Each year more than 400,000 international conventions are held worldwide and the direct and indirect economic benefits exceed USD280 billion. The large potential of the industry in China, and the high returns, have attracted many governmental and non-governmental institutions to invest in the new business. Here we review some of the offerings in Beijing.
The China National Convention Center
The China National Convention Center is located in the central area of Beijing Olympic Park, adjacent to the National Stadium, the Water Cube, and the National Indoor Stadium. The center has a total floor area of 530,000 square meters, of which 270,000 square meters are for meetings and exhibitions. The main building is 398 meters long, 148 meters wide, 42 meters high and it has eight floors with two more in the basement containing a shopping mall inside. Other facilities of the CNCC complex include two hotels and two office buildings.
CNCC is at the North Fourth Ring Road of Beijing, in the center of Olympic commercial circle. It is 26 kilometers from Beijing Capital Area, a 30-minute drive away. CNCC also has convenient access to Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, the Ming Tombs, CBD, Beijing Railway Station, and Zhongguancun. The subway station connecting the city center, railway station and the airport is nearby, and there are also bus stops close to the hotel.
Marco Polo Parkside, Beijing
Stanley Lau is the general manager of Marco Polo Parkside, Beijing. He told China Hospitality News that the growth of convention and meeting activities around the Olympic commercial area has resulted in a focus on capturing the increasing needs of certain segments and to position the hotel as a MICE hotel. The hotel is designed and equipped with facilities and services to meet the demands of clients. Now about 30% of the hotel's guests are MICE guests. The adaptable and state of the art meeting spaces and facilities are suitable for any type of events. There is in-room complimentary broadband Internet access and hotel public areas are served by Wi-Fi Internet access. Expert help from an experienced events and catering team will ensure the success of events, and a variety of dining options are available to suit any needs.
In the MICE high season, how does the hotel deal with requests for accommodation from regular guests? Lau said the hotel is equipped with a comprehensive tracking system which monitors room inventory effectively and efficiently. During the MICE high season, the administrators will have comprehensive control and management of the entire room scheduling process, allocating rooms according to predicted demand levels.
According to Lau, Marco Polo Hotels recently became a member of Global Hotel Alliance. Since its creation in 2004, GHA continues to bring some of the world's most desirable, independent luxury hotel brands under one roof, offering exciting alternatives to the standardized products of the standard hotel "chain" experience. This program allows hotel to identify its loyal guests effectively and significantly improve their user experience whenever they visit the hotel. Recently the hotel hosted the 37th Miss Tourism International Beauty Pageant — Beijing Division press conference and first round of selection was held in the hotel recently. More than 100 guests attended the press conference, ranging from major media representatives and event sponsors, to corporate and government representatives. Following the press conference, the first round of selection for the pageant was held in the hotel's Olympic Function Room. For the next three days, 300 beauties gathered there vying for a spot in the highly anticipated pageant. Hotel staff were briefed carefully in advance. VIPs were ushered to specially set-up VIP rooms before the press conference. There was also a dressing room for contestants to prepare themselves before they went for their interviews.
InterContinental Beijing Beichen
InterContinental Beijing Beichen is also located at the Olympic Central Park, only a few steps away from the National Stadium, the Water Cube, and the China National Convention Center. The hotel is 25 minutes' drive from Beijing Capital Airport and 15 minutes' drive from the city center. The hotel has easy access to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and many other tourist attractions, especially to the Great Wall and the Summer Palace.
The hotel has alarge ballroom and seven multifunctional meeting rooms covering over 1,700 square meters. The grand ballroom is equipped with advanced audio-visual facilities with access to the broad foyer, which is a good place for guests to communicate with each other before the events. The professional catering team and the technical support department will assist the catering sales manager to arrange all the details of guests' events.
Crowne Plaza Park View Wuzhou Beijing
Crowne Plaza Park View Wuzhou Beijing is a luxury hotel located in the northern part of Beijing next to the Beijing International Convention Centre and the much celebrated National Stadium. It is only 20 minutes' walk or five minutes' drive from the China National Convention Center.
The hotel boasts 477 guest rooms, four restaurants offering local and international cuisine, and a well-equipped health club.
The 1,120-square-meter pillar-less grand ballroom with natural light can accommodate 1,000 people, and can be divided into two separate rooms. The hotel also offers a selection of nine private meeting rooms catering for 10 to 1,100 guests in a variety of settings. The 1,300-square meter convention and exhibition center is suitable for large-scale conventions and exhibitions; and the 600-square meter "garden marquee" is a perfect place for outdoor cocktail parties and barbeques.
All meeting rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, portable stages, high-speed broadband Internet access, and an LCD projector. The fully equipped, 24-hour business center also has wireless Internet access. The Crowne meeting director and the team provides one-stop meeting services. The exclusive "The Place to Meet" services include Crowne Meetings Director, Two-Hour Response Guarantee, Daily Meeting Debrief, Meeting Toolkit, and others.
New China International Exhibition Center
The first phase of New China International Exhibition Center has a floor area of 431,000 square meters; the exhibition venue and the its supporting facilities cover 200,000 square meters, and hotel, office building, commercial, and other service facilities cover 185,000 square meters. After the completion of the first phase project, the usable floor area will reach 100,000 square meters.
NCIEC is tailor made for the exhibition industry, and its functions have met the world standards for an international professional exhibition venue. It can not only undertake large-scale exhibitions, but can also undertake smaller-sized exhibitions in each separate hall.
It is expected to be an international, comprehensive, modern exhibition venue hosting large-scale international and professional expositions, with other functions like business service, logistics, advertising, technology exchange, meeting, accommodation, dining, and entertainment.
Crowne Plaza International Airport Beijing
Crowne Plaza International Airport Beijing is located in the Beijing Tianzhu Airport Economic Development Zone, just across from the New China International Exhibition Center and adjacent to the city's largest expatriate residential community. The Beijing Capital International Airport is only 15-minutes drive away, the Wangjing business district is a 20-minute drive away, and CBD is a 25-minute drive away via an expressway. The hotel provides complimentary scheduled airport shuttle bus between 06:30 to 12:30.
The hotel's 600 well-designed rooms and suites offer the Crowne Plaza standard of comfort. Inside each rooms there is broadband Internet access, 37-inch LCD TV, shower, and bathtub. A VIP lounge and VIP floor provide business travelers with easy check-in and check-out procedures, as well as personalized services like "private butler".
A total area of 1,300 square meters of meeting facilities provides flexibility for large business meetings, cocktail parties, and small-sized meetings for five to ten persons. The Crowne meetings director and dedicated meetings specialists provide a convenient single point-of-contact for guests' every meeting requirement. There is free wireless Internet access in the lobby, restaurants, and even beside the swimming pool, enabling guests to hold informal business meetings in an easy, relaxed environment.
Venue Should Be Near to the Company Or Clients
Amdocs China holds customer conferences and regular meetings in Beijing each year. Hu Bin, the business travel coordinator of the company, told China Hospitality News that the most important factor in choosing a proper place is that the venue should be located near to the company or its clients. Facilities, services, traffic conditions and environment should also be considered. The company often choose hotels in northern Beijing and the CBD. Marco Polo Parkside Beijing, a long-time partner of the company, has impressed participants of these meetings a lot with its attentive services.
Satisfactory Hotel Services
Each year Lenovo Group each holds corporate conferences, channel conferences, technology forums, department meetings, and new product launch conferences in Beijing. Pei Leiei is the customer promotion director of the group. Lenovo has participated in the China Beijing International High-tech Expo in Beijing. Pei would choose business hotels that have better facilities, larger areas and better services. For accommodation Pei often chooses five-star hotels with convenient transportation and location. Hotels she has chosen include Marco Polo Parkside, Beijing, Prime Hotel, Sunworld Hotel Beijing, China World Hotel, and Sofitel Wanda Beijing.
Customer Satisfaction Is the Most Important Criteria for Hotel Selection
Zhang Tingting, the account manager of ZTE sales system, states that ZTE would organize several events or meetings of various sizes in Beijing each year, such as half-year conference, project communication meeting, product exhibition, and training sessions. Usually these events will have ten to several hundred participants. The most important exhibition ZTE has ever participated in is P&T/EXPO COMM China. For accommodation during the expo, Zhang would consider following aspects: a) five-star chain hotel; b) near to the expo venue or the company; c) convenient transportation; d) sufficient guest rooms; and f) a ballroom suitable for the company's events.
For events held in Beijing, ZTE would choose venues that suit following requirements: proper location, area and decoration and a reasonable price; professional service personnel with a person in charge; and no conflict with other events, especially from the same industry. If meetings and activities are to be held in a hotel, it should meet the following requirements: enough ballroom space and meeting rooms; good Internet access; the total number of rooms being at least 1.5 times of the number the company needs. A professional service team and good communication are also important and basic conditions.
ZTE has chosen many hotels in Beijing, including InterContinental Beijing Beichen, The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street, Grand Hyatt Beijing, The Regent Beijing, InterContinental Beijing Financial Street, Hotel Kunlun, The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing, Hilton Beijing, Kempinski Beijing, China World Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Beijing, Jianguo Garden Hotel, Xiyuan Hotel, Beijing Grand Skylight Catic Hotel, and Grand Mercure Xidan Beijing. Of all these hotels, InterContinental Beijing Beichen has greatly impressed Zhang with the attentive, professional services, as they give top priority to customer satisfaction.