This year, the 13th Asian MICE Forum (AMF) was held in Taichung, the second largest city in Taiwan, from September 11–12. The event took place in the Assembly Hall of the Taichung City Government building. A total of 420 MICE visitors from 23 countries attended the conference.
According to an International Conference Association (ICCA) statistical report, Taiwan held 141 international conferences in 2017. Among them, Taichung's number doubled from 8 exhibitions in 2016 to 16 in 2017, showing that Taichung has the energy to develop into a MICE city. Taichung has a solid industrial base and is a major industrial cluster. With its convenient transportation and well-developed tourism resources, Taichung is regarded as one of the most livable cities in Taiwan. The Shuinan International Convention Exhibition Center, which is currently in the planning stage, will accommodate 5,000 exhibitor booths and conference venues for 10,000 people. Once the facility is completed and fully operational, it will help Taichung become an important central Taiwan MICE city.
The 13th AMF was kicked off by Dr. Johanna Blakley from the University of Southern California in the U.S.A. She pointed out that there is no patent protection in the fashion industry except for trademarks. Although this means that the design of any garment can be easily copied and may be legally sold after attaching a different trademark, this has actually accelerated fashion trend growth. Original creators are forced to continually introduce new ideas due to plagiarism of their work, which endlessly fuels innovative ideas for the fashion industry. For consumers who pursue the latest fashion trends, the charm of the original work makes them willing to pay high prices, enabling brands to grow profitably.
The AMF's Asian Business Events Outlook panel discussion gathered MICE leaders from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and India to provide the latest Asian MICE development trends. Ravinder Sethi, Vice President of the Indian Exhibition Industry Association, mentioned that now is the era of putting the focus on connecting with the future. The marketing model and channel of MICE events have entered a new milestone with the advancement of technology. If combined with technological applications, more customer engagement experiences will result. Janet Tan-Collis, President of the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, stated that countries must pay attention to the training of MICE talent and inject innovative ideas into MICE activities. She echoed the sentiment of Dr. Johanna Blakley's keynote speech that copying does not mean that the industry will fall into decay. On the contrary, copying can stimulate creativity and inspiration, which is what the MICE industry needs.
Anja Stas, Chief Commercial Officer of the FMCCA in Antwerp, Belgium, and winner of the ICCA Best Marketing Award in 2017, came to Taiwan to share the innovative CSR marketing method that brought together exhibitions and wildlife conservation, successfully creating a new MICE version. Gebert Janssen, CEO of The Party & Eventarchitect and recipient of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) Crystal Award for incentive travel marketing, shared how to create unique experiences while keeping costs low and holding incentive tours that both hosts and guests can enjoy.
Taiwan is located in the fastest-growing MICE industry region—the Asia-Pacific. With the international exchange platform that the Asian MICE Forum provides, Taiwan's mission to embrace the world and let the world embrace Taiwan advances further, enabling Taiwan to see future opportunities and better face MICE industry challenges.
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