Upgrading Industry, Up-skilling Professionals, Upstaging the Country
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled a three-year roadmap for the country’s conventions industry.
Covering 2021–2023, the roadmap outlines an array of action plans to attract more conventions to Thailand and elevate the country’s international profile. It comprises three key strategies: To upgrade the Thailand’s conventions ecosystem through active lead generation and industry consultation; to upskill the industry with targeted developmental programmes; and to upstage Thailand in world conventions arena via international partnerships and global agenda conventions.
Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President – Business, TCEB, said: “This roadmap reflects the shift in TCEB’s role from an industry supporter to a growth driver. It has been implemented with the partnership of Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thailand’s leading professional association for conventions.
Under the upgrade strategy, TCEB will engage the entire conventions ecosystem to address demand-side and supply-side capability and capacity. This means raising awareness and know-how among local associations for hosting conventions in Thailand and building up a network of highly skilled and highly connected conventions professionals, who are capable of managing the entire life-cycle of an event.”
On the demand side, TCEB has begun reaching out to local associations through a variety of initiatives. An example is the Local Association Development and Ambassador Programme. With an understanding of the value of hosting a convention and the promise of industry and government support, local associations would be more confident and empowered to bid for a convention. Beyond advancing an association’s professional goals, a convention can also elevate legacies and positive economic, social, and environmental impacts for Thailand.
On the supply side, TCEB has set up a conventions task force to explore innovative ways to reengineer Thailand’s conventions industry. The task force, structured as a think tank that meets every quarter, comprises representatives from academia as well as TICA’s convention experts, such as venues, Destination Management Companies (DMCs), and Professional Congress Organisers (PCO).
To complement the conceptual work undertaken by the task force, TCEB and TICA have also established teams of “Convention Connecters” to respond to market trends with greater agility. Each team is made up of two persons whose expertise in lead generation, bidding, and convention management will help associations build a strong case for organising a convention. The most immediate targets for these “Convention Connecters” are associations related to the so-called “Thailand 4.0” industries – the ones that will power Thailand’s economic transformation such as robotics, medical, agriculture & biotech, food and legal & professional services. The focus on Thailand 4.0 is in line with TCEB’s policy to use business events as a driver for economic development.
Complementing the industry upgrade strategy in the roadmap is the upskill strategy, which is aimed at preparing industry professionals for a new conventions era. A key initiative – the Convention Bid Agent Training Programme – was launched in 2020 by TCEB in partnership with TICA and ICCA. It produced 16 qualified bid agents who have since joined Thailand Conventions Bidding Team. The second edition in 2021 offers more specialised content with the additional support of IAPCO. Its first two modules – Reflection Session and Beginner & Intermediate Programme – attracted more than 200 participants from academia, PCOs, associations, venues and CVBs. An advanced level, and last module for 2021, is scheduled for later this year.
Designed to raise Thailand Conventions’ recognition in the global arena, upstaging strategy enhances TCEB’s relationship with international industry associations in a series of partnership programmes. TCEB is also working towards hosting global agenda conventions – the likes of the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund that Thailand hosted in 1991.
Mrs. Nichapa said: “With upgrading, upskilling and upstaging at the core of its three-year roadmap for conventions, TCEB is confident that Thailand will soon reap the benefits of a new pool of highly skilled conventions professionals and a highly connected ecosystem of associations and suppliers. The productivity gains and heightened market awareness will pave the way for the Thai Team to impress the world with exceptional expertise and artistry.