Advising the world’s convention and meetings industry
Founded in 2004, GainingEdge operates from seven cities worldwide and has successfully delivered over fifty engagements across the globe. We have an excellent track record in the establishment of new convention & visitor bureaus, capability development of convention & visitor bureaus, destination strategy, convention centre feasibility studies and in-market sales representation.
As a leader in the international business events market we offer access to benchmark performance data and best practices from around the world.
We bring the expertise of a diverse group of professionals comprising business events market expertise, convention bureau operational expertise, business development expertise as well as convention centre expertise. Our professionals are frequent speakers at industry conferences, serve on advisory bodies and participate in industry initiatives on an international basis.
To provide specialist consulting services globally that deliver competitive advantage and sustainable business to our clients.
GainingEdge will be seen as the leading consulting company that powers the success of the global business events industry.
Chief Executive Officer & Strategic Consultant
Gary has over 30 years’ experience in the convention industry. In 2004 he founded GainingEdge, a global consulting company that offers advisory services in relation to destinations, convention bureaus and convention and exhibition centres. It also provides convention and incentive sales representation services in all of the world’s key markets. The company’s services are end-to-end, with specialist expertise and global networks that cover both the supply and demand sides of the market. GainingEdge also manages the BestCities Global Alliance which is comprised of 12 of the world’s leading destinations. Gary has consulted at the local and national level on over 100 projects in all parts of the world.
Previously Gary was the CEO of Convention and Visitor Bureaus in Melbourne (Australia), Albuquerque (New Mexico, USA) and Portland (Oregon, USA.) He also served as Vice President for the Boston (Massachusetts, USA) bureau. His convention centre consulting experience includes market feasibility, demand analysis, facility scoping, design review, site review and operational consultation for convention centre developments. He also served on the London International Convention Centre Commission.
Gary was one of the lead consultants on Destination Next, a global study for Destinations International (DI) which defined the future of destination marketing. He is a former Chairman of the Board of DI and was one of the first six inductees into the inaugural Dl Hall of Fame in 2014. He also received the Asia Pacific IMEX Academy Award in 2007.
Senior Partner & Consultant
Mike is a destination and convention and visitor bureau specialist with 30 years’ experience in the tourism and business events industry. Since joining Gaining Edge in 2007 he has been a lead consultant on destination and convention bureau development for clients in Australia, Africa, China, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Qatar, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, United Kingdom & USA. Mike was the lead consultant for establishment and capability strengthening for the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau. This project included the collaboration with a university and research company to undertake an economic impact study and exhibition industry opportunity study. Mike was also deeply involved in bureau development programmes in Japan, Macao and Thailand. He has also been providing consultancy support for convention centre developments around the globe, including a number within the Asia Pacific region. In addition, Mike oversees GainingEdge's in-market sales representation.
Mike served as General Manager Sales & Marketing for the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau. During his tenure, he was involved in the National Business Events economic impact study and Melbourne Delegate Expenditure survey in collaboration with a university and research company. He also worked in senior marketing roles with Tourism Australia helping establish their presence in the Asia market and overseeing travel trade development in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mike was instrumental in the development of AIME, the largest MICE tradeshow in the Asia Pacific and the world’s first BestCities Global Alliance which includes Singapore as a partner. Mike is also a past Victorian State Chair and National President of Meetings and Events of Australia (MEA).
COO & Partner
Rod leads GainingEdge’s Convention Centre advisory team. His areas of expertise include feasibility studies, operational reviews, and development and asset management of Hotels and Convention Centres. At GainingEdge, he has consulted in Australia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore and Thailand. Rod has provided convention centre development advisory services including feasibility studies, site assessments, design reviews, pre-opening planning, operator selection and contract negotiations.
Rod has 20 years of experience in senior roles in hospitality and the corporate sector. He was previously at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) as regional CFO for Australasia Pacific. As asset manager for owned and leased hotels and venues he had responsibility from development stage to opening. He started his career at PwC where he held senior roles and was involved in numerous feasibility studies. Road has an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce, and is also a CPA.
Jane Vong Holmes
Senior Manager - Asia
Jane joined GainingEdge in June 2009, at that time as Associate, and later as Senior Manager Asia, focused on GainingEdge’s business and relationships in Asia. She helped establish GainingEdge’s signature events GainingLeads and GainingEdge Knowledge Exchange which takes place annually at IMEX and ICCA Congress.
Prior to this role, Jane served for 8 years as Regional Director Asia Pacific for the International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA. During her tenure, the ICCA Asia Pacific Regional Office established a research unit dedicated to studying association meetings and supplementing the market intelligence efforts of ICCA’s Head Office in Amsterdam. She had also worked in Malaysia’s National Tourist Office, Tourism Malaysia and served as the Deputy Director (Overseas) for Tourism Malaysia’s Sydney Office for four years.
Jane was honoured with the IMEX Academy Award – Asia Pacific in 2013. She has served two terms (2014-2017) as Deputy Chair of ICCA Asia Pacific Chapter. She co-authored two UNWTO publications on the Asia Meetings Industry (2012, 2017), and will release a report on Accessibility in the Meetings Industry, a joint project with BestCities and Rehabilitation International, in Nov 2018.
Since our inception in 2004 we’ve made corporate social responsibility and community engagement a priority, encouraging all of our team members to get involved. We also work with our clients where possible, for example in our GainingWheels programme, to identify individuals/organisations who are in need of assistance but unable to afford this.
Our Scholar Programme reaches out to the young and deserving future leaders of our industry, offering them work experience and a chance to network with trade colleagues. Our Scholars are students who wish to pursue careers in the business events industry and who demonstrate outstanding potential for future industry leadership.
In addition, we offer Industry Support – our consulting services, either pro-bono or at a reduced fee – for developing/emerging destinations which meet our criteria. We have been privileged to have worked with IMEX during their Wild Card programme, and our industry support continues through various projects.
Last but certainly not least, Community Engagement is very important to us. These can be the local communities where our projects take us, or global NGO organisations working to make the world a better place.
If you’re looking to build on a successful career in the convention and meeting industry, we would love to hear from you. GainingEdge offers an open and collaborative work environment, challenging career development opportunities, global projects and the chance to work with a team of industry leaders from around the world.
Interested? Connect with us on Linkedin or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for European Representatives. Click here to find out more information.LinkedIn