Japan: A World-class Destination for Global Business Conventions (…and MICE)

The original of this post I wrote for DeepJapan.org (“Real Experience to Enrich your Travel”) and my Profile and other writing on DJ can be found here.

Considering attending, or showcasing at a Trade Fair, Business Exhibition or Convention in Japan?

Tokyo, already recognized as a global economic superpower is back in the world spotlight as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has a goal of hosting 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2020. They may very well meet that goal if current numbers are anything to go by. Did you know that the number of tourists who visited Japan, January-August of this year has increased 50% over the number from last year?

daryan-shamkhali-133233-KrakenPhoto by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

While in the past, tourism efforts focused on promoting Tokyo/Japan as a place of culture and leisure, there is a new surge from the Government to highlight its economic importance through MICE…While in the past, tourism efforts focused on promoting Tokyo/Japan as a place of culture and leisure, there is a new surge from the Government to highlight its economic importance through MICE… http://jnto.org.au/mice/

Mice? Nah – I’m not talking about our little furry friends – I’m talking about [M]eetings, [I]ncentives, [C]onventions and [E]xhibitions/Events (MICE), an acronym coined by the Government to define events that will attract foreign business travelers to Japan. http://www.mlit.go.jp/kankocho/en/shisaku/kokusai/mice.html

Many people’s first experience of Japan comes from attending a conference here and I have attended my fair share of such events too, which prompted me to share some information on some popular Expo, Exhibition, Conference and Conventions venues here in Japan:

• Tokyo Big Sight http://www.bigsight.jp/english/

• Makuhari Messe https://www.m-messe.co.jp/en/

• Pacifico Yokahoma http://www.pacifico.co.jp/english/

• Port Messe Nagoya http://portmesse.com/en

• Fukuoka International Congress Center http://www.marinemesse.or.jp/eng/congress/

• Fukuoka Kokusai Center http://www.marinemesse.or.jp/eng/kokusai/

• Marine Messe Fukuoka http://www.marinemesse.or.jp/eng/messe/

• West Japan General Exhibition center http://www.convention-a.jp/language/english.html

• INTEX Osaka http://www.intex-osaka.com/en/

Their websites have comprehensive information in English/Japanese about the facilities, events and accessibility with audience-centric information for visitors and organizers. Tokyo Big Sight is Japan’s largest exhibition-oriented convention center.

Big Sight’s English schedule should give you a good idea of the expos coming up in their venue.

April. 2017-March. 2018 (25pg PDF)  https://www.bigsight.jp/english/download/public/eve_cal1703e.pdf
October. 2017-September. 2018 https://www.bigsight.jp/english/download/public/eve_cal1710e.pdf

‘Associate’ yourself with Japan for Exhibitions and Conventions


Japan Exhibition Association (JEXA) is the country’s largest association in the exhibition industry. JEXA actively promotes economic revival and sustenance through promoting Japan as popular convention venue.

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) promotes mutual trade between Japan and the rest of the world. For a list of Trade Shows showcasing 2015-2016 events, see this link: http://www.jetro.go.jp/en/database/j-messe/center/japan.html

In 2015 Japan was Asia’s Number 1 Destination For International Meetings, Showcasing Seven new MICE Cities (Chiba, Hiroshima, Matsue, Niigata, Okayama, Okinawa and Sapporo)

The numbers are moving up. They certainly have their infrastructure in place and the Country ‘Brand’ to make it on to short lists. If Japan is on your companies shortlist, here the Japan National Tourism Authority (JNTO) have built a fantastic resource to provide you with a host of information to help you decide: http://www.japanmeetings.org/

Are you planning on traveling soon to Japan on business? If this does not inspire you to, what will? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfIsN3TU2HU

This Post was written by Jason Ball, a “Fixer” and people Connector, in Tokyo

As mentioned above, this slightly updated post first appeared from Jason at http://www.deepjapan.org