IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific celebrate its 25th and 20th anniversary respectively this 2017 with an ultimate throwback to the evolution, milestones, and good times since IT&CMA first started in 1993 and CTW Asia-Pacific in 1998.
The MICE trade show that debuted in Hong Kong was an event driven to develop the Asia-Pacific MICE market regionally and internationally. The show was hosted in several Southeast Asia countries before settling in Thailand in 2004.
On the other hand, the first CTW Asia-Pacific started in Kuala Lumpur. On its 3rd year, delegate numbers doubled and continued to rise while hosted by other countries till formally co-locating with IT&CMA in 2004.
As the show evolved, new business, education and networking initiatives were continuously introduced and improved to make IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific what it is today.
In 1995, pre-scheduled appointment capabilities were added to facilitate structured meetings between buyers and sellers then eventually incorporating features such as perfect matching then online diary facilities. Now, 100% appointments can be made ahead of arriving in Bangkok to better plan their business conversations and maximize their time.
The show further met demand by opening Media Briefing segments and destination presentations (2011) with a luxury travel component incorporated in 2012.
As IT&CMA recognized the need for delegates to find inspiration to better complement their business objectives, knowledge-building was cultivated by developing education tracks tailored to different segments – Campfire Knowledge Sessions, a dedicated Association Day Programme (2013), and the ASEAN MICE forum (2015) to advance the Asian market. And to inspire young adults to challenge conventional thinking and mold a career in MICE, The Future Leaders Forum in partnership with IMEX, MPI, and MCI was launched.
From events that everyone was invited to, networking events progressed to include targeted sessions that suppliers and partners could take advantage of. From sponsored luncheon in the beginning to branded hosted luncheons, dinners and networking cocktails have been steadfast as well as pre- and post-tours hosting by NTOs and CVBs were designed to give buyers a tangible sample of products. Last year was a record for 18 NTOs, CVBs, corporate and organizations who snapped up close to 30 captive engagement sessions. An increasing number of brands are now collaborating with the event to engage the marketplace with roadshows and famtrips.
The importance of educating the industry to maintain global standards for all corporate travel professionals was a defining factor for the development of CTW. Influencers and decision-makers of corporate travel functions from all industries needed to cultivate Travel & Entertainment best practices that met compliance guidelines and keep abreast of the latest trends, challenges, and solutions available. Comprising some of the best minds from around the region, Advisory Panel was created to initiate panel discussions, and promote interaction between peers.
Business opportunities in CTW
Keeping abreast of challenges and trends through the panel discussions, Corporate Travel influencers and decision makers were able to explore and procure solutions on the floor to better meet the changing requirements of their stakeholders. Table-top sessions allowed buyers to reach out to suppliers and solution providers to source on behalf of their company and a chance for suppliers to connect with corporate travel professionals across different industries. To date, CTW has the biggest hosting programme for corporate travel managers (CTM) in the region and a dedicated Knowledge Hub and Pavilion bringing suppliers and CTMs even closer.