Following the successful run of M&C Asia Connections (MCAC) — Asia Edition in August, the invitation-only online business exchange stepped up to the world stage, concluding yet another fruitful meet: the all-new Global Edition from 28 to 30 October.
Taking place across multiple time zones, M&C Asia Connections Virtual — Global Edition stayed true to its aim of connecting pre-qualified international planners from Asia, North America and Europe with leading MICE suppliers in Asia.
“This year, we all have been challenged in many ways we didn’t think possible. But through adversity, many of us have found new and innovative ways to do business,” said Irene Chua, vice president and group publisher, Asia at Northstar Travel Group.
“And while we become accustomed to the new normal, reassuring signs of recovery are beginning to shine through. Many destinations across Asia are already witnessing the safe return of MICE events, with recent news of travel bubbles and green lane agreements across the region also spurring activity.”
David Blansfield, executive VP and group publisher, Northstar Meetings Group added that Asia is leading the industry’s recovery, with “planners and suppliers taking a keen interest not only in Asia’s crisis response, but to the forward-looking stakeholders and [what they] are doing now to prepare for the MICE industry of the future”.
Satisfied reviews from buyers and suppliers
As well as connecting buyers and sellers, MCAC Global featured education sessions, toggled seamlessly in between pre-scheduled, one-on-one appointments.
Attendees could also explore sponsored lounges with interactive video content, and live collaborative tools to help planners and suppliers exchange ideas.
Yakub Khan, regional procurement manager at Abbott who completed “12 productive appointments” sent his compliments to the MCAC team on the live platform’s chat box. “I understand it takes a lot of time, effort and hard work to put together this kind of programme, keep up the good work, well done.”
On the supplier side, Angela Chong from Sunway Hotels & Resorts in Kuala Lumpur — who previously attended MCAC Virtual (Asia) on 26 August shared with M&C Asia her hopes to again see a productive day of meetings — and she “wasn’t disappointed”.
Across the day, Chong ticked off all of her appointments, and managed to chat with another five buyers while on breaks. “I’m [so familiar with the platform], a few buyers who are here for the first time joined my ‘table’ by mistake and couldn’t find their appointments — I could even guide them on where to go!” she remarked.
Chong also highlighted how this Global Edition provided more “quality insights” since it involves more destinations, and how this event opened the door for Sunway Hotels & Resorts to “meet MICE players in North America and Europe”.
“To have a platform like [MCAC Global] is very good for us all to continue engaging with international markets and for private-sector stakeholders to meet each other again,” said Ibu Rizki Handayani, deputy minister for tourism product and events at Indonesia's ministry of tourism and creative economy (MoTCE).
Another highlight of the virtual show: The ‘In Conversation’ segment, where industry leaders from Singapore and Indonesia discussed how Asia is paving the road to recovery.
Addressing the global virtual audience, Blansfield thanked everyone for being “a friend of Northstar and for the important role you play in the MICE industry. It’s the people who make our industry great, and that’s you”.