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Champion MICE Catcher

By Lila Cailles

Champion MICE Catcher

Pamela Davila Pascual, a University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) tourism graduate, who first worked as a Binondo head office bank teller, waited for “the right time for the right job.” She entered the pearly gates of the world of meetings, incentives, conventions and “MICE” in 2008 after two decades of tourism, hotel, media and theme park experiences, and stayed.

For 11 years, Pascual has been leading World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM). From matchbox cars to light aircraft, this branded showcase hosts all manner of exhibits.

“Before the internet, the World Trade Center Metro Manila was the only link of local companies to the world. The global exhibit market has grown. The stagnant market in Europe is coming to Asia and looking into the Philippines after opening offices in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia,” says Pascual, president of the 23-year-old pioneer exhibition venture and market leader.

It was former president Fidel V. Ramos who convinced Pascual’s boss, businessman Guillermo Luchangco, to build the WTCMM for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which the Philippines hosted for the first time in 1996, recalls Pascual.

“My near-term plan is to grow the company, complete its expansion and capture a slice of the global market growth. We plan to expand in 2020. WTCMM is opening a new, two-level exhibition place with four halls and two-level basement parking in 2022, on the east side tent extension,” she adds.

Thirty years later, Gensler designed the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.“This is a very dynamic business. One has to be keen on operations. I was brought in when I was a business unit head. Eleven years ago, I went through the adjustment, the learning curve. I knew the business foundation; I got used to the culture and processes and met with clients who grew with WTCMM since the start,” adds Pascual.

Due to a dearth in design expertise at the time, Gensler and Associates, a global design and architectural firm, was commissioned to present the masterplan for the 30,760-sqm gross area exhibition hall to fit the specifications of seasoned trade show and exhibition organizers.

Source: Manila Times

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