The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB is encouraging Thai MICE entrepreneurs to make changes to their businesses to prepare for the challenges ahead. With governments worldwide placing increasing importance on the MICE industry as an economic driver, competition in the global market is ramping up. The bureau has thus adopted MICE Intelligence combined with Data Analytics to respond to the changing behaviors of the MICE community with a strategy driven by MICE Intelligence and Innovation that encompasses 16 highlighted projects based on the 3-year MICE business development plan (2019-2021). In addition, the bureau has launched a MICE Intelligence & Resource Center on its website, allowing all target groups – entrepreneurs, businessmen, students and the public – to jointly foster MICE business through the power of data and create sustainable economic growth.
Mrs. Supawan Teerarat, Senior Vice President for TCEB’s Strategic Business Development & Innovation, says that taking account of the visions of the 20-year national strategy on security, prosperity and sustainability, a coherent digital strategy will be a crucial mechanism for growth. In line with the government’s policy, TCEB is placing emphasis on 3 key goals, namely revenue generation, innovation-driven development, and equitable distribution of income and prosperity.
In terms of the MICE strategy for this year, TCEB is aiming to boost the quality MICE market and distribute income to the cities. To accomplish this, the bureau is reorganizing its operating structure and has created a new MICE Intelligence & Innovation department. In addition, TCEB has unveiled the 3-year MICE Intelligence & Innovation Strategic Plan (2019-2021), which is based on a study of the behaviors of MICE travelers and private operators. These operational guidelines have spawned 16 highlighted projects, which will be implemented over the next three years. Through the new department, TCEB will work closely with operators to substantially boost the MICE sector in creating revenue and knowledge.
TCEB has studied the major trends in global MICE business development including the changing behavior of business travelers. The study indicates that business travelers require events offering a full range of services. An optimum outcome will be expected even though they will have little time to engage in the event.
As MICE travelers are important to economic growth, governments around the world are trying to catalyze the MICE industry and boost the number of MICE travelers. In the past, governments mainly supported budgets to develop personnel, venues and win more MICE events. However, financial support on its own cannot meet customer needs and ensure sustainable growth of the MICE business. In addition to financing, many countries are designing strategies to support the industry through other means. Several countries including Thailand are moving from the role of general information provider to offering more insightful information, allowing the operators to come up with concrete business plans through Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence.
For this reason, the TCEB has initiated the MICE Intelligence & Innovation Department to promote the adoption of innovations and data for MICE development with particular emphasis on creating innovations based on the real demands of entrepreneurs. The bureau conducted a survey of the expectations of those involved in the MICE business need to deploy innovations and data. It then designed and developed 16 key MICE intelligence and innovation projects that meet the needs of target groups.
The roadmap of the MICE business development driven by MICE Intelligence & Innovation (2019-2021) consists of 6 strategies and 16 key projects:
Strategy 1 is Support and Sponsorship provided for event organizing and suppliers. It features 4 projects: (1) Paperless MICE Lane Request as a fast track to welcome VIPs at the airports; (2) TCEB Online Financial Support Request; (3) TCEB Help Desk Chatbot; and (4) MICE Permit Advisor, which is an advisory service on importing goods for the exhibitions and applying for visas.
Strategy 2 is Developing MICE Supply and encompasses 3 projects: (1) MICE Online Standard Assessment allowing entrepreneurs to apply for MICE standard certificates; (2) MICE Career Portal for job search and guidance; and (3) MICE Digital Learning Platform allowing suppliers to enhance their capacities.
Strategy 3 is Enhancing Attendee Experience through an event application for attendee project to accommodate integrated services for event participants.
Strategy 4 is Organizing Event with Efficiency. This features two projects: (1) A Mobile Application to accommodate the organizers; and (2) Event Traffic Analytics to assess visitors via video.
Strategy 5 is Connecting MICE Supply & Demand and encompasses 5 projects: (1) Event Opportunities Portal which compiles the names and information about events for bidding; (2) MICE Crowd Funding Platform, a fund-raising center to support the organization of the event; (3) MICE Supply Marketplace for visitors’ registration or exhibitors’ bookings; (4) Event Discovery Platform; and (5) e-Commerce Platform, a marketplace for MICE products and services to create business opportunities pre and post events.
Strategy 6 is MICE Intelligence & Resource Center and features the MICE Intelligence & Resource Center project, a comprehensive MICE database available via the website for assistance in creating innovations.
TCEB hosted the MICE Intelligence & Innovation Conference 2019 on 22 February 2019 in Bangkok on the concept “Break through the Hype – Uncover the Reality of Customer Insights”. This platform, which has been created by TCEB’s MICE Intelligence & Innovation Department, introduced the strategies and 16 highlighted projects under the 3-year MICE Intelligence & Innovation Strategic Plan (2019-2021). Moreover, the bureau encourages suppliers and individuals to raise awareness on harnessing innovations and Big Data to set a plan and strategies for the future MICE development.
The first project launched by TCEB, the MICE Intelligence & Resource Center, will dramatically shape MICE innovations and data and is aimed at suppliers as well as the business, educational and public sectors. All will have access to the center, leading to an exchange of knowledge among people in the industry. The TCEB has collaborated with the global leading partners including World Bank, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Frost & Sullivan, business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis, and media intelligence firm, Meltwater Singapore.
Local and international speakers were on hand to share knowledge during the event. They include Mr. Gordon Alexander Candelin – Design Director, McKinsey & Company and Mr. Khanet Kijsaereborerug – Business Connect Commercial Consultant, LINE Thailand etc.
The conference was divided into 3 parts. During the first part, each speaker was allocated a 20-minute slot to address his topic. The second part has two breakout sessions enabling participants to ask for insights, while the final part was a panel discussion with an open Q&A session. The conference has been designed in such a way as to allow participants to truly focus on the contents.
“Previously, Thailand’s MICE industry grew by an average of 5-10% annually. The adoption of innovation and technology as enablers will potentially drive the industry to grow by 20% a year. Meanwhile, technology will also reduce inequality, allowing all parties to access information equally. The technology will also create empowering partnerships allowing individuals the opportunities to create startups or businesses through a MICE platform. Finally, the innovation and technology will create countless business opportunities, exchanges of knowledge and extend the industry, leading to the sustainable strengthening of MICE competitiveness.” Mrs. Supawan concludes.