Monthly Archives: March 2020

Important COVID-19 Message from Casa de Campo

For almost 50 years, Casa de Campo has been welcoming guests from around the globe to enjoy the warmth, services, and charm found only within our community here in the Dominican Republic.  Now more than ever, we are focused on continuing our rich legacy in caring for our guests and associates alike during this challenging time.  We want to reassure you and your colleagues that we are taking all necessary precautionary measures to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our guests and community.

Here at Casa de Campo we have a caring and committed team who are dedicated to the common goal of working together with all of our partners in managing this crisis and preparing for better times ahead.  Our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by this pandemic and we are thankful for all of the support of our clients and industry professionals.  Now is the time for us to come together, address the tasks at hand, maintain open communication, practice compassion and stay the course. I am confident that we will all come out stronger and better when this crisis passes. 

Control Measures

The environment seems to change daily and the following is an update on what we are currently doing on property.  

  • Holding daily briefings and updates with our internal teams as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation evolves.
  • The government in the Dominican Republic has declared a state of emergency and has closed all flights and cruise ships coming into and out of the country for the next two weeks.  Beginning March 20th – April 2nd, Casa de Campo will be closed during this time frame and set to reopen on Friday, April 3rd, 2020. 
  • We have canceled all scheduled events that involve crowds and large groups of people.
  • Closed all activity outlets, golf, shooting center, equestrian center, tennis center, marina, retail shops, and the majority of restaurants.
  • The majority of the other restaurants on property will be closed or open for Take Out orders only.
  • Initiated a new awareness campaign to reinforce hygiene measures with all our staff.
  • Cleaning teams have been strengthened in all areas of increased traffic and of personnel use, including the additional installation of dispensers with antibacterial gel throughout the property.
  • The common service areas, such as the gym, sports fields and other areas including the meeting rooms, bathrooms and restaurants have all been deep cleaned and sanitized, before closing completely.
  • We have had HS Consulting for International Standards, one of the industry’s highest-level certifications, verify that our resort complies with and has best-in-class processes in place for quality and safety.

Medical Facilities

In the unlikely event that a guest needs medical attention of any sort during their stay, we have certified medical professionals on site who are available 24/7 and if needed will visit them in their villa or hotel room.

The Central Romana Medical Center, a private hospital with the highest standards (and complete Diagnostics Center with MRI), is less than 5-minutes away. The resort provides complimentary transfers when needed (non-emergency). We also have emergency 911 services: an ambulance that is permanently on site for emergency transfers if required. Casa de Campo guests receive priority attention, translation services and preferred assistance at our private, VIP medical center.

As always, the team at Casa de Campo remains vigilant and committed to offering the highest health and safety standards that our guests expect of us. With that in mind, we continue to welcome guests to our resort and will do everything we can to ensure they have an enjoyable stay.

United. Resilient. Proud.

The IMEX Group has launched a campaign to inspire some positivity during these uncertain times. Here is the message that accompanies the above graphic:

To the global business events industry, our extended family…

Remember who you are and what you represent.

We are an industry that contributes $1.5 trillion of GDP to the global economy. As we’ve demonstrated many times before, we will be part of the solution to drive recovery, growth and social impact that will transform the world.

Ray Bloom & Carina Bauer


You’re Invited to Join our Hosted Buyer Group of VIPs for IMEX America

ConventionPlanit invites you to join our partners’ hosted buyer group to attend the learning experience of IMEX America in Las Vegas.  September 2020 will be the 10th anniversary of IMEX America in Las Vegas.

Every year the exhibition and education programs grow larger and learning expands for global meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.  Book events outside the USA or large attendance at US events?  Join our hosted buyer group for a deep dive into the global events marketplace and knowledge base.  

Make professional networking connections with exhibitors and grow your professional certification points.   As a hosted buyer, IMEX will reimburse your air fare and cover the cost of our group hotel plus provide Las Vegas airport shuttles and hotel shuttles to the exhibition.  Our hosted buyer group will be treated to sponsored meals with business partners you will want to know better! 

Don’t delay and RSVP today

Confirm your interest with us and we promise to make IMEX America a wonderful experience for you.  Are you with us?  Waiting to hear from you at

Positive Collaboration and Agility Champion over Adversity!

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) successfully hosted the recent Ottawa Conference on the Assessment of Competence in Medicine and the Healthcare Professions (Ottawa Conference) 2020 in early March, but under very different circumstances!

According to the Ottawa Conference Operations Director, Pat Lilley, “This particular conference was a lot more challenging than usual due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We came for our last site meeting in January 2020 and everything was wonderful and going according to plan, with large numbers of participants registered. However, we ended up facing the challenge of trying to maintain a full programme, while recognizing that many participants from around the world could no longer attend the conference.”

To help deal with these challenges the Ottawa Conference Organiser teamed up with the Centre to find innovative solutions to ensure the event ran smoothly despite the global disruption. This involved last-minute changes in the event format and the ability for participants and speakers to join and engage with the conference programme remotely and vice-versa, which utilised the venue’s state-of-the-art information technology (IT) and audio-visual (AV) infrastructure.

Of key importance at the time was the ability to keep potential attendees engaged and comfortable about participation under growing uncertainty about travel restrictions. Consistent, factual, transparent communication was the crucial factor that kept delegates committed to attending the conference. The other crucial factor was adapting and increasing hygiene and sanitary measures to ease concerns and create visible changes in the Centre around these mechanisms.

The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, said, “A flexible and engaged partnership approach with the Event Organiser was critical in order for them to feel assured and not alone in a volatile changing landscape. We constantly were looking at ways to make the conference remain viable and to ensure anyone who wanted to be a part of it could attend in person or participate remotely. It really did provide us with a very good opportunity to fully utilize our technologically advanced IT backbone to support flawless remote access and create a safe environment for the Ottawa Conference.”

Speaking on her experience and thanking the Centre for their role in making the Ottawa Conference such a compelling and seamless event, Lilley added, “The Centre was very responsive and senior management has been extremely helpful, recognising that we really didn’t want to cancel and postpone the conference, but were not in a position to accommodate the original number of participants we expected. The Centre was also very attentive and the staff extremely helpful throughout the entire process. We were very pleased with the high level of service we received.”

“In the end, the conference went amazingly well, albeit slightly differently due to the global situation, as it forced us to think very carefully about the format of the conference programme. It was quite an experience, but I have to say it’s been very enjoyable and the participant feedback was extremely positive, with many liking the new format as it felt more cohesive. Whilst initially it felt like all bad news, it certainly has not been that way at all. I am so pleased we put on a good conference with the help of so many people,” Lilley concluded.

Held biennially and jointly organized by the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) and International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), the Ottawa Conference brought together medical and other healthcare profession educationalists to network and share ideas on all aspects of the assessment of competence in both clinical and non-clinical domains, throughout the continuum of education. Participants include both those new to the area of assessment and those with many years’ experience to share.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

Siesta Key Named No. 1 Beach in the United States and No. 11 in the World by TripAdvisor

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) is excited to share that Siesta Beach in Sarasota County on Florida’s Gulf Coast was once again designated the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Top Beach in the United States. Siesta Beach ranked first out of 25. In the Top Beaches in the World category, Siesta Beach ranked No. 11.

This recognition was first bestowed on Siesta Beach in 2015, and again in 2017. VSC is thrilled to see TripAdvisor contributors select the destination again for 2020. Siesta Beach was named the #1 Beach in America by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach” in 2017 and 2011 as well.

“It is a great honor to receive the Top Beach in the United States ranking by TripAdvisor Travelers again this year,” said Virginia Haley, VSC President. “With soft, quartz-crystal sand, beautiful blue-green waters, a great selection of accommodations, restaurants and activities, Siesta Beach is truly a gem in our community. VSC is proud to market the destination and have such an asset  to promote on the world stage. It is because of these travelers that we get to tout this designation!”

Part of VSC’s strategy to raise awareness of Siesta Key Beach is to sponsor the Siesta Key destination page on TripAdvisor. This tactic increases consideration of the island and beach within the platform and reaches those researching a trip to Siesta Key Beach. The TripAdvisor Destination Page encompasses an overview on things to do, places to stay, where to eat, and top nearby attractions. VSC also sponsors the Sarasota destination page on TripAdvisor.

The Trip Advisor page is the perfect combination of authentic content for those who are in the planning stages of their next visit to the area. Visitors who are looking to learn more about Siesta Key will find everything they will need for their day on the beach, including other key points of interest, trip planning tools and much more. Between the two Trip Advisor pages, there are over 90,000 images associated with Siesta Key Beach and Sarasota County. The mix of user-submitted photography and content from VSC creates a great experience for those looking to plan their visit.

To see the full report, visit

About Visit Sarasota County

Visit Sarasota County leads and supports the tourism industry in Sarasota County by providing the highest quality, and most innovative, marketing programs and promotions to ensure the continued growth of tourism and travel from visitors around the world. It is the mission of VSC is to make Sarasota County the must experience destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast. To learn more, visit

IMEX in Frankfurt Cancels

[The following letter has been released from Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer, IMEX Group Chairman and CEO:

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt (due to take place 12-14 May).

We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals who were due to attend the show, but also to the global business events community.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and there are two overriding concerns that have caused us to make this decision at this time. 

First is the uncertainty caused by the fact that the German health minister has recently called for the ban on events with over 1,000 people which some German states have already endorsed, including the state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located. This announcement makes the probability of factors outside our control forcing us to cancel the show at the last minute much higher. 

Second, our primary concern is always the responsibility we feel towards our exhibitors and partners, who fund the show – not only by purchasing stand space but also in the considerable additional investment they make in everything from the build of stunning stands to the hosting of buyer events.

Whilst only a short time ago we felt optimistic that May was far enough away to confidently proceed with our plans, as it stands today [11 March] we cannot guarantee the one thing that our exhibitors trust us above all else to deliver – namely a large-scale, high quality hosted buyer programme.

In an ideal world we would wait and see. But we are in the real world and we cannot, in all good conscience, ask our exhibitors to continue to invest money against which they may not get a return. 

Both of these factors – uncertainty around whether IMEX will be allowed to proceed, as well as doubts as to the number of buyers who will be able to attend – have led us to the conclusion that we now have no option but to cancel IMEX in Frankfurt.

A decision based on facts

We want to make it very clear that we have made this decision based purely on the facts as we know them today and, importantly for the whole IMEX team, based on the responsibility and genuine care we feel for all our clients and the global business events community. 

IMEX is our family business and the business events community is the only community we serve. 

We have tried today to take the best decision for the industry and we are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us. Quite rightly many of you see yourselves as friends and members of the extended IMEX family.  This is precisely why we’ve thought long and hard in the past few days, consulting in depth with partners and stakeholders across the industry before making this announcement. Our strapline “We Are All Connected” has never felt more true, nor more important.

Committed to serving the industry

Despite the disappointment and impact we know you will feel, we want you to know that we’re fully committed to serving this industry that we love. We’re already working hard in the background to deliver value and service above and beyond the trade show you were looking forward to and will announce these plans in the near future. 

We intend to keep morale high and, together with leaders around the world, to focus on collective efforts to rebuild confidence and advocate for the power of business events to aid economic recovery once this situation is over. 

The IMEX team will also be working hard to deliver a successful IMEX America (15-17 September) with plans to recognise the 10th Anniversary of the show already in full swing. We hope that the business events world will join us in Las Vegas to celebrate our great industry.

Once again, we thank the whole industry for the support that has been shown to us and we are here to support others in the industry as we all work through these difficult times.

Ray and Carina