THE Korea MICE Association (KMA) is putting itself in the driver’s seat to unite Asia-Pacific’s MICE associations into a combined regional entity, tentatively named the Asia-Pacific Federation of MICE Association.
KMA is taking a step-by-step approach, first collaborating with the individual Asia-Pacific counterparts in the various nations. From one MoU it signed with the Japan Convention Management Association back in 2013, it now has an MoU with the Singapore Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers, signed in 2014, and another with the China MICE Committee, signed in 2015.
KMA is signing this afternoon an MoU with the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA). It hopes to continue signing one MoU a year in the hope of achieving its goal of forming the regionwide MICE association for Asia-Pacific in the near future, said Kyuree Kim, assistant manager of KMA.
Kim added that KMA might sign an MoU with Malaysia or Taiwan next year.
According to Kim, the major MICE associations in South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia have agreed to the massive undertaking during a kickoff meeting held in February this year.
KMA has set a rough timeline by 2020 for the new federation. “This (regionwide MICE association) is a long-term project to serve Asia-Pacific countries,” she said.
Currently, there is already the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) although it is more focused on these two segments than the meetings and incentives segments. Separately there is also an attempt to set up an Asia-Pacific society of association executives.
TICA’s general manager Prapaphan Sungmuang said TICA is already a member of AFECA, but it is not saying no to the idea of the new MICE association. Meanwhile, the MoU with KMA will enhance collaboration between the two countries, especially in the areas of professional education, training and marketing.
Last year, for example, under KMA’s MoU with China, 30 Chinese buyers visited South Korea to meet MICE sellers.