Some 18 Hangzhou-based conference companies and hotels, led by Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism, participated in the Hangzhou PLUS: MICE Roadshow on Tuesday in Beijing, to promote the city’s appeal for business and association meetings.
Beijing was chosen for the roadshow as it is a major source market for meetings bound for the capital of Zhejiang province.
The event was graced by VIP speakers such as the Bureau’s Zhang Ansheng, Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology’s Tian Mei, ICCA’s Noor Ahmad Hamid and Hangzhou International Expo Center’s Tang Xue. Attendees include representatives of 60 associations and societies, and 30 PCOs specialising in association meetings.
A statement issued by the Bureau noted that “Hangzhou has been vigorously transforming itself into the number one city of digital economy, and powering the city’s industrial cluster growth with technology innovation” in recent years, and that new economy industries are now driving the growth of the local MICE industry.
The roadshow sought to demonstrate Hangzhou’s upgraded events infrastructure and strengths, in hopes of “anchoring” the city’s image as a preferred destination for business and association events.
One of the key messages was centred on Hangzhou as an academic stronghold and industrial trendsetter. The city is home to many reputable universities and research institutions, such as Zhejiang University, Westlake University and Alibaba DAMO Academy. Hangzhou is also a thriving base for technological research, with 51,213 patents originating from it.
These capabilities are conveyed by 53 convention ambassadors from all academic backgrounds, who have also been instrumental in attracting high-end association conferences to Hangzhou.
The roadshow also underlined Hangzhou’s picturesque scenery, time-honoured history and culture, complete conference facilities and professional services as “guarantees of wonderful conference experiences”.
Hangzhou boasts nine clusters of upmarket hotels, 10 large professional convention and exhibition centres, 10 characteristic towns with conference facilities, and more than 301,000m2 of venue space.
This hardware is supported by the city’s accessible network of public transport, as well as rich culture and tourism developments that have created unique destination experiences and products for event attendees. In addition, the statement noted that 10 subway lines will come into operation before Hangzhou’s hosting of the 2022 Asian Games.
Attention is also being paid to raising the city’s service standards, with the local MICE industry benchmarking itself against the international standards set for the G20 Summit held in Hangzhou in 2016. Continued efforts have surfaced in this area, with new standards established to regulate and improve the services of the local MICE industry. A MICE Talent Program was launched to lift the competence of local event practitioners.
Supporting these efforts is the Hangzhou municipal government’s commitment to market exploration and development of the local MICE industry by issuing favourable policies concerning conference bidding and execution.
Spotlighting Hangzhou’s achievement in the association meetings space, an exhibition was set up within the roadshow, featuring case studies of top 10 professional association conferences held in the city.
The roadshow not only presented an upgraded version of Hangzhou, it also connected buyers with PCOs through a business matchmaking process.
There are plans for a larger conference for corporate meeting players in October.