Forward together

Five MICE associations in South-east Asia have taken the first big step forward to build a sustainable business ecosystem.

Five South-east Asian MICE associations from pioneering ASEAN member countries have taken the first step to harness the building blocks of the Asia-Pacific Community Building Manifesto to create a strong and sustainable business ecosystem.

In July, these MICE associations from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the Asia Community Building Pledge, an outcome of the Manifesto, created by the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (SACEOS) last year. They are: INCCA (Indonesia Congress and Convention Association, MACEOS (Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers), PACEOS (Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers), SACEOS and TICA (Thailand Incentive and Convention Association).

Working together for the greater good for the MICE industry

They have agreed to support the professional development programmes of each other, including the creation of new and relevant training modules to boost capabilities and support the evolving customer needs of the MICE industry.

The pledge also includes the commitment to share research and data to help in generating market-specific insights for the benefit of the respective MICE industries.

Starting with the five MICE associations, SACEOS president, Aloysius Arlando, told TTGmice the intent was to incorporate more like-minded countries in the region.

He commented that the Manifesto was a bold commitment among like-minded stakeholders “to confidently harness the new forces of change brought about by the digital era in transforming business events into a powerful platform for socio-economic, intellectual and commercial benefits”.

Arlando observed that business events had emerged as significant enabling platforms that would need to bring together different communities from various industry and functional groups to cross-learn and collaborate, to develop new solutions to address industry challenges or emerging industry needs.

On what the pledge could achieve, Sumate Sudasna, president of TICA, said he was “hoping more business-driven ideas could be initiated”.

With the MICE industry now a government priority, PACEOS president, Joel Pascual, said the association was not only serving as the voice of the MICE industry in the Philippines, but had made every effort to cooperate with associations from Asia and beyond, such as the BRICS countries.

In October, PACEOS and the Department of Tourism jointly hosted the AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations) General Membership Meetings in Manila for the first time, “showing how serious we are in pursuing cooperation”.

MACEOS president, Vincent Lim, who hailed the initiative, commented: “The pledge will definitely strengthen the promotion of each other’s events. The next step after collaboration among the associations is for relevant members to work together. We have to strengthen collaboration among the ASEAN countries.”

Meanwhile, Rod Cameron, executive director of JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) and AIPC (International Association of Convention Centres) – and one of the 60 architects involved in creating the Manifesto, said: “The point here is that with the industry growing so rapidly in many different parts of the world, it is really important to encourage some consistency and sense of common purpose to help everyone focus and as a way of generating more credibility among key audiences such as governments.

“By generating such a document (the Manifesto) out of workshops that involved representatives of both the local industry and international associations, it became the visible product of a collaborative process, that enhanced its credibility even further and achieved greater buy-in from the people who will have to stand behind it.”

Cameron added that the “regionally specific” Manifesto can even have a wider positive impact.

“(It) can potentially offer a lot to other parts of the world that are struggling to achieve greater consistency and direction in many of the same areas,” he said.

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