The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (TCEB) move to align its event acquisition efforts with the country’s most critical industries – known as the S-Curve industries – is paying off as business gatherings gain pace post-lockdown.
In an interview with TTGmice, Kanokporn Damrongkul, TCEB’s director – exhibition department, said Thailand welcomed 11 exhibitions in 2021 and will have 38 for this year and 67 in 2023.
“Most of the shows Thailand has secured fall into the 12 S-Curve industries,” said Kanokporn, who led a team of TCEB representatives and exhibition suppliers to meet with leading PEOs and show owners based in Singapore on July 6.
The 12 targeted S-curve industries include smart electronics; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; and robotics.
Kanokporn said TCEB’s approach allows it to avoid “head-on” competition with other Asian MICE cities.
She explained: “There are industries that Thailand is very strong in, such as manufacturing, agriculture, food production and automotive, just to name a few. Our government injects a lot of money into these industries to facilitate trade, investments and research. Naturally, such government support generates business interest and with that comes business activities, like tradeshows.”
Kanokporn also underscored Thailand’s positioning as a business gateway to the increasingly important markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – an advantage that sets the Kingdom apart from other Asian MICE cities.
For all the exhibitions that TCEB is courting, attention is paid to their potential contribution to the country, its people and the environment.
“We provide an economic impact calculator for every event, which helps us to focus on the return-on-everything concept instead of the size of the show or volume of attendance. Shows held in Thailand must leave a positive legacy and not just benefit the show organiser,” said Kanokporn.
While Thailand’s business events outlook is bright, Kanokporn acknowledges challenges presented by the talent leakage.
“People left the industry during the pandemic, and some are not returning. The industry has to work together to build back the ecosystem, so TCEB has created the Exhibition Organizer: Pro League campaign to support this effort,” she said.
Simply known as EO: Pro League, the campaign is part of the bureau’s effort to strengthen the foundation of the Thai exhibitions ecosystem during the business disruption. It aims to ensure that local capabilities are ready for international collaboration, by providing upskilling, reskilling and cross-skilling opportunities for local exhibition stakeholders. It has a goal of building 25 certified local exhibition stakeholders of global standards by 2023.
EO: Pro League is expected to result in the creation of new shows and expansion of existing ones, and connect local players with foreign businesses looking to expand their operations in Thailand.