Taiwan: A Force to Be Reckoned With

24th Sep, 2021

Taiwan is one of the few places in the world where people continue to work and attend school normally, and which now seeks a balance between pandemic control and economic recovery.

Taiwan has been fighting COVID-19 and facing the global challenges that stem from it. One of the reasons why the island nation remained stable during the pandemic was the strict follow-up of prevention measures by its population. “The pandemic response has been outstanding due to our excellent resilience and timely policies, which have relied on the concerted teamwork of the government, enterprises and public,” says Cynthia Kiang who currently serves as Director-General of Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs. COVID-19 has postponed many international MICE events in the country, and, for this reason, Taiwan's government consistently helped MICE companies to maintain their normal operations, while ensuring that professionals remain in the sector. As Kiang tells us, “fortunately, our MICE activities resumed in June 2020, and many international MICE events have since taken place in hybrid formats, such as Bio-Asia, SEMICON TAIWAN 2020, the International Nursing Conference and IEEE Global Communications Conference.”

Last year, MEET TAIWAN focused on helping the MICE industry address these challenges, making health and safety imperative for all event participants. “Our agency has been working jointly with MICE professionals and venues to implement relevant policies and guidelines to enhance safety and get approval from Taiwan Centres for Disease Control.” Meanwhile, MICE activities have been conducted primarily with a combination of hybrid formats to bridge gaps due to pandemic restrictions. “We have also set up an online exhibition platform for domestic MICE organisers, providing online product display and meeting services to communicate and vie for foreign buyers,” says Kiang. Moreover, the country has upgraded MICE facilities and venues with smart technology and big data, such as the Taipei International Convention Centre which has established a new studio to attract meeting planners or the Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre, both serving as 5G demonstration fields, with AR and VR technologies. A research project on digital exhibition is also being planned, integrating virtual and physical exhibitions with digital technology. “In my opinion, this is definitely an opportunity to leverage new business. One goal is to make hybrid events more commercially viable,” adds Kiang.

“We tried to upheld Taiwan as the best MICE destination by integrating diversified marketing techniques and assisting event professionals and local NGOs in their bids.” Although the pandemic has disrupted the global industry, many international conferences have still been seized in Taiwan, such as the hybrid 2020 ICCA Congress that reached a record attendance. “We will continue to provide local support for association meetings, such as the World News Media Congress & World Editors Forum, which is scheduled to be hosted physically in September.” Following in the footsteps of this development, Taiwan is increasing its focus on hybrid meetings and Online-Merge-Offline exhibitions to incorporate advanced technologies. Based on the demands of the domestic industry, several courses related to online conferences, technology and digital marketing are also being formulated.

Taiwan’s MICE industry is also moving forward over time. “We’ve issued the Green MICE Guideline to encourage organisers to implement green practices in reducing, recycling and reusing waste during MICE activities.” A testament to this was the Kaohsiung International Travel Fair 2019 which went fully paperless, donating also used materials in a regenerative approach. “We are really looking forward to Green MICE becoming a more significant aspect of this sustainable Taiwan,” ends Kiang.

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