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Business Events Under the Spotlight at ITB Asia

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ITB Asia’s partner travel trade event, Web in Travel, has gathered business event CEOs to analyse the changes and opportunities in the MICE sector in Asia.

The Business Events Forum will take place on the afternoon of 22 October as part of the Web in Travel and ITB Asia travel trade show at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

During the forum, MICE industry CEOs will analyse the importance of developments such as the impact of the financial crisis on meeting budgets, the rise of socially responsible events such as green meetings, new entry level requirements for suppliers, the pros and cons of government responses to the crisis, and how new technology has impacted business events.

These issues will be examined by Elizabeth Rich, CEO of the Business Events Council of Australia, Robin Lokerman, Asia Pacific President of the CEO Institutional Division of MCI, a leading association management and conference organizing company, Sandra Chipchase, CEO of the Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Melissa Ow, who leads the BTMICE division at the Singapore Tourism Board.

Ms Rich, who will moderate the two-hour forum from 3-5pm, said, “This year the business events industry came under fire like never before. Beyond cutbacks in meetings and incentives worldwide, prompted by political, business and social pressures, perceptions of the business events sector have changed. New customer demands and new technology are driving change. New thinking is needed by industry players.”

The two-hour Web in Travel Business Events Forum will offer insights into what has changed, what are the new trends, and how business event companies can increase their share of this still-lucrative segment as the global recession recedes.

The latest survey by UFI, Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, says there are tangible signs of recovery and new optimism in the sector. Replies from respondents showed that new optimism is greatest in Asia Pacific (65%), followed by the Americas (58%), the Middle East / Africa (50%) and Europe (44%).

The Business Events Forum is open to all WIT and ITB Asia delegates. A ticket to WIT this year represents value – in addition to the Business Events Forum, it includes admission to WIT-The Main Event, the Ideas Lab at ITB Asia; ITB Asia itself; and the Asia Connect workshops by HSMAI Asia Pacific.

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