More contracts signed for in-person events in Thailand

Sixty-seven percent of planners have confirmed in-person events lined up this year, according to Event MB.

TICA's Sumate Sudasna and TCEB's Supanich Thiansing share plans to strengthen events bidding and attract long-haul MICE travellers.
TICA's Sumate Sudasna and TCEB's Supanich Thiansing share plans to strengthen events bidding and attract long-haul MICE travellers. Photo Credit: TICA and TCEB

The shift from virtual to in-person is gaining momentum in Thailand, where 67 percent of planners have secured contracts for in-person events in the second and third quarter of this year, according to Event MB, a blog for events planners.

The numbers validated the waning preference for virtual events, of which only 22 percent of planners indicated they will not return to in-person events until 2023.

Lending momentum to demand is Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) drive to launch campaigns targeting industry sectors that have remained buoyant despite the pandemic. Companies in insurance, multi-level marketing and medical supplies will be targeted, according to reported comments by Supanich Thiansing, TCEB’s director of meetings and incentives.

Thiansing said Thailand is expecting to host 300 events this year, of which meetings and incentives is estimated at 169 with 71,454 visitors. Additionally, the pipeline includes an expected 95 conventions attracting 86,740 visitors, and 49 exhibitions that could generate 12 billion baht in revenue.

TCEB has recently secured international events such as International Horticultural Expo 2026 in Udon Thani, the International Horticultural Expo 2029 in Nakhon Ratchasima, and the Specialised Expo 2028 in Phuket.

Sumate Sudasna, president of Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA) was reported to have said that TICA has partnered with TCEB to create the Thailand Bidding Team. Under this programme, funding is offered for each bidding project, starting with 100,000 baht for events of 50 to 500 international delegates.

Conventions that have been successfully bidded include the 10th A-PHPBA 2025 Bangkok Congress, which will be hosted by the Asian-Pacific Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (A-PHPBA), as well as the 80th Serra International Convention 2023 in Chiang Mai.

In the longer term, TCEB is working on industry partnerships to target long-haul MICE travellers. Commenting in a report, Sudasna of TICA also said that cooperation within the region must be built.

The Asia Convention Alliance is one such initiative, which was formed last September with an MoU signing among Mice-related state agencies and associations. Its goal is to help exchange MICE travellers between members, which include Seoul Tourism Organization, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

The alliance plans to have six conventions rotating among four countries over the next three years.

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