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Xiamen Convention & Exhibition Industry Development Report (2014)

An Overall Review on the Development of Xiamen’s Convention & Exhibition Industry in 2014

Instructed by Xiamen Municipal Party Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government, pushed by Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce and Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention & Exhibition Affairs, Xiamen convention & exhibition industry kept improving policies, optimizing environment, strengthening marketing efforts, promoting transformation, adjusting structure, expanding channels, and securing growth, achieving steady growth against multiple challenges, driving the development of relevant industries, such as tourism, and making positive contributions to Xiamen’s social and economic development. 

I. Exhibition Industry Grows Steadily in Quantity and Quality

In the year of 2014, Xiamen exhibition industry was confronted with harsh economic situation and fierce competition in domestic exhibition industry. With the incentives of new convention & exhibition put forward by the local government, Xiamen exhibition industry earnestly expanded its market share by fully playing out the advantages of brand exhibitions, expanding new channels, exploring new topics, and planning, incubating and introducing new projects to Xiamen. Strictly following the guidelines of “professional, international, market-oriented and regulated”, Xiamen exhibition industry constantly developed itself and secured the steady growth in terms of quantity, scale and quality.

In 2014, Xiamen held 200 exhibitions, increased by 16 or 8.7% than last year. The total exhibition area reached 1,735,000m2, increased by 130,000m2 or 8.2% than last year. Altogether, exhibitions of 2014 attracted 77,000 overseas participants from over 150 countries and regions, 283,500 participants from domestic market, which contribute to the total visitors of 4,860,000 people. There were 10 exhibitions with exhibition areas of more than 30,000m2. CIFIT, Stone Fair, and Buddha Fair maintained their globally leading position; XMIE (CXMEE), CCCIF, Tea Expo, Boat Show, and Automobile Fair grew continuously in terms of international level, playing important roles in the development of Xiamen’s relevant industries and the formation of market.

II. Convention Industry Adjusts Structure, Increases Channels and Achieves Outstanding Results

Despite the severe situation in 2014, relying on the beautiful environment, complete facilities and well-balanced regional development context in Xiamen and stimulation of new policies, the convention industry changed its management concept, adjusted product structure, sought development potential, improved service quality, and maintained the concurrent growth of conference number, participants and economic benefits.

Throughout the year, Xiamen held 4,177 business conferences with 50 or more participants, up by 0.75% than last year. Among them, 49 are international conferences, accounting for 1.2% of total conferences, increased by 17 or 53.1% than last year; 113 are above-scale conferences, increased by 18 or 18.9% than last year; the total number of participants is 856,400, up by 6.2% than last year. On average, each person stayed more than 5 days in Xiamen; the total visitors participating in conferences and events in the year reached 4.28 million/day. There were 60 large conferences with over 1,000 participants, 4 more than last year. Sampling survey shows that, those conferences and events covered 33 sectors, with sportswear (19), pharmaceutical medicine (14), and clothes (11) ranking the top 3. 

III. Convention and Exhibition Industry Increases Benefits, Expands Influence, and Makes Remarkable Achievements

As a cross-industry, cross-sector modern service industry, the convention and exhibition industry has brought together huge flows of talents, products, information and funds. It is of great importance to drive national economy and society progress, and may produce the effect to mobilize many other industries. In Xiamen, an industrial chain has been formed which is led by conference and exhibition enterprises, revolving around conference and exhibition venues, and integrating design & construction, security, transportation, restaurants, catering, tourism, retail, entertainment, insurance, consultation, telecommunication, internet, advertising, media, printing and publishing. The convention and exhibition industry directly or indirectly produced economic benefits of 27.627 billion yuan in 2014, up by 16.5% than last year.

In 2014, there were 86,500 international standard booths and 4.86 million visitors in total, creating economic benefits of 13.41 billion yuan, up by 27.0% than last year, which consists direct benefits of 5.869 billion yuan (direct income 1.078 billion yuan, indirect income 4.791 billion yuan, up by 22.5%), and driven economic benefits of 7.541 billion yuan, up by 30.8%.

In 2014, 4177 conferences were participated in by over 856,000 people, and total visitors in Xiamen reached 4.28 million/day, creating economic benefits of 14.218 billion yuan, up by 8.1%, which consists direct economic benefits of 5.784 billion yuan, up by 9.1% and driven economic benefits of 8.433 billion yuan, up by 7.3%.

IV. Expand and Optimize Convention and Exhibition Facilities

The ability to undertake and serve a conference or exhibition is directly affected by the quality and quantity of conference and exhibition facilities. To adapt to the development of Xiamen’s convention and exhibition industry, with the great support of Xiamen Municipal Party Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government, Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center Phase IV were put into construction in December 2014. After the construction is completed in September 2015, the Conference and Exhibition Center will have 150,000m2 indoor exhibition space. A small exhibition hall and conference center invested by Iport Group with an area of 27,000m2 in Wutong Straits Passenger Hub has been under construction since December 2014 and will be put to use in 2017. It’s predicated to significantly better the convention and exhibition layout in Xiamen. Wuyuanwan convention and exhibition cluster will also be functionally improved. Xiamen will have 17 venues to hold various exhibition events with total indoor area of 150,000m2, up around 14% than last year. 

There were 4 newly opened high-end hotels and 6 new conference rooms, which increases the total number of hotels and conference rooms in Xiamen to more than 650 and the total area of conference rooms to more than 133,098 m2. In view of market changes, those hotels further transformed conference facilities to meet the needs of various conferences. Among 100 three-star or above and newly-built high-end hotels in Xiamen, 65% of them are located in Siming District, 18% in Huli District, 9% in Jimei District and less than 3% in Tong’an, Xiang’an and Haicang districts.

V. The Marketing Platform is Working

In 2014, in order to transform and upgrade the convention and exhibition industry, promote industry integration and leading effect, overcome the unfavorable factors in terms of environment, infrastructure, market and talents, Xiamen strengthened the exhibition marketing, further expanded marketing channels, built marketing platforms and enriched the marketing contents, shaping a special domestic and international exhibition marketing system with Xiamen characteristics which has made breakthrough progress for exhibition marketing.

First, it made use of the government’s influence and administrative resources to enhance exhibition marketing. In November, Xiamen dispatched a team led by municipal-level leaders and officers of Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs to Beijing to jointly hold “Xiamen Exhibition Industry and National Industry Associations Exchange Conference” with SASAC, to participate in the 7th China Meetings Industry Convention and to deliver a keynote speech and hold a special promotion meeting. Second, it participated in Shanghai IT&CM in May and invited buyers to visit Xiamen. Third, it continued the in-depth cooperation with six exhibition media, including China Conference & Exhibition and China International Conference & Exhibition, and has expanded the presence of Xiamen convention and exhibition industry within the entire industry with 150-page columns published and approximate 200 pieces of news of various exhibition information released. Fourth, to explore new promotion channels, it cooperated with local media, such as Straits Herald and Xiamen Broadcast and Television Newspaper, to open exhibition columns. Fifth, it strengthened the management and operation of the website of “Xiamen Convention & Exhibition”, which was added links to 170 websites, released over 600 pieces of exhibition information, and had an annual click rate of 760,000. Sixth, it devoted great efforts to Xiamen Exhibition Trends which publishes 25 issues a year and achieves sales of more than 700 hard copies and electronic copies for each issue, winning commendation from within the industry. Seventh, the Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs and Exhibition Association reinforced the communication and cooperation with The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations and China City Association of Conventions and Exhibitions (CCACE) to promote Xiamen’s exhibition environment and policies. Eighth, it strengthened the communication with exhibition institutions in Germany, Britain, Taiwan and other regions and built communication channels to facilitate the settlement of various projects in Xiamen. Ninth, it enriched promotion materials by printing Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Industry Guide, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Industry Training Manual, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Promotion Manual (Chinese and English), Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Hand-drawn Map (Chinese and English), and Xiamen Conference Hotels Project Promotion Brochure, and producing Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Promotion Video (Chinese and English). In 2014, Xiamen convention and exhibition industry has further improved its publicity and recognition at home and abroad, and been rated repeatedly by media as a famous city of conventions and exhibitions.

VI. Properly Established Convention and Exhibition Policies and Practical and Innovative Exhibition Researches

In June 2014, Xiamen Municipal Government reviewed and approved the Work Plan on Upgrading Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Industry at its executive meeting, declaring the direction and objective for upgrading Xiamen convention and exhibition industry. On June 19, based on multiple researches carried out by Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Finance, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce and the Convention and Exhibition Association, Xiamen Municipal Government issued the Some Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Convention and Exhibition Industry. The new policy increased awarding stimulation and adjusted implementation standards and incrementation incentives, providing policy guidance to accelerate the development of convention and exhibition industry with more complete and proper policies. Under the support of the Bureau of Commerce and Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs, the Convention and Exhibition Association collected data of the convention and exhibition industry following “Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Industry Statistical Monitoring System”, which played a positive guiding role for the scientific and sustainable development of convention and exhibition industry. 

In 2014, the convention and exhibition researches gained new outcomes. There were 14 research papers on the conditions of exhibition operation that positively contribute to guiding the development of convention and exhibition projects. The research on “professional, international, market-oriented, regulated” convention and exhibition evaluation system and the research on evaluation system of establishment of conference hotels were completed, which would help guide the branding and standardizing construction of the convention and exhibition industry in 2015.

VII. The Expanding of Convention and Exhibition Industry and the improving of the Industrial Quality

The convention and exhibition industry chain primarily consists of four sectors: exhibition institutions, convention institutions, convention and exhibition venues, and venue design and construction. In 2014, new trends in convention and exhibition sectors had been seen in Xiamen. Firstly, exhibition institutions grew fast, and it became a trend that industrial associations, media and large State-owned enterprises got involved in the exhibition industry. Xiamen Daily, Straits Herald, Broadcast and TV respectively has integrated their resources to march into the exhibition industry; Xiamen Internet of Things Industry Association, Xiamen Horologe Association, Xiamen Interior Decoration Association, and Xiamen Shop Decoration Association also held relevant exhibitions relying on industry infrastructure and market; C&D, Iport, Xmigc and other large State-owned enterprises successively established professional organizations to hold exhibition events. Cross-sector development among enterprises, media and industrial associations became a new feature of Xiamen convention and exhibition industry. Secondly, convention organizing agencies and conference hotels grew fast. At present, there were more than 40 agencies capable of hosting conferences and nearly 100 conference hotels in Xiamen. Thirdly, the number of companies engaged in conference and exhibition design and construction has increased to over 130. Preliminary statistics shows that, Xiamen had over 12,700 people directly involved in convention and exhibition industry, forming an important power to drive the city’s economic development. Thanks to the systematic training and practices offered by the government and industrial associations, people involved in the convention and exhibition industry had demonstrated increasing professionalism. XICEC, Jinhongxin, C&D Tourism and Hotels Co., Ltd., Bai Xiang Group, Yingtuo, L&C, C&D Convention and Exhibition, Duo Xi Peng Cheng, Jacinth, Shihe and many other brand enterprises has stood out with the development of convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen. Xiamen has been the primary location that attracts convention and exhibition enterprises and talents in Fujian and even in the west coastal region of Taiwan Straits.

VIII. Domestic and Foreign Convention and Exhibition Exchanges Grow increasingly, Regional Cooperation is Continuously Pushed Forward

That whether the cooperation channels for conventions and exhibitions are built effectively is an important indictor marking the maturity of a city’s convention and exhibition industry. In 2014, Xiamen further enhanced its cooperation with convention and exhibition industries in Zhujiang Delta, Yangtze River Delta, and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region while constantly consolidating the cooperation with relevant authorities and industrial associations in China. Representatives were sent to participate in convention and exhibition forums held in Guangzhou, Haikou, Guiyang and Shenyang. Xiamen also expanded the cooperation with overseas convention and exhibition industries as well as those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. In January, Xiamen dispatched a delegation to visit Europe, Singapore and other places and consequently established cooperation channels with globally well-known convention and exhibition institutions, including Messe München International, Messe Düsseldorf, and Deutsche Messe in Germany. The convention and exhibition association positively conducted cooperation and communication with members of Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations and China City Association of Conventions and Exhibitions. Executive officers of Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association were respectively elected as a director of Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations and an honorary chairman and the chief executive of the Consultative and Executive Committee of China City Association of Conventions and Exhibitions. During the 18th CIFIT in 2014, Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs and Convention and Exhibition Association assisted the delegation of Macao Government to organize and hold “Macao Convention and Exhibition Promotion” in Xiamen; by the late of September, Xiamen dispatched a team to Taiwan to participate in the Cross-Straits Convention and Exhibition Matchmaking Conference, promoting Xiamen’s convention and exhibition environment and projects and facilitating cross-straits communication and cooperation. In 2014, there were 24 out of 40 trade and economic exhibitions which were jointly held by mainland China and Taiwan or participated by Taiwan enterprises. Xiamen now has been the spearhead of cross-straits convention and exhibition cooperation.

IX. Difficulties and Challenges

In 2014, under the situation of global economic recovery, nation-wide steady economic development, and industrial structural adjustment, upgrading, integration and development promotion in Xiamen, Xiamen convention and exhibition industry took the opportunity to grow fast. The quantity, scale, quality, and economic benefits of conventions and exhibitions in Xiamen has boosted to various degrees. However, limited by geographic location, industrial infrastructure, market capacity, urban environment, supporting facilities and other aspects, to achieve the development goal of being a Beautiful Xiamen, Xiamen still had a long way to go. Conclusively, there were five difficulties and three challenges. First, Xiamen is a small city with weak industrial infrastructure and a very limited market. Second, facilities for exhibitions are not updated as both ultra-large and small exhibition halls run short. Third, high-end planning talents are in shortage in exhibition and convention sectors. Fourth, there are few channels to undertake international conventions. Last, Xiamen has only a few international exhibitions or conventions, which hinders the improvement of benefits and quality.

In addition to the five limitations, Xiamen convention and exhibition industry is burdened with three challenges in view of domestic and international context. Firstly, the sluggish economic growth in China and other countries and the tremendous pressure arising from decreasing real economy deprive many enterprises of their intent to participate in or hold exhibitions and conventions. Secondly, the development of e-commerce impacts severely upon the exhibition and convention market. Thirdly, four exhibition clusters have formed in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta, Zhujiang Delta and upper and middle Yangtze River , intensifying the competition in domestic convention and exhibition market.

X. Forecast of Convention and Exhibition Development in 2015

The convention and exhibition industry apparently plays a leading and driving role in a city’s service industry. As an important part of Xiamen’s tourism, convention and exhibition industrial chain valuing hundreds of billions, Xiamen Municipal Party Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government attach great significance to the convention and exhibition industry. Xiamen convention and exhibition industry will witness a new development period. The functional integration of Tourism Bureau and Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs has completed, and the fusion in many aspects has been orderly pushed forward. Hereafter, more driving force will be input to the convention and exhibition industry and a series of new convention and exhibition awarding and supporting policies enacted by the government will show its power with the lapse of time. It’s analyzed that, Xiamen convention and exhibition industry will make breakthroughs in eight areas in 2015: first, increasing the efforts to fuse convention, exhibition and tourism, further integrating convention and exhibition marketing resources to boost the promotion; second, enhancing the construction of various convention and exhibition halls, for example, the Conference and Exhibition Center Phase IV will be put into use and construction of Wutong Cross-Straits Passenger Hub and Exhibition and Convention Center will be accelerated; third, China’s first “China Convention and Exhibition Industry Fund” has been officially established and operated in Xiamen, and those financial services will facilitate development of the convention and exhibition industry; fourth, convention and exhibition quantities and scales are expected to grow greatly. The “professional, international, market-oriented and regulated” construction will be unfolded completely, helping Xiamen become a staple commodity exhibition and trade center; fifth, construction of conference hotels will be rolled out, and above-scale conferences, particularly international conferences, will increase; sixth, construction of public convention and exhibition information platform and new media promotion platform will be lifted to a new height; seventh, new convention and exhibition awarding and supporting policies will be carried out to full extent; and eighth, cultivation of convention and exhibition talents and standard convention and exhibition construction will enable the overall improvement of convention and exhibition quality and benefits in Xiamen.

We believe that, with the concern and support of Xiamen Municipal Party Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government, under the leading and drive of Xiamen Municipal Tourism Bureau and Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs, the convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen will embrace a new development period, overcome many difficulties and challenges, and make new contributions to realize the target of creating “tourism, convention and exhibition industrial chain valuing hundreds of billions” set by Xiamen Municipal Party Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government.

Guided by: Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition   Sponsor: Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association
Phone:86-592-5959353\2213713   Fax:86-592-2213716   E-mail:xmcea3@163.com
Technology: Xiamen Economic and Trade Information Center