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Global visionaries headline AIPC 50th annual conference program

In recognition of its 50th Anniversary as an association, AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres, has assembled a complementary group of speakers for their upcoming Annual Conference in Singapore.

"It’s not often that an association gets to commemorate an occasion like this one, and we want to use it as an opportunity to not simply reflect on where we’ve been but look forward to how the future will unfold and how we should prepare ourselves to address the related challenges and opportunities", said AIPC President Edgar Hirt. "The feature speakers we have succeeded in gathering for our conference will ensure that we have all the stimulation we need to do this, and at the same time give us some unique insights into the rapid business development process in Asia, which will be a huge factor in the future global economy".

The program will include three globally recognized authorities in their respective fields:

James H. Gilmore is co-author of The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, the book that spawned worldwide interest in experience design, customer experience management, and experiential marketing. Now published in ten languages, the book continues to find new readers across myriad industries, with customers increasingly spending their time and money on experiences that engage them in an inherently personal way. Gilmore’s most recent book, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want follows up with the contention that Authenticity is the new Quality that businesses must learn to manage authenticity as a distinct business discipline.

Gilmore is co-founder of Aurora, Ohio-based Strategic Horizons LLP, and is sought by enterprises around the globe for his expertise in conceiving and designing new ways of adding value to their economic offerings. He is a frequent keynote speaker, as well as workshop facilitator and executive coach and his ideas have been featured in numerous articles on business strategy and innovation for such publications as the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Investors Business Daily, among others.

Professor Kishore Mahbubani was appointed the first Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004.  Currently, he is the Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY SPP) of the National University of Singapore. He served in the Singapore Foreign Service from 1971 to 2004, was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998 and also served twice as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN.

Prof Mahbubani has published and spoken in all corners of the globe and is the author of "Can Asians Think?", "Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World", and of "The New Asian Hemisphere: the irresistible shift of global power to the East  was published in New York in February 2008. He served as a Fellow of the Center for International Affairs in Harvard University from 1991 to 1992. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in New York in June 2004 and was listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005.

Ho Kwon Ping is Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, which manages and/or has ownership interests in 22 resorts and hotels, 62 spas, 65 retail galleries and two golf courses with a further 50 new resorts and hotels coming on stream within the next three years. It aims to be an agent of social and economic development through responsible tourism, demonstrating sustainable practices and caring for the environment while improving the well being of the community.

An economist by training, both he and his sociologist wife are very keen on economic and social development, an approach which is reflected in their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. He sees an explosion of travel fuelled by growing affluence and globalization, and believes that personalization in travel is a strong trend. "I think discerning consumers today gravitate toward brands that share the values they embrace", he says.

"These provocative and innovative speakers will provide a springboard for industry-specific sessions where the implications of such global concepts for our own business as international convention centres will be explored", says Hirt. "Together, we believe this combination will prove to be a very powerful experience for centre managers looking to their future and how business needs to evolve in a changing world".

The 2008 AIPC Annual Conference takes place at SUNTEC Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, June 28 to July 2. Further information is available on AIPC Annual Conference 2008 Singapore.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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