SONGJIANG District is promoting itself as the new MICE valley of Shanghai.
One of the 18 districts of Shanghai located about 30 minutes by train from the city centre, it is home to three five-star MICE-friendly hotels, Le Meridien She Shan Shanghai, Sofitel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental and Songjiang New Century Grand Hotel Shanghai, providing close to 1,000 rooms.
“We now have a mix of domestic and international meetings, thanks to the presence of many Fortune 500 companies with offices in Shanghai. But we want to have a more focused action plan to convert Songjiang District into a ‘meetings valley’ and attract meeting groups from the city,” said Sun Hong Jian, a senior officer with the Songjiang District Commerce and Tourism Division.
She explained that Songjiang’s close proximity to Shanghai’s city centre would allow event planners to twin both destinations or provide corporate groups a quieter alternative.
Sun’s action plan includes hosted site inspections for meeting planners, and organising table-top meetings and forums that bring together corporate clients and Songjiang’s suppliers.
However, Sun admits that Songjiang’s ambition is faced with two key challenges �?? the lack of experienced destination management companies or travel agencies with experienced meetings operations, and the district government’s limited understanding of MICE.
“The concept of MICE is still very new to us. We have realised that there’s so much more to MICE than just meetings. We have to attend seminars like this (China (Shanghai) International Meetings & Conference Forum) to learn about the business and how else to make Songjiang District more attractive to corporate clients,” she said.