As part of CEI Asia's annual Readers’ Choice Awards, here we celebrate the best convention and exhibition bureaus across Asia Pacific—as voted by you, our readers.
Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
The business events industry is crucial to Singapore, and 2017 saw the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) showcase and develop several key industries such as urban solutions, applied health sciences, advanced manufacturing, financial services, media and digital content, and travel.
Buyers, clients and industry thought leaders alike flocked to the city-state for ITB Asia’s 10th anniversary, featuring 940 exhibitors. Other high points for 2017 were the Asian Attractions Expo 2017, the 32nd Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress, and the Bentley Systems 2017 Year in Infrastructure Conference.
Notably, Singapore was ranked second amongst 60 key cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index. Andrew Phua, director of exhibitions and conferences at STB weighed in on Singapore’s continued success, “STB has been assisting event professionals, meeting planners and incentive organisers around the world to plan and execute successful events. As a key driver of the business events sector, we work closely with international stakeholders and partners to deliver a memorable Singapore MICE experience.”
Hong Kong Tourism Board/Meetings & Exhibitions Hong Kong (HKTB/MEHK)
HKTB/MEHK has ushered in some major improvements for the city this year. Through the first three quarters of 2017, there has been a 5 per cent growth in overnight MICE arrivals, and a 7.6 per cent year-on-year growth in arrivals from China.
This signals even greater potential for HKTB/MEHK, Kenneth Wong, general manager, MICE and cruise division, HKTB, explains: “Our unique location as the gateway to China is something other cities cannot match, and we see huge potential in our being a super-connector under China’s Belt and Road initiative.”
The medical sector continued to be a key industry in 2017, but music, sports and ICT also played a part. Success stories include the Herbalife North Asia Extravaganza, the 13th World Harp Congress, and the RISE Conference—with the event marking a 45 per cent increase in attendance from 2016.
“The city offers the best in both business and pleasure,” says Wong, “it’s simply a destination that does not settle for less, with a convention bureau that always rolls up its sleeves to offer top-notch consultation and services.”
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)
The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Thailand 24th on its worldwide list of top meeting destinations this year, up from 27th. Bangkok also jumped from 16th to 12th in the city rankings. Reflecting that improvement, TCEB, has headed several major events in 2017.
In November, Bangkok welcomed SIGGRAPH Asia 2017, Asia’s largest conference and exhibition on digital imaging and interactive techniques. The bureau itself organised the Thailand Incentive & Meeting Exchange 2017 (TIME), bringing together delegates under the theme ‘India In-depth’—aiming to tap into the MICE market in India.
On the docket for 2018 is the massive eSports competition, World Cyber Games, to be held at IMPACT in Bangkok in April. Trailblazing in the event tech sphere, TCEB also launched two mobile apps to facilitate business events. This all falls in line with the government’s own ‘Thailand 4.0’ policy, focusing on the development of smart industries, robotics, biotech, wellness services and more.