Raising the bar

The hosting of MICECON 2023 helps to boost Davao's profile as a destination that is able to inject a large dose of culture and fun into any business event

Event brief
MICECON 2023 is the largest gathering of business events professionals in the Philippines.

Organisers wanted to show how bayanihan (a spirit of communal unity and cooperation) can help elevate business events, which is something they incorporated from the very beginning. When bidding for MICECON back in 2019, the City of Davao institutionalised business events by passing an ordinance ensuring the promotion of the sector through a close partnership between the local government unit and private stakeholders.

It was carried through to the national level with the Department of Tourism, its marketing arm Tourism Promotions Board, and private sector stakeholders such as the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers, all of whom lent their support to MICECON 2023.

Event highlights
The conference was themed MICEConverge: Blaze New Trails, where global speakers and panellists included former PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera, and C-suite executives from organisations including Society for Sustainable Tourism and Development, TripZilla, and Pathwayz Group.

MICECON 2023 deviated from staid conferences with creative innovations., where normally serious topics received a side serving of fun. Daily sub-themes Celebrating Nature, Diversity, and Travel and Technology, were repeated in the venues and daily dress code, inevitably rousing full audience participation.

Fun workshops included a workshop on easy glam makeup by the education manager from MAC Cosmetics Philippines; and another workshop on how to power dress using Philippine textile weaves – abundant in Mindanao’s indigenous communities – with fashion-forward designs.

At the airport, aside from a traditional welcome performance, there was also a surprise flash mob made up of young dancers and singers who entertained the delegates.

Also integrated into the conference was the Philippine MICE Youth Challenge, which, as the name explains, is helping to train leaders of tomorrow, and providing them with a chance to compete in the Asia MICE Youth Challenge of the AFECA (Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations)

Lastly, the CSR portion of the conference took delegates to the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, where delegates learnt more about the preservation of the critically-endangered species.

And as decided by an evaluation panel. MICECON 2024 will be held in Clark, Pampanga.

A challenge for the government was how they could introduce the city of Davao, the largest city of Mindanao island, in three days.

As part of the conference, a marketplace with 66 local exhibitors was set up. Fam tours also included visits to Davao’s growing cachet of new hotels, resorts and attractions, as well as lesser-known destinations Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.

The event menu also featured exotic fruits that Davao is renowned for, such as mangosteen, rambutans, and pomelos. Fresh seafood, such as the giant yellow fish tuna, was also sought after to provide visitors with an authentic taste of the city.

Mindanao’s rich heritage, spread across 11 indigenous tribes, was also the focus of entertainment numbers, costumes and decorations.

The result, as participants attested to, was a conference brimming with timely topics interspersed with laid-back fun and entertainment, and the varied colourful attractions of the destination shining through.

Event Philippine M.I.C.E. Conference (MICECON) 2023
Organiser City Government of Davao
Venue SMX Convention Center Davao
Dates March 1-3, 2023
Attendance Over 600

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