Priyanka Saxena Ray
The inauguration of the event was done by none other that Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel – Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, who graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma IAS, Chairman ICPB and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India along with Amaresh Tiwari, Vice Chairman, ICPB added great insights to the show.
The 14th ICPB CIC (Conventions India Conclave) at the Mahatma Mandir Convention & Exhibition Centre witnessed many highlights during the three-day event. The presence of the Hon’ble CM during the inauguration of the show gave it an all-new high. The Guest of Honour at the inauguration Shri Mulubhai Bera, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Cultural Activities, Forest & Environment and Climate Change, Govt of Gujarat shared some valuable insights on how MICE can be a game changer for the economy of India. Other dignitaries present on the occasion included Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma IAS, Amaresh Tiwari, Shri Hareet Shukla IAS, Secretary Tourism, Gujrat Tourism, Govt of Gujarat and Shri Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA.
The opening session witnessed the announcement of ICPB State Chapter under “Meet in Gujarat” Sub-brand and 5 MOUs being signed, amongst which ICPB signed one with Gujarat Tourism and another with ICCA. In a heart touching gesture, ICPB Hall of Fame Award was presented posthumously to late Shri Girish Kwatra, which was received by his wife and son. Girish was the Secretary General of ICPB and played an instrumental role in the functioning of the association. During the event, the dignitaries also unveiled the latest edition of ICPB MICE Manual and witnessed the launch of the Gujarat MICE film, along with a spectacular screening of Incredible India – MICE film.
The first few sessions of Day 2 of the 14th CIC highlighted how the power of MICE can be best utilised through City Convention Bureaus for a multi-state integrated MICE strategy from India. The session focussed on joint collaborations between public and private sectors and the various panellists collectively agreed that there is a need for increased marketing initiatives by the government in terms of participation at MICE roadshows on the global platform. The sessions were kept extremely interactive and the audience came forward not just to ask questions but also to share their views and thoughts on how India can be better positioned on the global MICE platform. Another Session was focussed on the Home State Gujarat as passionate representations were made by the panellists bringing some lesser-known wonders of the state to light, starting with the fact that Gujarat has 3 kinds of Desert. Following this, a women-dominated session, moderated by Ruchi Singh, United Nations – SDG Ambassador highlighted the sustainability aspects of the MICE sector, which was also the theme of the event this year. The session also brought to light how women can be empowered to be more participative in the sector.
In his session, Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA, acknowledged the potential of India and stressed that from where it stands today, India should now focus on how to internationalise its positioning on the global MICE platform. Shri Rakesh Verma, while obviously highlighting the great strides India has made in terms of its Convention facilities, and boosting the MICE Infrastructure in the country, emphasised on the role of skill development for promoting the growth of MICE industry in India.
Some of the prominent panellists included Madan Kak, Hony. Treasurer, ICPB; Madhu Dubey, Executive Director, ICPB; Dr. Sourabh Zamsingh PardhiIAS, MD, Gujarat Tourism; Dr. Abhay Sinha, Director General, SEPC; Rajiv Mehra, President, IATO; Ranjit Singh Parmar, Vice Chairman HTA; Anush Nirajwalia – Lalooji & Sons; Vishal Shetty, VP, Transtadia; Dr. Sanjay Miglani, Indian Dental Association; Naveen Rizvi, CEO, ICEM; Madan Kak, COO, Minar Kak; Ana Repetto, Chief Creative Cheerleader, Nomadic Totem. In tandem with the theme of the Conclave, Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC gave a detailed presentation on how sustainability can be adopted in the smaller things we do to make a larger difference in the society.
The man behind the show, Amaresh Tiwari, who had put this wonderful show together with his team, was all in favour of taking India towards a 5 trillion economy and positioning more cities from India in the global MICE rankings. “I am extremely happy with the response received at 14th CIC. Besides the gracious presence of the Hon’bleCM, we also had several international buyers at the show who were representing almost 22 countries. We witnessed great participation from exhibitors from various venues, hospitality sectors and major convention centres from across the nation. India is the fifth-largest growing economy, and the MICE industry is expected to grow very rapidly. We have launched the ICPB Gujarat Chapter that will work as Gujarat Tourism Bureau. We have great expectations from the Government to help us put India on the international MICE map and given our infrastructure and the facilities that we offer, I am confident we will reach there soon,” he shared.