Announcing the findings of the latest UFI market research study, the Thailand Convention & Exhibitions Bureau, or TCEB, is proud to see Thailand’s exhibition industry recognized for the fourth consecutive year as ASEAN’s top achiever. Emphasizing the success of the project “Bangkok…Exhibition City of ASEAN,” which generated revenues of 6.8 billion baht, TCEB has introduced an ambitious integrated market strategy for 2010, focusing on the short-haul market. Preparing to penetrate new markets in the Asian region, TCEB is confident of reaching its 2009 target of 200 events and revenues of 7.5 billion baht.
Supawan Teerarat, exhibitions director and acting director of TCEB, announced: “TCEB has been successful in helping the industry to increase its penetration in international markets. In 2008, we won many bids to host events in Thailand, and this year we have further accelerated our action plan by placing a stronger emphasis on international markets. The latest industry survey by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, ranks Thailand as first in ASEAN, and 8th in Asia, confirming the success of Thailand’s “Bangkok…Exhibition City of ASEAN” campaign, which TCEB launched and coordinated since mid-2008.”
The findings of the market research entitled “The Trade Fair Industry in Asia 5th Edition, 2009” was conducted by UFI reports on Thailand’s exhibition industry in 2008. Thailand retained its top ranking position in four areas – the first being the number of exhibition identified, which stood at 71; the estimated annual size in m2, which stood at 448,750m2; and the third being the average size per fair in m2, which stood at 6,320 m2. Thailand also was ranked top in terms of the fourth measure – total income generated.
“TCEB implemented the “Bangkok…Exhibition City of ASEAN” campaign in coordination with the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, aiming to promote Bangkok as a regional exhibition destination. TCEB pledged an integrated marketing strategy, including public relations, international market outreach, and strategic alliances with key public and private sector stakeholders. The campaign’s overall goal was to drive sustainable growth in the exhibition sector. The campaign’s success attracted 96,184 business visitors from around the world and revenues of Baht 6.8 billion from the 71 events hosted in 2008,” said Supawan.
“For 2010, TCEB has further adjusted its marketing strategy to achieve a higher level of integration and market coverage. Our new plan provides stronger support for the business professional in [the] exhibitions industry, both domestically and in the international arena. We’ve set some ambitious targets to expand our markets in Asia, particularly China, India, Japan, and Korea. This is because we see the high potential of the short-haul market under the current economic conditions.”
TCEB’s 2010 Strategic Plan aims to further expand its support for Thailand’s exhibitions industry both domestically and internationally. TCEB aims to attract and win more bids for global events, attract more product exhibitions and trade shows, and elevate professional standards within the industry to meet global expectations. TCEB’s “360-Degree” campaign, for businesses and entrepreneurs in the exhibitions industry, is a comprehensive support package offering venue support and assistance for professional associations, event organizers, and visitors in order to increase the overall volume of business travel and numbers of international business events in Thailand.
TCEB’s overseas market strategy aims to increase market penetration, particularly in Asian countries. Apart from TCEB’s extensive road-show activities, which emphasize business matching to open up new markets and opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs to meet new potential trade partners in target countries, in 2010 online or digital marketing will provide a new and increasingly important channel for TCEB’s market communications strategy. Therefore, a digital database, online networking, and digital strategy will be incorporated into the overall strategic plan.
Kh Supawan also stated: “A recent exhibition industry survey found that 60 percent of respondents relied on online sources for both information and as a key tool for direct marketing, event promotion, and business operation. Only 30 percent relied exclusively on conventional ‘offline’ sources of information. We are, therefore, confident that our online strategy is a cost-effective means of reaching our global targets.”
In parallel with the above, TCEB also aims to stimulate private-public sector collaboration in order to drive long-term sustainable growth in the exhibition industry. Accordingly, TCEB has formed alliances with three strategic partners: Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, Department of Export Promotion (Ministry of Commerce), and the Thai Exhibition Association (TEA) in order to work together to drive industry growth and competitiveness.
According to Deputy Governor, Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, Taya Teepsuwan, commenting on the collaboration between BMA and TCEB on the “Bangkok…Exhibition City of ASEAN” campaign: “BMA and TCEB have worked together to lay the foundation and set a path to stimulate the exhibition business. This includes convincing the global industry of Bangkok’s potential and preparedness to host the most complex and demanding international events.
“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has recognized the exhibition industry as a national priority and has set a policy to support the development of Bangkok as a world-class exhibition destination. The Bangkok Governor has announced BMA’s plans to further improve the mass-transit infrastructure and increase urban ‘green areas’ to 5,000 rai over the coming 4 years. In fact, BMA has ambitious plans to develop Bangkok into a ‘Green MegaCity,’ which can meet the needs of the exhibitions market, combining convenience and aesthetic considerations in an urban setting. Apart from this, BMA pledge[d] a series of activities to promote [the] tourism industry follow[ing] 5 comprehensive terms under the ‘Bangkok Smiles’ campaign – compelling culture and heritage, traditional Thai custom and aqua-tourism, shopping and dining, healthiness tourism, and [the] Thai smile. The new initiative campaign is aimed to showcase and promote environment-friendly businesses and concepts overseas [as] business visitors to Thailand are considered as having a high purchasing power, so it is important to allocate sufficient investment towards building an attractive urban environment.”
Concluding, Supawan commented: “Owing mainly to our integrated strategy and collaboration with other agencies, we are confident that in 2010 the industry can retain its top ranking in Asia. We are, however, continually adjusting our approach, for example by shifting our focus towards fast-growing markets such as India and China. We’re also now in the process of revising our strategies for Japan and Korea. We, therefore, expect Thailand’s exhibition industry to grow by as much as 10 percent in 2010, with up to 200 international exhibition[s], generating an anticipated 7.5 billion baht.”