The MICE sector globally has faced unprecedented challenges over the past two years which has leveraged Taiwan's creativity, resilience and commitment to come back stronger than ever with its vast capabilities, delivery and unique event hosting arguments.
Starting from this year, international exchanges have resumed substantially, and business activities have followed. We are now ushering in a new MICE era. Taiwan's MICE industry, which has never slackened up, has the development of software and hardware, and the technical support of Taiwan's high-tech and digital industries. The MEET TAIWAN Program, lunched by The Bureau of Foreign Trade, officially welcomed all business travellers, strengthening its brand image and raising all the success stories that make this country a unique case in the world. Over these two years, the island nation has kept the lights on by hosting several hybrid MICE events aimed at its business events community, extending the conversation on local sustainability to a global outreach, and building up its MICE offerings and solutions by introducing new convention and exhibition venues.
All this is to transform Taiwan into an industry leader in innovation and post-pandemic experiences, capitalising on the benefits, added value and efficiency of its services and products. Moreover, given Taiwan's reputation as an R&D centre of excellence for the medical, IT and science sectors, it is clear why this destination is a magnet for academics, associations and companies to meet. Those who come to Taiwan can find its opportunities and possibilities.
MEET TAIWAN wishes to awaken all the senses of business travellers in stays that will surprise you on a positive note and complete your business programme with perks only possible here. Open your eyes as you contemplate the splendid orbit of Taiwanese civilization; absorb the enticing natural scents and fragrances that invite outdoor exploration, savour the rich gourmet cuisine that has shaped a collective palate passed down through generations, and listen to the diverse symphony that has echoed its centuries-old history over time.
Taiwan's MICE ecosystem is composed of several layers of services, having the resources and infrastructure to support the holding of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. At the same time, a more secure and risk-proof MICE network is forming with resources including state-of-the-art hardware construction, and scientific and technological contributions such as 5G field, AI translation, high quality MIC practitioners, and tailor-made online platforms. At the beginning of the outbreak, Taiwan quickly showed its digital integration strength by successfully holding large-scale international online conferences and hybrid meetings. It also held 280 online business meetings, serving more than 7,000 domestic and foreign companies during the pandemic. By instance, the telecommunications, optoelectronics, semiconductor and technology-related industries have become internationally competitive in the development of Taiwan's MICE industry in terms of trade shows and exhibitions. Two examples of this are the Taipei International Computer Show (COMPUTEX) and the Taipei International Bicycle Show, both ranked as the world's second largest trade shows in their respective sectors.
The excellent international rankings, outstanding economic and trade performance, the abundance of conventions, the success of various professional clusters in addition to the widely recognised friendly features of the Taiwanese, has shown everyone that the country remains a safe destination. Taiwan's most valuable asset remains its people which makes it a land of profound possibilities. This shows that the country continues to attract talent with academic expertise, respond to market changes, and ensure the safety of all visitors.
They welcome you with open arms!
As the world gradually evolves, Taiwan is not only opening its arms but also its mind, embracing the emerging global trends in the MICE industry at a crucial time. Among them, Taiwan's greatest openness lies in its commitment to sustainable operations and its acceptance of diverse cultures with respect for equality. With such a broad mindset, Taiwan will provide a unique experience to all those who wish to organise or participate in MICE events.
To join the Zero Net Emissions and Green MICE efforts, the Bureau of Foreign Trade in Taiwan established the "Taiwan MICE Sustainability White Paper 2022" which is followed global sustainability trends by offering comprehensive roadmaps in promoting Green MICE – this white paper is the first and most comprehensive MICE Sustainability document in Asia, and it put forward a concept “SIRCO”. “SIRCO” combines five factors: sustainability, impact, resilience, collaboration and ownership. These benchmarks comprehensively consider the sustainable life cycle of the event industry as a standard not only for carbon emission reduction and governance practices, but also as an inspiration and positive impact for the development of other industries. This year, the Sustainable MICE project, “Taking Strides Towards Net Zero”, under the MEET TAIWAN programme was launched to promote policies and methods for sustainable MICE, encourage MICE enterprises to enhance their competitiveness in business sustainability, to jointly enter a new era of net zero emissions. This sustainable MICE project aims to meet the SDGs as well as to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and is divided into three segments: evaluation and guidance; speaking out and taking action; and encouragement and honour.
Furthermore, the increase in the immigrant population and the growing melting pot has resulted in the coexistence of diverse cultures where gender equality and human rights are promoted, contributing to a fair and equitable social environment. The Taiwanese Government ensures gender equality through legislation. In addition, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019. There are also several associations that are quite active in advocating for women, children and minorities taking a serious lead on gender equality and human rights issues in Taiwan. For example, the Taiwan Medical Women's Association organised the 32nd MWIA International Congress in 2022.
They welcome you with open minds!
Taiwan has continuously invested in the development and improvement of MICE services and professional capabilities, and the excellent economic and trade performance has prompted an increase in foreign investment. In this regard, Taiwan was ranked as the fourth best investment destination in the first Business Environment Risk Intelligence Report 2021, and according to International Monetary Fund forecasts, Taiwan's economic growth in 2023 is expected to be 2.84%, above world economic growth. These good results are accompanied by several other benchmarks such as health, lifestyle, talent and, of course, MICE. Likewise, Taiwan plays a crucial role in global supply chains through several key industries such as semiconductors (where it leads world production) and other essential components for precision machinery - 9 of the top 10 export products in 2020 were essential electronic parts and components and ICT products. Taiwan tops several subdomains of the industrial machinery industry, being the world's second largest exporting country in bicycles and components, and fourth in woodworking machinery… but it goes go far beyond electronics. Several companies were called upon during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to produce related consumer goods – some national team jerseys, the shoes and the football itself were all manufactured in Taiwan.
Conversely, the sprint for business recovery came to fruition as event attendance is surging this year. The Taipei International Book Exhibition in February - 2023's first large-scale MICE event in Taiwan - saw more than 500,000 attendees, with about 500 publishing companies from 33 countries participating. Another event, the 32nd Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver, attracted 1,500 experts from more than 40 countries to Taiwan. In March, booth demand for the globally recognised TIMTOS exhibition exceeded supply, while attracting buyers from more than 100 countries. Some exhibitors said that the business opportunities were even more prosperous than that in pre-COVID-19 times. Indeed, Taiwan's MICE events are happening one after another. Major business events taking place in the coming months include the 2023 World News Media Congress in Taipei and the 2023 IWA-ASPIRE Conference and Exhibition in Kaohsiung. In May, COMPUTEX will gather thousands of domestic and foreign manufacturers and use more than 3,000 booths. In order to facilitate the hosting of conferences and exhibitions, the MEET TAIWAN programme has been providing comprehensive consultancy services and subsidy measures, with hosting grants amounting to around NT$130,000.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.