Muscat: International promotional campaign of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) continued in 2016 by participation in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) convening leaders held in Vancouver, Canada.
During this event, the OCEC team connected with key decision-makers and meeting planners and shared the possibilities of Oman as an emerging destination and the OCEC as the region’s business events hub.
“The OCEC has a unique partnership with PCMA and the development of strong relationships with professional associations is one of the cornerstones of our business development plan,” said Trevor McCartney, the OCEC general manager.
“We were able to leverage existing links and create new connections with associations representing some of the key industries for Oman’s 2020 economic diversification strategy. It was also a great opportunity to update the PCMA Oman International Advisory Board on the final preparations for our fast approaching launch in September 2016,” he added.
The OCEC general manager said that there is a great deal of interest in the business events industry in Oman as a country and the OCEC as a venue.
According to McCartney, various elements prompting that interest include the centre’s phenomenal facilities, the Sultanate’s outstanding natural assets, as well as the incredible wealth of intellectual capital in a variety of sectors and the opportunities of knowledge exchange it offers.
Richard L. Baltimore III, adviser to the Omran Board of Directors, the Sultanate’s master developer of the OCEC, commented, “Networking among this prime concentration of over 4,000 senior international business meeting industry leaders afforded a prime opportunity to introduce and promote the Sultanate of Oman as a serious contender within the growing global convention and business events industry.
“Although less well known than some other established destinations, I found both North American and other attendees to be very receptive to representations about the historical richness and uniqueness of Oman and its people. Indeed, the OCEC will herald a wide range of new opportunities and serve as an ideal vehicle to showcase the Sultanate’s immense intellectual capital, while acting as a catalyst to promote economic growth, research innovation and entrepreneurship,” he said.
In addition to various meetings with industry representatives from around the world, the OCEC team met Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International. The company recently acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, creating the world's largest hotel combined company with 1.1 million rooms in more than 5,500 hotels in over 100 countries. The new five-star hotel, situated at the heart of the OCEC precinct will be operated under the JW Marriott brand.
With more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers, PCMA is the world’s leading organisation and definitive authority for meetings and event professionals. In 2014, the OCEC signed a strategic partnership agreement with PCMA and a group of 13 influential, international buyers visited Oman to experience the destination first-hand and participate in the inaugural PCMA Oman Advisory Summit- the first green field destination outside of North America to stage such a summit. A second PCMA Oman Advisory Summit will take place at the OCEC in September 2016.