Creating A Memorable Annual Meeting In China

Annual meetings are aimed at encouraging staff, deploying strategies, and setting targets for the next year, and are considered an indispensable annual "family gathering" by enterprises and organizations. How to make a wonderful, creative annual meeting is becoming a more and more vexed question for annual meeting organizers every year.

There are different types of annual meetings, including customer appreciation events and staff conferences. So it is necessary to know the type and the aim of the annual meeting. The first step will be collecting information to make a plan. A perfect plan must ensure that every detail should meet the needs of the meeting and be helpful in reaching the desired goals.

Choosing A Venue
The selection of venue is crucial to a successful annual meeting. It should have easy access, and match the corporate culture. If it is a customer appreciation event, a venue with a good environment will reflect the company's strengths. Every annual meeting has its special established goal; a fully-equipped hotel can heighten the atmosphere via lighting, sound, setup, and stage effects, sometimes this can make the meeting more successful. Generally speaking, star-rated hotels have better facilities and services. China Hospitality News has picked out three hotels which introduce their annual meeting services for your reference,

Ramada Plaza Optics Valley Hotel Wuhan Wuchang
Yu Lijuan is the director of catering at Ramada Plaza Optics Valley Hotel Wuhan Wuchang. She told China Hospitality News that the hotel aims to bring refreshing experience to guests in spring 2011. First, it has introduced a brand new menu for banquets. Firstly there will be a roast suckling pig, bringing something new to banquets in this season. Secondly, they will adopt new setups. The banquet service team will provide creative setups based on the venue and the requirements of each client – for example setups such as crosses, hollow squares, and small round tables: bringing different visual experience to each activity for the same client. Thirdly, they will promote different banquet product assortments. The carefully selected music and the electronic backdrops create a beautiful scene, combining different corporate cultures, which will match the theme of annual meetings.

Ramada Plaza Optics Valley Hotel Wuhan Wuchang provides meeting venues, which range from from 700 square meters to 100 square meters, for events of different sizes. Government wrap-ups, business signing receptions, award ceremonies, carnival parties, and private dinners, can all be held here.

The catering department of the hotel provides a one-stop meeting service, says Yu. The staff will make out a specific and professional plan including setup design, previous case-study photos, detailed budgets, menus with dishes pictured, procurement of beverages, fruit, desserts, gifts, prizes, and flowers, a master of ceremony, cameraman and many other aspects for meeting organizers to choose from.

The hotel has accepted many annual meetings in four years since its opening, according to Yu. On December 26, 2010, the First Miss Hubei Final Contest and Award Ceremony was held at the 700-square-meter pillarless ballroom in Ramada Plaza Optics Valley Hotel Wuhan Wuchang. Traditionally, the area and not the ceiling height determines the advantage of a venue, but now the optimal ratio of length, width, and height is the most important to clients. The barrier-free visual effect, the perfect line of sight, and the enough ceiling height for 360-degree overhead shots, all these together have made a perfect event.

State Grid Electric Power Research Institute Transmission technology Division has held its anniversary ceremony in two ballrooms at the same floor on January 3, 2011. Service details are the key to the success of the event. Guests first had a discussion session, and then had dinner in a different venue. The catering team of the hotel had planned two different setups for the dinner, and installed a karaoke system with a personalized song list. Electronic backdrops were used as the screen; two carefully-selected songs were used for the opening and closing of the event. Details determine success or failure. The whole event was a big success, and has impressed everyone there.

Harbour Plaza Chongqing
Lydia Wang is the assistant M&C manager at Harbour Plaza Chongqing. She isays that the hotel has built projection walls to involve guests into different audio-visual displays to make annual meetings more creative.

Harbour Plaza Chongqing has a ballroom of 520 square meters, which can be used as the annual meeting venue for events of different sizes. It also offers standard audio-visual equipment, projectors and projection walls.

There is also a dedicated event manager that can schedule a meeting for guests upon request.

According to Wang, the hotel has hosted events for Shenzhen Lantin Technology, Engineering Society of Ultrasound in Medicine, and Insurance Institute of China.

Seaview Resort Xiamen
Cathy Wang is the senior manager of events at Seaview Resort Xiamen. The conference, exhibition and banqueting areas of the resort cover a total of 3,500 square meters and are fully equipped with advanced facilities. The largest pillar-less grand ballroom covers 1,020 square meters with an eight-meter ceiling height. A professional events management team is on hand to help guests at anytime for any occasion, to help make their banquet or conference an outstanding success.

Comprising two parts — the Club Area and the main building — the whole resort boasts 464 guestrooms and suites and a full range of event venues: in the garden, by the lake, in the mountains, in the valley, and on the 500,000 square meters of lawn. Outdoor events such as lake-side press conferences, terrace parties, banquets on the lawn, outdoor activities in the valley, and vehicle test drives can be held in these places.

Professional events management team of Seaview Resort offers a one-stop service from planning, design, arrangement of the exhibition, performance, floral design, to city tours. It has provided services to many international enterprises, such as Porsche China and BMW China.

Booker Experience: Hotel's Advice Makes Things Easy For Meeting Organizers
Beijing Glory Media Company holds various activities such press conferences, new-product promotions, corporate annual meetings, award ceremonies, forums, and road shows, as well as customer appreciation events, and staff award ceremonies. Luna Wang, the account director, says these activities are of various sizes. For example, there are usually 150-300 people for a press conference and new product launch; 500-1,000 people for an annual meeting, award ceremony and forum; and 50-100 people for internal events.

Basically the company has following requirements for a proper venue. First, the environment of the venue should fit the positioning of the activity. Second, transport to the venue should be convenient for guests. Third, there should be enough space for construction, especially the height of the venue. Fourth, safety is quite important. Make sure there are sufficient power supplies, safe electric circuits, and safe load bearing columns and beams. Fifth, some activities may include large equipment such as automobiles, hence there should be supporting facilities such as freight elevators. Sixth, a proper venue should also have other important supporting facilities and services such as delicious food, quality service, VIP room, surroundings, and ample parking.

With regard to annual meetings, Wang lays out four rules: new hotels are preferred; he hotel should easy to get to for the organizers; hotels usually would introduce their annual meeting package by the end of a year, which can be used as a reference; five-star hotels are highly recommended for annual meetings.

Wang's company has cooperated with many hotels, including Park Hyatt Beijing, JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, Sofitel Wanda Beijing, Grand Hyatt Beijing, The Regent Beijing, Shangri-La Hotel Beijing, Crowne Plaza Beijing Parkview Wuzhou, and Wenjin Hotel. Among all the hotels, Park Hyatt Beijing is quite impressive, said Wang. This hotel would propose reasonable suggestions based on the annual meeting plan and hotel facilities. For annual meetings with dining, Wang recommends JW Marriott Hotel Beijing and Sofitel Wanda Beijing's western cuisines, and of course quality dining service.

Wang and her team have twice for annual meetings of Western Returned Scholars Association 2005 Committee in 2009 and 2010, just before the Christmas. Annual meetings were held in Park Hyatt Beijing. To go with the theme, the meeting venue was decorated with the 2005 logo and Christmas decorative elements; even the dessert also had the 2005 logo on. Apart from regular procedures such as a speech from the leader and an art performance, there were also keynote speeches and charity auctions, which have brought forward-looking morale to corporate culture.