Many people already know that Brussels is a popular city for holding destination presentations. That is not surprising when you know that there are about 2,000 headquarters of International and European associations based in the Capital of Europe, and ten percent of them are trade associations. Many of these associations have already found their way to Asia-Pacific, Australia and the America's. China is also on the scene now.
The development of the international association market opens new knowledge areas, new markets and new congresses. The city of Hangzhou in China understands that. I had the opportunity to visit Hangzhou twice. When I was there for the first time, I came back with a beautiful feeling – a living poem.
Two years ago, I went again and found a new city that was almost completely lit at night. The 2016 G20 has left golden traces here. And if I were to go a third time, I would stay for a few months, I think.
What a beautiful nature and rich business culture just two hours from Shanghai with the bullet train.
Last month, two of my young employees presented Hangzhou to a select group of association congress organisers in an authentic Chinese restaurant in the heart of Brussels. It wasn’t a ‘decorated’ event but with so much attention to details and good food, those who were present will not forget Hangzhou anytime soon. It was pleasant, relaxed and everyone had time to ask questions to find out more about the opportunities and unique experiences that Hangzhou offers.
As my managing director Vivian (she herself is from Zhejiang area) was handling out the menu that appealed to the imagination, I thought to myself – that is food for the whole week! And together with Jesus, my magazine manager, an interactive quiz session was held. I could have easily answered all questions, but Vivian always smothered me. That’s how it is with us, a fun-loving family that is always ready to give our customers the best service, both in Headquarters magzine and on the home front.
I have not yet spoken about the gifts that the guests received after the scrumptious Chinese lunch – the best products from Hangzhou: silk and paper. What a pleasant lunch that was, and my young team is ready for another engaging destination presentation!
Marcel A.M. Vissers
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.