The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) recently announced some details of its MICE revival plan after receiving almost HK$765 million (US$1 million) from the government as part of the 2021-22 Budget.
This includes rebuilding confidence in Hong Kong as an ideal conference destination. The HKTB plans to do this by winning bids for international conferences with A-list speakers to establish reputable testimonials.
To further drive business recovery, HKTB will amend some of the application requirements for funding support for small- and medium-sized meeting, incentive and convention groups.
For example, instead of having to stay for a minimum of two nights, groups that wish to apply for funding support are now only required to stay in Hong Kong for one night.
HKTB believes that this will make Hong Kong a more attractive destination to corporate groups and will, in turn, increase business for local operators and travel agencies.
The tourism board will also relaunch its 'Meet On @ Hong Kong' campaign to “drive patronage through various tactical promotions, and will work with business and professional leaders in the Hong Kong Convention Ambassador programme to bid for MICE events” to be held in Hong Kong. At this stage there are no further details concerning these “tactical promotions”.
There will also be a new funding support scheme for the local hotel sector that is to be used to attract more corporate meetings.
Summing up the overall plan, HKTB executive director, Dane Cheng, said strategies for 2021/22 will focus on two major areas.
"Firstly, we saw a need to offer support to the trade and boost the ambience in Hong Kong, while ensuring the city’s continued exposure on the international stage ahead of the resumption of international travel.
"Secondly, we anticipate competition [for travellers] will be intense once the pandemic is over, with rival markets going to great lengths to bring visitors back. The HKTB is therefore setting aside resources for large-scale promotions so that Hong Kong will stand out against competing destinations.”
Further details and actual deployment of resources will be subject to factors such as the pandemic situation and progress towards the resumption of international travel, and will be evaluated and adjusted according to prevailing conditions, said the HKTB.
HKCEC gears up for hybrid meetings
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has launched a new hybrid meeting facility, supported by event management company imEMC Limited.
The Harbour Studio is equipped with LED wall panels, cameras, AV equipment, stable broadband connection, as well as wireless clip microphones, LED lighting panels, video switcher, laptop and playback equipment.
Live broadcasts, webinars and product launches can be housed in the 6x3 metre space, overlooking the Victoria Harbour.
Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Management Limited (HML), said the newly-created Harbour Studio gives event organisers "huge flexibility in designing their own bespoke online or hybrid events while enjoying full technical support by HML".
She added: "We will continue to work with event organisers to co-create and reinvent events, bringing all new online experience to participants."