Yvonne Hu, IAPCO Honorary Member and representative at the 2011 IT&CM China, invited as a guest speaker at the Future Leaders’ Forum which accompanied the IT&CM China expo, sought to answer the question so often posed by those contemplating a career path in BE (Business Events) “What’s in it for Me?”!
Drawing on her personal experience, Yvonne focussed on what you can expect to personally derive and gain from the profession. “Mine was a chance encounter as is so often the case in this industry” she told the enthusiastic students “but today you need to look at how the business events shape and drive the future of humanity … the Knowledge Economy”.
IT & CM China 2011, themed “Leading China’s Next MICE Wave”, formed part of the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration’s inaugural Shanghai Business Events Week, an initiative designed to take China’s meetings industry to new heights. As a result, IT&CM China is expanding, in conjunction with the burgeoning Chinese meetings industry, with next year’s show set to take place at the larger venue of the Shanghai World Expo & Convention Centre (SWECC) in Pudong from 17 – 19 April 2012. This new state-of-the-art centre boasts eco-friendly infrastructure and facilities, making it a premier venue choice for world-class international event organisers.
However, at the moment, the hosting of government and international association meetings are required to obtain approval from the central government in China. Every province is eager to hold meetings but without clear standards the government has to exert stricter control. Whilst stringent scrutiny or controls will weed out false events and benefit China’s meetings industry, it also makes genuine cases harder for obtaining speedy approval … a double-edged sword. On the one hand China is experiencing a huge infrastructure boom but on the other a lack of well-trained human resources continue to be a challenge facing their meetings industry.
IT&CM China is making strides to attempt to address this issue of education and training with this year’s event receiving a growing interest from new Chinese and international exhibitors. For the first time venues and destination management services from the Middle East were featured. Altogether more than 253 international and Chinese companies and organisations exhibited at this year’s show along with the attendance of over 300 international and Chinese buyers. “The interest of visitors was excellent” reported Yvonne from the IAPCO booth “there is a strong desire to seek out quality, which is of course the mantra of IAPCO”.