There are mixed opinions among meetings professionals about whether and how the delinking of China’s trade associations can benefit the international events community. In my view, trust will play a key role in producing a positive outcome.
The Asian culture places huge importance on relationships and trust. All associations, no matter where they are, draw together the most engaged, likeminded professionals, who learn from one another by sharing industry knowledge, trends, contacts and opportunities.
Yes, higher professional standards will allow China’s trade associations to grow their membership. They’ll be able to reach out to foreign markets and build bridges by developing new international relationships”.
However, the issue for new potential partners is ‘trust’. If an existing association is known to the Ministry of Commerce, it is at least implied the association is genuine. Building credibility and trust with international partners will take time and will require associations being seen actively to demonstrate high levels of professionalism.
In my own dealings with Asian organisations, there are certainly cultural differences as well as different ways of doing business. Creating as much face-to-face time is crucially important to building relationships. This will take time. Rushing it is often counterproductive.
Roy Sheppard is an international conference facilitator, speaker and communication trainer, based in the UK.
This is an edited version of an intervew he gave for the Spotlight feature in our print magazine tiltled China’s Great Delink. Here’s the online version of that story.