17th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition

The Philippine Retailers Association ousts Thailand and Australia to win the bid for the 2015 event by showcasing the fun side of doing business in the destination

The current board of the Philippine Retailers Association who will execute a good show when APRCE 2015 heads to Manila

It was second time lucky for the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) when it bidded for the hosting rights to the Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition (APRCE).
While it lost to Turkey the first time round for APRCE 2013, PRA scored at its second try for the 2015 edition.

The current board of the Philippine Retailers Association who will execute a good show when APRCE 2015 heads to Manila

Held every two years, APRCE is one of the main activities of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Association. Each of the Federation’s 17 member countries can bid to host APRCE.
PRA last hosted APRCE in 1993, for which it won the Kalakbay Award for Event of the Year.
“PRA, led by then-president Frederick Go of Robinsons, was intent to be the next host of APRCE which has established itself as the biggest and most important retail industry event in Asia-Pacific. PRA reasserted its bid vis–à–vis strong contenders such as Thailand and Australia,” said Evelyn Salire, PRA secretary-general.

Bidders must make a presentation two years ahead of the event. Hence at APRCE 2013 in Turkey, each bidder for APRCE 2015 was given 15 minutes to showcase its video proposal. Convention members voted through a secret ballot.

During APRCE’s turnover from Turkey to the Philippines, PRA rolled out a professionally produced song and dance number which involved its officers, led by current PRA president Lorenzo Formoso.

The group wowed the audience and cemented the country’s It’s More Fun in the Philippines theme as an invitation to the delegates.

APRCE 2015 will be held from October 28 to 30 at SMX Convention Centre Manila, and an estimated 3,000 delegates are expected, of which half are from abroad. It will feature two days of convention, focusing on education, with very good speakers tackling retail technologies, e-commerce, retail trends, store designs and other relevant topics. Simultaneously, the two-day exhibition will showcase suppliers of products and services in the retail industry.

PRA will promote the event regionally with the support of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Retailers Associations (FAPRA). APRCE will also be a vehicle to promote Philippine tourism.
PRA has tapped the services of Media Blitz Group as convention organiser and publicity group, and GlobalLink for exhibition.

Hosting APRCE 2015 is a victory also for the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) which has been rallying local associations to be more proactive in bidding for international events, said COO Domingo Ramon Enerio III.

While it does not offer cash subvention, TPB assists local associations in other ways. For instance, it ensured a warm welcome for the FAPRA Heads of Delegation who visited Manila from September 7 to 9 to understand the preparations for APRCE 2015.

This was well appreciated by the first delegates who arrived from Australia. In a thank you note to PRA, the delegates said they were so impressed by the welcome they received from TPB at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), all the way to the PRA welcoming party who brought them to their hotel.

“They didn’t notice that NAIA Terminal 1 was being renovated. They only saw and remembered the gracious and warm welcome they received from the time they arrived till they reached their hotel room,” said Salire.

Salire is pleased that “everything is converging in favour of APRCE”. When PRA made the bid in September 2013, the Philippines had not yet reached the 7.2 per cent growth in GNP. But now the political and economic situations are doing well and tourism is also growing.

The year 2015 also happens to be Visit Philippines Year so APRCE delegates are bound to benefit from the year-long festivities and events for both leisure and business tourists.
Furthermore, when PRA first hosted the event in 1993, the country was grappling with long-drawn power outages. Fortunately, the 2,000 delegates then did not notice the glitch, due to the availability of a back-up generator and a well planned programme.

Event: 17th Asia-Pacific Retailers Convention and Exhibition
Bid initiator: Philippine Retailers Association
Date: October 28 to 30, 2015
Challenges: Outbidding strong contenders and hosting a big event without cash subvention from the tourism bureau