Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In all honesty I dare to say that I only understood half of what Professor James Gilmore (From the Experience Economy to Authenticity) said. That’s a real pity, after all, he was a keynote speaker and had a fascinating story to tell. English speakers should be briefed about talking slow, clear and easy English during congresses. And foreign speakers should get the advice to train their English because the fact is that English is the international way of communicating. And who was certainly right during the General Assembly was AIPC President Edgar Hirt. He deserves the credit as a German speaker for setting the best example of how to be a good speaker: in English and understandable up to the final word! Don’t look back, that was his message, but look forward by practicing good English for everyone.
I prefer Patates Frites (English) with mayonnaise. People used to tell me that you learn English the best if you have a hot potato in your mouth. It makes you pull funny faces and make strange sounds. In one word, unintelligible! I think some speakers still have a hot potato in their mouth. ‘Leities end Zjieentlemen, leits tak jin Tudou English’. Tudou is Chinese for potato…
Monday, June 30, 2008
In the evening, MPI held their summer drink in the NH Atlanta Hotel in honour of the two cyclists who were flanked by Willy Devriesere, who now represents STROKE - the Belgian association for stroke victims - but who also suffered from a stroke. Milo Vergucht and his colleagues at MPI had another surprise for us: we could all enter a raffle to predict the score of the Spain vs. Russia game to win some nice prizes. Of course, no one was able to predict the 3-0 but that didn’t matter, after all, the money they collected went straight to the Belgian chapter that helps stroke victims.
And the next day, their journey led Jon and Marco to Aachen, but you can read all about their trip on their website and don’t forget to press the big Donate button!
Monday, June 23, 2008
I must add that the Esplanade is built by men! Can someone see whether a building is designed by a woman? Conference delegates, keep an eye out for that building! Could it give you some inspiration for a congress centre of the future? I could see us all lying there in fetal position during a congress, nicely in the middle of the building!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
‘Can I kneel for you, Majesty?’ - ‘Certainly Sir, as long as you don’t kiss my feet.’
Luc Hendrickx acted very relaxed in the presence of Her Majesty. He is used to talking to Sheiks and Emirates.
‘Madame, how are your children and grandchildren?’ - ‘Oh, Sir, can we just enjoy the evening?’
I’ve asked my three hostesses if the carpet could also have a different color for each day. I will let you guess which day will be blue. In October during the ICCA congress in Victoria BC, about a half an hour flight with the Seaplane from Vancouver, I pop into the Pan Pacific Hotel again to check which color Saturday and Monday are. I think Canadian blue? Do you know why I think that? You’ll have to ask me in a comment (see below)
During the Forum I always saw two cheerful and smiling faces: Dan Melesurgo and Luc Charbonneau. The first one was ecstatic because he had achieved a successful forum in cooperation with ASAE as Executive Director Meeting, Convention & Incentive Travel Sales . The second one was so happy because he managed to bring in a big international congress: the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montréal. And we as Headquarters Magazine are very proud of that too!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I know, there are a lot of exceptions but I have to repeat that in a few continents more attention is paid to the architecture of the buildings than in Europe. Or let me put it this way: countries that recognize the (big) value of a nice convention centre, also invest a lot of time in the shape and the content of it all. New convention centres have become market places of people’s minds instead of man-made goods. Real intellectual meeting spots, I call them. Or am I mistaken again in this matter?
The last example I’ve found could even be called an experimental building. Really unbelievable. In Ras al Khaimah plans are made for a dramatically iconic congress centre that could even have its place in space. The mixed-use project designed by Rem Koolhaas (OMA) features convention and exhibition facilities, hotels, offices, dwellings, shops and restaurants. The proposed form is dramatically iconic. An interior that takes the form of a sphere can be considered as a minimalist approach. The sphere as an exterior form however, is absolutely iconographic. No doubt about that. It already starts with the fact that OMA themselves named one of the images ‘Deathstar’, after the space city in the film series Star Wars.
I would recommend to read the next HeadQuarters Magazine that will be introduced in June during the annual AIPC congress in Singapore. In there, me and Rémi Dévé have done some investigative journalism for the first time in the meetings industry. You will find some juicy details on Convention Centre architecture, interior design, green management, services and catering. And this time, I hope you won’t be mad at me.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In those two days he’d travelled 140 km. And all this for charity! Marco Barcella works for a charity organisation and in June he’s going to cycle in total a distance of 4800 km through 9 countries in 13 weeks, all this by initiative of Jon Bradshaw – also an Adonis type but a good cyclist too and he’s the Sales Manager of IMEX. The aim of this grueling physical challenge is to raise 20,000 pounds for stroke charities throughout Europe that fund the physical and mental rehabilitation of younger stroke victims. I told Jon, because he’s the leader, that he has to come to Antwerp after his visit to Amsterdam, to come and pick up another little cycling wonder, my Editorial Officer Steven Kins (see picture on the right). Jon, you have gained a new sponsor: HQ Magazine! And to whoever's reading this: go to the Cycle Europe website, get out your money and donate.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I know only few specialized organisers who succeed in launching a solid association congress, but there’s one exception: Kellen Europe’s annual EuroConference, which had its 8th edition this year. The best forum in all of Europe! No association day or meeting fair can compete with that. Since last year ESAE is also striving for the same quality - a beginning annual ESAE congress with a lot of potential for the future. The EMIF Association Days have always been doing well too. And then came my dream: why not start a step by step forum for one joint European Association Congress in the capital of Europe? One single annual Top European Congress, so charlatans won’t get a chance anymore. You can read more about this dream in HeadQuarters N°26.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Cécile Caiati-Koch: ‘Every year in December I create, together with a small team, a special about one particular aspect of Brussels. This time I had selected the subject ‘Brussels in the MIX’, with which I wanted to demonstrate that Brussels can offer a wide variety of activities to meetings and incentive organisers. The response I received from companies and organisers was overwhelming. Through the familiar Fax Back form that we sent along with the magazine I received 1800 requests for further information or for extra brochures. The year before we received 1300 requests for the ‘Touch down in Brussels and discover’ issue. With the next issue in December 2008 I will make Tripadvisor change its opinion with a complete MIM Magazine devoted to ‘Fun in Brussels’.
‘Each year I have a similar project for the cities of Antwerp and Ghent and for the Walloon region. This year I’m even making a special supplement on two cities at the same time: Liège and Ghent, highlighting the convention facilities for associations. Our readers are keen on our special MIM supplements because they’re brimful of new ideas for corporate events.'
‘People who clear out forests and jungles take away the oxygen of the earth. Forests are nature’s lungs.
Governments that clear out monasteries take away the spirit of the earth. Monasteries are the spiritual breath on earth.
Whoever touches these sources and values can count on an answer from nature because the earth can always overpower mankind.’
Thursday, March 6, 2008
At the time, those cities were ‘hot’ because they were managed in a particular way. Afterwards, they rested on their laurels… Until now! But in Nice, a little new meeting flower is blossoming at the Boulevard des Anglais; in Hong Kong another saucer has started twirling on a little stick in the ‘Fragrant Harbour’ and Antwerp had almost found its diamond gloss again… Unfortunately, Inge Van Gaal (see photo), who’s the present director of the Antwerp Convention Bureau, has said goodbye to her ‘cake town’. That’s the reason why I’ve had to wipe away a tear on Leap Day, February 29. It’s a pity. The waiter she introduced (see photo) is still holding open his dish but Inge is no longer in it. Maybe she’s having another dish now?
When I interviewed her in August 2006, she gave me a nice metaphor of a city as a waiter: ‘Service should receive the full attention in a city. That’s why I like to use the image of the ‘waiter’. A man or woman who meets visitors with a natural smile and sets them at ease, and who serves them ‘friendliness’ above all. All the other things we already have in abundance anyway.’
Friday, February 15, 2008
I can still hear myself thinking: “If only there were more cities that had such residents. Feeling happy because a new style of commodity exchange is built, this time not to trade goods but human intellect. A Brain Exchange Building!”
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Preeti showed me the new airport that’s being built - a unique project - and the Novotel airport hotel that’s also under construction - her new working environment in 2008! And I’ve been travelling through the new Hightech City of Hyderabad for half a day. You don’t know what you’re looking at! But there’s one thing I can see: now I roughly know how India’s Meetings Industry of tomorrow will look like.
But I didn’t know that India had the largest number of PCOs. Everywhere at the side of the road they’re announced. ‘Look, there’s another one!’ Preeti kept on saying. ‘Where?’, I replied all the time. ‘There’, she kept on saying. And another one, another one and another one… Private Communication Office or Private Call Office! Nice try, Preeti!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
By the end of 2007, Stockholm intrigued me during a presentation in Brussels. Ewa Wigenheim (see photo) announced that she would be opening the first ABBA museum in Stockholm together with her husband. On the 3rd of June 2009! 4000m² of ABBA pleasure will be shown for thousands of fans. But also for curious congress delegates!
From Zulus to Vikings
I caught - like a fever - the best incentive experiences of 2007, with the Zulus in South Africa (see blog) and with the Vikings in Iceland. On a fall day, Olöf Einarsdottir of Mountaineers of Iceland placed me on a snow mobile on the biggest glacier in Europe. I melted of pleasure in the ice! If you keep a list of all the things you would like to do in your life, add ‘A Multi Day Super Jeep Expedition’. Even if you’re wearing Italian fashion shoes, you can still experience an ice adventure like this! That’s how strong the glacier outfits are, that you get from the mountaineer guides. But, in this outfit you can’t go shopping in the shopping mall in Reykjavik!
Extra: in February 2008, number 25 of HeadQuarters magazine will be published. A celebration, a special edition... Meeting Trends. Keep an eye out for that issue if you want to know what lies ahead in 2008 and later!