Events are more than just a company’s chance to showcase its products or services to customers and clients. An organised event can be a great way for companies to establish lasting relationships with their target market and an excellent opportunity to generate local agents and build business connections.
However, if you’re looking to build your reputation and shortlist a Chinese agent for your product through the event, you might wonder what sets it apart from other places. Read on to learn everything you need to know about managing your business event in China.
Who's Running Events and Which?
As many cities worldwide have seen significant growth in the meetings and events industry, the same has been true of China. As such, China’s event industry has developed rapidly in recent years. From 2018 to 2019, the event industry in China has grown by 19%. In 2015, total revenue was over 7 trillion yuan, and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) forecasts, by 2023, it is expected that China’s annual expenditure on events will exceed 13 trillion yuan.
As a result, it’s important to set yourself apart from the competition. One way to do that is to understand who is running the event and which event suits you.
- Government Sponsored International Events: These events have a longstanding reputation and are directed by the Central Government Ministries and hosted by the local government. They are organised at a national level to pool business resources. Examples: China International Import Exp(CIIE), China Import and Export Fair (Canton fair), China ASEAN Expo and Western China International Expo.
- Events Chaired by Chamber of Commerce: Chamber of Commerce will host events to boost UK-China trade and investment. To better serve the community, many chambers in China choose to divide their organisations by territory. Examples: The British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, The British Chamber of Commerce (Shanghai), The British Chamber of Commerce in China (Chengdu), the British Chamber of Commerce in China (Beijing) and the British Chamber of Commerce in China (Guangdong).
- Events Supported by Industry Association: Many different events are supported by industry associations. These events provide both members and non-members with valuable information and resources that can be used to help them achieve their goals and succeed in their businesses. Examples in the rail industry: Rail+Metro China in Shanghai and Inte Rail Expo in Zhuzhou. These event planners will likely be found in larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. The big-city setting provides plenty of options for hosting events, whether large-scale conferences or intimate networking meetings.
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Things to Kow Before Running Events in China
Considering hosting an event in China, consider a few factors. For instance, you’ll want to know how businesses operate in the host city compared to other places in China. In addition, the coastal part of China is known for its better business climate, and the less developed areas may rely heavily on guanxi to get your business noticed. By being aware of these considerations, you’ll be able to avoid pitfalls that could otherwise harm your business.
Beyond the superficial differences between business climates, there are also differences in how events are structured in China. For instance, events in China tend to be more heavily focused on administrative intervention
than events in other parts of the world. If you’re unaware of this consideration and structure your event like you would in the UK, host an event with parties and beers, you may run into issues.
Beyond the simple expectations of etiquette, cultural considerations also extend to things like language. China is home to many dialects and languages, each with rules for appropriate language. Therefore, when hosting an event in China, you must be aware of your hosts’ and guests’ cultural considerations. Doing so will ensure that everyone has a positive experience and that your business gains popularity locally.
Tips for Successful Event Planning in China
Promoting your brand is highly competitive, especially in the food and beverage industry. Many companies are vying to build brands in China, making it difficult for new brands to break into the industry. However, event marketing is a good strategy for breaking into the market if you don’t want to undersell your product and fail.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Select the right event: First and foremost, it’s essential to know your market and select the right event for your brand. By knowing your target demographic and the types of events that they are likely to attend, you can better position yourself as a popular seller in your industry.
- Set the tone of your brand: You need to create a booth that reflects your brand’s image and can attract attention. Be careful, especially when using influential models to speak for your brand. The new generation believes beauty is virtual, but we have too many brands ruined their reputation with a face against the Chinese’s aesthetic consideration.
- Invite the right people: Invite attendees who are likely interested in your product or service. For example, if you are introducing a new product, invite potential customers who may be interested in purchasing the product.
- Promote your event – Promote your event using both traditional and unconventional methods. For example, utilise social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin to reach a wider audience. Additionally, it may be helpful to put up fliers or posters around the event venue to ensure maximum visibility.
- Plan ahead– planning ahead will help ensure that your event is successful and well-received by attendees. Clarify any details with the venue owner early on in the process so there are no surprises when it comes time to hold the event.
Hosting events in China is a great way to build brands and business connections. However, it’s critical to be aware of cultural considerations and differences in how businesses operate in the area.