Customer satisfaction essential to success of SNIEC

Since opened in 2001, Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) has developed into one of most successful exhibition centers in the country. Each year, around 100 world-class exhibitions are held at the SNIEC, attracting more than 4 million guest visits.


“One of the major successes for the SNIEC is actually not just one or two stories but our ability to be able to hold back -to-back shows. Last year, we have 104 large trade shows,” said Michael Kruppe, General Manager of the center.


“Our experience allows us to simultaneously handle various events and apply the same operations to different shows at the same time. And all we do is top quality. So this is the real success story of the SNIEC,” Kruppe said.


“We grew step by step, and this gives us priceless experience and advantages over our competitors, as now, after almost 15 years in operation, every person in our team knows the whole procedure from the first to the last step,” he added.


Customer input In


Kruppe’s view, the success of the SNIEC during the past years also lies in it constantly listening to its customers and offering them outstanding experiences and service. “We have learned to improve our services toward the customers. This is the right recipe to be and to stay successful for the next 10 years and more,” he said.


Earlier this year, the SNIEC announced a series of strategic measures to lift its service quality to a new level. One of the most striking is a campaign called SNIEC 2.0, which aims to consolidate the center’s position as the venue with the best quality service in China. SNIEC 2.0 is the result of deeply analyzing customers demand. The center will host a series of detailed workshops with customers, ranging from CEO level to operational level.


“The key to 2.0 is listening to your customers. It is not to provide what you think they need. This is a big difference,” Kruppe explained.


SNIEC 2.0 also includes training courses for all staff from the top down, so as to ensure “all SNIEC staff are 150 percent motivated to continue our success story”, Kruppe said.


As part of the SNIEC 2.0 campaign, a service quality improvement working team called the Performance Improvement Program was established. As a multifunctional team, the members of PIP are from different departments of the SNIEC. The major role of PIP is to strengthen communication with customers and to listen to customer’s needs and opinions, so as to allow the SNIEC to constantly improve its services.


PIP has also worked to establish a service evaluation system, which covers major areas and links in the service system that most concerned customers in recent years. “This evaluation system will work as a guide that promotes the improvement of services at the SNIEC in the future,” Kruppe said.


Rising to challenges


As China has entered the era of the “new normal” of moderate economic growth, some industry insiders predict that the growth rate of the conventions and exhibitions economy will slow and competition in the industry will also grow fiercer. Kruppe said he believes Shang-hai has a great chance to become Asia’s, or even the world’s, largest expo hub, despite the global slowdown in the industry.


“One major challenge now is to show the world that Shanghai is ready to hold top-quality and safe events. Shanghai must prove to the world that it is a place where international organizers can come to hold their brand events without being afraid to be copied,” Kruppe said.“The SNIEC is well-prepared for this. We are and will always remain a neutral expo center. We know that this is the main driver to let organizers relax and allow them to focus on their core business,” he added.


According to the Union of International Fairs, the global association of the exhibition industry, in 2013, the total indoor exhibition area of China’s 106 exhibition venues reached 4.85 million sq m, an increase of 50 percent from 2006. China’s exhibition venue area is ranked second in the world, only behind the United States. It accounts for about 70 percent of the total exhibition venue area in Asia. So far, eight of Asia’s top 10 exhibition venues are in China, the UIF said.


The number and total area of exhibitions in Shanghai has long held the leading position in China. In 2014, 769 exhibitions were held in the city, an increase of 6.52 percent from the previous year, according to official figures.


To further its close partnership with its customers, the SNIEC initiated a strategic move from the end of last year to sign long-term agreements with show organizers.


“The closer long-term partnerships will further consolidate and enhance the competitiveness of both parties, and ensure a stable operating environment with even better service for our customers,”Kruppe said. Currently about 70 percent of customers have signed long term agreements with the SNIEC, including leading trade show organizer UBM Sinoexpo, which has agreed to a 10-year cooperation contract.


“We are excited by this long term strategic partnership. Currently, UBM Sinoexpo holds many large-scale events in the SNIEC, and all of them developed into leading trade shows for these sectors in Asia. Among them, Furniture China has become the largest trade show in Shanghai for any industry, attracting many overseas exhibitors and buyers each year. We believe this new deep relationship will create many growth opportunities for both parties and better value for our customers,”said Wang Mingliang, founder and executive director of UBM Sinoexpo.


“Exhibition shows are more and more turning into a brand, and ‘Experience & Excellence’ is the brand concept that we have long been pursuing. It can be provided by our team as we have many years’ experience of how to do it right. The customer is king and we shall never forget this, ” Kruppe said.

(Source: SNIEC Tradeshow Express, May 6, 2015)