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Interview

Darren Ng, Managing Director, TTG Asia Media

Theodore Koumelis - 17 September 2014, 09:31

IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific has the largest number hosting places for buyers, corporate travel managers and media delegates in the world, according to Mr Darren Ng.

TravelDailyNews: Mr Ng, IT&CMA and CTW are collocating since 2004 and are positioned as the leading events for MICE & Corporate Travel for the region of Asia-Pacific. There are a lot of other MICE fairs in the region though claiming that they are the best platforms for business. What makes IT&CMA and CTW to differentiate and lead in such a competitive environment?
 
Darren Ng: Focus on quality buyers: with dedicated teams to validate and qualify their profiles, as well as invest in suitable delegates for hosting. IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific has the largest number hosting places for buyers, corporate travel managers and media delegates in the world. With sincere procurement demand, business generation and prospecting at our event will always be high.
 
Strong industry partnership: to raise quality and credibility of event content, as well as push forth industry growth initiatives. Our key partners include: TCEB, World PCO Alliance, ICCA, ACTE, MPI and Site. For full list of industry partners: http://www.itcma.com/article.php?article_id=2994
 
Perfected business formula: This is the 2nd year that we are introducing up to 100% of appointments that can be pre-scheduled before the event. This allows our delegates to start off the show with full appointments, thus, they maximise control on who they will be meeting, enabling them to better plan their business discussions.
 
TDN: For a number of year you host IT&CMA and CTW in Bangkok. How does the political situation affects your events and the MICE and Corporate travel in general?
 
D.N.: Political uncertainty certainly does have an impact on our delegate’s travel policies.
With clear and active communication updates alongside our local partner TCEB, delegates are confident to proceed with the travel plans to Bangkok for this year’s event.
 
The industry at large and outlook for MICE and Corporate Travel business in Asia-Pacific is still extremely optimistic and robust, and because of this, interest in IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific will remain promising.
 
TDN: In January 1st, 2016 ASEAN Economic Community will be officially launched. Do you expect a boom in meetings, conferences, incentives and other MICE events in the region? On the other hand, how this will affect the outbound MICE from Asia in Europe, MIddle East, America, etc?
 
D.N.: A regional economic integration will certainly have positive effects on the region’s MICE events. We expect more MICE events to take place in the region as a result of a need for more face-to-face interaction among partners, and greater incentive to choose an ASEAN destination for MICE activities.
 
Still the increased demand for ASEAN destinations will not draw attention away from already popular or up & coming MICE destinations in other parts of the globe. Global co-operation at large will mean that outbound demand is still very much international in nature, but most certainly, attention on Asia-Pacific from within and outside the region is likely to be the fastest growing.
 
TDN: Technology is penetrating fast to the MICE industry and affects in some cases positively but in other cases negatively the business interaction procedures and the need for real face-to-face meetings. How important is the role of technology for your events, as organisers, as well as for your exhibitors and buyers? 
 
D.N.: We adopt technology to better facilitate connections and business opportunities for our exhibitors and buyers.
 
With technology like our PSA and Online Diary, exhibitors and buyers are able to build more of their appointments ahead of time, instead of scheduling this on-site, like we did with the SMB and BMS sessions a few years ago.
 
Similarly, we have also implemented in recent years, technology driven initiatives like mobile apps, video content to enable delegates to get more out of the show by making information extremely accessible to them.
 
Technology is certainly there to add efficiency into the whole event value proposition, but the human aspect of face-to-face meetings to establish trust, build rapport, appreciate the complexity of details in partnerships, personal and cultural motivations, will always be a reason for events like IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific to take place.
 
TDN: What new elements you present this year in IT&CMA and CTW?
 
D.N.: We’ve strengthened some of the initiatives that we launched previously, including:
- An expansion of the Association day programme to 2 days. The programme is now called Association Days @ IT&CMA and will include destination presentation and business appointments, in addition to educational and networking sessions, for Association Executives and Professionals.
- Corporate Travel Managers roundtable – a closed door by invitation only session, that sees pertinent issues being raised and solutions shared among peers. This is the second year that we are organising this at CTW Asia-Pacific.
 
This is also the first year that we have a post-show tour outside of Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
 

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