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Lead regional exhibition industry development

————Interview with Joey Pather, CEO of Tanzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center (GICEC)

In the short period of just 2 years in operation, Tanzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center (GICEC) has achieved remarkable business and social success. Please give some numbers and share with us the success factors behind that.

Joey: Looking back on these two years, GICEC has taken a big step forward in hosting more than 60 exhibitions, conferences and business events. Since its inception, GICEC has established an international cooperation relationship with Deutsche Messe. The GICEC hardware facilities and operating standards have been injected with the international genes of the German exhibition industry's hardware advantages and strict service system. So far, we have signed a memorandum of cooperation with five international exhibition industry organizations to further build our international brand. At the same time, we have joined 9 international and domestic authoritative organizations such as UFI, AIPC and ICCA, and have been actively participating in industry cooperation and dialogues, so that we can keep abreast of the development trends of the industry. In the past two years, we have participated in industry events and promotion activities for about 50 times, further enhancing GICEC publicity.

As a leading venue in the region, what is the positioning and role of GICEC in local MICE industry development?

Joey: GICEC has three major positionings: a demonstration center for the advanced equipment manufacturing sector west of the Pearl River Delta, an exhibition center for the Chinese machinery manufacturing sector; a showcase platform for “Made-in-China 2025” and Germany’s Industry 4.0 Initiatives.

GICEC is an emerging international purpose-built exhibition venue in the Greater Bay Area. It is located in Foshan, a huge manufacturing city, which gathers many high-quality and developed industrial resources and implements a differentiated development strategy with other mature MICE centers in the region. It is an international platform for promoting high-end economic and trade cooperation and dialogue activities such as exhibitions, conferences, exchanges, commerce, investment, seminars, etc. in Foshan and even the entire Pearl River Delta region. It is a power engine in the upgrading process of “Foshan Manufacturing” to “Foshan Smart Manufacturing”.

In your MICE career, what do you think are the major changes in MICE activities? Based on that, what will be GICEC’s new year plan to always stay relevant?

Joey: During my career in the exhibition industry, since I came to GICEC as CEO, I have observed that the development of the convention and exhibition industry in Foshan and even in the Pearl River Delta region has undergone major changes. On the one hand, the governments has attached more importance to the support of the exhibition industry, and in many cities in mainland China, relevant policies have been issued to support the development of the convention and exhibition industry; on the other hand, the development environment of the exhibition industry is full of opportunities, the incremental market space for exhibitions is gradually expanding, and the venues have also gradually starting the event organizing business; the third is that the venue services are in constant upgrading, for instance, in GICEC, we can now host large-scale international exhibitions, conferences and meetings, large-scale business events, banquets, performing arts activities, films and television shooting events, etc., to meet the various needs of clients.

With the launch of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, what do you think will be the opportunities for the MICE sector in Foshan and GICEC?

Joey: The completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has accelerated the economic and trade cooperation between the three places by adding transportation advantages, allowing exhibitors in mainland China to have better opportunities to sell their products to Hong Kong and Macao. It has also allowed Hong Kong and Macao compatriots to go to the Pearl River Delta region to participate in exhibitions and enjoy other friendly cooperation opportunities, and opened up the channels of mutual exchange and reference between the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao convention and exhibition industry to fully take advantages of mutual development opportunities.

What is your expectation for the upcoming 2019 UFI Asia-Pacific Conference?

Joey: We look forward to learning about the latest trends in the exhibition industry at this year's UFI Asia-Pacific Conference, so that we can better learn from the industry's outstanding companies' success stories that will help us in our future operations management. At the same time, this conference is also a good opportunity for GICEC delegates and industry customers to exchange ideas. Let us wait and see!


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