Inaugural ICE president Nigel Gaunt said that ICE (Incentives, Conferences and Events) will connect Asian and Australian businesses in a meaningful way.
With the headquarters for industry peak bodies ISES (International Special Events Society) and SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) based in Chicago and MPI (Meetings Planners International) based in Dallas, Gaunt said it makes sense to have a dedicated Asia Pacific peak body to service the $80 billion dollars’ worth of MICE business coming out of this region.
“The economic value of the industry is $100 billion per annum, with 80 per cent of that coming out of Asia Pacific, so it makes sense to have a localised peak body,” said Gaunt.
Gaunt, who has worked in the MICE industry for 30 years, said he believes this region lacks a voice in terms of its value to the economy.
“It seems a little outmoded to have our peak bodies based in the US,” said Gaunt.
The main difference between ICE and other peak bodies is that ICE has pursued in-house corporate members in the automotive, insurance, pharmaceutical, banking and direct selling industries.
“These are the people who are actually involved in booking business; they are the big spenders, and they have never been actively solicited to join a peak body,” said Gaunt.
“The benefit for Australian suppliers and intermediaries is this access to the inbound Asian market,” said Gaunt.
ICE currently has 100 corporate members and 200 members all up.
ICE has established a secretariat in Hong Kong, an office in Singapore and is looking to recruit an Education Director in either Hong Kong or Singapore.
To join ICE, visit www.icesap.org and download a membership application.