Hybrid events at Pentahotel Leipzig: Stay Local Go Global

At the beginning of October, I visited Pentahotel Leipzig. The hotel is part of the Penta Group, which has 27 hotels in Europe and Asia (Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Russia), with further expansions planned in the next 2–3 years.

The history of Penta Hotels goes back to 1971 when it was founded as a joint venture of five airlines, providing accommodation for crew members to stay when on duty. The hotels were located in major airline hubs, guaranteeing high occupancy rates. In 1993, the chain was sold to a Honk Kong-based company—New World Development—and in 2007, the Hotel Group was completely relaunched as a boutique lifestyle brand. 

The Leipzig property is the flagship hotel of the group in terms of size and volume, with 356 rooms and suites and 17 conference rooms for up to 600 people, making it the second-largest conference hotel in Leipzig.

The ultimate incentive experience A–Z: interview with Heidi Legein, Managing Director at The MICE Guru

Back in July, I hosted a week-long Instagram Live series with Heidi Legein, Managing Director at The MICE Guru, a destination management company (DMC) based in Norway. During the past months of the lockdown, Heidi has been actively promoting her destination and inspiring and educating fellow event professionals about Norway. She has also felt encouraged to keep thinking about international travel and ensure that events are still being planned, rather than cancelling them. Heidi has become the face of Norway for the international event community and, in addition to having substantial knowledge about her product, she processes significant industry expertise. I am, therefore, highly excited to share this interview with you. 

The overall series was about ‘DMC: The new value proposition’. I interviewed Heidi about her role and work across various business areas of the DMC, beginning by defining its role, how to host virtual site inspections, how DMCs contribute to destination marketing, sustainability and incentives.

Incentives are, perhaps, the most exciting part of MICE travel and involve attendees having highly unique experiences at a destination. But what is an incentive? 

According to Heidi, ‘Incentives stimulate investments to motivate and encourage someone to do something.’ There are different types of incentives. Heidi mostly does incentives for mid- to high-level management, which are often multi-destination experiences. The most common incentive is a  5-day-4-night programme, often at two different destinations within Norway. This programme offers several exciting experiences along the way and many surprises that guests may not necessarily know about beforehand, which makes it particularly exciting. 

Now is the time to rethink and restart the events industry: Interview with Angeles Moreno, Managing Partner at the Creative Dots

Angeles Moreno is the founder of the Creative Dots, a company that helps corporations design their customer journey and create a culture of customer-centricity. Angeles has been in the events industry for over 30 years and possesses international experience with a large network. 

Entrepreneurship is in her DNA. She has launched and run two companies during past crises and was able to overcome the obstacles they presented to her. Now running her third company, she is faced with a new crisis—COVID-19—which has unique components. But her previous experience has prepared her to navigate through the uncertainty. 

I interviewed Angeles about her industry experience, specifically going through the uncertainty faced in the past, and I asked what event professionals should do now to remain resilient and come out stronger from this crisis. 

The MICE Exchange, episode 3: Is it time to rethink geographic market segmentation in the events industry?

The corona crisis has brought the industry together in a way we could have never imagined before. In the current climate, there are no borders and limits to how we can connect and interact with the industry online.

New online initiatives were born out of the crisis, such as the #eventprofstalk hackathon and #EventProfsTogetherAtHome, and this is just the beginning of a shift we’ll see growing in the coming years. 

While there’s a shift happening as I write, on a recent MICE Exchange Instagram Live Episode with Sabrina Meyers from Hot Hospitality Exchange (you can follow us on Instagram @themiceblog and @hothospitalitye), we discussed the event industry’s fragmentation caused by geographic market segmentation.  

The event industry consists of agencies, corporate events planners, freelancers, associations and so on. On the supplier side, there are DMCs, hotels, sales representation companies, destinations etc., and those are broken down further geographically. From an eagle-eye perspective, it’s usually agency and corporate, and from the supplier side, it’s hotels vs everything else, or alternatively seen as a stand-alone property or a service provider. 

Events industry post coronavirus crisis: ‘We need to have the confidence now to ensure that everyone knows what part events play in so many businesses.’ Interview with Kevin Jackson, Founder of The Experience is the Marketing

‘There’s going to be a new normal. We’re not going to go back. It’s impossible to return to where we were; we’ve all changed, and the world has also changed.’ Kevin Jackson. 

Kevin Jackson is the founder of The Experience is The Marketing and one of the most influential people in the events industry. He was working in the advertising industry during the 1987 crash and in the events industry during the financial crisis of 2007. Having gone through two major crises and established an impressive international career working with top global brands and building businesses, I immediately reached out to him to seek advice on how to navigate through the current uncertainty.

I have known Kevin for a number of years and highly value and respect his fresh and forward-looking perspective. His practical approach to business, which is based on many years of experience in advertising and events, is always spot on and can help businesses of all sizes. This time, the interview also brought a new perspective and a light of positivity during the current pandemic, with many important takeaways for events agencies to action upon. The complete interview from 15 April 2020 is provided below.