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FEATURE | COVER STORY 16 JAN-FEB 2018 meetings & conventions • Jan Tonkin, President International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are the hot game changers facing our industry, but what I really want to emphasise is the way business models are evolving. Convention centres are venturing into service offerings such as accommodation bookings; destinations are taking equity positions in on the experience of the customer journey and the engagement of the customer. The new basics, if we are to call them, will have to range from delegate management (through digitalisation for accurate data capture, including customer's business motivations) to delegate emotions (through the delivery of personal, authentic, interactive visitor experiences at key touch-points of a customer's event journey). Secondly, the digital era calls for greater cross-industry collaboration among distinct and adjacent industries to spark off new business ideas and the development of breakthrough business solutions. This form of disruption will compel event organisers to move beyond transaction-based and knowledge- push events to a considered curation of their shows to foster vibrant exchange that blends onsite and online platforms. Venue providers will also be compelled to inject greater versatility into space design and event solutions offerings to bring about the desired physical and digital experiences. Within Asia Pacific, the increase in the number and professionalism of convention bureaux is remarkable. Key players across the MICE industry are taking a more active role in international industry bodies and being recognised for their contributions. Asia is well positioned to grow its share of international meetings. To leverage well on this requires one to look beyond the larger, traditional events at a wide cross-section of the marketplace and to secure meetings of various sizes and specialities. That Key association leaders share their perspectives on the year ahead and the trends and issues that will influence outcomes in the meetings and events space. Who holds the ace cards? " models are evolving and convention centres are venturing into service offerings such as accommodation and events..." "Venue providers will also be compelled to inject greater versatility into space design and event solutions offerings..." inaugural events; production companies are expanding their capabilities and reach; and PCOs are adding more specialist staff to their teams as they look to provide clients with valuable advice and guidance about creating 'meetings of choice'. Maybe we will also see more online communities creating their own face to face events, possibly redefining what face to face means as they do so. in turn provides the perfect platform for the region to be bringing the Asia Pacific community together alongside delegates from other corners of the globe. Aloysius Arlando, President International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) As we look to the new year, we also need to look beyond statistics and hard numbers, and strengthen focus

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