IT & CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific celebrate its 25th and 20th anniversary

IT & CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific celebrate its 25th and 20th anniversary

IT & CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific celebrate its 25th and 20th anniversary
July 28
10:45 2017


Anniversary Infographics

IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific celebrate its 25th and 20th anniversary respectively this 2017 with an ultimate throwback to the evolution, milestones, and good times since IT&CMA first started in 1993 and CTW Asia-Pacific in 1998.

Debuting in Hong Kong, the Incentive Travel, Conventions and Meetings tradeshow was spotlighted to be a breakthrough event driven to develop the Asia-Pacific  MICE market both regionally and internationally. In subsequent years, the show would go on to be hosted in several Southeast Asian countries before settling in Thailand in 2004.

The first CTW Asia-Pacific started in Kuala Lumpur with great reception as there weren’t focused events for the corporate market and corporate travel managers at the time. In its 3rd year, delegate numbers doubled and continued to rise, rotating host countries till formally co-locating with IT&CMA in 2004.

As the show evolved, new business, education and networking initiatives were continuously introduced and improved to make IT&CMA and CTW Asia-Pacific what it is today.


Then & Now: Business
In 1995, pre-scheduled appointment capabilities were added to facilitate structured meetings between buyers and sellers, eventually incorporating features such as perfect-matching (1996) and online diary facilities (2005). Today, 100% of appointments can be made ahead of arriving into Bangkok and is one of the key value propositions delegates can access to better plan their business conversations and maximise their time on the show floor.
Along with the Associations sector gaining more traction in 2009, the show further met demand by opening Media Briefing segments and destination presentations (2011) with a luxury travel component incorporated in 2012 to broaden business opportunities.


Then & Now: Education
Back when seminars and plenary sessions were thrown in as supplementary activities at tradeshows, IT&CMA recognised the need for delegates to find inspiration to better complement their business objectives.
Over time, knowledge-building was cultivated specific to the diverse goals of MICE professionals by developing education tracks tailored to different segments. These included hands-on Campfire Knowledge Sessions, a dedicated Association Day programme (2013), and the ASEAN MICE forum (2015) to advance the Asian market. The Future Leaders Forum, in partnership with IMEX, MPI and MCI, also kick-started in 2003 to inspire the very best students and young adults to challenge conventional thinking and practices within the industry and mould a career in MICE.


Then & Now: Networking
From events that everyone was invited to, networking events progressed to include targeted sessions that suppliers and partners could take advantage of to build an audience exclusively around their brand. This made engagement easy and relevant, thus heightening ROI for sponsors. Since the first sponsored luncheon in 1993, the request for branded hosted luncheons, dinners, and networking cocktails have been steadfast. From 1996, pre- and post-show tours by NTOs and CVBs were designed to give buyers a tangible sample of products and services available and to take engagement past mere tradeshow days. At 2016’s edition, 18 NTOs, CVBs, corporates and organisations snapped up close to 30 captive engagement sessions, propelling networking possibilities higher than ever before. An increasing number of brands are also collaborating with the event to engage the marketplace with roadshows and FAM trips in the lead up to IT&CMA.


CTW Asia-Pacific – 20 years of spearheading


Then & Now: Knowledge Experts

The importance of educating the industry to maintain global standards for all corporate travel professionals was a defining factor for the development of CTW. Influencers and decision-makers of corporate travel functions from all industries needed to cultivate Travel & Entertainment best practices that met compliance guidelines and keep abreast of the latest trends, challenges, and solutions available.

Thus, the introduction of a curated education programme (since 1998), pre-conference workshops (2000) and certification add-ons (2008 to 2012), helmed by expert practitioners in the field, was critical in helping to hone Asia-Pacific’s corporate travel market.

Today, we work with our very own Advisory Panel (since 2014) comprising some of the best minds from around the region to craft conference topics, initiate panel discussions, and promote interaction between peers.


Then & Now: Business Opportunities
Keeping abreast of challenges and trends through the panel discussions, Corporate Travel influencers and decision makers were able to explore and procure solutions on the floor to better meet the changing requirements of their stakeholders. Table-top sessions allowed buyers to reach out to suppliers and solution providers to source on behalf of their company and a chance for suppliers to connect with corporate travel professionals across different industries.

In 2003, CTW Asia-Pacific started its 1st hosting Corporate Travel Manager (CTM) programme to validate and ensure only the most qualified corporate travel professionals attend. To date, we have the biggest hosting programme in the region, scheduled appointments to take business further, and a dedicated CTW Knowledge Hub and Pavilion (2016), bringing suppliers and CTMs even closer.


Then & Now: Peer Networking & Sharing

Developing the conference programme to include panel-led sharing sessions and moderators moved the classic speaker-driven assemblies to encourage corporate travel managers to speak up, share and learn not just from experts but from like-minded peers.

CTW Asia-Pacific also found a way to help delegates network beyond appointments and the conference room through social settings such as coffee breaks and luncheons, sponsored events, FAM trips, and so on, to encourage the exchange of ideas between peers and to weave their connections into their professional and personal networks.


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