Technology has changed the way we interact. From data-reliant messages and push-notification emails to a gamut of social media platforms, it has brought us closer to one another, yet sometimes further away. Few years ago, virtual meetings was a hot topic; it was also the main idea behind the movie “Up in the Air” where a Generation Y employee of a “downsizing” company believed layoffs could be done via video conferencing. But as much as technology is now too important to do without, the response towards virtual meetings replacing face-to-face interaction has not been favourable.

The MICE landscape is ultimately a people industry that thrives on interaction and partnerships. With live events, the energy and teamwork on the ground is one that is irreplaceable. Nobody operates alone in this field, and rightfully so.
The power of teamwork and cooperation is the common thread that binds this edition. We first look at team-building trends beyond Asia and how they have evolved with technology and gaming (Page 12), and narrow in on the trends we are currently seeing in Asia, and the ways team-building events can backfire (Page 56). Bali has shown how its government and various associations, venues and hotels have successfully prepared for an event as large as APEC (Page 30); the update on Vietnam provides a realistic picture of a destination hindered from further MICE growth due to the lack of cooperation between public and private sectors to promote the destination (Page 36).

We also break down the client versus event agency partnership, finding out not only why and when corporates should engage an agency, but also what agencies can do to protect their intellectual property from unethical corporates (Page 53).
The Singapore Tourism Board supplement that accompanies this edition suggests some activities to strengthen team relationships, and case studies proving a destination’s prowess in incentive travel itineraries. Enjoy this issue, and tell us what you’re doing to keep the spirit of teamwork alive.

Kristie Thong


• Andrew Chan, ACI HR Solutions
• Damion Breust, Barclays
• Daniel Chua, AONIA
• Danielle Puceta, American Express Business Travel
• David Lim, Everest Motivation
• Maureen O’Crowley, Seoul Tourism Organization
• Nino Grüttke, Messe Berlin
• Janet Tan-Collis, SACEOS
• Selina Chavry, Pacific World