European expansion for the HSMAI Event Trend Barometer

Great corporate culture doesn’t happen on its own accord and more and more companies use events to build their culture, and also more companies use events as part of their marketing strategy.

In Norway HSMAI has for many years had the leading travel agencies as members, many of which with big event departments. Three years ago HSMAI decided to get more involved in the event industry, initially by starting the HSMAI Event Awards and last year the HSMAI Event Trend Barometer – an annual barometer for the developments in the event market.

We are happy with the outcome, which is why now even HSMAI Region Europe opened up for event agencies to become members, also reflected in the new HSMAI mission statement.

In 2017 we will carry out the HSMAI Trend Barometer in several countries, in close cooperation with local and international partners.

Also The HSMAI Meeting & Event Exchange is a proven concept, already held in Norway for a couple of decades, with the next Meeting & Event Exchange taking place in the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo on 25 January. This concept, too, will be brought to other European markets in cooperation with local partners.

For more details, please read:

Have a great weekend!

Ingunn Hofseth. Thumbnail

Warm regards,
Ingunn Hofseth
President & CEO
HSMAI Region Europe

Top photograph: The HSMAI Event Trend Barometer. Montage: HSMAI.

Coming up next week: HSMAI Event Awards in Oslo, 10th October 2016

On Monday evening 10th October 2016 HSMAI Event Awards are taking place at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.

Event agencies are a new target group for HSMAI in Norway and are one of the key focuses moving forward. The first HSMAI Event Awards took place in Oslo three years ago. What started off slowly with a very soft start has now become one of the biggest annual events for the Events industry with all the biggest event agencies in Norway represented.

HSMAI Region Europe will work on this target group also on a pan-European level. To find out more and to see how you can be involved, please contact us at

Have a wonderful evening!

Ingunn Hofseth. Thumbnail

Warm regards,
Ingunn Hofseth
President & CEO
HSMAI Region Europe

Linda M. Ramberg to head prestigious events

Recently resigned Destination Røros director Linda M. Ramberg has been hired as Project Manager for HSMAI Meeting & Event Exchange, as well as the HSMAI Awards, both taking place in the Oslo Opera House in January. The plan is to expand the Meeting & Event Exchange to other European cities in the near future.

Last week HSMAI announced that the next HSMAI Meeting & Event Exchange will be held at the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo Wednesday 25 January 2017. HSMAI Region Europe’s President & CEO Ingunn Hofseth just informed that Linda M. Ramberg has been brought in for the task.

“Linda should be known to many HSMAI members, as she was working for HSMAI from 1997 to 2006 and in the last couple of years held the position of HSMAI Sales and Marketing Manager. Since then she has been in charge of Destination Røros, playing a vital role in placing the Røros region firmly on the map,” Ingunn Hofseth says, adding: “Under her management Destination Røros built a strong trademark, positioning itself within the fields of sustainable hospitality, with a special attention on qualifications, hosting excellence and local food. Among other things her efforts gained several prestigious international awards, and have made the destination an example to follow in the travel and hospitality industry, both at home and abroad. We are extremely pleased to have Linda on our team and look forward to be working with her again.”

The awards mentioned include:

The Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Award for Best Destination, awarded at the 2011 World Travel Market in London.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the Destination Stewardship category at the 2012 World Travel & Tourism Awards in Tokyo.

Last year a runner-up in the National Geographics’ Legacy Award at the Berlin ITB fair.

Linda M. Ramberg resigns as Destination Røros director after nearly ten years.

“It has been a fantastic ride, but time is ripe for looking into new challenges. After nearly two decades in two hospitality organisations, HSMAI at first, followed by Destination Røros, I am thrilled to bring with me the experience, as a self-employed advisor, with the liberty and flexibility that entails, and I find it highly motivating to be given responsibility for HSMAI’s two top events in Norway,” says Linda M. Ramberg, continuing: “I learned incredibly much during the years I spent with Ingunn at HSMAI, shaping my management skills with values such as inclusion and generosity. Ingunn has one foot firmly planted on the ground, with the other up among the clouds, with an impressive ability to identify opportunities and achieve results. To me HSMAI is an extremely innovative and including organisation, very much in step with the times.”

Lounge concept to be developed

“HSMAI brings the industry and its clients together at the year’s most important meeting day, in order to inspire and create new opportunities. Together with the industry at large we will show the customers and the event agencies all the possibilities to hold fantastic events in Norway and abroad on Wednesday 25 January 2017, in brand new surroundings,” Ingunn Hofseth adds. Text continues under photograph.

Den norske opera og ballett by night. Fotograf: Erik Berg.
The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet by night. Photographer: Erik Berg.

“During January’s HSMAI Meeting & Event Exchange at the Radisson Blu Oslo Plaza Hotel we introduced the lounge concept for our exhibitors, which was extremely well received by all. We have found much inspiration on our many travels, visiting European members. The Hilton hotels’ Executive lounge concept for regulars has been a huge inspiration, as well as several exclusive airport lounges, which is what we intend to build on,” she says.

“The HSMAI Meeting & Event Exchange aims to be a an exclusive upper scale event, which, in spite of its grand surroundings, should have a limited amount of visitors and exhibitors. We also plan on expanding the concept into several European cities,” Hofseth adds. Text continues under photograph and video clip.

Fra Møte- og Eventbørsen 28. januar 2016: Morten Brakestad
Mingling at the Oslo Meeting & Event Exchange on 28 January 2016. Photographer: Morten Brakestad.

The HSMAI Awards

The Norwegian HSMAI Awards, often referred to as the domestic travel and hospitality industry’s “Oscars”, will be held in the same venue for the first time, during the evening of Wednesday 25 January 2017, with awards given in several categories, including Travel Marketer of the Year, Young Travel Industry Leader of the Year and Young Hotelier of the Year.

A few snaps (and a videoclip) from January 2016:

For further details, please contact:

Linda M. Ramberg, tel: 928 03 694,

Top photograph: Linda M. Ramberg in charge of HSMAI’s Norwegian Meeting & Event Exchange, as well as the HSMAI Wards. Photo: Private.

25 Jan 2017: Great HSMAI events in great surroundings

On the night of 25 January 2017 the Norwegian hospitality industry’s “Oscars” will be held in the Oslo opera house in Bjørvika, following the equally magnificent event, the HSMAI Meeting and Event Exchange, taking place at the same venue earlier in the day.

“The hospitality ‘Oscars’, which is a widespread nickname for the Norwegian HSMAI Awards, offers mingling, aperitifs, a dinner and top-notch entertainment, in addition to the highlight of the evening, the award ceremony,” says HSMAI Europe President and CEO Ingunn Hofseth, continuing, “And in January it is all going to be held in the Oslo opera for the first time.” Article continues below photograph.

HSMAI Europe's president and CEO Ingunn Hofseth on-stage during HSMAI Europe's 4th Annual Digital Marketing conference in London.
HSMAI Europe’s president and CEO Ingunn Hofseth.

However, the day is a big one for Norwegian hospitality in more ways than one:

“We will start the day during the early hours, as the annual Meeting and Event Exchange commences – a vital hub for buyers and providers of meeting, event and conference services, as well as for the various destinations, hotels, conference centres and other arenas,” Hofseth explains.

Both she and HSMAI are extremely pleased that The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet agreed to host the events, as the venue rarely is able to accommodate requests of the kind. Article continues below photograph.

Sigrid Tofte Røiri, head of The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet's commercial department.
Sigrid Tofte Røiri, head of The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet’s commercial department.

“We are very happy that we succeeded in finding an available day for the hospitality industry’s most important event aimed at Norwegian clients, and are proud that the Opera has been named Oslo’s primary tourist attraction, in addition to serving as the country’s leading stage for opera and ballet,” says Sigrid Tofte Røiri, head of the opera’s commercial department, adding “Also we look forward to this opportunity to show off our great arena, in front of representatives from this great industry and its clients.”

Afternoon seminar

Also next year’s HSMAI Meeting and Event Exchange will contain an invitation to an inspiring congress seminar during the afternoon, provideded by the Norway Convention Bureau. Article continues below photograph.

Norway Convention Bureau Managing Director Frode Aasheim.
Norway Convention Bureau Managing Director Frode Aasheim.

“Among the thing we bring to the table you will find knowhow and tricks of the trade, as well as inspiration and motivation that can come in handy for any individual or organisation seeking to host a meeting or congress in Norway,” says Norway Convention Bureau’s Managing Director Frode Aasheim, adding “We will attend with several leading experts prepared to share useful experiences from their successes in bringing international congresses to Norway, and the importance the hosting of international events has had for the domestic circle of professionals.”

Exquisite food and drinks

“During the evening hours we plan to use the opera lobby ahead of the awards ceremony, in which food and drinks will be served with the kind assistance of the renowned Fursetgruppen [Furset Group] , with several buffets, upon which we withdraw to the auditorium, where the award ceremony itself will take place, although in a swifter fashion than earlier years, as the ceremony and the dinner sequences are now kept apart,” Ingunn Hofseth assures us.

“And afterwards the networking resumes, with drinks and first-rate entertainment,” she adds, reminding us to save the date; 25 January 2017.

Article continues below photograph.

Fursetgruppen Head of Marketing & Communications Mariane Nygård-Hansen.
Fursetgruppen Head of Marketing & Communications Mariane Nygård-Hansen.

“In the Fursetgruppen we really look forward to working with HSMAI and to make sure we do our share in making this a successful event for the industry and its clients,” says the Fursetgruppen Head of Marketing & Communications Mariane Nygård-Hansen.

“Also we are thrilled to learn that HSMAI chose the opera as venue, and will of course provide lots of tasty experiences, in terms of food and beverage,” she adds.

Stay abreast of developments

During autumn the two events’ dedicated websites will be continuously updated with the latest developments in programme and competition data, at these addresses:

Top photograph: The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet by night. Photographer: Erik Berg.

Best International Venue award

Amsterdam RAI won the Best International Venue award at the ninth annual Exhibition News Awards on Friday 10 April in London, the third time the company has won this prestigious prize since 2012. The Exhibition News Awards are conferred annually on businesses which make an outstanding contribution to the exhibition industry and are acknowledged as a key event on the exhibition industry calendar. The award was collected by the business development team of Amsterdam RAI.

Amsterdam RAI was shortlisted in the ‘Best International Venue’ category, where it faced stiff competition from other nominees, including Cape Town International Convention Centre, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

In announcing its decision, the jury commented: “Amsterdam RAI has delivered strong commercial success alongside growth and diversification of the venue space and facilities. The venue now offers world-class facilities which are easily accessible and continues to work hard to help organisers deliver their events as smoothly as possible.”

“We are proud to have won this award for the third time,” says Maurits van der Sluis, Executive Vice President at Amsterdam RAI. “It shows that our efforts are being noticed and paying off. Our goal is to help (international) exhibition organisers make their event the biggest success possible and a meaningful experience for exhibitors and visitors. The flexibility and versatility of Amsterdam RAI was tested in October 2014 by Helitech International. We were very pleased that their first edition outside of the UK for 25 years was so successful, attracting more visitors and exhibitors from a broader sweep of countries in Europe and beyond than ever before.”

Photo: The business development team of Amsterdam RAI

New Advisory Board for Event Marketing

Next week HSMAI in Norway will have its first meeting with their brand new Advisory Board on Event Marketing.

Attention to overall communication ranks high on HSMAI’s agenda. Bearing in mind that events have become an increasingly important element for our members and their clients,” says Ingunn Hofseth (right), HSMAI Europe’s President and CEO. HSMAI is now calling for potential members for its Advisory Board for Events Marketing in Europe.

Call for advisory board members in Europe

Their contribution will include the recognition of and focus on meeting and events as a vital part of  industry’s strategy. With this initiative HSMAI wants to further reinforce and profesionalise the industry – a process that finds itself in its initial stages in Norway, where a 17-member advisory board commence its work next week.

Needless to say, this facilitates the possibility of a Pan-European cooperation, speerheaded by HSMAI Europe’s Event Marketing Advisory Board to be.

Could you – or one of your colleagues – be the one we’re looking for?

Please do not hesitate to make contact at +47 916 52 873 or

HSMAI Advisory Board Event Marketing Norway:

    • Anniken Enger, Rådgiver, Aniara analyse
    • Arne Volleng, Country manager, Norway, Twentyfourseven
    • Bente Bratland Holm, Reiselivsdirektør, VisitOSLO
    • Christopher Mortensen, Partner, Geelmuyden Kiese
    • Dominic Gorham, Guest Relation Manager, THE THIEF
    • Espen Ferbu, Senior rådgiver, NovaVista
    • Frode Aasheim, Managing Director, Norway Convention Bureau
    • Ingeline Gjelsnes, Markedsdirektør, Carlings
    • Jens Nesse, Daglig leder, Playroom
    • Marie-Louise Strömberg, Salgssjef, TusenFryd Event
    • Mette Snekvik Dæhli, Key Account Manager Meetings, Nordic Choice Hotels
    • Petter Gjelsnes, Fagansvarlig, JCPr
    • Rune Bjerke, Førsteamanuensis og Fagansvarlig for Event Management, Markedshøyskolen
    • Sarah Nicole Seligson, Project Manager, Just Cruzin´ Production
    • Siw Schneider Johannessen, Markedsansvarlig/Forretningsutvikling, DNB Eiendom
    • Tine Birkeland, Director of Marketing, Communication & PR, Norway, Scandic Hotels
    • Tore Frisholm, Prosjektleder / Partner, Sketch Production
    • Tore Sergei Myklebust, CEO & Artistic Producer, Starworks


Photographer: Gunnar Kopperud/