Blogger: Mrs. Jaruwan Suwannasat
Exhibitions & Events Director, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau.
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has renewed its longstanding and successful partnership with UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, by continuing as UFI Diamond Sponsor until 2018.
However, financial support for UFI is just one of the ways in which TCEB is supporting the global industry as the 2015 event calendar gets underway. Exhibitions are an enormously important part of the MICE industry, and one that adds significant value to Thailand’s national economy and the development of its industries.
Thailand hosts the 11th UFI Asia Open Seminar in February, gathering exhibition partners from around the world in the lush green northern city of Chiang Mai. And fittingly for such a location, the 2016 UFI Focus Meeting on Sustainable Development, one of the exhibition industry’s foremost forums for green initiatives and topics relating to corporate social responsibility is co-located alongside the Open Seminar in Asia.
This year the Focus Meeting will be opened by Dianne Young, CEO of Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre and Chair of the UFI Sustainable Development Committee.
The emergence last year of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) brings with it great business opportunity for global industry – opportunity reflected in Thailand’s accelerating GDP growth – and TCEB is committed to ensuring this growth takes place within a framework of sustainable development.
While the AEC is one of the world’s largest economies; a single market for goods, services, capital and labour, Thailand as one of its leading players will do its part to ensure standards, best practice, benchmarking and local support initiatives are undertaken harmoniously.
The Open Seminar this year focuses on the core topic of Digital Disruption. While Asia weathered the global financial crisis better than most, the exhibition industry there and elsewhere around the world faced numerous challenges from online technology and networks. This is set to change more in the next decade than it has in the previous 100 years, largely due to the impact of digital tools and platforms, and debating the impact of technology on face-to-face events forms the backbone of this year’s event in Chiang Mai.
During the event, Dr Gerd Weber, Senior Expert at German consultancy JWC will discuss the establishment of the AEC, the continuing investment in the region’s infrastructure and the increasingly strong trade links between China and the ASEAN markets, which are driving economic growth and the expansion of the region’s exhibition industry.
Other speakers include Daben Mao, Executive President of Sungoal Exhibition & Convention and China Xuebin Gu, Managing Director of Info Salons China discussing Innovation at Exhibitions in China.
The Open Seminar will be immediately followed by the second edition of the UFI Asian CEO Friendship Cup, an outstanding opportunity to take the networking out of the plenary hall and onto the fairway. And what more enjoyable way to do business.