GainingEdge Insights, July 2013

Welcome to our GainingEdge Insights, July 2013 edition. As our valued colleague, we would like to keep you informed about industry developments and news from our company.

GainingEdge Gains an Edge

GainingEdge is now officially qualified to offer our services to the Japanese government and its ministries and agencies. We have successfully applied for certification as a qualified foreign business events consultant. This means that for the next three years, GainingEdge can bid for the government’s procurements.

In the past, GainingEdge’s work in Japan has been as a subcontractor to a Japanese consulting firm, supporting projects for their clients. Our CEO Gary Grimmer said, “With this certification we are hoping to serve as lead consultant on other key projects that are coming up in Japan. This is quite significant for us, as there are not many foreign companies certified to consult the national government, and being certified at the national level should also open doors for us at the prefectural and local levels.”

Gaining Accolades

Our Senior Associate – Asia, Jane Vong Holmes from GainingEdge was recognized with the IMEX Academy Award – Asia Pacific at this year’s Gala Dinner in Frankfurt. The Award recognizes the individual’s pursuit for excellence and achievements in the international business events industry. Vong Holmes said: “Winning this Award is a great boost to my personal growth and professional development while reminding me how privileged I am to be part of the business events industry.

Vong Holmes joined GainingEdge in 2009 as its Senior Associate Asia, after 8 years as Regional Director Asia Pacific of the International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA. In her current role, she is also Managing Director of BestCities Global Alliance which is an alliance of ten of the top convention bureaus from around the world.

As part of GainingEdge’s international team, Vong Holmes has worked on the company’s projects in Malaysia, China, Macau SAR, Indonesia and Japan. GainingEdge’s global clientele and collaborators includes national, provincial and city governments, trade organizations and captains of the industry who share a common vision – to make business events a major driver of economic development.

GainingWheels Keeps On Turning

We thank our clients Japan National Tourism Organisation and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau for assisting us to make this gift of mobility possible for 2 more individuals. These two bureaus mobilised their contacts to find an individual who is in need of a wheelchair but could not afford one. Through the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities – JSRPD, which conducts training for people with disabilities from developing countries, a Nepali woman who suffers from Osteogenesis imperfect, will receive an electric wheelchair. Through the Ulu Langat Special Children Association of PKKIHL, a Malaysian rehabilitation centre for disabled and special needs children, a ten-year Malaysian child will be the second GainingWheels recipient in Malaysia.

GainingSupport at IMEX 2013

In the last 2 years, GainingEdge has teamed up with IMEX to offer free pre-show and on-site support to Wild Card winners so that these organisations can maximize their participation. These have included support for El Salvador, Fukuoka, Sendai (both Japan) and Davao City (Philippines) as they made their international debut at IMEX.

Our GainingSupport programme includes training on how to work international trade shows, advice on pre-scheduled appointments with buyers, pre-show/post show press release, review of show collaterals and buyers’ presentation, end of show debrief and tips on post show reporting.
IMEX 2013

Wild Cards at IMEX 2013 Gala Dinner. L to R: Mr Yoshitaka Nakano (Fukuoka Convention Centre), Mikiko Yanase (Fukuoka CVB), Hiroshi Yamagata (Fukuoka CVB), Art Boncato, Jr (Davao City), Jane Vong Holmes (GainingEdge) and Ryoji Maeshima (Fukuoka CVB)

GainingConnections Online Forum

Our inaugural Online Forum with the topic “How to be an effective bureau with a small budget” – the bane of many convention bureaus – took place on 3 July There were two speakers – Milos Milovanovic (Serbia Convention Bureau) and Mike Williams (GainingEdge) followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Graziela Padoin, also from GainingEdge. Seven bureaus participated. Another similar session – for max 8 bureaus only – will take place soon so watch this space.

GainingEdge in LATAM

As we reach the mid-point in the second year of establishing our Brazil office, we continue to effectively peel back the layers of the Latin American (LATAM)/South American outbound meetings for our North American client, the Greater Houston CVB. In the current year we have identified some 40+ potential meetings, ten of which are deemed to be hot leads for bidding. Through our work for GHCVB, GainingEdge is actively engaged with United Airlines, PCOs and Associations. Our Brazil-based business consultant Graziela Padoin together with Dennis Campbell, Senior Associate – North America, supported our client in the areas of leads development, coordinating group site tours, participation in local industry trade exhibitions, and other forms of sales support.

We are also pleased to share news that the Latin American CVBs have come together to set up the Latin American Association of CVBs or ASOCIACIÓN LATINOAMERICANA DE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAUS – Such cooperation, especially when among direct competitors within the region, is indicative of our LATAM friends’ belief in strength of the collective. The association will focus on promotion of the bloc to meeting planners, capacity building within the CVB community and the development of a regional business network. Mr. Miguel Harraca from Rosario CVB, Argentina, is the president while GainingEdge’s Gary Grimmer and Graziela Padoin are the Honorary Advisory Council member and Academic Honorary Council member respectively.

Convention centres can Gain an Edge Too

In the last decade, GainingEdge has worked with UEM Land Malaysia (for the proposed Puteri Harbour Convention Centre Johor); Oman Convention Centre; Australian National University Conference Centre; Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre; Geelong Convention Centre; London International Convention Centre and the Melbourne Convention Centre (venue expansion). Our latest two venue clients are for a centre in Abuja, Nigeria and in Launceston, Australia.

Julie King as our new Australia/New Zealand Partner

We are pleased to announce the establishment of our new Australia/New Zealand office in Sydney. The company’s operations there will be headed by Julie King, the CEO and Founder of Julie King Associates whose client base includes national and regional government authorities, destination management organisations and private entities in many parts of the world.

CEO Gary Grimmer explained, “Although our global headquarters is in Melbourne, GainingEdge is an international company, and most of our work has been in other parts of the world. So, to expand our work in Australia and New Zealand, we needed a partner who could help us to devote more attention to this part of the world. Julie King has very strong credentials and an excellent reputation in both the convention and tourism industries and is a familiar and trusted face here and internationally. This partnership is a win-win that serves our business development and client servicing goals.”

Briefs from Our Clients:

Milestones for BestCities Global Alliance

Choose Chicago was formally inducted into BestCities Global Alliance as Partner No. 10 while Houston and Berlin celebrated their first anniversary with an announcement of three bids they recently won and attributed to BestCities’ influence. BestCities also acknowledged the huge contribution of association meetings when they recognised the International Diabetes Federation. Houston will host its first BestCities client workshop in October this year.

MyCEB launches New Look

The Malaysian Convention & Exhibition Bureau – MyCEB, has unveiled its new corporate logo, giving the nation’s iconic Twin Towers a new interpretation. MyCEB’s International Events Unit also took on a new identity as Malaysia Major Events. MME will focus on identifying and supporting major event bids for sports, arts, lifestyle and entertainment events. It will also assist home grown and home hosted events as well as other cluster events that strengthen Malaysia’s global appeal as an international avenue for major events.

Malaysian Convention & Exhibition Bureau


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.