Buyers want to learn, and they aren’t getting the training they need. That’s the impression I got when I was in Sydney last December for Dreamtime (Read our Dreamtime cover story on Page 10). As part of the event’s educational component, I had the chance to spend time with some 50 buyers from Southeast Asia and China. Many of these buyers are veterans, having spent years of running events and incentive travel programmes abroad.

They are looking for programmes that allow them to hone skills in event management, or acquire some knowledge on how to better handle risk. And many of them aren’t getting it.
Some convention bureaus and associations in Asia have started initiatives to ensure MICE players in their respective markets get the education and accreditation they need. This training, still overlooked in this part of the world, is believed to be the key to proper standards to root out unethical practices such as cost undercutting and the lack of transparency. While still in infancy stages, such programmes are what the MICE industry in this booming region urgently needs to go the distance.

In this edition, we look at how site inspections can make or break a deal (Page 20). Depending on the number of events, many buyers go on countless site inspections a year before selecting a venue that best suits the event’s needs and audience. How a venue sales professional conducts a site inspection, or the amount of event details a buyer can provide – are just some factors that will determine an event venue contract.
We also examine Marina Bay Sands’ 100-per-cent carbon-neutral efforts at a recent conference (Page 32), proving MICE is able to go fully green and give back to the environment.

Enjoy the issue.

Kristie Thong
Editor/ Associate Publisher


• Damion Breust, Barclays
• Andrew Chan, ACI HR Solutions
• Selina Chavry, Pacific World
• Daniel Chua, AONIA
• Ho Yoke Ping, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau
• Danielle Puceta, American Express Business Travel
• Sumate Sudasna, Thailand Incentive and Convention Association
• Janet Tan-Collis, SACEOS