Impact Publications : MiceBTN_63
Page 54 • MICEBTN - May-JULy 2016 ITB Asia 2016 beefs up MICE content SINGAPORE’s ITB Asia 2016 will offer a stronger meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) line up with a full-day conference program dedicated to the growing sector. The ninth edition of the trade show, organised by Messe Ber- lin (Singapore), will take place from 19 – 21 October 2016 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands. New partnerships include the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS). Taking place on 20 October 2016, the second day of ITB Asia, the inaugu- ral MICE Day will be held at a special- ly-designed conference room, and will include sessions from a wide range of industry partners, covering a full spectrum of topical issues facing the MICE sector. “SITE will conduct two sessions un- der the theme of ‘Managing Incentive Travel Programs’ covering the three pillars of incentive travel program man- agement - Delivery, Management and Service,” said Katrina Leung, executive director Messe Berlin (Singapore). “The first session entitled ‘Incentive Travel Budget and Marketing’ will explore the fiscal and marketing challenges that managers and planners face. This course will outline practical solutions delegates can apply to their incentive travel program planning. The second session - ‘The Customer Experience and the Importance of Communi- cation’ will showcase how a service culture and strong communication can impact the success of incentive travel management.” SACEOS will arrange a co-located workshop to help build capabilities among the MICE sector. Last year, ITB Asia attracted close to 760 exhibitors from 73 countries, as well as 880 buyers and more than 10,300 attendees over three days. For more information on ITB Asia 2016, visit www.itb-asia.com Geneva passengers now being helped by a robot DEPARTING passengers at Switzerland’s Geneva Airport now receive help with their bag drop from Leo, an innovative baggage robot developed by IT compa- ny SITA which is being trialled outside the airport’s Terminal 1. Leo is an autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot that has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport up to two suitcases with a maximum weight of 32kg. It also has an obstacle avoidance capability and can navigate in a high-traffic environment such as an airport. Leo is the first step to automating the baggage process from the moment passengers drop their bags to when they collect them. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, bags will be collect- ed, checked in, transported and loaded onto the correct flight without ever having to enter the terminal building or being directly handled by anyone other than their passenger owners. Leo – named after the Italian Renais- sance inventor and engineer Leonardo da Vinci who built what is now recog- nised as the world’s first robot – comes to the assistance of passengers as they approach the terminal building. Touching Leo’s ‘Scan and Fly’ bag drop interface opens the baggage compartment doors to allow passengers to place their bags inside. After the passengers have scanned their boarding passes, the tags are printed and can be attached to the bag. With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and depar- ture time. Leo then takes the bags directly to the baggage handling area where they are sorted for the flight. The doors of the robot can only be re-opened by the operator unloading the baggage in the airport. The use of robots means that in future, fewer bags and trolleys will enter the airport terminal, reducing con- gestion and making airport navigation easier.