IMWF – International MICE & Wedding Forum
This week we attended the 3rd edition of IMWF in Antalya. MICE angle was only added this year to the event, to much success in our opinion!
Hosted at Titanic Resort Belek, IMWF brought together the often crossing, seldom competing worlds of MICE & Weddings together. This was highlighted by Stephan Oost (of SMM Consulting) in this keynote address – yes weddings are by the people for the people and MICE are by the corporates for the corporates. But at the end of the day its the experiences and human emotions that make an event of any kind successful!
The organizing team of IMWF had created rich content with the likes of Wiz Sabbas Joseph (of Wizcraft, India) as speakers and participants. Mr Sabbas, a legendary planner & production genius famous in India and all over the world, inspired the audience with prior event experiences and most importantly the impact the event had on the attendees. It was truly inspiring watching the videos of his past events with the likes of Michael Jackson! The Tourism Minister of Northern Cyprus, Fikri Ataoğlu, spoke on the amazing offerings the destination has in terms of infrastructure and historical venues. We as MEP love operating there as well, among the ancient Greek archaeological sites and ruins of gorgeous churches!
The session titled “Expats Re-discovering Turkey” hosted by Cantekin Temizer was a unique one. The panel consisted of very high level and expert hoteliers who provided the audience with a personal & professional take on the state & future of hotel industry as well as Turkish tourism. Ralph Radke, Regional General Manager of Kempinski Hotels, assured the audience that he doesn’t expect technology to ever replace personal connections face to face meetings enable. Tarek Mourad of the two Istanbul Four Seasons, talked about what a unique ‘package’ Istanbul is for travelers of all kinds. Kai Winkler, General Manager of Fairmont Quasar Istanbul mentioned “the benefits of Turkey as a destination and its hospitality culture.” He said he is “proud to elaborate on industry trends and Fairmont Quasar Istanbul being pioneers of re-inventing industry practices paired with technology – equipment and process improvement – as well as unique experiences and personalized services not only for small incentives but also for big groups.”
The networking evening entitled “Anatolia as a Melting Pot” was superbly organized evening by MEP’s favorite decor, production and catering partners (Aisha Events, Marche Entertainment, Concept Catering). The concert at Aspendos Antique Amphitheatre (which dates back to 10th century B.C) was splendid with beautiful Turkish motifs video mapped in the background. It reminded us once again how rich of a destination Turkey is!
Written by Eda Özden, SITE Global Board of Director.