EXHIBITION venue operator World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) said it is expecting its industry to recover this year as demand surges with the return of onsite events.
“The exhibition industry is well on its way to recovery in 2023. The year 2022 showed optimistic indicators that point to restored market confidence and renewed vigor among stakeholders to go back to the exhibition floor,” WTCMM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Pamela D. Pascual said in a statement on Wednesday.
Ms. Pascual said WTCMM bookings have thus far exceeded the company’s first-half targets.
She added that demand for exhibition space is growing with high utilization expected during the peak months.
“We also have once again started to receive inquiries about the timing of the halted expansion project, which indicates that the clamor for more exhibition space has remained and that the pandemic was only a temporary setback. The desire to capture more markets for exhibition continues to be strong,” Ms. Pascual said.
In 2022 the company achieved “critical mass (for) different types of events, (which) helped boost the confidence of stakeholders to resume their plans. This is why WTCMM’s utilization level increasingly grew from the first half of the year and accelerated towards the second semester,” she added.
WTCMM also expects the entry of more foreign-organized events with the reopening of Philippine borders, particularly in industries such as construction, heavy machinery, agriculture, autos, retail, food, and packaging.
It added that foreign organizers have taken up over 30% of exhibition space in the Philippines.
“One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic was MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions). All booked trade shows and events for two years were discontinued and created a huge cloud of uncertainty on when these could be staged in a safe environment,” Ms. Pascual said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave