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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
editor’s letter Editor’s letter Different strokes, different folks especially true in the association sector where countries and cities around the globe must carefully prepare bid documents in the hope that they can secure a large mega-meeting, often times for years down the track. Quality facilities in which to host large-scale meetings is now imperative. If a destination can’t offer size, state-of-the-art technology, and ease-of-access then they are behind the eight ball already. But the other important element that those bidding for business must remember is that delegates of different nationalities often have completely different wants and needs. While they may have similar interests in terms of their occupation (and hence their reason for being at the congress), they most likely have totally different aspirations away from the conference venue. In our Q&A interview in this edition with David Barrett of Diethelm Events (see page 16), Mr Barrett said that integrated resorts being built in Singapore, and those that have already opened in Macau, cater (or will cater) perfectly well to the Chinese and Indian markets because they are “big, brash, [with] bright lights and brand new”. He says that the Chinese and Indian MICE groups are seeking glitzy experiences. He goes on further to explain that the “Asian delegate has different needs… The Asian delegate is looking for glamour and trend- setting style, whereas American delegates are mostly on a voyage T he convention and incentive sector is unquestionably a competitive one, with destinations often pitted against one another to secure the same piece of business. This is of discovery with an appetite for history, culture and traditions. The European delegates’ needs are a mix of Asian and American. They seek the adventure spirit yet want a five-star restaurant in the middle of an ethnic village.” This is why research into where delegates are coming from is so important in the bidding process, and why you can never expect all delegates to all want to do the same thing in one country or city. While American and Singaporean delegates may both enjoy shopping during their time off, the American delegate most probably prefers to hit the traditional market rather than the mega-shopping complex which is exactly where the Singaporean delegate will be heading during their conference downtime. While the Australian delegate likes to eat dinner between 6.30pm and 8pm, the Indian delegate is enjoying a cocktail during this time and prefers to eat closer to 12 midnight. Knowing what makes delegates tick is an art. Thank goodness then that Asia has the kind of experienced personnel, like Diethelm’s David Barrett, who understand that you can’t neatly package everything up in the same box. And where would the fun be in that anyway? We welcome your feedback, MANAGING EDITOR miceAsia.net 1 Recent attendees at World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney came from all over the world for the event. The diverse group had one thing in common - Jesus.