Meet Japan: The Online Fam Trip

The Japan National Tourism Organization, and its department dedicated to the meetings industry, the Japan Convention Bureau, have opened applications for the first online version of their hosted buyers’ programme “Meet Japan”, from 26th January to 4thFebruary 2021.

Japan offers a diverse and unique selection of world-class meeting venues and cultural experiences, with something new and exciting to discover on every visit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many event professionals are temporarily unable to travel to Japan, which lead JNTO to completely reinvent its annual programme Meet Japan.

Meet Japan is an event designed for international associations and Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs) that provides an opportunity to discover the diversity of Japan’s convention cities and to connect with local meeting professionals. For the first time in its 30-year long history, the event will be fully virtual, allowing conference planners from around the world to attend.

Meet Japan’s purpose is to support the business recovery of the associations and PCOs and help them plan ahead for their future on-site conferences, when travel is possible again. It caters to planners who are organising international conferences with 100 attendees or more and are looking for a new destination to meet in Asia.

JNTO partnered with the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) to provide event-related seminars with worldly renowned experts on Meet Japan’s first day – Tuesday 26th January. The speakers will notably include:

  • Mathias Posch, President of International Conference Services and immediate Past President of IAPCO;
  • Ori Lahav, Vice-President Clients and Operations at Kenes Group and President of IAPCO.

Both will share their experience and practical tips for holding international conferences and meetings in Japan.

The following two days, Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th January, will be dedicated to online familiarization trips. The attendees will have the chance to virtually visit 2 convention cities from a choice of 4, and to discover the cutting-edge conference centres, unique venues, famous attractions, and memorable group activities they offer.

The final days of the event, from Friday 29th January to Thursday 4th February, will be organized around remote business meetings, giving participants the chance to have one-on-one consultations with venue managers and other contacts from among 10 cities.

As an added incentive to attend Meet Japan’s full programme, the participants who complete 2 fam trips and 5 business meetings will be given priority for invitations to on-site hosted visits at a later date.

Associations and PCOs can check the requirements and apply now via the Japan Convention Bureau’s website (https://www.japanmeetings.org/). The application deadline is 6th November 2020.

“The recent crisis has tremendously impacted the players of the meetings industry, associations and destinations alike. With this event, we hope we can help reconnect international associations with Japan, and in this way, support them in building up their recovery”, says Ms. Etsuko Kawasaki, Executive Director of the Japan Convention Bureau.

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