Plenty of opportunities await in Thailand's MICE industry, and
industry stakeholders are eager to tap the country's prowess as a
regional exhibitions powerhouse.
At Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) Business
Forum on 6 July, held in Voco Orchard Singapore, Thailand’s MICE leaders
convened to assert the country’s capabilities of welcoming
international trade exhibitions once again, further buoyed with an
enhanced MICE infrastructure during a panel discussion moderated by
M&C Asia senior editor Xinyi Liang-Pholsena.
“A new MICE development is the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC),
covering three provinces of Thailand — Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao —
each specialising in various sectors for different corporate groups’
needs,” said TCEB’s director of exhibitions department, Kanokporn
Damrongkul. “For example, there’s an area to promote aerospace, another
for technology, and one for the medical industry.”
Most notable of Thailand’s new MICE developments is the recent launch
of TCEB’s new campaign dubbed E³, which represents ‘Empowering
Exhibition Economy’. Kanokporn said that TCEB stands ready to empower
planners by providing comprehensive support for corporate meetings,
incentive trips, conventions, exhibitions, mega events and world
Planners looking to organise exhibitions between August 2022 to
September 2023 in Thailand’s EEC will also be afforded financial
support. Grants range from US$36,100 to US$41,700, depending on scale.
Under the E³ campaign are three main focuses: PEOS empowerment,
carbon neutral events and MICE alliance. TCEB will provide a “powerful
subvention programme,” according to Kanokporn, committed to supporting
professional event organisers in their EEC shows for at least three
years, and help to foster “powerful partnerships” to facilitate
exhibition growth, alongside assisting with sustainable event planning.
The power of partnerships for exhibitions
July was a good month for Thailand. Not only did 1 July mark the
complete removal of pandemic entry restrictions, including the removal
of Thailand Pass for inbound visitors, TCEB also projects that the
number of MICE travellers is expected to increase by 45% by next year.
In-person exhibitions and shows in Thailand are also seeing a swift
return of visitors and interest. “Thailand is back with a vengeance,”
said Ralph Hendrich, general manager at Koelnmesse, which recently
co-organised Thaifex-Anuga in Bangkok in May with Thai Ministry of
Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion and the Thai
Chamber of Commerce.
knows what they’re good at and can help us open doors. They are
connected to a lot of people, ministries, private sectors and
associations, so if you come in with a new show, they will help
facilitate that," added Hendrich.
In reference to TCEB’s “powerful sustainability programme” mentioned
by Kanokporn, which includes sustainable venues, guidelines, and
training modules, Richard Ireland, managing director, Asia, Clarion
Events agreed that “Thailand has invested a long time in being a
sustainable destination,” which he believes is advantageous in this new
MICE era where organisers are expected to “show our sustainable
“What’s actually more important is that customers are requesting that
we demonstrate sustainability,” explained Ireland. “What’s unique to
Thailand is that we get a sustainability checklist to help us, as all of
us in our industry knows that becoming sustainable is incredibly
difficult. It’ll help us position our event and the industry as a whole
as a sustainable one and demonstrate that we’re on the right path.”
Looking ahead, TCEB boasts a very robust five-year roadmap of events
encompassing a broad spectrum of sectors. From the Udon Thani
International Horticultural Expo in 2026 to the country's first
International Air Show in 2027, Thailand aims to offer a wealth of
opportunities for every industry to showcase their offerings.
thing that the health and medical sectors can look forward to is
Thailand’s recent legalisation of cannabis, which Suthichai
Techanarungroj, vice president, Thai Exhibition Association, believes
will “benefit medical shows as well as other industries which can
explore various packages”.