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Category Archives: Meetings

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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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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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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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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Sandy – A Year on – The Correct Partners are Essential

It is hard to believe that Hurricane Sandy hit the North East USA on this date last year. We were hit pretty hard in Bucks County, PA – but definitely not as hard as other areas throughout the North East.  Thankfully none of our employees were hurt during the storm but we were without electricity, heat and running water at home and in the office for about 10 days.

There are three things that I think are good lessons that we learnt for business continuity during this emergency and I thought that it could also be related to ones choice of DMC partner:

  1. Be prepared – This may sound obvious but we ensured that we had water bottles, wood for fire, dry food that could be kept for a while and cash. MICEport’s DMCs have an average of 26 years in business so they have seen almost all eventualities and are prepared for pretty much anything.
  2. Communication – We told our employees not to even try to come to work and we would all communicate by cell phone, text, email and we put updates on our intranet. We also informed out partners in Europe that we would be out of contact for a couple of days. MICEport’s DMC partners have been working with clients from all over the world and one thing that is essential is communication to ensure that all the needs of the client are met and exceeded.
  3. Great Partnerships – Unfortunately one of my family members needs continual medical care. One of the things I am most grateful for is that we had a local Pharmacy whom we have a personal relationship with and they were fantastic throughout the 10 days (despite them not having any electricity). Our medical supplies were continuous. My point here is that local knowledge and personal relationships are so important not only at home but also during incentives and meetings. MICEport’s DMCs are boutique DMCs that offer bespoke programs and to this end it would be impossible to do this without having local, unique knowledge and partnerships.

Experience Counts and MICEport’s DMCs have the experience. Selecting the correct DMC for international programs is so important not only for a great program but when challenging things occur.

26 years =  MICEport’s DMCs average number of years of experience.

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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Emergency, Incentives, Meetings

 

Ireland – Druids Glen Resort Reinvestment and Refurbishment of almost €2 million

Druids

Druids Glen Resort is currently going through a substantial reinvestment and refurbishment plan of almost €2 million ($2.6 million) at the luxurious 5 star Wicklow property.  Wicklow is about 40 minutes south of Dublin Airport in the beautiful Wicklow countryside.

Druids Glen Resort focused on a significant technology upgrade across the Resort, from bedrooms to the sophisticated boardrooms and meeting rooms, as well as an elegant new look for all the hotel’s bedrooms, lobby area and meeting rooms designed by exciting Irish designer Ciara Ni Laoi of CLR Design.

New look Resort

Every aspect of the new look has been carefully considered, from the refurbishment of each individual bedroom to the bespoke, geometric design of the carpet in the freshly designed meeting rooms, reinforcing the Druids Glen Resort brand. The selected styles allow for greater flexibility of use and suit a wide variety of events including corporate meetings, incentives and events.

Investment in technology

From a technology point of view, the Wireless Bitbuzz service has now been upgraded to high speed internet 50Mbps upload and download speed, which can also be boosted to higher speeds if required. This is the equivalent to the fibre-optic capabilities available in any city centre location and means that Druids Glen Resort can ensure corporate and enterprise quality data connections at all times.

Implementation of in-room computing networks for working groups can also be managed and traffic can be separated from all other networks if necessary. Along with the upgrades to each individual meeting and boardroom, Druids Glen Resort is now capable of producing extremely high quality and state of the art events.

Take a look at Druids Glen Resort video below:

Druids Glen Resort is represented by MICEport LLC in North America for Groups, Meetings and Incentives. MICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group.  Take a look at www.miceport.com

 

Ben Franklin – Think Differently?

franklin

MICEport’s offices are just 30 minutes from Philadelphia and I thought it was a great time to reflect on some of Ben Franklin’s quotes.  They are still meaningful to our industry and many other industries today.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” – Ben Franklin

One of the things that we try to instill within MICEport is to think differently about international Meetings and Incentives from North America.  We are constantly looking at new ways to be able to show how international incentives and meetings are an essential part of business.  The greatest thing that we can do is to travel and learn from different cultures.

Although MICEport has only been in business two years, we have been so fortunate to have some fantastic DMCs that we represent in North America from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy.  These DMCs have on average been in business over 15 years and I have been struck by how creative and how they push themselves to find new and innovative programs for meetings and incentives in their respective regions. If they stayed the same and pushed out the same programs year after year, why would anyone be a return customer?

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” 

I think that this is a great quote – after the banking collapse here in the USA we had to rethink how we undertook incentive programs, how are they perceived etc – we had to change and I believe we have come out with more creative ideas and programs – whether they are mixture programs such as “concentives” (conference and incentive) or a new way to run a great sales incentive. I have always said to myself “I always want to be out of my comfort zone, if I am not, I am not learning”.

I sometimes wonder though, whether we become complacent with comments such as “well we have a preferred agreement and we have for years”, to me that is not good enough for a client.  I think it is up to a supplier or buyer to find the best supplier for our clients and sometimes that isn’t necessarily the supplier that has been with you the longest or who isn’t pushing new ideas all the time.  My point is that we should have our preferred agreements but new ‘preferred agreements’ may surprise and excite us and our clients…remember when you are finished changing you’re finished.

In conclusion having solid partners and relationships are the cornerstone of our business, but the way that we partner and work together are just as important. Whether our processes, our practices or our relationships I think that its important that we are always open to thinking differently and looking for new and innovative programs for our clients.

 
 
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