Asia CEO Summit - Pathways for Growth


Asia CEO Summit co-chair answers questions about the new show for the growing ASEAN region

As a new platform for the expanding ASEAN market, the inaugural Asia CEO Summit is set for 5-7 October in Singapore.

To learn more, SISO spoke with co-chairs Elaine Chia, CEO of Comexposium (Asia Pacific region) and Douglas Emslie, CEO of Tarsus Group, along with Chris Skeith, CEO of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), to understand how this new event will benefit show organisers conducting businesses in the region.

What was the impetus for the creation of the Asia CEO Summit?

The event is modelled on the SISO CEO Summit, which brings together the CEOs of for-profit organisers and is regarded as the networking and information-sharing event for global show organisers. We recognised that attendance at the event was heavily biased towards US organisers, along with attendance from the EMEA region, while numbers from Asia were low. As a group, we wanted to extend the benefits of the summit to a wider audience and increase international representation of for-profit organisers. We have long recognised the importance of the Asia event market, so we developed a dedicated Asia CEO Summit – a meeting of East meets West.

How did the partnership between AEO, SACEOS, SISO and UFI come about

AEO, SISO and UFI already run successful C-level Summits – their combined knowledge and experience will bring so much to the Asia event, and we are pleased to collaborate. SISO has had a key role in driving the summit’s creation, while AEO also runs a strong international CEO summit, and SACEOS will bring the regional focus and support the event needs. UFI will provide crucial backing for the event, especially on industry advocacy efforts.

In November 2021, the four associations convened at the Joint Leadership Summit, a strategic pilot event held in Singapore, with the support of the Singaporean government, to demonstrate how the regional industry could reopen safely in the wake of the pandemic by following necessary protocols.

Now that the ASEAN market is reopening, it is more important than ever to bring organisers together to share and exchange ideas about opportunities in the region.

How will this event compare to the SISO CEO Summit?

It will broadly follow the same format, bringing together industry associations, multinational organisers, and key domestic organisers. The event is designed to be a networking forum where best practices and knowledge will be shared – as we move towards an endemic Covid-19 world, it is time for us to rebuild the industry. CEOs across all organisers are keen to spotlight the core purpose of business events again and drive commerce.

The event will differ in that it will have a strong regional focus and will discuss the development of the industry in Asia. Topics pertinent to the region include inward investment, internationalisation and ongoing opportunities.

What can delegates expect?

The theme for the event is ‘Pathways for Growth,’ and it will bring together business events leaders to chart the way forward for the industry while highlighting the importance of Asia in the global business events market.

What are some agenda highlights?

At a macro level, we’ll be covering global insights in the ‘View from the Top’ session, as well as talent and sustainability sessions. We will also have regionally focused sessions such as the ‘Economist View of the ASEAN Region in a Global Context,’ a deep dive on where the industry currently stands and the opportunities that exist. The M&A and Partnerships session on Day 2 also promises to be an interesting and insightful session.

Register at