Building a Brand with Teddy Bears and Hugs: the Ovation Story

by Padraic Gilligan, VP, Ovation Global DMC and VP, Industry Relations, MCI How do you create demand? Previously on this blog I’ve stated that you need to know weird and wonderful people to be truly successful as a destination management company. DMC legends like Laurie Sprouse in Dallas/Fort Worth or Patrick Sullivan in NYC are… Read more »

Words with Meetings Industry Friends: Rhonda, Joan and Andrea.

By Padraic Gilligan, VP, Industry Relations MCI It started with Rhonda Marko. Pretty quickly Joan Eisenstodt joined in and, more recently, Andrea Michaels. All strong and powerful women. All true icons of the meetings industry. I’m unsure whether they know each other personally but I’m certain they know of each other as all have carved… Read more »

Copenhagen: from hostile Vikings to hospitable design kings

by Padraic Gilligan, VP, Industry Relations MCI How things change in 1000 years The Danes have come a long way. From marauding, cultureless philistines who raped and pillaged all over Northern Europe to laid back, uber-cool independent types with an eye for razor-sharp design and a sincere  commitment to sustainability. It may have taken a… Read more »

Shanghai Surprises (Part 2) – how it all ended

by Padraic Gilligan, VP, Industry Relations, MCI How it Ended My Shanghai sojourn started with a marvellous meal. This is how it ended. The ballroom of the Kerry Hotel looked stunning with accent lighting and clever up-lit props – huge hand painted masks that swiveled in box frames, three dimensional cartoon art in bright colours, festive lanterns,… Read more »

Shanghai Surprises (Part 1) – when people come together, magic happens!

by Padraic Gilligan, VP, MCI Group The Dangling Conversation It was an unlikely gathering. An Irishman, a Singaporean, a super elegant Indian lady and a very pretty Chinese girl. The dinner had been spectacular. Mixed appetisers – baked crab meat, table tossed Caesar salad and freshly cut micro-thin slices of top grade Parma ham –… Read more »