Meetings have been shown to improve the ability to close deals, network, and grow professionally – but for GIS Group, professional events have an added layer. Whether it’s a pharmaceutical conference, a congress meeting, or a business event, GIS works to not only create seamless and stimulating experiences, but also to introduce many of the attendees to Taiwan’s history, culture, and society for the first time.
“I think Taiwan is underrated in many ways,” says Jason Yeh, CEO of GIS Group. “But people are starting to recognize our appeal.” Yeh likens the island to the semiconductors it is famous for producing: “Although small and sometimes invisible, it plays an important role globally and in people’s lives.”
Founded in 1991, GIS Group is a leader in Taiwan’s meeting industry. The organization offers a series of services, including online conferences, meetings, exhibitions, audio-visual and language services, and venue management. GIS manages several locales in northern and southern Taiwan, its two latest venue management projects being POPOP TAIPEI and ICC Tainan. 
“Since organizers are not physically in Taiwan during the preparations, we provide a seamless service that enables our clients to focus on the event itself rather than on the nitty-gritty details,” says Senior Business Manager Adam Milczarek. “Because we’re local experts, we are also able to infuse meetings with something extra, whether it’s culture, entertainment, or Taiwan itself.”
When it comes to planning an event, Yeh says the first step is selecting a theme that is aligned with the client while highlighting the distinctive qualities of Taiwan as a destination. This requires an understanding of the needs and interests of organizer as well as attendees.
“Our mission is to ensure that every moment is inspired, be it through a great speaker, an impactful interpersonal meeting, or the local culture,” he notes. “When people take the time and money to travel from far away, the time they spend here becomes precious, and they are not so keen on standard hotel buffets – they want to see how people live and eat in their communities.”
Milczarek exemplifies how this might look with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) World Congress, which the company arranged at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts-Weiwuying in 2020. The event was held as a hybrid conference due to the pandemic, which posed additional challenges for the company in terms of providing equivalent experiences physically and virtually. For the event opening, GIS hired a world-renowned dancer who developed a piece displaying the history and culture of Taiwan and Kaohsiung, told through dance and performance for a virtual and physical audience.
“Later, we opened the backstage area, where we served a dinner made by a French cuisine chef who used Taiwanese and Hakka ingredients to make the food,” says Milczarek. “The participants could experience not only the venue, the entertainment, and Kaohsiung’s recent development, but were also made to feel like true VIPs by immersing themselves in the architecture and the feel of the building.”
Immersion into the local culture did not stop there, as GIS commissioned a famous chef to design a series of dishes inspired by local geography. Rather than the usual congress lunch, delegates enjoyed a curated menu inspired by local indigenous tribes and traditional farming using ingredients from the Gaoping River area. GIS also designed an innovative interlude program for the online guests, in which two hosts introduced the dishes and ideas behind them in a dynamic YouTube broadcast.
Although hybrid events remain somewhat prevalent in 2022, Yeh and Milczarek note that face-to-face encounters are once again taking precedence over online conferences as Taiwan’s quarantine-upon-arrival has been decreased to three days and the island gradually opens its borders to travelers. A majority of people still crave physical meetings that facilitate meaningful connections. Experiencing a destination firsthand elevates the event. 
A personal mission of Yeh’s, which pervades the work of GIS, is to connect Taiwan to the world. Milczarek notes that GIS is heavily invested in what he dubs Taiwan’s golden opportunity to attract more organizations and industries to choose the island as a meeting destination.
“Taiwan has received unprecedented and widespread global recognition due to its role in aiding other countries in managing COVID-19 and its role in the ICT industry,” says Milczarek. “The events and tourism sectors, together with the Tourism Bureau, now have a unique opportunity to grasp this momentum and attract more people to meet and find inspiration in Taiwan.”
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Published monthly by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, Taiwan Business TOPICS is a source of balanced, reliable, and insightful news and analysis on issues of concern to Taiwan’s business community.

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