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IAEE Spotlight on 2023 International Excellence Award Winner Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute

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The Macao Trade and Investment and Promotion Institute (IPIM) has paved the path for industry professionals in MICE to join the more than 3,500 CEMs worldwide who have earned the premier Certified in Exhibition Management® designation. In this interview, the International Excellence Award Winner shares its vision for the future.

By Mary Tucker | Sr. Communications & Content Manager | IAEE

animated image of 2023 IAEE International Excellence Award Winner Macao Trade and Investment and Promotion Institute

The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) joined IAEE in 2006 and has maintained close ties with the association, especially in the area of education. Its leaders have been invited as keynote speakers to forums organized by IAEE as well as other industry organizations. In order to further promote industry workforce development, IPIM has worked with IAEE since 2018 to host the Certified in Exhibition Management Learning Program (CEM China).

IAEE’s CEM Learning Program facilitated by IPIM not only attracts local students in Macao, but also draws students from mainland China. As such, IPIM promotes IAEE’s education offerings and presence in the region.

IPIM’s continuing dedication to advancing IAEE’s mission and objectives in Macao earned it the IAEE International Excellence Award last year, for which it was recognized at IMEX Frankfurt last May and this past December during Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Dallas, Texas (watch the acceptance speech delivered by IPIM President Vincent U here).

Here, Vincent shares with IAEE the role the CEM Learning Program plays in enhancing the exhibitions and events industry in the MICE region, and how it plans to grow exhibitions and events in Macao in the coming year.

What role does IPIM play in supporting the exhibitions and events industry in MICE and what prompted the organization to get involved with IAEE?

Vincent: IPIM provides comprehensive services to event organizers who are interested in hosting conventions or exhibitions in Macao. IPIM also designates personnel to follow up before, during and after the events, and offer necessary support according to different needs. IPIM also offers stimulus programs to provide subsidies to organizers hosting conventions, exhibitions and MICE-related training events in Macao.

In June 2023, IPIM formed a “MICE Bidding and Support Team” alongside local MICE industry partners and six integrated resorts. The goal of the team is to bid and bring more conventions and exhibitions to Macao.

A key element of IPIM’s MICE strategy is to provide best-in-class education and training for the local MICE industry partners. IPIM has been working closely with IAEE and there are currently around 280 Certified in Exhibition Management® (CEM) professionals in Macao. To date, over 100 of our partners have participated in our training programs. In 2024, IPIM will continuously hold online and offline training towards industry partners and MICE-related students.

Why do you recommend earning the CEM designation to industry professionals in Macao and nearby regions?

Vincent: The Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2024 of the Macao SAR proposed to facilitate quality development in the convention and exhibition, and commercial and trade industries as well as accelerate marketization, professionalization and internationalization development in the convention and exhibition industry.

IPIM, being the government agency, is responsible for promoting Macao as a business events destination. Therefore, recommending industry professionals earn their CEM designation enhances the professional development of the convention and exhibition industry, and ensures the industry’s sustainable growth. MICE industry professionals are vital to the development of the convention and exhibition industry in Macao. To further enhance professional growth and ensure the industry’s sustainable development, it is crucial to recommend to our MICE professionals that they pursue the CEM designation, which can serve as a testament to their expertise and commitment.

As show organizers seek to expand their shows into Macao and surrounding areas, what considerations should they take in order to be successful?

Vincent: Convenience, variety of choices of event venues and local support are essential criteria for consideration. Organizers will find Macao an ideal events destination, as Macao satisfies those needs:


Macao is a place that is logistically easy to host events through ease of access between airports, ferry terminals, hotels and venues. Having venues, hotels, transport and attractions all within close proximity helps minimize logistics, time and cost for MICE organizers. There is ease of access for international attendees, as 81 countries and regions enjoy visa-free access to Macao. In addition, the “Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement” enables more entry facilitation for event participants from Mainland China.

Variety of Choices of Event Venues

With over 240,000 square meters of event venues and 43,000 hotel rooms, MICE organizers can host any size of events – from 10 pax to 20,000 pax – having a variety of venue options to choose from that meet their capacity requirements. A number of fully integrated facilities with large-scale meeting space, accommodation rooms, retail, restaurant and entertainment facilities all under one roof offer organizers plenty of options for their events.

Local Support

MICE organizers are looking for a range of support services to make it easy to host events at the destination. This includes both financial and non-financial support services to bid for and stage events in Macao. IPIM provides “one-stop” service for MICE bidding and support services to organizers by helping coordinate with local government departments or authorities in Macao to help event organizers complete different administrative procedures; assisting event organizers in holding activities in local communities that enhance event participants’ experiences; and providing financial support for organizing conventions and exhibitions in Macao.

Macao is working closely with Hengqin (Hengqin is south of Guangdong Province, located next to Macao) to provide more venue options and flexibility for MICE organizers to stage event in both places, under a “One Event, Two Places” format. A brand-new image, “MICE² Macao x Hengqin,” has been launched to promote the concept of “multi-venue events” together with effective online and offline promotional activities to strengthen Macao and Hengqin’s profiles and positioning as ideal MICE destinations.

Given the new technologies and innovations the industry is embracing, what are your predictions for exhibitions and events in Macao and the MICE industry in the near future?

Vincent: This year, the Macao SAR government will enhance its effort in advancing the implementation of a “1+4” strategy for appropriate economic diversification. Here, “1” refers to the integrated tourism and leisure industry, while “4” refers to keep pushing forward the development of four key industries: 1) traditional Chinese medicine, health and wellness, 2) modern finance, 3) advanced technology and 4) convention, exhibition, commerce and trade as well as culture and sport.

As such, the business pattern of “Industry + MICE” becomes more flexible. Advanced technology is one of the key industries in Macao’s development strategy, so by combining local favorable policies, featured resources and industry advantages of Macao, I believe new technologies and innovations will increasingly play a role in the MICE industry in Macao, which will also enhance winning the bid for more MICE events in Macao.

With the joint effort between local MICE associations and the six integrated resorts, IPIM aims to have 1,500 events held in Macao this year. Several measures have been implemented to boost more events to be held in Macao, especially events from the above-mentioned industries, as well as to enhance participation from overseas.

Learn more about the IAEE Awards program and check out all of the award categories here!

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