Now in its second year, Asia Business Meet (ABM) 2018 drummed up a strong momentum from the success of its inaugural event. Held from July 23 to 26, this year's edition saw a strong response from 54 quality buyers representing US, Europe and Asia. Participation from suppliers during the business-matching sessions also saw international chains such as AccorHotels Asia Pacific, Banyan Tree Bangkok/Phuket, Hilton, Millennium Hotels & Resorts and Melia International being represented.
A sumptuous welcome cocktail reception was held at The Maritime Experiential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa. Buyers also enjoyed a day of fun visiting world-class attractions and venues on Sentosa Island after the serious business was done.
"We want ABM to be an event that highlights the best of Asia. Year on year, it has grown in numbers and while the show has been hosted in Singapore, we would be looking at taking it to other countries to reflect its focus on the region. One of the best things about doing MICE business is to be able to experience the destination, and we hope for buyers to be able to enjoy and experience what Asia has to offer," said Janet Tan-Collis, president, SACEOS.
"Asia's prominence in international business is reflected by the high level of interest - and bookings - we continue to see from meeting, exhibition and incentive buyers from all over the world directed toward Asian destinations. ABM 2018 is a manifestation of that," added David Blansfield, executive vice president/group publisher of the Meetings Group for Northstar Travel Group.
Jeannie Lim, executive director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel, Singapore Tourism Board shared that it was a comprehensive programme incorporating education, business exchanges and destination showcases for ABM buyers. "Some experiences that ABM buyers had included the opportunity to attend insightful talk sessions by overseas speakers at the Singapore MICE Forum, as well as to attend offsite social functions in venues such as the Maritime Experiential Museum, Secret Life of Trees at Gardens by the Bay and iFly Singapore Rooftop, which helped to showcase Singapore's diverse and unique offerings beyond the traditional meeting spaces."
New to the show was the significant presence of Macau industry players such as Sands Resorts Macao, Galaxy Macau and Studio City Macau, which is testimony to the city's growing clout as a MICE destination for mega groups.
Participants from other parts of the region was also promising with Borneo Convention Centre Kuching and Sarawak Convention Bureau throwing their hats into the destination mix to join Incheon Tourism Organization, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Philippines Tourism Promotions Board, Seoul Tourism Organization and Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau.
Said Irene Chua, group publisher, Northstar Travel Media: "We are pleased that this year has seen a very strong participation from new destinations and leading global hotel chains. In fact, there is a 35% increase in supplier organisations this year, of which 50% are new participants. It gave our qualified buyers a valuable opportunity to be more comprehensive in their search for suitable suppliers. With each year, we aim to bring to the table more suppliers and buyers - in terms of quality and variety - so that ABM will serve as a platform that introduces the best of Asia's rich offerings to the international MICE industry."