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CONVENTIONS

Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers

Do you specialize in MICE tourism? New Zealand is looking for hosted buyers

New Zealand’s only national business events exhibition, CINZ MEETINGS is raising the bar again this year with a wider range of exhibitors, more international and domestic buyers, and more networking opportunities.

Held in host city Auckland from May 28 to May 30, MEETINGS continues to be the focal point of the year for the New Zealand business events industry. Staged annually by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), the show combines opportunities to discover regions, network and sign business, across two days.

CINZ Chief Executive, Sue Sullivan says this year over 190 exhibitors from 20 regions, including 14 in the Luxury Collection, will be at ASB Showgrounds to showcase the experiences, venues, and accommodation on offer around the country.

“MEETINGS connects highly qualified meetings and incentive professionals looking to plan programmes in New Zealand, with suppliers who know their fields and their regions inside out. Hotels, resorts, convention bureaux, caterers, entertainers, speakers, styling and production experts are all part of this diverse mix,” she says.

“With valued support from the principal sponsor, Air New Zealand and our partner hotels we are able to bring these qualified buyers from all over New Zealand, Australia, and the world to meet in Auckland.

“Our hosted buyer places are always in high demand and this year key conference and event organizers have been signing up early. We take care of all accommodation, travel, and transfers to ensure our buyers can get on with business, and make valuable new connections,” she says.

Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand are bringing over 30 international hosted buyers and media from the United States, Canada, China, and Asia including Japan and Korea to MEETINGS, and giving them the opportunity to explore regional New Zealand.

“Our message to international convention and incentive organizers is that traveling here is not only a bucket-list experience, it is also extremely cost-effective – and not as far as you think. New Zealand is just an overnight sleep from the Americas, China and Asia-Pacific regions, and just three hours from Australia’s Eastern centers.”

CINZ MEETINGS 2019 includes a pre-touring programme with places for 52 Australian hosted buyers to five regional destinations. Northland, Rotorua, Wellington, and Queenstown prior to MEETINGS and a new signature event, a special post-MEETINGS famil to Christchurch.

Applications for the CINZ MEETINGS 2019 hosted buyer programme close on March 29. Event organisers can apply now on the MEETINGS website.

CONFERENCES & INCENTIVES

India’s mega-meeting infrastructure gets going…at last!

micepoint MICE tourism India

Are we in India ready for holding Monster conventions? The clear answer is a very loud no. India, if one considers the competing destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Indonesia, and China have lost more opportunities to bid for Mega Conferences than others purely on the reasons of being infrastructurally challenged. Living in a country the venerable Maha Kumbh where over at least a crore people congregate once every twelve years is considered an event only the gods can play the ultimate event organizer; mere mortals are left to create an infrastructure regime that seems to fall apart at every second turn! An estimated USD 280 Billion of marketspace out there and we don’t seem to have a will to create a half decent Mega Convention Centre out here! All this is about to change with the Government’s putting money where their mouths are to upgrade existing pre-historic venues and commit to a new mega greenfield Convention and Exhibition Centre in Delhi.

The Government of India, in all its sudden burst of enlightenment, have finally harped upon creating the country’s largest Exhibition and Conference showcase. With a primetime investment of USD 4 Billion, the ‘India International Convention & Exhibition Centre (IICC)’, occupying an area about half the size of Bangalore’s Lal Bagh. The venue is expected to play host to marquis events such as the G-20 Summit. GoI’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion is implementing the project and will be operated by South Korea’s Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX) and eSANG Networks. Thankfully, with the Government deciding on partners such as L&T and Korea’s KINTEX to execute and operate the venue, this will be the gamechanger and catapult India into the world of Mega 20,000 plus delegate conferences. The venue is expected to have a massive exhibition space of 200,000 Square Metre and a 60,000 Square Metre in meetings and conventions space. The venue will also include 3,500 hotel rooms for delegates. Also, the multi-purpose arena in the venue will have a seating capacity of around 20,000 people. The complex will have a 30,000-vehicle car parking.

The Indian Convention & Exhibition Industry’s grand old lady ‘Pragati Maidan’ is poised to get a make-over and being redeveloped into a world-class Integrated Exhibition Cum Convention Centre (IECC) at a cost of Rs. 2254 Crores and the first phase expected to open by May 2019. The project will be updated to 1.19 lakh square meters of exhibition space against the present 65,000 and will get a Convention Centre for 7,000 people. The venue will also include a hotel complex to be built on a 3.7-acre plot within. Presently run by the ‘India Trade Promotion Organization’ which wear any hats such as an Exhibition Organizer, a trade body and venue manager all rolled into one. Hopefully, this will change its domain as the multiple ‘conflict of interest’ purporter! Changing times sure needs a more professional and expert set-up, than the current management practice who are living ‘sublime nirvana’ since the early 1970s.

India as a host and a probably the world’s most diverse destination backed with a growing economic might will ensure business opportunities seldom seen in the region. The past hubris against mega projects especially in aid of the tourism industry has died down. Convention Centres such as this will fuel a complete eco-system that generations will thank.

Was indeed surprised to note the Government’s initiative to use the building of Convention centers across 21 African Nations as to further the growing diplomatic connect. Who would have thought about a few years back, that India would actually recognize the Convention Centre industry as a sunrise industry!

Asia accounts for a mere 14.3% of the Meetings market in the world and, and India’s share accounts for just 4.9%. In comparison, China accounts for 68% of the Asian share in MICE business and trails only the US in the market globally. In terms of Meeting infrastructure, China has 92 purpose-built exhibition sites spread over three million square meters. India has just 12 exhibition venues that occupy barely 2.6 lakhs Square Metre of space. India is 40% of China in terms of the size of the economy, but in the exhibition’s infrastructure sphere, we are only 9 percent of what China does. Germany on the other extreme has over three million square meters of exhibition space, which considering India’s exhibition industry, is on a different planet altogether!

With longer gestation periods, no Convention Centres make money on the quick run. It is the City Municipal Corporation, to ensure, we create world-class convention facilities. With increased footfalls, increased tax revenues and adding a new employment engine, the city eventually benefits more! The Indian industry, irrespective their sectors, and verticals need quality meeting infrastructure. The current ‘Make in India’ mania is useless if we do not have avenues to display and exhibit to a global audience. Any place, which houses an airport should have a minimum 30,000 square feet of multi-use Convention Centre as part of the City’s infrastructure.

The advent of International Exhibition companies into India has got the industry tremendous respect and enhanced its professionalism. With the marked increase in the number of stakeholders using the exhibition medium, the industry is only poised to grow! As much it will benefit the allied services such as the hospitality, car rental and travel industry, the industry across various sectors are deemed to be the primary beneficiary.

When the global exhibition and trade-show industry is a USD 65 Billion industry with over 31,000 major events taking place and the Indian space is estimated to be worth at Rs. 65,000 Crores with over 700 shows, how can the Indian travel-industry be far behind! The ‘Indian Convention Promotion Bureau’ states ‘Of a total of 8,294 events tracked, India has a market share of 1.1% (Asia & Middle East has 19.5% share) with an estimated size of the MICE industry in India around Rs 4,000 – 5,500 crores. Still a minuscule part of a global market space of over USD 65 Billion!

Even cities like Mumbai and Delhi have no world-class event facilities. Making do with present Event infrastructure and current permissions and license regime required to organize trade-fairs is time-consuming and a sure dampener. The industry should demand a single window agency as procedures are getting more tedious than ever before. Venues should assist in permissions and here the efforts of Chennai Trade Centre are adulatory!

Being part of the Travel Event industry, it is quite mandatory for us to be at various events across the world. The quality of the event infrastructure had always been a point of envy. Most International travel events across the world also enjoy tremendous patronage from the National Tourist Organization and Government bodies, which they see as a booster to their economy and the sure wind beneath their wings!

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CONVENTION BUREAUS

ICPB to boost the Indian MICE market

India is aiming to be the next MICE destination, and ICPB is creating more avenues to fulfill this dream, Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB explains how growth has become a visible feature for all developments in the MICE sector.

How is ICPB facilitating India’s vision of progress?

The vision of ICPB is to make India a professional Convention Destination. We have made a lot of initiative in that direction. Our international roadshow in Europe was a success. About 102 MICE players interacted with our members and got to know about various facilities India has to offer. These interactions are making foreign buyers confident of our professional services.

Will you be adding new conventions in the coming future?

The other initiative ICPB has been working on is towards making India participate in overseas MICE-related tradeshows. Besides regular roadshows, the promotional plan is to participate in more number of MICE-related trade shows also have at least two international trade shows every year. We in ICPB are quite confident because of the overwhelming support from the Ministry of Tourism in recognizing ICPB as a nodal agency for making India a preferred convention destination and achieve the vision we have set for ourselves.

What are ICPB’s promotional plans for 2018?

The growth is visible now as India has improved its ranking from 34 to 25 by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which is a world body for conference and convention professionals.

How is India growing as a MICE destination in comparison to other countries?

India always has an edge over other countries. We do have the infrastructure to cater to a majority of conferences and meetings as 86.5% of the conference all over the world has less than 1000 delegates. We are also looking at an add-on to various segments like beaches, adventure, heritage and culture, wellness programs, and golf.

What are the latest developments at ICPB?

We have been appointed as a Professional Research Agency by the Ministry of Tourism, and ICPB will be working on the size of the convention industry. This will have an economic and social impact, which will help the states plan better to create a better MICE infrastructure and make India a MICE destination.

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