Timely Internal Communication Key To Successful Meetings

China Hospitality News reader Alice Wei is the manager of the Beijing office of Shanghai VR Conference Organizer Company. She is in charge of planning and organizing corporate meetings, recommending and selecting hotels, and caring for VIP clients.

China Hospitality News is committed to offering the most comprehensive reports on China's tourism industry with the object of providing the latest industry news to buyers both at home and abroad. What do you think of our products? Which columns interest you most and why?
China Hospitality News provides abundant and timely MICE related information that is very helpful to my work. Travel News, Hotel News and Airline News are the three columns that concern me the most, because they provide me with the latest news and information on the travel industry, hotels, and airlines, this is helpful for me when I arrange meetings and incentive travel. Reading China Hospitality News enables me to master this information quickly to add something new to our company's meeting activities.

We have launched a China MICE and hotel meetings facilities search website, 51mice.com, for meeting organizers. What do you think of this website? Do you have any suggestions to make? Would you consider using this product when choosing a meeting venue for your company?
We are aware of the website and often use it to search for information we need. The search function of the website is professional and useful for MICE companies to find information about a suitable hotel venue, and to improve our efficiency. It is important that the information on the website is updated in a timely manner.

What is your perception of the Chinese MICE market in 2010?
The Expo in Shanghai and the Asian Games in Guangzhou have stimulated the development of MICE industry in 2010, and have also shown the potential of the industry.

Now China's MICE industry is moving into the upgrade phase. With the upgrading of consumption and the competition and development of enterprises, the industry will develop better. The potential of China's MICE industry is huge, so is the market potential of China as a MICE destination. This will lead to fierce competition in the market, and also will inspire the development of the entire industry. Personally I think MICE industry will enjoy a prosperous future in China.

What suggestions do you have for companies choosing a hotel for meetings and exhibitions?
First you should inspect the hotel's internal facilities, including guestrooms, restaurants, and meeting rooms. You should also look at the hotel's location to see if it is convenient for people to get there by different modes of transport. Price is another important factor, as we often choose a hotel or venue with higher price/performance ratio: i.e. a brand hotel with good service and a price advantage.

Please give us some suggestions on the venue, dining, theme, and content of a creative activity for 200 people.
The theme can focus on environmental and low-carbon activities, or charity, or activities that can enhance the company's cohesion, such as donation of money or blood. Or you can organize the company staff to pick up garbage on the beach to tell everybody the importance of a good environment. For dining I prefer food that is not so greasy.

What are your criteria when recommending hotels or meeting destinations to guests? Which of them is the most important?
The guests' requirements are our first consideration. We will recommend hotels and venues based on a client's budget. Traffic, accommodation, recreation and food and beverage should also be considered to work out a perfect plan for guests.

In my opinion, the most important things for a proper venue include convenient transportation and the synchronicity of the hotel's hardware facilities and software service.

Which domestic hotels have impressed you the most with their MICE service? And why?
The Ritz Carlton Beijing, Financial Street has a classical American style design, the room amenities are luxurious and intimate, the service is thoughtful and meticulous, and the environment is peaceful and elegant. It is a luxurious but comfortable place to stay.

JW Marriott Hotel Beijing has luxurious facilities and a very convenient location. The service it provides makes guests feel warm and refreshed there.

The Westin Beijing Chaoyang features furniture in warm colors. The signature Heavenly Bed and rainforest shower, create a feeling of refreshment. This hotel also has an ideal location.

Sofitel Xanadu Resort Hangzhou is adjacent to the Swan Lake and Laohudong Mountain, and boasts a perfect location. With Xianghu Lake, Hangzhou Polar Ocean Park and Hangzhou Paradise Park nearby, the hotel has integrated French romance and ancient Chinese style. The advanced business facilities provide a perfect and efficient service to guests.

Could you please tell us about some of your company's clients? Which hotels have you used to hold activities?
Our long-term clients include some famous pharmaceutical companies such as Roche and Pfizer.

The hotels that we usually use include Sofitel Wanda Beijing, China World Hotel, Sofitel Xanadu Resort Hangzhou, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, and The Ritz Carlton Beijing, Financial Street.

How would you describe a "team building activity"? What are the requirements for the venue?
Team building activities usually refer to well-designed activities that can strengthen one's mind, improve team performance, and enhance team cohesion. These activities are usually held in places where the natural surroundings such as mountain and the sea can be used in the activities. The selection of a proper venue usually depends on the details of an activity.

If guest wants to hold a team building activity using a hotel venue, what types of activities would you suggest to the guest?
If a team building activity is to be held in a hotel, it should be a place that is not too large but very flexible. It should facilitate the activity and lead to the expected outcome of the activity.

Please share with us a case study of a successful team building activity held in a hotel.
Our company organized the annual meeting of former Wyeth (now part of Pfizer) themed "building the pyramid together", and the team building activity was held in the ballroom of The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel. The ballroom covers an area of 1,000 square meters, and there were altogether 550 participants. All of them were divided into several teams to build the different parts of a pyramid. This event lead to a highly satisfied customer.

What problems have you encountered when using hotel products and services? What suggestions do you have for hotels?
The service hotels provide is often different from that they had promised. Some hotel sales people are not familiar with their own hotels' products and new promotions, and they only focus on their sales work.

Some hotels have good hardware facilities, but poor software. On some occasions they have performed very poorly with regard to service. I wish hotels could improve the quality and efficiency of their service and work with us to promote the development of the MICE industry.

Have you had any unpleasant experiences during cooperation and communication with hotels? Why?

There was an occasion when we could not get in touch with the person in charge and therefore we could not solved problems as they arose. I think the lack of timely internal communication had led to this problem.

Through which channels do you select hotels or venues for your company events?
Firstly designation by guests. Occasionally guests will designate a particular hotel for their events.
Secondly often-used hotels. We would like to recommend hotels we have used before.
Thirdly online searches for suitable hotels. We also would search for suitable hotels based on the guests' requirements. And finally recommendations from friends or guests. There are times when we would recommend some hotels our friends or other guests have used to our clients.

Which domestic hotels have impressed you for having fashionable hardware facilities?
Sofitel Wanda Beijing's executive suites come with magic bathroom windows that frost-over at the flick of a switch. The Lounge on the 80th floor of China World Summit Wing, Beijing enables guests to enjoy the view of the city while drinking coffee. Xiu, a rooftop garden restaurant and bar located on the podium of Park Life in Park Hyatt Beijing, is the place where you can really enjoy yourself.

Could you please recommend some travel destinations to our readers?
Inside the country I would like to recommend Shenzhen, Xiamen, Sanya, and Macau; outside the country I'd like to recommend Australia, Spain, Japan, and Malaysia.

What are your hobbies and which types of travel do you like?
I like traveling, opera, drama, and golf. Self-drive tours and traveling with friends are my favorite types of travel, especially in a low-carbon and environmental way.

Do you have any plans for traveling in the coming months?
Traveling along the The Silk Road.