Cities in China collaborate to spread MICE expertise

WITH more cities in China realising the potential and value of MICE, the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration (SMTA) is taking the lead in creating a platform at the annual two-day China International Meetings and Conferences Forum (CIMCF) to share expertise and raise standards.

Seven cities have joined forces to advance MICE: Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou, Jiaxing and Ningbo.

Patrick Chen, deputy director, international tourism promotion, SMTA said: “Many cities want to attract MICE, but are not ready. Many of the issues will be discussed at CIMCF and we hope more cities will participate.”

CIMCF is a networking and educational platform for MICE industry players to learn about new trends and how cities have to develop to be more ready as MICE destinations.

“Apart from sharing knowledge and new trends, the forum also looks at how to attract business,” Chen added.

Meanwhile, Business Events Hangzhou has come up with an ambassador programme, following in the footsteps of Shanghai, which has successfully appointed prominent figures in society, such as celebrities and well-known doctors or university professors, to promote the city as an association destination.

Roger Shu, MICE manager, Business Events Hangzhou, said: “What we do is to convince and help these ambassadors to bid for an event.

“It was not an easy start. We needed to convince them that they are stars of their own fields. We support them with accommodation, transport, setting up meetings,” he explained.

Last year, Business Events Hangzhou escorted an ambassador to bid for an event in Paris and won a meeting with an expected 700 delegates – 500 from overseas and the rest from China – in 2016.

Such an initiative is not new to some cities in China, but not all have been successful.

Speaking of Shanghai’s experience, Chen said: “Shanghai has 100 ambassadors from 30 industries.

“Looking after them is a tough job. Most of them are celebrities, scientists and professionals who are busy flying around the world. We have a team which is in contact with them, with a personal assistant sending updated information and small gifts as a token of our cooperation.”

Read more in the TTG Official Show Daily ­– IT&CM China 2015

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