The Country’s Largest
The SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia complex is currently the country’s biggest events venue and is the lead tool in our Department of Tourism’s thrust for an increased share of the lucrative international MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) business. Owned by SM Prime Holdings, the humongous structure houses four exhibition halls, five function rooms, and 14 meeting rooms.
With a vast leasable space totaling 21,000 square meters, it has been the venue of highly successful international trade events, industry conventions, corporate functions, multi-sectoral and mammoth international exhibitions. It first opened its doors to the public in November 2007, which is why, this month, the popular venue celebrates its 10th anniversary.
As an early celebration, management decided to put up a unique event recently and they called it “Culinaire-Flight of Flavors” where they invited their friends, loyal patrons and those who have had important dealings with the events venue. They opened up one of the main halls and converted it into a Fantasyland of culinary delights.
The 14 food-and-beverage catering companies the venue has contracts with set up individual food stations all around the hall. Each dished out their respective specialty items, food that the establishment is known for—an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. Each guest was given at the entrance a Passport with the logo seals of the fourteen catering establishments.
For dinner, guests just had to go to each station and be served the culinary delights from that establishment then have his passport stamped. To be eligible to win any of the valuable raffle items given out at the latter part of the evening, the guest must have his passport stamped by all 14 establishments.
The well-decorated hall resembled a city’s busy downtown area as the more than 700 guests were pacing back and forth, getting their share of the delightful treats prepared by the different stations. It was actually like going to a 14-course “lauriat”; the only difference is that the culinary fare was not limited to Chinese specialties, but also had Korean, Spanish, Filipino, French, American, Mediterranean, etc.
The other thing that made it different from a “lauriat” was that guests were not seated all the time. In fact, it gave us a chance to exercise in between courses, as we had to walk to each station to get our food, then trek back to our assigned dining table to enjoy eating it, then walk again to another station, and back again to our table, and so on and so forth until we completed visiting and getting food from all 14 stations. Frankly, there was really no time to ponder on and evaluate the wisdom of such an unusual dining procedure because I, and I’m sure the other guest, too, enjoyed the culinary fare served by each station. Bottom line, it was a fun and literally filling event, and certainly a unique way to celebrate an anniversary.
SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia complex has been successful since day 1 of its operations, the reason why the SM Group now has put up an entire “family” of convention centers throughout the country. There are now SMX Convention Centers in Taguig (SM Aura), in Bacolod, and in Davao, plus the Cebu Trade Hall, the Sky Hall Seaside also in Cebu, and of course, the original popular venue for large-scale events, the SM Megatrade Hall.
With the country’s largest shopping mall, a de luxe hotel, and a big church right next to it, enhanced by the calming and refreshing view of beautiful Manila Bay, the SMX Convention Center has every reason to become the most potent instrument of our Tourism industry’s efforts to get a much bigger share of the coveted MICE business. After all, size does matter!
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