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Macau Seminar in March to Draw Global MICE Leaders

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The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) is hosting a four-day IAPCO & Macau Regional Seminar on organizing congresses. The seminar is geared toward professional congress organizers (PCOs), events management companies and other meetings industry based businesses in Macau and the Pearl River Delta. The event is being organized by the Macau Business Tourism Centre.

IAPCO, which stands for "The International Association of Professional Congress Organizers", is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 that represents professional organizers and managers of international congresses, conventions and special events. IAPCO is committed in raising the standards of service amongst its members and other sectors of the meetings industry by means of continuous education and interaction with other professionals.

This regional seminar will take place from 16 - 19 March at the Four Seasons Hotel, Macau. The objective is to provide an educational opportunity for people in the business tourism industry to further develop their customer service and event planning skills and features internationally renowned guest speakers who are experts in the congress industry. This will be IAPCO's only seminar specifically on professional conference organizing occurring in Asia in 2009.

The Director of MGTO, Engineer Mr. Joo Manuel Costa Antunes, said that the seminar offers an opportunity to industry professions from throughout the PRD and China.

"MGTO is seeking to nurture the MICE industry of Macau and we are eager to organize more professional training," he said. "With this seminar we are able to spread the benefits even broader and provide businesses with training that can help them being more successful in the meetings industry."

The seminar aims to help attendees learn how to approach customers and once they get business, how to provide them with better service in organizing their meetings. Mr. Antunes said that the seminar should also help Macau secure more business events due to the networking opportunity that it presents. The speakers themselves are very influential in the global meetings market and Macau industry leaders will have an opportunity to share information with a wide spectrum of professionals from other parts of Asia who will also be in attendance.

The significance of hosting this regional seminar in Macau is not just an opportunity to work closer with IAPCO, but also for MGTO to capitalize on the relationships being established in the long run, which will themselves become a very powerful and effective promotional tool. The theory is that the more industry professionals come to experience what Macau has to offer, the more Macau can promote itself as an appealing and competitive MICE destination.

"The IAPCO seminar is giving us a good opportunity to showcase the 'New Macau' to a number of very influential people," Mr. Antunes added.

Mr. Antunes said that the timing of the seminar could not be better.

"The MICE industry around the world is facing some challenging times. It is important for everyone to work even harder to bring business to Macau - no one can afford to simply sit and wait for business to land at the doorstep. Incentive groups tend to book 1-2 years in advance while Convention 3-4 years out. This means there are still lots of business decisions being made right now. We are trying to make sure local businesses have the training they need to approach and service the market even more successfully."

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