I HAD the good fortune of being able to attend the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Events/Exhibitions Conference, or MICECON 2011, sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and by many hotels and resorts in The Queen City, Cebu just recently. I just found out that the next one will not be until 2013 since the Philippines is hosting PATA next year.
Green and technology were the main themes of the conference which brought international speakers like Hitesh Mehta, a sustainable architect; Noor Ahmad Hamid of the ICCA ;Corbin Ball; Max Hitchins, the Hospitality Doctor; John Peacock of Associations Forum, Australia; Susan Cardenas of Inkaterra fame, among many others who talked about green, sustainability and the use of technology to make for more efficient MICE operations.
It was a welcome sign of improvement in our local hospitality industry to see the following changes, albeit for the better:
• The conference did not use any Styrofoam. Water was served in reusable glasses; coffee was served in paper cups and you could use a permanent marker to write your name on the cup, so you could reuse it throughout the day. Radisson Blu gave out reusable water bottles in their trademark blue color.
• The conference served snacks on banana leaves on “nito” trays and during one Coffee Break, Bluewater resorts even used a nipa box lined with banana leaves that many speakers took home.
• The Shangri-La Mactan gave away Citronella candles in cute woven containers, as their theme was GLAMPING or Glam Camping and citronella candles sure come in handy to ward off insects in camp.
• The MICECON organizers led by Stanie Soriano gave away flash disks or usb sticks so you could download the presentations, rather than bringing home tons of paper or handouts. This was appropriate because of being both techie and green.
• The governor of Cebu gave away little banig bags with a souvenir “puso” keychain and a mini ukelele that Cebu is famous for.
• The Marco...
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