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Category Archives: Incentives

Nice Bankside London!

thumb_IMG_2172_1024London, UK. MICEport DMC was in London recently with our DMC in England and Wales, Metier (just as an aside – what a great team – they know EVERYTHING about London).  As part of the site inspection, we visited The Hilton London Bankside. To be honest, I was thinking that this would be just another hotel – oh was I wrong!

The Hilton London Bankside is a gem in this area of London, it has incorporated the service of a global hotel chain while remaining true to the local area. The Hilton London Bankside has 292 rooms, with over 10,000 sq ft of meeting space for 750 guests. The hotel is located on Great Suffolk Street in south east London, close to HMS Belfast, Tate Modern, Borough Market (which you must not miss!), Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, The London Eye, The Tower of London and so much more…

thumb_IMG_2176_1024The OXBO Bankside restaurant and The Distillery bar are really worth while visiting and would be great for a welcome reception for a meeting or incentive group. The OXBO Bankside restaurant has some really interesting artwork from the local area and make a real London statement.  The Distillery bar is also full of history and is located on the site of the old Stevenson & Howell fragrance factory, which distilled essential oils and manufactured essences, flavorings and garnishes during the 1800s. Now  they have been inspired by this local history, the bar has become an alchemist’s laboratory of sensations mixing signature cocktails using homemade aromatics, infusions and bitters to accent drinks. Take a quick look at the penny wall in the bar, featuring pennies dating back to the early twentieth century, it is inspired by a rumour that the building was once a coin warehouse for the Bank of England.

The meeting space is very cleverly constructed and feels very airy and comfortably lit, despite there being no natural daylight and in this case it is a plus. The largest meeting space is 9,600 sq ft and the smallest 336 sq ft.

If you have never held a meeting or incentive in London or if you have held multiple meetings and incentives in London, The Hilton London Bankside has so much to offer that is unique and authentic.  Contact MICEport DMC to see the programs that we can create for your next meeting or incentive with our fantastic London based DMC, Metier UK DMC, Claire and her team are amazing  and will truly create something special for your next London program.  Email us at inspireus@miceport.com

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Travel is the Greatest Teacher

MICEport’s philosophy on travel is that it is the greatest teacher! Not only to learn new cultures but also to learn from each other. Isn’t that why meetings and incentives are so important for companies? You can’t do everything from a computer, from a telephone or through webinars – we have to meet, learn and experience.

This is exemplified in Dubai at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). The SMCCU opened in 1998 to help visitors gain a better understanding of the culture and customs of the UAE. SMCCU invites guests to take part in their activities, including a range of Arabic classes, heritage tours, and guided mosque visits.

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is located in a beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai, the centre offers a range of activities, from traditional cuisine to conversations with local Emiratis. It’s motto is ‘Open Doors, Open Minds,’ and isn’t that the thing we strive for in all of our meetings and incentive!

SMCCU is where groups can ask questions such as why the native women of the UAE wear black while the men wear white? What happens inside a mosque? Do you want to try a traditional Emirati meal? MICEport feels that SMCCU is definitely a great and an essential part of a program to UAE. It breaks down barriers, preconceptions and misunderstandings. Understanding the local traditions adds depth and meaning to any group visiting from UAE.

UAEGroup attendees can ask any question – no matter how sensitive and they will be answered – it is a great experience!

For our groups we can have a traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch, or dinner and you’ll start with a guided walking tour of the historic Al Fahidi District. Then take a seat on Bedouin-style carpets and pillows and enjoy a selection of traditional dishes while your local host answers the groups questions.

Contact MICEport for more information on groups, meetings or incentives to UAE. MICEport’s DMC in UAE is Incentive Connections. Perfection and innovative programs would be two words to describe Incentive Connections programs in UAE. Contact us inspireus@miceport.com and see our website at www.miceportdmc.com

 

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Are you crazy? Let’s talk cents.

Well the title says it all…. You must be crazy if you are not taking advantage of some of the great MICE offers in  Europe and the Middle East.

Morocco

Morocco

Okay – we know how beautiful the destinations are and we may need to learn some new places in the destinations etc but that is why we work with a quality Destination Management Company (DMC) – someone who really is the expert in the destination and brings our programs to life – that is a subject for another blog….We are talking Dollars and Cents in this blog post!

  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in Europe this year compared to last year – you would save about 20% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in the United Kingdom this year compared to last year – you would save about 10% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in Morocco this year compared to last year – you would save about 17% in exchange rates alone.
  • Did you know, if you were to run or purchase a program in the UAE this year compared to last year it would be the same because the UAE Dirham is pegged to the USD.

So you can see, now is a great time to look at Europe and the Middle East for some fantastic meeting and incentive programs purely for financial reasons.  We could write all day on motivational and experiential reasons, but from a purely financial point of view – it makes sense to do a program in Europe and the Middle East.

MICEport has some of the most respected DMCs in the world with an average of 27 years in business as a Destination Management Company from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Monaco, Morocco, Germany, Austria, Italy, UAE and Oman  who will create a great program for your group. Contact MICEport to see how we can bring something new to your international MICE programs as well as our hedged USD rates that we offer to clients inspireus@miceport.com

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Please note this is for informational purposes so please contact your financial department or your accountancy firm for specific requirements related to your company situation.  This is not constituted as advice but rather for illustration purposes.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in DMC, Exchange rates, Incentives, Meetings

 

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ITALY: A Unique Restaurant Experience for Groups

Italy is all about history, exquisite, unique and authentic experiences, love and food! Well experience all this and more with MICEport DMC partner in Italy, Studio ITER. As an example of this, North American groups can visit a very special and unique Roman restaurant in the stunning 1 star Michelin restaurant, AROMA.

AROMA is located within the premises of the enchanting Manfredi Palace (Palazzo Manfredi) where Chef Giuseppe Di Iorio brings his modern cuisine, choosing the freshest ingredients while keeping an eye on tradition.

AROMA has a contemporary dining room overlooking the Colosseum and Emperor Nero’s Gardens and is quite simply a magical rooftop garden restaurant.  Before dinner, guests can enjoy a cocktail on the lounge bar terrace overlooking the Colle Oppio (Emperor Nero’s gardens).  The stylish decor is welcoming and relaxing, whilst the glass observatory offers an all-year round dining experience, perfect for North American incentives and meetings.

Contact MICEport DMC for your next incentive or meeting to Italy with our DMC partner, Studio ITER at inspireus@miceport.com or go to our website at www.miceportdmc.com

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About MICEport

MICEport is a strategic sales and marketing firm partnering with Destination Management Companies in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Germany, Austria, Italy, UAE, Oman and Morocco. Our DMC Partners can ensure that that your program not only works within your budget but more importantly fits in with your goals and objectives of your program while offering a truly unique and authentic experience. Our DMCs throughout Europe and the Middle East have an average of 27 years in business and are all owner managed companies  Learn more about our DMCs at www.miceport.com.

 

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Can You Afford NOT To Have An International Meeting or Incentive!

Euro usdI want to warn you this is a mathematical blog post for international incentives and meetings, please don’t turn off because it will give you and your clients some real saving opportunities for your next international program.

Exchange rates in Europe and the United Kingdom have been dropping and now is the time to buy your international incentive/meeting!!!

As of 20th January 2015 vs 20th January 2014 The Euro vs USD and CAD enables clients in USA and Canada to receive about 15% and 8% more for their program respectively in exchange rates alone.  In the UK, the exchange rate has been a little more stable vs the USD and CAD enabling clients in USA and Canada to get about 6% and 1% more respectively in exchange rates alone!

So what does this mean in reality?

Clients Paying in US Dollars:

  • A EUR£100,000 program in 2014 cost about USD$135,600 and in 2015 the same program would cost USD$115,800 in exchange rates – a saving of US$19,800
  • A GBP£100,000 program in 2014 cost about USD$164,200 and in 2015 the same program would cost USD$151,600 in exchange rates – a saving of US$12,600

Clients Paying in Canadian Dollars:

  • A EUR£100,000 program in 2014 cost about CAD$148,700 and in 2015 the same program would cost CAD$139,000 in exchange rates – a saving of CAD$9,700
  • A GBP£100,000 program in 2014 cost about CAD$182,100 and in 2015 the same program would cost CAD$180,000 in exchange rates – a saving of CAD$2,100

MICEport’s DMCs in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Germany, Austria, Italy, UAE, Oman can ensure that that your program not only works within your budget and exchange rates but more importantly fits in with your goals and objectives of your program. Our DMCs throughout Europe and the Middle East have an average of 26 years in business.  Learn more about our DMCs at www.miceport.com.

Can you afford not to bring your incentive meeting to Europe and Scotland?

UP Next: Next Wednesday we will be covering some of the Tax benefits you can receive for meetings and incentives in international destinations.

All of the opinions in this blog are used as examples and are based on exchange rates based on 20th January, 2015 information. Rates and pricing is subject to change and is only used to exemplify potential savings.

 

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New Year – New Look – New Concepts – New Business – Old Values

New Year 

Happy New Year and I hope that it will be a successful, happy and healthy New Year!

2015 has started with a bang here in MICEport and we are really excited about the changes that are coming down the line for international meetings and incentives from North America.

New Look

We have redesigned our website (www.miceport.com) to reflect the changing nature of our international meetings and incentives Scotland websitebusiness from North America. Our new website reflects our business divisions and services as well as hopefully making it clearer and easier to navigate.  We are hoping that it will allow you to get the information that you need quicker and easier and if not, let us know.

Our largest division is MICEport DMC which is a collection of international boutique destination management companies (DMCs) from Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Italy, UAE, Oman, Germany and Austria.  MICEport’s DMCs are in business an average of 26 years, so they have seen and created some of the most amazing incentive and meeting programs in their respective countries.

New Concepts 

anymeetingWebinars – We worked with our business partner, Anymeeting.com last year to test out some webinars and the response from North American buyers was fantastic! So we have invested in the technology to bring 30 minute webinars to the North American market including “Meet the DMC” series as well as city and country specific information plus unique program ideas in their respective destinations.

We do not expect this to replace face-to-face meetings and we will continue to be active throughout North America visiting meeting and incentive professional but it allows MICEport and our international DMCs and clients to get to know each other. This will give clients and partners better understanding of objectives as well as showing the great quality and experience MICEport and our partners have to offer.  It also enables us to create a relationship with each other – which is obviously the starting block for any successful business.  There are many more new concepts for 2015 and we will share them with you in future postings. Click here for up and coming webinars.

New Business – Old Values 

Matthew McElroyDespite all the changes that are happening within MICEport such as webinars, tradeshows, new offices etc, we are still sticking to our core old business values of quality, respect and service to  customers and partners alike.  We want to be PARTNERS with select buyers and suppliers to ensure that goals are achieved and exceeded in all aspects of any program

Have a wonderful 2015!!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in DMC, Incentives, MICEport DMC, Technology, Webinar

 

“Meet the DMC” MICEport’s DMC in Ireland

WTGMICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group.

Wallace Travel Group was founded in 1972 by Derek’s father in Westmoreland Street, Dublin, Ireland. They moved to their current location in 1982 from where they started to build a substantial business travel company.

In 1989 Derek and his wife, Colette, bought the business and began the long process of achieving the goal of a small specialist travel company dedicated to providing excellence in travel management services. There followed many years of exciting growth especially in corporate travel with a professional focus on travel management, creative incentive and motivational travel and meeting management.

DerekWallace Travel Group goal is to become the best, most creative and committed DMC to the MICE sector. Their dedicated specialist young team bring energy, dynamic creativity and great personal commitment to the design and delivery of exceptional Ireland Experiences. Our success is based on understanding client’s challenges, listening carefully to clients needs, and then drawing on our wealth of their experiences to bring you imaginative and cost effective solutions throughout the isle of Ireland. MICEport is proud to be Wallace Travel Group’s representative in North America.

To learn more about Wallace Travel Group and MICEport DMCs other partners click here

 

IRELAND: Authentic Incentive Experiences – Ballyknocken Cookery School

Ballyknocken House and Cookery School

Catherine Fulvio is a TV chef, food writer and owner of the Ballyknocken CatherineHouse and Cookery School in County Wicklow, Ireland. I had the pleasure to first meet Catherine in Ireland in 2005, while I was working for Tourism Ireland in New York. Catherine introduced me to her cookery school and beautifully restored the Ballyknocken Guest House, which dates back to the 1700s. That tour of the property and culinary experience still resonates with me, as I have recommended it as a unique travel destination. Catherine’s expertise and hands-on insight on Irish cuisine, melded with the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside, is an impressive experience for any visitor to Ireland. Almost a decade since my introduction, Ballyknocken House and Cookery School remains a wonderful destination and overall experience for the North American MICE market.

Incentives and Meetings Ballyknocken House

teamMICEport’s DMC in Ireland, Wallace Travel Group, has worked to create wonderful fun-filled team building days at Ballyknocken for North American clients. Travel groups can experience the beautiful countryside of County Wicklow, ‘The Garden of Ireland’, (about 45 minutes from Dublin City Center) and participate in cooking classes in the converted Milking Parlour on the farm (pictured here). Ballyknocken offers a spacious setting for team building activities, such as bodhran (traditional Irish drums) workshops, tin whistle classes and Irish Dance demonstrations. These activities, coupled with the culinary world’s “Taste of Ireland”, illustrate a very real and authentic experience for groups.

Two Programs in One

Many incentive clients operating programs in the Dublin area sometimes seek a ‘town and country experience’, while remaining close to Dublin airport. Wicklow offers that freedom for the group. Some clients schedule three days in Dublin city, followed by two or three days in the countryside. There are some great properties in the Wicklow area for medium and large groups, such as the new Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection and Druids Glen Resort, just to mention two.

Ballyknocken’s St. Patrick’s Day Gift ~ Luck of the Irish!

Brown Bread imageWith St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House was so gracious to send a little bit of Ireland to North America with her Great Grandmother’s Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe – Download Ballyknocken Soda Bread Recipe. How lucky are we to have such an authentic Irish culinary experience right in our own kitchens? Please send us a photo of your bakery delight to our Facebook page. Thank you Catherine!

More Information

For more information regarding incentives and meetings in Ireland, please contact MICEport at inspireus@miceport.comwww.miceportdmc.com or our USA office at Tel: (215) 253 8924.

 

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Ireland – Some Personal History

Well I hope you will indulge me today as it is my Dad’s 67th birthday today and I would like to share a few stories to kick off MICEport’s “Greening” for St. Patrick’s Day.

Both my parents are from Dublin and they were both brought up during an interesting time in Dublin. It may be seen as  a ‘new phenomenon’ that Ireland has been successful with some major brands but as my family history shows, Ireland was a very vibrant country in the past and still is to this day. 

Finlaters

Dublin and her people are full of great stories and characters. My Grandfather, shown above (Matthew ‘Mattie’ McElroy) was a ‘Senior Traveler’ for a wine Merchant called Finlaters and ultimately to the Board of Finlaters. Some of Finlaters most important wine customers at that time were the four leading hotels—the Russell, Hibernian, Shelbourne and Gresham, Jammets restaurant, the Dún Laoghaire yacht clubs, the Common Room in Trinity College Dublin and the city’s gentlemen’s clubs. Most notable for Finlaters was the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Some of these hotels and venues are now great destinations for incentive programs for North American groups.

My Dad Graduated from the Dental Hospital in University College Dublin, now based in Trinity College Dublinlibrary (founded in 1592).  Trinity now offers such a great destination for a final evening gala in Dublin as well as the famous Book of Kells and The Long Room.  Some of the notable graduates of Trinity College are Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde to mention just a few.

On my Mother’s side of the family, my Great grandfather worked for a gentleman in Rathmines, Dublin called Sir Howard Grubb (pictured below from my Grandfather’s collection).  The Grubb Telescope Company gained a great reputation for quality optical instruments. Grubb was also known for building accurate electrically driven clock drives for equatorial mounted telescopes. Some of the telescopes produced by Howard Grubb include the 27-inch refractor for the Vienna Observatory (1878), the 28-inch refractor at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich – the UK’s largest refractor (1893).

ESBDuring the First World War the Grubb factory was in demand for the production of telescopic gun-sights and during this time he was credited with perfecting a periscope design for Royal Navy submarines. During the Easter Uprising in Ireland Sir Howard Grubb left Ireland and moved to England.  My Great Grandfather then moved to work in Guinness and as was tradition in most Dublin families – if you got into Guinness then your Children moved into it also, as my Grandfather and brother did before he moved to the ESB (Electrical Supply Board).

Shelbourne

It is wonderful that history is brought to life now for international incentives and meetings The Guinness Storehouse has a fantastic exhibition, meeting space and The Gravity Bar (giving a 360 degree view of Dublin).  Following my mention of the Easter Uprising in 1916, The Shelbourne Hotel has a draft copy of the Irish Constitution in 1922 which was drawn up in the Shelbourne Hotel in room number 112, now known as the Constitution Room (pictured above).

For more information on Groups, Meetings or Incentives in Ireland, contact MICEport on inspireus@miceport.comlook at our website at www.miceportdmc.com and like us on  Facebook

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

 

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IRELAND: Getting Ready for St. Patrick’s Day

Patrick's Day CardWith St Patrick’s day approaching, Tourism Ireland is once again undertaking the Global Greening initiative where monuments and tourist sites from Petra to Niagara Falls to Italy, Germany, Dubai and many more (Shameless plug… MICEport represent DMCs in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Dubai and Oman).

Ireland has been such a great destination for so many years for Meetings and Incentives.  As we all know Ireland is famous for its Guinness and the Craic (fun) but even more than that, Ireland has so many different sides to her from her people to her landscape.

The Irish are always welcoming and eager to show off their land and to that end I want to show off too!  Some people may think that Ireland may just be the ‘old quaint’ Ireland and yes it is that – but it is lot more than that two dimensional view – Ireland is a welcoming, unique, modern, progressive nation with a hunger for success.  Not only are we proud of where we come from but where we are going.  Here are some things that I feel that Ireland is proud to have given to the world, obviously the list is endless but I just wanted to give you a reminder:

  • Business: Over 380 USA & Canadian companies are based in Ireland;
  • Musicians: U2, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, The Coors, Christy Moore, Enya, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison;
  • Poets & Playwrights: WB Yeats, Oscar Wile, Thomas Moore, James Joyce, Austin Clarke, Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift;
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne, Peter O’Toole, Stephen Ray, Colm Meaney, Maureen O’Hara.
  • Iconic Drinks: Guinness, Jameson, Bushmills,
  • Films:  Michael Collins, The Van, The Tailor of Panama, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Commitments, The Italian job to mention a few
  • World heritage sites Brú na Bóinne –(An archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne dating from 3800-2200 BC)  http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/659  Giants Causeway Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.

Irish breadOkay – I think that’s enough bragging so with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, why not have an authentic experience and give this Irish soda bread recipe a go you can purchase it here in the USA from King Arthur Flour

Go on MICEport’s Pinterest page to see where some of the mentioned places are for your next meeting or incentive with MICEport’s great DMC in Ireland, Wallace Travel Group, which has been in business since 1972.

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This is Ireland

 

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