Northstar Travel Group announced it is extending its established brand from the UK to “greater serve the APAC region”.
“The MICE industry is an essential sector in the Asia Pacific region, contributing significantly to economic growth, job creation, tourism development and knowledge exchange. We’re very excited to support its continued growth,” said David Blansfield, executive vice president and group publisher at Northstar Meetings Group.
The new show will feature Asian and international destinations, venues, hotels and other key suppliers, with an exclusive hosted buyer program of pre-scheduled meetings and a conference.
“We will achieve a buyer profile from across the industry – associations, PCOs, corporates, third-parties, incentive houses and governments. Our database comprises nearly 500,000 active MICE industry professionals worldwide. From an attendee perspective, our plan in year one is to achieve approximately a 70/30 split, Asia Pacific and the rest of the world,” said Blansfield.
He revealed that qualified event professionals who have demonstrated intent to plan and produce significant cross-border MICE programs have already been identified. However, the goal is for the show to be a “big tent” under which everyone can meet and network.
“We will work with industry organisations in the region to ensure all MICE industry stakeholders will benefit from participation,” he added.
Yap Chin Siang, deputy chief executive of Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said: “We welcome the debut of The Meetings Show Asia Pacific in Singapore, an ideal platform for global MICE businesses to network, forge new relations and grow their businesses.”
On STB subvention, he said: “Apart from grants, we also support event organisers in their event-planning process and publicise their events as part our ambition to position Singapore as a vibrant destination for business travellers.”
Asked about the status of IBTM Asia Pacific – which currently appears to be suffering from indefinite postponement of an intended inaugural event in 2020 – Nick Nagle, marketing manager for IBTM World, acknowledged: “IBTM Asia Pacific 2024 will not run in Singapore; further announcements will be made in the near future.”
He added: “All IBTM events, wherever they’re located, are underpinned by a high-calibre hosted buyer program and sophisticated, industry-leading technology. We recognise the potential to take our global brand into other regions and are currently in conversations about future partnerships and collaborations.”
Even as TMS APAC takes over the vacated Singapore slot, it is up against two regional MICE tradeshows: MICE Show Asia (co-located with ITB Asia in Singapore in October) and the long-running IT&CM Asia in Bangkok every September. Given economic uncertainties and tighter budgets, will exhibitors and buyers/visitors have to choose among the competing shows?
Northstar’s Blansfield said: “We view our products and services through a performance-management lens, as do our valued clients and partners. We’re committed to demonstrating performance across the board: Return on time, return on experience, and return on investment.”