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19 July 2016

Event planning 2.0: Young Hospitality Professionals Summit

by Anna Vdovina, Les Roches Jin Jiang Student, Intern at Alliance Advisory and Hotel Management, Shanghai

Last time I have already given a small introduction about my company’s signature event: The Young Hospitality Professionals Summit aims at attracting more aspiring talents to the industry, thus increasing the overall awareness about hospitality among the general audience, as well as creating a mutually beneficial networking platform for both the experienced leaders and the young generation of professionals.
Well, good news here: we have just successfully held YHPS in Beijing on June 19th!

The whole process, including all the preparatory work and post-event following up, took us around two months, which might seem a bit long at the first glance, but taking into consideration the amount of activities that were undertaken during this period, it is only natural that the timeframe was not as short as for some of our other projects.
The pre-event work included the complete concept and program development, search for the speakers and sponsors, direct and online marketing targeting various audiences in an attempt to increase the overall public awareness, ticket sales, complete logistics planning (including the venue, photo-, video crew, commuting routes, etc.) and the design of all the visual collaterals, both on and off site.
Now two months do not seem to be enough, do they?

In regards to my job, I was taking part in all those activities, specifically focusing on the concept development, materials design and event marketing. I must admit, I did not expect those tasks to be that challenging at times, but as I worked through, I realized that most of them required loads of personal communication with various people, and this is when the human factor steps in and complicates the process.
Nevertheless, my team and I were able to finish all the preparatory work just in time, thanks to highly developed teamwork skills, a lot of patience and late nights at the office with takeaway sushi and milk teas.

However, the fun part was still lying ahead of us. The summit took place in Beijing and this year we decided to completely change the way people perceive such events, make it more casual and engaging, while preserving the best characteristics of traditional conferences: an ability to learn something relevant to your field of activity and acquire new contacts to expand your network. This is when we came up with an idea of putting all our attendees and speakers on busses and hold some of the sessions on the road, while going to one of the stunning properties Beijing has to offer – Commune by the Great Wall.

At the hotel we all enjoyed a debate and an interview session with general managers of various properties and finally headed back to dress the event up with a party at the local food incubator Hatchery.

Still, this was not the end of the working week for the team since we had yet to gather all feedback from the participants, make sure we receive enough media coverage and recap the whole working process to analyze what we did well and what could have been done better. In my opinion, the latter part is one of the most important ones when executing any project, regardless of its complexity or area of implementation.

In conclusion, I have to admit that this was probably one of the most challenging, yet exciting and rewarding projects I have been lucky enough to take part in while having my internship at AAHMCO. Luckily, the world of hospitality is full of surprises, so who knows what it has prepared for me next time?