Planning Your Event in the APAC Region? Here Are Some Things You’ll Want to Consider

the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

In the world of global meetings, if you want to be great at what you do, one thing you need to have is a clear vision on what’s moving the economies. With more than 60 countries, the Asia-Pacific—or APAC—region’s economy is on the rise with just over a third of global gross domestic product or GDP. This makes China, Japan, India, and many other smaller countries in the APAC region, increasingly appealing prospects for groups.

If you are considering bringing your event to any of these countries, it’s important to understand that while there can be similarities in our cultures, there are many differences that exist in our business practices.

Understanding these markets in more detail will help you achieve your program objectives while also building positive relationships with those in the industry. Based on my vast experiences through the years, I’ve put together some insights you will want to keep in mind as you plan your event.

Terms and Conditions

    • Governing law resides with the laws of the country where the event is executed, not where the contract originated.
    • There is no American centric law, such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
    • In the USA, hotels are very familiar with the verbiage, “Hotel to provide registration link. Individuals will be responsible for own room, tax and incidentals.” Do not assume hotels in APAC understand it and don’t be surprised if they send you a contract which still states that the rooming list is due—you need to explain it.

Concessions

    • “Drip” style negotiation—asking for a few concessions, then coming back later with more requests—is a bad strategy; you will be perceived as untrustworthy. Make sure you know what concessions you want and be upfront from the beginning.
    • Most hotels will not comp meeting space or automatically put it on a 24-hour hold. Ask for this upfront.

Meeting Rooms

    • DDR—or Daily Delegate Rate—is common. It includes two breaks, one lunch and the use of the main meeting room.
    • Meeting room rental can be paid for either a la carte or DDR. Calculate which one is more beneficial to you.

Holidays

    • Be sure to check for holidays in the country you are sourcing. If you’re booking over a holiday and attendees are local, you may not have a high turn out. In addition, many ancillary services, such as post offices and banks, may not be operating. Use this handy tool to reference holidays for any country.

Hotels

    • Don’t judge a hotel by its U.S.-based perceptions. A Howard Johnson, for example, can be very luxurious in Beijing.
    • Rates are typically quoted in local currency.
    • Room rate usually includes breakfast.
    • Nonsmoking needs to be emphasized.
    • Some hotels stick to strict rules. For example, in some Japanese hotels you cannot submit one name for a double/double room.

Deposits

    • If booking within a 90-day window, the hotel may require a 50% deposit. For bookings more than a year out, it is 10% with a deposit schedule for additional deposits.
    • Most hotels request 100% of estimated charges be paid prior to arrival. For some associations if cash flow is a problem due to the fact that the revenue comes from the conference registration, give a credit card imprint for guarantee and pay at the conclusion of the conference instead.

Direct Bill

    • Most hotels will not agree to direct bill unless you have a good history with them. There are exceptions if you have international billing through the Global Sales Office.

Cut-Off Dates

    • Sleeping rooms are generally 14 days, where food and beverage can match or be as far out as 30 days.

Local knowledge is key to understanding the best way to navigate through planning your event. Be sure to get local advice from the best possible sources. Hotels, CVBs, destination management companies and local chapters of industry associations can recommend trusted partners. And keep this notion in mind … when it comes to negotiation, focus on the must-haves, then the good-to-haves and let go of the can-do-withouts.

Have you held your event in this region before? What roadblocks have you encountered? Start the conversation by commenting below.

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