The volatile pandemic continues to affect global operations. Destinations around the world and international associations have leveraged digital technology to enable cross-border connections. Through immersive virtual experiences, online/offline hybrid activities, and other innovative technologies, many events have engaged with more participants. Taipei City Government has taken the lead, and joined Hybrid City Alliance in June to support hybrid events for all kinds of organizations. Along with International Congress and Convention Association, Taipei City co-host ICCA Think Tank, presented by Taipei City Government forum on June 30th. Representatives of MICE professionals, were invited to attend online to discuss how to take advantage of this hybrid world. There were over 176 participants from 37 regions registered for the event.
During the secession, Taipei Smart City Project Management Office Director, Dr. Chen-Yu Lee, explained the development of 5G and big data of a city can support hybrid events’ development. Tadeja Pivc shared her view on how Multi-City Hybrid events might be able to benefit small cities and also be a challenge for PCOs . The panelists all agreed that hybrid event is a new opportunity for the MICE industry; however, people still desire to participate face-to- face event. Hybrid event will still exist after the pandemic, just like all new technologies, it will be another innovative option for the industry.
In the Taipei City White Paper on Industrial Digital Transformation for the Post-Pandemic Era published February 2021, it listed the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry as one of the city’s key focus industries. The city’s MICE industry transformation seeks to utilize technology to build its software and hardware capabilities and to develop in-depth tourism. To date, Taipei City has hosted a number of such milestone hybrid conferences, exhibitions and forums. For example, the 2021 Smart City Summit and Expo held in March used AR and VR virtual experiences with simultaneous online and offline exhibitions to showcase the new normal for MICE industries. COMPUTEX TAIPEI, which has just ended successfully on June 30th, went one step further and applied AI technology to its virtual exhibition. Meanwhile, an analysis report by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranks Taipei among top 20 cities with most affected meetings as the city with the highest percentage (19%) of hybrid meetings converted from physical meetings in response to the pandemic in 2020.*
Besides speaking out to the world and increasing international visibility for MICE industry in Taipei, Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism also works closely with private sectors to explore MICE opportunities. It builds an online conference service platform, and identifies potential partners on the platform for association, event and meeting organizers. Taipei City Government will continue to collaborate with MICE stakeholders, underpin essential capabilities, and expand MICE tourism of Taipei.