China, The New Gold Rush
With the rise of China, it’s beyond doubt that the Chinese MICE industry is booming. According to a research from Kendall College, the conference and events sector is estimated to be growing at a rate of 20% annually. Since 2013, China is the 8th largest meeting destination globally with 340 meetings took place, and it is still growing. Many corporations come to China and host events, in a hope to capture the untapped business potentials.
Yet, the challenges of hosting events in China can represent a nightmare for many event organizers. Regulations could be frustrating, and the local culture might be confusing to some at first. That doesn’t mean the end of the world. You can still guarantee your success if you have localized successfully.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about what are these challenges, and how to overcome them one by one.
Common Challenges of Hosting Events in China (And How You Can Resolve Them)
Your Software Might Not Be Available in China
Given the unique IT ecosystem in China, your software may not be functioning well. You may also experience the problem with slow loading or even no access to the content. The following video can show how slow loading takes place:
Even if your software is not blocked in China, you may have used some tools that are themselves blocked. Google, Facebook, and Youtube, which are popular tools for social networking and online searching are all banned in China. It’s not just not using these services, but also not including any component of them in your digital asset. For example, embed a Google Map on your event website. So before launching your event websites and registration forms for your China events, you should make sure that all parts are China-friendly.
HOW TO KNOW YOUR WEBSITE WORKS FINE IN CHINA
Want to know how your website looks like in China? You can conduct a firewall test or use China VPN to browse your website to see if it works fine in China.
You Need To Issue Chinese Official Tax Receipts
FAPIAO, THE CHINESE OFFICIAL RECEIPT
Ticketing is one of the important components of event management. In China, it is legally required for businesses to issue Fapaio, the Chinese official receipt issued by the Chinese Tax Bureau for every sale. Therefore, you have to make sure your event ticketing is carried out in a way that aligns with China’s tax law.
HOW TO ISSUE FAPIAO
To make sure your event is in compliance with China’s tax law, you can partner with a Chinese event agency. Fapiaos for your ticketing sales will then be issued on the agencies’ behalf. Alternatively, you can adopt a tech solution that could help issue e-Fapaio.
Your Marketing Mix Have to Be Localized
UNIQUE IT ECOSYSTEM FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TO PAYMENT IN CHINA
Ranging from social media to payment, the IT ecosystem in China is completely different from that in the West or even Hong Kong and Taiwan. To engage your attendees in an event, you need to tap into social networks to connect with them. In China, Facebook, Twitter, and many other major global players are blocked. Currently, WeChat is the leading social giant in China. In order to ensure the success of your event, WeChat should be the platform you rely on to engage your attendees.
QR CODES ARE EVERYWHERE IN CHINA
Accompanied by the rise of WeChat, QR codes are being widely used in China. Chinese people use QR codes on a daily basis to add contacts, make payments and even for exchanging business cards and renting bikes. According to The Wall Street Journal, many Chinese users simply leave their wallets at home and transfer money only via WeChat using QR codes. To make the registration hassle-free, you can incorporate the QR code technology to help with onsite check-in.
SOCIALIZE WITH YOUR ATTENDEES: SENDING OUT HONGBAO
Sending out or receiving digital hongbao has become part of the culture in modern China. Coping with the trend, some event organizers have included sessions of sending out hongbao events. This aims to keep attendees excited throughout the event. According to a report by Tencent, 768 million people used WeChat to send out hongbao to celebrate Lunar New Year in China this year. Therefore, sending out hongbao can be a powerful social tool in your events.
Solution: Localize, Localize, Localize
So the key lesson here is to make every step of your events as localized as possible. First, make sure your sites are readable to your Chinese audience as English proficiency in most Chinese cities is still low. Make use of the Chinese social media platforms to increase your event’s visibility. What’s more, adapt to the local culture and make use of QR code and hongbao functions to make your events more China-friendly.
Need a China-Friendly Event Tech? We Are Here to Help
Adapting your events to the local realities may sound a bit frustrating. But we are always here to provide a range of China-specific digital solutions to help you overcome all these challenges.