2014 Taiwan's MICE Promotion Program Innovative Event Marketing Increases Taiwan’s MICE Reputation
Taiwan's MICE Promotion Program, organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Foreign Trade, has entered its third consecutive year in 2015. Apart from its continuous aim to consolidate the international image and competitiveness of Taiwan’s MICE brand “MEET TAIWAN”, it has also generated a variety of innovative strategies, such as event marketing schemes that combine virtual and real-life familiarization competitions, successfully promoting Taiwan’s MICE brand to the world. In overseas marketing, the MICE Promotion Program led domestic industry representatives to attend four significant international conference and incentive tour exhibitions in Thailand, Germany, Japan, and Shanghai, plus formed four overseas promotion groups to organize a number of promotional briefings in Mainland China, Southeast Asia, and Northeast Asia. Two familiarization tours (fam tour) to Taiwan provided potential overseas industries and media visitors a specialized look at Taiwan, highlighting software and hardware advantages related to holding international conventions and incentive travel in Taiwan. The first ever "Asia Super Team" competition took place in 2014. Combined with internet activities and a fam tour to Taiwan, the event reinforced the popularity of Taiwan’s MICE brand in its five target countries, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In addition to social media marketing through electronic and print media, including the event's official website and Facebook, contestants were invited to participate in a trial-marketing team competition in Taiwan; both competitors and voters extended their influence as Taiwan’s corporate incentive travel ambassadors, simultaneously achieving word-of-mouth marketing and effectively raising the international visibility of Taiwan’s MICE industry. In 2014, interior panoramic images of select exhibition and conference venues were made accessible on the MEET TAIWAN website, a pioneering service for the global MICE industry. The website offers 360-degree views of Taiwan’s five main convention and exhibition venues: the Nangang Exhibition Hall, Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1, Taipei International Convention Center, Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, and International Convention Center Kaohsiung, enabling instant online browsing for potential overseas PEOs, PCOs, and NGOs. This industry leading service not only grants Taiwan’s MICE industry with more rapid business opportunities, it also enhances its global and cutting edge image. Another Taiwan first, the Promotion Program adopted Event Sustainability Management Systems (ISO 20121), a London developed protocol for the 2012 Olympic Games, to promote Green MICE and sustainable environments. Both the Eco-Products International Fair 2014 (EPIF 2014) and the 9th Asian MICE Forum (AMF 2014) have become the first exhibition and conference in Taiwan to receive ISO 20121 certification, as well as the first to be issued ISO 20121 certifications by SGS in Asia. Adoption of the systems has also assisted the 2014 TPCA Show and Taipei International Convention Center in receiving carbon footprint calculation and international Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quantifier certification. This signifies a promising start for Taiwan’s advocacy of Green MICE, and ensures our leading position among Green MICE countries in Asia. To assist the domestic MICE industry with solving cash flow problems when campaigning for or executing large-scale international conventions, exhibitions, and government events, the Promotion Program developed the 2014 MICE Industry Funding Brief to guide domestic MICE contractors on how to apply for financial assistance from the Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund, so as to strengthen corporate credit, risk share, and improve on the bank’s willingness to approve financing. Looking to 2015, the Promotion Program will continue to operate according to its existing framework, which includes the core functions of marketing communication, MICE service, industry research, and professional consulting by using innovative approaches to increase advertising reach. In addition, the “Taiwan MICE Bonus Tour” is currently underway, aiming at Mainland China’s corporate incentive travel as its target market. The event is collaborating with local governments that are counseled by the Promotion Program, introducing quality local activities, transportation subsidies, ticketing assistance, sponsorship of cultural performances, dining guides, and other services to attract more corporate incentive tours to Taiwan. The Asian MICE Forum (AMF), a significant MICE brand originally established in Taiwan, is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015. The Promotion Program will use this opportunity to enlarge the scale of our participation in the Forum, introducing new exhibitions and activities, such as the Promotion Program’s achievement exhibition, a "MICE Policy White Paper" presentation, a campaign for hosting rights to ICCA’s core summit (with a preference for Kaohsiung), and others to expand the event into a full “MICE Week”. In 2015, we will continue to organize a series of event-marketing activities under the "Asia Super Team" theme in six target markets: Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will also be introduced to the industry with a focus on issues of public concern, reinforcing Taiwan’s image as a top destination for corporate conferences and incentive travel by appealing through integration of international public services and charity work. Our endeavor is to effectively improve the international visibility of Taiwan MICE through domestic and international marketing, and provide opportunities for international collaboration in hopes of expanding the scale of Taiwan's MICE industry.