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Xiamen Convention & Exhibition Industry Development Report (2013)

An Overall Review on the Development of Xiamen’s Convention & Exhibition Industry in 2013

While the global economy witnessed a slow recovery in 2013, the overall situation remained stern ahead. To name a few: the domestic real economy was still under pressure to regulate and restructure; the enterprises’ intentions to participate in exhibitions further decreases, resulting in an increasingly fierce competition in the exhibition market. Meanwhile, convention market was also facing challenges, the number of both government-oriented and corporate-oriented conventions shrunk sharply. Nevertheless, thanks to the strong leadership of CPC Xiamen Committee and Xiamen Municipal Government, the convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen took full advantage of the opportunities by seeking progress through innovation, adjusting the structure, increasing the publicity and optimizing the environment, and thereby scored satisfactory results, boosted related industries in Xiamen, also made positive contribution to social, economic, cultural and technological progress of Xiamen.

I. Number and scale of Exhibition Industries Reached New High

In 2013, Xiamen exhibition industry, taking advantage of the favorable exhibition environment in Xiamen and fully exerting the influence of brand-name exhibitions, adopted a proactive approach in expanding exhibition scale, staging new exhibitions and introducing new touring exhibitions, thus achieving a relatively rapid growth both in quantities and scale. 184 exhibitions were held throughout the year, outnumbered by 24 as compared to the previous year, up by 15%. The total exhibition area reached 1,604,000 square meters, increased by 224,000 square meters over the previous year, up by 16.2%, among which economic and trade exhibitions and professional exhibitions reached 117, with total exhibition area of 1,494,000 square meters, accounting for 63.6% in the total number of exhibitions and 93.1% of the total exhibition areas. The number of exhibitions of scale (30,000 square meters or more) reached 10, reduced by 2 compared to last year. The total area of exhibitions of scale reached 730,000 square meters, an increase of nearly 4%, among which the total area of the 13th China Xiamen International Stone Fair (including China Xiamen International Stone Machinery & Tools Fair) reached 160,000 square meters, an increase of 52.38%, and remained No.1 globally in the exhibition of its kind. The exhibition area of China Xiamen International Buddhist Projects & Crafts Fair increased from the previous 60,000 square meters to 80,000 square meters, ranking first in international exhibition of the same kind. Brand exhibitions and professional exhibitions, including China International Fair for Investment & Trade, China Xiamen Machinery & Electronics Exhibition, Cross-Strait (Xiamen) Cultural Industry Fair, West-Taiwan-Strait Auto Expo, and China Xiamen International Boat Show, all had increased greatly. The development of the scale of the exhibitions promoted the development and progress of related industries.

II. Increasingly-optimized Structure & Rapid Development against an Unfavorable Backdrop

In 2013, under the guidance of the central authority’s “eight regulations” and the “six prohibitions”, the convention industry had become more standardized and down-to-earth. The scale, number and mode of operation of conventions had changed significantly. The restructure and adjustment of convention industry had become an important feature in 2013. Relying on the regional, environmental and policy advantages, Xiamen convention industry timely adjusted the operating modes, improved service quality, increased service items, increased publicity efforts and opened up new market and fields. As a result of the efforts, the overall number of convention projects decreased slightly, while the attendees and the days of people staying in Xiamen both increased, which had become a contrarian soar. According to a new statistical model, in 2013, 4,146 various business conferences with more than 50 participants were held in Xiamen, amounting to a total of 806,000 attendees, or 4031 people per day on average, of which international conventions accounted for 32, parallel to the previous year, with 9,900 people involved, an increase of 2,157, up by 27.9% compared to last year. The number of conventions of scale reached 95, an increase of 10, up by 11.8% compared to last year, among which the number of conventions with more than 1,000 people reached 56, an increase of 11, up by 24.4% compared to last year. Xiamen remained the main target location for sports brands (19 conferences), medicine industry (17 conferences) and clothing (13 conferences).

III. Gratifying Economic and Social Benefits

According to the convention and exhibition industry’s impact on revenues of convention and exhibition chain, the convention and exhibition industry economic benefits can be categorized as direct revenue (including pavilion revenue, conference room rental, booth revenue, design and construction revenue), indirect revenue (including staff and transportation revenue, accommodation revenue, food catering revenue, entertainment revenue, purchasing revenue, communication revenue, tourism revenue etc ) and driven revenue (including the driven impact by direct and indirect revenue to the upstream and downstream industries etc).

In 2013, the total number of international standard booths reached 80,815 with 4,320,000 visitors from more than 150 countries and regions, including 55,000 overseas merchants and nearly 220,000 merchants from other cities. The revenue of booth and conference room reached 483 million Yuan, pavilion revenue 100 million Yuan, design and construction revenue 460 million. Taking the food catering, accommodation, transportation, entertainment, tourism, purchasing and communication revenues into account, the direct social economic benefits reached 4.792 billion Yuan. The total number of conventions reached 4,146, and attendees 806,200, about 4,031,000 people each day on average, including 9,900 overseas visitors. The transportation, accommodation, tourism, purchasing, entertainment revenues reached 5.364 billion Yuan. In 2013, the direct, indirect and driven benefits of Xiamen’s convention and exhibition reached 23.716 billion Yuan in total.

IV. Convention & Exhibition Facilities and Information Construction Expanded and Upgraded Again

In 2013, the convention and exhibition facilities of Xiamen were expanded again. There were 8 pavilions which undertook exhibitions and indoor exhibition area reached 131,429 square meters, an increase of 7.7% from the previous year. After a temporary transformation, Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center could undertake exhibition activities with 160,000 square meters. The number of hotels which could undertake conferences and small-size exhibitions reached 100, up by 11 compared to last year. The number of conference room of Xiamen reached 636, increased by 31 compared to last year, and the total area reached 127,733 square meters. Seven hotel groups had been formed, including Xiamen International Seaside Hotel, Xiamen International Conference Center Hotel, Nikko Hotel International centered in Qianpu area; Crowne Plaza centered in Lianhua area, Yeo Hwa Hotel, Xianglu Grand Hotel centered in Huli Dianqian area, Xiamen Airlines Jinyan Hotel, Kempinski Hotel Xiamen centered in Bailuzhou area, Swiss International Hotel Xiamen centered in Lujiangdao Lundu area, Seaview Resort, Asia Gulf Hotel centered in Huangcuo Island Ringroad area, Aike Xinglinwan Hotel Centered in Xinlinwan area. These hotels groups would offer supporting services to different types and cater to different needs.

V. Ever-growing Convention and Exhibition Service Personnel

In 2013, new progress had been made in the working team and the industrial chain of convention and exhibition industry. Statistics shows that there are approximately 300 convention and exhibition enterprises in operation. The following 5 aspects deserve attention: firstly, a group of new institutions began to set foot in the exhibition industry; in particular, many companies used to focus on overseas exhibition have begun to undertake domestic exhibitions; secondly, personnel engaged in convention services have expanded rapidly in quantity, more than 10 convention companies joined in the Convention and Exhibition Association throughout the year; thirdly, many new hotels actively explored convention market and undertook convention activities at home and abroad. By far, the number of hotels in Xiamen competent to undertake convention activities reached 100, mostly with a specialized convention service team; fourthly, the number of companies engaged in design and construction of convention and exhibition reached more than 80, increased by 20 from the previous year; fifthly, teams of exhibition translation, stenography, inkjet, festival rituals, special care security, customs clearance logistics, education and training, photography and video recording were ever growing, meanwhile, the service capabilities got a new boost, which greatly enhanced the capabilities of Xiamen city to undertake and safeguard large-scale conventions and exhibitions.

VI. Inbound and outbound marketing strengthened

Facing a complicated economic situation and influenced by the adjustment of national policy, Xiamen city stepped up publicity on convention and exhibition and exploited new publicity methods, enriched marketing ways, combined key promotion and the majority promotion, which had achieved gratifying results and formed a distinctive convention and exhibition propaganda system of Xiamen. Firstly, Xiamen strengthened the management and operation of convention and exhibition’s official websites. It published 550 pieces of convention and exhibition information, which were clicked 800,000 times on line annually. Secondly, Xiamen did a good job on “Xiamen Convention & Exhibition Dynamic Analysis”, which had been published 22 issues, 500 copies each issue. It expanded the propaganda of Xiamen’s convention and exhibition’s projects, environment and policies. Thirdly, in July, Xiamen convention and exhibition industry began to cooperate with 6 domestic authoritative convention and exhibition magazines and established new convention and exhibition columns. By the end of December, it had issued 58 pages of column articles, 116 pieces of convention and exhibition information, which had expanded the influences of Xiamen’s convention and exhibition industry. Fourthly, in April and November, Xiamen invited enterprises to participate in Shanghai International Business & Incentive Travel Mart and China Meetings Industry Convention and overseas convention buyers from 13 countries to do investigations in Xiamen, and went to Beijing to promote conventions, which improved Xiamen convention and exhibition’s popularity both domestic and abroad. In December, supported by Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce and Xiamen Municipal Convention and Exhibition Office, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association completed the compilation of Chinese and English leaflets of Xiamen city’s professional exhibition projects and convention hotels, which had been printed and would be delivered in each relevant global convention and exhibition in 2014, in order to achieve the purpose of expanding global influence of Xiamen’s convention and exhibition industry.

VII. Enhanced Partnership between Domestic and International exhibitors

For a long time, convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen has been characterized by 2 distinct features, i.e. cross-strait partnership and its internationalities. It committed itself to strengthening the cooperation with domestic and foreign convention and exhibition organizations, enhancing the participation of foreign convention and exhibition institutions and enterprises. In 2013, the foreign exchanges and cooperation of Xiamen convention and exhibition were rich in contents and remarkable in achievements, which laid a solid foundation for further enhancing the convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen. In January, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association joined the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Association (AFECA), and in June of the same year, it attended the annual meeting of AFECA. We had established links with convention and exhibition associations of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao and other countries and regions. Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Website began to network with the Asian Convention and Exhibition Website. In April, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs and Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association cooperated with the organizing committee of Shanghai International Business & Incentive Travel Mart, co-held special promotional session to propaganda the convention and exhibition environment of Xiamen. In August, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce initiated in founding and taking part in China Convention and Exhibition City Federation participated by  administrative departments of convention and exhibition from 18 cities. In October, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association combined convention and exhibition associations from 24 large and medium-sized cities in China together to found China Convention and Exhibition of Cities Association. Until the end of the year, the association members had grown to 30 cities including Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, which had attracted Taiwan Exhibition and Convention Association to join as special invited observer. In November, Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association cooperated with Taiwan Trade Center, Taiwan Convention and Exhibition Association to successfully held “Exhibition Industry Cross-Straight Road show and Business Opportunities Exchange Seminar”, which further strengthened the cross-straight cooperation on this industry. In addition, fairs, like China International Fair for Investment & Trade, China Xiamen Machinery & Electronics Exhibition, China Xiamen International Stone Fair, China Xiamen International Buddhist Projects & Crafts Fair, China Xiamen International Tea Industry Fair, West-Taiwan-Strait Auto Expo, China Xiamen Books Fair, Cross-Strait (Xiamen) Cultural Industry Fair, China Xiamen International Boat Show etc, paid more attention to communicate and cooperate with relevant international organizations and industry associations, aside from strengthening the cooperation with Taiwan, Hong Kong, Makao, which uplift the internationalization level of the fairs.

VIII. Policy Support and Market Discipline Further Strengthened

In 2013, thanks to the policy support, management services and industry self-discipline, convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen overcame many difficulties and maintained rapid and sound development. Over the past year, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs and Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association had conducted a dozen times of policy research, timely responded and resolved the problems arisen from convention and exhibition industry’s replacing the business tax with a value-added tax and high fees of pavilions, and adjusted supporting policy for convention and exhibition industry. Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce, Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Convention and Exhibition Affairs conscientiously implemented statistics, assessment, certification, access system, strengthened market norms and maintained market orders. Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Association lead in formulating the “Industry Codes of Conduct of Convention and Exhibition Design and Construction Industry”, which ensured the IPR protection of design and construction industry. By years of guidance, convention and exhibition businesses have been trained to raise their awareness in self-discipline, safety, energy conservation, green and environmental protection and legitimate business operation.

IX. Bottlenecks in Convention and Exhibition Industry Development

While gratifying progress had been mad in Xiamen’s convention and exhibition industry in 2013, it was still a far cry from the city’s development goal and demand in industrial integration. In a nutshell, the convention and exhibition scale was not big enough, the level of internationality was not high, the quantities of international meetings were small and the environment of convention and exhibition industry had yet to be optimized. The main reasons are: firstly, the industrial base was relatively weak and the level of market concentration was not high enough, which handicapped the development of exhibition market; secondly, the international transportation channels were insufficient, which greatly affected foreign exhibitors and international conventions to choose Xiamen as their destination; thirdly, convention and exhibition personnel were relatively deficient, and there was only small number of enterprises competent to undertake big events; fourthly, there were only few large and medium-sized convention and exhibition venues, which lacked competitiveness and attractiveness to small and medium-sized conventions and exhibitions; fifthly, planning and measures were not in place to attract large-scale conventions and exhibitions.

X. Prospects of Convention and Exhibition Industry Development in 2014

As an important component of modern service industry, convention and exhibition industry plays an important role in promoting urban industrial restructuring, expanding urban functions, and implementing urban transformation and upgrading, to which Xiamen Municipal Government has attached great importance. Competent departments such as Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce and Xiamen Municipal Convention & Exhibition Affairs Bureau, in accordance with the spirit set out in the 18th CPC National Congress and the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, have formulated plans oriented towards “big convention and exhibition, big industry, big business, big logistics” to upgrade the convention and exhibition industry by integrating the special features of “Beautiful Xiamen”, with a view to forging Xiamen into “China’s Paragon City for Convention & Exhibition” and “Convention & Exhibition City of International Fame”. The convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen, so to speak, teems up with brand-new development opportunity. In 2014, Xiamen Municipal Government will further strengthen efforts in guiding, planning and supporting the convention and exhibition industry in Xiamen; improving and expanding convention and exhibition facilities by planning and constructing a large convention and exhibition compound integrating functions in exhibition, commerce and logistics in Xiangan and phase-4 project of Xiamen Convention and Exhibition Center; optimizing exhibition environment, further facilitating international and domestic access; and further standardizing market order of convention and exhibition. Relevant competent departments in Xiamen and major event organizers will resort to various means to nurture and grow the brand-name events to expand market share. The convention and exhibition scale and internationality of Xiamen will gain new momentum.

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