The concept of the hybrid exhibition is an innovation which has been around for some time. With the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affecting people’s daily lives, social distancing has now become a part of our way of life. The MICE industry needs to look for innovations to adapt its business to this new normal. The hybrid exhibition is the answer. The innovation is growing fast during these challenging times.
“We are a startup which has been organising events and presenting information and product content for several organisations in the business sector. We use information technology to support our work; to evaluate our exhibitions; and connect businesses, the general public, and government sectors together. Our goal is to create at least 10 One City – One Festival events within five years by using the One Date – One Platform strategy. The strategy is an important foundation for the festival economy which is one of the forces driving Thailand’s digital economy, and society.”
NEW MEDIA X is a startup that was the winner of Thailand’s MICE Startup 2020. It’s one of the companies that focusses on hybrid exhibition innovation. The company has a clear goal in building the festival economy. The startup provides technology consultancy, and develops solutions for businesses which lead to new innovations such as smart designs and information systems for business management. These innovations will be a tool to help executives in making decisions, and linking businesses to digital marketing. Moreover, they use technology and the internet of things in work processes to build a complete platform for business services.
“We want to inspire entrepreneurs who are searching for a new business plan, developing and expanding from their knowledge and inspiration in order to increase their business’s potential and opportunities. The increasing support from the public sector and government agencies will accelerate the growth of Thai startups and increase their competiveness which will become a major drive of the Thai economy,” said Mr. Montien Vichitrsarawongs, a representative of NEW MEDIA X, explaining why he chose to work in startups.
He also talked about the reasons why he decided to join Thailand’s MICE Startup contest, “We have many years of experience in working with the business sector in event resource management, such as event planning, content and product design. We use technology and data analysis to help business executives plan their future events. We believe that MICE business entrepreneurs need to utilize technologies as a main strategy to support their business.”
In this project, NEW MEDIA X is working with the organizer of Thailand Toy Expo in developing innovations to drive offline and online engagement for their hybrid exhibition. The innovations will allow online visitors to participate in offline activities while using online channels to enhance offline visitors’ experiences at the event, and also increase the number of participants in each activity. Their most important goal is to promote Thailand Toy Expo as a signature festival of Thailand like the Songkran Festival which is well-known with foreigners.
The Thailand Toy Expo is an international expo which features more than 100 brands of toy collectibles from 14 countries in America, Europe and Asia. This year will be the eighth year that the expo has been held. It draws approximately 550,000 visitors each year making it one of the top 10 toy expos in the world.
Montien explained his ideas for innovations for the project. He said that expos and exhibitions in Thailand were usually organized by businesses from within the industry. However, from his experience in the MICE Startup contest, he saw opportunities to improve, upgrade and develop the expo to be a major event which can generate huge revenue and new business opportunities for the organisers and the entrepreneurs participating in the event.
“In the past years, festivals have not just been events. The concept of ‘festivalisation’ has been used in several events. Festivals are used to vitalize cities and create local economic impact. No matter how advanced our technology and cell phones have become, every event or festival still needs to have a landmark, gateway, signage, shopping stores and vending machines. How wonderful it will be if we can utilize only one device to do all the work in a radius of three kilometers of the event which has previously been done by 20 staff, such as the registration and information officer, salesperson, surveyor, cashier, greeter, presenter, guardian and management assistant. It can also seamlessly link to online marketing channels. This is a great way to allocate budget. It’s better than building a gateway or landmark which require manpower, and increase management costs.”
The two organisations are working together to develop innovations and technology to solve pain points and problems and fulfill the needs in the MICE industry. They are using Thailand’s MICE Startup 202 website to match MICE businesses experiencing problems with the startups and tech entrepreneurs who have the solutions for their problems.
NEW MEDIA X shared their views about the co-operation between startups and the MICE industry, “The project creates an opportunity for strategists, marketers, creators, and developers from the MICE business, and startups to share their ideas and work closely together. This will lead to the adaptation and development of the Thai MICE industry within the current business situation. It will help the Thai MICE industry maximize its economic output and competitiveness, and sustainably develop its business in this uncertain situation.”
NEW MEDIA X also works as a central connector to co-operate with all involved parties to ensure the fast success of the project for the benefit of various business sectors in Thailand, especially the MICE industry. The project has been created under the concept of ‘give and take together’. Participants needs to contribute to the project in order for them and their organisation to receive benefits from it. All parties need to work together to increase their competitiveness in the international business world. NEW MEDIA X aims to connect the online and on-ground worlds of the MICE industry together through the co-operation between the general public, private businesses and the government sector.
Regarding the role of startups during the COVID19 pandemic, Montien added, “In a crisis, there’s always an opportunity. From the point of view of a startup, we see both positive and negative impacts from the pandemic. It is undeniable that the pandemic is a major drive for people to adopt new technology into their lives. Some technologies which were used by certain groups of customers are now widely used by former non-users because of the pandemic. This crisis creates an opportunity for some businesses, especially the startups and technology businesses, to recruit new users.”
26 March 2021, Bangkok: TCEB launches “MICE Winnovation” project to promote the utilisation of innovation and technology in organising MICE events. Four key project features are designed to match MICE entrepreneurs and tech entrepreneurs: platform showcasing products and services of tech entrepreneurs, business negotiation platform, funding support package and workshops aiming to enhance efficiency in new normal MICE operation with innovation and technology.
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