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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Calabar Convention Centre sells Moin Moin at IMEX , Frankfurt Written by: Wale Ojo Lanre who was at IMEX

IMEX 2015: Calabar Convention Centre shore up Nigeria’s image with traditional cuisine
  As Messe Frankfurt President commends Nigerian Tribune

Written by: Wale Ojo Lanre

May 26, 2015 - 18:24

Mr Ben Asoro, Director Sales and Marketing, Calabar ICC (right), attending to a visitor at IMEX.
The 2015 IMEX which was held at Messe Frankfurt from May 19 to 21, 2015 gathered the largest concentration of professional tourism planners, convention centres managers, marketers, entertainers promoters, event planners, and sellers in networking for business, sharing ideas, educating the public and boosting commercial relationship.
For Nigeria, the only 1 Nigerian company, Calabar Convention Centre, (CCC), through its representative who is a Kenyan was able to successfully make Nigeria proud by selling Moin Moin to the participants as part of the incentive awaiting conferees in Nigeria while the Nigerian Tribune newspaper was commended for being the only Nigerian newspaper, which covered the global meeting of the best minds in tourism business.
The opening ceremony on Tuesday May 19, 2015, which was graced by IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, Managing Director of IMEX ‘s strategic partner the German Convention bureau, Mathias Schultze and President and CEO, Messe Frankfurt, Wolfgang Marzin and CEO, SAP, the world’s largest business software, Bill McDermott.
In his keynote address, McDermott said, “Why do I admire the meeting industry? You are on the frontline in the battle against all the bureaucrats that think that emails and PowerPoint’s ever changed a darned thing.”
McDermott revealed “Meeting matters, you have to celebrate the victories, reinvent the business and inspire the people.”
He pointed out, “Why do I think it really matters? Not because you get the message out, you inspire customers and drive business. You matter because you create a network effect that is not measured in numbers, because of the people that you touch, because of how many kids will get education, how many ideas get exchanged, because of the events that the industry is putting on. You are truly changing the world.”
Mr Bloom, who welcomed the participants, said IMEX brought McDermott because of his powerful and passionate promotion of the value and power of meetings in building business.
He pointed out that meeting is important and essential to any organisation, which desire to grow and break through.
Bloom expressed his satisfaction over the organisation and participation in this year’s IMEX which has proved to be the largest, the best as 40 government representatives from all over the world including ministers, senior regional politicians and policy makers visited the exhibition before meeting industry leaders and taking part in the 13th Annual IMEX politician-forum.
He also revealed that IMEX education programme is now based around the Inspiration Hub on the show floor. It will host 170 education sessions, with 30 of these in German. There are new early morning sessions on business networking and building confidence and a new Initiative, Creative Thursday.”
Bloom expressed that IMEX 2016 is about innovation, development, education and network expansion. And really it was.
The expansion includes about 16 percent, which comes from the Asia pacific region because of significant expansion by China and Taiwan. In addition, countries including Japan, Indonesia, Macau and Singapore also expanded their stands and Bussan, Korea took its own space for the first time, North American exhibitions with significant larger presence include Brand USA, NYC and Company and Texas Tourism.
Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) set a new tone of respect for Nigeria at IMEX as its first attendance gave IMEX a boost of intercontinental honour of spreading tentacles to Middle East and Africa area, which also featured Ras Khaimah, also for the first time.
Even, the planned opening of ICC Sydney and Investment at the Melbourne Convention Centre prompted expansion on the Australia stand. Austria, Denmark and Netherlands were among the nine European countries to have increased their sizes.
Adding to this expansion were technology companies which booked 16 per cent more space and with seven new hotel groups, and six others taking greater areas.
There were also 34 new-hosted buyers groups. The demand to attend the show by hosted buyers group this year was the highest ever. This witnessed hosted buyers attendance from long hauled markets including Asian pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
Also at the hall for the opening day were 300 plus international association representatives who took part in the highly successful IMEX association day and Evening on Monday as well as 80 buyers from the corporate sector who attended the annual Exclusively Corporate @IMEX event and who together control budgets in excess of $270 million. 
Calabar International Convention Centre the only Nigerian company which had a stand at IMEX 2015 made a remarkable impact on the minds of participants which regarded Nigeria as a growing economy competing with the rest of the world.
Mr Ben Asoro, Director Sales and Marketing, Calabar ICC, though a Kenyan, added an inestimable value to the Nigerian sense not only through his vibrant sales and public relations vibes which attracted many to its stands but particularly his performance at the press conference where he sold Nigeria as a country to the participants.
The participation of CICC at IMEX Frankfurt shore up Nigeria’s image as IMEX Chairman; Ray Bloom gleefully announced the attendance of the convention centre during the opening ceremony.
According to him, “The presence of the Calabar Convention Centre means that Nigeria is represented for the first time as part of growing Middle East and Africa areas.“
In addition, Mr Asoro, while addressing the deluge of reporters and journalists at the press conference, described Nigeria as an economic bomb of the world which only needs to be detonated
He spoke well of Calabar as an Eldorado of hospitality and exciting geographical features which early European adventurers found difficult to leave, but settled there. And the state government has turned Calabar into a must visit for anyone who genuinely desire a blissful holiday, an evergreen seminar session and memorable edu-tourism. “
Asoro revealed that Calabar ICC is being constructed to offer the best facilities for conventions, meetings, seminars and conferences. 
“We are bringing in a new concept in convention centre facility services and operations. We are matching international experience and colouring it with local content with a view of establishing an unforgettable and evergreen experience of conferees. It is not a matter of fly to a convention centre, do your business and leave. No. It will be, attending a conference, feel the environment and take back a worth experience that will make you to come back for more. “
He said, “We have taken our time in looking into those facilities, fixtures and fittings which are lacking in most of the convention centres in Africa and other parts of the world. Hence, we are taking the advantage of this for an improvement and as our market niche.”
Asoro further revealed, “I assure you, any convention, conference, seminar or meeting held at CICC, will be complete and compressively fulfilling. The government of Cross River State has ensured the planting of conference inducing facilities and sites which would be accessd after and during each conference programme. “The Calabar Convention Centre is not far away from the Tinapa Export free Zone and some kilometres to the Obudu Ranch Resorts, where conferees can walk in the cloud “8 y.”
He revealed to the journalists that Calabar, has been am internationally desirable tourism destination in the last 14 years since the inauguration of Carnival Calabar which has gained global acceptance
Asoro pointed out “It will be interesting to know that Calabar International Convention Centre which will be opened in the last quarter of this year has already got three major events. Hence, everything is being done to stamp the service and facilities on the psyche of conferees. “
He got the attention of the journalists when he introduced Moin Moin, a vitamin-studded special Nigerian cuisine, which is prominent with people of Southern Nigeria.
“ We have decided to ensure that most of conferees at Calabar Convention Centre  have a taste of Moin Moin, a delicacy of the Southern people of Nigeria which is not only a veritable source of vitamins, but each mould contains seven essential ingredients.”
Mr Asoro’s description of Moin Moin was mouth watering that some of the journalist consulted the writer who was the only Nigeria journalist that covered the event.
The manner of delivery of Mr Asoro, his exposure of the facilities at Calabar Convention Centre, his passionate selling of Moin Moin created a new wave of interest in Nigeria to the journalists.
According to a US freelance journalist, Fish Houston, “Great, the story about Nigeria is changing for better. Thanks to Calabar International convention Centre whose representative has made us to understand that Nigeria is not all about Boko Haram and all vices. Nigeria is on the rise again.”
Another lady journalist who was so fastidious about Nigeria, asked Mr Asoro to email her whenever the CICC would be opened “I will love to witness the opening of Calabar International Convention Centre and to have a taste of Moin Moin.“
In addition, the Nigerian Tribune newspaper was commended for being the only newspaper from Nigeria, which attended IMEX 2015. President and CEO, Messe Frankfurt; Wolfgang Marzin commended the paper for showing keen interest in tourism promotion.
“I appreciate your organisation in making sure that you are here. It is a testimony that your paper is one of the global media outfits which is futuristic and innovative in concept and mission.”
Mr Marzin who had a fruitful discussion with this writer said “I am impressed by the presence of your media house here for the first time and also by the credentials of the founder and achievements of your organisation since 1949. Only a media house with a rich tradition of news vending can be so proactive and be the best in doing what it knows how to do best for years.”