IT&CMA: embracing sustainability and the communities



# tags: Bangkok , MICE , Incentives , Events , IT&CM Asia , Exhibitions , Meetings Industry , Sustainability

IT&CM Asia revealed the knowledge program of the event, which will take place between 26th and 28th of September, in Bangkok (Thailand).

IT&CMA, that takes place in parallel with CTW APAC, revealed the educational program that will address several topics, including the importance of sustainability and the role of the industry in the development of local communities.

The first day begins with the ‘CruiseXchange by IT&CMA’ session. The conference ‘The Big Cruise Comeback and the Outlook for MICE Cruises’, presented by Diana Bloss and Crystal Campbell (both from Worldwide Cruise Associates), delves into the post-pandemic revival of the cruise industry and the promising outlook for MICE cruises.

The panel discussion ‘A New Way to Meet’ will focus on how cruises can provide a canvas for creative meetings and incentives, what the new gen ships can offer in terms of social engagements, and the support planners can get from the cruise line and its land operators to weave memorable land programmes. The panel includes Mona Foo (Royal Caribbean International), Thomas D. Hinton (CRI Global, LLC) and Frankie Lie (Tri Wisata Andalan); Karen Yue (TTG Travel Trade Publishing) in moderation.

‘Connecting Minds, Supporting Communities’ is the theme of the opening keynote, presented by Bhummikitti Ruktaengam (Sustainable Tourism Development Foundation and Phuket Tourist Association), that will showcase of the positive impact of tourism/MICE partnerships on local Thai communities and how the partnerships have directed tourist/event spending towards supporting these local individuals and how working with the government and its positive result.

Building on the keynote, the session ‘Getting Deeper with Community Connections’ will delve deeper into the impact of business events on the host community – how these gatherings can play a part in developing cities and uplift quality of life for people and businesses. A conversation between Sumate Sudasna (Thailand Incentive and Convention) and Supanich Thiansing (Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau), moderated by Karen Yue (TTG Travel Trade publishing).

The last session of the day, ‘How MICE can Decarbonize’, will address the vital role the MICE industry can play in combatting climate change. With growing awareness of climate change and greater urgency to redress its impact, Daniel Chua (MICEcarbon) will share the steps the MICE industry can take to effect a more sustainable future for people, planet and progress.

Sharing ideas for a better future

The second day of IT&CMA kicks off with the ASEAN MICE Forum ‘Conflicting Objectives? What want corporations versus what qualifiers want from incentive travel experiences’, hosted by SITE – Society for Incentive Travel Excellence. Research conducted by SITE and Incentive Research Foundation reveals clear divergence when it comes to key elements of the incentive experience: corporations want group bonding and esprit de corps while qualifiers want free time or time with their significant other. Rajeev Kohli (Creative Travel) will share his professional perspective on this research, highlighting how successful incentive travel experiences are finely balanced and nuanced, delivering successfully on what may appear to be conflicting objectives.

The CTW Conference ‘Accelerate the Decarbonization of Business Travel – Role of ESG, Technology, and The Traveler Experience’ aims to explore innovative strategies that leverage Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, cutting-edge technologies, and a focus on enhancing the traveller experience to create a sustainable future for business travel. Taviroj Songkumpol (Thai Airways International), Ferry Tjahjono (Centara Grand at CentralWorld), Srinivas Rao (Amadeus) and Daniel Chua (MICEcarbon) are the speakers; Manish Raj (Lithium Urban Technologies) in moderation.

The last day begins with the ASEAN MICE Forum ‘Paving the Way for Embracing Sustainability and Empowering Community’, with Dararat Simpattanawong (Kasetsart University) and Krisanee Srisatin (Stream Events Asia); and Kate Sarasin (Kasetsart University) in moderation. The session will demonstrate how a focus on sustainability positively impacts the well-being of individuals and how investing in wellness can contribute to the long-term sustainability of the MICE industry. Furthermore, the conference will highlight the significance of meaningful engagement with local communities by injecting the local DNA, wisdom and traditions. Through the interactions and knowledge sharing, we will unlock the potential sustainability, wellness-focused MICE practices through local engagement to achieve community enrichment.

The Association Day Forum, hosted by ICCA – International Congress & Convention Association, closes IT&CMA educational program. ‘Association Success: An Innovative Roadmap to Excellence’ offers a unique platform for thought leaders, industry experts, and practitioners to connect, exchange ideas, and chart a course toward a future of growth, member engagement and power collaboration where it will inspire and equip the associations with the tools and insights needed to grow their associations. By embracing creativity, associations can unlock their full potential, navigate the evolving landscape, and shape a future of innovation and success. With Alicia Yao (Commercial Chamber of Commerce), Enrique Florencio (Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific) and Iain Bitran (International Society for Professional Innovation Management); and Waikin Wong (ICCA) in moderation.