Bulletin: MICE & Asia Pacific
Each week, Weber Shandwick’s APAC Intelligence Bulletin shares the key developments shaping business sectors and markets throughout the Asia Pacific region.
- The return of business travel has significantly reinvigorated many of Asia Pacific’s MICE sectors
- Many major events throughout the region are seeing record numbers after multiple years of virtual attendance and cancellations
- Many markets are keen to take advantage of the sector’s revival and are seeking to attract new business travellers
- As the sector regains momentum, concerns around inclusivity are becoming more prominent
An industry survey has found that 92% of event professionals in Asia are currently planning in-person events. A similar industry survey found that 81% of the region’s professionals believed in-person meetings were essential for business recovery. After years in hibernation, Asia Pacific’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) sector is seeing a return to pre-pandemic levels of engagement.
Beyond virtual reality
Throughout the region, major events are returning to in-person attendance with record numbers. The New Zealand government, for example, has said a recent business event conference held in Christchurch featured a record number of buyers and exhibitors. The South Korea-Japan Business Council recently met in-person in Seoul for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19.
A significant number of Asian markets are hoping to capitalise on the return of the sector. The Philippines’ Department of Tourism has flagged the government’s New Clark City as a key asset for attracting MICE events. Industry bodies in Malaysia and Indonesia recently announced their shared plans for both countries to become essential MICE players in the global business arena.
The hope for many is that MICE-related travel may help invigorate and support other business sectors. The return to in-person events in India has seen domestic airlines receive crucial support from associated business travel. In Australia, renewed interest in in-person events has seen an events management company report its highest monthly revenue numbers in seventeen years.
A different kind of normal
The sector’s revival is also stimulating other forms of growth throughout the region. In Thailand, for example, multiple educational institutions are expanding their MICE-related training offers. A Chinese company has just launched Macau SAR’s first hybrid events venue. The government of Taiwan, meanwhile, has launched a new Re-Fresh Taiwan campaign to internationally promote the country’s MICE capabilities.
A hallmark of the revival has been a greater focus on inclusivity. The government of India is currently rolling out plans to have sign-language translators in all official meetings. In Australia, a state government has announced that all future meetings will be recorded and freely available for public viewing. The APAC office of a global metaverse brand is launching a database of women speakers for marcomms conferences Asia.
This briefing was prepared by Weber Shandwick’s Insight & Intelligence team in Singapore.
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