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The campaign aims to help boost Thai trade shows

TCEB launches “The Next Best Shows” to boost trade fair industry

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has introduced “The Next Best Shows”, a marketing campaign being implemented under the Bureau’s 5-year strategic plan to drive the growth of Thailand’s MICE industry in the long run. With the intention to raise the standard of trade shows in the country, the Next Best Shows aims to achieve an increase of 50-60 % of overseas visitors and generate revenues of 14,000 million baht when the campaign wraps up in 2014.

Mr. Akapol Sorasuchart, President of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said, “The Next Best Shows is one of the projects under TCEB’s 5-years strategic plan to develop and grow the country’s MICE industry. It is a strategic step to prepare the domestic trade shows industry to fully support the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The success of AEC is likely to attract more investment in the MICE industry as well as boost productivity in the service and manufacturing sectors.”

The Next Best Shows aims to retain existing international trade fairs held in Thailand as well as to elevate the standards of fairs to become competitive at the ASEAN level. The project is 3 years long, beginning in August 2011 and running until September 2014.

To be eligible for benefits that the campaign provides, an applying trade fair must meet the following criteria: firstly, the event must have been held 3 times consecutively in Thailand and is committed to continue here for the next 3 editions. Secondly, the proportion of international trade fair exhibitors must be at least 10% of total exhibitors. Thirdly, foreign visitors should represent at least 5% of total visitors. Fourthly, at least 4,000 square-meters of exhibition space is required. Lastly, the trade fair must implement an international registration system in accordance with UFI’s instructions.

TCEB has a budget of 85 million baht to support this 3-year project by subsidized trade fairs which meet required criteria. Also, those qualified trade fairs will be entitled to a matching fund for 50% of the total marketing spending in “ASEAN+6” countries or during the period the trade show is held.

“We hope that the full support from TCEB through the campaign will encourage a competitive environment and further development in Thailand’s exhibition industry at the regional level. Each year, we will also award the trade fairs that are outstanding in 5 aspects including an increase of international visitors, an increase of international exhibitors, an increase of international pavilions, an increase of nationality as well as an increase of net commercial space,” Mr. Akapol added.

The success of this project will help reinforce Thailand’s leadership in the ASEAN exhibition industry as well as strengthen the efforts of the “Believe in Thailand” campaign that reiterates Thailand’s readiness as a hub of international trade fairs in ASEAN in terms of modern infrastructure and transportation system, world-class meeting and event facilities, wide variety of accommodations and five-stars hotels, high-standard and professional services, value for money and business opportunity through its position as a gateway to ASEAN.

This year, there are 20 trade fairs participating in The Next Best Shows campaign which all have potential to grow into regional-scale shows, for example, InCosmetics, Intermold, Interplas and Nepcon which are international trade fairs under the group of Manufacturing Expo, Wire & Tube Asia, Intermach, TFBO & TRAFS and Food & Hotel Thailand. All of the participating trade fairs represent key industries according to the national agenda e.g. subcontracting industry, SMEs, Agriculture and Food industry as well as industrial machinery industry etc.

“After the end of campaign in 2014, The Next Best Shows is expected to help increase the number of visitors by 50-60% and generate revenues of 14,000 million Baht for Thailand’s MICE industry. It will play an important part in driving the 5-year MICE industry development plan. In 2016, the prospective growth rate of MICE visitors is set at 75% while the revenue is expected to increase by 87%. For this year, we target to see 720,000 MICE visitors with the total revenue generated at 56 billion baht,” Mr. Akapol concluded.

According to “The Trade Fair Industry of Asia 7th Edition, 2011” reported by The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Thailand’s exhibition industry is still holding the leadership position in ASEAN with 71 international trade fairs identified. The revenues from net space sold in Thailand reaches around 3.99 billion Baht, which is the highest in ASEAN and ranked 7th in Asia. Thailand’s exhibition industry is also ranked the first in ASEAN in terms of the estimated annual size of 432,500 square meters and the total number of international exhibition centers with 8 centers with total gross indoor size of 212,405 square meters. Thus, Thailand is considered a high potential market in ASEAN for international trade fairs and is likely to become the leader in Asia in the future.