TCEB to ensure AFECA 2023 AGM in Bangkok leaves a lasting legacy

The Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) will hold its 2023 AGM in Bangkok next November, in a gathering that will span four days including a full Experience Day focused on presenting some of Bangkok’s newest and most meaningful experiences to business events decision-makers.

The event will be hosted by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and supported by a host of critical local agencies and organisations including the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Thailand Incentive and Convention Association, Thai Exhibition Association, Airports of Thailand, Thai Hotels Association and Thai Airways.

AFECA leadership and TCEB representatives are joined by Thailand ambassador to Singapore, Chutintorn Gongsakdi (centre), at the announcement of AFECA’s 2023 AGM

In a private event today announcing the 2023 AGM, the federation’s president, Vincent Lim, who also leads the Malaysian Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, said the meeting would be AFECA’s first face-to-face gathering since the start of the pandemic. Members have so far only been connecting online.

“We are delighted for Thailand to be the host for AFECA’s 2023 AGM, as it has always been an important business events destination in Asia and is at the forefront of (South-east Asian) MICE development. With TCEB’s support, the 2023 AGM will be a platform for MICE leaders and industry players to continue to raise the profile of Asian MICE industry on the global stage,” said Lim.

In an interview with TTGmice, TCEB’s Nichapa Yoswee, senior vice president – strategic marketing and business development said that while AFECA will determine the content of 2023 AGM, her bureau will support the full programme for it to establish a varied and lasting legacy for Thailand and Asia’s business events industry.

To this end, TCEB has proposed the inclusion of the inaugural Asia MICE Forum within the four-day event. According to Nichapa, the Asia MICE Forum is an evolved Thailand MICE Forum that will provide a platform for dialogue between private and public sector players for the greater good of the region’s business events industry. There will be business matching opportunities, presentation of new industry initiatives, and recognition of top performing Thai business events industry players through awards.

She also revealed intentions to launch Asia20 within the AFECA meeting, a by-invite conference that will bring high-level industry stakeholders and government agency representatives up to speed on important issues such as industry standards, new technology, sustainable practices and collaboration.

“We want content at the 2023 AGM to give attendees a glimpse of the future and inspire them to rethink the structure of the events ecosystem in their own country. We want government agencies to take home an understanding of what must be done to establish a healthy and supportive ecosystem that will further grow the region’s business events industry,” she emphasised.

Acknowledging the vast ambitions of the event, Nichapa said: “We want the AFECA meeting to be the sort of event that will change the future of our industry for the better – that’s the legacy we intend for it to leave behind.”

Nichapa added that the 2023 AGM is one of the “multiplier events” that her bureau is keen to bring to Thailand. She explained that such events involve decision-makers with the power to spin off even more valuable business activities that will benefit the industries they represent as well as the national economy.

Exact dates for the meeting are still being deliberated, and Bangkok’s hosting of the 62nd annual ICCA Congress in the same month, from November 12 to 15, will be taken into account.

While two major association meetings in November would result in a buzzing period for Bangkok’s hospitality industry, Nichapa does not think that resources would be stretched.

“Bangkok has a wide variety of hotel accommodation across price and service points. In terms of manpower needs, I expect the many graduates of our MICE Academy will step up to support the meetings. Students who are still on course could join one of the various events as supporting staff, and earn valuable real-life lessons about the business as well as gain important contacts along the way,” she told TTGmice.

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