For many businesses in the MICE sector, service often ends the moment a guest leaves the hotel. Essentially the person is left to fend for themselves in a strange environment when greater value-added services could have been provided. Rurik Nystrom, the founder of RedBang International, a Beijing-based supplier of corporate gifts and maps, said most hotels were good at improving their services in a property, but what they had not mapped out was how guests coped once they left the premises. 'Solving the guests' daily domestic needs once they walk out of a hotel is crucial,' said Mr Nystrom, a former Hong Kong resident who helped launch Ikea's Sha Tin store in the mid 1990s. 'They need to understand whether the person is a VIP or a businessman, you have your time when you work and you are in the hotel and you have your time when you are outside the hotel. Unless you proffer some kind of corporate tool or branded gift saying 'this is my brand giving you some service' then they really haven't got the message yet.' RedBang has, since 2000, been helping its customers convey their branding message through tailored 3D maps that provide businesses with a low-cost business-to-business solution. Typically, each customised map costs about 2 to 4 yuan (HK$2.27 to HK$4.55), depending on the quantity ordered. The company provides maps to about 200 companies, including the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Wynn Macau, the French Embassy to China, Raffles Beijing and the JW Marriott hotels. The maps, which are attractive and pocket-sized, open with an array of colours indicating interesting facts about a location, business or destination. They are also likely to be taken home by a traveller and passed on, unlike cheaper tourist guide maps that are discarded. A Japanese and English bilingual map produced for the JW Marriott Hong Kong, features an eye-catching city scene, with a focus on Hong Kong Island and the main Tsim Sha Tsui shopping area. It is supplemented by smaller insert maps showing a Hong Kong overview, the MTR and lists of landmark shopping areas, key office buildings and dining and entertainment areas. Bordering the map are boxes featuring 23 attractions ranging from Disneyland to the Mong Kok night market to the 2.5km Bowen Road walk. Mr Nystrom, who has lived in the mainland for 10 years, said the maps were purposely uncluttered to suit the typical traveller. 'Most people have limited time when visiting a city. They don't have to see 897 things. They need simplistic information. That's why we typically profile 20 places to go - manageable information. We choose five or six museums, top galleries, nightlife and theatre,' he said. 'We focus on an area of the city that is important for 80 per cent of all travellers. By making a limited layout of the city you get a better focus area. Underground rail maps are important as in a lot of these large Asian cities there are traffic jams. The underground is convenient. I have seen a lot of high-rolling people on the Beijing metro.' Mr Nystrom, the son of a Swedish diplomat, had an adventurous childhood with his ambassador father's postings in Pakistan, Morocco, Russia, London, Paris and Bulgaria. He said the experience left him streetwise with a desire to discover things immediately once in a new city. His idea for maps came during his 13 years of working for Ikea where he was in charge of drawing commercial store plans for the Swedish giant's never-ending expansion. Going out on his own in 2000, his nascent business was first hit by the dotcom crash in 2001, followed by Sars in 2003. 'Sars hit like a hammer and I packed my bags and left China. Then, luckily, Sars went away after a few months. Two of my clients had paid me so I realised I had about 70,000 yuan in the bank. I believed so much in this product that I came back to Beijing. As quickly as the customers had disappeared they all said 'Sars is over, let's get back to business and start promoting. Let's call RedBang'.' RedBang's biggest threat is not growing fast enough. It has a staff of 12 and is hiring more in the mainland and overseas. Mr Nystrom said the private company was growing rapidly as the hospitality industry was realising it needed to offer better destination information. As a one-stop service provider, it could help businesses achieve this service improvement cheaper and faster than they could do it themselves. 'I've been on planes where people have pulled out my maps. This reinforced my conviction that if you give people tools that can help them at their destination - much like a buddy would if you were visiting his hometown - it greatly enhances your complete experience,' he said. 'If you get that from a hotel then you credit that good time to the hotel. Word of mouth is stronger than any other marketing. If a Japanese tourist is checking into the Marriott in Hong Kong and they're given a Japanese guide about everywhere to go, they're not going to throw this away. They are going to take this and show it to their friends and pass it on.'