CHENGDU, China, Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At the beginning of the year, the 2015 High-end Academic Conference Development Forum and Exhibition, co-organized by the China International Conference Center for Science and Technology (CICCST) and China National Convention Center (CNCC), came to a conclusion at Beijing's CNCC on January 15th, with the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu) and CICCST inking a cooperation framework agreement for 2015 at the event. The two parties agreed to consolidate and streamline the entire process for obtaining the permission to hold conventions and exhibitions, with a special focus on the process for international events, in a move to attract some of the more renowned international academic conferences to Chengdu and to further develop the city as the destination for international conferences in general.
With implementation of the "China Western Development" strategy, domestic and foreign exhibitors and convention organizers now prefer to hold events in China's western region. With advantages in its power to sell into the regional market, the convenience offered by the number of direct flights, an excellent convention and exhibition environment, wide availability of hotels and other travel resources and the urban glamour of the city of Chengdu itself, Chengdu has been leading in attracting major domestic and foreign conventions and exhibitions to western China. From the 2013 Fortune Global Forum and 2013 World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention to the twelfth Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2014 and 2014 World Robotics and Intelligent Equipment Industry Conference & Exhibition, Chengdu has become the city of choice for international conventions and exhibitions in the country's central and western regions as more and more of the events migrate west.
According to data released by the Chengdu Bureau of Statistics, the city held 530 major convention and exhibition events in 2014, of which, 214 were exhibitions (45 exhibitions, or 26.6 per cent more than a year earlier) while 113 were international conferences and forums (8 conferences and forums or 7.6 per cent more than a year earlier). The space used by exhibitions during the year added up to 3.25 million square meters, a year on year increase of 8.0 per cent. The 49 international exhibitions occupied 1.74 million square meters of the space, up 16.0 per cent year on year. The city's convention and exhibition industry generated direct revenue amounting to 6.95 billion yuan (approx US$1.11 billion) and consolidated revenue of 58.4 billion yuan (approx US$9.34 billion), up 14.9 per cent and 14.5 per cent from a year earlier, respectively. The industry contributed a value add exceeding 31 billion yuan (approx US$4.96 billion), which is expected to account for 3 per cent of the city's GDP and for about 6 per cent of value added to the city's service industry.
With revenue goals approaching the trillion yuan mark for 2015, Chengdu has qualified its prospects in the sector for the new year with a new approach, defined by the words: "the new normal, a trillion yuan in revenue and a new beginning, with bright prospects for the future.
Chengdu's convention and exhibition industry is on track to further deepen reform and inspire innovation
2014 marked the beginning of Chengdu's efforts in deepening reform. Under the municipal government's overall strategy for further reform, innovation and transformation, Chengdu's convention and exhibition industry has already brought new and fresh experiences to its population.
From the 23rd to the 25th of April, the inaugural China International Hardware Show West (CIHS West) was held at the Chengdu Century City New International Convention & Exhibition Center. Although it was a small-scale three-day event, and relatively typical for an event of this size, CIHS West was the second hardware event held by Koelnmesse in China following the China International Hardware Show held in Shanghai as well as the organiser's first event in Chengdu. Koelnmesse is one of the world's top five trade fair organizers.
From the 11th to the 14th of November, the twelfth edition of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum with a focus on "Innovation in mobility at the heart of growth and urban well-being" was held in Chengdu. As the summit for the sustainable development of global mobility, the event was held in China for the third time. Chengdu was China's first western city to host the Michelin event. The Michelin event was another international event held in Chengdu following the 2013 Fortune Global Forum and the 2013 World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention. Philippe Verneuil, President of Michelin (China) Investment Co., Ltd, disclosed that Chengdu left a deep impression on him when he took part in the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, saying: "The local governments, including the provincial government of Sichuan and the municipal government of Chengdu, provided strong support for holding global events and I witnessed Chengdu's competence in holding such events. The Michelin Challenge Bibendum is a world-renowned event that brings the world's mobility stakeholders together and we are always eager for strong support from the local governments."
Turn advantages into strengths, with the time being just right for a transformation of the industry
A spokesperson for the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition explained: "In terms of both CIHS West and the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, we were happy to draw the conclusion that international event organizers choose Chengdu as their first choice for their events due to a combination of the advantages offered by everything that the city of Chengdu has to offer, the greater contributions made to China's economic development by the country's western region and Chengdu's leading status in the economic development of the region. With the implementation of the "China Western Development" strategy, international exhibit organizers are targeting markets in western China, resulting in higher organic demand for holding brand name events here. In addition, Chengdu, a city that is committed to becoming an economic development stimulator for western China, has a number of advantages, including international grade airports, availability of the 72-hour transit visa exemption as well as the presence of many consulates and global firms, making the city the first choice for holding international events in the region."
Taking it a step further, advantages have been turned into Chengdu's strengths: the large number of international event organizers having chosen Chengdu in recent years as led to an increasingly apparent post-wealth effect. The leading domestic and foreign event organizers have started to seek locations outside the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with Chengdu being their first choice in western China. Reed Exhibitions, the world's largest exhibition organizer, Reed Huabo Exhibitions, the largest organizer of gift fairs in China, CEEIC, the largest organizer of electronic products fairs in China and Gems and Jewelry Trade Association of China, the largest organizer of jewelry fairs in China, have established a presence in Chengdu by respectively holding CIHS West, NEPCON West China, China (Chengdu) Gifts & Houseware Fair, China Electronics Fair West Show and Chengdu Jewellery Fair in the city. UBM, the world's leading event organizer, announced this year that Chengdu has won the highly competitive bid to host two prestigious aviation events, the 12th World Route Conference and Airport Cities Asia Pacific 2015.
The new normal and the start of a new journey: a new beginning for Chengdu's convention and exhibition industry.
Prospects for Chengdu's convention and exhibition industry remain promising for 2015. Mu Tao, Director General of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition, said that as a result of decisions taken during an economic work conference held by the city government, the Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu) will focus on the research around and the implementation of practical measures to promote the industry. As Chengdu looks forward to 2015 and adopts a new approach, an approach it has qualified as "the new normal, a trillion yuan in revenue and a new beginning", the city's convention and exhibition industry has become increasingly positive about its prospects. The bureau will carry forward with its plans for reform and innovation, with a view to transforming the sector and take much better advantage of the opportunities to improve both the quality of and the economic benefits derived from conferences and exhibitions held in the city, enhancing Chengdu's leadership position in Sichuan province and making greater contributions to the economic gains taking place in western China.
SOURCE China Council For the Promotion of International Trade Chengdu Sub-council