POST CONCLAVE REPORT
Conventions India Conclave – 2012
August 20 – 21, 2012,
The India Expo Centre, Greater NOIDA

After the success of the Bureau’s Six Conclaves, the 7th “Conventions India” – MICE Conclave, was organized by India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB) on 20th – 21st August 2012 at India Expo Centre, Greater NOIDA, National Capital Region Delhi. The Conclave was sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Department of Tourism, Government of Gujarat as Partner State. The hospitality and tourism industry of NCR, Greater NOIDA actively supported the Conventions India Conclave – 2012.

Along with the Convention, TTG Asia organised IT & CM India in collaboration with ICPB, on 21-22-23 August 2012, where the Indian exhibitors had an opportunity to showcase their products to around 200 international & domestic buyers and exhibitors.

“Conventions India” – Objectives

The Conclave provided an opportunity to interact with the Bureau’s members who are specialists in the organization of meetings and conventions and also other suppliers. This is a group that forms the backbone of any major event taking place in the country.

The Conclave provided an opportunity to participants from many differing but related disciplines to interact, seek information and share experiences. Also, with the aim of strengthening the brand positioning of `Incredible India’ as a MICE destination, buyers from overseas were invited to meet with suppliers from India’s MICE industry and experience the product for themselves.

The two days Conclave was attended by the Conference Planners from Overseas and from within the country besides representatives of hotels and tourism industry including hotel chains, travel agents, tour operators and event organisers.

 Highlights: Day-1- 20th August 2012

Inaugural session started with Buddhist Chants , and lighting of the lamp by all the dignitaries on the dias (Mrs. Usha Sharma, Dr. M. K. S. Sundaram, Mr. Darren Ng, Mr. Martin Sirk, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Mr. Chander Mansharamani, Mr. Shyam Nagpal).

Mr. Chander Mansharamani welcomed the guests and gave an introduction to ICPB, the initiatives taken so far and the future plans. He said, “The Ministry of Tourism is aware of the opportunity in MICE tourism and has taken a number of initiatives to make India a preferred MICE destination.” Addressing the subject of Indian visa application process, he said, “The government has taken many proactive steps to make it easier for visitors from many countries to obtain visa on arrival. These changes will be put into effect very soon.” Apart from the single window clearance, there are also other areas that are being looked into.

Mr. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia, also addressed the audience. Mr. Ng observed that, “The event is small this year, with a focus on quality. Our exhibitors are in an enviable position of being able to make up to a hundred appointments over the two business days.”

Mr. Ng stated that the collaboration between TTG Asia and ICPB showed great promise as the 7th CIC opened to a turnout of over 300 IT&CM India and CIC delegates.

Mr. Soman S. Pathy briefed about the initiatives taken by the Gujarat Tourism, towards growth of tourism and the MICE sector. He also gave a presentation on the State. Other dignitaries who addressed the audience included Dr. M. K. S. Sundaram, I.A.S., District Magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Nodia, Mr. Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles.

Mrs. Usha Sharma, Chairperson ICPB & ADG (T) in her address stated that the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) segment in India has not grown to its full potential. She hoped that the deliberations and brainstorming at the CIC will help in giving the right direction to the MICE industry in India. She added that globally, the MICE industry is worth USD 300 billion, and therefore, India cannot afford to ignore it. Currently, India barely gets 1.2 per cent of the global MICE business. While the economic benefits of MICE travel are enormous, the segment also helps in generating employment opportunities, She further highlighted the various incentives offered by MoT to stakeholders to participate in international bids as well as to set-up convention centers in states.

Delivering the keynote address on – ‘Understanding the true Value of International Association MeetingsMr. Martin Sirk, CEO, ICCA remarked that lack of reliable data is a huge challenge facing the industry. There was hardly any scientific study done to evaluate the actual number and value of conventions happening in each market, barring a few countries, he said. “It is an exercise that requires huge money. Instead of doing it annually, countries should do it at least once in seven years,” he said. “Conventions create political, academic and business linkages. They also provide opportunities to learn from the best in the world. India has a lot of catching up to do in terms of convention facilities,” he added.

In his keynote address Mr. Sirk further stated that “There is a lot happening in the international MICE space. India needs to develop the same competitiveness and gear up to explore the opportunities available.”

The Panel Discussion on technical session “The Science & Art of Winning a BidWhatever it Takes!” was moderated by Ms. Monimita Sarkar, Managing Director, K. W. Conferences Pvt. Ltd. The Panelists included: Prof. A Malhotra, PhD, HOD, Nuclear Medicine, AIIMS; Mr. Sanjay Rai, Executive Vice President Sales, Oberoi Group, Mr. Jaideep Khanna, General Manager, Sales marketing & Distribution, Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Mr. Shyam Nagpal, Managing Director, International Conference & Exhibition Services (ICES) Pvt. Ltd.

The Session – “The vision of New International Convention Centre & Trends in the Exhibition Industry in India – Challenges and the future” was moderated by Ms. Renuka Vijay Kumar, Executive Editor, T3 Magazine. The speakers included Mr Sanjay Soni, Chief Knowledge Directory, Incredible Design, Mr. Shyam Nagpal, Managing Director, International Conference & Exhibition Services (ICES) Pvt. Ltd.

 Day-2 – 21st August 2012

 Mr. Shinu Pillai, Regional Sales Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions spoke on Effective participation in Trade Shows & Expositions.

Considering, technology and social media have a great role to play in the MICE industry, there was an exclusive session on Relevance of Technology and Social Media in the Meetings Industry, moderated by Mr. Rajiv Kohli, Joint Managing Director, Creative Travel India & Plan iT! Meetings & Conferences. The other panelists were Mr Christopher Rost, Director of Sales, C-Vent and Mr. Miguel Neves, Events and Projects Planner, IMEX Group.

The role of ICPB and how it can help in getting events and bid for the same, was covered in the Panel Discussion on ” ICPB – Your Gateway to the World of Conventions in India”. This Session was moderated by Capt. Swadesh Kumar, Managing Director, Shikhar Travels (India) Pvt. Ltd. The other panelists were Mr. Sudeep Sarcar, General Manager, India Exposition Mart Ltd.; Mr. Amaresh Tiwari, MD & CEO, A.T. Seasons & Vacations Travel Pvt. Ltd.; Mr Naveen Chibber, General Manager, Orient Express Travels & Tours; Mr. Sarab Jit Singh, Managing Director, Travelite (India); Mr. Sanjay Soni, Chief Knowledge Director, Incredible Design.

In between the technical sessions, the supporting hotels: Oberoi, Marriott and Kempinski were given the opportunity to present their properties and upcoming convention centers.

In the Valedictory Session, Mr. Sarab Jit Singh, Managing Director, Travelite (India) addressed the gathering and Vote of Thanks was given by Ms. Priti Khanna, Managing Director, MCI Management India Pvt. Ltd.

The participants including the hosted buyers took full advantage of networking lunch hosted by Event Expro & Exhibits on a first day and dinner hosted by Ayatti and ITDC.

There was a Joint Press Conference of ICPB & TTG Asia India at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, Greater Noida followed by lunch hosted by Jaypee Hotels.

The 7th Conventions India Conclave was a wonderful experience for all the attendees which included 80 buyers from all over India, 10 buyers from overseas, 45 Industry organisations who displayed their products. Further, 50 industry delegates and 54 media personnel including 28 overseas media representatives.
Some of the buyers and the media showed keen interest in the upcoming Convention Centres across India with specific reference to colourful cultural programs and bollywood theme during these events with the promotion of MICE.

Another high point of this conclave were two networking dinners that brought together potential national and international buyers and industry delegates to discuss and share information about the Indian MICE facilities and services.

For the first time, the Future Leaders Forum was also developed and organised under the banner of ICPB and TTG Asia Media. The program was designed to encourage the best and brightest students to enter the meetings and incentive travel industry by offering education, networking opportunities and internships.

Around 60 students from various educational establishments in the Delhi National Capital Region attended a series of presentations from leading meetings industry professionals. Miguel Neves, Knowledge and Social Media Manager, IMEX Group, introduced the event and gave a background on the way in which the forum has grown over the past decade.

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