With the event industry taking an unfortunately huge loss these days, certain questions ring through and through: What now? What will become of social gatherings, meetings, conventions, and such? Luckily, there’s much we can look forward to for when it’s safe enough to go outside again—and much of that can be found in Southeast Asia. 


          We at CIH Events compiled a list of booming event destinations in Southeast Asia that you—our fellow Hawaii event coordinators, event production companies, and brand activation agencies—might want to look into for your next destination once the event industry rises back. From the beautiful beaches of the Philippines to the stunning Asian-European architecture of Vietnam, Southeast Asia is the place to be. 


          Vietnam is where history and urban living come together, making it a hotspot for tourism and events. Certainly no gathering in this beautiful country could ever end up becoming dull, as it offers much to experience and see: seven UNESCO world heritage sites, a fusion of architecture from different parts of the world as a testament to its history, historical places with old time charm, delicious cuisine, and the like. Its infrastructure and transportation systems are also developed, making it easy to get around the country. Some notable event venues are the National Conference Centre in Hanoi, and the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh. 

From lush mountains and beaches to busy city centers, there’s much to the Philippines that make it attractive for conventions and events. Also known as the Pearl of the Orient, it’s an archipelago of thousands of islands rich in nature. Along with the rich biodiversity of the country comes its bustling cities. Manila, the Philippines’ capital and center of economic activity located in the Luzon region, is a busy city that thrives with infrastructures and spaces for gatherings. Some of its most popular event places are the Philippine International Convention Center, SMX Convention Center, and Manila Marriott Hotel. Apart from Manila, there is also Cebu located in the Visayas region. Developed, prosperous, and close to beaches as well, its famous event locations are Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino and The Grand Convention Center of Cebu. 



Thailand has undoubtedly paved the way for Southeast Asia in becoming a center for conventions and events. As the second largest Southeast Asian economy, it’s quite the hub for ASEAN countries with its central location in between Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia. The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau was also established to further promote Thailand as an events center. It’s no surprise, then, that Thailand is very known for its hospitality, making it attractive to tourists and guests worldwide. It boasts of five cities perfect for gatherings of any kind: Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, Khon Kaen and its capital Bangkok. Some popular Thai event venues are the Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre, IMPACT Arena, and the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.  




In just 2016, the Indonesian Convention & Exhibition Bureau (INACEB) was established to further push Indonesia as a hub for events and happenings; yet already it has made waves. As the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the largest island country in the world with endless mountains and beaches, Indonesia was bound to become a powerhouse for tourism and events. While it’s known for its tourist and vacation destination Bali, its capital Jakarta is also a prime event spot with all its modern developments and infrastructures. The Indonesia Convention Exhibition Centre and the Nusa Dua International Convention Center are some of the must-see event destinations in the country. 

Malaysia is famed for its witty slogan: “Malaysia Truly Asia.” However, this lively country truly lives up to what it stands for with its rich history, culture, and places of nature. It’s a major economic hub and tourist destination that is home to several UNESCO heritage sites and the iconic Petronas Towers. Its capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is also a center for the trade and oil industry in Southeast Asia. Currently, some of its biggest events are the Sepang Formula One Grand Prix and the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival of which tourists from all over the world come together and enjoy. Its largest and most renowned venue is the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), but by 2021, it will have the largest Southeast Asian convention center—currently under construction is the Malaysia Exposition and Convention Centre (MyExpo) and merging it with the existing Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC).