The reforms currently underway in China have several strands that address the fact that the structures of the country’s associations are far from perfect.
Proper supervision and management is not in place, there is a lack of innovation and industry development is delayed because of insufficient service.
Delinking can improve levels of service among associations, but this will take time as they are weaned off government support.
One Belt, One Road
Amid this association reform is “China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ policy. This creates a huge ocean for the domestic and international market development of the associations, which provides a platform for Chinese trade associations who must lnow earn to swim in this new sea.
According to statistics, 70 per cent of China's trade associations and chambers of commerce are poor in capital, talent, membership services and other aspects of management.
Though some associations have begun to hire PCOs or event managers to build their own management teams. This is mainly to manage their own exhibitions conferences, and events, to make sure the associations first make money, solve financial problems and create their own brands.
Role of education
There are many organisations in China offering different PCO and event management training. More than 230 universities and colleges have professional courses on meetings and event management, and over the years the China MICE Committee has supported professional training and competitions held by the universities. But to tell the truth, there is no high-quality PCO training in China
Right now, the quality of MICE or event company PCOs is not enough to provide comprehensive association management, and there is no core PCO or association management company to serve these associations. This is why the China MICE Committee is working with IAPCO [International Association of Professional Conference Organisers] to provide primary training on professional meetings and event management.
Alicia Yao is general manager of IME Consulting, which has been appointed by IAPCO as its China representative.
This is an edited version of an intervew she gave for the Spotlight feature 'Breaking Loose'. Read more in our e-mag