GainingEdge Insights, September 2014

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


GainingEdge has recently completed a feasibility study for Ministry of Tourism of The State of Mexico for a purpose built international standard convention centre in TOLUCA. This is part of the Ministry’s promotion and development strategy focused on four specific locations: Toluca, Valle de Bravo, Ixtapan de le Sal and Teotihuacan. The development of these destinations are meant to complement one another and provide greater competitiveness to the State of Mexico. The project is now at preliminary design concept stage.


Our hand-picked “5 Must Reads of the Month” is now available online. You can read our August 2014 issue here and subscribe to your monthly free copy.


The Phase 1 report of DestinationNEXT was unveiled at DMAI’s 2014 Annual Convention in LAS VEGAS.  DestinationNEXT, “a strategic road map for the next generation of global destination marketing” is being developed through a consortium lead by GainingEdge and its North American partner InterVistas.  DMAI took a leadership initiative by commissioning this project which is designed to help DMOs understand trends and suggest practical, clear actions and strategies to capitalize on these trends. The Phase 2 report will focus on developing NEXT Practices.


GainingEdge has conducted two phases of its incentive product development programme for TOKYO with a third and final phase in late September. In this programme, 10 international incentive planners have been invited to experience and critique Tokyo’s incentive travel product. This is a familiarisation-educational – business programme which has the invited incentive buyers giving their comments and recommendations after experiencing the incentive products of 7 Japanese DMCs.

The inaugural MALAYSIA Business Events Week which was project managed by GainingEdge welcomed 483 attendees, 23 media, 12 international and 21 national speakers and covered a total 42 industry topics. Future Leaders Day, a joint MYCEB and ICCA initiative, was the first ever gathering of university academics and students to review and address the needs of the next generation of business event employees. The programme resulted in the formation of the “Business Events Academic Advisory Council” who will look at a number of areas of cooperation; creating opportunities for the future generation of employees for the business events industry, corporate sponsorships, sourcing guests lecturers, orientation days, internships and curriculum development for business event programmes.

Read more here:

Caption: Industry Dialogue at MBEW

Industry Dialogue at MBEW

Mike Williams (far right) moderates the Industry Dialogue featuring national and international panelists

GainingEdge has embarked on Phase 2 of JAPAN’s Global MICE Cities project, this time focusing on developing bureau skills on leads research, bids development, optimising trade shows and site inspections. Seven Japanese cities are participating in this project with the goal to be more competitive in the international market-place.

GainingEdge was recently invited by YANGZHOU Tourism Bureau to inspect their MICE products and to offer a high level report. At the conclusion of the 2-day site inspection, GainingEdge submitted a report which outlined the consultants’ assessment of the destination, offered advice on the destination’s key challenges, and recommended some short and mid-term actions for the bureau’s consideration.

In line with GainingEdge’s corporate social responsibility programme to offer professional support to new and emerging destinations, the site inspection and report was offered on a pro bono basis to the bureau which hosted the consulting team in Yangzhou.

GainingEdge was once again tasked to prepare and deliver the educational content for a 3-day study tour of the MACAU Convention & Exhibition Association. This time, the study tour took place in GUANGZHOU as part of the Pearl River Delta cooperation initiative. The Guangzhou Exhibition & Convention Association jointly organised this study tour and seminar.


At  the upcoming 7th Latin American CVBs (ALACVB) Meeting in GUADALAJARA, GainingEdge will release the results of the LATAM CVBs Development Project, which saw the participation of 6 bureaus from 4 countries. GainingEdge is invited to also share the same presentation during the 7th Brazilian CVBs Congress in SAO PAULO, Dec 1-2.

GainingEdge will escort a group of 43 buyers from Latin America and China to IMEX America. Our clients MACAU and HOUSTON will have the opportunity to host a networking event to meeting planners from corporations, agencies, incentive houses and PCOs.


GainingEdge submitted the Phase One Report of a comprehensive study for the European Travel Commission (ETC) and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) about the decision making processes of conventions, congresses, meetings and incentives organizers. Final conclusions and recommendations of this study will be made by the end of the year.

Visit FLANDERS has retained GainingEdge to carry out a business events benchmarking project for its key destinations including Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Louven.

GainingEdge has started work on the development of an activation strategy and business plan for the MPUMALANGA Province Convention Bureau in South Africa.

GainingEdge’s Asian representatives for SOUTH AFRICA National Convention Bureau recently attended the SAACI (South Africa Association of Conference Industry) annual congress in St Lucia, South Africa. The visit was also followed by a familiarisation trip to Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg, which gave the opportunity for GainingEdge to learn about South Africa’s MICE products first-hand, and developing relationships with the local stakeholders.

Caption: Cross Cultural Bonds

Cross Cultural Bonds

L to R: Alicia Yao Hong (GainingEdge China), Nonhlanla (Deputy Director, Tshwane Convention Visitors Bureau) and Vishala (GainingEdge India)

At the recent CIBTM trade show in Beijing, GainingEdge’s Beijing-based team invited 21 clients in senior managerial positions from various Chinese corporations and business events agencies to a dinner hosted by SANCB.

In addition, Alicia and her team at IME Consulting Ltd were recently involved in the China-Malta Cultural Forum in Valletta, Malta. The forum highlighted Malta’s unique cultural heritage and achievements in World Cultural Heritage conservation and restoration, and the cultural, historic and tourism relations between China and Malta. There were discussions on how to develop cultural promotion through tourism and the film industry.


We congratulate Tony Xu, Vice President of China National Convention Center, Beijing for the publication of his second book. “A Panorama on the Meeting Industry” in Chinese is now available.

Our CEO Gary Grimmer was honoured by Destination Marketing Association International – DMAI – as one of the first six inductees into its newly established Hall of Fame at DMAI’s annual convention in July this year. Launched in 2014, on the occasion of DMAI’s centennial celebrations, the Hall of Fame Award was created to recognize individuals who have changed the future of Destination Marketing for the better and made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry. This Award is regarded as the highest honor that DMAI can bestow.

Milton Carmichael, Peggy Flower, George D.Kirkland, Rossi Ralenkotter, Leonard Rolston and Grimmer are the inaugural inductees into the DMAI Hall of Fame.  More information about the Award and its Inductees can be found here:

Read Gary’s interview about the myths and realities of global events with MICEBTN here:



Incentive Product Development Programme Tokyo 29 Sept – 30 Oct Mike Williams

Asia for Asia Summit by AACVB (Asia Association of CVBs) Bangkok 30 Sept Jane Vong Holmes

IT&CMA Bangkok 30 Sept – 2 Oct Jane Vong Holmes
Alicia Yao Hong

7th Latin American CVBs (ALACVB) Meeting Guadalajara 9 – 11 Oct Graziela Padoin

IMEX America Las Vegas 14 – 16 Oct Alicia Yao Hong
Graziela Padoin
Dennis Campbell

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) National MICE Statistics Workshop Bangkok 21 – 22 Oct Jane Vong Holmes

ICCA Congress Antalya 1 – 5 Nov Gary Grimmer
Rod Kamleshwaran
Bruce Redor
Milos Milovanovic
Jane Cunningham
Jane Vong Holmes
Vishalakshi Vuyyala
Paul Ouimet

Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Training New Orleans 2 – 11 Nov Graziela Padoin

The MICE Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference Singapore 13 – 14 Nov Cassy Xie
Nigel Brown

EIBTM Barcelona 18 – 20 Nov Molly Doheney                         Delphine Benbassa Fortuin
Gary Grimmer

Pacific Area Incentives and Conferences – PAICE Expo Auckland 19 – 20 Nov Faye Langley
Jackie Caldwell


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.