Archive for MICE

Greening Philippine M.I.C.E., go or no go?

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Green Hotels, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

A Review of the PhilMICECon 2011.

Philipine MICE Con 2011 Cebu, Philippines

As MICE practitioner since 1984, and as pioneer MITE member  I had been attending the MICE Conferences since PCVC-MITE inception of “Dream Meetings” in 1991. This time however, I had the honor to be part of the Philippine (Meetings, Incentive travel, Conventions, &  Exhibitions) M.I.C.E. Conference (PhilMICECon) 2011 in Cebu, Philippines as invited Guest Speaker to share my advocacy on Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality & Events, during the Green-themed Plenary on the topic, “Stepping Forward without Footprints.”

Graciously attended by Joma Gutierrez & Ms. Noemi Cruz of Phil.Tourism Bureau

From the pre-conference arrangements to arrival day after a direct flight from Tokyo to Cebu via the country’s flagship carrier Philippine Airlines and all throughout my stay, I   was graciously attended by the ever-efficient and long-time Tourism industry friends, Ms. Noemi Cruz and Joma Gutierrez of the Philippine Tourism Bureau (PTB, which I still keep on calling PCVC) organizers of the Phil MICE Con. Right after my check-in at the Continental Club of Marco Polo Cebu, networking started with co-speakers, Bill Laviolett Managing Director, I&MI (Incentives & Meetings  International) Media from France and Corbin Ball, Owner, Corbin Ball Associates, USA.

At the Marco Polo Continental Club

Our first day started with a Welcome Lunch for buyers and speakers at the Imperial Waterpark Resort in Mactan Island, greeted by the entire Cebu Organizing Committee, which prepared exotic Asian themed dances. Most heartwarming was the Cebu’s children’s rondalla which performed lively native numbers. After the scrumptious Cebu cuisine highlighted buffet, entertained by Philippine dances, off we go to probably the most “thrilling” show of all –the world famous Cebu Dancing Inmates – doing their Michael Jackson tributes. Turned out, we not only watched but also danced with them! The Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) opens its gates for performances every last Saturday of the month –a good example of social responsibility in tourism. At sundown, we moved to the Waterfront Hotel  Cebu for the Oriental Opulence-themed cocktails and dinner. The ballroom was  transformed into a grand and lavish Eastern enclave and participants were beset with the bountiful Chinese buffet.

Dancing with World Famous Cebu Dancing Inmates

The next day, the Techno-themed Opening ceremonies were graced by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Philippine Tourism Department Secretary Alberto Lim and Hans Hauri, Chairman of the Phil MICE Con Cebu Organizing Committee. Glad to see that  Bluewater Resortswith Director of Sales & Marketing Margie Munsayac, hosted coffee break has followed some green meeting practices I suggested for the event, with their native snacks in eco-friendly, reusable baskets and drinks in bamboo cups!

Phil MICE Con Opening with DOT Secretary Alberto Lim

We segued to Marco Polo Hotel Ballroom, for the “i.WE.u.peopleconnect” – Techno motiff S.R.O. lunch, welcomed virtually by the hotel’s CEO in Hong Kong via Video conference. Educational Tracks Breakout sessions followed with various MICE-relevant topics.

Finally, Green Day Plenary has come keynoted by Authentic Ecolodges author Hitesh Mehta who awed the audience with his “Turning Blueprints into Green prints” presentation and “dance” performance. Then it was our turn to talk on  “Stepping Forward without Footprints”, where I shared in the discussions moderated by Ms. Chit Juan of Echo Sustainable Living Store, with Engr. Eric Raymundo, who presented the “Zero Carbon Resorts” project of his NGO, Gruppe Angge Passte  Technologie (GrAT) and Ms. Agnes de Jesus, Vice President, Energy  Development Corporation who imparted the Geothermal projects at Philippines’ eco sites.

After the coffee break, panel discussions on “New Media Marketing” and an energetic Hi-tech Connect-motif lunch was hosted by the Radisson Blu, Cebu’s newest de luxe hotel. Happy to meet long-ago hotelier friends, Lourdes Macalindong, VP Sales & Marketing of SM Hotels & Conventions and Agnes Pacis, dynamic Director of Sales & Marketing of Shangri-la Mactan.

After the afternoon and closing plenary session, an all-out pomp and pageantry Closing & Turn-over Ceremonies was tendered by Davao, the PhilMICE Con 2013 host, led by no less than their gutsy yet graceful Mayor Sara Duterte. So looking forward to helping out in the DAVAO Phil MICE Con, with long-time friend, Ms. Mary Ann Montemayor who is the Chair of the Davao Regional Tourism Council  and has sounded me off that they are starting Sustainable Tourism activities for the province. Dazzling!

However, the big question for me during the whole conference as I was trying to observe is, IF the Philippine MICE industry insiders are ready to embrace Sustainability and Green practices in their respective activities? Phil MICE Con organizers led by dynamic Stanie Soriano has graciously included the “Greening Events Guidelines” that I have particularly  prepared, on the printed program, but I doubt if anybody has read it. Not one participant even  mentioned to me having seen it.  Based on the almost non-reaction from the audience  after our plenary “Green” presentations, it seems that “Greening” for them was just  donning the green hats or outfits as was the obligatory theme for the day. Beyond that, no one has approached any of us speakers, as a matter of interest in implementing  green hotel practices, zero carbon resorts nor green events at all.

At breakfast on our last day, with good tourism industry colleague, Angel Bognot  who has launched his Afro Asian World Events, former Region VII Tourism  Director Dawnie Roa, and Ms. Jenny Franco of Travel Vision, I have some  encouraging signs that Cebu are into the Sustainable and Eco Tourism mode and that they are supporting greening efforts by the province. Likewise, I was also told earlier by long-time Cebu tour operator, Alice Queblatin of Southwind Travel that they are seeking help to improve their community-based rural tourism endeavors in Olango, Cebu. Alice’s daughter, Cookie Chan @kukitalk, likewise sent me a direct message via Twitter that she will implement green practices that I have shared in the next big convention she will be organizing next in Cebu. At least with these pro-active and reliable pillars of Cebu’s Tourism industry, I can see the “green” light at the end of the tunnel that came out of the Phil. MICE Con 2011.

This is a call to action and cooperation to GREEN Philippine M.I.C.E., folks. It is high time for Filipino tourism industry leaders to focus on Sustainable Tourism, greening their hotels/resorts and organize Green Meetings & Sustainable Events as a way forward and uplift the Philippine Tourism industry.

I sure look forward to helping and working with Davao‘s Green Leaders towards a greener Phil MICE Con 2013!

For details on the PhilMICE 2011 conference program, please click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working on Sustainable Festivals & green events with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social, Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Greening your events

Posted in Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainable Events Management with CSR

 

 

Concerts, sporting events, meetings, conventions and big outdoor gatherings are an essential part of community life that has a positive effect on society. Unfortunately they can have negative impacts on the environment. Events generate garbage, use electricity, require a lot of materials to run them, along with plenty of travel by the audience and/or participants that leave carbon footprints.

 Sustainable Events Management. Any event can be managed sustainably, whether small or large, a conference or caucus, a onetime concert or something that is ongoing, like a series of spectator sports   – the concept of minimizing impacts of purchasing, energy production, transport, waste and sanitation can be applied in almost any situation. A sustainably managed live event seeks to minimize its resource use and all the potentially negative impacts on the environment. “Greening” an event or meeting involves all aspects of the planning process, a detailed collaboration of everyone involved, from producer to supplier, from venue to viewers.

Practice Sustainable Events in order to satisfy the needs of attendees and host community alike, while protecting and improving future opportunities.  Simply minimize and reduce the environmental cost of your events and embed the concepts of sustainability into your purchasing and operational decisions.  Educate all participants to avoid careless and negligent behavior from those who leave their trash, plastics and heavy impact to the already fragile environment due to global climate change.

Purchasing.  When purchasing, buy sustainably. Buy local. Purchase from local vendors and buy products manufactured within the province or region.

Waste management.Practice the new mantra of RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPORT.

 Re-think giveaways – Ensure they are useful, use recycled materials, and have minimal packaging. Reduce or limit paper communications.

Energy. Use sustainable energy. Use ecological alternatives to diesel- and gasoline/petrol-powered generators. Reduce power consumption. Adopt procedures to reduce the total energy consumed by the event.

 

Whatta Water Use. Discourage or exclude the sale of bottled water due to its environmental impact.

Sustainable Transport. Reduce the carbon emissions in transport. Provide participants, audience, staff, and volunteers with public transport and ride sharing options, and encourage cycling and walking to the event.

 

Form a green team.

To share about your environmental commitment and encourage participants to green their own events, meetings, conferences and other business practices.  

 

 

 

Lean and green. Even in an economic crisis, green practices and long-term sustainability goals should not take a backseat to the bottom line.  Incorporating green and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices into events and meetings can be beneficial —not only to establish their companies as good corporate citizens, but to actually save money!

These are just some of the many ways to green your events – the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Do you know if your event is helping or hurting the environment? Include a Sustainable Events Management with CSR Workshop in your next big happening! For more info visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

-Source: Live Earth Green Event Guidelines and Calgary City Green Event Essentials.

Boracay Island Buzz: Events Asia 2010

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Cultural Scenes, Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , on May 30, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Last April 28-30, 2010, the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines played host and set the stage for Events Asia 2010 Conference and Trade Show, with its theme “The Future is NOW! The Future is WOW!”. Participants converged at the Boracay Eco Village Resort & Convention Center at the Meetings which presented an array of vastly interesting subjects by international event industry experts. Delegates learned the latest trends, as well as innovations to the craft in the highly creative world of exhibitions and events.

CONFERENCE. Participants were privileged to listen and network with experts in events industry worldwide to include Mr. Steven Hacker, as keynote speaker with his topic, Global Exhibition and Events Trends in the 21st century;  Mr. Mark Cochrane from Hong Kong who talked about Asian Perspectives, the Power of Exhibits and Events; Mr. Eduardo Braniff, expert on Brand Activation from Los Angeles, U.S.A.;   Ms. Lara McCulloch-Carter from Canada who did a cool workshop and talk on Social Media Strategies;  Mr. Robert Rogers, who awed the audience with 10 Cool New Things to WOW Events; Mr. Brian Slawin, from Missouri, U.S. did his spiel on Events Latest Tool –getting the best Lead in Events; Mr. Jeffrey Soh, of Thailand  shared his tips in Organizing Events with a shoestring budget;  Mr. Steve Tait, emphatically advised delegates on Event Safety and Security; and Mr. Jojo Ajero, CEO of High Traffic Ads.

SUSTAINABLE EVENTS MANAGEMENT. I had the pride and pleasure to talk on a topic very close to my heart, Sustainable Events Management with Corporate Social Responsibility, a very timely and significant issue for the conference as more events professionals are now conscientious in conservation and in trying to help protect the environment. With my experience with Inkaterra, Peru’s eco pioneer, Carbon Neutral & Conservation Leader, I hope I was able to share the knowledge and concern for the need to be more responsible and sustainable in events organization: the call to Rethink, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle and Report, in order to meet the needs of the present while preserving and enduring the provisions for future generations.

FUTURE WORKSHOPS. Learn this topic substantially and ideally in comprehensive workshops or seminars where participants can fully understand, assimilate and implement their own best practices to sustainable events, according to the business they are engaged in, whether they are event planners or suppliers, in hospitality, entertainment, sports, publication, media, technical production, corporation, government agency, venue,  and other related endeavor in the Events and Exhibition industry. So the next time you are planning to organize conferences, you might like to include a Sustainable Events Management workshop in your agenda.  

 My own take in Events Asia 2010: the future is wow, but we have to protect it now!