Asia is increasingly taking the cente rstage of the international MICE industry. The presence of Asia Pacific participants is increasing rapidly in major events industry trade shows. Moreover, industry studies reveal the rapid rise of the Asia Pacific market in hard numbers and figures.
A study by the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs points out that from 2006 to 2010, exhibition space grew by 20% in Asia. Another study finds the growth in numbers of international conventions held in Asia Pacific higher than anywhere else in the world, with a compound annual growth rate standing at 9.4% in the period from 2001 to 2011.
The actual number of conventions held in Asia has also exceeded that of North America, and is expected to overtake Europe, the largest MICE market currently, in the future. An Oxford Economics study named ‘Shaping the Future of Travel‘ further predicts that Asia will drive future growth in the business travel market.
However, despite such demonstrated optimism about the long term prospects of the MICE industry in Asia, event professionals predict that the meetings and events market in Asia-Pacific will undergo consolidation in the near future, with flat or just modest growth expected this year.
The MICE industry in the region is seeing an increasing focus on policy compliance, management of finances and suppliers, as well as greater awareness of security and safety. These trends are driving the consolidation of the industry. An overall more cautious business sentiment in the Asia Pacific region is cited as a cause of this consolidation.
This slower growth may not be a bad thing for the industry, however, but rather a sign of the evolution and maturation of the meetings and events industry in Asia. The consolidation can drive out inefficient companies from the market, improve industry standards, lead to better outcomes and lower prices.
These trends also present new opportunities to the meetings and events industry, particularly to providers of events solutions and technology. The need to improve cost-efficiency and returns to investment means an increasing focus on communications technology and social media.
For example, hybrid event solutions, which combine both face-to-face and virtual meetings, can help companies save meeting costs, alleviating the challenge of restricted travel budgets. Effective use of mobile event apps and social media can also help increase attendee engagement, create greater brand awareness, and maximise audience retention.
In short, the period of consolidation facing the Asia Pacific MICE industry in the short term is not a crisis, but an opportunity for improving and upgrading industry standards, and paving the way forward to long-term prosperity. It is the prime time for event technology and solutions provider to enter the market, where demands are growing and competition is still young.
The MICE Asia Pacific Exhibition 2014, organised by Oliver Kinross, will be co-hosted with EventTech 2014, which will showcase providers of event solutions and technology, creating ample opportunities for event organisers and technology providers to interact and connect. For more information, visit the event website:http://www.miceasiaexhibition.com/ and follow #miceasia @mice_asia_expo .