All Posts By

Julia Rahman

Messe Frankfurt Revamps Spring 2021 Trade Fair Schedule

By | 2020

The largest trade fair, congress and event organiser Messe Frankfurt, will not, be holding any of its own physical trade fairs at its Frankfurt exhibition grounds between January and March 2021. The company is said, to be revamping its spring trade fair calendar, to focus on new synergies and digital offerings.

Messe Frankfurt has already organised 13 large trade fairs at various locations in China since the crisis began.

However, it is not possible to hold such events in Germany at present. This is in spite of the fact that exhibition halls are among the safest enclosed buildings in which people can spend time without being subjected to an increased risk of infection.

The halls can be continuously resupplied with fresh air, and in conjunction with the measures included in our extensive hygiene concept, people could safely do business in person here on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

Now that it is not only governments tightening travel restrictions, but also companies, the latest pandemic developments are causing growing uncertainty amongst trade fair customers.

Wolfgang Marzin, president and chief executive officer of Messe Frankfurt said:  “It is important for our customers that we make a decision at an early date, as it would otherwise be time for them to begin investing in their trade fair presentations. Messe Frankfurt will continue to work closely with its customers to ensure that its decisions serve the interests of the exhibiting industries.”






IBTM World 2020 Transition to Virtual

By | 2020

IBTM Events has announced that IBTM World 2020 will be held as a virtual event this year. The decision was made after consultation with partners of the event and, because of the travel restrictions of Covid-19.

“Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable. Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future,” said David Thompson, event director.

Commenting on the news Christoph Tessmar, director of Barcelona Convention Bureau, said: “We are very sad that IBTM World will not take place live in Barcelona this year. We all wanted, and indeed hoped that we would be able to get back to meeting face-to-face this year, and I know this has been an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved. We remain committed and supportive partners of IBTM World and together we very much look forward to hosting the global events industry in Barcelona next year.”

IBTM World Virtual will take place from December 8 to 10.  It will incorporate one-to-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers, as well as a knowledge programme with a range of targeted education sessions.

At the same time, exhibitors and buyers can benefit from IBTM’s bespoke appointment system of matchmaking buyer’s business needs with supplier’s services.

ITB China Travel Trends Report: China’s Travel Market and Consumer Confidence Steadily Recovering

By | 2020

Travel is still, to be, one of the preferred leisure activities among Chinese consumers with the gradual mitigation of the pandemic outbreak. Chinese willing to travel according to report by ITB China, is rising every day

In the survey conducted by the report, over 90 percent of the respondents believe travel to be still one of the preferred leisure activities among Chinese consumers. Over 40 percent of those surveyed, have recently received inquiries from consumers on outbound travel products. From May to June 2020, nearly 60 percent stated that their clients are interested in travel products as well as, actively buying pre-sale travel products.

Asked about the average annual spending of Chinese households in the next year: 60 percent of those surveyed estimate the spending between USD700 to 2,800; 24 percent expect it to be between USD2,800 to 7,060; while 10.5 percent think, it might be less then USD700; and 5.5 percent believe will be more than USD7,060.

While the latest statistics on China’s travel market during holiday season shows strong consumer demand and restored confidence in travel.

Statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism show, that during the public holidays from May 1 to 5 this year, all nationwide destinations welcomed a total of 115 million visits and generated domestic travel-related revenue of USD6.79 billion.

The report is based on a survey among 200 Chinese outbound travel agencies and travel companies, including interviews with several industry experts. The report is a yearly publication, updating global travel suppliers and Chinese buyers with the latest needs of the Chinese travel market in order, to get best prepared to restart travel business in China.

The complete version of the 2020 ITB China Travel Trends Report is published on


Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík Ready for Post-COVID-19 Era

By | 2020

The venue was temporarily closed when social distancing measures were put in place in Iceland on March 16.

Since April 5 however, there has been a steady decline in COVID-19 infections with only a handful of active cases in the country. On May 4, marked the start of substantial easing of the social distancing measures and on May 7, Harpa reopened becoming one of the first conference halls in Europe to do so during the pandemic.

When social distancing measures were put in place in Iceland on March 16, Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center in Reykjavík had to close temporarily. Before the outbreak, 2020 was on track to be a record year for Harpa in international events.

“It was confusing and difficult for us, as for everyone in the event industry, to see things unfold when borders started closing down,” says Svanhildur Konradsdottir, chief executive officer of Harpa. “But we certainly appreciate that most of our clients chose to postpone their events rather than canceling them. That inspired us to start right away to plan for the post-COVID-19 era.”

The chief executive officer stated that the venue is working closely with the Icelandic health authorities to enable international conference guests to be safely brought together this summer.He added, the venue have implemented processes on dividing space into sections to fulfill current regulations on group size and social distancing.  Also cleaning procedures for the whole building with attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces such as microphones, pointers, keyboards and podiums are disinfected between speakers. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are available to all guest.

Last week Reykjavik announced that from June 15, the 14-day quarantine will not be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavik International Airport. Instead, tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus.

ICCA and TCEB Announce Webinar Series to Navigate the New Norm

By | 2020

The two organisations are joining hands to present a series of educational webinars for the meetings community beginning from Tuesday, May 26.  The partnership will focus on education in response to the global COVID19 crisis with the objective to mitigate the disruption of activities.

ICCA, as the global meetings industry network, is aligning its strategic effort with TCEB to support the business community by means of continuing education and facilitating knowledge sharing. Both organisations will leverage each other’s resources to design customised webinars to meet the diverse needs within its membership, the association community and government sectors.

The ICCA-TCEB Webinar Series will consist of three webinars which will be presented at no cost. Both organisations will bring together thought leaders from across the global network to discuss broad topics on the future of conventions and behaviour change, expectations in the new business ecosystem and evolution of hybrid meetings.

Each webinar will be developed and designed to address the needs of different market segments. The first edition will focus on associations followed by the second one on intermediaries, and the third on government. The Webinar Series are scheduled on May 26,  June 2 and June 9 – running consecutively every Tuesday for three weeks in a row – are open to the global meetings community interested in the topic.

The first webinar of the series, scheduled to be held on May 26, has garnered voluntary support of experts from around the world to deliver virtual learning for associations.

TCEB Launches Hygiene Guidelines for MICE Venues after Easing of Lockdown

By | 2020

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has established under the new normal environment, five key measures on hygiene and public safety which has to be strictly adhered to.  It ranges from limiting the number of attendees (one person per two square-metre space), screening of body temperature, distancing practice within business premises in meeting rooms, elevator, restroom and canteen, establish a system to track delegate who becomes ill after visiting the premise and finally, a queuing system with the separation of waiting areas before entering the premises.

Thailand Convention Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) in collaboration with MICE stakeholder associations launch, the MICE Venue Hygiene Guidelines targeting MICE entrepreneurs to be well-prepared for the resumption of businesses under the new normal environment following, the positive sign of COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, and the gradual easing of lockdown by the government.

The MICE Venue Hygiene Guidelines however, have three key practices covering pre-event, onsite and post-event.

Pre-event practices include preparedness of staff, transport, setting up of screening point, self-screening application or website for attendees to feedback within 24 hours before the event. This as well as,  manual on permitted number of attendees, instruction on holding large scale activities and hygiene instruction for attendees.

While the onsite practice focuses on the use of information technology to mitigate risks. This includes the arrangement of venue to reduce touch points, regular cleaning of touch points and QR code for registration and satisfaction survey to ease congestion,  room layout for better ventilation, two-meter apart seating, microphone set-up at different points and regular cleaning after use.

In the case of speakers invited from location outside the host city safety measures taken to reduce incoming risks are by arranging shuttle service for speakers or provide accommodation near the venue for the speakers.

For exhibitions, advance booking technology for visiting exhibiting booths to lower gathering crowds or virtual exhibition technology should be employed to create experiences for those waiting in the queue. Product booking or purchases can be done through online platform.

Post event practices include the employment of waste management system that can prevent infection, producing a report on event organisation for authorities concerned in accordance with the orders and announcements of the Thai government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Iceland will Open its Borders on June 15

By | 2020

The Icelandic Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir has announced that from June 15, the 14 day quarantine will not be mandatory for passengers arriving at Keflavík International Airport. Instead, tourists and Icelandic residents entering the country will be given the option of being screened for the novel coronavirus.

After being screened at the airport, arriving passengers will go to their overnight accommodations, where they await the results. In addition to that, every arriving passenger will be asked to download the COVID-19 tracing app ‘Rakning C-19’ which helps authorities trace the origin of transmissions.

Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjord Gylfadottir, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation says: “When travellers return to Iceland we want to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic. Iceland’s strategy of large scale testing, tracing and isolating have proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us.”

The proposed border opening depends on the continued decline of cases in Iceland. At this point, only three cases of the virus have been diagnosed in May, only 15 individuals have the virus in Iceland with more than 15 percent of Iceland’s population have been tested. Authorities stated that it could also be implemented earlier than June 15 if preparations go well, and the number of cases remains low. The testing may be used toward further research of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

Meet in Reykjavík – Reykjavík Convention Bureau: Tel: +354 527 6666

Business Events Council Malaysia Appeals to the Government to Restart Crucial Sector

By | 2020

The Council is appealing to the Malaysian Government to make a clear distinction between business events and mass gatherings with a view, to establish a restart date for this crucial economic sector of the country. Currently under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) which was enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conferences and exhibitions in the country, are prohibited from taking place

Chairman of the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), Alan Pryor, said that it was important for the government to understand that the business events industry can operate safely under the comprehensive standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Malaysia’s business events venues and facilities according to the chairman, can offer controlled environments with high quality operational standards to ensure the health and safety of people which, has always been the primary concern, of the business events industry. As such he mentioned the sector, should not be subject to the mass gathering restrictions that apply to other large-scale events such as weddings, religious gatherings, sports events and concerts.

Pryor commented: “Event venues are economic engines for their cities and communities, creating significant tax and travel revenues as well as jobs. That is why, in consultation with the industry, we have developed highly comprehensive SOPs, which demonstrate our focus on ensuring the safety of our employees, clients, suppliers and attendees.

Collectively industry stakeholders have submitted these SOPs to the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) who have in turn, submitted them to the government. We hope that these will demonstrate the proactivity from our industry in working with relevant government authorities to facilitate the reopening of the business events industry sector, which plays a vital role in stimulating Malaysia’s economy.”

Meanwhile the relevant industry sectors have developed a range of comprehensive SOPs with the support of industry associations which incorporate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, and physical and social distancing.

Based on the SOPs, Malaysian business event venues will also be required to implement a variety of other measures including temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touch-points, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems. Specifics of these SOPs will be further customised for each venue and event to ensure the health and safety of all involved in the planning and execution of events on site.

“We do hope that the Malaysian Government takes this distinction into account moving forward, as has been happening in other international markets such as China and Germany. Gatherings and events are not all equal and come in many different shapes and sizes. Purpose-built convention centres are required to maintain international standards with controlled environments and stringent operational processes,” Pryor concluded.

PATA Releases 39 Destination-Specific Forecast Reports

By | 2020

The reports delve in the changing dynamics of travel and tourism in the specific destination across the Asia Pacific region with individual forecasts based on: annual visitor arrivals into each destination by source market; annual arrivals from the destination across other Asia Pacific destinations; and aggregate visitor receipts where data availability allows.

In addition, each report also estimates the income and price elasticity of tourism demand highlighting some key visitor trends over the forecast period and analyses, on scheduled inbound flights and seats. Each factor describes in detail how demand preferences are shifting across the Asia Pacific region.

PATA’s chief executive officer, Dr. Mario Hardy stated that the world is data-driven and it is the focus on hard data that will, offer a significant advantage to destinations that can best identify, and cater to source markets that will be the first to travel again once, the current pandemic is brought under control.

He further said, “Budgets are likely to be very tight in the near-term, so a strong alignment of activity directed toward those source markets with the strongest potential for conversion to travel, will be essential.”

Knowing those markets according to Dr. Hardy, when they are likely to rebound with travel, will be critical in delivering cost-effective results. The income and price elasticity as shown in the reports for many of the source markets will, be an important factor in this regard he added.

PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre has updated series of destination reports which are designed to present insights into the ever-present shifts and changes that occur in the travel and tourism sector and in such a way that strategic actions, can be better facilitated.

Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre is on Track

By | 2020

Work on the WCEC is slightly ahead of schedule. All 220 piles have been put in place and 60 per cent of the base layer concrete had been poured when the Alert Level 4 lockdown was imposed by the New Zealand Government. Work resume on the April 28 as New Zealand entered Alert Level 3.

The 18,000 square metre WCEC is, Wellington’s  first premium conference and exhibition with conference facility spread across two floors capable of hosting multiple smaller conferences simultaneously, or a large convention of up to 1400 delegates.

Earlier in April, the centre announced a virtual planning tool to help users create and develop their own event floor plans, whilst becoming more familiar with the rooms and flexibility of the centre throughout the construction period.

Once an event has been created, it can then be sent to the user as reference or go straight to the sales team to receive pricing and indication of availability.

According to WellingtonNZ Regional Development Destination and Attraction’s general manager David Perks whilst the events industry is currently severely impacted by Covid-19 the industry, is preparing to organise conferences and events as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“We know clients have an interest in bringing events to Wellington, its New Zealand’s capital city and seat of parliament with access to Ministers and key government officials.

“It’s also home to multiple universities and research institutes, is easy to get around, has great access to cultural, retail, environmental and natural activities, and its people are fabulous hosts and ambassadors for New Zealand.”

Please contact the Business Events Wellington team at for more information.

Work has started on the Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre.