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March 2019
In This Edition

Left Column

Hosted Buyer Invitation: IMEX in Frankfurt

Hosted Buyer Invitation: The Meetings Show, Olympia London

Germany: Berlin retains strong appeal for visitors and congresses participants

India: Association Leaders Invited to Discuss Global Future for Associations

Indonesia: Tourism in Lombok on its Feet Again for 2019

Right Column

Inclusive Leadership: Gender Equality as an Economic Imperative and the Perils of Unconscious Bias

BestCities Global Alliance Announce Financial Benefits For Associations

Netherlands: The Hague Convention Bureau Silver at M&IT Awards for Best Overseas Convention Bureau

Publishers Note

Hosted Buyer Programmes

IMEX in Frankfurt

21 - 23 May 2019
Frankfurt, Germany
For European Buyers
2- or 3-day attendance

The Meetings Show

26 to 27 June 2019,
Olympia London, London, UK
For European Buyers
1-, 2- or 3 day programmes


Please see the details below!


Dear Reader!

Diversity, inclusion and gender equality are among the key talking points at IMEX in Frankfurt this year. Please see our coverage on this.

And to all our European-based readers, don’t miss to apply for the hosted buyer programmes at IMEX in Frankfurt and The Meetings Show in London.

Did you hear that Best Cities Global Alliance announced financial benefits for associations? And in India, Association Leaders are invited to discuss the global future for associations at 2019 India Association Congress in August this year.

Lombok, Indonesia suffered devastating earthquakes in August last year. Please see the destination status report created by Khiri Travel.

In Europe, Berlin reports strong visitor data for 2018 on both, leisure and MICE, and The Hague Convention Bureau celebrates its M&IT Silver Award ‘Best Overseas Convention Bureau’.

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing

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Hosted Buyer Invitation: IMEX in Frankfurt

IMEX in Frankfurt 2019Event Dates: 21 to 23 May 2019
EduMonday: 20 May 2019

Are you interested in attending IMEX in Frankfurt as a hosted buyer?

IMEX in Frankfurt is one of the most important shows in our industry. With more than 65,000 appointments, around 3.886 Hosted Buyers; more than 4,942 trade visitors and 3.500 exhibiting companies representing 160+ countries in 2018 and further growth projection for 2019 the event is without doubt one of the must-visit trade show in the meetings industry. We are delighted to invite you to attend apply to our hosted buyer group for IMEX in Frankfurt today.

Click here to apply:


To be accepted on to the Hosted Buyer Programme, all applicants will be required to demonstrate the international business that they have responsibility for or are looking to place. IMEX Group will then qualify the application based on the established criteria of the IMEX Hosted Buyer Programme.

Please find detailed information about the hosted buyer programme on this webpage:

The Programme includes:

Optional Attendance at SmartMonday for all delegates! Please check Monday's fantastic programme here before applying to the hosted buyer programme!

For European Buyers:

2 full days of attendance at IMEX in Frankfurt - 22 and 23 May 2019 and the chance to meet at least 16 suppliers of your choice prearranged yourself through the IMEX appointment system;
Option to extend your attendance to 3 full days at IMEX in Frankfurt - 21 to 23 May 2019 and to meet at least 24 suppliers
Transportation: Economy class flights from selected destinations or - for delegates travelling inside Germany train tickets - to/from Frankfurt;
Accommodation one night in 4/5 star accommodation in Frankfurt for your programme dates - two nights for buyers attending all 3 days - and selected ground transportation in Frankfurt
VIP Services: Access to the IMEX hosted buyer lounge, free Wi-Fi and complimentary refreshments.

Important: to attend 3 full days at IMEX, or to attend Smart Monday please choose the Group MICE Media Marketing - Europe and include the request for the extension to 3 days and/or EduMonday in the box below the programme before clicking the NEXT-button! If you attend IMEX during all 3 days, your hotel room will be covered by IMEX accordingly. Additial nights to attend EduMonday need to be covered by yourself.

Travel Coordination

European buyers will find the list of available gateways and selected flights in the application. Should you require different travel arrangements, you may opt to arrange your travel yourself and IMEX will refund the ticket. Ticket refunds are limited to your destination's banding amount.

If you wish to extend your stay, please add this information in the text box underneath the group selection box.

Please note that all seats for buyers residing outside Europe are already taken.


The arrangement does not include additional expenses such as meals, any personal extras at the hotel. These should be settled directly with the hotel upon your departure, hotel upgrades, taxi fares if arriving / departing outside Hosted Buyer Programme dates, visa application fees, travel Insurance…

You must ensure that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover your trip to attend IMEX in Frankfurt. Please don't hesitate to ask for details.

An additional hotel night to attend EduMonday is not included in the hosted buyer package.

Please see the IMEX travelling information and terms & conditions.

Application Link: portal.imex-frankfurt.com/hbreg.php?unique=5a09cc0d5ee7a&type=buyer&exc=0n

Hosted Buyer Invitation: The Meetings Show, Olympia London

26 - 27 June 2019, London, UK
European Buyers - be part of our Group

Now in its seventh year, The Meetings Show has firmly established itself as the premier event for the UK inbound and outbound meeting industry and is a must-attend event for anyone looking to get inspired, learn about the latest innovations and take advantage of the unrivalled networking opportunities on offer.

The show will once again be located in Olympia London from 26-27 June 2019.

Attending the show as a hosted buyer really is the ultimate way to experience the best of what The Meetings Show has to offer:

Time efficient: Source and meet suppliers by designing your itinerary ahead of time. Book appointments via your own personalised online diary with the suppliers YOU want to see, when YOU want to see them.
Flexible attendance options: Choose from 1, 2 or 3 day attendance.
Cost Effective: Benefit from complimentary travel to and from London.
VIP Treatment: Receive complimentary accommodation in a 4-star London hotel, with access to exclusive lounges and invitations to an array of fantastic networking events.
Education: Take advantage of a dedicated conference programme with premium content designed to engage and inspire, including our hosted buyer only pre-show conference.

APPLY NOW! On http://tms19.eventreference.com/group/mmm/

Click on the personalised link above to begin your application. Please take the time to fill in the application form carefully. Your registration will then be validated by external qualifiers and the organisers.

For further details on the hosted buyer programme and everything you need to know about attending, please visit www.micemm.com/index.php/hosted-buyer-events/the-meetings-show-2019 or www.themeetingsshow.com/visit/hosted-buyer-programme

We hope you can join us at The Meetings Show 2019 as part of the MICE Media Marketing hosted buyer group. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the hosted buyer team on hosted@themeetingsshow.com

Germany: Berlin retains strong appeal for visitors and congresses participants

13.5 million visitors (+4.1%) and 32.9 million overnight stays (+5.5%)

Congress sector: 12 million participants (+2%) and around 143,390 events (+2.3%)

Hotel Charter Berlin: Initiative by visitBerlin Convention Office and Berlin to attract more congresses to the city

Berlin has strengthened its position as one Europe’s top three travel destinations. In 2018, approx. 13.5 million people visited the city – an increase of 4.1% over 2017. The number of overnight stays rose by 5.5% to 32.9 million.

Berlin is especially popular with international tourists with 5.4 million visitors from abroad (+5.9%) spending 15.1 million nights in the city (+7.9%). Overnight stays by visitors from within Europe are the main driver of growth. After showing signs of slowing in 2017, this figure rose by 9.3% in 2018. Average stay duration of international guests grew slightly from 2.7 days in 2017 to 2.8 days in 2018.

“After slower growth in 2017, last year’s increase in overnight stays shows Berlin has lost none of its attraction,” notes Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. “In 2019, with the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, Berlin will be organising a global event expected to attract over one million visitors to the city.”

€2.63 billion in sales: Berlin’s economy profits from the congress sector

In 2018, Berlin’s meetings and conventions industry also further consolidated its leading position in this sector. The city hosted around 143,390 events attended by approx. 12 million participants. For the first time, the meetings and conventions sector generated over eight million nights in Berlin hotels. Events in this sector showed an increase of 2.3% over 2017, with a 2% rise both in the numbers of participants and overnight stays. In 2018, the Berlin meetings and conventions sector generated total sales of €2.63 billion (2017: €2.51 billion). With Berlin’s event industry providing a total of 44,100 full time jobs in statistical terms (2017: 43,200), this sector is an important economic factor for Berlin. For the last five years, in a comparison of international congress cities Berlin has been ranked among the top 5 destinations behind Barcelona, Paris and Vienna.

Hotel Charter Berlin: New congresses for Berlin

The new Hotel Charter is designed to further strengthen Berlin’s position in the international meetings and conventions sector. The Hotel Charter is an initiative to attract new large international congresses to the city. It provides exclusive services for organisers of congresses with over 1500 participants and lasting at least two days. At present, the Hotel Charter has attracted 96 participating hotels with a total of over 51,000 beds – around 40% of Berlin’s total volume. The Hotel Charter represents a commitment to the entire city. It has been launched by the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office together with the visitBerlin Partner Hotels Association and the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.


India: Association Leaders Invited to Discuss Global Future for Associations

Leaders of professional and trade associations from across India are being invited to shape the future this August as registration opens for the 2019 India Association Congress.

Around 300 key association stakeholders will attend this year's IAC, which is returning for its 7th edition, and delegates can now take advantage of early bird discounts.

This year's congress will be themed around the 'Interconnected World of Associations' and will focus on the global market to find out how associations can handle the future. Through the wide and varied program of keynotes, panel discussions and sectorial roundtable, the goal is to identify and manage the difficulties that exist in forming strong international links in an uncertain world.

Prasant Saha, IAC Chairman, said, "There is an increasing amount of political and economic instability across the world, and trade protectionism is a real threat. So we have specially designed the program of the 7th edition of the IAC to address these challenges, along with many others.

"Our aim is to give association leaders the chance to strengthen worldwide alliances and shape the future. We want to make sure that our delegates leave us this year with the tools and contacts they need to face whatever the future holds."

The congress has grown over the years to become the biggest of its kind in India. Around 300 key association stakeholders will attend, and 72% of those delegates are decision makers, providing the ideal opportunity for networking with the people who matter. It is also proving to be a great CPD opportunity for up-and-coming industry professionals, who will benefit from an additional training session.

Prasant added, "Whatever level you are at, we welcome your input and ideas to build a strong future for associations in India."

Meanwhile, delegates can also look forward to the annual Association Excellence Awards. Delivered as part of the event's Gala Dinner, the awards aim to recognise those who strive for brilliance in their everyday activities.

The India Association Congress will take place at the Aravalli Range, Le Meridien Gurgaon, Delhi NCR on 23 and 24 August 2019. Special early bird rates apply for delegates registering before 15 July. Registration is open online now at http://indiaassociationcongress.com

Indonesia: Tourism in Lombok on its Feet Again for 2019

Majority of tourism operations in Lombok, Indonesia, are open again and hungry for business as they recover from the natural setbacks of 2018

Tourism in Lombok

Beach destinations, big nature and colourful markets: Lombok seeks to put itself back on the international tourism map in 2019. Around 90% of tourism operations in Lombok, Indonesia, are back in business following the devastating earthquakes of August 2018. In the north west of Lombok, the island of Gili Trawangan is leading the recovery, followed by Gili Meno and Gili Air.

That’s the assessment of Khiri Travel Indonesia General Manager Herman Hoven who inspected Lombok’s tourism destinations during Christmas/New Year 2018-19. Hoven said Gili Trawangan was recovering well due to its reliance on the backpacker and ‘flashpacker’ markets. Some hotels on Gili Meno, more reliant on the couples and honeymoon market, and Gili Air, will take time to rebuild. “But this is not affecting the visitor experience available now,” said Hoven.

“Beaches have been cleared of rubble and streets re-paved,” he said. “It was encouraging to see, probably up to 90% of tourism businesses rebuilt, renovated and open for operations. We’d like to see all the tourism businesses back in demand to speed up economic recovery in the area.”

Hoven estimated that tourism operators in the north are trying to survive with business still at 10-30% of pre-earthquake levels.

Tourism businesses in the south of Lombok, with its stunningly deserted beaches, were hardly impacted by the earthquakes, and are open as normal, he said.

However, around Mount Rinjani in the centre-north of the island it was a mixed picture. The summit of the famous mountain, towering 3,726 meters above sea level, remains closed leaving many of the guides and porters out of work.

Guides are adapting

As a response to the downturn, members of the Rinjani Women’s Guide Association have had to refocus their efforts. They are now more actively promoting trips around the villages and attractions of the Senaru foothills. “It’s a heartening and proactive response,” said Hoven. “The Senaru area offers many beautiful outdoor hikes for tourists, no matter their level of fitness.”

To the immediate south of Mt Rinjani, Hoven also reported that tourism is returning to Tetebatu, an area famed for its traditional weaving and craft villages. Khiri Travel’s ecotourism trips to the small uninhabited islands on Lombok’s east coast are also operational.

“The people and geography of Lombok are amazing. The islanders deserve more support from the tourism industry,” said Hoven. Long haul international visitors typically spend around 3-4 nights on Lombok as part of a larger 18-day trip. The destinations around Lombok remain fully open.

Before August 2018, Lombok was among Indonesia’s fastest growing tourism destinations and a rising star in the government’s aim of creating ‘10 new Balis’. Since then the picture is less clear. Up-to-date and reliable statistics on Lombok’s tourism numbers are difficult to find. In late August, after the earthquakes, Indonesia’s tourism minister Arif Yahya said Lombok usually received about one million international visitors a year (compared to Bali’s six million).

The Trading Economics website estimates that tourism arrivals to Indonesia were up 8.16% year on year to January 2019. The country averages about 1.2 million visitors per month, with Bali receiving about 40%. Aggregated sources indicate that, normally, Lombok receives around 3,000 visitors a day – but much less since August 2018.

Destination insights on Lombok by Khiri Travel can be accessed on www.khiri.com

Inclusive Leadership: Gender Equality as an Economic Imperative and the Perils of Unconscious Bias

IMEX in Frankfurt shines a light on diversity and inclusion

“Organisations which embrace diversity will see positive repercussions throughout their business – from staff motivation and engagement, heightened innovation and a boosted bottom line. Diversity means diversity of people, minds, ideas, and approaches and it’s something we value at IMEX and recognise as crucial to the future success of the events industry – that’s why it forms a core part of our offering at IMEX in Frankfurt this year”, Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains the show’s spotlight on diversity ahead of International Women’s Day on Friday, 8 March.

IMEX in Frankfurt, taking place 21 – 23 May, offers a wide range of experiences, education and experts enabling planners to discover the latest best practice in business, as well as developments in diversity and inclusion.

A session taking place on EduMonday, a dedicated afternoon of education taking place the day before the show on Monday 20 May, focuses on cultural diversity. Cultural differences and their impact on destination management explores how to prepare for a culturally different client as well as the principles that should guide planners globally, regardless of local customs.

She Means Business

Also taking place on EduMonday is She Means Business, created in partnership with tw tagungswirtschaft, a conference celebrating the role of women in the events industry. As one of the inspiring speakers debating the crucial issues facing women today, Gernot Sendowski, Director of HR Global Diversity & Inclusion at Deutsche Bank AG, delivers a male perspective on gender equality and female empowerment as well as exploring the German and European diversity charters. Angela Dern, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), talks about gender equality as an economic imperative and details the UN Women 10x10x10 Impact Commitment, an initiative engaging 10 governments, corporations and universities around the world.

Inspiring inclusivity

Developing leadership skills to manage and motivate a diverse team is covered in Industry best practices on how to be an inclusive leader, one of the many education sessions taking place on the show floor during the three days of the show. The session at the Inspiration Hub explores the best practices and communication models required to become an inclusive leader.

The design of an event can impact inclusivity and this is discussed in Redesigning inclusive events by overcoming unconscious bias. The session shows planners how to uncover their unconscious bias and discover practical ways of designing events to embrace diversity and inclusion.

Planners, buyers and other visitors can explore destinations, venues, tech providers and more at IMEX in Frankfurt from 21 – 23 May 2019. Among the many exhibitors already confirmed are New Zealand, Senses of Cuba, Barcelona Convention Bureau, Visit Brussels, Kempinski Hotels, Meliá Hotels and Latvia.

During the three days of the IMEX trade show, buyers can meet and making appointments with more than 3,500 suppliers from every sector of the global meetings and events industry.

She Means Business, part of EduMonday, takes place on Monday 20 May, the day before IMEX in Frankfurt, 21 -23 May 2019. It’s free to enter once you’ve registered for IMEX in Frankfurt.

Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry.


BestCities Global Alliance Announce Financial Benefits For Associations

BestCities Global Alliance, the network of 12 premier international convention bureaus, is launching a range of client financial benefits, thanks to an innovative new partnership with payment solution company, Meeting Escrow.

A world first for a multi-destination alliance, the three-year strategic collaboration will offer BestCities’ a new portfolio of secure payments, foreign currency budget protection and VAT reclaim services for business event clients globally. BestCities clients will receive preferred pricing on the fees for their services, that are not offered to clients meeting in other destinations.

The Meeting Escrow partnership is the first by BestCities since it announced a new strategic plan and enhancement of the Alliance’s offering earlier this year, ahead of its 20th anniversary in 2020.

Equipping BestCities with a competitive advantage and market differentiation, the partnership aims to address key challenges faced by clients when trading globally across currencies for event planning. These challenges range from varying exchanges rates, which can have a significant impact on client budgets, to mounting administration costs and time involved in VAT reclaim processes.

The benefits Meetings Escrow has crafted to support BestCities’ clients and partners include:

  • Foreign currency budget protection: locking in today’s exchange rate so clients have zero exposure to future rate increases when their event takes place in their destination
  • VAT reclaim process: co-ordinating claims, paperwork and regulations on behalf of clients to ensure an effortless process and maintaining a single point of contact for the event planner
  • Preferred pricing: clients that meet in BestCities destinations will receive a 50% discount on the fees for these services, a savings that is exclusive to the Alliance

Paul Vallee, Managing Director at BestCities Global Alliance, said: “BestCities is always looking for ways to expand our offerings and bring new benefits and solutions to the table for our clients.

“This important partnership with Meeting Escrow provides tangible benefits to clients by providing solutions to common financial issues that associations face when meeting around the world.

“Meeting Escrow is a company that we are pleased to partner with as they not only provide practical solutions for the marketplace but ensure they give back to the industry. For example, they support the Incredible Impacts programme we jointly operate with ICCA that recognizes associations with $7,500 grants for long-term legacies.”

For more information on the new Meeting Escrow partnership, visit www.bestcities.net or www.meetingescrow.com

Netherlands: The Hague Convention Bureau Silver at M&IT Awards for Best Overseas Convention Bureau

“We are honoured to be given this award. At the convention bureau we continue to build on our services, with an ambition to maintain our leadership position in this industry,” said Bas Schot, Head of Congresses & Events at THCB.

Organised by Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine, the M&IT Industry Awards are the largest and most prestigious recognition programmes, and this year was a record-breaker with 1,300 event industry professionals attending.

“To be back on the podium for the 6th consecutive year at M&IT’s independent vote-based Awards, and especially against such strong and established competition, is such an honour for The Hague. To be recognised in this way by UK-based event planners, at the largest UK awards demonstrates the growing awareness and appreciation of what The Hague can offer,” said Paul Swain and Faye Banwell, THCB’s representatives in the UK market.

THCB has the goal of strengthening The Hague’s presence internationally, making the city one of the top 50 event destinations worldwide. Winning the Silver M&IT Award is, therefore, a highly valued international recognition of the efforts in this direction.

Bas Schot acknowledges the key role of a strong network of local partners who work in streamlined cooperation: “Establishing and maintaining exceptional standards for our work has always been our priority. That would not be possible without the support of our partners and we are very grateful for the outstanding work they are doing.