Sector has bright future
There seems to be an upsurge in Mice events in Singapore. How has the past year been regarding events across Asia-Pacific for Koelnmesse?
We started seeing recovery in the economy and its effects on our trade fairs in Asia-Pacific early this year. This is especially true in Asia, where we were less hit by the financial crisis. Companies in the developing economies are still upbeat and continue to participate in choice trade fairs.
Compared with last year during the financial crisis, we have received more exhibitor and visitor inquiries. For example, IDEM Singapore - a biennial trade fair and conference for the dental industry in Asia-Pacific - was held successfully in April and maintained its number of visitors and exhibitors from 2008. We had 352 exhibitors from 31 countries, and 6,057 visitors from 54 countries, making IDEM Singapore a truly international event.
We organised a new trade event this year called LIVE! Singapore, an international business meeting place for the global performing arts industry. The event was very well received; it recorded 5,471 participants from across the performing arts world, hailing from 54 countries from all continents. Some of the renowned participants included Sir Clive Gillinson from Carnegie Hall, Zarin Mehta from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and violin prodigy Joshua Bell.
Asia-Pacific events are growing in size and participation numbers. With the strong developing economies in the region, we are confident that the Mice industry is a promising one with much room for expansion, as trade fairs and conferences are essential for business development and marketing.
Has Koelnmesse noticed any change in how clients expect its services to be delivered? What measures have been taken to address this? Any keynote events the group has been particularly proud of hosting?
The economic downturn has exacerbated the need for our clients to evaluate their return on investment in exhibitions and conferences versus other forms of marketing and outreach. This has created a different way of marketing to our clients, servicing them and putting together our events.
Koelnmesse has been in the business for a long time and three of our key competitive points are: quality, quality, quality. You need to demonstrate quality in organising the event, in industry expertise and in business development by identifying new opportunities, as we did with Carbon Forum Asia and LIVE! Singapore.