The “13th China Expo Forum for International Cooperation” (hereinafter ‘CEFCO 2017’), as the annual distinguished event of the international convention and exhibition industry, which was hosted in a region other than mainland China for the first time, was hosted successfully in Macao in mid-January. The Forum was co-organized by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade & the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), and was undertaken by the China Chamber of International Commerce and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute. In total, it attracted more than 800 elites and high-rank individuals in the convention and exhibition industry to attend. The elites and leaders in the convention and exhibition industry from all around the world exchanged the newest information about the industry, and shared business opportunities in exchange activities such as, plenary meetings and group meetings which were held in those two days, achieving fruitful results. The “helmsmen” of the three international convention and exhibition organizations, UFI, IAEE and SISO, were also invited to the Forum in Macao, so as to share their experience in hosting conventions and exhibitions with others, and as a result there was a positive influence on the development in Macao’s convention and exhibition industry.
“Facing Challenges and Endeavoring to Change” was the theme of the CEFCO 2017, which composed of three planetary meetings, four group meetings and other activities such as theme lectures, conferences, project promotion sessions. The representatives of the reputed exhibition enterprises, organizations related to the industry, professional media, and research institutions from China and overseas, as well as the representatives of the mainland competent authorities in the convention and exhibition industry, were invited to conduct discussions regarding the “Contribution of the Convention and Exhibition Industry to the Recovery of the Global Economy”, “Transformation of the Government’s Role in Advancing the Development of the Convention and Exhibition Industry”, “Channels for the Internationalization of the Convention and Exhibition Enterprises” and “Cooperation for the Innovation of the Convention and Exhibition Industry and Internet Platforms”, and so on.
The international convention and exhibition organizations are optimistic about the future of Macao’s convention and exhibition industry
Andreas Gruchow, the President of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) who came to Macao for the first time, stated that in the two-day expo held this year he attended the opening ceremony, delivered a speech and participated in a series of meetings and exchange activities, during which he made lots of new friends and obtained much valuable information. In relevance to the development of Macao’s convention and exhibition industry, he was optimistic and considered Macao’s environment and facilities suitable for hosting meetings, and thus he agreed that Macao should promote with the ultimate goal of elevating Macao into a City of Events as the developmental direction for the convention and exhibition industry. He also indicated that the most important assets of a city for conventions and exhibitions are its hotels, venues, surrounding recreational facilities, and convenient transportation, all of which Macao is equipped with. Therefore, as long as the government and the related industry endeavor to promote them, polishing Macao’s descent “namecard” for conventions and exhibitions, the supply chain of Macao’s convention and exhibition industry will become well prepared.
Similarly, David Dubois, the President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) who came to Macao for the first time, stated that Macao has perfect facilities in support to conventions and exhibitions, and that Macau is capable of hosting large-scale meetings and enterprise meetings. In addition, its venues and hotels have been equipped with a full set of facilities, and are surrounded by readily available recreational and shopping sites, so that participants and their family members can enjoy their stay in their preferred ways. Thus, this is an advantage that Macao has. He is quite optimistic about Macao’s future convention and exhibition industry, believing that as CEFCO 2017 was hosted successfully, more and more international convention and exhibition organizers will recognize Macao and consequently attract more international large-scale meetings to be hosted.
David Audrain, the Executive Director of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) who had come to Macao seven years ago, came to Macao again for the forum and said he was amazed by the rapid pace of development in Macao’s infrastructure, software and hardware in support to conventions and exhibitions. Having once lived in Las Vegas, he thinks that Macao is similar to Las Vegas in many aspects such as, the magnificent hotels, venues, and the diverse and innumerous recreational activities. He suggested that Macao should learn from Las Vegas for its ways to success, and should develop strength to overcome its shortcomings. In this way, there will be a wider scope of development for Macao’s convention and exhibition industry.
Large-scale convention and exhibition events to be hosted
In the next few months, more and more convention and exhibition events will be hosted in Macao consecutively. Apart from the annual event in the environmental field, “2017 Macao International Environment Co-operation Forum & Exhibition” (MIECF), there will also be “Igaming Asia Congress 2017” Convention and Exhibition, organized by the Asian entertainment and gaming industry, social platforms and mobile game companies under cross-border cooperation, “International Exposition of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Ancient Art Macao”, where reputed scholars and collectors from China and overseas cooperatively research on intangible cultural heritage, and “2017 Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Dental Association”, in which people from the medical profession from 30 countries and regions will be invited to participate. For details, please visit the Macao MICE Portal: http://www.mice.gov.mo/tc/.
“China Expo Forum for International Cooperation” (CEFCO 2017) was hosted in Macao successfully
Andreas Gruchow, President of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI)
David Dubois, President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE)
David Audrain, Executive Director of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO)