The pandemic may rage on with new permutations, but Thailand's business events community is determined to find a way forward — kicking off 2021's calendar with the Thailand MICE Virtual Expo.
Organiser, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), will hold the country's first virtual event dedicated to the MICE sector from 24-25 February, with the goal of connecting local MICE entrepreneurs with the global buyer community.
"Despite the suspension of international flights at the moment, we as an industry must not stay still. We must find new ways to enable Thai MICE entrepreneurs to remain connected with their overseas partners and customers, showcase new products and prepare for future business," said TCEB president, Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya.
After all, this is the same team who successfully executed TIME 2020: TCEB’s annual event, which was held in a hybrid format and saw president Ayuthaya beamed onto the stage as a hologram to deliver an opening address.
To drum up excitement, TCEB organised a hybrid press conference at True Digital Park earlier this month, where Ayuthaya reiterated that the bureau’s initiative will serve as a model for other industries looking to organise virtual meetings to maintain business momentum.
Also, virtual doesn't mean a scale down of the trade show, especially since TCEB's head honcho expects to welcome "no less than 3,000 participants from around the world: 80% from Asia Pacific, and 20% from Europe and the United States".
At Thailand MICE Virtual Expo, delegates will navigate a virtual floor of 30 Thai exhibitors (including venue operators, DMCs, organisers and startups); eight workshops on understanding local culture; two panel discussions and six webinars that will discuss topics such as digital technology, health and wellness, and sustainability.
The eight workshops, in particular, will dive into activities Thailand is known for, such as a food demonstration by MasterChef Thailand contestant, Bank Jetasanond; the art of Thai boxing by champion Petchtanong Petchfergus; puppets and face mask painting; and even the art of the Thai massage, imparted by Wat Pho massage school.
"This outreach to our overseas network is essential for marketing and confidence-building," Isarangkun said. "While the business-matching sessions are open to only sellers and buyers, all participants are welcome to attend online panel discussions and webinars... Thailand MICE Virtual Expo is expected to help Thailand achieve the target of THB 64,000 million in MICE revenue this year."
The theme of the event is 'The River of New Era', inspired by the destination's iconic Chao Phraya River.
Registration is now open.