APEC Summit: Implications for Event Planners

Today, we'll reflect on on the implications for event planners from last week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) that President Barack Obama hosted in Honolulu.

European economies have been hammered and some countries continue to face a debt crisis. APEC highlighted the reality that, while many parts of the world are facing low or no growth, Asia is experiencing some growth and Asian companies are buying again.

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with Asia-Pacific Rim leaders. At a macro level, they concluded that doing more business with Asia is a key economic success factor. An important take-away from APEC was that, as countries seek to bounce back from the economic slump, exports to Asia may be the engine to fuel job growth and the economic recovery.

I have been doing business in Asia for over a decade (since late 1999). My Asian connection was a great asset during the 2003 recession. While the last 3 years have been slow, I'm heading back over there in a couple of weeks and my Asian clients are definitely looking to do more business in 2012.

What services can event, meeting and conference planners export to Asia? Believe it or not, there are Asian companies who will use North American event and meeting planners for incentive travel, corporate event planning, team-building retreats, and inbound incentive travel to your base of operation in the Americas. Also, this is a good opportunity to offer conferences, workshops and other professional development programmes to Asian companies. Topics can range form social media to marketing to event planning strategies.

To paraphrase an old experience, event planners who are searching for new opportunities to boost business should seriously explore ways to "Head East, young man."

Search the Cvent Supplier Network for Asia connections.

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