Chen Long Brings Las Vegas Style To Sanya's MICE Scene

Chen Long, is the general manager, of Xinghai Holiday Travel Service Co., Ltd.

How do you view Sanya's MICE market in 2010? And what are its characteristics?
In general, Sanya's MICE market is growing in 2010, in particular many small and medium sized enterprises in east, south and central China are tending to choose Sanya as their MICE destination. Currently Sanya's MICE industry is still in the initial stage, and the city is not ready for large-scale conventions and exhibitions due to restrictions from hotels, exhibition centers, transport, and reception capacity. China is becoming the focus of the world, more and more international enterprises are paying attention to China now. Participating in exhibitions is one of the best ways to improve their awareness. Meanwhile the demand for conventions and exhibitions in China is increasing as there are more and more small and medium sized privately owned enterprises and joint ventures. As the only tropical city in China, Sanya boasts unique natural resources to be one of the prior choices of MICE destinations in China. Moreover, the International Tourism Island plan approved by the State Council has made Sanya the focus in China's MICE industry because of its distinctive natural and tourism resources. All these factors have stimulated the development of MICE industry. Yet MICE is also susceptible to the health other industries. For example, due to the impact from the slowdown of real estate industry and stock market from February 2010, Sanya's MICE providers have turned to consumer industries like cosmetics, medicine, and automobiles. The Yalong Bay area has hosted less meetings since April, while the Sanya Bay and Dadonghai areas have seen growth in MICE due to their high price/performance ratios.

What are your requirements when an event or meeting is to be held in a hotel?
Based on my experience, the following requirements are necessary to make a successful event.
The most important thing is to choose a proper meeting service company. Inspecting a meeting company for registered capital, reception capacity, planning ability, coordination ability, and many other aspects are the prime factors for holding a successful event. In addition, the meeting company's suggestions and proposals are also very important.

Second is the location, which is directly related to the cost, convenience, timescale, and success of the event. Currently Sanya can be divided into four areas, Yalong Bay, Sanya Bay, Dadonghai, and urban Sanya. If you chose the wrong place for your event, a series of problems will result that will influence the effect of the event.

Please list all the hotels you have used.
We have cooperated with most of the five-star hotels in Sanya.

Which hotel's meeting products and services have impressed you the most? And why?
Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa has an independent MICE building, an independent gallery hall for exhibitions, product launches, and other activities, and meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual facilities. After 2008, the hotel has more than these: convenient communication channels, flexible meeting reception models, a human service concept, a favorable price/performance ratio, and personnel handling emergencies. A successful event needs more than full equipment: professional and efficient organizers are also very important.

What advantages does Sanya have as a MICE destination?
Natural resources: Sanya is China's only tropical seaside city, a unique MICE destination in winter.

International Tourism Island: The national strategy has laid the foundation for internationalization, and has also pointed out the future development model for MICE.

Hotels: Many international brands have established their flagship resorts for the China region in Sanya, including such groups as Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Starwood, and Accor. These resorts ensure Sanya has the capacity to accept large-scale events.

What resources can be used in corporate MICE activities to bring unexpected experiences to clients?
a) Tropical marine resources: In Sanya you can choose to have your event held in ballrooms, on the beach, on a lawn, or even on the sea.
b) Local customs: the Li and Miao ethnic groups have very special cultures. You can use some of these elements in your event e.g. for gifts or dining.
c) Teambuilding activities based on natural resources: Camping on the beach in winter; rafting in the waters of Wuzhushan, finding dinner among the reefs.These activities will surely impress employees.
d) Various foods: You can enjoy your meal in a luxury hotel restaurant, enjoy seafood on a fishing boat, or have a barbeque on the beach while listening to music.

Please share with our readers the details of a creative event you have organized.
In December 2009 our company undertook an event in Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa. According to our brief, we needed to show people the charm of Las Vegas: in Sanya. The largest city in Nevada, Las Vegas is famous for its gambling industry. In fact, Las Vegas' key industry is conventions and exhibitions; luxury exhibitions about fashion, cars, and yachting have brought much energy to the city. We made very detailed arrangements for the dinner party.

At the entrance of the ballroom and in the buffet area, we used pictures of Las Vegas hotels and entertainment facilities as a background and decorated the room with an ice sculpture in the shape of Las Vegas. Waiters and chefs dressed like attendants in casinos.

Inside the ballroom, we have used the scene of a casino as the background of the main stage, poker chips were scattered around the carpet, large poker images were hung in the ballroom, pictures of various forms of gambling were posted on the walls, poker chips and dice could be found on the dinner tables, a large die was set in the middle of each table, hotel staff we dressed as croupiers from Las Vegas, and bands played Latin music. We had created a microcosm of Las Vegas there. After the dinner, I received this feedback from a guest: "When I walked out of the ballroom with a glass of champagne in my hand, I felt as if I was in Las Vegas with the sea breeze blowing on my face."