Event organisers are being urged to think outside the box and harness the immense potential of business events to drive enduring local impact, thereby delivering enriched and memorable experiences for attendees.
Supanich Thiansing, director of the meetings and incentives department at the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), elaborated during Getting Deeper with Community Connections panel at IT&CM Asia and CTW Asia-Pacific 2023 that each business event is a rich tapestry capable of weaving positive impact, not only for participants, but also for host communities and local businesses.
“Events have the potential to leave a lasting power, extending beyond just the duration of the event. They can even bring MICE participants and local stakeholders together, leading to new business ventures,” she added.
Supanich also highlighted the crucial role of CVBs in influencing organisers to prioritise community welfare, enhancing synergy between business events and the local milieu, and supporting the matching of products and services to development needs.
Sumate Sudasna, president of Thailand Incentive and Convention (TICA) noted that many DMCs and event organisers are often unaware of the myriad opportunities available within local communities, which is why CVBs and local stakeholders need to take the initiative to showcase them.
“Many DMCs have no time to discover the latest happenings and products. (For example), DMCs were surprised and happy to discover opportunities we showcased on a recent fam trip to Chiang Rai. This helps suppliers, and is something we would like to do more often,” he shared.
Limitations do exist, however, such as logistical challenges in reaching less explored destinations, making them more suitable as side trips for more adventurous travellers. Moreover, pre-existing CSR programmes within large corporations necessitate a strategic approach for them to integrate initiatives that generate local impact.
However, the brevity of events need not preclude them from leaving a long-lasting impact. Sumate drew on the example of business events contributing funds to local university scholarships for tourism and business events students – something TICA currently engages in – as a way to contribute.