In-Market Sales Representation
Success in securing international conventions and meetings is highly influenced by relationships established in-market. It’s often not viable for most destinations to establish dedicated offices in-market. GainingEdge can help deliver a destination or CVB presence in its key target markets on a scalable basis, from part time to dedicated full time sales and business development resources. GainingEdge is the only representation company that operates globally – with sales people in all major markets representing clients from all parts of the world.
These representatives would be sales focussed with clearly defined targets, and key roles can cover the following: Lead generation; Bid research and presentations; Trade show attendance; Sales missions; PR and Media; and Client relationship management.
With a global network of business development people based in UK, Australia, Singapore, China, Sweden, India and the USA, GainingEdge currently provides in-market sales representation to Best Cities Global Alliance, South Africa, Malaysia, Tokyo and Guadalajara.
Project Brief: South Africa in Europe, China and India
By setting up the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB), the Ministry laid out its plan for business events to become one of the most important and sustainable economic development sectors in the country. To help achieve South Africa’s objective, SANCB required specialist skills, knowledge and resources deployed in key markets to cultivate growth in business events traffic and yield. Having dedicated in-market representation solely focused on business events is a key strategy of SANCB. The European market was identified as a crucial source market for sustained growth. However it required specific sales and marketing skills; a deep understanding of the market’s unique needs and expectations, familiarity of key players and a strong track record. Gaining Edge set up a dedicated sales and marketing representation team in Europe based out of Glasgow, London and Paris. Focusing on the international association market and the corporate meetings and incentive market.
In addition to Europe, GainingEdge also provides SANCB with sales representation in India and China – another two key markets for South Africa in the corporate incentive business.
Project Brief: Keeping Malaysia’s Profile high in Australasia
In May 2012, GainingEdge was appointed as in-market sales representative for Malaysia in the Australia and New Zealand markets.
The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau – MyCEB – needed to promote Malaysia as the Top-of-Mind Incentive destination in these two important source markets for its Corporate Incentive business and was looking for a more proactive and innovative approach to the market.
GainingEdge was the first representative company to establish strategic relationships with the Franchise Council of Australia and Direct Sell Association of Australia. This resulted in Malaysia securing 6 major corporate meetings and events in 2014. GainingEdge also initiated and assisted with a bid for the Meetings & Events Australia national conference attended by many of Australia’s leading meeting and event organisers. Securing the bid was only the second time the meeting was held offshore and provided an ideal platform for Malaysia to be promoted to many of Australia’s leading meeting and event planners.
Mike Williams - 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).Email Mike Williams
Senior Partner & Consultant
Esther Ng - Business Development Manager- South East Asia
With close to 25 years’ experience in the tourism, hospitality and business events market Esther joined the Travel Industry as Corporate Sales Manager handling bids for Business Event, Incentives and Leisure travel and was also operationally involve in the event management.
During this time Esther secured an extensive network of multinational clients within South East Asia. She is a meticulous organizer and believes good service comes from a humble altitude and not just strict performance of a duty.
In 1998 Esther set up her own company representing hotels in SE Asia and Australia seeking to create more market awareness specifically on Business Events and Incentive Travel targeting the Travel Industry and Corporate companies in Singapore and Malaysia.
With her destination and hotel knowledge, Esther is also a MICE consultant for Multi National Corporate companies. She manages their Annual Conferences mostly in the SE Asia and China. Her main clients are from the IT Software Companies and average group size of 50 to 200 participants.
With her passion in people relationship and providing good service she now spends her free time mentoring the young joining the hospitality industry. Esther has a certification as an ACTA trainer (Advance Certificate in Training).Email Esther Ng
Business Development Manager- South East Asia
Jackie Caldwell - Business Development Manager
Jackie, originally from Sydney, is now based in Melbourne and has been part of the Gaining Edge team since 2012 as the Australia/New Zealand representative for the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau. This role involves marketing the many unique MICE offerings in Malaysia to companies in Australia seeking an offshore destination for their meeting or incentive.
Prior to joining Gaining Edge, Jackie spent her early years managing conferences, exhibitions and events for some of the major PCOs in Australia. In more recent times she worked in business development roles including five years at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, where she started the renowned Club Melbourne ambassadors program.
Jackie's passion is travelling, meeting new people and learning about the many different cultures around the world. When home, she loves to spend time with family and friends, cooking, entertaining, wining and dining! When relaxing she's loves to read, go to the movies and dance.Email Jackie Caldwell
Business Development Manager
Faye Langley - Business Development Manager
Faye joined GainingEdge in March 2010. Faye’s projects include primarily representation and business development consultancy for a variety of GainingEdge’s clients. Faye is also the project manager for the GainingLeads Exchange whereby GainingEdge clients are encouraged to exchange bid intelligence with each other.
Previously, Faye has provided clients with training, research and business development consultancy in numerous regions throughout the world. She is an experienced business development manager working with convention bureaus, venues and professional conference organisers.
Prior to joining GainingEdge she served as the Business Development Executive, in the international sales team at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. She was responsible for helping and encouraging national and international associations to bring their conferences to Sydney. Earlier in her career Faye worked in the sales team at the Melbourne Convention Bureau (formerly Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau).Email Faye Langley
Business Development Manager
Jane Cunningham - Business Development Manager
Based in Stockholm, Jane joined GainingEdge December 2009 and has been doing Business Development for BestCities Global Alliance since then. Before joining GainingEdge Jane was the Sales Director for Congrex UK, an international professional conference organisation. Prior to that, she spent five years at the EICC (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) in Association Sales. Before returning to Scotland Jane worked in Dubai for Le Meridien Hotel as a Sales Manager.
Jane studied French, Italian and Tourism and after college she spent a number of years overseas working in the hospitality and tourism industry. She was an active member of ICCA and was on the ICCA UK & Ireland committee.
Jane has a passion for networking and connecting people, not to mention promoting the impact that conferences have on a destination and how collaboration can result in positive outcomes globally.Email Jane Cunningham
Business Development Manager
Dennis Campbell - Senior Manager - Sales Support
Dennis Campbell held numerous posts in the aviation and tourism sectors as the operations director of a general aviation firm, key sales/marketing management position at Southwest Airlines, as Vice President of the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors' Bureau, and General Manager of the New Mexico State Fairgrounds operations (5th largest in the USA). During his tenure in the travel and hospitality industry, he (and the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau) were awarded the Marketer of the Year award (1991 New Mexico Chapter of AMA) and honored with a "Dennis Campbell day" via Mayoral Executive Order (1996) for record contributions to economic impact through tourism and convention development, the only tourism official in Albuquerque, NM to receive such recognition to date.
As a Senior Associate at GainingEdge, Dennis specializes in our convention (MICE) bid coaching training modules and as a speaker and workshop facilitator for MICE related topics.Email Dennis Campbell
Senior Manager - Sales Support
Philippa Durrant - Business Development Director - North America
Philippa Durrant has over 20 years of experience working in the North American MICE market. She has represented international Destination Management Companies since 1996. In 2012 Philippa opened Arena Destination Marketing for the purpose of representing the city of Cannes and expanded the client base to include Association Management Companies and Associations that operate internationally. Most recently Philippa has worked with destinations across Europe and Asia including Vienna, Barcelona, London, Tokyo. Philippa has partnered with GainingEdge to provide in market representation services for GE clientele.
Philippa has a team of Sales and Marketing professionals who travel throughout the USA and Canada and attend all major trade shows representing our various destinations.Email Philippa Durrant
Business Development Director - North America
Lesley Williams - Business Development Consultant
Working in international sales and marketing for over 25 years, Lesley Williams has headed up the Business Tourism arm of Marketing Edinburgh, for the last 7 years before joining GainingEdge.
Leading 8 specialists in the Convention Edinburgh team, Lesley’s priority focus was to source and secure successful bids for international and national conferences for Edinburgh, the result of which saw Edinburgh rise to 27 in the ICCA World Rankings.
Very active in Scottish business tourism industry, Lesley sits on a number of committees focused on raising the profile of Scotland as a world leading conference destination. This included an active role as both Committee member and Chair for two years, in the creation of the Annual Business Tourism for Scotland, a conference that attracted over 300 industry professionals.
Lesley participates fully in the wider tourism arena sitting on international tourism committees. She is currently Chair of ICCA UK and Ireland Chapter where her aim is to ensure ICCAUK&I grows from strength to strength and continues to deliver for its members through an inspiring education programme and through business development opportunities.
Previous experience includes business development for international hotel chains and prestigious caterers and eight years as Director of Sales at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC), playing a key role in taking EICC into operational profit in 2003 through the development of key international and national association and corporate business.
With Edinburgh being a founding partner of the BestCities Global Alliance, Lesley plays an active part in the alliance helping shape strategy and business development.Email Lesley Williams
Business Development Consultant