THIS early, the organizing committee of this year’s Cebu Business Month has begun work to finalize the activities for the celebration in June.
Under the leadership of overall chairman Francis Dy, this year’s celebration carries the theme “Glocalized Cebu”, which, Dy said, is a continuation of last year’s CBM efforts to help businesses prepare for the Asean Economic Community.
Dy, in an interview yesterday, said they want Cebu businesses to establish global and local networks to help them explore and capitalize on the opportunities available to them once the AEC takes full effect at the end of this year. The CBM aims to provide a platform for local businesses to establish networking of local interactions and global connections to stimulate a transnational business community.
A series of brainstorming sessions led to the theme, but Dy admitted that he pushed for it, believing that it fit well with the previous year’s theme “Asean 2015 and Beyond.”
No one was more surprised than Dy when Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Ma. Teresa Chan called him up and asked him to chair this year’s CBM. “I was hesitant to accept it. I knew that it would take up almost 100 percent of my time from the business. But I saw the sincerity (of Chan) and that she needed someone to help out,” he told Sun.Star Cebu. Aside from being managing director of Greenworld LED Solutions, Inc. he is also runs a business supplying communications and CCTV cameras.
He has mixed feelings about chairing CCCI’s flagship event, saying he feels honored and excited to be at the helm but is nervous and pressured about meeting expectations, especially since he considers the previous year’s CBM to very successful.
This year, Dy made adjustments to the lineup of events, hoping to simplify the discussions and introduce something new. He is particularly excited to launch their newest event, the Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge, a three-day event similar to the Amazing Race but without the strenuous physical activity and time limits. It replaces the annual Tourism Congress, a day-long discussion of issues concerning tourism.
He explained that a tourism expo will go on but discussions on tourism issues can be incorporated in the Entrepreneurship Grand Expo and Conference, which will feature breakout sessions with topics that all industries can relate to, including tourism.
The discussions will focus on the challenges, opportunities, strategies, roadmaps and government interventions needed in different industries.
As for the Technotour Amazing Adventure Challenge, it is designed to complement the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo and promote tourism through technology. Fifty teams of four will compete by answering trivia questions about a town’s culture, history, products, people and places. All they will need is a mobile device with Internet connection to access the questions. They are not putting time limits, saying they want to discourage players from speeding from one town to the next to avoid accidents.
Dy said all players need is a wide knowledge of the towns they will be exploring. For this event, they will be covering Southern Cebu. The organizers have met with the local officials of 27 towns and Dy said they have all expressed support for the project, as it promotes tourism in these municipalities and encourages economic activity.
Dy said that if it is successful, it can be replicated in other places. He added that the Department of Tourism can use the project and invite foreign participants.
Other activities include the CCCI Advocacy Fair, ICT and BPM Conference and Expo, Startup Weekend, Cebu International Documentary Film Festival, Southeast Asian Cities Network Forum, Visayas Pop Song Writing Competition, Business-in-Golf tournament, a local jobs fair, Cebu Run for the Rivers and the Grand Chamber Awards and Fellowship Night.
At the end of this month, they are expected to start their roadshow in Manila to look for sponsors for the event.
During last year’s CBM, then chairman Felix Tiukinhoy admitted it was a challenge to find sponsors so soon after twin calamities hit the Visayas in 2013. Dy said it is still early to say if they will experience the same challenges, although he noted they have not yet received any letters declining their requests.
The launching for the CBM is set for May 1 while the grand opening salvo has been scheduled on May 29.