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March 20, 2012

HEAL THE WORLD:Putting local issues first

MICE clients are paying greater attention to their environment and community in which they operate, according to event organisers and venues.


Discovery Overland Holidays’ Khoo noted that CSR requests from incentive clients were on the rise, while Jakarta Convention Centre deputy general manager, Trikarya Satyawan, said sustainable events would be a top concern among government officials and MICE players.


“MICE visitors and organisers are becoming more sophisticated. They want a one-stop venue that provides a mix of business and leisure facilities so that event delegates are able to enjoy both the event and leisure activities in a seamless programme.”


“Event organisers, particularly those from Europe and North America, have become more environmentally-conscious and are driving a greater demand for green venues,” said AsiaWorld-Expo CEO Allen Ha.


Pacto Convex president/director, Susilowani Daud, believes that the practice of green meetings will go hand in hand with the adoption of technology.


“Green issues and the use of high technology will be prominent trends in the MICE industry this year. Greater green consideration will encourage more paperless and energy-efficient events. Printed materials for delegates will be replaced by CDs and USB Flash Disk, or be downloadable from the event’s website. Online registration will be practised even more, as it saves resources and is cost-effective. Multimedia tools will increasingly replace printed display materials,” said Susilowani.


He added: “Today, more business executives are using smartphones and iPads at events. This technology allows events to be completely paperless.”


Susilowani added: “For now, the use of technology to replace prints is still considered more expensive, but it will be cost effective in the long run. As a MICE organiser, we can do our part by selecting suppliers such as venues and hotels that have green initiatives.”


Event organisers who desire activities that allow their participants to give back to nature and the local community can turn to Amari Orchid Pattaya, which offers environmental-friendly activities such as planting trees to offset carbon footprint and turtle protection programmes.


Amari Orchid Pattaya general manager, David Cummings, explained that such activities were the hotel’s way of demonstrating how it could offer differentiated MICE experiences.


He said: “The most prominent trend emerging within Thailand’s MICE industry is the need to provide innovative and value for money event solutions because of increased competition. Any business can offer MICE facilities, but to be successful in this competitive market, you must differentiate your offering, be engaging and offer a WOW factor.



“Many (hotels) can brand welcome amenities, add an extra touch at check-in and offer theme coffee breaks, but few have so far created environmentally-friendly conference set-ups, local community projects that clients can participate in, carbon footprint replacement programmes and lifestyle events. In a non-city environment such as Pattaya we see more requests for such activities.”



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