Ozgur Tore representing FTNnews.com and Suat Tore representing MeeTurkey Incentive Magazine were among some 100 media representatives of top MICE and corporate travel publications from around the world at Tuesday’s opening press conference.

Mr. Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media, Ms. Vichaya Soonthornsaratoon, Acting Director of Meetings Industry Department of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Mr. Pandit Chanapai, Executive Vice President – Commercial of Thai Airways International addressed the International and Thai media at the Official Press Conference on Tuesday.

This year’s event introduced a new system for media that delegates at the event will be able to schedule appointments with attending media via the Delegates-Meet-Media system.

On Tuesday, the Sellers-Meet-Buyers (SMB) and Buyers-Meet-Sellers (BMS) Appointment Scheduling Sessions were held at World Ballroom at Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld where representatives of the 325 exhibiting companies met with the attending buyers. This year 87 new corporates join the exhibitor line up, amounting to an impressive 29% of total exhibiting companies. The hosted buyer programme with its stringent validation measures has yielded 359 top notch buyers from across 52 countries. A whopping 63% of buyers are new to the show, including those from first time participant countries, Austria, Mexico and Peru.

This year Dubai national pavilion is exhibiting at the event for the first time. Mr. Justin Jacob, Managing Director of Connect World, with offices in Dubai, Mumbai, London and Moscow said, “This is a great platform to connect with buyers from Thailand and across Asia and I am extremely happy with my day. After my pre-event appointment scheduling, I had only three slots left which were snapped up at the SMB session. The quality of buyers I have met is fantastic!”

DSCN0200Mr. Ng announced that the event’s first smartphone application powered by technology provider, Crowdcomms is available to download. The app gives delegates the latest programme highlights and up to date information about every aspect of the event. Another new feature creating a buzz is the Global Networking Zone, a combination of previous years’ delegate-specific, separate networking spaces.

Mr. Pandit Chanapai said, “2012 has been a remarkable year for us, with our management and staff all across the company having worked very hard in all areas to improve our product and service standards”.

Mr. Chanapai revealed that THAI received delivery of its first Airbus A380-800 aircraft, royally bestowed the name “Si Rattana”. THAI’s Airbus A380-800 will initially operate roundtrip flights between Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore for approximately two months before serving flights to Europe in December 2012.

“We chose the Airbus A380 aircraft for our passengers because it is preferred by passengers for its spacious cabin, offering extra flying comfort. To further maximize passengers’ comfort, we decided to install only 507 seats in three classes: 12 in Royal First Class, 60 in Royal Silk (executive) Class, and 435 in economy. This seating arrangement will apply to all of our six A380s scheduled to join our fleet between this and next year. We are certain that THAI passengers will find the A380 a truly memorable flying experience” added Mr. Chanapai.

The evening’s Opening Ceremony and Welcome Cocktails took place at the newly opened CentralWorld LIVE. The evening is themed ‘Weaving Asia,’ as a reference to Thailand’s role as a platform for bringing together, or weaving, business relationships across region, celebrated the landmark 20th IT&CMA and 15th CTW Asia-Pacific. The ceremony featured a fashion show showcasing Thai designers and a performance by leading Thai R&B singer, Ms. Lydia Saranrach Wisuthithada.

The ceremony officially declares the start of the business days at The World’s Only Doublebill Event In MICE and Corporate Travel.