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Open borders in China ‘excellent’ for events

The events market in China can now “reopen fully” as the nation lifts travel restrictions on inbound travellers.

Businesses in the country have suffered around three years of tight regulations before the quarantine period was lifted on Sunday.

The move has been praised as “excellent news” for our industry, despite some rules remaining in place.

Meanwhile, US-based association Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) has placed sustainability as a key target for 2023.

To find out more about how to offset your events’ carbon footprint take a look at this program.

China opens its doors to international business

Travellers to China no longer need to carry out a quarantine period after three years of strict border controls, marking an “excellent” development for the exhibition industry.

The relaxation, which started on Sunday, is a major shift in the nation’s coronavirus regulations and provides some positive signs for events businesses across the region.

Covid-19 will also be downgraded to the less strict Category B from the current top-level Category A, according to the National Health Commission.

Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, said: “This is excellent news, as it means that the last major global exhibition market will be able to reopen fully after Covid-19.

“We do hope that the officials will follow up with fast and easy visa processes for people to travel to China.

“We also urge the authorities to include the business events sector into those who will receive special government support to recover after the pandemic enforced inactivities.”

China has suffered three years of zero-tolerance measures – including closed border and frequent lockdowns which have severely hit the nation’s economy and helped trigger the biggest show of public discontent since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.

Supporting sustainability ‘key goal’ for US association

Supporting industry efforts towards sustainable practices has been highlighted as a key goal for a US-based association.

The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) has published its 2023 public policy priorities for 2023, with four areas to focus on.

It has also announced that it will work to tackle “anti-growth” state level taxation as well as trying to make Visa processes more efficient.

Hervé Sedky, chairman of the ECA board of directors, said: “As the unified advocacy voice of the face-to-face business events industry, ECA’s 2023 public policy priorities serve as our industry’s North Star as we continue to engage with policymakers to help drive economic growth, support job creation and empower small businesses from coast to coast.”

The four key areas of focus for public policy are:

  • Ensuring a favourable operating environment for the industry going forward
  • Fully welcoming international exhibitors and attendees back to the US
  • Supporting industry efforts to address sustainability and climate change
  • Promoting government involvement in developing the industry’s future workforce

To find out more about how to improve sustainability at your own events take a look at our own program.

ECA has been supporting the recovery and advancement of the face-to-face business events industry on Capitol Hill and in states and cities nationwide since its establishment in 2021.

Northstar’s new CEO in leadership shakeup

Northstar Travel Group has appointed a new CEO to lead the company in its “next strategic transformation” as an event company.

The owners of M&IT, AMI and the Meetings Show has announced a new leadership team which will be headed up by Jason Young.

He succeeds Thomas Kemp having previous experience as a leader in the digital transformation of the media industry and advertising technology.

Jason said: said: “I am honored to join the team at Northstar. At a time of significant evolution in the media and digital ecosystem, Northstar’s market leading brands and unparalleled content/data footprint provide essential benefits to the audience and for its travel marketing partners.

“I look forward to working with this amazing team and driving the next stage of strategic growth.”

Meanwhile, president of Northstar Bob Sullivan is being promoted to chief commercial officer of the company.

IMG sets eyes on MENA with new appointment

 International Management Group has hired a new senior vice president and managing director for its MENA division.

David Collins most recently served as Wasserman’s SVP, head of growth and development, EMEA and launched the firm’s Middle East business in 2014.

He will now be responsible for spearheading IMG’s MENA events and global partnerships business.

David said: “Having started my career with IMG, it’s a real privilege to be back working with the business.

“It’s such an exciting time for the Middle East region, off the back of mega events such as Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“When considered alongside IMG’s world-class portfolio of events and services, as well as the wider Endeavor network offering, the opportunities for further regional growth look incredibly bright.”

Notable events now under is control include the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Lusail Winter Wonderland and the Arab Gulf Cup.

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