John Keenan

Fuel for economic growth

John Keenan looks at the relationship between economic growth, knowledge transfer and energy conferences in some of the oil and gas hotspots The oil and gas sector is arguably the most crucial influence on any nation’s economy. Event organisers in this field are attentive to the short-term shock waves generated by political machinations but they keep their eyes firmly on the long game. One of the ...

AIM Group expands in United States

AIM Group International has sealed a deal with The Herlitz Company, Inc. in the United States.

Thailand issues event standard

A convention and exhibition bureau has issues a quality assurance standard.

Accor acquires new hotel assets

AccorHotels has announced the purchase of three hotel asset portfolios in Europe representing 29 hotels (3,677 rooms), for a total of €284 million. The transactions comprise: A portfolio acquired from AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, acting on behalf of its clients, for a total of €56 million. The portfolio comprises 19 hotels in France (1,512 rooms) that have been operated under variable le...

COP 21: talks begin with Paris in lockdown

The World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) kicks off today in in Paris, France, amid intense security. Major roads into the French capital remain closed and about 2,800 police and soldiers are guarding the hermetically sealed conference venue near Le Bourget airport, north of Paris. Another 6,300 officers are deployed in the city, following the coordinated attack by suicide bombers on restau...

Aviation conference breaks records

Some 600 airline representatives were among 7,000 attendees for the recent MRO Europe aviation conference and exhibition, organised by Penton at Excel London.

Denmark on song at London Opera House

Business Events Denmark and six Danish trade partners met with 35 British meeting planners at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden for an evening of networking and dining. Guests enjoyed entertainment from artists from the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme.

Events cancelled, security ramped up in wake of deadly Paris attacks

A major Paris conference attracting 5,000 delegates has been cancelled in the wake of terrorist attacks. The Airbnb Open was due to take place on November 12-14 in the French capital which is now Airbnb’s biggest market. There were seven coordinated terror attacks in Paris carried out by militants, killing at least 129 people. The first attacks were launched virtually simultaneously, with tw...

Don’t cancel yet, pleads Sharm El Sheikh DMC

The president of an Egyptian destination management company has urged meeting and event organisers not to pull their groups from Sharm El Sheik. Karim ElMinabawy, president at Emeco Travel, said the situation remained unclear following the Russian plan crash in the Sinai desert. UK and Russian flights to the red Sea destination have been suspended and security heightened amid fears the crash was c...

Kempinski sues former CEO for alleged fraud

A luxury meetings hotel group is pressing criminal charges against its former chief executive. A spokesman for the Swiss hotel chain Kempinski has confirmed SonntagsZeitung newspaper reports that Reto Wittwer is suspected of embezzling around 6m Swiss francs (£4m) The company announced last week that it had filed criminal charges against Wittwer in Switzerland for “alleged professional misconduct ...

Fury over plans for five-star hotel in Edinburgh

A row has erupted over plans to turn the site of a former school in Edinburgh into a luxury hotel and retail mall. The site has been semi-vacant for nearly 50 years since the Royal High School moved to the outskirts of the Scottish capital. The developers Jones Lang LaSalle are meeting this week with shortlisted operators to draw up detailed plans for the conference and event facilities. Experts f...

BuzzFeed to pull out of SXSW over gamer panel cancellation

A global media organisation has threatened to pull out of a major conference after the organiser dropped a panel on online harassment. Senior managers at BuzzFeed have urged the organiser of South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive festival in Austin, Texas, to respect the principle of free speech. BuzzFeed said that it plans to withdraw from the annual event after organisers for the media festival r...