TAIPEI, Taiwan ROC – The Destination Marketing Contest held on the sidelines of the 2015 Asian MICE Forum at the Taipei International Convention Center generated record entries.
Twenty two schools from six countries competed at this prestigious event to promote their destination to the Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) industry, organized by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, also known as TAITRA.
The use of Augmented Reality (AR), Brain Computer Interface (BCI), 360 videos and 3D graphics on backdrops that only appear in high definition (HD) when viewed through a smartphone are just a few of the innovative technologies demonstrated by students at the show.
This year’s top prize went to the Singapore Polytechnic University and the new star award went to the International Bali Tourism Institute.
Students from five international universities received airfare and accommodation sponsored by the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Having attended this event for the past five years, Scott Michael Smith, Course Coordinator from Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management shared, “The visitor experience created by these future leaders and the thoughtful use of the latest technologies at their trade show booths to promote their tourist destination to the MICE market offered revolutionary ideas.
“Many universities invested between US$5,000-$10,000 in their tradeshow booth and presentations, encouraging the best and brightest tourism students to showcase their talents and technological expertise as well as research and test the latest trends in the MICE industry,” he added
This year‘s focus was clearly on the next generation of MICE industry leaders. TAITRA started the 3 day program with the 2015 ASIAN MICE Young Generation Forum, focusing on digital strategy and strategic data management for MICE as well as new MICE developments and the trend of O2O (Online-to-Offline) marketing applications.
Following the trend, Thailand’s Assumption University Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management was the only university to utilize a social media marketing strategy and find sponsors to offer a chance at a holiday in Bangkok, launching a MeetinBangkok campaign.
Mr. Panyakorn Nettip, tourism student from Assumption University created a marketing strategy that includes a website (www.MeetinBangkok.com) and three social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The website and social media platforms will be used to share post-show campaigns and information relevant to Bangkok’s MICE market.
Mr. Nino Gruettke, Managing Director, VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific, a competition judge, noted “The use of social media is inevitable. It takes young entrepreneurs such as Mr. Panyakorn to turn 12 square meters of exhibition space into a legion of authentic Facebook followers and fans and remind us of the importance of integrating a social media strategy into our MICE events. Finding sponsors and offering a chance to win a holiday in Bangkok certainly created a buzz.”
Visitors to the tradeshow booth were encouraged to upload their photos and share online for a chance to win a holiday in Bangkok. Miss Hua Hung (Emilia), tourism student from the Takming University of Science and Technology in Taipei was the lucky winner of the holiday for two. The holiday includes “Selfie Tours” sponsored by Southeast Asia travel specialist, Khiri Travel and organized by their sister organization, Phuchan Travel. The room nights are sponsored by the Rembrandt Hotels and Resorts and include superior accommodations and breakfast for two.
Mr. Panyakorn and friends from Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management will serve as Thailand’s unofficial ambassadors of hospitality for the lucky winner and friend.