Partnership could create exhibition powerhouse
Chengdu’s exhibition industry looks set to strengthen after the city signed a memorandum with UBM, the world’s second largest exhibition company.
The Chengdu Bureau of Exposition completed the deal on May 29, during the third Beijing Fair for Trade in Services.
Fu Yonglin, deputy major of Chengdu, and Tim Cobbold, chief executive officer of UBM, witnessed the projectsigning ceremony.
“The strategic cooperation memorandum signed between UBM and Chengdu Exposition Bureau formalized a cooperation that has already been taking place for several years between UBM and Chengdu,” said Philip Chapnick, group chief representative of UBM China.
“This memorandum is another step along the road to extending our business westward and seeking to deepen our involvement in Chengdu. Our goal is to work closely with the city to determine the best types of exhibition and resources from both parties to build world class leading exhibition events,” Chapnick said.
Chengdu has partnered with world-renowned exhibition companies before in deals including the Chinese operations of German’s Koelnmesse and Britain’s Reed Exhibitions.
“Internationalization is the gap between Chengdu’s exhibition industry and that of the country’s front runners. This is also where our potential lies,” said Mu Tao, director of the Chengdu Bureau of Exposition.
“To strengthen cooperation with world-renowned exhibition companies is the way for us to speed up development. Such partnerships can help Chengdu share the international giants’ information and resources and broaden international cooperation, ” he said.
UBM has never signed a cooperation agreement with a Chinese city before so the Chengdu memorandum marks a milestone.
Chapnick said that UBM ran a successful edition of Routes Aisa in Chengdu in 2012. That was his first visit to the city, where he said he “experienced first-hand, not only the great assets of the city, but the expertise and professionalism of the exhibition bureau and local government officials.”
Chapnick said UBM selected Chengdu as a strategic partner for several reasons.
He said firstly, Chengdu was one of the most important Chinese gateways to the West, a key part of the modern Silk Road that connects China to European and Asian economies.
“It has excellent exhibition facilities, a robust transportation infrastructure, including the largest railway hub in southern China, a modern and developing airport with good and increasingly important international connectivity, and great hotels and visitors’ serving facilities,” he said.
Chapnick also said that due to the ambassadorial work of the panda community, Chengdu was increasingly well known to the international community, who is starting to view it as a prime destination.
He said that Chengdu had the potential to become the most important exhibition hub in West China.
Chapnick said the second reason for choosing Chengdu was that the city has a population of more than 10 million. It has a strongly developing economy in key sectors including high tech, automotive, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, logistics and research.
Statistics showed that more than 20 percent of the world’s top 500 companies have facilities in Chengdu. Many of these set up research and development facilities to take advantage of the city’s reputation for learning and education.
Chapnick noted that the third reason was that Chengdu was a laid-back city and people enjoyed good lifestyles.
“That attention to quality of life naturally has an impact in an industry that is highly dependent on the quality of personal service,” he said.
“The Chengdu people understand deeply what it means to provide high quality service and make an experience the best it can be,” he added.
Chapnick said his UBM colleagues who had experienced the city were impressed with the professionalism, spirit, drive and high caliber of the people they met and worked with in Chengdu.
“We think Chengdu understands what quality in a service industry means. From the professionals we have met in the city’s exposition bureau, through to the caterers and stand constructors and the servers at tea houses, Chengdu is a city with the right attitude for service industries — like exhibitions — to do well,”
To strengthen cooperation with world-renowned exhibition companies is the way for us to speed up development. Such partnerships can help Chengdu share the international giants’ information and resources and broaden international cooperation.” MU TAO DIRECTOR OF CHENGDU BUREAU OF EXPOSITION
This Ma r ch, UBM announced that after three rounds of intense competition with four other airports, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport was selected to host World Routes 2016.
Chapnick said in coming years UBM could create new events specifically for the city.
“We believe that Chengdu is a great city — and has huge potential to become the exhibition powerhouse for Southern China,” he said.
Jimé Essink (left, first row), president and chief executive officer of UBM Asia, and Mu Tao (right, first row), director of the Chengdu Bureau of Exposition, signed the cooperation agreement on May 27. Fu Yonglin (right, second row), deputy major of Chengdu, and Tim Cobbold (left, second row), chief executive officer of UBM, witnessed the project-signing ceremony.
The 22nd World Route Development Forum will be held in Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport.
Philip Chapnick, group chief representative of UBM China.