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2012 May 2012 . . 29 HOTEL GROUPS 14-16 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RH or give our technology expert a call on: 0044 (0)207 313 5742Active Network provides a comprehensive suite of technology solutions designed to meet the needs of any size event or meeting.SMBsEnterprisesSMMPsWhether you need an easy to use registration system for your upcoming event with marketing and reporting functionalities or a technology partner to support your complex events program, Active Network have the right solutions for you.Registration and Attendee management Software for small to medium sized meetings. Comprehensive Event Management Software to engage audiences for large events and enterprise applications Strategic Meetings Management solutions to manage your meetings and events spend.Regonline: Conference:Starcite:A small hotel chain can offer a degree of personal service, although this is still backed up by consistent standards of performance.Kevin Skeet, Operations Director at Legacy Hotels and Resorts: The key for our events managers is that they fully understand the purpose of the meeting and what the organiser is trying to achieve with the event. We focus on our mystery guest sales calls to our offi ces to ensure that we understand the client's requirements. This allows us to tailor the packages to the event's goals. We have noticed that regular training meetings are still strong, but the bigger sales meetings are often being conducted in-house and there continues to be a trend for more day meetings rather than overnight stays as customers look to protect their costs.We have established a consistent minimum standard for all our meetings products. This allows customers to be assured that whatever the size or location of the venue, the same high standards will be in place.Jackie Brown, Director of Meetings and Events Sales at Thistle: We are just about to launch a new meetings and events promotion which will include free Wi-Fi as this is really important to our customers. We are also using delegate feedback from BDRC Venue Verdict to ensure we are up-to-date with bookers and delegates' requirements and ensure we update our offerings accordingly. We recognise customer loyalty throughout Thistle and Guoman hotels by offering loyalty schemes such as Signature and Booking Bonus. Left: Malmaison's The Reading Mal; Right: Thistle Kingsley in London

SCOTLAND30 . . May 2012May he next three years have been coined 'The Winning Years' for Scotland. The country has won major events including the 2014 Ryder Cup and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 'Winning Years Campaign' will provide an opportunity to capitalise on some of the events coming to or impacting on Scotland. This year will see the launch of the new Disney-Pixar animation, Brave, which will bring to life Scotland's dynamic landscapes and inspire people to visit. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is not only stimulating increased infrastructure investment, but will also highlight Scotland on the global map. The return to Scotland for the fi rst time since 1973 of the 2014 Ryder Cup, which will be hosted at Gleneagles, also adds string to the country's event bow.In 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland is putting the spotlight on Scottish cultural and creative vibrancy as well as its tradition of innovation with themed events and fantastic festivals. Looking forward, the Year of Natural Scotland in 2013 will place a focus on the country's beauty and built heritage, with Year of Homecoming 2014 bringing all the themes together in a year of national pride. Visit Scotland's Chairman Mike Cantlay is driving the new corporate campaign. "The Winning Years Campaign is an opportunity for tourism businesses to maximise their promotional activity by focusing on the major event wins for the country over the next few years," he told CN."It is designed to encourage enthusiasm, support and investment The Winning YearsTVikki Carley looks at Scotland's 'Winning Years Campaign' and some new developments planned for its three conference powerhouse cities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburghin tourism in Scotland and ensure tourism businesses benefi t from the opportunities ahead over the next three year period."Business tourism is worth £809m to the Scottish economy and 2.8m business trips were made to Scotland in 2010 with spend per night by business visitors 1.5 times higher than that of leisure visitors. Big business is anticipated in the country as a result of a £2m conference bid fund launch, which VisitScotland is offering over the next three years, with the aim of making Scotland more competitive within the international conference market. Scotland's Tourism Minister, Fergus Ewing, said of the new bid fund: "The fund will help attract high-yield, high-spend international conferences linked to Scotland's areas of expertise in industry, commerce or science and medicine. "It will build on the great success that Scotland already has in this area and boost our economy in the process." Any application to the fund must specify which of the 12 Scottish Government Target Sectors the conference adheres. The Target Sectors include: aerospace, defence and marine; business processing operations; chemical sciences; creative industries; education; energy; fi nancial services; food and drink; ICT and electronic technologies; life sciences; textiles; and tourism. Neil Brownlee, Head of VisitScotland's Business Tourism Unit, said: VisitScotland/ScottishViewpoint