GainingEdge Insights, January 2014

Welcome to our GainingEdge Insights, January 2014 edition. As our valued colleague, we would like to keep you informed about industry developments and news from our company.

Gong Xi Fa Chai (“wishing you prosperity in the coming year”) to all friends and clients celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year. 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse according to Chinese zodiac. The Chinese consider the horse energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. In ancient times, an efficient and able person is referred to as ‘Qianli Ma’, a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).

The most famous wood horse? The Trojan Horse of Troy!

GainingEdge 10th Year Anniversary

On 7 January 2014, GainingEdge celebrated 10 years of “consulting the world’s business events industry” with an anniversary publication comprising a chronology of events in the last decade. Today, GainingEdge has a global presence with associate offices in Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America and Latin America. In 2011, the company rebranded from Gary Grimmer and Company to GainingEdge. Last year, it introduced Film Commission services as a new product and signed partnership agreements that created GainingEdge Australia/New Zealand and GainingEdge Americas (see story below).

GainingEdge Americas

GainingEdge and InterVISTAS Consulting ( announced their partnership for providing convention and tourism related consulting services in North and South America during ICCA Congress in Shanghai last November.

This partnership results in the opening of a new GainingEdge office in Vancouver, BC, Canada that will provide consulting services as GainingEdge Americas. GainingEdge Americas will operate as a subsidiary to GainingEdge and is an equal partnership between the two companies.

“While we have two team members in the US and a permanent team member in Brazil, our view was that we needed a larger team in North America to become more engaged there and to also develop projects in Latin America” explained Gary Grimmer. “By joining forces with InterVISTAS in the Americas we immediately ramp up a more significant presence and greater service capacity.”

InterVISTAS Executive Vice President, Paul Ouimet added: “We see GainingEdge as major leader in the consulting market for international conventions. Having done our own projects in North and Central America, we felt that we wanted to expand our opportunities to serve the convention market. In our view, a partnership with GainingEdge is the fastest path to doing that. The opportunities for synergies between the two companies are enormous.”

GainingSupport for LATAM

In December 2013, GainingEdge signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Asociación Latinoamericana de CVBs (the Latin American Association of CVBs) to provide pro-bono support for their LATAM Convention Bureau Development Project. In this Project, GainingEdge will, in addition to other types of support, undertake a preliminary market assessment studies of up to 10 CVBs and assist with their development of an advocacy toolkit focused on enhancing the destination’s competitiveness.

GainingEdge at AIME Melbourne

Our lead consultants Gary Grimmer (, and Mike Williams (; and business development consultants Faye Langley ( and Jackie Caldwell (, will be at AIME Melbourne this February and look forward to meeting you again if you will be there as well.

Please feel free to email any one of them for a catch-up.

News from our Clients:

Simpleview makes Inc.5000 List again

Simpleview, a founding company of Arena Destination Benchmarking, (the other founding companies being InterVISTAS Consulting and GainingEdge) was named in the 2013 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States. This is the seventh consecutive year Simpleview is recognized by Inc. 5000.

Founded in 2001, Simpleview provides Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) with integrated customer relationship management (CRM) and content management system (CMS) platforms, forecasting and reporting tools, dynamic websites, mobile websites, search engine optimization and interactive marketing.

More about Arena Destination Benchmarking project: ( will help DMOs to better identify growth opportunities, areas for improvement and to make informed decisions about allocating budgets, destination development, sales and marketing programs and staffing plans. Furthermore, Arena will allow participating organisations to improve their business performance and demonstrate results to stakeholders.

Houston takes onboard Healthcare Meetings consultancy support

The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) recently hired former Texas Medical Center executive John Kajander as a senior consultant for Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Kajander will support the GHCVB’s domestic and international sales departments in booking Life Science meetings, conferences and tradeshows for Houston.

The Texas Medical Center and GHCVB have worked together since 2007 to bring national and international medical meetings to Houston and develop new ones, such as Medical World Americas, which will debut in April 2014. Other major bookings include the Human Genome Organisation’s annual meeting in 2016 and the World Federation of Acupuncture Societies in 2014.

BestCities Global Alliance appoints its Leadership Team 2014

Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau will assume the role of BestCities Board Chair. She will be supported by Heike Mahmoud, Director of Conventions of the Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin, and Daniel Palomo of Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau. GainingEdge will continuing servicing the alliance as its Head Office.

Malaysia to host MEA Conference 2014

MEA Conference 2014

The Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) Annual National Conference will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre this May. This marks the first time the conference will be held in South East Asia and only the second time outside Australia.

“Choosing Malaysia is very timely as Australia looks to strengthen its trade and economic ties with Asia. It is an excellent platform for the industries of Asia and Australia to engage, collaborate, build business networks and exchange ideas in what is the most dynamic growth region is the world,” said Linda Gaunt, CEO of MEA.

Additional support now available from Prague Convention Bureau

Through the Prague City Council, the Prague Convention Bureau can now offer grants for non-profit organization congresses with 1,500 and more delegates. At least 50% of delegates must be overseas delegates. This subvention can be used towards the cost of the venue rental or welcome reception.

GainingEdge to represent South Africa in Europe and Asia

The South African National Convention Bureau has appointed GainingEdge as its sales representative in Europe and Asia. GainingEdge also represents Malaysia in the Australasia market; and Houston in the Latin American market. In addition GainingEdge’s Jane Cunningham provides business development consultancy and support to BestCities Global Alliance.


GainingEdge organises GainingConnections activities at trade shows and industry events during the year, such as IMEX Frankfurt and the ICCA Congress. These consist of:

- Educational events
- Business leads exchanges

Please contact us should you wish to participate in these events or would like to know when the next activities are taking place.