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On The Ground 12 JUL-AUG 2019 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM Conference Game on! The world's largest gaming festival set for Singapore Singapore will play host to the first Asian edition of gamescom, the world's largest gaming festival. Planned to happen from October 15 to 18 in 2020, the event will consist of a two-day industry gaming conference, as well as a three-day trade and public exhibition — including esports events, a showcase of emerging technologies in video games, gaming workshops, meet-and-greet sessions and cosplay. Gamescom has been held in Cologne, Germany, yearly since 2009. Sponsored by game, the Association for the German Games Industry, it is the industry's largest event measured by exhibition space and number of visitors, with 370,000 visitors and 1,037 exhibitors from 56 countries attending the show last year. The Singapore edition is expected to attract over 30,000 enthusiasts and gaming industry professionals. Last November, market analyst Newzoo forecasted the global games market would reach almost US$135 billion in 2018 and subsequently reach US$174 billion by 2021. WORDS MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS ASIA (TOP LEFT) ILLUSTRATION: GETTY IMAGES Gamescom Destination Thailand Q2 growth propels Thailand into MICE spotlight Thailand has emerged as one of Asia's MICE destinations of choice after a strong second-quarter report card revealed a growth in visitors and income. The number of domestic and foreign MICE travellers totalled eight million, which contributed to a rise of 6.27% — or THB 50 billion (US$1.56 billion) — in revenue, according to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), putting it on course with TCEB's goal of hitting THB 220 billion in 2019. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, president of TCEB, said Thailand now ranks fourth in Asia for international conventions, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). This also makes Thailand the top nation for meetings among ASEAN countries.

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