Asia’s MICE industry is set on a trajectory of unlocking new potentials after global industry leaders and government representatives collectively worked on outlining five key areas of collaboration at the Joint Leadership Summit in Singapore on 5 October.
“All of us are united in rebuilding and reviving Asia’s Business Events and MICE industry together,” said Vincent Lim, president of Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA). “
“We hope for businesses and governments to work with stakeholders in closer collaboration to create a powerful synergy to drive our industry forward and upwards, as it is an important and invaluable economic contributor to many countries.”
Industry leaders and trade associations, comprising AFECA, ASPERAPI, MACEOS, PACEOS, SACEOS, TICA, UFI, SISO, and AEO committed to supporting national and regional governments in implementing economical and societal development priorities with the understanding that the MICE sector is critical in driving post-pandemic recovery.
Together with government representatives, they agreed to focus on the following five key areas of international and regional collaboration to boost the growth of the industry.
1. Define business events as “controlled gatherings”
Business events are not public gatherings, but highly controlled assemblies. They need to be classified as distinct from generic mass gatherings. This will ensure that, in future situations, the sector can continue to operate and fulfil its strategic role for governments.
2. Establish business events as both an economic and tourism tool
Business events are economic, scientific, and professional in nature. Beyond serving as a key pillar of the tourism and hospitality sector, it also provides industry platforms to discuss and achieve strategic priorities. Therefore, it is imperative that business events are recognised as tools and platforms to be leveraged upon in the context of trade, economic development, social and investment, and policies should be mirrored as such.
The success of Business Events that gathers international delegates relies on accessibility of respective markets. Accessibility is driven by cross-regional alignments on issues related to travel, immigration, and health & safety protocols. There needs to be cross-regional collaboration to reduce accessibility hurdles to empower Business Events to deliver their benefits.
4. Talent and capability development
The pandemic has caused a massive talent loss to the industry and attracting new and existing talent back will be among the key challenges to ensure the increasing demand of physical business events is met as the region continues to reopen. The region needs to come together to address and reduce the talent gap through talent sharing and collaboration on capability development initiatives.
While reviving the region’s Business Events industry remains the key focus, there is an understanding that sustainability plays a key role in the growth and revival of the industry. More than ever, delegates and attendees are demanding greener events. Therefore, we need to seize opportunities to collaborate internationally, regionally and locally between stakeholders (countries/cities, venues, organisers and suppliers) to step up our efforts to ensure that we not only deliver.