China 2012 tradeshow in April. The presentation 'China's century: fulfilling its destiny as a mega meetings destination' focussed on the critical role of international meetings in a country's development and why it is yet to be properly understood by policymakers. Sirk keynotes at IT&CM