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My review of the World Travel Market 2014

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Last week I attended the World Travel Market, one of the leading B2B exhibitions for leisure travel in London. It was one of the first exhibitions I attended when I just moved to London back in 2011 and since then I attend it every year.

I love this exhibition from several reasons, main one being the excellent seminar programme they offer for travel professionals. Yes, this exhibition if for travel professionals but eventprofs can highly benefit from attending. Secondly I love the venue, the ExCeL in east London. It is very modern, it has stunning views, great catering offer, excellent seminar rooms and it is just the perfect fit for the WTM. I attended other exhibitions at the ExCeL I could potentially reallocated them to a different venue, as I found the ExCeL was too big for them.

Usually I try to attend WTM all three days, but this time I could just attend it on two days, the first and the third, last day. This year I was invited by Rio CVB for their lunch event on the Sunborn Yacht Hotel just next to ExCeL. The hotel opened in June so that was the first time I had the chance to visit it. Luckily the weather was good and view over Canary Wharf, The O2 and the Crystal was beautiful and clear.

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Brazil is now getting ready for the Olympic Games so we got a short overview of the latest venues, hotels and the total capacity and the Olympic venues and cities that are going to host the Olympics.

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“Me and my friends will show you how our city is getting ready”


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© The MICE Blog

After this event I attended the Travel Bloggers Unite seminars. One was about how tour operators can collaborate with bloggers and the second one on looking beyond travel blogging, which I also enjoyed the most. Bloggers from different sectors – food, parenting and fashion discussed how they work with destinations and travel brands and a representative from Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board talked on how she worked with fashion bloggers during the Malaysian fashion week. The audience was very mixed, both bloggers and companies looking for how to better work and collaborate with bloggers.

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After these two sessions I left and came back again on Thursday, hoping to see more from the exhibition floor.

I arrived at noon time and the exhibition was very empty in comparison to the first day, with some stands abandoned by their representatives. On the other hand, some stands, like the Indian, Taiwanese and Korean were very busy! Korea is one of my favourites on that. I remember back in 2012 when the Gangnam Style was a hit, they played it at their stand and had a competition where you could win a trip to Seoul. This time they served lunch and offered traditional postcards, while the Indian offered hand art and the Taiwanese stand was also very busy showcasing wire handicraft.

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© The MICE Blog

© The MICE Blog

Abu Dhabi went through complete stand redesign. Here are the stands from last year and this year.

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© The MICE Blog

I liked the idea of the German stand. They did a kind of pop-up seminar room stand where they also had presentations over the three days. I think such design will have one of the highest ROIs on exhibition spend as you have the chance to scan attendee budges during the seminar for a follow up.

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I didn’t have time to see more stands this time, I then had to rush to the presentation ‘turning experience into successful experiments’ which presented social media campaigns run by travel bloggers and how they work with destinations.

To conclude, that is not the first time I experience that the last day of exhibition was very “weak”. There are less seminars and the exhibition floor is half empty. I think that exhibitors and event organiser can do more to prevent it and make the last day of exhibition as exciting and busy as the first one. What do you think?

See you next year!

In your opinion, how exhibition organisers and exhibitors can make the last day of exhibition more interactive for attendees? 

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All photos © The MICE Blog

Event marketing that inspires

It´s Monday, and it´s the first working week of the New Year. So how about some inspiration in form of event marketing?

If you read one of my previous posts “St. Moritz Art Masters – World Class Event at Top Destination”, you may be already familiar with what I´m going to present you.

So what is it about?

Events promote a number of inspirational quotes. When you read them you don´t think about the event, you may not be even aware that such an event exists, until you look on the bottom right or left of the poster and you realise that this relates to the event. I don´t see it very often, this is only the second time I encounter such marketing strategy and I find it very interesting and interactive (and inspiring, of course). I wish to see more events doing it, it´s a sophisticated way to use print media (no need to move completely to digital) and it just proves in what diverse and original ways you can promote your event. Think out of the box.

Have you seen such marketing elsewhere?












Expert interview with Dr. Christian Coppeneur-Gülz, managing director of WWM Group

Dr. Christian Coppeneur-Gülz is the managing director of the WWM Group, today a leading provider of event and marketing solutions for B2B customers in Germany. The following interview gives an overview about his innovative business model myWWM, industry insights and some takeaways for entrepreneurs.

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The WWM Group is a leading provider of event and marketing solutions for companies from all industries based in Germany but which operates internationally. In 2005 the WWM Group had three main business areas: mobile presentation systems, exhibition stand constructions and digital print. After analysing market trends in different industries Christian Coppeneur-Gülz came up with a new business model, myWWM.

How did it all start?

My family was already in the exhibition business. We were a market leader in Germany in producing pop-up-displays. After graduating from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management I decided to continue and make a PhD at the chair of Information Systems and Information Management (Wirtschaftsinformatik und Informationsmanagement), at the same time I worked part-time at the family business, where I could implement my research. That was when I came up with the idea of myWWM.

What is myWWM?

myWWM is an innovative business model which helps firms to facilitate their exhibition appearance. Instead of selling mobile presentation systems, we provide our customers with free of charge presentation systems. It may sound strange, but myWWM clients only pay for their individual graphics, which reduces their investment cost by 50%. In addition, we take over the storage of all marketing material and release the customers from all the related logistics. We offer our clients to set up their exhibition booths all over Europe for a fixed price. To that we make sure that damaged equipment is quickly fixed or replaced, the related costs are covered by our own insurance.

The myWWM software constitutes the core of the myWWM solution. It allows the coordination of all above mentioned processes online via the myWWM platform. Whenever a client is interested in myWWM, we offer the decision makers an extensive analysis and consultancy for continuous optimisation of their marketing processes.

What were the difficulties when you introduced the new concept?

In the beginning we had to convince our existing clients of our new business model, so we offered them to try it for free – we transferred their business to the new platform. Secondly, it was challenging inside the organisation, because the employees were still convinced about the old model. Today the business model speaks for itself.

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Today more and more companies host virtual exhibitions. Do you see it as a threat to your business?

No, and there are two reasons for that. Firstly, especially in B2B, long term relationships matter. People are in daily contact via email, phone or social media, and once in a while they meet face to face because meeting business partners in person strengthens the relationship and builds trust. In my opinion digital communication accompanies face to face meetings but does not replace them.

Secondly, there is a growing trend towards smaller exhibitions which are more targeted at the individual needs. To attend these kinds of events people are still very willing to invest time and money.

Besides the trend of smaller and targeted exhibitions, what other trends do you see?

Exhibitions become tactical, as opposed to strategic. Tactical means that customers book exhibitions more short term and the frequency of exhibitions increases. Customer behaviour is changing. At the WWM Group we recognise this trend by seeing booking lead time goes from three month to three days to which we are also responsive.

How do you incorporate sustainability in your business model?

In the traditional process, the customer has to contract several suppliers such as stand manufacturers, furniture suppliers, brochures/ print agency, technicians etc. At the end of the exhibition all this equipment has to be shipped back to the individual providers or thrown away. With myWWM we provide the customer with everything he needs and when the event is over we store it at our own logistics centre until it is needed again. That makes only one transaction and reduces the environmental footprint. In addition to that, when booking via our website, the customer can check the environmental footprint caused by the shipment. This transparency enables the customer to participate actively in the process.

What are the plans for the future?

By 2015 myWWM wants to be a market leader in three industries, recruiting, finance and healthcare.

Can you share from your entrepreneurial experience?

From my experience, in big companies you cannot implement your own ideas as in small companies but on the other side the private price is bigger.

Regarding small companies the competitive environment is not as tough as amongst big companies. Thus, if you are successful it will be quickly recognised.

It is important to build up relationships; people are always an important key factor in any business.

And last but not least, every industry is sexy. You can find opportunities in any business niche and become successful.

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Paris Gems

The amazing thing about Paris is that every time I travel there, I experience the city in a new way and see it in a new light. We were there just for the weekend and were lucky to have a great weather which allowed us to spend lots of time outside. This time, instead of spending time in the underground, we rented a bike and cycles through the city, stopping by the famous attractions such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the “Love Lock” bridge and the Louvre. We parked the bikes in one location and picked them up in another.
For a refreshment break we chose to go to the Angelina. Rumour says that that was the favourite place of Coco Chanel. They have an amazing signature drink, the hot chocolate and that was really delicious, I would definitely recommend! In addition we tried the signature dessert which was one of the best desserts I ever had!


That brings me to the next point, the food. I adore the cheeses in France. This time we just enjoyed having cheese and wine evenings and tried as many cheeses we possibly could.

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Did you know that originally the Eiffel Tower was built for an exhibition, the Exposition Universelle? I prefer to climb it instead of taking the elevator, and preferably at night. That way, when you are on the top you have an amazing view over Paris by night (Very romantic as well! I’ve seen two marriage proposals!). Climbing up the tower can be also a great afternoon group activity and you can book a guided tour and even have a dinner there.



I am a big fan of hotel bars, mainly because I was working in hotels before and familiar with high standards of 5 star hotels and the good quality of products. Bar 8 at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is a great place for a small celebrations or an after work events. The bar has a beautiful set-up and exceptional and attentive service.






If you would like to explore Paris by foot, I can recommend you to start from Montmartre, maybe also have a breakfast of coffee there, and from there walk to Moulin Rouge and then to the Opera, finishing with shopping at the Galeries Lafayette.