Pushing through obstacles

CEMS ensures a successful Glasstech Asia 2014 through strategic planning and good rapport with partners despite facing numerous challenges. By Rosa Ocampo

Event brief

Glasstech Asia, the exhibition showcasing glassmaking machinery and glass products, is rotated around South-east Asia every year.

Choosing the host country based on the state of its glass industry is a straightforward decision by the organiser since 1998, the Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS), and its joint venture partner Singapore Glass Association.

CEMS group managing director Edward Liu said the Philippines was ready to host its first Glasstech Asia 2014 as the country’s economy is expanding and its industries booming.

CEMS worked with two local associations, the Philippine Chamber of Glass and Aluminum Industries and the Flat Glass Alliance of the Philippines.

The show is targeted at the trade people to use new machinery, new technology and applications that will increase their production and efficiency, and to share knowledge and technology.

Aside from the exhibition, Glasstech Asia 2014 also included the Asia architectural glass conference mostly for architects and the Green Council Meeting to acquaint architects, building developers and glass merchants with the use of glass to create a green environment.


“Although we were confident about the market in the Philippines, it was still considered a new market for the show and we were going into unchartered waters,” said Liu about holding the first Glasstech Asia in the Philippines after a good 15 years.

“Secondly, the political tension between China and the Philippines had caused concerns among some Chinese exhibitors, and some of them had in fact withdrawn from the event; as well as some trade visitors from China. This was an issue that was beyond our control and expectation,” he added.

“Thirdly, (CEMS) having not organised any event in Manila after our Defence Asia event in 2000, a lot of the developments were new to us. We needed to re-learn the dynamics of the MICE industry in the Philippines in terms of the operational perspective as well as the localised visitor promotion strategies, etc.,” Liu said.


With the event being held in World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), guidance was sought from the management team of WTCMM, who had kindly provided the much needed advice and assistance in putting up Glasstech Asia 2014.

“We had worked closely with both our co-hosts of Glasstech Asia 2014, the Philippine Chamber of Glass and Aluminum Industries and the Flat Glass Alliance of the Philippines in better understanding the Philippines’ glass market and its buying trends,” said Liu.

Some foreign exhibitors brought in heavy machinery which they were able to sell or had already sold. It saved them from having to pay to ship them back to the country of origin.

Key takeaways 

As a Singaporean company with regional operations in South-east Asia and China, CEMS is well aware of the differences in cultural, management and expectations.

“One needs to appreciate and understand these differences in order to formulate and execute the right strategies that are suitable for the country and the industry that we are involved in. Having the right partner is also important. Hence, the WTCMM has been most helpful in ensuring the success of Glasstech Asia 2014,” said Liu.

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