Rooms with a View – private venues in Florence

Rooms with a View – private venues in Florence by Padraic Gilligan Italian cities, in general, don’t carry their illustrious past as a burden that prevents them from getting on with 21st century living. The past is integrated into the present sometimes seamlessly, sometimes not but, either way, contemporary life simply carries on, regardless, amidst… Read more »

Hero or Villain? What is the true identity of the DMC?

At an industry function recently I found myself seated between two agency executives. I spent a fascinating and frightening evening listening to war stories about their experiences with DMCs around the world. In roughly half of the stories the war in question was won as a result of incredible acts of heroism and valour on… Read more »

The all-new Las Vegas

My abiding memory of Las Vegas rotates around Moon Civetz’s company, Maverick Aviation Group. It was during the last Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) Invitational in 1995 when the IRF was still the Site Foundation and I was on the Site Board. Site CEO Brenda Anderson had persuaded me to accompany her on a helicopter ride… Read more »

All Aboard the Marrakech Express (‘cos the Times they are a changin’)

All Aboard the Marrakech Express (‘cos the times they are a changin’)* *with a nod to some great 60s tunes! [First published on the excellent, lively, vibrant and way-cool travel portal]  In 1962 – almost 50 years ago – Bob Dylan gave voice to a new generation and announced the “times they are a… Read more »

Singapore – a curious cat and mouse tale

by Padraic Gilligan For many of us in the Meetings Industry the major dread of any trip to Asia is the knowledge that most conversations about our business will be liberally peppered with “MICE”. And we’re not talking small rodents here, we talking acronyms – meetings, incentives, congresses and events. Despite our best efforts in… Read more »

Florence – how two old friends met after 32 years

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Ovation Global I visited Florence for the first time courtesy of a small bursary from the Italian Government. I was 16 years old and still at school. 3 weeks there in 1976 brought life and meaning to a plethora of exotic, rarefied names and words from Geography, History and art… Read more »

Sao Paulo – the heart of the city

“Sao Paulo – the Heart of the City” With due apologies to Ms Austen, it is a “truth universally acknowledged” that a man measures everything in relation to himself. Thus there is no such thing as big and small per se. Everything is either bigger or smaller than what you are or have yourself. I… Read more »

Incentive travel – a trip too far?

My Latin Teacher would be very proud to know that the dominant image in my mind as the meetings and events industry continues to be tossed about in the stormy seas of problematical perception and economic turmoil is that of Icarus, falling helplessly from the sky having ignored his father’s advice not to fly too… Read more »

Istanbul –of things that are ‘past, passing or to come’

by Padraic Gilligan, Vice President, Ovation Global DMC Like most young people in Ireland, my first introduction to Istanbul came when I entered my second last year in High School. It was 1976, I was 17 and, like thousands before and after me, I was introduced to Yeats’s great poem “Sailing to Byzantium”. The first strident… Read more »