Beijing’s CNCC II invites the world to tea – and conferences

The second phase of China National Convention Centre is being positioned as the capital’s nerve centre for MICE-industry development with two new luxury hotels and the Olympian icons of the Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube forming a backdrop

OVER a small cup of tea at a major European meetings and incentive show, representatives from China National Convention Centre shared big plans as the gong cha was performed alongside them.

ICCA’s Marta Gomes and Senthil Gopinath with Zhao Qizhou, director of Beijing International Service Trade Affairs Centre (far left), and Li Weeding, chairman of North Star Group

Phase two of the CNCC, located in Beijing’s Olympic Park area, is set to be the cradle for the Chinese capital’s role as an “International exchange centre” with conferences and other business events as the driving force behind plans for the city. Two luxury hotels will be joining the complex and global congress organisers association ICCA will have its China operations based at CNCC II.

Visitors to the CNCC stand at IBTM World in Barcelona were treated to a Chines tea ceremony led by teamaster Jingjing Yuan. The ancient ritual reflected Beijing’s status as home to seven world heritage sites with culture venerated alongside China’s technological advances.

CNCC II served as the main media centre for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and it is now pivoting that digital and organisational expertise to hosting more meetings and events. The revamped venue is scheduled to open in 2025 as part of a complex covering 780,000 square metres.

The whole venue’s event credentials have been proven since the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics with international conferences and trade shows hosted with iconic landmarks such as the Bird’s Nest Stadium and Water Cube swimming complex a short walk from the venue. 

As work continued on making CNCC II a technologically advanced venue with low-carbon, eco-friendly and sustainability targets, its profile among global conference organisers was also being heightened.

– In line with achieving China’s goal of a low-carbon, eco-friendly and sustainable MICE industry, CNCC II is designed and constructed in accordance with LEED V3 platinum standard and Green Building 3-Star System standards.

– A centrepiece of CNCC II’s atrium will be the giant LED screen (25m high x 18m wide) with 8K resolution that will make it the first convention centre in China to provide a digital display of this scale.

– Located in the Beijing Olympic Green Precinct, CNCC II is invested, constructed and operated by Beijing North Star Convention and Exhibition Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing North Star Group.

– The project aspires to the theme of Masterpiece of the Capital in the New Era’

– The main body of CNCC II and its commercial buildings are designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc. The venue’s  three-storey Chinese-style roofed garden is designed by Xue Lingen, a heritage specialist whose works include the Astor Court at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

With support from the Beijing municipal government and venue owners Beijing North Star, congress and convention association ICCA decided in September to set up its China representative office at CNCC II. A spokesman for the venue said this would “bridge global networking exchange for the business events industry of Beijing and China”. 

The venue owners are also working with business events consultancy Gaining Edge in pre-opening operations and marketing.

More… CNCC II primes its digital prowess

At the recent 62nd ICCA Congress in Bangkok it was announced that the association would collaborate with CNCC II on the first ICCASkills “hub project in China” – the first major initiative since setting up the representative office. The initiative would cover training for conference organisers and suppliers with CNCC II’s  convention facilities providing 420,000 sqm of gross floor area and 270,000 sqm of purpose-built meeting and event space.

Agreements have been sighed for a Ritz-Carlton (left) and a Marriott Marquis to open at the CNCC II complex

The CNCC II redevelopment also brings more global hotel brands to the Chaoyang district of north Beijing. Agreements have been signed between Beijing North Star Group and Marriott International for a Ritz-Carlton and a Marriott Marquis to form part of CNCC II.

“North Star Group attaches great importance to this cooperation with two brands, and I believe that both parties will be able to further strengthen our brands’ interaction, build market visibility and open doors to new business opportunities while enhancing the CNCCII complex project,” said Li Weeding, chairman of Beijing North Star Group.

The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, North at the CNCC II complex will be the luxury brand’s third hotel in Beijing, while the Beijing Marriott Marquis Hotel will be the first in Beijing. The two hotels are scheduled to open in 2026 to provide an additional 953 rooms to the Olympic precinct.

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