Bangkok – Sponsored engagement activities remained in demand across IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific 2017 with more exclusively branded sessions. 26 captive networking functions will take place over the course of the event, encompassing hosted luncheons, networking cocktails, media briefings, destination presentations, technology showcases, pre-show retreats & tours, and post-show FAM trips.
The diverse set of destinations and corporates (Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park, Chiang Mai and Lanna, Dream Cruises & Star Cruises, Dubai, Macao, Perth, Philippines, Seoul, Thailand, amongst others) that have taken up these captive sessions further demonstrated the importance of crafting reach to a select audience and the power of IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific's market activation opportunities.
Said Jin-Hyeok Park, Director of Seoul Convention Bureau, Seoul Tourism Organization, "I believe our buyers enjoyed the luncheon very much especially from the line-up of activities throughout. While we can also meet through exhibition appointments, there are only so many we can squeeze in on the floor daily, so the luncheon allowed us to reach out directly to a select group of buyers we wanted and share more of our programmes and capabilities to a bigger audience at one time."
Networking has gone further beyond the show to engage buyers through the three day pre-show CTW pow-wow from 23 to 25 September that happened at Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park as well as an end year FAM trip by Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau, with priority hosting consideration given to IT&CMA buyers and registration already underway.
Roger Parnow, Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing for Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park added, "Through the pre-show stay at our hotel, we showcased the hotel's key components based on tradition and culture fused with modern aspects that the Marriott brand wants to represent. This creates very diverse and conducive environments to cater to the different tastes and needs of our customers. The luncheon today gave us the opportunity to have some personal facetime away from the tight agenda around the show floor while the buyers were in a more relaxed mood. We were able to spotlight our hotel and what we had to offer, while having our key team members on hand to network and share ideas, experiences, and listen to what the customers are really looking for. We were really pleased with the turnout and interest."
Over at CTW Asia-Pacific, Platinum Sponsor FCM Travel Solutions explored a different format of sponsorship by leading a dedicated Artificial Intelligence Tech Showcase to share their expertise and introduce their revolutionary chatbot, Sam.
Of their showcase, FCM Travel Solutions' Bertrand Saillet, General Manager for Asia, remarked, "To me, CTW Asia-Pacific is all about the education and getting in touch with travel managers; understanding their concerns and making sure we come up with solutions that make their lives easier. We have to remember that ultimately, the service is for the traveller. We believe that the chatbot is going to completely revolutionise the corporate travel industries especially for Asia as pocket travel assistant kind of service
that rides on existing apps travellers already use. The key feature about Sam is that it is user-friendly and integrates seamlessly and we believe this is what will make adoption much easier."
FCM Travel Solutions is one of the corporate suppliers at CTW Asia-Pacific, including Silver Sponsors Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Along with Amadeus Asia, Bay Hotels & Resorts, Carey International, Egencia, and Frasers Hospitality, these leading brands delivered their know-how through a variety of thought-leadership initiatives and dialogues.
Day 1 of the IT&CMA also commenced today, seeing a 43% growth in booth space take up by both destination and corporate suppliers. The impressive congregation of Asia-Pacific Convention Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) and National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) continue to headline no other MICE event in the Asia-Pacific, with added rousing support from cruise and hotel clusters. CTW Asia-Pacific adds to the IT&CMA line-up, with its continued co-location with the Knowledge Hub in the hall, allowing closer interaction and business exchange.
First-time Association buyer Agostino Barrasso, Congress Manager for the European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (ESTRO) had commended the dedicated Association Day Forums, "Having been to similar tradeshows, I am happy to be at IT&CMA particularly because they have an association-focused segment that is relevant to me and speaks on topics that are very specific to my scope of work. I made a lot of valuable contacts through networking and appointments, so I am definitely looking forward to coming back again next year."
Andy Kang Eng Tat, Manager of Shared Services Management Department, Manpower Division, Defence Management Group of the Ministry of Defence Singapore, who is also a first-time delegate, had good things to say being new to the industry, "The CTW Asia-Pacific talks were very informative. I learnt a lot about up and coming trends and what we could potentially implement as a company. I achieved my main objectives to network and learn about new technologies. Amadeus Asia and Egencia really stood out for me and I will definitely attend again for the strong education components."
As part of the anniversary celebrations, major exhibitors contributed activities, giveaways, and entertainment at their booths that opened along with the exhibition today. Some highlights included a coffee tasting with bean varieties from Indonesia, a networking cocktail and fortune reading at Macao, a Quokka selfie photo booth with Perth, Western Australia, an interactive green wall at The Philippines pavilion, a lucky draw by Sapporo, DIY handicrafts at the Thailand pavilion, a Happy Hour at the Taiwan pavilion that featured signature Taiwanese delights, and many more that will continue on through the rest of the exhibition days.