Cover Story with Jason Ng
Executive Director, MP International

With MICE associations setting the wheels in motion for more effective collaborations among industry players, professional exhibition organizers (PEOs) and professional conference organizers (PCOs) are picking up the pace with fresh perspectives on attendee engagement in the new norm and using data in the right way.

The pandemic has fast-forwarded the agenda of the MICE industry to transform and to embrace new norms even as it returns to the familiarity of 'old norms’ such as in-person events. Events for MP International have always focused on the branding, communications and technology aspects of the experience, and they are now more important than ever in maximising the engagement value of delegates for clients.

Collaboration wise, Jason Ng, Executive Director, MP International of Pico shared that they have been working closely with convention and exhibition bureaus (CVBs) and association partners to reframe their event formats. “We determine how these new event formats will expand the variety of experiences for destinations and enhance stakeholder experience at the events,” he shares.

Ng also emphasised the importance of securing intelligent data. “We are working closely with our partners in data analytics to gain more meaningful insights from attendees’ experiences at these events.”

The typical events data and statistics that are generated for events are no longer good enough to meet new expectations. “With the plethora of data available from virtual events, exhibitors and sponsors will be expecting a similar level of data transparency from PEOs for physical exhibitions," says Ng.

He adds: “One of the ways in which PEOs can make data work harder is by regarding it holistically, from pre-event to on-site to post-event, and not analyse it in a 'siloed' fashion. You would be surprised by the amount of insight we can gain by stitching together data from pre-event registration right through to post-event surveys.”

ln-person events have returned, but PEOs have to fine-tune their playbooks to further enhance expected formats to yield better competitive value. Ng urges PEOs to start thinking about “accessibility beyond the location”.

"Exhibitions have always been about bringing sellers and buyers to one location during a period of time. While this is still relevant, future exhibitions will do well to harness what we have learnt from organising virtual events in the last two years; that is, create multiple touchpoints beyond the physical exhibition to enhance attendees’ meaningful engagement,” Ng concludes.

The above was extracted from a ‘Cover Story’ article with Jason Ng, Executive Director of MP International, published online in M&C Asia eBook on 23 May 2022.