Participants from around the region were gathered at the recent Asia Pacific MICE Business Festival (formerly known as the Korea International MICE Congress), held from March 15 to 17 at the Songdo Convensia Convention Center in Incheon.
The three-day conference, co-hosted by the Korea MICE Association, Incheon Metropolitan City and Incheon Tourism Organization, hosted 400 one-to-one tabletop meetings between 30 domestic and foreign buyers and 80 MICE sellers. The conference also featured an exhibition component, educational and international sessions, networking sessions and events.
One of the conference's highlights include the session by PCAM ICESAP's president Nigel Gaunt, who presented on the need for professionalism in MICE management.
The push for professional standards comes amid a rising MICE sector in Asia Pacific that is valued at more than US$250 million.
Gaunt cited several factors for this push, including the increased scrutiny by client's procurement process on suppliers and agencies side, more onerous GDPR (Data Protection Laws) that includes fines of up to US$25 million upon infringement and new competition from business event agencies.
The way forward? Invest in the certification for industry professionals, agency accreditation, technology and marketing that will help quantify the value of services delivered.
Speakers from other sessions included Professor Kichan Kim, who spoke on the MICE industry's role in urban regeneration. Conference topics ranged from technology in the MICE industry to development strategies for the industry and event planning from an organiser's perspective.
Next year, the conference is set to be hosted in Suwon City at the Suwon Convention Center, which will open March 2019.