New Delhi: The India Convention Promotion Bureau successfully concluded its two-day flagship event – the 13th Conventions India Conclave (CIC) as a hybrid event on October 30 – 31, 2020. Nearly 90 participants attended physically at the venue, JW Marriott Aerocity New Delhi and over 1200 joined via virtual platform on both days.

Girish Kwatra, Hony. Secretary, ICPB, welcomed the participants and made his opening remarks, “Reopening of MICE not only helps in reviving the MICE stakeholders but also the other sectors attached to it. Business events have multi sector impact and are an efficient means of supporting the recovery and advancement of a wide range of economic, professional, academic and business sectors. Therefore, reviving the MICE sector is like reigniting the whole economy.”

Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, ICPB, addressing the participants stated, “To target global congress, conventions and conferences and social events we need to create a global MICE bidding fund with a corpus for ₹500 crores to enable our entrepreneurs undertake techno economic bids for events which have a bid cycle of 2 years plus. We need to create city convention bureaus in each of our main cities which will work with ICPB as their hub to carry out a global bidding activity.”

In his address, Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Chairman ICPB, agreed that the tourism industry was passing through difficult times but was optimistic that the industry will emerge stronger post COVID19. He underlined that the disruptive impact of COVID on the global economy has led to a surge in the use of digital technology due to social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns. He virtually inaugurated the CIC exhibition with 26 exhibitors.

Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Hon’ble Minister (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture, Government of India was the Chief Guest at the event. He addressed the participants with his virtual presence at the inaugural session on 30th October 2020 and applauded the efforts of ICPB as a front runner in hosting a hybrid event of this magnitude. ‘ICPB MICE Film’ and ‘Digital Planner’ were also globally launched by the Hon’ble Minister.

Sessions at the Conclave–

  • Keynote Address by Ori Lahav, President, IAPCO on ‘Physical & Digital Meetings – A Harmonious Blend’ through an informative presentation on evolving technologies in the meeting industry.
  • Panel Discussion I– ‘Strategizing for Survival, Revival and Thrival of MICE in India’, moderated by Nitesh Gandhi, General Manager, JW Marriott Aerocity with panellists- Rakesh Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, Tourism and Chairman, ICPB; Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman – ICPB; Girish Kwatra, Hony. Secretary, ICPB and Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI.
  • Presentationby JW Marriott Aerocity, New Delhi on ‘Attendees Engagement: How to make it more effective and engaging‘ included the presentation of the venue’s MICE facilities.
  • Panel Discussion II – ‘Critical path of Contracting: Event Risks, Attrition, Retention, Cancellation, Minimums, Concessions based on New Normal’ moderated by Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, ICPB with panellists – Chander Mansharamani, Managing Director, Alpcord Network; Aashish Gupta, Founder – StrategyPluto; Christopher T. Viegas, Associate Vice President Sales: MICE & Social Events – Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. and Rohit Chopra- Regional Director of sales and distribution (India and South Asia), Accor.
  • A captivating presentation by Gujarat Tourism on ‘MICE Infrastructure: The Big Picture‘ highlighting its MICE Infrastructure was extremely insightful. The Gujarat tourism film projected the tourism attractions and the business opportunities, infrastructure to promote Gujarat as an attractive leisure and business destination.
  • Panel Discussion III – ‘Innovative ways of executing MICE – New Normal Events’ moderated by Girish Kwatra, Hony. Secretary – ICPB with Panellists, Dr. Deepak Govil, Director – Critical Care, Medanta; Roshan Abbas, President – Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA); Abinash Manghani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – WelcomHeritage – ITC Hotels and Sudeep Sarcar, CEO – India Exposition Mart Ltd.
  • presentation on ‘Designing Digital Experience and creating value to stakeholders‘ by Grover Audio Visual Services, the Technology Partner for the 13th CIC, highlighted the importance of technology in the new normal of MICE industry post COVID19.
  • Virtual ICCA session – ‘Pursuing the International Association Meetings Business during the pandemic’ was moderated by Noor Ahmad Hamid, Regional Director (Asia Pacific), ICCA with panellists, Dr. Keiko Nishimoto, Senior Researcher – MICE Research Institute; Bruce Redor, Partner (Europe), GainingEdge and Chloé Menhinick, Partner (Association Consulting), GainingEdge
  • Panel Discussion IV – ‘Gender Equality & Sustainability in MICE Industry’ moderated by Madhu Dubey, Executive Director, ICPB with panellists – Meenakshi Sharma, Director General, Ministry of Tourism (virtual); Nidhi Sharma, Executive Director, IEIA; Punam Singh, Chief Happiness Officer and Founder Member – Indian Hospitality Network – IHN, Rakhi Nathawat, Executive Director – All India Ophthalmological Society. Lalitha Kantham Rai, Partner – Marundeshwara Enterprises (virtual); Rajani Nair Deb, Director of Sales & Marketing – Mahatma Mandir Convention & Exhibition Centre (virtual) and Dimple Peri, Chief Curator – Jamiti (virtual).
  • A Hybrid Hub sessionwas organised physically at Crowne Plaza – Greater Noida, which was transmitted live to all participants in Delhi and across the country. The objective of this session was to showcase advanced technologies in promoting hybrid meeting hubs to all participants of the Conclave.
  • Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) made a detailed presentation to the Conclave participants on Bangalore as an attractive MICE destination and the convention/meeting facilities at the venue, BIEC.
  • Virtual Session I – ‘Role of Service Providers in meeting the demands of MICE industry post Covid-19’, moderated by Nimit Soni, Member, ICPB with panellists, Rohit Saraogi, Director & Co Founder – DesignDesk; Santosh Kumar, Director – Violet Worldwide; Ravi Boratkar, Managing Director – MM Activ and Ashish Jagota, Executive Director – Concept Conferences Pvt. Ltd.
  • Virtual Session II – ‘Building Human Capital: Capacity building, imparting professional skills through trainings, certification programme and its effectiveness’, moderated by Dr. Chandra Shekhar Barua, Assistant Prof & Placement Officer, IITTM, with panellistsDharmendra Kumar, CEO, Geanis World & MICE; Prof Dr. Anupama Srivastava, Coordinator, Institute of Tourism Studies, University of Lucknow; Prof. Dr. Sampad Swain, Professor & HOD Department of Tourism Studies – School of Management, Pondicherry University; Prof. Dr. Paramita Suklabaidya, Associate Professor – School of Tourism & Hospitality Services Management – IGNOU; Prof. Dr. Rajesh N. Ragde, Associate Professor and Director – Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University; Prof. Dr. Sneha. N, H.O.D & Assistant Professor – Department of Travel & Tourism, Mount Carmel College and Madan Kak, COO, Minar Travels & Elbon Conferences
  • Virtual Session III –  ‘ROI and ROO in Meeting Industry: How to measure and create value to stakeholders’, moderated by Neeraj Dhawan, Board Member, ICPB Governing Board, with panellists, Neelanjana Singh, Executive Member, Indian Dietetic Association; Dr. Tilak Raj Raina, Deputy President – Indian Society of Blood Transfusion; Dr. Abhijit Ashok Sarkar, Vice President, Sharekhan Ltd. Riyaz UC, Managing Director – Spiceland Holidays and Entertainments Pvt. Ltd. and Dr. Kamlesh Sharma, National Institute of Ayurveda.
  • An insightful talk was given by Speaker, Rajeev Kohli, Joint Managing Director – Creative Travel delivered on How to Brand INDIA as MICE destination.

Another unique experience of the participants was, an enjoyable lunch served as ‘assisted buffet’. A new concept for conference lunches wherein small individual portions are offered in the buffet served by the staff and more live stations to avoid keeping large quantity of cooked food.

The Conclave concluded with the Valedictory session. Mr. Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman- ICPB summarized the highlights of the two day Conclave and thanked all speakers, participants, supporting partners, media representatives for the success of the event. ICPB felicitated the supporting partners, thanking them for their support and contribution in putting up a successful hybrid 13th CIC following all safety protocols.  The supporting partners namely, Ministry of Tourism – Government of India; Gujarat Tourism; JW Marriott Aerocity; Grover Audio Visual Services; Crowne Plaza – Greater Noida; Axis Communications; Group Think; Falcon; India Exposition Mart Ltd.; Bangalore International Exhibition Centre were presented certificates recognizing their contribution to the success of the event.