CEO speaks at Singapore mice forum

29 Aug 2016

ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy, addressed more than 400 local, regional and international MICE and Events professionals at the Global Industry Thought Leaders Panel during Singapore MICE Forum (SMF) 2016. In the company of other industry heavyweights, Geoff discussed the growth and direction of the MICE industry in line with the event’s theme: “Re-work, Re-conceptualise, Re-interpret”. The theme challenged attendees to embrace innovation and break out from traditional ways of planning events.

Panellists also included Deborah Sexton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); David Audrain, CEM, Executive Director, Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO); Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI); Kevin Hinton, Chief Excellence Officer, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and Walter Yeh, President, Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA).

The panel confirmed that event planners and venues need to be more agile to meet the changing needs of event attendees and also encouraged venues to stay flexible, embrace innovation and be ready for change.

Donaghy noted the need for venues to have adaptive environments, as change, crisis and disruption is the new status quo and venues and planners need to be ready. He also noted, some venues are ready for such changes but others will take more time as venues may have hardware limitations like ceilings and walls.

“More and more, we are seeing the convergence of exhibitions and conventions. Conventions are increasingly adding trade opportunities and exhibitions to their models and exhibitions are, more and more, adding plenary sessions into their programs. A successful business model needs to cater for the effective and successful hosting of a number of concurrent shows and venue designs are responding to this demand.

“In Australia we’re seeing significant expansion and change in venue designs. We have been innovative with our design at ICC Sydney and will open with 40 percent more usable exhibition space on the same site as the former venue,” said Donaghy.