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ICCA China Forum 2019 – “A day of intensive networking, education and growth”

6 May 2019

Shanghai, China-P.R. - On May 6th, the ICCA China Committee wrapped up their annual gathering, the ICCA China Forum, with a focus on looking ahead. The Committee brought this year’s edition to a whole new level, with a revamped agenda and thought-provoking speaker at Shanghai International Convention Center. With over 120 attendees, the inaugural 2019 ICCA China Forum was the largest gathering of the ICCA China Committee on record, bringing 53 member organisations and 9 observers together to discuss issues of membership relevance.

The ICCA China Forum, organised by the ICCA Asia Pacific Office in collaboration with the ICCA China Committee, is an annual meeting dedicated to providing a forum for the ICCA China members to collaborate on a regional level. It is usually held in May in conjunction with the China Conference & Business Travel Forum & Fair (CCBTF), an educational industry event organised by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism (previously known as Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration – SMTA). This year’s event has garnered a staggering level of interest, counting the highest overall representation (73.6% attendance out of 72 members) and the live event photo streaming album recording more than 50,000 views.

Madame Connie Cheng, Chair of the ICCA China Committee, said: “The ICCA China Forum is the foremost national gathering of ICCA China’s business community. Today, China is not only the largest membership country in the Asia Pacific region, but also globally. We have surpassed 70 members and we want to take advantage of this opportunity to harness the collective knowledge of our industry peers, so that our attendees leave better informed and with stronger networks than when they arrived. That’s why collaboration is a key element that dominated discussion in Shanghai. This year’s focus was human-centred, inclusive and locally-oriented.”

Mr. Patrick Chen, Secretary General of the ICCA China Committee and Mrs. Liu Ping, Founder of China Star, both moderated a constructive round table discussion and brought together valuable experience and insights from a broad cross section of the audience. The discussion focused on key themes such as: collaboration - the keystone of the round table’s talking points; current meeting industry trends in China; and how ICCA China’s business community could leverage its network and work together to attract more conferences to its shores.

Keynote speaker Ms. Ella Zhou, Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Spring Travel Service, also shared her story of “Love.Pamir” - a community-supported charitable organisation dedicated to providing material support to children in the Pamir mountains. “CSR is not merely a job, but a passion. A passion and vision with action can change the world,” she said.

The event ended with an awards component. The awards and recipients were:

  • Special Award -Madame Connie Cheng, Chair of the ICCA China Committee
  • Long-term Member Awards:
    • Beijing International Convention Center (23 years)
    • Shanghai International Convention Centre (20 years)
    • Shanghai Spring Travel Service Co., Ltd. (20 years)
    • Appreciation Award: ICCA China Committee Working Group Members

New Member certificates were also awarded to those ICCA China Members who had joined the global association since May 2018.

Noor Ahmad Hamid, Regional Director Asia Pacific concluded by adding, “ICCA China’s membership has come a long way in the past 20 years. When the ICCA Asia Pacific Office was set up in 1998, there was only 1 member in China. From 1 member to the world’s largest member country, China’s growth story is far from over. I believe there is every prospect of China continuing its impressive growth path, but more importantly, how can we leverage this immense pool of knowledge available to progress? The ICCA China Forum is just the right platform for our members to discover the power of professional networking connections to do business and win more business together for the country.”     

In 1996, ICCA received the first application from China: Beijing International Convention Center. The venue became the first member of ICCA in China and has remained a long-term member until today, after 23 years. Ever since then, ICCA has escalated its local presence with membership strongholds growing in Beijing and Shanghai. When the Country Committee, the ICCA China Committee, was founded in 2010 in the run-up to ICCA’s 2013 Congress in Shanghai, the country comprised 27 members located within 9 cities. After the success of the Shanghai Congress, China has continued to see robust growth and chalked up records of historic highs, due to ICCA’s rising international profile and increased interest from second-tier and third-tier cities. The surge in interest comes as no surprise, as second and third-tier cities in China are fast catching up as a meeting hub; the fact that more and more city governments realise the importance of matching business events with trade, investment and export policies has also contributed to this significant increase in growth.  

At present, China’s membership stands at 72 organisations in 22 cities across the country: Beijing, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Foshan, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Huzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi’an, Yinchuan, Zhengzhou and Zhuhai. 

By the end of May 2019, China registered an exponential growth of 7,100% increase since 1996, contributing 26% to the Asia-Pacific region’s overall membership of 277 member organisations. This constitutesan increase of 166% in the growth rate in the past 10 years and a jump of 16% year-on-year.


Download the accompanying picture in high-res.

About ICCA Asia Pacific Regional Office

The ICCA Asia Pacific Regional Office was established on 1 January 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to provide better membership support for Asia Pacific members. As a Regional Office of the ICCA Head Office in the Netherlands, this office aims to initiate and organise more ICCA activities in this region to enhance the value of membership for ICCA members. In addition, ICCA Asia Pacific also serves as Global Research Centre, dedicated to undertaking more comprehensive research projects for the benefit of members worldwide.

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