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Why doing business in Asia takes more than a single brush strategy

"I’ve been travelling to Asia for decades and it has changed considerably during this period, emerging as a leading driver of the global economy", writes Geoff Donaghy in a LinkedIn letter.

"I’ve learnt many lessons over the years but one that is most apparent after returning from ICC Sydney’s second annual CEO Asia Roadshow Tour, is that doing business in Asia isn’t a single brush strategy.

Each country, and even regions within those countries, have diverse economies and audiences that require unique strategies - from the mature markets of Shanghai and Singapore to the flourishing business events industry in the ‘so-called’ second tier cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

While it’s impossible to generalise, it is important to balance research, relationships and realistic timeframes.

Alongside my executive team, I had the opportunity to put this mantra into practice as we returned to the region last week to strengthen ties and attract more meetings to Australian shores.

Over the course of a nine-day tour, we visited Tokyo and Singapore as well as Shanghai and Guangzhou to meet business event agents, corporate firms, associations and media. Guests from Beijing and Shenzhen were also in attendance.

Representatives from the professional services, technology, science, health and education sectors heard about our world class facilities, industry leading services and latest achievements, layered with expert insights from our team.

To bring the spirit of our team and venue to life, we provided guests with a raft of sensory experiences, including sampling flavours from ICC Sydney and being transported to sunny Sydney via a virtual reality encounter.

We are humbled to have received resoundingly positive feedback across the board, setting a strong foundation for market growth as a high volume of Asia-based clients bring their events to Sydney for the first time.

In fact, we have only just touched down in Australia and already we have seen direct outcomes with events confirmed, new site tours scheduled and dozens more potential events now scheduled into the pipeline.

Hosting an event series tailored for each city proved to be the ideal format to reengage with existing clients and forge new relationships, delivering an authentic and ‘real’ Sydney experience.

Indeed, different aspects of ICC Sydney have resonated with different markets however, our Legacy Program and genuine community connections alongside our team culture, world-leading design and ability to accommodate any event format, resonated strongly with all guests.

We equally listened to representatives convey the nuances of their delegate audience and how we can continue to support them to tailor their event requirements accordingly - from producing in-language collateral to creating bespoke dining experiences.

Our trip has only reinforced just how significant the opportunity is for the Australian business events industry to continue opening up pathways between Asia and Australia. Here, we will continue to build our presence in market in close collaboration with specialists from BE Sydney and Business Events Australia, both with in-market representation that provide important insights and guidance, to cement Sydney’s reputation as a first-choice destination for business events and meetings.

Plans are already underway for our 2020 Roadshow Series and that’s just the start as we deepen our footprint in the market."