Sharing the idea of …

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Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Small print.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Rivers of ink will run for a while about the cancellation – only few days before the start – of the World Mobile Congress. The explanations from the government about the health security in Barcelona, or the security measures that were to be imposed on the participants of the event upon their arrival at the congress venue, are useless. 

Those were not the cause of the cancellation, nor is the host city that caused it either, but the city will sure be the one to pay the price.

It is time to quantify losses in all sectors and see how compensations will or will not be collected. For the first time in the more than 25 years that I have been organizing international events, I will see what does that clause in all our contracts with the hotels actually cover, how valid it is, and when does it really come to “force majeure”.

We will see how the hotels in Barcelona manage in this case, as well as the various spaces that I suppose had been reserved for the different events to be held in the context of Mobile.

I imagine that the success to receive the compensations or not will depend on how good the hired lawyers are.

The stipulation about “force majeure” gives a lot of room for interpretations, but I think that the cancellation of Mobile will mark a turning point in the way to formulate this clause in the hotel contracts of the future.

As for the millions of dollars lost by the convention center, they will have to negotiate in such a way that, in order to secure the event for 2021, they do not tighten the screws too much with the amount of the penalties so as not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. 

An event of this magnitude, contracted until 2023, means an injection of millions for the city, which are already on the books years in advance. The somehow negative aspect of this is that, when something as unexpected as what happened now destroys this year’s financial security, it undoubtedly generates uncertainty for the following years’ editions.

The fact remains that, what the terrorist attacks or Greta’s preaching not to fly have not achieved, a virus has.  Never has the air in China’s cities been as unpolluted as it has been in recent weeks.

And the question I ask myself is, how will this influence the future of international events from now on? We will surely see big changes in the formulation of contracts, with copious amounts of small print.

María Teresa Yagüe Martín

Switch AI for EI.

María Teresa Yagüe Martín

I studied translation in university. And many times, both during my studies and up until today, I have had people coming at me to tell me about how this new software or app which just came up –and is super developed, complete and “accurate”– will steal translators’ jobs. My answer is always the same: no way. Could a machine get the hidden intentions we often introduce into a sentence while verbally stating a different message? Would a robot be capable of detecting irony, double meanings or jokes? What about untranslatable terms or false friends?

I truly believe a software cannot imitate the thought process of a human mind nor fully understand a context, let alone the emotional factor that a person can implicitly add to anything they say or write.

Well, the same could be applicable to any other field in which digital means are overtaking people. In the business events industry, for example, we constantly hear about digitalization, new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) as the new indispensable elements that all events must feature in order for them to be successful and/or meaningful. I haven’t worked in this world long enough, but I have already heard of stages and setups full of screens everywhere, holograms, special effects, simulations, virtual reality devices, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is here to stay whether we like or not: it represents the way that governments, companies, communications and, essentially, life works now; therefore, we need to embrace it and make the most of the multiple advantages and progress it is bringing.

However, we cannot forget about the emotional factor, the human connections and not only the digital ones. This is the reason why, together with the new and overwhelming wave of modernization, innovation and creativity, we are also seeing another wave of vintage lovers, of going back to basics and to the good old times. Basically, of recovering face-to-face contact, handwriting or phone calls in order to stimulate the considerate side of the new relationships that we establish nowadays, which could otherwise turn dangerously cold. No wonder studies within the business events industry prove that personal encounters are still the most effective way of meeting, as opposed to virtual ones (Skype videoconferences, for instance).

I recently read an article about prioritizing emotional intelligence (EI) at work, which made me think of the many ways in which a more “human” behavior could be (re)implemented in this regard. In a nutshell, it is all about supporting each other, being flexible and treating people as persons, not as production machines: guiding newcomers through the people and the how-to’s of the industry and helping them to network and grow professionally by squeezing their full potential; allowing occasional absences for private matters and remote work instead of encouraging an absurd “presentism” and late hours; conceding long-enough maternity leaves which do not lead to shaming or losing the job, etc.     

Another point mentioned in the article that sparkled some reflection in my head was about letting people be and show their true selves. Only then can someone really feel at ease in the workplace, which would enable them to perform much better and develop a stronger bond with coworkers and clients. Moreover, through these professional relationships plus the different work situations and experiences, one can become much more self-aware and thus learn from such situations in order to improve both at the personal and the business sphere.

This brings me to the recent meeting that ENITED attended with its fellow European partner agencies from the association 27Names, as another example of emotional intelligence practices at companies. The topic in this occasion was on new trends that are gaining ground against the hierarchical and careless traditional HR systems. Instead of having the last model of smart tablet, or pursuing just results and revenue at any cost, in the future we should aim for a warm environment and a nice team where everyone supports each other.

In this sense, I can proudly say that ENITED is fully committed to this vision, having decided to stay a small agency focusing on quality over quantity in terms of projects and clients.

As I said before, I am by all means not against technological progress and digitalization. I would just sum up my thoughts about the matter by stating that these machines should complement us, not substitute us. Make our lives fuller, not “dummer” because we depend on a robot that does everything for us.

And, in a world where relationships are becoming more and more impersonal in spite of internet and smartphones having brought people closer than ever, I could only advise to care for each other, because people are your most valuable asset.

Finally, a smart use of AI is thus crucial, and it depends on each one of us, through a smart use of EI.

Henrik von Arnold

A Forum for both young and “mature” Professionals.

Henrik von Arnold

What an incredible experience it was to meet 36 young professionals (max. 30 years old and max. 3 years in the business events industry) and nine “mature” mentors at the ICCA Forum for Young Professionals (FYP) just some days before IBTM World in November 2019.

Last spring, ICCA asked us at ENITED to create and moderate the 2019 edition of FYP, and we took the chance to suggest ICCA to do it a bit different. To our great joy, ICCA accepted! Because it was a total new concept with the motto The Future is yours – it’s time to break the rules! And we all did!

So here is the journey in short:

The participants had to make a video of their individual view on major challenges and obstacles for the business events industry in a 2-to-10-year perspective, as well as to hint some good ideas on how to solve them.

Arriving to a very “unconference” location in Barcelona, they all had to make their pitches of their challenges/ideas six times in front of their peers divided in smaller groups: “Listen to the voices”.

The next step was to “identify the most convincing ideas”, which consisted of choosing among these 36 pitches – cutting it down to about 15 challenges/ideas – to, again, select the group they wanted to attend for the next 48 hours.

In the end, they were asked to really scrutinize the challenges, boil them together and then “create new solutions” for them, to finally gather several suggestions on how to “make them happen”.

So no lectures from us “mature” and experienced mentors and moderators. No “this is how we do it”, no “these are the challenges we all have to look into”, no “we have been around for a while, and we know the solutions”.

The mentors were only supporting, guiding and encouraging the groups of students to think freely, think future, think out of the box and try to focus on The Why, The How and The What.

The goal for the FYP was to create an “Agenda for the Future of Business Events”. Actually, I do not think that was fully achieved. But the energy among the participants, their will to take on quite complex and difficult issues and the development of the individuals was, in itself, an experience – for all of us.

The challenges we all looked into were:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Event design
  3. Risk management
  4. Organizing a business event with a low budget
  5. Tools & techniques to attract & retain “people”
  6. Maximizing technology for a less tech-savvy audience
  7. How to (better) connect associations with suppliers

The last morning, the same day IBTM World opened, young professionals had to make a reality check by interviewing exhibitors and visitors on the floor, based on the issues they had discussed for two long days. What we expected to be a leisure half day for them to see the exhibition, ended in seven great oral reports with, again, new insights for all of us.

Having heard many voices after the event, we truly believe this format is a model for future events: participants have to create and choose the subjects, they really have to exchange ideas and experiences peer to peer, and step out from the comfort zone (“I sit here and listen to what they tell me”), which enables many of them to grow as individuals.

Thank you, young professionals and future leaders, for your contribution and your willingness to work within a very new and pretty loose framework. You made it far above our expectations.

Thank you our mentors: Guy Bigwood, Aileen Crawford, Ben Goedegebuure, Thorben Grosser, Gwladys Guillory, Isabelle Lechtman, Miguel Neves, Hugo Slimbrouck & Kai Troll for your free of charge, open minded and professional involvement during those three days experience.

Thank you to the sponsors Oman Convention Bureau and IBTM World.

Thank you ICCA for believing in this new format, and especially to Sina Bünte for her support and all the social happenings.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Barcelona burning?

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

A few weeks have passed and the international media has moved on to other, more pressing news. With a certain distance to that date in October, I would like to share now my observations and thoughts while operating an international congress in the city of Barcelona during those days.

With no intention to compare the plot of the great Alan Parker film (based on real facts) with the actual situation in the Capital of Catalonia, I would like to draw the attention to how to cope with a critical situation when you have a large scale event taking place in a destination in uproar.

I will not talk about the reasons why, nor express my personal opinion about what is going on in Barcelona in the last weeks, as I am not in the position to judge a situation I do not know, nor understand much about. I just happened to be in the city, together with about 6.700 participants to the annual EANM congress, at the same time when the court’s verdict for the illegal referendum for independence (in October 2017) was made public.

The pictures and videos of what was happening in the city centre, the airport and the main train station, with some “hotspots on fire” for extra effect on the global news channels – as we all know headlines sell better if the blood reaches the river – went all around the world. Nobody was allowed to access or leave the occupied international airport. The same for the main train station, while a few riots were taking over certain streets and main communication roads into the city.

If those news somehow preoccupied tourists overrunning the city, as they were not sure how they would be able to reach the tapas bar they had booked for dinner, imagine how the organisers of a large congress felt, having at that moment over 6.000 people in the city. These people were congress participants sleeping in the various hotels in the city, speakers needing to get in and out the city to go to their next engagement, exhibitors tending their stands and clients, and trying to reach their hotels after the congress was done for that day.

Whatever the reasons for the uproar, the riots and the inconvenience that this behaviour created for several of the participants – some had to spend the night inside the airport, as they were not allowed to exit – the congress was successfully executed thanks to the professionality of the team behind this big event.

Just one week after our event, another even larger international congress was expected to take place in Barcelona. As far as I know, that event was also well managed and no major inconveniences have been reported during their stay.

While worries on the side of the organisers remain, as you cannot glimpse a possible solution for the Catalonian situation in short time, most of the large events already confirmed for Barcelona are nevertheless still on schedule and will most probably take place. That is, if the conflict does not escalate to a point where, for security reasons, they must be cancelled and moved elsewhere.

All the above brings me to the point: Business events, especially those where the main focus is continuous education for doctors and knowledge sharing in different fields, will take place as long as a professional team of experts (both in the destination and from the international event organizer) works together, anticipating any possible challenges or issues and having a plan B as an answer.

It needs both competence and skills to focus on facts and not get blinded by the perceptions of a critical situation created by the global media “circus”.

After all, the show must go on. It would be a pity for such a tourist-driving, diverse, cosmopolitan, beautiful city like Barcelona to lose part of its magnetism in the business events industry due to mediatized riots and protests that create perceptions far from its reality.

María Teresa Yagüe Martín

Impressions of a first-timer.

María Teresa Yagüe Martín

My journey at ENITED is two months old now. And that makes two months that I have ever been in contact with the business events industry. Over this time, I tried (and still am trying) to grasp a somehow clear picture about the clutter of concepts related to this world: associations, live communication, destination management, convention bureau, professional congress organizer…

Before joining the ENITED team I was (and still kind of am) completely new to the ins and outs of corporate, incentive trips, meetings, congresses, as well as of all the suppliers and stakeholders that come into play whenever any of those take place! This is why I had to quickly jump on the train and learn as much as possible, as soon as possible in order to catch up with my colleagues’ work pace.

However, among all the articles, posts and news that I have read until the moment, there is a specific topic that event professionals keep featuring and sharing in their feeds and blogs: NEW TRENDS.

Serving their clients and guests’ needs and wishes, event planners and destinations must always be well acquainted with the latest stories, practices and releases in the market. However, this is nowadays not enough. Both on the supplier and on the client’s side, the millennial generation is taking over and thus shaping the direction in which changes are happening. In consequence, events must not only match these changes, but they also need to provide the most cutting-edge, groundbreaking experience ever. The famous “wow effect”.

One of Anna Sanchis’ latest blog entries already touched upon Changing generations, shifting mindsets (March 2019), and Rosa Reyero specifically dug into another big sensation at the moment: Festivalization (August 2019). Following up on that, I will now present a summary of the overriding trends – or, rather, essentials for us demanding millennials – that, to my observation, are kicking in hard into the business events industry today:

  1. Sustainability

Climate change is happening, and climate change does not care that you do not believe it is happening. What used to be seen as a plus for a company’s modern image and reputation has now turned into a conditio sine qua non to even be considered as an option by millennials. Sustainability urgently needs to become the norm in whatever form it takes – we know awareness about the environment has only started to spread and concrete measures are not easy to implement, but some easy first steps can always be taken: recycled/recyclable items, reduced or zero waste events, etc. Environmentally friendly practices must fully integrate the company’s culture.

  1. Digitalization

People no longer want papers that they will have to carry around only to throw them away as soon as they leave the venue, or to store them at home and finally trash them in any case. We prefer links that we can quickly check with one click, pen-drives with key documents, apps with all information in one place… We all have our phones, laptops or tablets with us wherever we go, and we can thus access digital formats anywhere and anytime. Unless (and even if) a brochure is made of recycled paper, hard copies are becoming less and less popular and practical.

  1. Gender equality

As with sustainability, an all-embracing gender perspective is not an option anymore. Event organizers not only need to include competent women in the speakers list, but also show awareness of women’s special needs, especially in the area of hotel amenities or, for instance, in case they are pregnant or have small kids that they might be forced to bring to the event. In this scenario, they should be offered alternative schedules, nursing areas, entertainment activities for children, etc.

  1. Inclusiveness

In the current globalized world, different cultures coexist almost anywhere. Regardless of the size of the city, you can find people from all continents who have somehow brought part of their customs and habits to their new home. We have to respect these habits and adapt event programs and details to those attendees who might not feel comfortable with certain things. Take into consideration religious holidays (Christmas, Ramadan, etc.), dietary restrictions, no-go references according to some traditions, time-zone differences for those who traveled the longest, etc.

  1. Personal wellbeing

How many times have you felt that you spend more time traveling for work than at home? And how many times have you felt that this is keeping you from following your healthy lifestyle? In the business events industry – as in many other professional fields – this happens rather often, so attendees will always appreciate if they are offered diverse (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or just providing information about allergens) options in the menu, outdoor or sporty activities, time for oneself before or after the regular program… health, essentially, should be given its due importance.

  1. Engagement

As digital natives, millennials are nowadays not so well trained on how to socialize face to face as much as through a software. But, at the end of the day, the useful and long-lasting connections are those you make in person, and millennials are well aware of this obstacle among the many they usually encounter to, for example, find a job. Therefore, they look for engaging and personalized events where they can feel treated as an individual with special characteristics, not just a number or one more group of guests which do not differ from one another.

  1. Influencers

All the above said, what truly matters in any meeting, congress or conference apart from the outer wrapping is the content, the ideas and knowledge shared. For these to really transcend the event itself, organizers should hire experts, the actual influencers on the topic at hand who have something to say and who can say it in innovative ways or from a different perspective. People (and certainly millennials) do not get inspired from classroom-like formats, but rather from energetic and charismatic speakers who can tell a story and who encourage them to make a difference.

If you combine all of these elements and create a unique experience that your guests (millennials and non-millennials) will absolutely enjoy, the event will stay in their minds for long enough so they can “haunt” you for more! Happy Halloween!

Henrik von Arnold

Get serious about Education!

Henrik von Arnold

Just a couple of days ago I started my 11th year as teacher at the MODUL Private University in Vienna, Austria. Modul is a university owned by the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The students are coming from all over Europe (quite many from the Eastern parts), China & Hong Kong China, and now and then someone from Middle East and United States.

They offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the university. The focus for the Bachelor studies is Hotel Management & Hospitality, Event Management, Tourism Management, and Entrepreneurship. The Master’s covers the above areas plus Sustainable Development, Management and Policy, as well as some other subjects. It is quite costly to get an education at MODUL, and the number of students today are around 700.

I started teaching at an enrichment course, while team-leading the Stockholm Convention Bureau, in promotion for destinations with the purpose to attract international association business events (i.e. congresses, etc.). Now this course is incorporated in the full two (three)-years programme of Event Management, and I am doing the introduction course consisting of about 30 hours with me as teacher, and another 70 hours of self-studying and group assignments (bidding for an international association business event) for the students.

I really like to do this as a part of my “daily” life, and the students are mostly well motivated and are pretty active in discussions.

What strikes me when introducing the subject is the lack of even the slightest knowledge about the association and corporate business event world. Students/people grasp sporting events, cultural events, society events (open city festivals, religious events…) without hesitation, and can relate to them quite easily. Of course, it is even easier to grasp what a tourism and/or hotel management education can lead to.

About 30% of the 22 students I have are exchange students from other universities, and it seems they also miss the basic knowledge of this part of Event Management.

If we are such an important industry facilitating knowledge sharing and knowledge building, as well as political and cultural understanding, why don’t students know about this as a possible way for their future career?

It is not their fault. It is a responsibility of ours to start talking to educational entities around the world, to convince them that this is an important topic for education and an important task for the future development of a destination, a country or perhaps for “the world”. I know this subject has been raised before, for instance within the European Cities Marketing organisation, and yes, here and there universities and colleges integrate some kind of enrichment course into the tourism, hospitality & hotel management courses. More or less to be polite.

But the needs of our industries are not clear. What kind of knowledge do we need in the future? What skills should future event professionals have? Do we actually know ourselves? And again, I do not blame universities. This is a task for us. We must become better in “marketing” our needs and be ready to take our vulnerable time to educate and inform the younger generations. How else should they know about us, and how else can we influence them to take this path?

Or maybe this is not the way to go? Maybe we do not need young people, with partly another mind-set, having a basic understanding of our issues and our work? Maybe we are happy to just advertise for young staff, and then we take care of the education within the industry. Basic training and vocational training – delivered on a silver plate?

But do we really have the theoretical knowledge to do this? How can we make sure students actually continue after their Bachelor studies and Master’s Degrees, possibly become PhD students and start researching on human behaviour, finance, organisation structures, sustainability, marketing, etc.?

OK, organizing an event might not need an academic exam. Promoting a destination or managing a venue might be executed by trial and error (I did). But studying and getting an overview of the industry, the role-play between stakeholders, the effect of digitalization, how to manage human and financial resources in this context, sounds like a good idea, in my view.

Is it time to create task forces in countries or regions which think approximately five to ten years ahead, make an inventory of our needs, and then approach educational entities on different levels. Business event professionals could, for example, support these educational institutions in setting up the structure of the academic programmes and/or take their time to educate students – while getting paid for it – on the lovely world of business events.

Some days ago, Irina Graf (@themiceblog) raised her voice on Instagram with similar “worries” and ideas. Apparently there is an international conference in Bern, Switzerland in August next year to address current industry topics. Very interesting.

Is this a task for JMIC? Or ICCA? Or someone else? Could something happen after the gathering in Bern? But it is seldom the organisations who change the world. It is individuals with a drive and creative abilities who are behind changes.

Maybe I am breaking down an already unlocked door? I do know there are educational programmes in some countries. But is it enough, and are these educational programmes up to date, meeting our needs? And at the right level?

I’m very much open for further discussions on the topic, and I would be happy to be a part of a competent & committed task force. It is too important of a subject to be done just on the side.

Anna Sanchis

Personal Goodbye & Hello

Anna Sanchis

There are times that you feel you need a change, may it be in your career, may it be in your personal life and sometimes those changes go hand in hand, you can’t take one without the other.

After three and a half years of intense work at ENITED, it has come the moment to say goodbye.

Goodbye to Ivo, who being the mastermind behind ENITED’s success has taught me how to be more detail oriented (are those budgets accurate enough? Is that coma in the right place?). He taught me how to keep going even when the rest is on fire, even when all you want to yell to your client is “I AM DONE WITH YOU”. And patience, a lot of it. Him with me, me with the client, the client with… no one. “The client is always right”. Or so it is said.

Goodbye to Henrik, our personal entertainer, the smile of our mornings and the person I love making coffee for the most in the entire world (no one is so thankful as our little-big-Henrik). Because I have learnt a lot from his masterclasses about RFPs and ICCA but also about “how to get a computer-allergic to work with new technologies”. I am going to miss your worldwide stories and your amazing capability to remember anyone’s name & position, and yet, forget on a daily basis where your glasses are.

Goodbye to Rosa, with whom I spent countless hours talking about “paja”, with whom I share a lot of points in common and similar perspective in life. She is what I like to call “street smart”, everything she knows is from experience and keeping herself informed at all times, regardless formality. From her I have learnt that it is ok to be the way you are; strong, independent and feminine. And whoever doesn’t like it, can turn around and go somewhere else.


And to say hello & welcome to María Teresa, who I hope finds her place at ENITED as I did. Who enjoys and appreciates the ups & downs that come with working in such an international, diverse team.

But let’s allow her to make her first jump into our ENITED world of Blogs and introduce herself:

Hi there! My name is María Teresa Yagüe and I am happy to announce that I am the new member becoming part of the fantastic ENITED team! I will be assisting Ivo, Rosa and Henrik with any support they need for their projects, as well as taking over ENITED social media accounts and taking care of all administrative matters in our lovely Vienna office.

I come from a small but charming city in Spain called León (which turns out is also the hometown of one of ENITED´s owners, Rosa M. Reyero!) but spent my university years in Madrid, where I studied International Relations and Translation & Interpreting. Once finished, I worked at the Spanish Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna and in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Copenhagen and (again) Vienna.

Now I am fully ready and motivated to dive in the challenging world of international business events and hope that I can learn from and contribute to ENITED as much as I can.

I cannot wait to share the idea of excellence at ENITED.



Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Festivalization. A universal remedy?

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Yes, festivalization is transforming how we built events, and it has already started to influence our business events industry.

But it is a universal remedy for those unsuccessful and uninspiring events our industry produces every day?

For the second year in a row, I had the chance to attend the Fifteen Seconds (FS) festival in Graz, Austria’s second largest city with close to 300.000 inhabitants, located in the southern part of Austria.  Born in that Styrian city, in only 6 years, the festival came from zero and became the hero, with over 6.000 participants and visitors. Now, for a city of that size, definitively a success, I would say, considering that not too many people have heard about Graz, and hard to believe, also not about the FS festival.

The festival lasts two days, and it is all about innovation, creativity and new technologies. The topics might not be exclusive of this festival, but definitively the format is. I never participate to any other event such as this one.

The FS festival already starts while queening outside the venue, waiting for the doors to open with a sea of people, hardly over 50, thinking how long you might have to wait at the check-in counters. Then, the doors of the Graz Stadthalle open and you get the first amazing surprise. A long row of desks made with recycled wooden pallets, each one with 3 young kids handling the badge and registering you, plus a myriad of helpers showing you the next available desk, and the vibrant music beat from a DJ desk makes you short 5 minute wait already an experience … and that’s only at the entrance!

No plastic, no waste, no free congress bags, only hand crafted and recyclable goods are allowed for the exhibitors. Plenty of water and energy drinks and coffee for free, kindly offered by local and national sponsors, are greatly appreciated by the lots of students attending the show, and sponsored by their universities. It feels and is indeed a very good learning platform.

Design, is the word that fully describes the areas of presentations, the stages built for each one of the topics, the areas for entertainment you can use while waiting for the next session to start. Each year they come up with amazing ideas that will not necessarily go over the budget you have normally for an event. It is more a question of creativity, and daring to implement your craziest ideas in terms of staging and decoration.

You get blown away by what is happening there. It is a vibrant and amazing atmosphere, with mostly extraordinaire keynote speakers and presenters, from many different areas, giving you always a lot to take with you and implemented in your business life, but also on your private side of life.

A bit like the Cirque du Soleil concept, you never go from A to B along empty spaces or corridors. On the way you collect your experiences, with all your senses. And the amazing thing is that, everything you see, hear, smell, taste or touch has been carefully designed and chosen to fit in. It makes me think about the sadness & emptiness of the kilometres of hallways we sometimes have to walk at many of our industry’s shows and events … and the desolate way to the cloakroom after that!

Like in any other gathering of this kind, there is also the opportunity to attend specific workshops, besides the many presentations going on. The networking possibilities are great, also after the sessions are over, and those areas as well as the rest of the spaces are carefully designed. Special mention deserves the stage dedicated to the start-ups, allowing anyone to present their projects. Here they get their own platform to showcase, and some of them are truly amazing.

The FS claim: “Designed for those who never stop learning”, and it gives credit to each one of those words. Designing both relevant and out-of-the-box content for individual learning, creating mindful spaces and having those never-seen-before moments, it is actually a very simple and smart answer to the changing landscape of consumer. It is not anymore about the product or service, or the content or storytelling. It’s all about experiences and the importance of story living in the “Age of Wow!” the future world of consumer’s mind-set & behaviour.

But hold your horses! Does that mean it is the panacea and answer to all of our ailments?

As the past has shown us, we tend to either ignore completely or embrace fully those new “things”. And those who do, get all excited and carried away with their “copy & paste” efforts. A simple word of warning: Be careful of the mouse trap!

I like to quote, in extracts, from an essay published by Maritz Global Events (November 2018).

Understand these 5 essentials for successfully implementing Festivalization.

  1. The offerings must be focused on the ideal market for the event. Festivalization is not a one-size-fits-all trend.
  2. Festivalization may involve working outside of the planning comfort zone by adding a completely different component to the event.
  3. Don’t be swayed by cool; select something meaningful to the audience which flows and strengthens the event objectives and vision.
  4. Understand the strain it puts on venues, handling multiple spaces and stages, etc.
  5. Bring in the experts. Even for event planners who have always handled all of the planning and implementation on their own, festivalization often requires a different team of experts.


I firmly believe in its potential and opportunities. Festivalization is about a movement, it’s about community thinking and acting and it’s about co-creation, sharing and collective experiences.

Hence, for the happy ending of my blog, our business events & live communication industry has a bright future. Who else is better suited to lead the way, from Storytelling to Story living!

Henrik von Arnold

Demonstrating excellence at IMEX. Is Flanders leading the way?

Henrik von Arnold

After IMEX three years ago I wrote a blog about the difficulties for the business events industry to be taken seriously by politicians and other stakeholders when visiting a trade show such as IMEX and being surrounded by “clowns”. There was a never-ending menagerie of green hulks, “funny professors”, ladies with “banana hats”, Canadian Mounted Police (but not really mounted though), all passing along in the aisles of the show floor.

My question then was: “Will we ever be recognized as invaluable assets for the (economic) development of cities, regions and nations, while still acting as a circus?” My conclusion was clear: NO. Not if we continue in that direction.

I urged all involved partners to change behaviour and to show our responsibility and to act as a serious and important player in destination development and knowledge transfer. Exhibitors and the media can show the way. Let’s focus on understanding the client’s needs in terms of infrastructure, research and development within universities, trade and industry. Let’s put attention into learning skills and in issues like sustainability, safety and security etc.

I reached out for a discussion on the matter, but got very little direct response.

However, and probably not as a result of my outcry, a lot of things have happened during the last three years. Projects as “The Iceberg” have been launched; the German Convention Bureau has initiated nationwide projects based on “knowledge and industrial hubs”; the term “legacy” of business events has been introduced (and maybe “over used”); many convention bureaux have been re-located/merged with local or national business entities instead of being a part of visitor/tourism entities, etc.

And what about the IMEX 2019? Yes, the “funny professors” were still there, and some other “figures in costumes”, but there is a visible and tangible change. It seems like we have started to grasp the fact that we are a part of an industry bringing knowledge and wealth to destinations. We are an unmistakable part of the development and growth, helping and supporting knowledge and trade exchange. Lubricating the development machinery, to make decisions happen and investments to be done. Brains to challenge each other. Finding solutions and solving major problems.

During this year’s IMEX, the region of Flanders was probably the destination that presented the most remarkable change in showing how a destination can showcase itself. They will probably lead the path for an even more challenging and interesting way to attract clients. They really did focus on key trade & industry and knowledge areas within Flanders.

Visit Flanders also has a very interesting approach in implementing a regional business event strategy. The regional convention bureau has employed staff whom actually knows in depth local destinations as Bruges, Antwerp, Leuven, Ghent etc., with the clear task to support the local destinations in the overall regional development. Instead of just talk the talk, they actually walk the talk. Very smart thinking.

So, what is my conclusion after IMEX 2019 then?

YES, I believe we are on the right track to be considered as an invaluable asset for the (economic) development of cities, regions and nations. And in some parts of the world, we actually have already achieved it.

Henrik von Arnold

Redefining Leadership.

Henrik von Arnold

Generation X & Y (they are also called Generation Why?) & Z will change the business events industry!

And still we – including myself, a 65+ – are the ones taking the time and space on stages, no matter if it is in board meetings, behind pulpits at universities and industry meetings or around table discussions. Of course, we have years of experience, we have made our mistakes, we had our shining moments, we are well connected and not afraid of opening our mouths, and … we do not really want to give up our control.

But, when will we ever learn to REALLY start listening and understand the worries, questions, and not only ideas and solutions of the ones who definitely will fill our shoes when we are gone? And yes, we will eventually disappear. Yes, there are events where we, the old guys are taking the stage and willingly answer questions from the newcomers/young professionals. But it is still the same. We have the answers and the young ones have to formulate the questions. Nothing has really changed.

So, how will the future leadership look like? Not just in our industry, but in general. Reading about upcoming leadership is mainly about how WE shall create and educate new leaders.

However, according to Martin Roll, a Danish business & brand strategist, with residence in Singapore, the differences between previous and current leadership styles are stark.

“The spectrum on which different defining characteristics of leadership have evolved is broad. Some of the shifts below will highlight the dramatic Evolution:

  1. from transactional to strategic
  2. from situational to broad/all encompassing
  3. from authoritative to collaborative
  4. from power-driven to personality & ethics driven
  5. from disparate/fragmented to continuous
  6. from problem solving focus to visionary
  7. from narrow to wide scope of influence
  8. from confrontational to participatory/empowering
  9. from short-term focus to long-term lens”

Martin Roll continues:“The definition and yardsticks of success of next generation leaders have also evolved from what we have witnessed in the past. Traditional benchmarks of achieving targets and objectives are now not enough to be successful as a leader.If we were to closely evaluate critical factors of success among next generation leaders, they can be categorized under six broad heads:

  1. Purposeful: Characterized as one with unwavering focus, clear personal vision and clarity of thought
  2. Resilient: Effectively and efficiently manages change, always stays ahead of the curve and has a strong character
  3. Networks: Constantly networks, builds networks of leaders, cascades relevant messages and change
  4. Long-term lens: Has a futuristic vision, always thinks and plans ahead and executes strategically
  5. Adapts: Manages disruptions effectively, continually innovates and constantly evaluates priorities
  6. Value orientation: Is driven by values/beliefs, principled and strongly believes and practices ethical behaviour”

At the Forum for Young Professionals (launched jointly by ICCA and IBTM) the days before the IBTM World in Barcelona this year, 35 young professionals from all over the world and from the whole spectrum of the business events segment, including associations, will actually speak up about the challenges and their vision of the future. They will furthermore discuss and create the ideas to solve the challenges, propose how to implement the solutions. They might even create “An Agenda for the Future of Business Events”.

And partly this agenda has to be handled by the future leaders, and some of them will for sure be part of the FYP 2019. They will not just have the possibility to set the stage for their future, they will also lead into their future. Yes, there will be a bunch of the old ones as well, as mentors, but above all, they will be there as an audience, listening and learning from the young professionals.

And all of us, old and young, will have the mission to take the messages from the FYP to their own companies and organizations, their own boardrooms, their own management groups, and make them understand what the future challenges are – in the eyes of our future leaders.

Anna Sanchis

Changing generations. Shifting mind-sets.

Anna Sanchis

At any given time, in any given workplace, it is expected that up to three, even four, different generations share their economical thinking and acting. From the youngest of the interns to the most seniors of the management. They are all working together with a common goal: move forward. Each generation has, however, their own, unique way to see the world that surrounds them.

Currently, we are mostly talking about Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965 -1976) and Millennials (1977-1995), and starting to include the latest of them all: Gen Z or Centennials (born after 1996).

It goes without saying that whatever the largest generation does, thinks and cares about, will shape their actions, and therefore also the (re)actions of those who target them as business partners, or customers. From large consumer goods corporations to small public organizations, as of 2019, the Millennials represent the gross of the population and that is why we are hearing so much talk about them, actually us. They are now the ones that dominate the workforce, the ones with the purchasing power. That makes them the prime target of not only other millennials, but of any generation in the game.

The way they act, think, spend, plan, breath, are analysed in order to know what they want, how they will spend their money and where they will invest. Naturally, that will also reshape the concept of Business Events.

This generation has lived the evolution of the smart technologies, have become experts in VFX (Visual effect) and know how to discern fake news from real ones. They are overly exposed to all kinds of ideas, thoughts and movements, making it harder and harder to keep their attention, to impress them, and ultimately to attract them to your core message and offering. Never before has a generation been so aware of the attention it gets, and never before has a generation deliberately taken advantage of that as much as Millennials do. They know they are the customers everybody wants. So they will demand from you – the seller – to show them not only what can you do for them, but they will also expect you, to do all the hard work to wow them.

And this is why within the next few years, we will see traditional business events content and agendas being shifted – even more – to include concepts like playground time, inspirational speeches, augmented reality supported talks and a good deal of environment friendly events.

Because that is what Millennials want: a world where learning and working is not a duty, but a way to have fun, a world where anyone can inspire anyone, not only the powerful but any Jane or John Doe. A world where all opinions are respected and different points of view are up to be discussed. A world where the already thin line between technological dream and reality gets every time thinner and thinner.

Event owners, organizers and players alike have the job to look and observe, analyse and predict what the coming generation expects, likes and needs; to make sure those business events in all its formats keep playing an important role in our live communication world.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

The importance of having (good) connections.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

I am one of those lucky people doing a job i really like, to the point that the more I work, the less it feels like work: I organize events.

During the past 25 years, as long as I have lived in Austria, I have organized a great number of events, for many different corporations, and for rather demanding clients. I had to turn budgets into chewing-gum consistency in order to deliver memorable events. The fact that our company is still in business after 20 years proves we have been doing things rather well. That gives me the confidence every time I have to present a pitch to win a new project, or a new client and, of course, whenever we have to present an offer to any of our long-standing clients.

Last year our company joined 27Names, a European network of leading live communication agencies and one of the first thing we have to do is to organize the first of three annual meetings, for 2019. When you have to organise an event for your peers, knowing you will be closely watched, evaluated and judged by twenty-one professionals in the field, the prospective makes you a bit shaky. Expectations are high, and our agency’s reputation was on the line.

We decided to hold the first meeting of 2019 in January, in the lovely Austrian town of Innsbruck. Not being the city where ENITED’s headquarter is located, and also not where we mostly operate our event projects, it added somehow a bit of extra worries about whether the locations, restaurants and program were going to be up to the standards of the 27Names partners.

Now that the meeting has been done, this blog is actually a big “thank you” to all those people who made the event memorable.

I will start thanking the Innsbruck Convention Bureau team who helped us choose the right locations, welcomed the participants in stile and showed the best face of the incredible Innsbruck to us. Thanks to the representatives of the venues where we held our meetings, the extraordinary Swarovski Kristallwelten team, the Nordkette Bergbahnen and the friendly Seegrube staff. They all contributed to GREAT (wink, wink at you guys) two days of Meetings.

Of course, I can’t take credit for the amazing views we had during our stay in Innsbruck, nor for the huge amount of snow covering the mountains surrounding Innsbruck, but this was definitely some extra points we could add to the whole experience.

Thank you Anna Sanchis and Ivo Franschitz, my ENITED co-organising partners for your great support.

And finally a big thanks to the partners and friends from 27Names.

The Oval Office (BE), Creative Pro (CZ, SK), Brand Venue (DK), Jolos (EE), Lataamo (FI), Magic Garden (FR), Concept X (DE), Verve (IE), Ideju Instituts (LV), Mediation (LU), Fieldwork (NO), UPpartner (PT), Maximice (RU), Agencija Promo (SI), BE ON (ES), Utsikt (SE), BVR (NL), and our new member BO Event (HU).

Thank you all for your positive feedback about the Innsbruck meeting, and for being such a nice group. It was a pleasure having you in Innsbruck, and for having ENITED as part of your great organisation.

We are proud to belong to www.27names.com

Ivo Franschitz

Time is flying, when you’re having fun.

Ivo Franschitz

After an exciting, and sometimes hectic, fall season, the end of the year has sneaked up on us again. Just a few more days and our ENITED team is taking off into different directions and their personal holiday celebrations with family & friends.

But before we do that, we want to share with you, in a nutshell, our individual year’s end reflections, in our final ENITED blog in 2018. We hope you will enjoy the read!


Anna Sanchis Roca

Albert Einstein once said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

I could not be more agreeing to it. It is not enough with being smart or knowing a lot about something. Even having a lot of experience in a specific field, does not mean you are the best at it. In order to succeed you need to adapt, rethink and change the old patterns that led you to unsatisfactory results.

What kind of company would we be if we would refuse to change or adapt? Our story is a chain of changes, one after another, put together like a pearled necklace. That is why in the past year we have been putting our intelligence to work: adapting to change and evolving from it has been key throughout the year. And all this modifications, this thinking, analysing, redoing and repeating has let us to the doors of a bright new 2019, where the efforts of the past months start to pay off and shine with a specific light.


Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

The year 2018 is coming to an end and with it also a series of events that in one or other way have had an impact on our business life. Some positive, others not so. However, all of them have left us something that will be a useful “learning” for the years to come.

It is now time for assessing the situation, reflections on the emotions we have experienced. It is about the evaluation of the objectives we defined at the beginning of this year, the ones we reached, and the ones we have not managed to. For those ones, we will simply establish new deadlines. We firmly believe that failure will never be as bad as giving up altogether. Therefore, the first and foremost resolution for the new year ahead is to work and try harder for the next months, to reach our goals, new ones and those objectives we are carrying from past year.

The year 2019 will start for us, full of opportunities, some of them are the fruits of previous planting, and some others are on rather short notice.

I would like to leave you with a quote that will inspire us all for the New Year to come: “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” (Leonardo Da Vinci)


Henrik von Arnold

It is extremely awarding to work with our current and prospective clients. To listen, to learn, to understand and in response to that, try to deliver the right answers and support. Creating solutions, which not only end up on someone’s shelf, but actually supporting the client in their development, that what drives us, here at ENITED. The exchanging of knowledge and ideas within the team and, in the end, with the client is very satisfying and FUN.

I am truly looking forward to 2019, to our upcoming projects and the business opportunities laying ahead.

My quote comes from the great Swedish alpine skier, Ingemar Stenmark, replying to a journalist’s statement: Ingemar, you are winning all the time; you must have such a luck. Ingemar’s response:” It is strange, because the more I train, the more luck I have.”


Ivo J. Franschitz

In those moments of reflections, one core thought and message resounds with me, again and again. It is all about people, and having the right team. We can do so little alone, but together we can do so much.

In our ENITED journey, it is the team in all its interaction, who defines both the path and the destination. Of course, it is always a combination of thoughtful discussions and sometimes strong-headed & heated arguments, of different thinking and daring new ideas, which define our decisions and next steps.

A German proverb defines it as “gemeinsam durch dick und dünn” (going through thick and thin together). It is that sense of counting on our team, being able to rely on each team member, supporting each other, travelling on this journey together, and most of all having fun together, which makes me very proud and thankful.

Accordingly, one of my all-time favourite quotes is an original translation of the following text passage in the book “The Wisdom of the Sands” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

One will weave the canvas; another will fell a tree by the light of his axe. Yet another will forge nails, and there will be others, who observe the stars to learn how to navigate. And yet, all will be as one. Building a boat is not about weaving canvas, forging nails, or reading the sky. It’s about giving a shared taste for the sea, by the light of which you will see nothing contradictory but rather a community of love.”

Concluding our personal notes, we want to thank all of you, clients, business associates & friends alike, for being part of our journey.

Thank you for your trust and confidence in us! Thank you for your continuous support!

We wish you a wonderful Ho-Ho-Holiday season and a successful start into the New Year!


Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Let’s say I’m talking about …

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Why there is the need to question and evaluate your destination on a regular basis.

“Let’s say I’m talking about Madrid” is a song of love and hate for this city, as described by its author, Joaquin Sabina. Knowing the good, but specially the not so good sides of your destination might help you reconsider or rediscover your USP.

While working on one of our consulting projects, concerning the development of a very engaged and exciting, emerging European destination, we were also asked to develop for the client a comprehensive list of business standards, both general as well as those more relevant to the development of their destination, in order to be attractive for International business events. I did not think much of it first, but as we were working on the content, it made me consider how strongly they wanted to be part of the top destinations in Europe. Only when you know what you are missing, you can do something about it.

Many of the well stablished European meeting destinations have the needed infrastructure for different size meetings, in terms of accommodation, congress centres, cultural and gastronomic offer as well as easy accessibility.

Clearly the number of rooms they have, or how many people they can fit in the plenary room of their congress venues will be relevant only when it comes to certain size meetings, making your destination “necessary”, but not unique.

Small and medium size meetings happen in much larger numbers than those so-called city wide and are also the backbone of the meeting industry. For these kind of events, there is a much greater number of destinations able to tend to their needs. The questions is, how are these destinations going to market themselves in the future? What is going to be their USP, for not been easily exchangeable?

It is pretty clear that, any emerging destination in Europe faces hard competition, when it comes to attract International business to their shores. But is also true, those are coming into the picture with a new mind set. By engaging experts to help them to develop the right assets and standards, and going through a serious self-assessment to find out their “haves and have-nots”, they will have the chance to start a new “destination” from scratch, fulfilling the actual client needs and demands. And they have the advantage of being new, fresh and to be discovered.


So I think is about time that many of those established destination stop following their perception of market demands, and start listening what the client is really looking for. Start by taking a real and deeper look into your city, discover its true assets, and open your ears when a client is telling you what you have and not what you think you have. Provide feedback to all your local partners about what they need to change or adjust, to become again a more competitive destination.

Some large business events might be forced to pick a destination out of necessity, but the meeting industry moves a lot more than that.

Getting some extra set of eyes & ears, from the outside, does help to take a better and realistic look at your destination.

You might find out that, it might not help to have an amazing public transport system, if that system is not able to understand the specific needs and to facilitate the travelling of 3.000 delegates to and from the congress venue during the four days of the event. Their trains might run every day like a Swiss clock, but that’s irrelevant for the event organiser.

And it goes beyond what the client expects and likes in a destination. It is about that special “thing” that makes your destination unique. That’s what the client really needs today, and what makes her/him choose you instead of other.

So be well-prepared when the client will ask you next time, what your true USP is and what sets you apart from all the other. Failing to do that will make you just another destination, easy to be replaced or exchanged the next time around.

Anna Sanchis

Full Circle.

Anna Sanchis

Rediscovering the Communities of Practice or Purpose (CoP).

As described by the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, an Association is “a group of people organized for a joint purpose” or a “connection or cooperative link between people and organizations”. A community is “the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common”. So basically, an Association is the result of a community willing to pursue their goals in a more professional manner.

So how come that today we are hearing all those talks about “transforming the Association world”, “rethinking the goals and purposes of their meetings” and “creating communities”? Wasn’t the community the very base of their union? Have we come full circle?

To answer that, I like to share with you the short anecdote of Professor Leone, which is based on a true story.

Professor Leone is a neuro-radiologist. She was fascinated by radiology during her studies. She found her life passion in studying the functioning of the nervous system. So she decided to learn and know more, to become one of the best. She did her PhD in that field, she became a Professor at University and as an outstanding member of the medical community decided to join the national neuroradiology association.

Her hopes were high: she would join the association to meet her peers, people like her, being passionate about what she likes: brains. She thought that within this community she would be able to engage with others on long, highly accurate and professional conversations on how to solve their own medical mysteries. She also wanted to get to know the big names in the field, but also she wanted to mentor the upcoming future eminences.

The years have passed by and she has seen how this big association has grown to be over- standardized, revenue driven and bureaucracy tangled. Doctors no longer meet for just the pleasure of talking to each other and exchanging opinions. They meet to get credits, to achieve points. Board members multitask, and in that multitasking they lose sight of the core values and purpose of an association. They join the association, not because they want to network, but because they want a certain certificate they can hang on a wall and demand a higher salary or a more reputed title. Professor Leone experiences how the gap between the seniors and the newcomers is becoming bigger and bigger every time. Seniors are in their board chairs; talking about how they can increase the numbers, what venues can they get to impress other seniors.

They are not willing to change their ways and listen to Professor Leone’s point of view. She wants to re-create that community feeling. She wants to give the newcomers an extra reason to join, besides all the certificates and the reputation. She wants them to join, because here in this association, they can give free rains to their geekiness, they can share and discuss. They can create connections that will turn into useful networks of professionals rather than single eminences on their fields.

So, what can Professor Leone do? Not much, you would think.

It takes more than just one person to change the minds and ways of an Association’s Board. It needs a change of mind-set in the whole industry, to open their eyes to new and different ways. Associations need to realise that without communities, there will not be associations.

To go back to a true community of purpose or practice, as an Association, you need to listen to what your members are saying. What do they want, what do they need and what is interesting to them. You need to give them back the power of decision and focus on creating a welcoming environment where they will be happy to share and happy to come back. You have to offer them a sense of purpose and make them feel not only wanted but also needed.

And it goes beyond listening to your members and the one specific, common field of interest. After all, a community starts with several individuals practicing the same interests and the same hobbies.

So if suddenly you realise that your target group is meeting with the purpose of talking about movies, perhaps you could incorporate that into the content-framework of your next gathering. Are they may be interested in gastronomy? Or in environmental causes? Any given person has several interests, not because someone is a radiologist it means that only medical topics will be of her interest. By observing what your members do and like, you will be able to appeal to their interests.

Taking a first step, perhaps next time the Board discusses budget matters, they can swap that president’s dinner for an all-member cinema night. Popcorn included.


Ivo Franschitz

Above all, a Facilitator.

Ivo Franschitz

On this blog, I am happy to report from our most recent engagement in a business event project.

For the 19th time in a row, we delivered successfully the overall Project Coordination for Coca-Cola’s communication & experiential marketing activities. It was an integral part of Austria’s biggest running sport event (with over 40.000 participants), the Vienna City Marathon 2018.

From the extensive range of tasks required from us, above all, the role & skills of a facilitator came first.

According to Samuel Kaner & colleagues (Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making): “The facilitator’s job is to support everyone to do their best thinking and practice. To do this, the facilitator encourages full participation, promotes mutual understanding and cultivates shared responsibility. By supporting everyone to do their best thinking, a facilitator enables group members to search for inclusive solutions and build sustainable agreements”.

That is exactly how we approached this project and accordingly defined the kind of engagement needed from us. We were moderators and enablers, but also mediators for the sometime difference of opinions and interpretations within the project’s team members.

As facilitators, we called on a wide range of skills and tools, from problem solving and decision making, to team management and communication. Always with the necessary respect for each other and the watchful awareness for the many layers of behaviour in a human group.

I am happy to share with you now the key elements for successful facilitation.

  1. The need for long-standing, actively managed & established working relationships.
  2. Taking one or two steps back from the “front-line”, for a better overview of the full picture.
  3. Thinking always several steps ahead, like in a chess game.
  4. Translating content & meaning into the right messages, for each of the project’s team member.
  5. Turning past experiences into knowledge & future asset.
  6. Strict timekeeping throughout the whole project.
  7. And last but not least: It’s all about the right team & Teamwork.

With that approach, we managed not only our client’s expectations, but more important, the understanding for our involvement in the right way and from the very start. Throughout the project, we were neither perceived as a classical buyer & seller of goods/services nor as a typical supplier of exchangeable commodities. And our relationship with all stakeholder involved was always at “eye level”.


For us, this latest example of ENITED’s project involvement is the definitive proof for a different & better world ahead of us, as a business event agency.

With that kind of approach and mind-set, we might have a chance to leave the still ongoing “cost”-discussion & argumentation behind. And we start to get recognized for the added-value of our involvement & engagement and not as an agency who is only a commodity trader.

Primarily we need to understand & accept the fact that any successful change starts within ourselves, by “rebooting” our chip, and keep spreading the right message, and foremost, living by it.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Hosted Buyer Program, quo Vadis.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

No Trade show organizer can afford leaving the networking success of their event to pure chance. Generating traffic on the show floor is the key for this “matchmaking” between supply and demand in our industry, or so they believe.

The Status quo.

Over the last years, an increasing number of new formats and platforms, mostly smaller in size and with fancy names, offer alternatives to the established “BIG” ones on a global scale. Unfortunately, all of them are busy copying the same old “hosted buyer program”, with their promise of qualified & potential buyers to a great number of sellers & exhibitors.

The competition between those “matchmaker” events has become fierce, in some desperate last-minute search for potential buyers. It is high time for the organizer to start thinking about new and different ways to attract the right buyers to attend their show, instead of those from their competitors.
Adding value for the Trade show buyer and visitors by creating knowledge sharing & learning opportunities has become very fashionable lately, but does not solve the real and underlying challenge of time scarcity.

As long as any hosted buyer program is built on an apparent “sweet deal” where any qualified buyer gets their flight & hotel costs paid and in return brings their business potential to a selected number of fixed exhibitor appointments, it will not get better but worse, at every further event edition.

In reality, most hosted buyer programs turn very often into a “tour de force” for the participants, with rushing from one appointment to the next. An imposed and very tight time schedule does not leave neither room nor time for anything else, including the offered knowledge & learning sessions or some quality networking time. Enforcing those appointment commitments through exhibitor feedback and penalties might washout the few remaining “freeloaders” who made it through the qualification process by mistake, but it does not improve the status quo.

As consequence of it, a large numbers of eligible hosted buyers are now attending many trade fairs and other events as “ordinary” visitors, buying their access (flight & hotel) to remain master of their time. They are able to choose appointments according to their real needs, fitting into their chosen schedule while having the chance to interact and network during the time spent at the event.

The Future.

So how does a successful “hosted buyer program” look like in the future? How to attract the right candidates for the future of matchmaking in our industry?

  1. It is all about understanding the fundamentals from a buyer’s perspective, their behaviour, and the great challenge that is time scarcity.
  2. Yes to incentivizing participation of those pre-qualified buyers by covering their travel costs, but understanding that you are actually buying their time. However, buying their time does not mean you become their master.
  3. Their purpose of participation is not to fill the time-slots of the exhibitors, but rather the other way around.
  4. The smart exhibitor will understand that any contact is an opportunity for a business relationship, and not a business lead.
  5. Any successful & lasting business relationship starts with the right people interacting. That means not only the demand side needs to be qualified, but also the supply side. And boring, monotonous and one-sided destination, product & services presentations are the guarantee for failure. The Internet of things makes those antiquated selling propositions not only outdated but also almost obsolete.
  6. We all agree there is the great need for continuous learning, exchanging knowledge and ideas. But it needs to be Center stage, and not only filling empty and unsold exhibition space.
  7. It is not about creating a buyer’s & seller’s market, but building a live communication platform.

At the end, whether you are seller or buyer, you never know where you next serious lead for business is going to come from. Above all, the main purpose to attend such an event is to build and maintain relationships.

We do represent the live communication industry, so we should also live it!

Ivo Franschitz

20 Years, on a personal note.

Ivo Franschitz

Although I prefer to live in the present and look forward to the future, there are those moments in life when looking at the past gives you a great sense of achievement and huge satisfaction. Such a unique moment is happening right now. It is time for me to pause and make some self-reflection.

Personal Happiness.

20 years ago my partner Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez and I, decided to take our business destiny in our own hands, and became entrepreneurs.
It was in March 1998, after working already for some time in the Business events industry, that we started our journey of self-determination and independence.
With a healthy mixture of conviction, confidence and ignorance, and a lot of youthful enthusiasm and energy – In modern lingo you would call it “Having/Showing the Grit” to pursue and live your personal beliefs – we set out for our personal destination. Our aim, beyond and far more important than the standard benchmarks of success, was actually our personal happiness.


And what a journey it has been so far!
Countless experiences of joy & happiness, moments of frustration & disappointment, great opportunities & painful challenges. All of them part in our continuous learning curve in business. All of them reasons to get up in the morning, facing yourself in the bathroom mirror, and feeling good about what you do for living.

Honestly, Rosa and I, we could have done without a few and, in hindsight, have even avoided some of those moments. But in exactly those specific situations of disappointment, weakness and doubt, when we have realized that any pursue of personal goals can never be achieved alone. You need a team of like-minded people, who are there to support you and stay with you, for better or worse, and in good and in bad times.

We truly feel privileged to call on such a team of people, who we trust. We value their honest input and their view with different perspective. All of them long-time business associates and friends, both from within our industry and outside, with whom we have shared many of those moments & many of our stories.

Our conclusion after 20 years of those kinds of relationships: only by sharing your journey you will achieve your personal happiness.


Back in the present time, and looking ahead, with those extra 20 years “under our eyes”, we realise it is the continuous element of sharing our journey that provides us with the necessary energy & strength. Is exactly what we need for our recent company relaunch, our brand-new ENITED identity, strategy and the new path we are following in pursue of our personal happiness.

Concluding this personal note, we want to send a BIG thank you to all those business associates & friends. There is no need to start the name-dropping, because you all know who we are referring to. Thank you for your support, helping us to stay on course in our journey!

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Stand up straight.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

I am a woman. I have been working in various fields for the last 30 years, and the only working place where I have not been approached by a male in a higher position than me, with some kind of “lecherous propositions”, is where I work now: my boss is actually my significant other.

I am not sure if those encounters are the “rule” for women working in still male dominated fields, or I just happened to have bad luck. Fact is, it never crossed my mind to report it. I did not think it was something anyone else but me should deal with, and so I did. I took care of the situation – and lived with the consequences – as for every decision we take in life. I had my priories clear: my integrity came always before my job. And believe me, as a single parent I needed a job and a salary.

One of the first things putting women off reporting any sexual harassment is the fact that in most cases, there are no signs or means to prove what happened. Moreover, that applies to both victim and perpetuator.

It is, therefore, a double-edged sword. It is hard to prove it happened, but it can be equally hard to prove it did not. With a simple accusation, you can ruin someone’s career, reputation and personal life. For good.

Do not make the mistake of thinking these kind of false accusations do not happen. They do, and more often than what we would like to admit. And thanks to the Social Media, it might as well spread like wildfire.

There can be many reasons why somebody (alas mostly women) will use now this weapon as a way to protect their position or even acquire a new one. However, I am afraid this could lead to a much bigger issue. My worries – as a woman born in the sixties – are that we might will encounter a new “handicap” for receiving a job.

After all, we have been fighting for all these years … women of my generation were not easily given jobs, because they could get pregnant, generating extra hassle for the company. With what we have achieved so far, it would be now really stupid, if companies would not consider hiring women (instead of men), and when the skills are about the same, for the panic of been accused of improper conduct.

With this, I do not mean women should accept any wrong behaviour, in order to be given a job. Of course not, but I think we need to start dealing with our issues in a different way, and only bringing it to the authorities when it really is needed.

We also need to draw a line between harassment and abuse. My male colleague greets and hugs me every day when he arrives at the office, and he is not my husband, by the way. Sometimes he also tells me that he likes my outfit. I never, ever felt I was harassed in any form by his behaviour. However, one thing is for sure, if any of his gesture or words would feel wrong to me, I would say so. Directly, with no room for being misunderstood.

Women should stand straight and be fierce. If a colleague is making unwanted moves, women should be brave and make it clear that she is not interested. If a man in a higher position uses its power in order to get “favours”, a woman should stand by her integrity and refuse, and then report.

If a woman accepts an indecent proposal for fear of what might happen to her career, it only perpetuates this kind of uncivilised attitudes and behaviours. She becomes a silent, agreeing partner of that crime. Silence and acceptance will only backfire.

So do not make that mistake. Stand up, but stand up straight.

Anna Sanchis

My very first time.

Anna Sanchis

For over a year now I have been hearing about the ICCA congress. An event that, before entering the Business Events industry, I had no idea it existed. Of course, my first question was: what is ICCA? A congress of Congress Organisers? Who goes there? What kind of exhibitors attend? And the lectures? What are they about?

I had some pre-conceived ideas: I imagined a large ball room setup in theatre-style, deemed lights and one of this very long, very boring presentations on meeting capacities and “look how fantastic my venue is with XXX seminar rooms and XXX breakout rooms” mixed up with “my venue has the best catering possibilities and the coolest meeting ideas no one else has thought of”. Let’s be honest, I wasn’t really excited.

So, I packed my stuff (sure, I did not forget something black and white for the gala night that has a costume contest – beg your pardon?), put on my sneakers (apparently something called CAT night requires sporty outfit) and headed to the train station direction Prague.

Sunday morning first meeting: welcome to all first-time attendees and first surprise. I was not only one in a few, but one more in a quite large group! Around 500 newbies got offered the chance to meet and – I would say even forced to – interact and get to know other rookies. It might seem silly but, for some of us, it is hard to just go and introduce ourselves to a total stranger. So this kind of good morning skinny deep dive really helps break the ice and puts you in the mood for more.

Then off to the first lecture. And I call it lecture because using the word “session” is a bit of an understatement. I did not go there and listen to someone making a speech on some industry relevant topic but a professional, and expert on a field delivering a master class on a subject that could or could be not, directly linked to my professional activity. And this class is so well portrayed, so well explained, that you are really learning from it, taking note of every words and trying to apply it to your objectives.

In between lectures and sessions you get to meet new people, you exchange cards, you talk business and you go back to one of the halls, to listen to yet another interesting expert. If you wish you can check some of the exhibitors, get your LinkedIn profile reviewed for free or take a freshly made smoothie at the yoga lounge. Before you know it, it’s time to head to one of the evening events.

Speaking of, I found out that CAT night stands for the magazine that sponsors an evening of funny rivalry and that yes, it is possible to have a gala night mixed up with a costume contest. You just need some brilliant minds organising it all.

In four days I have attended sessions on self-development, the future of healthcare, types of personalities depending on nationalities and even story telling. All sessions have been different, entertaining yet highly educative and conducted by experts in the art of public presentations.

In four days I have been able to make over 150 contacts that truly matter to me.

And in four days I have stopped being an ICCA ignorant, to become an ICCA member.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Managing a hotel allocation. It’s much more than just commodity trading.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

I started in the Meetings industry 25 years ago, when I moved to Vienna and since then I am dealing – among other responsibilities – with the hotel management for medium- and large-size congresses (up to 15.000 participants) in various European destinations.

In those days, before Internet made everyone aware of things we would have never dreamed about, the potential agency revenues of those size of meetings were amazing. Every supplier was ready to grant you a commission if you booked their venue, restaurant, and specially their hotel. The amount of revenues on commission staying three nights in your city in those days was enough to tell your client you could arrange the housing services of the congress “for free”.

These words were repeated for so many years that the associations, entrusting their housing services to their PCO’s, thought these were actually worthless. They never knew the actual volume of the revenue because no PCO was ever informing their client how much they were actually making, and how much potential their congress had as a source of revenue. 25 years later the picture looks a bit different. Fair enough, the associations now know that they can generate revenues and they expect part of it for their congress budget.

The problem arises when they think you get that money without effort, and expect a larger part of the pie than you are ready to share.

To properly manage the hotel allocation for a congress with about 4.000/5.000 participants can take over 900 hours of work, if the chosen destination is a new one. Of course, I am talking here about the professional management of a congress hotel allotment, where at the end of the congress all stakeholder involved will profit in one way or another:

  1. The congress delegates: They can rely on a selected allotment in different hotel categories in the city, secured at least one year prior out. This selection of hotels have been checked personally by us and have to meet certain expectations and standards, e.g. a location convenient enough to reach the congress center within a maximum of 30 minutes and fair rates (value-for-money) for their respective categories. We negotiate conditions that are fair for them, including guaranteed rates and realistic payment and cancellation terms.
  2. The association: Considering they are the ones bringing the business event to the destination, it is clear that they want to have part of the revenues produced by the accommodation bookings. It should be also clear to them that our services for accommodating their delegates, needs to be paid for. It is essential for us to put a clear and transparent price tag to our services. After our costs are covered, whatever surplus is left afterwards, of course, belongs to our client, and is only logical and fair that he gets it.
  3. The hotels: Clearly they want to maximize their revenues, never mind who is buying their rooms. You have to believe me when I say that from the 900 hours needed to arrange the housing for a congress, three quarters are spent on communication with the hotels. Contracting allotments, revising them almost on a weekly basis, informing them about the pick-up at any moment they ask, reducing allotments pro-actively and in-time to avoid wash-outs. Increasing allotments when specific requests arrive, monitoring the hotels web pages to avoid them selling the rooms for the same period at lower rates, and trying to convince them that it is a very short-sighted move, and so forth.


We are talking here about hard work, hours and hours of dedication, and this work has a value and a price. And it still pays at the end, if properly done.

Over all this time, we have managed to win the trust of all the people involved, including the hotels we work with. We have managed to provide housing services for the same associations many years in a row. Even if we will never manage to have all the needed rooms booked via the official congress allotment, those delegates who did, have become regular customers, over all these years.

It’s all about providing a service to our clients and their delegates. It’s about building trust in order to keep them year after year booking with the official housing agency. Because they feel secure and well taken care of, rather than just being a number in a pure money-making process … I guess is all about the personal relationship, after all.

While attending this year’s ICCA congress in Prague, just three weeks ago, it came again to my attention the challenge many Convention and Visitor Bureaux are facing when they are asked to secure a first hotel allotment for a meeting/congress taking place in their destinations.

If I can give them a piece of advice: try to understand the kind of event you are dealing with, I mean truly understand it. Then talk to hotels, explain to them what their benefits are by working together, rather than alone, and by really listening and learning about the specific needs of an event like this.

It means to be able to secure the rooms with fair rates, to block the amount of rooms and the kind of hotels that are truly relevant to the event, according to size, delegate types, actual spending capacities, etc.

Because in the end, it is definitely not a simple case of trading commodities and one of “one size fits all”!

Henrik von Arnold

I want it all and I want it now … for free!

Henrik von Arnold

“The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” is back on his horse and leads another charge against windmills and bad habits in our industry. Get ready for it!

Is knowledge for free? Do years of investment in your own product development become a free commodity, just to be consumed by your colleagues and by your competitors? Without getting anything in return? Moneywise or by other means?

During the 15 years I worked at Convention bureaux in Sweden, this attitude kept stunning me. And it still does, as it continues to be a common practice nowadays. Just because they are colleagues within the same industry, CVBs take for granted to be informed and taught how we do things to be successful.

At the beginning we did this because we wanted to help a friend. However, after a while we stopped doing it as it was so obvious they were not ready to give anything in return.

My then employer was seen as one of the best-organized DMO in Europe; a brilliant vision, great plans for the future and a thought leader for local destination development. We welcomed on average 2-4 visits per month from other DMOs who wanted to learn and understand, and we were, of course, proud to be recognized. After a couple of years we decided to NOT do this for free anymore. It took too much time to prepare and organize these study visits. We realized we just gave away years of investment … for free. Therefore, we put a price tag on it. If I remember right, it was about EUR 2,500 for a day of in-depths presentations and talks. And –surprise, surprise! – suddenly we only had 1 visit per month. Our experience and knowledge was not of any value any longer.

I admit I loved doing the Bidding session at ICCA; helping and teaching about the bidding process to attract association business events, even before my time as a consultant. I was recognized as a professional and a bit proud. We actually have a word for this co-competition. OK, the audience pay through their delegate fee – which is mainly paying for the venue, lunches, technology, organizers costs, and for some keynote speakers – but not for the about 30-40 speakers from the meetings industry sharing their knowledge and experiences. Is this really sustainable?

Why should some destinations or companies invest hard work, loads of money, creativity, human resources, so certain other destinations can just reap the fruits of that effort? All under the common assumption of “well, we are colleagues after all and can you give me your best advice ….. for free”.
Why are we prepared to buy cars, cereals, hotel rooms, food, train tickets but we are not able to see the value of knowledge?

Now that I am working as a consultant – with some meeting’s industry experience AND from other areas, which could come in handy- has become clear to me. Very few are actually prepared to pay for education or for advice and support to have a speaking partner, apparently because

1. They do not see the value of it or
2. They think or know they can get the knowledge for free from a colleague.

Is there any other knowledge-based-industry working like this? Pharmaceutical? No. Car industry? No. IT? No. The Gaming industry? No. Not even the new-shared economy companies give their ideas and product development secrets away for free. So why should we?

I think it’s time that we start to value the experience and knowledge among our colleagues in the industry. Understanding that you cannot take for granted to make the big leap from little knowledge to expert without having to pay for it.

Ivo Franschitz

Transparency, for real.

Ivo Franschitz

For the last ten years, one buzzword (“Unwort” in German) has been part of almost any of my personal conversation with clients and suppliers alike. It has been the hot topic of many discussions and lectures. And it has served as the top argument of the alleged “Good guys” in our Business events industry. Transparency.

Without exception, everybody on the market’s demand side sees the continuous need for transparency, as mandatory criteria in their call for tenders or request for proposal (RFP). And like the nodding dog toy on the rear window shelf of your car, the supply side keeps on promising it every single time. Sometimes it is meant in all honesty and other times as a lip service only.

By definition, transparency is the capacity of outsiders to obtain valid and timely information about the activities of government or private organizations. We all agree on the definition. But let’s face it, in our real business life it is very rarely achieved, for a multitude of reasons and mostly excuses.

The big question remains. Why is true transparency so difficult to find?

Because transparency is neither a single feature nor a standardized application, but the sum of a simple formula.

Invested time + Relationship of trust = Transparency.

In addition, it needs the genuine and equal involvement from both sides, supply & demand.

Of course, there are always some suppliers who want to make a quick buck and see any business as a one-night stand. And there are many clients who cannot or do not care about it, as it would go beyond their job description within their organisation.

So what’s the chance?

Nowadays, many of our live communication efforts and business events have a substantial economic impact, with a great number of players involved, which are depending from each other. They also have an obligation towards many stakeholders and a responsibility to the society in general.

Hence, there is no alternative but to invest that extra time and to build those relationships of trust. Yes, even if it means that some of us need to reset their chip or update their business model to the latest version.

When the demand side of the market finally accepts that they are in need of services and not only graciously bestowing their potential business upon the supplier, and when they stop considering only answers and solutions which fit their preconceived opinions …

When the supply side finally takes the courage to get out of the rat race, stop doing business just for the sake of business and change their “the client is always right” business approach …

When both sides finally do not see purely the costs but the value of the services requested and delivered, when both invest the necessary time to build a business relationship of trust and mutual understanding …

… then we will reach what we have been seeking for some time, at the end of the rainbow. No, it’s not the Irish leprechaun and a hidden pot of gold, but true transparency.

For almost 20 years now, at ENITED, we have invested the necessary time to build and maintain that relationship with all our clients and partner, resulting in the transparency we all desire and value.

Our latest ENITED solution is again another proof that we live and perform according to those business principles.

Have a look and download our ENITED Matchmaker© Solution.

Let us know what you think. We love to receive your feedback.

Anna Sanchis

Out of Control?

Anna Sanchis

Who doesn’t like a good meal?

Regardless the situation, the financial status or even the emotional state, we are always up for a good culinary experience.

From the moment you are choosing a restaurant (maybe because someone recommended it to you, or you checked online where you should go, or you just passed by and decided to be spontaneous) to the time you are leaving the restaurant, you will try to enjoy every step of it.

You will read the menu, and see what it offers. You will keep in mind all the possibilities that are tempting you, and might decide to leave a bit of room for that delicious desert you have just seen coming to the table next to you.

You will look around and see if the restaurant has the decoration you expected, if the staff is being attentive and effective as it should be in a good restaurant, and you will look around and see what other kind of customers the restaurant is attracting.

Why are we so picky when it comes to evaluate our gastronomic experience and not when it comes to administrate our tourism options?

We should manage our destinations just like we would manage a good restaurant. Think of the people you want to attract, to make sure you have what they need, what they expect. Pay attention to details, make sure that the customers are looked after. Train all personnel towards a positive, welcoming attitude, but also train them to say no. You wouldn’t allow a restaurant’s guest to sit on the floor shirtless and yelling at other guests, so…. why would you allow that in your city?

And never, ever, try to sell more than what your restaurant and your chefs can deal with. You can have the best location, with the top chef of the moment, the nicest clientele and the most exquisite decoration. But if your staff is constantly under pressure for the avalanche of customers, if the kitchen is running out of ingredients for over demand and if you pile up dinners to fit in smaller overloaded places, your restaurant will eventually face bad reputation and plenty of complains.

That is what cities like Amsterdam or Barcelona will soon have to deal with. They both became extremely popular not only in the leisure tourism but also for business events (e.g. congresses, meetings and conference). The constant increase on their visitors per year is making locals abandon certain areas of the city. Some can’t afford to rent anymore, some can’t deal with the nuisances of weekly neighbour changes.

In the long term, this will lead to a modification of patterns in the city, changing the very same thing that attracted tourist in the first place.

Venice is a perfect but sad example of what will happen if this massifcation of tourist attractions is not studied, regulated and managed properly.

And it must be a common effort. Government, local authorities, businesses, venues and hotels must put their brains together to ensure that in the years to come, our 3* Michelin restaurant will not become a side-road, deep-frozen-pizza stall.

Henrik von Arnold

Perception or Reality?

Henrik von Arnold

Where does my destination stand? Or rather my convention bureau? Or my event venue(s)? Is my destination fit for the World of Business Events? Does my destination have the right assets and standards and not just the appropriate infrastructure and commodities compared to other cities, to be able to attract and compete for international business events?

In my opinion, it is absolute essential to self-reflect from time to time. To pause in our daily rat race for business and stop our “Copy & Paste” efforts from the leading destinations. Of course, to benchmark and learn from the top performers is helpful, but there are no all-purpose remedies.

For me, there are two good arguments for engaging in that moment of self-reflection.

  1. For NOT getting lost in your tactics and lose sight on your strategic and future directions and development of your destination.
  2. For NOT letting your own perceptions cloud your sense for reality.


In our continuous engagement with the market, we have heard it many times. To remain true to oneself, a consistent form of self-assessment is fundamental.

Those who conduct that exercise, they do know how good their standards really are and what they can offer as assets that truly matter when approaching clients to be. They are able to enhance their stakeholders understanding for the business and the willingness to support their activities. Those destinations have a much clearer picture for what they have to do better or change, to become or remain a major player in the business events market. And, therefore, can apply proper methods of solution, fitting to their specific needs.

ENITED Business Events has already been a competence partner in such a self-assessment exercise, on a countrywide project.

With our ENITED Survey© solution, we have designed the tool-set, provided our expertise in the execution & evaluation and shared our knowledge in the suggestions for tailor-made answers.

Through the ENITED network of Excellence© we are also keen on supporting you, to find out who and what you really are. And in helping you to improve your standards, and your business.


Ivo Franschitz

Share your Passion.

Ivo Franschitz

I like to take the time and this blog to pick-up on my line of thoughts from December last year (The Year 2016. Through the rear-view mirror.).

It is about Connecting, Engaging and Creating solutions. Always a joint effort of people, whether a few or many, who possess first and foremost one special trait: a true passion for what they do and how they do it.

Because it always starts with the WHY.

Living in an ever-expanding and complex information world, we surely can agree that pure knowledge exists in abundance. More than we will be able to consume and digest in a lifetime. Trying to grasp it feels many times like a Sisyphean task, and a trap we do fall into over and over again.

We are always inclined to ask for the What and the How first, in an attempt to comprehend and make use of any piece of knowledge.

Yet, the most creative innovations & solutions are the result of posing the fundamental question: Why. It is the driving force for connecting the dots and gaining new perspectives. Sure enough, it does always happen in the company of people sharing a common passion, creating the special glue for building those successful networks.

ENITED Network of Excellence.

Also our Business Events industry is following in the footsteps of Sisyphus. It has become a place where often Copy & Paste solutions and a Commodity trading attitude are the new norm. There is not much room left for the passionate side of our business. For me that is very saddening and alarming, as the core of our live marketing & communication work is all about emotions and experiences.

We, at ENITED, take great pride in living that passion every day, and share it through our own network of excellence as well as our ever-increasing number of ENITED solutions. These are our answers for tomorrow’s challenges our business event industry and their stakeholders will face.

Download the current list of our ENITED Solutions. Have a look. There might also be something in it for you.

As always, we love to hear from you and appreciate your feedback.

Anna Sanchis

Open your Mind, open your Books.

Anna Sanchis

Most of us think that, after college, we would not have to learn from books anymore. Those tedious hours listening to the Professor are over, and that, thanks God, we no longer need to write reports or participate in group projects anymore.
Even more, the sole thought of having to attend one of those mandatory sessions would repel us. Sure, College time was great too, but now we are adults, we are formed, we know about life.

But the truth is, we never stop learning, we should never want to stop learning. We live in a world that is constantly changing. Younger generations are born knowing everything about technology, and the pace of which they are evolving is sometimes way too fast to catch up with. Every piece of quality information should be cherished and nurtured and whenever possible, applied to real life.
Perhaps there were things back at the University that you wanted to learn more about, but it was not part of the curriculum. Perhaps it was not even related to your studies! It might even be that you are currently working in a field you did not prepare yourself for and now you wish you had.

When I heard about Coursera.org I was a bit sceptical: University courses that can be done from my home or phone without missing travel time or having to pay a high tuition fee? Did not seem very reliable. Then I saw some of the big names backing up this platform: Stanford University, The University of Tokyo, UCSF or ESADE? Curiosity kicked in.

As a Project Manager in the events industry, I thought if I could take a single course that would have an immediate impact on my work profile, what would it be? What knowledge am I lacking that would bring a plus to the team? Will all this learning be compatible with my work life?

At ENITED Business Events we have always been encouraged to learn more, to use our work time not only for client-based projects but to read and try to absorb as much information as possible. Because we are not only event coordinators, we are also consultants and mentors. We offer our clients not only our support, but also our knowledge. The more we know, the more we will be able to share.

And that’s why, at 32, I started to learn again.

Anna Sanchis

The Sense of Accomplishment.

Anna Sanchis

Mission accomplished!

There is nothing more rewarding than accomplishing an ambitious goal, overcoming a number of obstacles and challenges. The sense of satisfaction and pride is a very personal one. Very much like reaching the finish line of your first marathon race, after completing the 42,195 km.

We find the analogy to the world of sports specifically fitting when applied to our achievements with two of our latest, international business events projects: The Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 (see our previous blog “The Power of Inclusion”) and this year’s edition of the Vienna City Marathon.
Both events took place within four weeks, both times ENITED provided consulting and coordination services to one of our long-term client, the Coca-Cola Company.

For those two very complex business events, we covered a range of services in different areas, such as content design, lead project coordination, hospitality programs, logistics management, etc.
However, our most important contribution to both projects was the overall guidance and care for the necessary, good relationship between all involved stakeholders. This is a must-have when dealing with such large and complex events, and it is one of our core competences and part of our ENITED consulting portfolio.

To build and maintain those relationships requires a special set of skills. The knowledge & experience, the people skills & empathy, the trust & willingness for cooperation, and the patience & endurance for going the distance.

Coming back to the sport’s metaphor, it is much more of a relay than a single heat and more of a joint effort than a single performance, to experience that sense of accomplishment.

We at ENITED take pride in living and sharing those accomplishments.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

ENITED Facebook Page.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Thank you for being a friend!

One of the many good sides to have Millennials working at your company is the bluntness when giving you their opinion concerning social media. No room for interpretation here. When we asked our younger colleagues what they thought about Facebook, their answer was: You are not on Facebook, you do not actually exist!

And so, we have changed our mind, after years of thinking that from all Social Media platforms, Facebook was not the one ENITED Business Events needed. ENITED does exist and has now its own Facebook company page!

We have seen the changes in the pattern along the short live circle of this specific platform. From a must have with as many friends as possible at the beginning, to “unfriending” radical or boring posting of so-called friends, to just keep a real network of people we enjoy communicating with.

As in real life, coming to a new city or neighbourhood, you first need to try out lots of people, before you come down to the selection of friends you enjoy having around at one or other occasion. From the original vast number of acquaintances, you may reduce it to that manageable number of friends you can keep-up with, you enjoy their company on more or less regular basis and most important, to enrich your life.

The ENITED Facebook company page cannot have friends, but can have followers, and people liking it. We will do our very best to keep this page in a way that anyone following us, liking us, will do that because they actually mean it. Our pictures, comments, postings and all the content we will place on this page should be interesting, funny, lively and inspiring. So we will get lots and lots of followers & “likers” who will never think about “unfriending” us. That Is a promise!

However, in order to produce that amazingly interesting content, we would like to count on your help. We invite you to visit the page, like it (if you do) and send us your feedback (also about what you do not like).

And if you decide to follow us, remember that this page is a friend’s platform after all. We always trust and very much appreciate the opinion and suggestion of a good friend.

We invite you to act as one and follow our new ENITED Facebook company page!




Ivo Franschitz

The Power of Inclusion.

Ivo Franschitz

Every Business event we are involved in leaves always its personal footprint with me. Mostly a goody bag of impressions and emotions, created by all kinds of encounters and experiences. And most of the time lasts only for a short while, before my “memory chip” gets overwritten again with newer and more imminent data.

There are, however, some exceptions. When all the emotional sensors which still define us as human beings are touched, in the most authentic and honest way.

One of our current projects offers me one of those truly remarkable experiences. The Special Olympic World Winter Games (SOWWG) 2017 taking place this year in Styria (in Schladming, Ramsau and Graz), from March 14th to 24th.

As a project coordinator for Coca-Cola (Founding Partner of the Special Olympics movement), our team participates in that unique sport event, exposing us to the powerful idea of inclusion.

Each and every encounter with the SO organisation team, the athletes, their coaches and families, the fans and supporters and the media involved, is a truly authentic human experience. Everybody feels very proud of the opportunity to sharing those moments.

Live Marketing at its best.

Only through face-to-face communication, these kinds of special experiences become available. It needs the unique platform of a live event to create the appeal and authenticity of the intended message. Especially, if the purpose and goal is spreading a common message of social responsibility and good citizenship.

Only when the essential engagement of all involved stakeholders take place, including those who represent the good cause and are the beneficiaries of that social engagement, these messages become alive.

By far, stronger and more effective in its call for action and, in the end, far more efficient and lasting in its results than any other marketing & communication tool.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

IN- or OUTsourcing? The Future of Business events.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Already eight weeks into the New Year 2017 and right from the start we have been busy with several business events in Austria. I like to mention just two of them, as they are pertinent to this blog. A high-end, exclusive customer relationship event for selected guests, requested by an Austrian organisation in the field of Medicine, and one of the biggest international sport movement for people with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics International. This project, the SO World Winter Games 2017 will take place in Styria in March. Stay tuned for more on that unique event in one of our upcoming blogs.

On my blog of today I want to pick-up on the ongoing debate about OUTsourcing versus INsourcing, when it comes to Business Events. About finding tactical solutions versus creating strategic opportunities. In our fast and ever-changing market, these two options need a special consideration.

The classical OUTsourcing approach of many event owners and event organizers might appear to be still the most convenient and cost-efficient solution, due to the scarcity of resources like time & money. We are of the opinion that, this option is a quick and foremost short-term fix for a tactical challenge. Driven by the need for reducing cost & maximize time efficiency, the creative, innovative and quality side, however, becomes collateral damage in the process. Many times, the decision to outsource leads to a loss of control over the content, process and final result of the project.

On the other hand, INsourcing entails bringing content and process handled by third-party providers, into the client’s house. It implies that outside experts are hired as consultants and the internal staff thereafter implements their recommendations. It also means getting the necessary knowledge and experience in-house before deciding to outsource, if necessary. This permits the event owner to maintain control of the project and the outcome.

More and more of our clients see us as the consultant who brings that external knowledge and experience in-house, for the whole content & process of a business event. From the initial definition of purpose & content, the creation & design, the decision on resources and process (e.g. bid counselling), to the planning & execution.

Both our above mentioned projects are just two good examples of how the subjects of knowledge and performance management are slowly changing.

After our company relaunch two years ago and the consequent start of our ENITED journey, we have created our own Consulting solutions, in anticipation of these changes.

At ENITED, we are very proud and well prepared to provide the business events solutions of tomorrow. Today.


Ivo Franschitz

The Year 2016. Through the rear-view mirror.

Ivo Franschitz

The Christmas holidays just past and only three days left until the end of the year. Looking around me, driving in a car, I notice the holiday season in our city is still in full swing. A mixture of hectic and calm at the same time, finally sprinkled with the first snowflakes.

When taking a glance into the rear-view mirror, a moment of realization: another 12 months have passed, with the speed of light … or so it feels.

In this final ENITED blog for 2016, I like to share with you a couple of our special moments and my very personal highlights of this year.


Into our second year after our major change & relaunch of our company, we felt sometimes like being the new kids on the block, although we have been around for “a while”. Connecting the well-known faces of our ENITED team with our new company brand was one of our goals this year.

With our 1st birthday celebration in February and several other activities throughout the year, e.g. the participation at the annual ICCA Congress (one of the most important global events in our own Business events industry), we have created those connections on multiple levels. As a whole our team represents extensive market & business experience, in the fields of destination & venue development and marketing, as well as association and corporate meetings coordination. A unique and valuable mix of skills, which our potential clients have started to recognize. We proudly report “Mission accomplished”.


The engagement with people, the magic of connecting with others, the experience of sharing ideas and visions. All that is for me the basic as well as the key to create learning opportunities and knowledge. That’s what drives and energizes me to stay the course and keep true to myself, in challenging times.

Per Schlingmann (a Swedish thought leader & futurist) described so well the term of wild knowledge, which is only created through the engagement & interaction of people. Everybody of us carries individually a vast pool of information and an ever-growing amount of experiences. But only when we get together and interact, we create that unique set of knowledge by sharing and learning from each other.

Creating solutions.

As a result of connecting and engaging with people, we have in the last 12 months designed and implemented a number of ENITED solutions, including the recently announced Workshop Series. And there are many more of them already in the “pipeline”. So stay tuned. Let’s continue the conversation!

We wish you all a joyful New Year celebration and a great start into 2017!


Blog from a guest

Sharing knowledge. The ENITED workshop series.

Guest Blog by Elisabeth Hansa | Owner of Support & Strategy on Demand

I have known the team behind ENITED for several years now and I have experienced the intense rebranding and change process. Although many things are different today, there is still one maxim the team lives today more than ever: SHARING.

ENITED Workshop Series

This time we emphasize on sharing knowledge, working more on tailor-made solutions for each organization, offered through our new Workshop Series.

The ENITED team and me, we presented together with big success, the newly created Workshop Series at the annual ICCA congress in Kuching, Malaysia. The idea behind is to offer different modules for international CVBs, venues and other suppliers in the meeting industry. The main aim: supporting destinations and all partners to maximise their common performance and increase their business by a highly professional approach towards clients and stakeholders.

Unique Team

The main advantage for future clients results from the team´s expertise: Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez & Ivo Franschitz, with the core competence in meeting management, Henrik von Arnold, with vast experience in Convention Bureau development, Julija Palatin, Marketing and Social Media expert and me, Elisabeth Hansa (Owner of Elisabeth Hansa Support & Strategy On Demand), with over 30 years know-how in venue management and sales, are offering tailor-made workshops for the benefit of destinations, venues, politicians and other stakeholders involved our industry.

Your choice

Another advantage of this innovative knowledge transfer is the modular system: clients can choose from a broad selection. We offer support for Marketing, Sales, Venue Management, Destination Management, the role of CVBs, Acquisition of new clients, RFPs and Event Management. We develop workshops based on the wishes, needs and possibilities of our clients.

The workshops themselves are subdivided into knowledge levels 1 and 2. Knowledge level 1 is designed for people with less experience in the meeting´s business industry, between one and three years of working experience. The target group of knowledge level 2 are advanced employees or CEOs with more than three years of working experience and a deeper insight in the business´ basics. Together with the client we decide on the level and the different formats that individually suit best.

Great Ideas

The Workshop Series were very well received at ICCA in Kuching. We enjoyed really good talks with prospective clients and a lot of compliments for the good idea. For us it is the greatest joy to see our services have great impact and are of high relevance for our clients.

Henrik von Arnold

ICCA Congress 2016. And what is left from it.

Henrik von Arnold


The ICCA congress 2016 is now finished – anyway the event in Kuching itself. Now the conversation continues on the news that were presented, the seminars you attended, the brilliant speakers, the old and new contact you made and what you actually learned.

One of the innovative sessions that were organized was the annual Destination Marketing sector meeting, where all ICCA members connected to destination marketing gather for an hour or two to be updated on ICCA news and listening to and discussing core issues within the industry.

This year ENITED Business Events suggested ICCA to take this session a bit further, creating an Open Session, and to our joy ICCA accepted.

Together with the Swedish event technology company Trippus Event Solutions, we invited all sector members to tell us what their challenges were. We got about 45 different suggestions which we sent out to the same group of people, asking them to make ONE challenge they wanted to discuss.

Based on their wishes we formed thirteen groups with maximum 15 participants in a session called “Challenges and Solutions”, and by text messages they were informed to what group they belonged and who was their moderator.

The subjects of the challenges was everything from “How building a meeting ambassador program”, “How to connect governments to key sectors in relation to congresses?”, “How can we on a city or country level address sustainability in connection to meetings?”, “Realigning the expectations of the associations to be more realistic in their demands on destinations” to “Do destinations bribe associations to get the meetings? What is supporting and what is bribing?”

Our Challenge was: Not 130 persons showed up at the session, but about 250. The Solution: We formed twin groups, and they were discussing their challenges for about 45-60 minutes. The groups also wrote reports on solutions which we now gather and distribute to all the participants at the session.

“Why haven’t we done this before?”, “Best ever”, “Prolong the session to two, maybe three hours”, “Well done” was some of the comments and suggestions for improvement we got.

We like to thank you ICCA who dared to try the Open Session model, The Trippus Event Solutions who made it technically possible, and the moderators who made a great job – and of course all participants not passive listeners this time, but sharing their challenges and their solutions.

Anna Sanchis

Size does not matter, planning does.

Anna Sanchis

When planning an event we always try to foresee all possible issues that might happen. We plan ahead in order to avoid delays with our services. We try to be one step ahead. We order our material well in advance to make sure that nothing is out of stock – although we probably have already an option B lined up, we check rules and regulations, bureaucracy procedures to avoid our items go missing. We make several site inspections and take pictures and measures of all surroundings to ensure that on “the big day” we know by heart where can you plug your phone for charging, where is the poster area, where can you have a freshly squeezed juice or, of course, where the toilets are.

It is our job to have everything under control, to give the best.

In some events, like the past 61st edition of Distripress meeting, all the checking is much needed due to the varsity of factors that could alter the outcome: an internal change within the basic structure of the organisation, a relocation of the Headquarters, a brand new software and of course, the coordination of three different centrals (London-Vienna-Dubai) … the more factors, the higher the risk.

Despite being a relatively small event (approximately 600 participants) it was a clear example on how a petite meeting turns out to be trickier to handle than a larger one. Something that might seem logic and necessary in a large congress, suddenly becomes useless on a smaller size and the other way around.

That’s why having a good team makes all the difference.

How can someone know what is the best option? Experience and only Experience can tell. Thanks to that, and some natural intuition, the meeting that looked as quicksand can end smoothly unfolding into a nice, busy week full of success.

Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

Just three days after Distripress 2016 took place, the ENITED team jumped on a plane to their next destination: EANM 2016.

In this case, we handled all housing services, over 6000 participants on the spam of a week in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Once again, we had to plan – well – ahead: being such a large congress you must expect the unexpected. This time, however, there were no surprises, no internal changes, and only minor day to day modifications on a project that developed as planned.

When you sign up for a project you never know if it will face some difficulties while on the planning, or perhaps at the execution or – in the best of scenarios – it will run smooth like silk from start to end. This is why, regardless the magnitude of the event, surrounding yourself with a team that has knowledge, hands-on-experience and ability to think fast, to find solutions and to maximise the results is indispensable to guarantee the success and satisfactory outcome of any business event.

Guest Blog

The Association Academy – Part Two.

Guest Blog by Gernot Marx | Head of Salzburg Convention Bureau

Salzburg: the place to be for further education.

Salzburg will be host city to the very first Association Academy ever, created and organized by ENITED Business Events Vienna. We are very proud to be the Sponsoring Partner to this innovative concept, gathering creative heads from all across Europe in our beautiful city. The Association Academy gives attendees the opportunity to not only speak about topics which really matter to them in daily business life, but also puts them in the role of teachers and students at the same time.

This is not an ordinary Workshop

The format of the Association Academy focuses on open, user-generated, participatory and new technology-based learning: the content is provided by the participants, as they are actively involved and connected during the workshop. This is managed by especially customized meeting´s technologies, enabling all participants to benefit from the latest digital developments in this industry.

Best learning effects in the centre of Europe

Salzburg is the ideal destination for meetings. Not only logistical aspects make Salzburg favorable for your participants, but also the spirit of the city leaves a great impression to its guests. During the Association Academy you will get plenty of chances to discover our beautiful city with its mixture of tradition and modernity. In Austria we say colloquial “Food brings people together”, which means you will not only enjoy the delicious food during the Eatodology experience, but also get great connections and friends.

Participant Number limited to 50

We are delighted to invite European association’s staff & middle management and/or executives from small and medium sized European associations to register for the Association Academy 2016 from the 5th to 6th December in Salzburg, Austria. But of course, anyone from a European association is welcome to attend. But be quick as the participant number is limited and most of the attendees already profit from the Early-Bird rates valid until October 15th.

Please find the information and registration form under: The Association Academy 2016

The Salzburg Convention Bureau is very much looking forward welcoming you there.


Anna Sanchis

ENITED presents their own Workshop series.

Anna Sanchis

The ENITED team has been very productive over the summer. Not only have we been working on several B2B event projects, but also developed several new ENITED solutions we will launch over the coming months. Among them the WORKSHOP SERIES, learning sessions consisting of different topics and levels, especially designed for the teams of Convention bureaus and their partners and members, venues, politicians as well as other stakeholders of the City.

After decades of working together with lots of representatives from Convention Bureaus and Governments, it was just the right time to share our knowledge in a wider sense. With an extremely fast changing environment of “information everywhere and anytime” and the steady development of new destinations and regions, we are facing a new world of competition. The answer on how to prepare for this tough environment is simple: Steady learning.

The ENITED Workshop series not only addresses different target groups, it also acknowledges different experience levels among participants. We differentiate between employees with less than three years of working experience and those with more than that. Furthermore we wanted to offer new, more flexible and motivating workshop formats: Bar Camp, Business Games, World Café, Round Tables not only sound far more appealing than ordinary workshop formats, they also lead to a better learning effect.

Before the workshop itself, we also engage in the so-called Pre-Event Activation, questioning interested participants BEFORE the main workshop in order to customize it the best way possible.

We hope this short introduction left just the right amount of curiosity and tension. We are very happy to introduce you soon to the details of the ENITED Workshop series and are happy assisting you with your questions to it.

Henrik von Arnold

Skelleftea, 2019.

Henrik von Arnold

Once again ENITED Business Events has been asked to be the sparring partner to a conference venue in the making.

THE “KULTURHUSET”, (a multi-functional venue) in the City of Skellefteae in the northern part of Sweden, will be ready to inaugurate in 2019. It contains a new library, two art galleries, a theatre, a guest stage, a hotel with about 200 hundred rooms, a spa, a restaurant, banquet facilities AND conference/congress facilities for meetings up to about 1,000 persons.

In PHASE 1, ENITED has gathered its team of excellence to contribute with their knowledge and experience by checking short comings for the meeting parts and, of course, suggest good solutions. It includes everything from entrances, people flow, cloak rooms, mobile catering stations, goods handling, validation of meeting facilities, security etc.

PHASE 2 will consist of more in depth analyses on how to accomplish the best solutions on the infrastructure, logistic wise as well as regarding the choice of soft- and hardware for the meeting facilities in the KULTURHUSET.

The company behind the winning concept is one of the most international distinguished architectural Swedish firms: White Arkitekter.

Anna Sanchis

Recently in Copenhagen.

Anna Sanchis

I had the pleasure to be invited to Copenhagen thanks to a FamTrip organised by the Copenhagen Convention Bureau. I was very interested as my peers reported on a great concept the Nordics have created: the MEETOVATION!

Besides the logic approach of understanding the language joke – meeting + innovation- I did not really understand the fuss about it. Of course, Copenhagen is a great destination – the design, the organic food- but let’s be honest, it is not famous for its good weather. How can you offer incredible experiences if you are at -5 degrees outside with the sun appearing only 6 days per year? A challenge for every Spaniard.

Well, I must say, I have never had so much fun indoors! From the day of start we were welcomed by an amazing staff, full of splendid ideas on how to give that “je ne sais quai” to each of your meetings… and the weather was the last thing I was thinking about!

They planned a route all over the city involving hotel suppliers, catering facilitators, touristic activities and a lot of freshly cooked “organilicious” meals in such a dynamic and interesting way that I felt guilty. Guilty? Yes, guilty. I couldn’t believe that such a business-must-do visit could be so enjoyable and eye opening. I was invited to join a rickshaw tour and to lunch at the Papiroen. The convention staff even arranged a cocktail contest for us in order to get to know the facilities of the Tivoli Hotel: we had to look for ingredients all over the place – meeting rooms, suites, executive lounge – that is a way to turn an ordinary hotel inspection into a memorable experience. And suddenly I started to grasp the idea of MEETOVATION.

On our second morning we stayed at the hotel for a workshop: “the meeting designer”, or how to think beyond common boundaries, how to expand your mind to get the most out of a meeting, to involve all parts to create a project that will guarantee an unforgettable experience to the client. MEETOVATION! Broken-down, explained step by step, ready for me to take in and bring home.

The MEETOVATION idea really inspires me and reminds me of our mission at ENITED. Every kind of project deserves our full attention and we are doing our best to make it very special and sophisticated. We embrace all ideas as a source of inspiration to apply them in our daily work.

This is what Copenhagen has taught me. And I am glad we are feeling the same way at ENITED.

Anna Sanchis

The Association Academy.

Anna Sanchis

Changes stand for opportunities, not only within our company, but also on the customer side. If you are open-minded and prepared to do different things AND do things differently, changes are also chances.   By saying that, I refer particularly to the world of associations, where major changes are going on – continuingly. Some are heads-up, prepared to a different environment and can act and react on it. But unfortunately, many associations do not have the resources to see and do the changes.

The team at ENITED has been working together with associations for many years, as service providers and as consultants. Together with the help of Salzburg Convention Bureau and The Crowne Plaza Hotel, we have decided to launch the first ever “Association Academy” in December this year. The Association Academy is an educational platform for all kind of associations, particularly addressing the staff and middle-management at the smaller and mid-sized associations.

The idea behind it is to gather a certain number of representatives from European associations, who share issues, problems and experiences in a 2 day workshop. On purpose there is no ready-made program, but the participants themselves are the creators of the program. With this, participants learn from and teach each other at the same time. It assures that only topics, which are really important, are dealt with and, compared to ordinary lectures, highly improves the learning effect.

It is a new approach of crowding people from different associations together and making people see further than one´s nose. The USP comes from the participatory engagement of participants: By connecting them with modern technology and encouraging their teamwork, they can settle the content to be discussed themselves. Together with Green Hat People, one of Europe’s leading companies in Active Learning, participants are well guided through this intense workshop.

The Association Academy first takes place on December 5th to 6th 2016, in a Christmas dressed Salzburg, Austria. As the participant number is limited (max. of 50 people), please register soon! Registration forms will be communicated via email by the end of August. If you are already eager to know more, please contact us directly via welcome@enited.eu.

Ivo Franschitz

For once, centre stage.

Ivo Franschitz

For the second year in a row, the Austrian Live Marketing industry has come together very recently, to celebrate some of its leaders and masterminds in the Austrian Event Hall of Fame, during a glamorous and entertaining Gala evening.

Initiated and organized by the Event Marketing Board Austria (EMBA), the Austrian Event Hall of Fame recognizes the innovators and visionaries in our business through this annual event. It does create a unique stage where those exceptional professionals in our trade are called on centre stage, for once, and receive the well-deserved attention and appreciation in the broader public.

The inductees into this Hall of Fame are nominated and chosen by an unbiased jury panel of experts and are showcasing the wide range and diversity of Live Marketing involvement in our today’s society. This year the laureates were from the areas of culture, sports and destination marketing.

More than just a Party event.

However, the message of our industry goes beyond that celebration. It demonstrates and emphasizes the vital role Live Marketing plays in our experience-driven and multi-connected world. It has become an essential marketing tool, an economic driver and an impulse generator for a numerous business sectors.

To this end, key economic figures confirm those facts. Only in Austria alone, the Live Marketing industry generates annually more than 14 Billion Euro of production value, creates over 105.000 jobs and more than 7 Billion Euro of GDP. It initiates over 1,4 Billion of net consumption and contributes 2,4 Billion Euro of taxes & dues. A very loud & clear message.

Over the last few years, our reputation as an industry and as a profession has slowly been catching up with those indisputable economical facts. However, the need remains to continuously educate and increase the public awareness and the proper understanding for our business.

We do need more platforms and “stages” of that kind, like the Austria Event Hall of Fame initiative.

Henrik von Arnold

“Knowledge talks” at IMEX 2016?!

Henrik von Arnold

IMEX is a very good show where we are meeting buyers and colleagues, scouting trends, listening to lectures and exposing ourselves to the media.

I was happy to be part of the Swedish stand as presenter and moderator. The Swedes really changed their participation. They have “Knowledge talks” on sustainability and technology etc. at the stand and provided lectures on active learning and 3D-visualisations at the Inspiration Hub. They try hard to turn meetings into a tool for destination development – not “just” a tool for filling up venues. Looking around on the exhibition floor – I wonder if a not so small part of the exhibitors understand what has changed in the meetings industry. Ladies with bananas on their heads, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a green Hulk, a big guy from Game of Thrones, two “funny” professors in lab coats, and many more amusing things… They make it hard for the political delegation visiting the show to understand our approach to meetings, to science and associations, to the economy and corporations. And they make it difficult for many destinations to ask for resources for destination marketing.

Why do so many exhibitors choose to be part of the circus, and not focus on the important things?

Is it a spill over from leisure exhibitions? Is it to be acknowledged by the media? Does it really work to attract visitors? I thought we tried to distancing ourselves from leisure tourism, and instead offering platforms for attracting talents, for new research fields and investors. The time when we just tried to fill up hotel rooms is long gone. We all have a responsibility to show, that we are a serious and important player in destination development and knowledge transfer. Exhibitors and the media can show the way. Let’s focus on understanding the client’s needs in terms of infrastructure, research and development within universities, trade and industry, skills in learning and in terms of issues like sustainability, safety and security etc.

I will probably be seen as “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”, but I would like to initiate a discussion among the industry and media, to clarify and portray our responsibility to be taken seriously.

Not boring serious. But interesting serious.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Time well spent.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

What an intense, interesting and inspiring event I attended last month, prior to IMEX Trade show in Frankfurt. A group of representatives of more than twenty associations and as many ICCA members gathered to discuss their challenges related to the organisation of meetings.

I think the most heard words during the two days of the ICCA Association Expert Seminar 2016 were Transparency, Sharing and Full disclosure. Or to summarize it, in my opinion, into one word: Trust.

Sharing needs trust, teamwork, and fair partnership

We all crave for trust, as it is the basis for any partnership in life. The problem comes when we may not be willing to show all our cards, for being afraid of becoming vulnerable. The question now is how can our enterprise offer the full disclosure our clients and partners require and still be able to keep our clients with us? SHARING is the name of the game. Without sharing there will be no business transaction whatsoever. But sharing does not mean information for free. It is about exchanging full information to come out with the best solution.

20 Years of Sharing the Idea of Excellence

Since the start of our company 20 years ago, ENITED has given the importance to words like the above mentioned truly deserve. Our company has been working as a booker between clients and suppliers, in a transparent and clear way. We provide the nexus between of our clients, associations, corporate as well as emerging destinations, and those suppliers they engage to help them delivering a successful event. Our company has been facilitating the communication, coordinating the various partners involved in a project, and acting as the coach during the whole process of the many events our long-term clients have entrusted us with. We have showed them all these years that transparency and fairness is the winner of the game.

The AES workshop showed us that it is possible to share knowledge and experiences without having the feeling of giving away the secrets of our trade. On the contrary, I was content of having the opportunity to help someone who might be our future client. Nevertheless, the most important thing for me is being remembered as active participant with the will of sharing our knowledge with them.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to participate, and for giving us the opportunity to share our idea of excellence with you.

Anna Sanchis

Get ready, set

Anna Sanchis

Excited. Overwhelmed. Focused. Nervous. Interested. Awake. Overworked. Scared. Tired. Energetic. Euphoric. Curious. Cautious. Creative. Active. Resolute. Satisfied.

Those are just some of the emotions I have been living through in the past month while preparing my first event as the Project Manager for ENITED: the Coca-Cola event and its many activities during the 33rd Vienna City Marathon.

In all honesty, it wasn’t the fruit of my sole creation. In fact, ENITED and its team has been doing this for the past 17 years. Nevertheless, as the newest member of the family, it was a challenge, one that I was more than willing to accept.

It hasn’t been easy, so much more going on behind the curtains: site inspections, meetings with the government representatives and unimaginable amounts of emails between suppliers, clients, producers … you name it, I am sure I have an email about it. But all this effort, those moments thinking this is too much, that I won’t be able to make it, they were all worth it.

… and GO!

There’s nothing like getting to your area of activity and seeing how all the plans, schedules and actions start coming to life. How suppliers, staff and management put their hands together and create what a week ago was just an idea in everybody’s head. And then it happens: tents are built, trucks are in positon, staff is uniformed and you give it the final go so the “show” can start.

And what a show! If any of you participated at this year’s Vienna City Marathon I am sure you enjoyed the Brazilian rhythm of our Samba group by the Coca-Cola truck at the Prater, you refreshed yourself at our Römerquelle station or refilled your energy, beat after beat, with our Batala group by the Powerzone at the State Opera.

And all this could happen because I had the support and mentorship of a group of experts, total strangers a couple of months ago, a second family now: the ENITED Team.

So from here – my first blog – to all of you who contributed in any possible way to make this my first, successful ENITED event project: MUCHAS GRACIAS! … and to all of you readers: Stay tuned, there is more to come!

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

Welcome on board, Anna.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez


Benvingut, Bienvenida, Willkommen, Welcome, Benvenuta, Bienvenue Välkommen, 歓迎, Anna Sanchis Roca, our new team member!

Our multicultural family just grew bigger with a very cheerful, open-minded young woman.

I am both glad and proud to introduce Anna to you as we share quite a lot of things, like we were both born in Spain and she is a globetrotter, just as I am. Fluent in six languages, Anna is an expert in congress and guest relation management. She studied Translation & Interpretation in Catalan, Spanish, English, French and Japanese at “Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona”, and is a certified legal English Translator. She also found time to graduate in Tourism & Hotel Management.

Around the Globe.

She started her professional journey in Barcelona at Teasa S.L. Conference Services. Soon she moved to London, where she worked at Ripley´s Museum for some time. Later on started with DO & CO International at the exclusive Paddock Club. As the supervisor of the Catering teams of the Formula One, this job took her all around the globe. Following DO & CO call to Vienna she worked at the DO & CO Design Hotel before she set up her working tents with the ESR. As the Society and Congress Manager she was in charge of the European Society of Cardiac Radiology, an association under the umbrella of ESR.

It is only a few weeks since she has become a member of the ENITED family and part of my team. It is amazing how quickly and comprehensively she got acquainted with her tasks. Currently we are in the middle of the preparation for an important media congress in Dubai.

Let me say, it is a great pleasure to have Anna in our team.

Bienvenida Anna!

Anna Sanchis

ENITED celebrating one year of excellence.

Anna Sanchis


“Has it already been one year since you presented the new brand ENITED?” was one feedback I received when planning and informing about our one year anniversary. Yes, indeed, one year passes by very rapidly, especially when it is filled with new challenges, experiences and faces.

The past year was all about rebranding – not only the company, but also the people. Aiming for new business and clients was, of course, the main core behind creating a whole new strategy and team. After realizing the industry was not the same than it was 5 years ago, this was a necessary step for Ivo and Rosa to show a will for change, leaving their comfort zone behind.

It is for sure that this journey would not have been possible without ENITED´s closest business partners and friends. Over these 18 years of company history, a lot of important contacts have been made and relationships been built – a priceless value that is still paying off. Whether it is support from friends we have been working with on ongoing projects, or inspiration we get from partners we are now working closer with because of new business fields. Or the essential help we receive securing the required infrastructure for our daily work.

This is actually one of the reasons we celebrated our one year anniversary the way we did – getting together with our friends of so many years, appreciating our long-term partnerships and showing them what we have achieved with their support. I think I speak for everybody from ENITED when saying THANK YOU for your company throughout the years and especially during the last months. Cheers to the years to come!

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

MIND THE GAP: Slow Meetings for Generation Z?

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez


Thanks to early motherhood and good genes, I have the luck to coexist with four generations of women in my close family. Pre baby-boomer mum is 81 years old, I, baby-boomer generation just pass 50, my daughter 35 and my grandkid is 14 years old. It is interesting to observe how today, four generations learn from each other. No longer there is a one way communication from the eldest to the younger ones.

More often it happens that our grandkid explains her world to us. It is interesting to observe how great grandma is learning from Gen Z kid how to use the last generation smartphones and be able to Skype with me once a week, and how the Gen Z kid learns from great grandmother how to keep her feet on the ground. She will, for sure, but with her own set of tools. Because she grew up with smartphones, tablets, You Tube, Instagram, Facebook …

Isn’t it funny to talk about slow meetings in the prospect of Gen Z?

Funny enough you hear and read a lot lately about something fashionably called “Slow meetings”. Nothing else than going back to good old time of H2H – human to human – meetings, leave your smartphones outside the meeting room, interact with your pals instead of with your IPads. Very soon the destiny of the meeting industry will be in the hands of the Millennials, who will pass on to Gen Z Kids, a generation that hardly can open their eyes in the morning without reaching for their smartphones first thing. Knowing my granddaughter and her pals, it is my guess that “slow meetings” is not something this generation will be jumping on, if they decide to make their living swimming in the murky waters of the Meetings Industry.

The Generation Z are digital natives, whether we like it or not. But …

So my question is: will those “Slow meetings“ and H2H meetings trends be also implemented by Millennials or by the Gen Z’s at all? Because, whether we like it or not, they are digital natives. Smartphones are their constant companions, their permanent connection to their friends, their dating tools, their walking encyclopedia, their flash light, their water spirit level …

Therefore, what will it be like, the next generation of meetings? Should we, the baby-boomers, go on stressing the importance of our forms of communications or simply try to adjust even more rapidly to the hurricane of virtual communi­cation preferred by Gen Z kids. I am afraid there will be a big gap hard to mind, if no one is guiding them on the importance of human and live interaction, once only Millennials and Gen Z’s are ruling the meetings Industry world.

Ivo Franschitz

We are expanding our Network: Elisabeth Hansa is new on board!

Ivo Franschitz

Welcome 2016, Welcome Elisabeth!

Elisabeth Hansa is an international expert in the field of marketing, sales and congress centre management, and she is a brilliant business partner.

I have known Elisabeth for many years, both personally and through several shared projects. She has been working in marketing and congress management since 1985. Among others she was responsible for the successful positioning of the Messe Congress Graz and the Austrian Center Vienna before she started her own business “Support & Strategy On Demand” last year. Continuing our cooperation, I am convinced that „Support & Strategy On Demand” and “ENITED Business Events” are a perfect match.

Over the years ENITED business events has grown from a service provider to a solution provider. Last year we created our own EXCELLENT.C model© and successfully built up our new business field in consulting destinations. We have been involved with a number of new consulting projects in several European countries, e.g. Azerbaijan, Germany, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden, only in the last months.

I am looking forward to our partnership with Elisabeth and numerous exciting projects.

Elisabeth, we are very happy that you join us in sharing the idea of excellence. Welcome!

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

The Bright and the Dark side of Next Generation H2H Events.

Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez

H2H – Human to Human – meetings. This is the name that was given to the event I attended recently in Lisbon and Faro. My expectations were high. Will it be a perfect new frame for meetings? Will it make a difference? I was extremely curious. In retrospect, it was a great time for me, but from my professional point of view I had to ask myself: “What was the objective of this meeting after all?” and “Did it match the goal for all of us, the potential buyers and the paying suppliers alike?”

It was great for me, but did it meet the objective?

In reality, there was a group of service providers within the meetings industry, presenting their “goods” to a selected number of potential buyers, myself included, in special venues and in unconventional ways. And also at this H2H event, most of the times the match-making did not really work. That leaves me always wondering, what are the real reasons for a hosted buyer to attend any of these events?

I must admit that for me, in this specific occasion, it was my curiosity that made me participate. Are there some really new and innovative ideas behind the glitter of the claims and slogans, or is it more of the same, at the end ‘cooking with water’ like everybody else doing these kind of workshops.


Here is my final review:

Plus: an amazing event, an inspiring workshop.

Each single part of the event was great – team, hotels, activities, and more – in a destination that is amazingly attractive. The best networking possibilities and one-to-one connecting opportunities I have experienced so far. I am sure we all made good friends with many of the participants. If the purpose was to show all participants how a well-designed meeting can be done, so that it will be memorable, and on top, created and done by Mike van der Vijver, I must say the workshop was a great success. We all know he is one of the best in this field.

Minus: for the hosted buyers it missed the target.

If instead the objective of the event was to find the right match between paying suppliers and well-researched and matching buyers, I must say there was nothing different or unusual. Most hosted buyers were not very happy with the majority of their business appointments.

Learning: make your objectives clear and stick to it.

As Mike said in one of his educational slots during the programme, the most important part of any event is to have the objective of the event extremely clear, and built all the rest around it. If we overlook this primary part, if we have not established the objectives or get side-tracked during the process, can we still talk about a successful event, after all?


Henrik von Arnold

New Year, new chances: We love to share the ideas of change.

Henrik von Arnold

In the future – or actually not even today – it won´t be enough to offer associations appropriate accommodation, good infrastructure, modern conference centers and attractive leisure programs. To remain or become successful in the future, destinations have to become partners instead of suppliers. Some destinations have already recognized the change. They know their clients expect more. The requirements are increasing.  Therefore they develop models based on new ways of partnership.

Look at Glasgow, Barcelona, Vienna, Rotterdam and the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus

Glasgow for example has an intriguing cooperation model that includes the city, the convention Center, sometimes the PCO and of course the association. The partners share the risk as well as a potential surplus. They call it “a pioneering business model that benefits both the destination and the client”. From my point of view, a very smart approach.

Barcelona and Vienna have developed another model. They have agreed to a partnership between their convention bureaus and their cities. They are providing bids for both cities for subsequent years at the same time so they can secure a comeback twice or three times. That approach makes it more convenient for the cities as well as for the associations. The model is suitable mainly for large-scale meetings, limited in the number of destinations they can choose from.

A very exciting initiative comes from the Rotterdam Convention Bureau. The idea is to gather European “second tier” cities, just to learn from each other and maybe bid together. These cities might actually not always be second tier in infrastructure and image, but nevertheless they are not capitals. We will see what changes this cooperation might develop.

The Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus are on a new path focusing on the meeting as a tool for attracting talents, investors, innovations and investments, not just trying to be a part of the “bed night race”. In the process of doing this, new players are/will be involved as e.g. Business Sweden, The Swedish Institute, The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. And the reactions from associations are positive: “We are seen as a part of destination development, not just another 10,000 bed nights”. Or “It’s nice when destination’s long term strategies for development go hand in hand with our goals as an association. That is how we like it”, are some of the comments heard during the IBTM World trade fair in Barcelona recently.

Is there a lowest common denominator for this?

Yes, the right understanding for the need of change, and the courage to do the change.

Just as ENITED Business Events is in the process of change. The desire is there, the plan is there, the tools are there. We know it takes time to implement it … but we love to see and live the Change.

Ivo Franschitz

The ENITED Christmas Story.

Ivo Franschitz

Some say it is the most peaceful time of the year, others consider it as the most stressful one. But no matter which opinion predominates, Christmas is the time when you start to look back, reflect on the past year and evaluate for yourself whether it was a good or a bad one.

In the case of ENITED it was for sure one of the most exciting years in the 18-year old company history. Not only the obvious relaunch process, which still continues, but also a shift of clients as well as team members made it quite extraordinary and challenging.

From organizing an international congress with more than 5,000 participants to conducting workshops in Baku and Barcelona; from evaluating the prerequisites for a new Convention Centre in Riga to feasibility studies in Sweden; from a 1-day trip to Zurich to a 2-week journey to Buenos Aires. We were providing solutions for corporates and associations and advising destinations.

2015 was very special and our time to enter amazing new business fields, to expand our expertise and to set the first milestones on a thrilling new path. We experienced a whole new variety of opportunities and rose with the related challenges.

2016 is just around the corner and we have got many plans for the coming year. But now it is the time to pause for a short while, to join our families & friends in celebrating the upcoming holiday season and to recharge our batteries, because there is much more to come.

In this context the whole ENITED team wishes you a peaceful & joyful Christmas time with heaps of pleasant and unforgettable moments and a happy and prosperous New Year.



PS: The New Year comes with a very special gift for each and every one. An extra day to be used as we please – as 2016 is a leap year!


Henrik von Arnold

Changes are full of paradoxes.

Henrik von Arnold

At the IBTM World exhibition in Barcelona in the middle of November, the owner of our company ENITED Business Events, Ivo Franschitz, made an exciting presentation on the subject of the paradoxes of Change. But for me it was more than that, it was also walking the memory lane back to October 2013, when I was asked to join the “newborn” ENITED team, which I did a year later.

After 17 years successfully working as specialists in coordination of association and corporate business events, Ivo and Rosa B. Reyero Miguelez, his business partner, decided to do things differently, and partly to do different things.

In the beginning of 2015 they started the change-process from dm&c to ENITED, guided by Markenkind Brand Leadership Consultant & Brand Coach Vanessa Schmoranzer and Human Resources specialist Marion King. And I was invited to join the process.

Listening to Ivo at Barcelona I better understood the challenges Rosa and he faced before and during the change process. Changes are full of paradoxes, like

-The paradox between the need for change, imposed by the outside world, and the need for stability, imposed by the need for some degree of predictability and business success.

-The paradox between investing in professional guidance and the lack of funds in organizations.

-The paradox between being a leader and telling people where to go and their ability to lead themselves because they know what is good for them.

-The paradox between knowing where you want/need to go and yet allowing yourself to make mistakes.

From my point of view, coming from mainly public organisations as chamber of commerce, destination marketing development & marketing entities, this change process within a small, privately owned company was an eye opener.

It is a really bold decision to look into your own company and SEE the need of change.

It takes courage and energy to do full speed daily business, while you are confronted with new organisational, branding, as well as human resources aspects the change process brings.

The awareness of change takes time. It must be allowed to be implemented step by step during quite a long time. In ENITED Business Events´ case it is paying off.

The journey still continues – and I am proud and happy to be part of it.

Ivo Franschitz

ENITED expands further: Welcome Julija Palatin!

Ivo Franschitz

Since the beginning of this year we have grown from a service provider to a solution provider by creating our own EXCELLENT.C model©.

We successfully built up a new business field in consulting destinations. Only over the past few months we have been involved in a number of new consulting projects in several European countries, e.g. Azerbaijan, Germany, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden.

So it was time to expand our Competence team. Rosa and I decided to look for a new team member with experience in PR and Marketing, to support Rosa, Henrik and me in advising destinations in their development process.

Our search has been successful: Julija, 29-year-old native Austrian, curious to take on new challenges. She convinced us with her open mind, her communication skills and her analytical abilities as well as her strategic thinking. Our new team member studied International Business Administration and Economics in Vienna and Seville. She is fluent in several languages and naturally loves to communicate.

Welcome Julija, to the ENITED family! We are very happy that you join us in sharing the idea of excellence.


Ivo Franschitz

Associations will face fundamental changes.

Ivo Franschitz

The world has changed but the majority of international associations didn’t even notice. They appear to be frozen in time and unaware of what the future will bring. But they do have to understand their world is changing with or without them. New concepts are urgently required. There has to be a new approach. Associations have to stop thinking in membership terms, but in communities. Already many associations find that financing is increasingly difficult. The acquisition of sponsors requires high levels of manpower and new solutions. The situation is also made more difficult by stricter compliance regulations and higher member demands. Moreover the potential participants have consistently less time and financial resources. They attend one top event each year. And this means internal competitions between association meeting organizers.

I believe one of the biggest errors of the basic concept of associations nowadays is their “exclusive” approach by creating barriers, through monetary, educational, occupational and geographical means. They also consider and treat their information and their platforms as exclusive goods. However, in many cases, the reality is that their information is not exclusive enough anymore. There are a lot of other sources and networks in a global digital world competing with each other. You do not have to be a member of an association or a participant at their annual meetings anymore to have access to it. Moreover there is a new generation of potential members coming.

The digital natives are the future clients of associations. They are fast, flexible and used to permanent dialog. They have increasing demands on information flow. The members as known today, who pay their fees once a year and are satisfied with the things they usually get, will be a thing of the past. Therefore associations will need to stop defining their markets by members and participants, and start to see and approach them as their potential clients. As business corporations, they have to have a clear purpose & vision and a clear strategy to fulfill it.

If I were an association today, I would ask myself three fundamental questions:

  1. Why am I here?
  2. What will be my purpose in the future?
  3. Why should potential clients choose me or my offer? Or in the language of corporate marketers: What is my USP (Unique selling proposition)? Where do I differentiate myself from my competitors in the market?

By rethinking the reason for their existence, associations will have the chance to redefine their purpose, their strategies and definition of future markets and, consequently their tactics. No matter if they are a for-profit or non-profit organization they need a clear purpose and vision. These two are the essential requirements to develop precise strategies and objectives and create tailor-made tactics. I am convinced that this is the basis for a sustainable development of every association.