Hangzhou launched “Hangzhou PLUS” roadshow on the afternoon of August 27 in Beijing. The event, organised by Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism, aims at updating national-level associations and societies about the enhanced resources of the city as a destination for MICE of the new economy.
Among the VIPs were: Zhang Ansheng, member of the leading CPC members’ group, Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism; Tian Mei, Hangzhou Conference Ambassador and vice chairperson of Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology; Noor Ahmad Hamid, regional director Asia Pacific of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA); Wei Dan, head of the Department of Academic and Societies Affairs, Service Center for Societies, China Association for Science and Technology; Tang Xue, general manager of Hangzhou International Expo Center. They were joined by representatives of 60 associations and societies and 30 professional conference organizers (PCOs) specializing in association meetings, along with 18 outstanding Hangzhou-based conference companies and hotels.
As one of Hangzhou’s profound sources of association meetings, Beijing helps the city reinforce its influence as an international MICE destination. It is also the main target market for Hangzhou's new economy industry to spur the development of MICE industry and to attract association meetings. In recent years, Hangzhou has been vigorously transforming itself into the No.1 city of digital economy and powering the city's industrial cluster growth with technology innovation. The new economy of the city, epitomized by the digital wave, soars while MICE become the new engine driving the growth of local market. In such context, Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism takes the initiative to join hands with local competitive industries and proposes to brand the city as a “destination for MICE of the new economy”. To visualize its philosophy, the bureau launches “Hangzhou PLUS: MICE Roadshow”. By demonstrating Hangzhou’s upgraded MICE resources, the bureau hopes to anchor the image of Hangzhou as a preferred destination for MICE of the new economy into the minds of general public.
Here are some of the highlights on the roadshow:
I. The irresistible charm of Hangzhou as an academic stronghold and industrial trendsetter.
Hangzhou accommodates a slew of reputed universities and research institutions, such as Zhejiang University, Westlake University and Alibaba DAMO Academy, which have attracted a large number of top-notch talents. As a “hot spot” for talents worldwide to seek jobs, Hangzhou has a net talent inflow rate that ranked first in the country for three consecutive years. Therefore, the city has been selected as one of “the Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Expats” for nine consecutive years. Hangzhou is also teeming with resources for technological research. The city takes pride in being the origin of 51,213 invention patents, ranking first among provincial capitals nationwide. Its broad talent pool and profound strength of scientific research, underlined by 53 “Hangzhou Convention Ambassadors” from all academic circles, have significantly contributed to the implementation of high-end association conferences in Hangzhou. At the same time, its sophisticated private sector and rapid development of new economy industries, such as digital economy, financial technology, bio-pharmaceuticals, and cultural and creative industries, have bolstered the city’s efforts of soliciting conferences of all kinds. Here in Hangzhou, the emerging industries have become a new “blue ocean” market and engine of the MICE industry. Hence the slogan of “Hangzhou as a destination for MICE of the new economy”.
On the roadshow, conference experts and scholars from home and abroad made presentations themed on the relationship between Hangzhou's competitive industries and the MICE industry. Noor Ahmad Hamid gave a speech on the trends of International Association Conferences as a world-renowned conference expert.
Tian, from her perspective as a scholar, analyzed the significance of academic competitiveness in attracting conferences. She believes that the competitive industries, led by bio-pharmaceuticals, are powering the innovation in Hangzhou and driving the development of local MICE industry.
By analysing the data of Hangzhou International Expo Center, Tang Xue shed a new light on the increase of the new economy-related conferences in Hangzhou.
Through their presentations, the roadshow painted a blueprint of Hangzhou as an up-and-coming vibrant and innovative international destination for MICE.
II. Refreshing MICE experience guaranteed by Hangzhou’s adequate infrastructure and quality services.
Hangzhou's picturesque scenery, time-honored history and culture, complete conference facilities and professional services guarantee a wonderful conference experience. Firstly, with nine clusters of up-market hotels, 10 large-scale professional convention and exhibition centers, 10 characteristic towns with conference facilities and more than 30 1,000m2venues, Hangzhou can accommodate multiple large-scale association conferences all at one time, or satellite workshops one by one.
Secondly, the integration of culture and tourism has breathed new life into the MICE industry, presenting experiences and products that appeal to attendees and bolstered local MICE product portfolio.
Thirdly, Hangzhou offers an accessible network of public transport. Xiaoshan International Airport operates over 200 domestic and international flight routes that can fly passengers to Beijing within two hours and directly to over 40 cities overseas. Shanghai is only 45 minutes from the city by train. The deployment of “City Brain” has significantly reduced Hangzhou’s traffic congestion. Before the 2022 Asian Games, ten subway lines will be put into full operation, offering more options of transportation in Hangzhou.
Fourthly, Hangzhou’s MICE industry benchmarked its services against international standards during the G20 Summit, which greatly enhanced the proficiency of services.
Fifthly, the city announced new standards to regulate and improve the services of local MICE industry and launched the MICE Talent Program to boost the competence of MICE practitioners.
Sixthly, the Hangzhou municipal government attaches great importance to the market exploration and development of MICE industry by issuing favorable policies concerning conference bidding and consummation in Hangzhou.
The roadshow set up an exhibition area of “Hangzhou Top 10 Association Conferences” to illustrate the cases of large-scale professional association conferences held in Hangzhou. At the same time, through an experience program of intangible cultural heritage, the roadshow introduced Hangzhou’s traditional craftsmanship to the attendees, such as woodblock printing and hand-painting of fans. By giving the attendees a close-up look at the city’s legacy, the roadshow shone a light on the time-honored craftsmanship.
III. A futuristic vision based on practical business matchmaking.
The roadshow not only presented an upgraded version of Hangzhou to the nationwide market of association meetings from multiple perspectives, but also built a bridge between buyers and PCOs. Through a business matchmaking, 18 Hangzhou-based PCOs were paired with 80 buyers for face-to-face negotiation. With both sides enjoying free and in-depth exchange, the matchmaking planted a seed that will blossom in Hangzhou one day.
It is believed that this event, a herald of more cooperation and new urban planning ideas, will guide Hangzhou to fulfil its destiny as a destination for MICE of the new economy. As the first chapter of Hangzhou’s MICE roadshow in 2019, the event will be followed by a grand conference of the MICE pioneers targeting the market of corporate meetings in October. With brilliant futuristic templates of meetings and more indigenous surprises, the upcoming conference is ready to take MICE to the next level.
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