Well-connected and packed full of historical sites and Michelin restaurants, Taipei is an up-and-coming destination for events and conferences.
"Taipei’s MICE offerings still have room for expansion," says Philip Huang, executive director of the newly opened Taipei Nankang Exhibition Center Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2), "because other Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore have more [MICE] spaces than we do.”
TaiNEX 2, funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and operated by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, adds a breath of fresh air to the city’s MICE landscape. Designed by gmp Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners, and Taiwan’s JJ Pan and Partners, TaiNEX 2 is bright and airy, with a roof designed to look like ocean waves.
Located opposite TaiNEX 1, the new hall spans 156,700 sqm and can accommodate up to 32,000 people. Aside from an exhibition hall and meeting rooms, TaiNEX 2 also includes a pillarless multi-functional conference hall on the 7th floor and a 6,100 sqm sky garden, both of which are slated to open in November 2019. Since its opening, the hall has already hosted the Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS) and Taipei Cycling Show.
The new exhibition centre is yet another example of Taiwan's dedication to Green MICE. As the first exhibition hall in Taiwan to be certified with a Golden-Level Green Building Label, TaiNEX 2 has no carpeting and is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system.
There are also plentiful recycling facilities, plus event organisers and exhibitors are sent a "green guide" with recommendations of eco-friendly hotels and menus.
The nearest metro stop, MRT Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center station, is only a five-minute walk away, encouraging delegates and visitors to arrive via public transportation instead of private car.
With the opening of the new centre, TaiNEX is also upping its game on the technological front as one of the first MICE venues to install a 5G network in Taipei.
Bigger is better
The opening of TaiNEX 2 brings the total capacity of the Taipei Nankang Exhibition Center up to 5,000 booths—perfect for large exhibitions such as TIMTOS.
“TIMTOS requires a big space, and since TaiNEX 1 and TaiNEX 2 are just opposite of each other, it helps exhibitors save on transportation costs,” noted Huang.
With a total of 38 meetings rooms, the two halls are also ideal for both local and international meetings. And soon, international conferences can be held in the multi-functional conference hall on the seventh floor of TaiNEX 2 when it opens this November.
While Taiwan boasts prestige in three main sectors, ICT, machinery and cycling, Huang agrees that Taipei must look beyond these three industries for the city to expand MICE business.
An up-and-coming trend is live-streaming. One idea is to invite influencers, set them up in a hall, and have fans interact with them either live or online over a 24-hour period. Art might be another possibility. In January, TaiNEX 1 hosted Taipei Dangdai, an art fair featuring 90 galleries from Taiwan and abroad.
It is still too early to tell if TaiNEX 2's opening will usher in a new age for Taipei's MICE industry, but for brands and event organisers seeking a green and flexible space that can accommodate exhibitions, conferences, and meetings under one roof, it is a very attractive option.