Category Archives: Exhibitions

36th ATF begins in Singapore from Jan 16-20


The 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) has commenced in Singapore from January 16-20, 2017. Themed “Shaping Our Tourism Journey Together,” ATF 2017 will support the continuous, collective efforts by ASEAN members to address challenges and opportunities as ASEAN jointly develops and grows the tourism industry in the region. The highlights of the event include official launch of VisitASEAN@50 Campaign at the Opening Gala on January 18. It will also impart information on Singapore’s new marketing strategy; Visit Laos Year 2018; Vietnam’s new visa policies, including the visa exemption policy for European tourists; Myanmar’s update on tourism performance, skills development initiatives, and its new destination marketing promotions for 2017.

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Saudi’s MICE surges by 12 per cent in 2016


According to the Saudi Exhibition and Conventions Bureau (SECB), affiliated to Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH), the number of MICE visitors have exceeded 4.4 million in 2016. The SECB have also adopted Trade Fairs Plan for 2017 that aims to reach a total of 86 trade exhibitions. Tariq Al-Essa, Executive Manager of SECB, said “The number of licensed activities, including exhibitions, forums, conferences, workshops and meetings held in 2016 in the kingdom, reached 8,758 — this represents a growth of 12 per cent compared to 2015. Riyadh, Mecca, and Eastern Province hosted 48 per cent, 31 per cent and 18 per cent of these activities, respectively.” The meeting and conference industry is expected to grow up to 20 per cent in 2017.

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Dubai Business Events wins record bids for 2016


Dubai Business Events (DBE) has recorded its most successful year to date, winning 129 bids and proposals for upcoming conferences, meetings and incentive trips in partnership with local stakeholders such as Dubai World Trade Centre, Emirates Airline, hotels as well as Destination Management Companies and Professional Congress Organisers. The number of future business events secured by Dubai Business Events increased by 79 per cent in 2016, compared to 2015, consolidating Dubai’s position as a leading destination for business events. The economic impact of these events is estimated at close to AED400 million and is expected to bring in 75,000 additional visitors to Dubai over the course of the next six years. Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “It provides the city with a unique opportunity to showcase the scale of our ambition in finding solutions to worldwide challenges, the diversity of our economy, and our keenness to collaborate as we build a stronger knowledge economy.” Throughout 2016, Dubai Business Events hosted 12 international study-missions, bringing more than 300 hosted buyers and over 40 international trade media from the business events industry to Dubai. The tailored itineraries showcased the variety of hotels and event venues, visits to new attractions such as Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Parks and Resorts and Burj Khalifa.

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CEFCO 2017 from January 12-14 in Macao


The 13th China Expo Forum for International Cooperation (CEFCO 2017) will be held between January 12-14, 2017 in Macao, China. CEFCO is co-organised by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), and Society of Independent Show Organisers (SISO), and held by the China Chamber of International Commerce and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute. To be held in the Venetian Macau, the expo will have well-known Chinese and foreign exhibition companies, industry organisations, professional media, research institutions and domestic representatives of the exhibition industry sector representatives participate for a dialogue, which will focus mainly on “the exhibition industry to help the global economic recovery,” “the role conversion of governments in promoting the development of the exhibition industry”, “the international approach of exhibition companies” and “innovative cooperation between exhibition industry and the internet platform”.

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Seoul MICE Alliance boosts city’s business events competitiveness


Seoul’s public and private sectors have strengthened ties over the past month through a series of initiatives designed to make the city more accessible to international business events hosted in the city and their participants. This includes a dramatic boost in membership in October for the Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) ahead of the SMA Annual Meeting set to review local industry progress, along with joint activities by SMA members aimed at boosting Seoul’s global convention profile. Formed in 2011 and operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization (STO), the SMA is a public-private partnership of government agencies and business events service providers including meeting venues, accommodation, DMCs, and others. Meeting planners who use SMA member organizations for their business events are eligible for various benefits, such as reduced rates, complimentary use of event spaces and transportation to and from venues, free promotional space, discounts on event registration, and support for site inspections. (Learn more at In October 2016, the SMA gained 36 members, bringing the total to 230. Described by an STO official as “a driving force behind the growth of Seoul’s MICE industry”, the alliance strives to build strong cooperation between government and private enterprise so as to boost Seoul’s MICE competitiveness. Major upcoming events in 2016 held at SMA venues include World Engineering Education Forum 2016 (Coex, 2000 participants), Meeting of the Internet Engineering Taskforce (Conrad Seoul, 1,200 participants), and e 5thBiennial Scientific Meeting Asia Cornea Society (Grand Hilton Seoul, 700 participants). In addition to offering competitive rates and services to event planners, SMA members also regularly work with Seoul City to promote the capital’s meetings offerings. Joint activities include attendance at international trade …

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Poland to host 3rd International Congress on Ethics and Tourism: UNWTO


The third International Congress on Ethics and Tourism will be held in Poland, on April 27-28 2017. Organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the European Commission (EC) and the Government of Poland, the event will highlight the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in promoting a more sustainable tourism sector. The Congress will discuss the global sustainability agenda, particularly issues of governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR), responsible consumption patterns, universal accessibility as well as effective management models for natural and cultural resources.

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Melbourne Convention Bureau launches new AIME


Melbourne Convention Bureau has raised the bar for the 25th anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME), launching a new pre-trade show program called ‘Uncover Melbourne’. Designed to showcase Melbourne’s world-class business events capability, Uncover Melbourne will offer international and local hosted buyers two days of immersive experiences that capture the unique pulse of the city.Taking place on 19-20 February 2017, Uncover Melbourne will showcase Melbourne’s competitive strengths as an innovative knowledge city and its collaborative ‘Team Melbourne’ approach to hosting and delivering highly successful and memorable events. Uncover Melbourne incorporates five distinct experiences, each telling its own unique story about the city’s special qualities and capability as a business events destination. Day one of Uncover Melbourne includes new city touring experiences located within the CBD, each one jam packed with activities that will inspire new ideas for incentive or conference travel. The city touring experiences summarise the key attributes of Melbourne as destination for conducting business blended with pleasure. The day concludes with Uncover Melbourne: The Magic of Flemington, a welcome function for hosted buyers presented in partnership with Business Events Australia. Uncover Melbourne: The Magic of Flemington brings one of Australia’s most iconic destinations to life, in one of Melbourne’s most picturesque settings. The Magic of Flemington is the first opportunity for hosted buyers to catch up with old friends, make new business acquaintances and experience an Australian tradition. The second day of Uncover Melbourne includes two new experiences.

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Sharjah to add new 4m sqft. exhibition centre


Sharjah is building a new 4 million square foot (370,000 sqm.) exhibition and conference centre in Al Tai district, near the intersection of Emirates Road and Mleiha Road. Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) revealed recently that next year’s Sharjah International Book Fair will move to the new venue in order to expand its area from 25,000 square metres (269,098 sq. ft.) to 60,000 square metres (645,835 sq. ft.). With the opening of Expo Centre Sharjah in 1977, Sharjah established the very first fairs and exhibitions centre in the United Arab Emirates. The expo centre moved to its new location on Al Taawun Street in the centre of Sharjah city in 2002. The centre now has six exhibition halls surrounding a central boulevard, with a combined gross exhibition area of 26,000 square metres (279,862 sq. ft.) indoors, plus a further 6,000 square metres (64,583 sq. ft.) of outdoor space. Al Tai district is currently in redevelopment, with Sharjah Islamic Bank’s real estate arm, Asas Real Estate, developing some 14 million square feet of residential plots in the Al Tai Residential Neighborhood owned by United Investment. The area will also have one of the largest mosques in Sharjah, currently being built in an Ottoman-inspired architectural style. The new Al Tai exhibiton centre’s strategic location is about 30-40 minutes’ from Sharjah’s city centre, 25-30 minutes’ drive from Sharjah International Airport and about 35-40 minutes’ drive from Dubai International Airport.Meanwhile, Basma Group Sharjah is building a new 200 room 4-star hotel, Novotel Sharjah Expo, adjacent to Expo Centre Sharjah. The new Novotel will have a business centre and two meeting halls including a large meeting-cum-function hall of approximately 200 square metres. The Gulf region’s meetings, …

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Maiden edition of Travel Business Show inaugurated


India’s first Travel Business Show was held on Dec 17, 2016 in Le Meridien Gurgaon, Delhi. The exclusive closed-door event aims to bring together selective exhibitors and buyers under one roof. Speaking at the inaugural edition, Priti Khanna, Chairperson, MCI Management India says, “The top six trends for MICE firstly include talent issues. For this industry more skills are required. In fact more soft skills than hard skills are required. Companies need to have a robust training and development programme in place. Secondly economic uncertainty is staring at us in the face; crime, war, government policies. It is leading to shorter lead times and shorter term budget decisions, people are holding on to the very end. The role of procurement is becoming very important. It’s important to measure and determine the value of our meetings” Digitisation remains another important trend for events. It also means we have a very long event life. Sustainability remains the fourth trend; we have to make sure that none of the three P’s of sustainability, People Planet and Profit are compromised. The next is event design, we need to rethink, the way we do our programme and layout structure. We need some new, out of the box thinking, change the seating; engage the people through their own Smartphone’s. Lastly content remains the king. One needs to maximise event content and ROI.” Guldeep Singh Sahni, President, OTOAI says, “MICE is not an expenditure, it’s an investment by companies. The trend that I see is that MICE is going to increase further. In MICE also the experience is very important. Luxury is also being redefined with experiences. Tour operators are very important for these events and they …

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650 meetings at first Travel Business Show


India’s first Travel Business Show was held on Dec 17, 2016 in Le Meridien Gurgaon, Delhi. Punam Singh, Associate, Pacific Leisure Group, says, “This is the first edition of the Travel Business Show, which goes beyond MICE. It’s meant for the exhibitors to connect with the corporate buyers. We have had an absolutely fantastic response from the corporate buyers. We have concluded at the end of today almost 650 meetings. There are a slew of comments and from the corporate buyers, which we will be sharing with the tourism boards and the airlines, as to how they can maximise their presence at the next edition of the show. The next travel business will take place in December, 2017. Sarika Bhambani Rawal, General Manager, Travel Business Show says. “The show is a diverse forum featuring the best of MICE brands. Successful meetings took place between selected exhibitors, and top-level buyers. Meeting top-level decision-makers along with elite meeting planners as buyers from meetings and events industry was an added advantage. At Travel Business Show, networking and building relationships enhances future dealings. It is an excellent platform for companies which are looking to gain a slice of demand or are looking to grow their existing shares.”

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