ICPB’s CIC conclave: ‘A conference on conference’

Enabling a platform to expand boundaries for the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry was the eye opening conclave of ICPB’s 10th Convention India Conclave 2017, held in HICC, Hyderabad, from August 29-31, 2017. The conference saw a conglomeration of 350 prominent MICE industry leaders, PCO’s, Suppliers, Conference Planners, Buyers and Government officials from the Ministry to discuss the potential of MICE industry in India and way forward.

The theme of the conclave was “Expanding The Boundaries – Mission Possible” with a focus on all segments of MICE Industry – incentive, exhibition and corporate meetings, creating an opportunity for the members to look for new avenues of business development.

The inaugural session saw the esteemed presence of dignitaries including Chief Guest, Madhusudana Achary – Speaker, Telangana Legislative Assembly; Guest of Honour, B Venkateshan – Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Telangana; Christina Z. Chongthu – Managing Director, Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation; Suman Billa – Chairman ICPB & Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Chander Mansharamani – Vice Chairman, ICPB; and Amresh Tiwari – Honorary Secretary, ICPB.

During the inaugural address, Billa revealed how 52 per cent of travel revolves around MICE and the need to leverage this market and tap its potential internationally as well. He also mentioned about the implementation of a corpus fund, created half by the government and the remaining half by ICPB, to help open the Indian conference market to the world.

The conclave showcased an expo for more than 200 registered buyers and sellers to interact and exchange business. B2B meetings and sessions on topics of sustainability and associations to help member engagements were also held.

During the press conference, Billa talked about setting up an agency to procure relevant information for the destinations globally. They shall get a world-class consultant to help the government prioritise destinations and put a roadmap in place to help know the different nuances of different industries so as to structure and organise the meetings and conferences industry. On the follow-up of the announcement of e tourist visa and group visa for MICE, he said that the ministry has been doing well and they have also brought the medical visa under electronic framework. The ministry is in talks with Niti Ayog to implement conference visa so as to support sensitivities for global destinations coming here. On GST for MICE, he said that the regime has not hampered the MICE industry, in fact, it has been marginally an advantage. He feels when the revenue of the country kicks in, the tax rate will get moderated in line of competing destinations; also, with VAT, refund taxes can be eased out.

The two-day event saw fruitful sessions, one on member engagement for associations, another on how to leverage solutions and understand the segment to benefit the association segment and on role of PCOs, while a webinar on enabling sustainability in events industry, among many more interactions and knowledge sharing.