by Cynthya Porter
As the global competition to land events in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry intensifies, Thailand is working to set itself apart by certifying venues throughout the country to demonstrate their commitment to excellence. Called the Thailand MICE Venue Standards (TMVS) certification, the program has been in place since 2015, but officials have recently intensified their efforts to increase the number of certified facilities, vaulting from 315 venues that had achieved certification in mid-2018 to nearly 500 by year end.
The stringent process for certification involves several steps, beginning with the venue presenting an in-depth report regarding operating information, qualifications and data. Leaders from a facility must also attend workshops focusing on management with an eye towards community, environmental considerations and sustainability. Before certification is granted, the TMVS board conducts an assessment to ensure a venue has the appropriate structure and code of conduct in place to comply with the requirements of certification.
The purpose of the certification is to provide confidence to planners that choosing Thailand as an event destination comes with high confidence that venues have the expertise to operate in the international marketplace.
The drive to accelerate certification of meeting and event facilities has been spearheaded by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and 17 partners that include travel industry associations, state agencies and educational institutions. Each supplies members to the board of directors for TMSV and participates in the final assessment of a venue before certification is granted.
Once they are certified, businesses are included in the marketing done by TCEB to promote Thailand’s MICE industry to planners in Thailand and worldwide. But a key aspect of assuring ongoing excellence, officials say, is that venues must recertify periodically in order to remain part of the marketing program.
Over the years, an estimated 74 percent of previously certified facilities seek recertification, which leaders say points to the commercial value of the TMVS endorsement. “Each year we have seen growth in new and existing organizations that seek the mandatory reassessment,” says Sumate Sudasna, president of the Thailand Incentive and Convention Association and TMVS board chairman. “This is a promising opportunity for us to assist Thailand’s MICE venues to boost their potential. As a user, before making a decision to book a MICE venue, facilities with certification are given priority in order to assure our customers of venue quality.”
Certifications are provided in a variety of categories including convention rooms, exhibition venues and special event facilities. Each has a specific set of standards it must demonstrate, but Sudasna said that collectively, those standards are helping Thailand achieve unrivaled reliability in the MICE marketplace.
Cynthya Porter is a 70-time award-winning journalist recognized by national and international associations for her journalistic expertise in tradeshow topics, travel writing, photography, and news. She has covered the exhibition industry for seven years and, though she makes her home in the Midwest, travels the world in search of interesting stories and photographs.