Karen Yue, Melbourne, reporting live from AIME 2011, February 16, 2011
ASIAN MICE players are calling for increased cooperation between regional competitors and convention and visitor bureaus (CVB) to win and keep international events within Asia.
Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) director of marketing and events management Roberto Garcia said: “There has to be a concerted effort to promote Asia as a single destination. Destinations should work together to keep events here, instead of losing them to the US or Europe.”
“For instance, the PICC could easily refer event organisers to another Asian city,” Garcia added, pointing out that such efforts should stem from the Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, which according to him had so far been “just a name and (offered) no action”.
Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau CEO, Zulkefli Sharif, said while it was unlikely that organisers would choose a destination based on recommendations from previous hosts due to stringent bidding processes, “it may be possible for Asian MICE bureaus to refrain from bidding for an international event to give a certain Asian destination a higher chance of winning”.
Meanwhile, Thailand's Asia World MICE director, Max Jantasuwan, told TTG Asia e-Daily he was disappointed that destination management companies (DMC) were not cooperating enough to sell Thailand. “If DMCs work together to submit an event bid, it will benefit Thailand as a whole.”
Asking fellow Asian countries to refrain from bidding for MICE events is a joke. I have participated in many country bids over the last 10 years and every country will try anything to win a bid. There are even competing bids from different cities within the same country.
In some bids, I have noted that the cost of putting up the winning bid outweighs the returns that the country can get from hosting the event. That shows how desperate some countries are in their bids for MICE events.