After a successful virtual edition in 2020, the Global Edition of M&C Asia Connections (MCAC) returned on 7 October 2021, where global MICE planners and Asia-based suppliers deepened connections ahead of the region's planned travel reopening.
The invitation-only business exchange facilitated 150 meetings between attendees from 12 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, UK, US, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Hong Kong and Korea.
A flagship event of Northstar Meetings Group’s industry-leading brand M&C Asia, MCAC 2021 also offers a regional edition, which wrapped up on 15 July 2021 with 120 delegates and 535 appointments on the virtual show floor.
Arif Arianto, Commercial Lead for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Indonesia, shared that he thoroughly enjoyed navigating the virtual platform. “I fell in love with the technology. Even though it was a new tool for me, it was incredibly easy to navigate.”
Even when not participating in pre-scheduled meetings, participants moved around the floor, hopping from table to table, to expand networking opportunities or to catch up with familiar faces, creating real, organic moments despite the virtual setting.
Driving business objectives
The event was lauded as a resounding success from buyers and suppliers alike who sought to foster long-standing relationships that will pave the way towards exploring new ways of doing business in the pandemic era.
Arianto said that MCAC gave rise to several enquiries for follow-up appointments, including two leads for large-scale events. “One of the stakeholders is keen on engaging us for an event in Bali next year, and in 2024, we’re making preparations to hold a conference for 10,000 pax on behalf of Performance Lab."
Chris Hallet, Area Director of Sales and Marketing of IHG Vietnam and Laos added: "the aim of us coming together at this event was to strengthen new and existing connections in a safe environment for future business opportunities, and it was executed excellently."
As the region looks to carefully reopen borders, keeping the connection alive within the MICE community is more important than ever, a sentiment shared by Eeling Koh, MICE Director, World Express, who said that it is crucial for buyers and suppliers to “get together and inform each other about industry happenings and up-and-coming changes as we eagerly wait for the day we can have physical events”.
Angela Lee, Co-founder and Director of Event & Marketing Solutions, mentioned that MCAC presented “a great space to reconnect and share stories with industry players I already know, as well as form new relationships with others that I have not had the chance to meet before.”
Michael Packford, CEO of Eventworld, agreed, and called “M&C Asia Connections one of the best virtual networking events I have attended".
He added: “With the end of international Covid-19 travel restrictions in distant view, it was great to be connected again with suppliers and destinations and feel the confidence returning to an industry we are all so passionate about. Simply put, M&C Asia Connections Virtual proved to be a ‘Must attend event’.”