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CONVENTIONS

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre launches Exhibition Service Centre portal

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) marked the fourth annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) by launching its new ESC (Exhibition Service Centre) portal. The ESC portal allows event organisers and their exhibitors to easily access and order a variety of add-on services for their events – 24/7.

According to the Centre’s Deputy General Manager, John Burke, “We are delighted to be launching this new service in conjunction with GMID. Event organizers and exhibitors play an important role in driving the global meetings industry that contributes so much both financially and intellectually (via knowledge transfer) to our economies, and as such we are excited to be launching a service which should help make their events more successful and their lives a bit easier.”

He continued, “An exhibitor typically books their attendance and booth needs through their event organizer. This currently involves a lot of paper-based service order forms and manual data entry. The 24/7 ESC portal, now allows exhibitors at the Centre to place their orders and pay online in their own time – at any time – minimizing hassle. It is especially beneficial for international participants as they don’t have to worry about time differences.”

The wide range of services available to order on the ESC portal including audiovisual, food and beverage, as well as IT equipment and services.

Burke added, “Providing exhibitors with the capability to book their additional services directly with the Centre significantly reduces the workload for the event organizer, allowing them to focus on improving the content and participation in their events. This, in turn, benefits the exhibitors. It is about making it easy for our customers.

The portal is fully customizable, allowing the Centre to provide tailormade links and landing pages to suit particular event requirements for each organizer, which will provide easy access and tracking for them and their exhibitors. It will also help streamline the data entry and payment process and avoid confusion by ensuring participants do not accidentally register for additional services at the wrong events.

John concluded, “Initially ESC will be an order portal which at a later stage, we are looking to expand to include a communication and collaboration interface. For example, floorplans, orders, contracts, etc., will all be accessible in one place.”

In addition to the launch of the ESC portal, the Centre marked GMID with a number of other activities, particularly highlighting the contribution of the business events industry to Malaysia via its social media and other communication channels. Since opening in 2005, the Centre has hosted over 15,000 events, which have attracted over 24.5 million participants and generated more than RM8 billion in economic impact for Malaysia, reinforcing the GMID message of the proven value that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions bring to businesses and the economy.

CONVENTIONS

ICCA releases statistics report for 2018

The release of 2018 Country and City Rankings marks yet another successful year for the association meetings market, with the global meetings industry trade association capturing a total of 12,937 rotating association meetings taking place in 2018, at an increase of 379 additional meetings compared to the number recorded at the same time in 2017. The highest annual figure the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has ever recorded in its yearly Statistics, these new rankings signal industry growth is continuing on a strong and robust trajectory.

 

Paris, which previously held the top city spot in 2016, returns in 2018 to claim first place. The U.S.A. continues to top the country rankings.

Association meetings market expansion solidifies

According to ICCA Statistics, between 1963 and 2013, the number of international association meetings doubled every 10 years. Released in October 2018 to coincide with its 55th year anniversary as an association, ICCA’s latest industry report on the 55-year growth of the international association meetings market, “A Modern History of International Association Meetings – Update: 1963-2017”, confirmed that this exponential growth trend has now slowly transcended into a more mature, yet still solid, growth pattern between 2013 and 2017. The 2018 figures seem to confirm this trend.

2018 City rankings: Paris storms ahead in first place

Paris climbs to the top of the city rankings by a number of international association meetings with a landslide margin of 40 meetings above second place holder Vienna. In 2017, Paris and Vienna held joint second place, with 190 meetings each. Last year’s number one Barcelona falls to fourth place, with Madrid entering the top 5 for the first time since 2015 in third place. Among the top 5 cities for another year, Berlin falls to fifth place from fourth in 2017.

Remaining in the top 10 but changing position are London, Prague, Singapore, and Lisbon. London, Singapore, and Prague drop to seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively, and Lisbon climbs three positions to hold the sixth place. Bangkok rises seven places from 17th to 10th, knocking Seoul out of the top 10. Seoul falls to 15th place, surpassed by top 20 risers and joint position holders Amsterdam and Tokyo, which jump from 16th to 13th place and 18th to 13th place respectively. Buenos Aires stays firmly in 11th place and Hong Kong rises to 12th. Dublin drops four places to 18th, and Stockholm holds the 19th place for another year. Montréal, QC, and Rome drop out of the top 20, and newcomers Brussels and Taipei enter in 17th and 20th place.

Table 1: Top 20 city ranking by number of meetings organized in 2018

Rank City # Meetings
1 Paris 212
2 Vienna 172
3 Madrid 165
4 Barcelona 163
5 Berlin 162
6 Lisbon 152
7 London 150
8 Singapore 145
9 Prague 136
10 Bangkok 135
11 Buenos Aires 133
12 Hong Kong 129
13 Amsterdam 123
Tokyo 123
15 Seoul 122
16 Copenhagen 120
17 Brussels 112
18 Dublin 104
19 Stockholm 103
20 Budapest 100
Taipei 100

2018 Country rankings: The U.S. remains unchallenged

In an unsurprising turn of events, the U.S.A. remains in the top country spot, unchallenged for over two decades. Germany remains in second place and 2017’s number three the United Kingdom drops to fifth place, overtaken by Spain, which rises to third. After exiting the top 5 last year, France re-enters in 2018 in fourth place. Italy replaces France in sixth place, and Japan and China-P.R. remain in seventh and eighth place for another year. The Netherlands and Canada swap positions, coming in at ninth and 10th respectively.

Portugal remains in 11th place and the Republic of Korea climbs one position to 12th. Brazil and Poland fall one place to 17th and 19th respectively, and Switzerland drops to 20th place, while Australia and Sweden climb to 13th and 14th. Austria remains in the top 20 but falls four places to 16th. Newcomer Argentina regains its position in the top 20 after falling to 21st place in 2017, knocking Denmark from 20th to 22nd place.

Table 2: Top 20 country rankings by number of meetings organized in 2018

Rank Country # Meetings
1 U.S.A. 947
2 Germany 642
3 Spain 595
4 France 579
5 United Kingdom 574
6 Italy 522
7 Japan 492
8 China-P.R. 449
9 Netherlands 355
10 Canada 315
11 Portugal 306
12 Republic of Korea 273
13 Australia 265
14 Sweden 257
15 Belgium 252
16 Austria 240
17 Brazil 233
18 Argentina 232
19 Poland 211
20 Switzerland 208

The most respected global comparison of destinations’ performance in attracting international meetings, ICCA’s annual country and city rankings are highly anticipated by the meetings industry. However, ICCA continuously seeks to emphasize that this annual report is a snapshot of just one segment of the meetings industry, focused on charting the growth of international association meetings. Only those meetings that meet ICCA’s stringent assessment criteria – rotating between at least three countries, have a proven attendance of at least 50 participants, and are held on a regular basis – are recorded within the global association’s annual statistics.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said, “Although the most comprehensive global benchmark of the international association meetings sector, the ICCA rankings should not be mistaken as providing an overview of the entire meetings industry. We always seek to encourage and advise ICCA members to consult other rankings and collect their own meetings statistics to help them provide a full picture of their performance.”

“We have recorded our largest ever annual snapshot of the immediate past year’s meetings data in 2018. These results closely follow the release of our 55-year history of the international association meetings market in October 2018. ICCA’s latest figures uphold the mature, robust growth pattern we identified in this report and provide more evidence of our firm belief that the association sector continues to be an unrivaled stimulator of global societal development and force for progress across the globe,” said Gopinath.

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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.

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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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