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ACE OF M.I.C.E. – OR ARE YOU READY FOR A UNIQUE MICE EXPERIENCE?

By Zuzana Adamson, www.mice-cee.com.
 
 
Between February 20 and 22 2019, for the sixth time in a row, the ACE of M.I.C.E. exhibition, organised by Turizm Medya Grubu in cooperation with Turkish Airlines, was held in Istanbul. As it has done in previous years, the Istanbul Congress Centre (ICC) hosted this important MICE event. Many partners came together with the objectives of attracting more MICE events to the destination and helping international buyers create their events in various destinations around the world.
 
 
The delegates stayed in several properties  including Elite World Hotels, Hilton, Pullman, Lionel, Radisson, Hyatt, Green Park, Lazzoni, Lionel, and others. Around 550 people took part in the Gala Dinner, held in Portaxe, including international and local participants, hosted buyers and speakers. Before that event, there was a nice boat trip including cocktails, enabling delegates to enjoy the city of Istanbul and get a broader sense of it via a Bosphorus tour, floating between Europe and Asia. The traditional AMEzing party on the second day of the trade fair took place in Dorock XL in Beşiktaş, and the networking event brought together 1,500 MICE professionals from 41 countries.
 
 

This year, ACE of M.I.C.E. saw 254 internationally qualified hosted buyers from overseas markets and more than 500 participating companies. The number of total participants surpassed 15,000, and this figure is growing exponentially year-on-year. The hosted buyers were selected very carefully, coming mainly from Europe, Russia, India, and Asia. Their annual activity and meeting budgets had to exceed TL20 billion (Turkish liras). Around 75% of buyers were newcomers.

 

There were 33 international media partners including our B2B media MICE CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE, and 32 national media partners. Our magazines are popular here, and we see a lot of interest in Central and Eastern Europe from ACE of M.I.C.E delegates. The Speaker’s Corner is an excellent place to get insights into the meetings industry and hear speakers talking on multiple topics. This year it numbered 28 sessions with 49 speakers.

 

Volkan Ataman, the exhibition’s CEO, confirmed the significant growth in numbers of hosted buyers, delegates, and the size of the exhibition in comparison with last year. The ACE of M.I.C.E. exhibition seems set to grow further in the future, helped by the fact that Istanbul is an attractive destination. The number of tourists visiting only Istanbul in 2018 increased by 24% compared to 2017, which means that the city welcomed about 13.5 million visitors.

 

The total number of tourists in 2018 in Turkey reached approximately 39.5 million. The new, giant Istanbul Airport will also help to boost visitor numbers to Turkey. “In 2020, it should be fully operational. We have 70 million tourists, 70 billion dollars goal for the tourism of Turkey in 2023,” Ataman said. “Our exhibition offers a networking platform for both Turkish and international MICE industry, connecting together all markets.”

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