Leaders of the MICE industry in Asia have agreed on five key areas of collaboration. This is the key result of the Joint Leadership Summit (JLS) that brought together Asian government representatives and global business events industry leaders in Singapore on October 5, 2022.
Five areas to activate the potential of business events and to boost the growth of the industry through international and regional collaboration were developed:
- Define business events as "controlled gatherings": Business events are not public gatherings, but highly controlled assemblies. They need to be classified as distinct from generic mass gatherings. The summit participants are confident that this will ensure that, in future situations, the sector can continue to operate and fulfil its strategic role for governments.
- Establish business events as both an economic and tourism tool: Business events are economic, scientific, and professional in nature. Beyond serving as a key pillar of the tourism and hospitality sector, they also provide industry platforms to discuss and achieve strategic priorities. Therefore, business events should be recognised as tools and platforms that can be leveraged for trade, economic development, and social and investment, and policies should be mirrored as such, the agreement states.
- Accessibility: The success of Business Events that gathers international delegates relies on accessibility of respective markets. Accessibility is driven by cross-regional alignments on issues related to travel, immigration, and health and safety protocols. Cross-regional collaboration is needed to reduce accessibility hurdles to empower business events to deliver their benefits, the JLS agrees.
- Talent and capability development: The pandemic has caused a massive talent loss to the industry and attracting new and existing talent back will be among the key challenges to ensure the increasing demand of physical business events is met as the region continues to reopen. The leaders state that the region needs to come together to address and reduce the talent gap through talent sharing and collaboration on capability development initiatives.
- Sustainability: While reviving the region's business events industry remains the key focus, there is an understanding that sustainability plays a key role in the growth and revival of the industry. More than ever, delegates and attendees are demanding greener events. "Therefore, we need to seize opportunities to collaborate internationally, regionally and locally between stakeholders (countries/cities, venues, organisers and suppliers) to step up our efforts to ensure that we not only deliver on our customers' needs but create a more sustainable future for the industry together", the statement proposes.
„All of us are united in rebuilding Asia's MICE industry together.“
The parties have planned to reconvene in October 2023 to review the progress and discuss additional measures to drive the next stage of growth for the region's business events industry. Dato' Vincent Lim, president, Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA), said: "All of us are united in rebuilding and reviving Asia's business events and MICE industry together."https://saceos.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/MEDIA-RELEASE-Joint-Leadership-Summit.pdf