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The inaugural Sakura International Decennial Meeting was successfully held on Dec. 18 and 19 at Tokyo International Forum, one of Japan’s most prestigious venues. A total of 370 people joined the Decennial Meeting of the premier global MICE producer, with 60 international guests from 35 companies around the world (including ECN’s publisher, Don Svehla) and 110 guests from 75 domestic suppliers. More than 200 Sakura employees were also gathered in Tokyo to welcome their partners, strengthen ties and engage in their future vision for the MICE industry.

A networking dinner started off the celebration on Dec. 18 to show the true spirit of Japanese omotenashi (hospitality) to all the guests. The dinner was held at the spectacular Happo-en venue with a sprawling Japanese garden that houses 500-year old bonsai trees and several tea-houses. The venue’s elegant surroundings and superb service was a big hit as guests enjoyed the sushi chef and a traditional Japanese harp (koto) performance at the ice-breaker event.

The following morning, all 200-plus employees of Sakura International gathered to talk about the company’s future and many valuable staff members were honored. The foreign guests were invited to join for lunch, where a special version of the traditionally modest bento box was served. In this case, a special warm bento was provided, which was kept warm thanks to its in-built heating feature, a rarity even in Japan!

A short opening address from Business Development Director Justin August, and was ably led by emcee Alanka Yang from Taiwan. After that founder and President Ken Myohdai (pictured left with his wife, Maki) presented his future vision for Sakura International over the next 10 years and further. This was followed by representatives of each division and branch who explained how they would also contribute to the company’s future growth.

After a short break Teglen Bat-orgil from Mongolia took over as emcee, and two panel discussions were held featuring both domestic and international viewpoints on the industry. For the first panel discussion, the logistics team was joined by Mr. Isezaki of Arek Ltd. to represent production and Mr. Machida of Iida Electrical Works to represent electricians to discuss the unique features of Japan’s event construction scene and deciding which things could be changed for the better of the industry.

The second panel discussion on the globalization trend and future of the event industry featured Noor Ahmad Hamid of ICCA and Michael Tu of Kaohsiung International Convention Centre along with two Sakura staff. This was more of a macro-level discussion that touched on the ever-changing event landscape and how companies can continue to grow in an increasingly competitive environment.

The events industry in Japan is looking forward to hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 and the World Expo in 2025 and Sakura International, with offices in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan; Las Vegas; and Delhi, India; and with liaison offices in Dubai,  Shanghai, Singaore, Paris, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam,  Myanmar and other offices coming soon, is looking forward to becoming the premier global MICE producer in Asia.

This story originally appeared in the March/April issue of Exhibit City News, p. 76. For more pictures and original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_marchapril2019?e=16962537/67925242

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