VOL: 51 MAY - JUNE 2018



A new generation of MICE entrepreneurs is encouraged to prioritise creativity and originality, as the Domestic MICE Department of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) revamps its trade show to engage more local businesses. Thailand’s MICE market was worth over 50 billion baht in 2017, with over 80% of revenue derived from business events in Bangkok. In a bid to decentralise Thailand’s MICE business from Bangkok, the Domestic MICE Department is focusing on supporting trade shows in MICE-ready secondary cities such as Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Khon Kaen and Phuket. The department will also be promoting alternative venues for conferences in Chiang Rai, Rayong, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Krabi, as well as post-event travel to adjacent provinces such as Lampang, Chanthaburi, Nong Kai, Roi Et and Phang-nga.

Two trade shows already enjoying the department’s support are AutoMach in Pattaya and E-SAN Industrial Fair in Khon Kaen. AutoMach is the biggest automation and machine technology trade show at Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH) while E-SAN Industrial Fair is a major machinery trade show organised by The Federation of Thai Industries Khon Kaen Chapter at Khon Kaen International Convention & Exhibition Center (KICE).

Another major initiative is to revamp its Thailand Domestic MICE Mart (TDMM) trade show from a B2B to B2C format. By opening its doors to all, the revamped TDMM hopes to promote MICE not only among potential service providers but the general public as well. The TDMM 2018 will feature a new area–“Thai MICE for Thais”– at Thailand Travel Trade Fairs to be held in Bangkok and Chiang Mai this year.

Moreover, the Domestic MICE Department is planning to collaborate with the Department of Cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and Pid Thong Lang Phra Foundation to develop cooperatives throughout Thailand into learning centres for MICE groups. For the cooperatives, these activities are not only a new income stream but publicity for their capabilities and outputs.

The trend now is for MICE events to showcase originality, creativity, local identity and technology. These requirements are at the core of the Domestic MICE Department’s “Smart MICE” concept, which TCEB hopes to nurture among Thailand’s new generation of MICE entrepreneurs. In this connection, the department will support them to develop creative service packages, such as locally-sourced meals and CRS activities, or design a unique setting at their venues. The department believes creativity will catalyze their business, regardless of size.

TCEB’s Domestic MICE Department is also looking to cooperate with public-sector agencies, business associations and local authorities to create new MICE events and is considering new ways to help local entrepreneurs understand and target MICE customers.

Because MICE customers usually pre-schedule their events, require special arrangements, and are keen to explore unique local experiences, they can make a significant impact on the local economy. Local service providers such as transport companies, hotels, unique venues and attractions, event managers, tour guides, restaurants and caterers, arts and cultural institutions, entertainers and souvenir vendors all have much to gain when a MICE event comes to town.

MICE customers, however, have particular requirements that service providers need to understand. For example, convention customers tend to value content and activities that would enrich their programmes, while industrial groups are more interested in impactful product launches. Financial groups, on the other hand, favour prestige and luxury.

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