Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), a public organisation, joined hands with Chiang Mai Province and educational network partners recently to host a competition to improve sustainable event planning.
Together, partners hosted a design contest under the “Thailand’s MICE Industry Cares for the Environment” project, to stimulate awareness of sustainable MICE event management by showcasing products and services that make events more environmentally friendly.
Mr Puripan Bunnag, TCEB's President Office Department, said: “TCEB has initiated a policy to promote sustainable event management since 2008. As a result, Thailand became the first country in Asia to have created a roadmap for green meetings and the concept has been broadly expanding to different countries across the region.
“Since 2012, TCEB's sustainability strategy has been implementing to drive the country's MICE industry towards sustainability. Depending on stakeholders in the MICE industry partnering to apply local products and environmentally friendly materials to create eco-friendly events, the action could help to preserve the environment, enhance creativity, support a local economy, create jobs and build sustainable communities.”
To promote the principles of sustainable event management, TCEB initiated ‘Thailand’s MICE Industry Cares for the Environment,’ a contest that encouraged people to design and use local product and environmentally friendly materials in MICE events.
This collaborative project, initiated by TCEB, Chiang Mai Province and local communities, promoted local products to generate income for local communities, as well as preserve the environment and improve knowledge about MICE and event management.
The “Thailand’s MICE Industry Cares for the Environment” project was open for applicants 15 September to 16 November.
The contest encouraged the general public, including youth groups and students, to design a meeting event adopting an environmental preservation theme.
Contestants were required to use eco-friendly supplies and local products as alternatives to materials such as document folders, delegate’s badges, tables, chairs, signposts, as well as catering items including water cups, plastic straws, bottles, and souvenirs.
The competition offered 100,000 baht in total prize money. There were awards for the winner, the 1st runner-up, the 2nd runner-up, and six other consolation prizes. All finalists received certificates and were made eligible to attend a special training course on sustainable event management in Chiang Mai.
The competition’s grand final was held at Tha Phae Gate, in Chiang Mai city, 30 November 2018. Opened to the public, the event featured presentations from the nine finalist teams.
Competition judges comprised of experts and professional committees from tourism and MICE industries.
The award assessment was based on two criteria.
Concept and objectives of the project required finalists to demonstrate how well they could deliver the concept, the application of local materials and the resulting benefits on environmental conservation.
Creativity and benefits of the project required finalists to demonstrate innovation and show the practicability of the project, and the advantages to society and local communities.
At the award ceremony, there was an exhibition that showcased stories about TCEB, an introduction of the MICE industry and sustainable event management. To offer entertainment value, the event featured cultural shows and performances from guest artists.
Mr. Puripan added: “This event is also a part of TCEB’s MICE development policy to promote Chiang Mai as a MICE City.”
The overarching policy focuses on the following:
- Promoting public relations and marketing activities by targeting Asian MICE market on behalf of the city;
- Upgrading services, improving tourism products and creating opportunities for MICE activities by leveraging cultural capital;
- Developing human resources to support MICE activities in local areas;
- Upgrading infrastructures to support MICE activities in Chiang Mai.
“The principle of sustainable event management presents best practices for local communities and generates benefits for the country in the long-term,” said Mr Puripan. “The approach not only encourages community participation but also creates an opportunity for event organisers to develop relations with local communities and promotes uniqueness for local MICE business.
TCEB continues to work with Chiang Mai and other provinces and local communities involved in MICE activities to promote sustainability in event management.
“TCEB is also committed to supporting MICE events to stimulate the economy and distribute income to local communities, promoting brand image of Thailand's MICE industry through superior services and cultural identity, developing knowledge-based MICE business, and improving entrepreneurship to meet international standards,” Mr. Puripan concluded.