One + February 2011 - (Page 28)

THE Gateway to the Future Meetings mirror Hong Kong’s booming economy BY DAVID BASLER ELECTROLUX SWEDEN CEO MIKAEL BRAGD was looking for a way to inform and incentivize simultaneously. The resulting bottom-line-boosting plan was an incentive trip to Hong Kong. But why would the world’s secondlargest home appliance company spend the time and money to travel half a world away? The answer: The business value of face-to-face meetings. The “Gateway to China,” Hong Kong is home to the regional headquarters and factories of more than 6,000 global companies, including Electrolux. And Bragd’s vision for the trip would give retail sales representatives who sell his Electrolux products throughout Europe an opportunity to see firsthand the construction of the products they sell on a daily basis, meet the people working closely with the items and then witness the process of shipping those products to their stores. The nine-day program included visits to the Electrolux factory just across the border in mainland China, a tour of Hong Kong’s expansive container shipping port in Victoria Harbour and a five-day incentive cruise on the South China Sea. The event turned out to be the ideal combination of improving familiarity with the com28 pany mixed with fun and networking that would provide the company with a muchdesired boost to the overall bottom line. “We wanted to find a place that not everybody had been to. Our starting point was also that we wanted to take the opportunity to allow our retailers to see the Chinese manufacturing boom with their own eyes,” Bragd said. “Furthermore, it had to be a place where you can keep a group of almost 200 people together. In that sense, a cruise ship is a good option since its self-contained environment allows members of the group to get to know one another better and make stronger connections.” The trip delivered a positive ROI for Bragd and Electrolux on multiple fronts, but the catalyst for the success was the location. The success of business meetings, events and incentive trips like this one in Hong Kong is no coincidence. The government has recently poured a great deal of focus and financial support into the development of the industry here. Beginning with the 2008-09 budget cycle, the government earmarked an additional US$19.5 million for the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to strengthen its MICE promotions through 2013 ($3.9 million per year), says Gilly Wong, Hong Kong Tourism Board’s general manager for MICE and cruise. “Making use of the additional funding, the HKTB has stepped up its marketing efforts and established the Meetings & Exhibitions Hong Kong office to provide one-stop professional support to event organizers, enhance overseas promotional initiatives and enrich the travel experience of our MICE visitors,” Wong said. The increase in government support is entirely based on the increase in business travel to the region, a stat that has not gone unnoticed by many Asian destinations, including Hong Kong, in the past two years. Hong Kong alone has seen a 4 percent yearover-year increase in business visitors and a 7 percent growth in trade show participants in that time span. “The MICE sector in Hong Kong has gathered momentum in recent years, consistent with the city’s development as a global hub for trade, business services, aviation and finance, and as a cosmopolitan city destination in its own right,” said one+ 02.11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + February 2011

One + February 2011
Energy of Many
The Productivity Cloud
MPIWeb Connect
Events for Life
Gateway to the Future
Top Spots
It Was Not Interesting
The Wrong Words
Up to Snuff
That’s Enough Facebook
Super Foods to the Rescue
Shoring Resources
Jack and Smoke
Accidentally on Purpose
Staying on Top of Tech
The Joy of Work
Plan to Run
Productivity on the Go
Angel of the Favelas
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again
MPI’s 2011 Meeting Guide to Canada
Banff Centre
Ottawa Tourism
Tourisme Montréal
The Buzz
InterContinental Canada
Caesars Windsor
Vintage Hotels
The Great Green North
Whistler, British Columbia
Meetings and Conventions Calgary
Scotiabank Convention Centre

One + February 2011