Hangzhou gets back into gear

Positive signs for MICE business

InterContinental Hangzhou: venue for video conferences.

HANGZHOU - Since the end of March, the overall pandemic in Hangzhou has subsided and MICE businesses have begun to resume work.

Ms Tina Gan, deputy manager, MICE, Business Events Hangzhou, said: "The MICE industry, which has been hit more severely, has pressed the restart button. On March 21st, the Hangzhou Municipal Government issued a notice, which is the first notice in the mainland to state that conference and exhibition venues can resume work.

"All kinds of conference hotels and conference agencies are also preparing for the recovery."

During the lockdown, Hangzhou's MICE industry tried to tide over this difficult period through various forms: organising the employees to actively participate in various forms of online training, including the Hangzhou MICE Talent Program hosted by Business Events Hangzhou to enhance the professional level of practitioners.

The bureau also negotiated with clients to postpone rather than cancel events, and to propose events for the second half of the year.

Hangzhou Haibo Resort: individual servings for delegates.

InterContinental Hangzhou held a video conference where the main agenda participants were at the conference venue facing a camera whilst the audience was at home.

Mr Frankson Lee, the hotel's GM and area GM of IHG Zhejiang, said: "A pharmaceutical company held a couple of video conferences in our hotel. They required stable network, sufficient lighting and a quiet environment.

"A stable network was their top priority and we are so proud to be the first hotel to install 5G network in Hangzhou since last year."

The 384-room hotel is adjacent to a Metro Line 4 station and is 27 km from Hangzhou International Airport. Its 6,000 sqm of meeting space includes a 1,780 sqm pillarless ballroom, a 925 sqm conference hall, a press conference room and another 20 function rooms.

On 24 March, Hangzhou Haibo Resort, a sister hotel of Taixuhu Holiday Hotel, conducted its first offline meeting since the COVID-19 outbreak. All participants were at the resort.

Hangzhou Haibo Resort: social distancing during lunch.

Ms Gan said: "They all wore face masks and when they had meals, the hotel gave them individual servings. What I learned from the hotel staff is that the host was a garment company called SUN'T and the meeting was an order fair for (their) 2020 Autumn/Winter (collection)."

All participants wore their face masks. The hotel also ensured each participant bore a green health code pass and that their temperature was under 37.2℃.

Self-help check-in machines and food delivery robots were deployed to reduce personal contact, and social distancing was enforced in the dining room. Rooms were available only 48 hours after disinfection.