Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World. Write Paul an E-mail

Susan Kirby to present Evolve keynote in Brisbane

Events industry association Meetings and Events Australia has announced that Susan Kirby, CEO of Ireland’s National St Patrick’s Festival, will be an international keynote presenter at Evolve 2019. Evolve 2019 is the event industry’s largest conference Down Under and will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, 31 March to 2 April. “We are delighted to have Susan as one of the ...

P.E. investor Advent takes control of Aimbridge Hospitality

Global private equity investor Advent International has announced that it has acquired a majority ownership interest in North America’s third-party hotel operator Aimbridge Hospitality from Lee Equity Partners, a US-based private equity firm, and investor General Atlantic. Aimbridge’s senior management team will continue to lead the company and retains an equity stake in the business. The transact...

Events Industry Council searches for new CEO

The CEO of the Events Industry Council (EIC), Karen Kotowski, has resigned her post, the association has announced. She has led the 30-plus member EIC for 10 years. Chair of the EIC’s Board of Directors Tina Wehmeir, said a search for a new CEO has begun. “We plan to identify a new CEO who brings a global perspective and background to help in further broadening the reach of our organisations and c...

The great conductor – ICC Sydney’s Geoff Donaghy

CMW receives some insight from the long and distinguished career of industry leader, ICC Sydney CEO and Director Convention Centres, AEG Ogden, Geoff Donaghy How did you arrive in the events/hospitality industry and what were your first roles? I began my career as a teacher and I loved it. However, I didn’t see it as my life long career. I moved to Cairns, which was in the midst of its early and e...

Switzerland Tourism’s London chief heading Down Under

Livio Goetz, the current Head of the Switzerland Convention and Incentive Bureau (SCIB) in London, is heading for Sydney to take up the post of new Market Manager Australia/New Zealand for Switzerland Tourism (ST). Goetz will assume his new position in July. Although the Australia, New Zealand and Oceania Region is small for Switzerland Tourism, it is nevertheless a key market with major potential...

Air Monitor predicts stable air fares for 2019

Competition from low-cost carriers on long-haul routes are helping to hold down rates, according to American Express Global Business Travel’s newly released Air Monitor 2019. However, the report finds there are exceptions, including growing demand on North American routes. In contrast, fares to Middle East destinations are forecast to fall from all regions, in both business and economy classes. Ov...

Association for Women in Events to Elevate! in Washington DC

The Association for Women in Events (AWE) will run its women’s leadership event Elevate! on the eve of International Women’s Day, 7 March 2019, at the Conrad Washington DC. The event will include sessions from women in business and politics, as well as women and men who are making a difference in the industry and in business. Sarah Hurwitz, White House speechwriter from 2009 to 2017, will be...

New Connections for Euromonitor International

London-based event organiser Connections has announced it is to partner with the market research company, Euromonitor International for its 2019 events. Under the collaboration, Euromonitor will present industry insight and analysis at the following events over the course of 2019: Connections Luxury in Costa del Sol (February 2019), Connections California (March 2019), Connections Wellbeing in Slo...

International Confex partners with Meeting Needs charity

The UK’s leading MICE industry trade show International Confex has confirmed it will be partnering with the Meeting Needs charity in 2019. The event industry charity was founded by leading figures in the meetings and events industry. Meeting Needs aspires to raise funds for charitable causes relevant to the events industry. Liz Agostini, event director of International Confex, which is owned by Ma...

New Year, new look and new strategy for JMIC

The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) has set a new course for the New Year, including a new Charter, revised constitution and streamlined Strategic Plan. The new approach was agreed at JMIC’s final meeting of 2018, where members reached a consensus on a number of key structural changes intended to guide the ongoing development of the industry representation body. The new Charter sets out the...

RainFocus secures $40m investment for event marketing platform

Event marketing platform RainFocus has announced a US$40m strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in software companies. The funding will be used to for expansion and accelerating the company’s product development efforts, says the RainFocus CEO JR Sherman (pictured), former President at Lanyon and Active Network. “The culture and team at JMI ar...

Asian passport power jumps to the head of the queue in 2019 

Japan entered the New Year retaining its top spot on the Henley Passport Index, due to its citizens enjoying visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations. Asian passport power is well illustrated in 2019 with Singapore and South Korea now in joint second place, with access to 189 destinations. Germany and France follow on in the new rankings, with a visa-free score of 188. The US and the U...