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Calling Meetings to Order

Indonesia Slates 16 Destinations for Developing the Meeting and Conference Industry

(12/28/2012) The Jakarta Post reports Gary Grimmer, CEO of Gaining Edge – a leading business event consultant to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy, as saying that Indonesia must immediately set up a national convention and exhibition bureau.

Grimmer says the proposed national convention bureau is needed to coordinate the bidding process to secure a larger share of the international convention market.

Grimmer added: “We need to be working more closely together as an industry. We may also do some product development work, and we need to get out to the market with a strong brand. The single thing that we should do first is get a well-funded national convention and exhibition bureau.”

Grimmer’s comments were made in a focus group discussion held in Jakarta on developing a strategy for securing a lager share of the international meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition market (MICE).

He also pointed out how Indonesia is at a competitive disadvantage with other destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Malaysia, that have well-established convention bureaus.

Explaining what is needed, Grimmer said: “Essentially, setting up a national bureau is a year-long process and there is a probably another year or two to develop the programs. In 2014, I think, Indonesia is still at a point when it is trying to develop its programs.”

Grimmer’s road map was endorsed by the Ministry’s MICE director, Rizki Handayani, who sees a national convention and exhibition bureau as urgent. 
“We need to have this kind of organization immediately otherwise we will not see growth in the future. We realize that it is not going to be an easy job because not many people understand the importance of MICE and its huge impact on the economy,” Rizki said. 


The national government wants to increase awareness of the MICE sector among autonomous tourism offices across the nation. The government has identified 16 destination suitable for a fast-track development of the MICE markets that include: Jakarta, Bali, Batam, Bintan, Medan, Padang, Palembang, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Lombok, Balikpapan, Makassar and Manado.