tv Taiwan Outlook PBS September 9, 2013 8:00am-9:01am PDT
attending meetings and conferences of a fact of life for mindy business executives. our guest today is jason yeh of the taiwan convention and exhibition association to tell if the state of the meeting industry in taiwan. welcome to the program. >> good day, everybody. >> is a pleasure. first, tell us a little bit about your association with the taiwan convention and exhibition association. >> ok. taiwan convention and exhibition association actually was founded in 1991. the reason behind this is in 1992, the taiwan convention industries was going to host the international congress and convention association in taiwan. during that time, we think we should have an organization who
ran the conference. during the time, the bureau and some airlines, hotel, plaza, and sheraton hotel, we just formed our organization. and started working for the conference. >> prior to 1991, the meeting industry in taiwan was essentially nonexistent. >> actually, it existed during that time, but people were not aware of the industry. as i mentioned to you, the international congress and convention association was founded in 1963. so now this year, they celebrate their 50 year anniversary.
so during that time, people already were aware there was an industry there. in the early 1990's, people in file one -- and taiwan were not aware of the industry. >> ok. jason, when did you first get involved, interested in the development of meeting industry? >> actually, my first job -- just something to do with the industry -- my first job was in 1998, my first up working as an international affairs secretary in the international organization, international junior chambers. my duty, my job function is to bring our group to go overseas to attend the world congress, to
attend the asia-pacific meetings. my first congress is in sydney. it was a long time ago. >> given the fact that you have also been involved in the industry for 30 plus years, what were some of the changes that you have seen in terms of the development of meeting industry in taiwan? >> i think it is more competitive. >> yes, i would imagine. >> during that time, there were not some any people. -- so many people. when i introduced myself to some friend or relatives and say ok, i am working as a professional congress organizer, you can look at their face, they always wonder what -- >> exactly what you do. >> and what do you mean by professional congress organizer or meeting planner? everybody can do it. so it is quite different. nowadays, people know our
industry, and there are more people are a more organizational company that they think it's kind of professional. so when they organize meetings or congress, they would like to have someone outside the organization helping them to organize their event. >> ok. what was the development process of the meeting industry in taiwan? why is it called m.i.c.e.? what does the acronyms stand for? >> as far as i know, it was created by a professor in the hawaii university? m for meeting, i for incentive, c for conference, e -- if i speak further for the meeting as my personal definition, it would be corporate meetings.
i is for incentives. incentives means you are in the kind of meeting by yourself. so for those people working for the insurance company, for those direct marketing companies like herbalife, like new skin, there are many top sales that are in their meetings by themselves. there are a lot of exciting programs, bring them outside to somewhere like hawaii or paris or tokyo, and they have an awards ceremony to award them for their achievement in the past. so it is incentive. convention, relation to the meeting of the ngo, nongovernment organization, or government meetings.
-- of course thinking about the tradeshow or some kind of flower expo, so that could be many festivals. we have many townships that have different kind of festivals. so it can combine those factors into m.i.c.e. in english-speaking countries, they did not like the word m.i.c.e. because it means a lot of mouse. so they use the business event instead of m.i.c.e. >> ok. going back to your association at the taiwan convention exhibition association, how big is your association today? you said the industry has become a lot more competitive. so what is the total volume, business fall you, that the industry can generate?
>> our organization is quite unique because we combined with some government organization, like risen bureau, ministry of transportation, inc. medication. we also had some civic government, city government, we also have airlines, hotels, grand hotel are members. of course we have pco, the professional conference organizers. -- set up signage for the meetings. we also have audiovisual companies. we also have some marketing, pr companies. in total, we have something around 80's. the volume of the business, i
have to check some figures in my papers, i think according to the statistics have been done in 2008 is around 8.6 billion per year. >> that is not bad. in a dollars. >> that is only for meeting. if you are talking about the m.i.c.e., then something around 30 billion. >> is still very sizable. giving the fact that the business has been around for 50 years and then the association is being sped up in high one for about 30 years, the size of the industry is also growing. it is very sizable now at $30 billion. how would you then imagine that taiwan's position, taiwan's role in this very competitive,
regional and international market, how can taiwan become more and develop more niche comparing with other cities or countries in the neighborhood? that we can become more competitive versus, say, cities like hong kong, singapore, shanghai? >> it is a very hard question. as i mentioned, it is very competitive. it is not only nationally competitive, not only do we compete with our industry people or the same company with a similar industry, we also compete with another city. why it becomes so competitive is because in the past, not so many governments are really focused on this injury -- this industry. nowadays, almost every country in asia, philippines, indonesia, they are also getting up and choose a lot of business and government.
it becomes more competitive. however, the one thing of the meeting industry that is for a good is because meetings rotate in different cities. they rotate in different countries. so it is good for our industry. for example, this meeting, they go to tokyo this year, we stop a chance to -- >> host a meeting next year. >> bring it into tie one for next year or the year after -- into tie one -- taiwan for next year or the year after. it is good that we can do that. i think we should position ourselves because you can see there are summary cities, you're thinking about tokyo, quite charming, shanghai, with grace, people want to visit at least once in their life like singapore.
also hong kong. very easy to access. we have to think about what is our advantage so we can position ourselves in is a certain position. the other challenge is we don't have a very strong image compared with the other cities or countries. our challenge is we need some time to build up our unique sales point and compare those two different countries. >> to attract more attention. we need to take our first break on our program. we will be right back. ♪
we continue our conversation with jason yeh, of the taiwan convention and exhibition association. according to the international commission associations, there is the ranking of the different cities that is preferred at the meeting city or meeting city capital of the world. which one is the favorite meeting city in the world? >> can you make a guess? >> new york. >> actually it is in vienna. >> for the reason yo? >> i think their are so many international locations headquartered in nearby. in the past, austria used to be the center of diplomatic -- it is the center in europe. the nn -- they become in the -- vienna became the first place for many years.
390 cities, vienna always is number one. they are followed by paris. >> paris number two, of course. >> and berlin and my drink -- madrid, barcelona, singapore. >> number six. >> only non-european city in the top six. >> oh, ok. >> they did a very good job. >> of course. where does taipei range? >> somewhere around 10. not bad. >> what is the use in terms of making the ranking? the degree of nationalization of the city, what are some of the things that they consider? >> when we are talking about the ranking, they only focus on international organizations -- association market appeared when we are talking about the market, we say there are three segments. one is corporate meeting, and
the other one is association meeting. the other one is government meetings. when we're talking about the ranking, they are only talking about association meetings. of course, when we are talking also, they have a kind of very clear definition about what is so-called international meetings. for example, at least you have people coming from at least five countries. the overseas participants come at least they have two, 40% of the total attendees. the total number of the attendees, more than 50 people. the meeting has to be located in different cities. if you think in those areas, then you can call your meetings international meetings. >> how many cities are now becoming the attention, the
focus of the upcoming crop of the meeting cities of the future? for example, you said a number of cities like vienna, paris, they generally -- berlin -- being the top three, top five. how about the second-tier cities around the world that really have the potential to become meeting capitals of the world? for example, shanghai. where is shanghai ranked? where are some of the other cities that may be on their way up? you talk about singapore, hong kong, they have always been there. they have always been very attractive for it international meeting organizers. how about the others? >> i think we can look at where the economy grows. for several, beijing is also very high-ranked in the list. seoul in korea, tokyo always good, shanghai of course. in south america, i think there
are cities coming out like buenos aires -- >> rio de janeiro? >> yes. >> given the fact that you have newer cities coming up, how do you think the market is going to look maybe five or 10 years down the line? when we look at the icca ranking may be in the year of 2020, the ranking could be very different with these newer cities coming up and getting the attention that they deserve because the economy is changing, as some people have been saying, the world economic center is shifting to asia. >> in the past, i think the european, they have the market share, somewhere around 60%, more than 60%. asia-pacific maybe only 18% or 20%. you can see there is a trend that is growing in the asia- pacific. you also can see the membership
in the asia-pacific, the only place that have grown in the past few years. there are a lot of conference, conventions that move their meetings from europe to asia, to shanghai, maybe to beijing or even ho chi minh city. >> really? these cities are also posting there he stiff competition for taipei -- posing very stiff competition for taipei. what are some of the things according to the icca ranking that taipei needs to do to become more competitive, more attractive to international meeting organizers? >> if we want to attract more international meetings, it is a long road to go. for example, sometimes it takes you 10 years. the rotary club, the annual meeting, it takes you at least eight years. which means -- and government
sectors play a very important role when we want to attract some international meetings to come to taiwan because the concern is not only the room rate of the hotel and how much is the cost of the food and beverage, however they need -- the government promised to help this organization's meeting to be organized mostly in your city. for example, the customer, the immigration, the security in the city, the international meeting -- they all need the government support from their side. ok? so the government is very important. nowadays, the nice industry is under the bureau of foreign trade, under the ministry of economic affairs.
however, they outsource this project by four-year spaces. which means every four years, you change another vendor. in the other countries like thailand, korea, they always have a single government body who runs -- we call it convention investor bureau. maybe you could call it -- in london, they call it london and apartments, which means they attract people to come for the international meeting ports for people to invest in london. so i would like to say what we should do in the future, i think we should have a convention and visitor bureau to promote that taiwan is the best nation and also we want to urge the city government to have the organization, the marketing
to help the city to promote their city in the international label. like a central government, they have a kind of section, a city marketing section. that kind of organization can help the city government to promote their plan internationally. at this point, i think we should do in the future. the other thing we should do, we have to look at our facilities. although we have convention centers, we have exhibition centers, we need more centers in different cities. >> and given the fact that you have more and more cities coming up in taiwan, for example you mentioned shinjuku, others, all these cities have their pluses and also their disadvantage in terms of attracting international organizers. given the fact the you have so many cities within tiny taiwan
trying to become the meeting capitals of asia or of the world , would you think that would be kind of diverging the resources away from some of the leading cities in taiwan that have a better chance of becoming the meeting capital of the world? >> before i answer your question, i think we have to look at the m.i.c.e. not as one industry. its industry is different. for example, out of every city, even every township, like small towns, they also have their advantage to develop their own meeting industry. they can attract some medium and small sized, or pretraining -- corporate training to come to have their meeting there. for exhibition, because exhibition is very difficult for the other city to compete with
taipei city. >> of course. >> before the incentive, i would say they have a very unique sales point with -- compared with the other cities. >> even quality and. >> everybody has to be thinking about we are not copying the same thing as top they did in the past. -- as taipei did in the past. there are cities and of her markets. >> i think the bottom line come as you mentioned, jason, is there needs to be closer government and business partnerships in terms of promoting m.i.c.e. industry. we need to take another break on our program, and we will be right back. ♪
the program here on the "taiwan outlook." i am your rayayayayayayayayayayn with mr. jason yeh, the chairman of the taiwan convention and exhibition association here in taipei. jason, let's talk a little bit about some of the attractions that taipei has, and some of the disadvantages, we are not doing enough to attract more meeting organizers to taiwan. taiwan of course is a beautiful city. it is a very cosmopolitan, very convenient, people are very friendly, helpful, but also people are saying that people in taiwan, they don't really speak english, which is recognized as the international language. and if they travel down on the streets of taiwan, cap eight, for that matter -- taipaei, for
that matter, they see a lot of road signs, and a lot of places do not have roadsigns translated into english. would you think that these are some of the areas, maybe the government and also the private sector can join and improved to make taiwan more attractive? >> of course. i do believe that many cities have roadsigns in english. sometimes with different translations, which can be confusing to the traveler. one thing we have to think about is we have to do a lot of things from the visitors' point of view. we are doing things by our own point of view. if i am american, and i do not read the transcript, how can i travel in cap a city -- in taipei city? so we should change our mindset in to that point of view. we have to integrate because we
had so many government organizations, working on the same thing. they need to be integrated together. so i think there is one challenge for us to in the future, and the most challenging thing, i think would have the big man in the city, but we have a big name in the i.t. industry. everybody knows taiwan is very strong in the i.t. manufacturing, and the semiconductors. the image in the i.t. industry is so strong, they think taiwan is all manufacturing, machines everywhere. so it is our problem, so we have to create some kind of image. but i think with in the past 10 years because the government is more focused on promoting -- i think it is becoming more and more helpful in a some chinese market outside of taiwan.
hong kong, singapore, malaysia, even the united states. a place for those chinese market outside taiwan, and they have become more effective. if you had a chance to drive yourself, if you stay in the home state, you also can find in some case they are from hong kong. so i think maybe after another 10 years, we can attract more people, especially in asian countries or some people from europe or the united states. >> i've a friend in hong kong who once told me that he said raymond, of course you look at taiwan, people have the first expression, maybe there is not much to do in taipei, and taiwan. why do i have the incentive to visit taiwan? versus other places like bangkok or hong kong, you can read a lot of the materials, a lot of the travel brochures about what are
the favorite places or good places to visit, to eat in hong kong or in bangkok. then once you get there, you actually find out hey, this place -- these places are not as attractive as the brochures made them out to be. do you agree with such assessment? >> yes, but i think in the past because in the past our gdp is not so dependent on tour as him. for thailand, it is very important for them. of course they put a lot of efforts on that information and for the foreign visitors. the thing torn as him -- tour as him -- i think toryism for taiwan, we have seen a lot of progress in recent years. but we still have a lot to do. >> we are on the right track. >> yeah. >> ok, and when we talk about the development of m.i.c.e. industry, you cannot escape or make the connection with
toryism. -- tourismn. -- tourism. according to icca's ranking, paris is number two. people want to go to the meetings because the media is only three days, but i want to stay an additional three days of a forest -- as a tourist. do they in the future maybe we can fit closer development between me m.i.c.e. industry, taipei, commission or exhibition, but after the organized event is over, that they can have the attendees travel down to ti laces into the other places of taiwan that are very different from taipei. would you think that if the trend we should work at any future? >> yeah. it is always that way because those are business visitors, for most of them, there is no
reason, not for many reasons for them to come to taiwan for their holidays. but there is a reason for them to come to taiwan for convention meetings or a tradeshow. and when they come visit taiwan, if they take one day more or two days before or after therir meeting toward tradeshow, they can see a lot more because it is much easier for them to do so. those business travelers have more money to spend because for the meeting, most of the time, the company pays for it. the tradeshow, the company pays for it. so they have more money in the pocket to expand during their personal time. so the m.i.c.e., the business event this kind of a way to attract those business visitors to visit our country for the first time, and the second time
maybe they find out they love the city or destination so much muscle they can bring their family or their friends together with them. >> giving the fact that since 2008, there has been huge progress made in relations between china and taiwan, over the last five years, jason, as an industry insider, would you think that the improvement in relations has also helped the development of m.i.c.e. industry in taiwan? >> of course. for example, this march, all of the hotels in taipei city is fully booked because of the mri camway china. all of the hotel rooms sold out. because of the three groups. after 2008 because of the relationship improving between both sides, there are many who
want to bring their groups to visit taiwan. so it is a very good sign, and even mcdonald's, for example, they also visited taiwan is here. so i think it is a good sign for people on both sides of the taiwan strait. we have more chance and opportunity to communicate with each other, and they can see where we really live. in the past, only the chinese people could visit, but nowadays they can come to taiwan to visit us. >> we talked just now about the possibility of meeting attendees after the meetings are over, they can stay a few days extra, and then visit a taurus attraction, sites. can we -- a tourist attraction, sites. and we think of another way, visitors coming in to taiwan for the first time as tour
ists, and they think there is a lot more to taiwan than what you read any newspapers or travel brochures, so maybe next time when my company has a retreat or have an organized eating, i will think about taiwan. does that also happen in your experience? >> yes. some magazines say taiwan is underrated. in our tradition, we have been told that we have to be very humble, -- >> low-key -- >> yeah, low-key, and you have to do more than expect more. so we are not good at promoting ourselves. when we stand on a stage to talk to the audience, and the audience's sign says we are the best place to go. i met a swiss girl in burma this february, and she just stayed in taiwan for three months, because she is from switzerland, and
switzerland for me is the most beautiful country in the world, but she told me she saw that taiwan is much more beautiful than switzerland i said how come yo? and she explain to me why this and why that. actually, i think taiwan is much better than you imagine. >> we have about a minute left in this part of the program. jason, what do you think that we can do more in terms of connecting, making the connection, integration between the m.i.c.e. industry and also the toryism and hospitality -- tourism and hospitality business in taiwan. not just meetings, but the total package. >> for the m.i.c.e., the one thing very different from the tour aism is a package tour. a package tour is extended products. m.i.c.e. is tailor-made products. for taiwan, if we want to
accompany the other destination like thailand or indonesia, it is very hard for me to compete, to print -- to compare the product or price itself. but for the tailor-made products, we have a lot of chance because people are not so budget sconces -- budget conscious for the tailor made. because we have many unique places, nature, cultures, we can tailor make different programs for the m.i.c.e. group. it is a big advantage for us. >> that is a very good suggestion. jason, we need to take the final break on our program. we will be back in just a few minutes. ♪
the program here on the "taiwan outlook." i am your host, wu ray-kuo. we continue our conversation with mr. jason yeh, the chairman of the taiwan convention and exhibition association here in taipei. jason, let's talk a little bit on the global perspective in terms of what are the things that meeting organizers are becoming more concerned with, for example, you and i were talking before the taping started for this part of the program that the ioc, international olympic committee, one day were looking at the candidate cities for the 2012 summer olympics. a lot of people thought that the bid would go to paris because paris seems to be better prepared, more finance, but ended up going to london. you told me that you were in paris at the time when the ioc
committee visited paris. what happened? >> they had a strike. >> a strike of what? >> buses, public transportation. people took me from the airport to my hotel, he just told me ok, the parisians are so stupid, they want to go to strike. the ioc, special committee, went to paris, so they must've had a very bad impression during that time. >> it given the fact that there is the global threat of terrorism, will security be a concern for a lot of the international meeting organizers? >> it is. it is very sensitive, but you can see everywhere in some -- earthquake, sonata, everything, so i think we have to prepare for the worst. security issues are always very
critical. we have to be thinking about how we manage the risk when we organize events. i think it is a big challenge for every event. >> that is also another issue, closer partnership. a lot of times when you provide security for meeting attendees, these attendees could be heads of state or somebody who is in government, in a foreign country . when they travel to a meeting here, they need to be protected, and of course we have private security available, but sometimes you need a government involved in the process to provide that additional assurance that their participation will be well protected and will be secured. is that something that also you see closer corporation and the future? >> that is why i say it is for important for the government to play a role in our industry. always we have the vip that
visit for the opening ceremony, we always have to walk for a closely with the secret service and to know how can we work with them to make sure everything is very smooth. it is very interesting. >> jason, we certainly picked off on a conversation with you today. the m.i.c.e. industry is a growing industry in taiwan. we are looking at total $30 billion every year in terms of business volume. but with a growing industry like m.i.c.e., you also need local talent, more people with the qualification and a commitment to get involved in the development of the industry. would he think that we can do whether for government as well as for private businesses that we can do more in terms of educating or recruiting more people that are interested in the development of m.i.c.e. industry? >> nowadays, there are many
universities that have m.i.c.e. departments. normally under the tourism school or hospitality schools. i think it is good. one thing i always focus on is the language abilities. it is still quite a challenge for the students who study in tourism nowadays and that one. when you learn how to organize, you have to learn a lot of things. you even have to know how the camera man walks when they have the show or they are taking some -- doing some video taping for the opening ceremony. you have a very broad analogies. they need another kind of training. they not only know how to
organize, they also have to know the finance parts. even some legal parts. we have to sign contracts with hotels, with our service provider, every contract you have to look at it and be very conscious of the terms that are written in the contract. >> the devil is in the details. >> yes. >> a son yuri spirits over the last 25 years -- and based on your experience over the last 25 years, what would you say are the most important qualities for somebody who is interested in the m.i.c.e. industry to possess? for that will -- for several, organization skills, communication skills, and in terms of balancing the different objectives that you try to maintain, what are some of them? >> all of them and you mentioned. [laughter] >> oh, ok. >> i have to say patience is important. when we are working on these
projects, you have to -- it is quite stressful. you can talk to so many people, the police, the secret service guy, the people doing the production, the leading people, and however you have to make them all work together. it is not easy. you start thinking about what is your budget. you cannot go over the budget. so you have to become a person who is calm and have the patience to work with so many people. you have the patience to achieve , to complete the whole project and do it seem less at the end. however, it is not only for your time but also for yourself. if you are thinking about how much money or how many additional hours is the company going to pay me, it is not going to work out. >> ok, the compassion and the
commitment -- >> is more important. yeah. >> over the last 20, 25 years that you have been involved in the business, what would be some of the more memorable experiences that you had? for example, a particular conference that you organize or a particular vip that you had the pleasure of receiving, what would be some of the experiences that you can share with us? >> there are quite a few for me in my professional career. in 1997, we organized a meeting, and international organization of securities commissions. it is very important because it is very official, governmental conference since the 1970's, the republic of china, taiwan, we've been kicked out from the united nations. it was the first one, very governmental conference was held
in taiwan. so all of the people -- they are from the security exchange commission and from new york, from tokyo, hong kong, so those people came to the global security market. and we used a lot of elite places for our dinner functions, the tap ago health. -- the guesthouse. they can use it to receive some very important guests. and we used the building, the taipei museum as a reception. so we would make a very good impression. in 1998, we organized another conference. only the mayor of the capital cities can attend, and during the time, 75 capital cities,
including washington, d.c., panama city, they came to taiwan to join the meeting. they went thing i can now remember, we had a lot of demonstrations during the time. in 2000, we had a meeting for congress, many big names like bill gates, he was here for the meeting. a leader from hp, john chambers from cisco. i never forgot, i had a chance to stay with bill gates in the same elevator for a couple of seconds. >> and that is the riches and possibly the most powerful man -- >> in the world at that time. so it is very interesting because all of the places they
want to stop in to interview him because during that time, something happened in the united states because i think the united states sued him for the -- i don't know how to say it in english. the company is too big, they need to separate into two parts. so they want to stop him. my duties have to bring him on the stage on time. so i have to make some way to take bill gates in a sacred way -- in a secret way to the speech. >> we have about a minute left. over the 25 years that you have been involved in the business, what does meeting mean to you today? it is not just a job. it is not as a career, either. it is part of you. you look at the word meeting very differently from other people, including myself. what does that mean the -- what
does that word mean to you today? >> two things. we cannot have a meeting without people. so always people. can you imagine -- we have, like, 6 billion people population in the world. for a conference, we have maybe 100 or 1000 people from different parts of the world. it is meeting that we know each other. you flew all the way, maybe 10 hours or maybe more than 10 hours to taiwan, so every moment when you are in taiwan is so precious. as a people in taiwan, i would like to make all of your memories very precious. i always say on my colleagues, it is our duty to make every people, the meeting go smoothly because the woman is so precious. -- the meeting is so -- the
moment is so precious. we hope we can inspire each other. >> and enhance mutual understanding. >> yes. >> that have accredited -- it has certainly been a pleasure to have you on the program, jason, i wish you the best in your personal and professional endeavors. thank you for watching our program today. i will see you next time. thank you. ♪ captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- ♪
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