For the first time in more than two years, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) team headed to Singapore to reconnect and meet with approximately 40 event organisers and association representatives at the TCEB Singapore Roadshow held from 04-06 July 2022.

The roadshow was created to give potential buyers in Singapore a sense of what Thailand offers. As part of the roadshow, a networking luncheon-cum-panel discussion was held at Eat At My Kitchen (EAMK), a private restaurant that provided the ideal space to emphasise the homely and humble hospitality that Thailand brings to every business event.

The event started with a panel discussion about ‘Business Events Recovery: Not when but how?’, followed by a specially curated lunch with the concept of ‘Eat at Home’.

The panel discussed the future of business events and find out how Corporates, Associations and Professional Conference Organisers see in-person, virtual and hybrid events.

Speakers included Zarina Othman-Nyo, Head of Operations, European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), Adeline Kang, Director JCAP, Travel, Meetings, Card & Fleet, MSD, Mathias Posch, Chairman & Partner, International Conference Services Ltd (ICS), and Nooch Homrossukhon, Director Conventions Department, TCEB. The event was also graced by Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore, His Excellency Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi.

Experienced panellists and planners made all the difference for the networking luncheon hosted jointly by TCEB Conventions and TCEB Meetings & Incentives. Khun Nooch Homrossukhon, Director of Conventions at TCEB, was also part of the panel and spoke about what buyers are expecting from Convention Bureaus recently.

H.E. Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi gave a meaningful address to our business event planners. He spoke about the all-important relationship between Singapore and Thailand, and in his light-hearted manner, drew comparisons between our infrastructure, planning expertise and sustainability efforts.

He also lent insight into the upcoming developments in Thailand in the midst of economic recovery and growth that would well serve our MICE planners. He hopes that Singapore will continue to play a vital role in placing Thailand on the business events world map.

One of the questions posed to the attendees during the networking luncheon was to investigate the reasons why most business events are preferred to be in-person. The key words from the attendees include “networking”, “engagement” and “connection”. Indeed, the post-pandemic crave of in-person interaction allows us to be more present, engaged and connected.

The business event planners also commented that the biggest takeaways from the networking luncheon are the insights from the various industries represented by our esteemed panellists, as well as the engagement with TCEB and industry friends over great food.

One of our planners summed it up aptly, “Thailand is ready as a destination for business events to come back”. Thailand’s investment in infrastructure and sustainable policies are just a few reasons why Thailand is ready for the revival of business events.

Event organisers predict that event formats in the next coming six to 12 months are mostly in-person, while association experts believe that hybrid is the default format for their future events and currently sits on 60% in-person and 40% virtual. Venue flexibility, budget registrations, ROI and risks were also listed as key concerns of associations and PCOs.

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