Host City Asia Report by Paul Spiller
Host City Asia held in Beijing on April 11 was the second such event and was themed "Faster, Stronger Growth through Event Hosting". It featured guest speakers from leaders of the world's major event hosting community including Nitro Circus, Oman Sail, Red Bull Air Race, Hurricane (owner of FISE World Series), AIPH ( International Association if Horticultural Producers) and representatives from the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Deputy Mayor in charge of Tourism, Sports and the Paris Olympics in 2024. Also representatives from the Beijing Olympic City Development Association, Shanxi Provincial Sports Bureau and the Zhangjiakou City Economic Development Zone gave keynote addresses.
Some of the key themes during the day were focused on innovation, improving better coordination and efficiencies between city planning and event planning, environmentally friendly and carbon neutral, choosing the right event to offer opportunities and economic development.
Coupled with this was the theme of engaging new audiences and urban growth and how sports can become aligned with the youth and urban culture of today. This was the topic that I spoke on regarding trends and opportunities for youth within FIDE.
Also included in discussion was the important theme of building and creating healthier and smarter cities . Keynote speaker was Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General of AIPH, the International Association of Horticultural Producers. The day concluded with a panel discussion entitled "Digital Media and Esports: where is technology taking major events ?". Of particular relevance was discussion on the topic of how can right holders best use digital media to improve live event experience ? This session featured Jianhong Liu, president of QQ Sports, Erich Wolf, Managing Director, Red Bull Air Race and Eric Jou, Regional Business Development & Partnership Lead, ESL Gaming.
The follow up to this conference will be the global Host City conference and exhibition in Glasgow on November 26 & 27. I would recommend that FIDE also be represented at this event.
My impressions were that it was a very good conference to be involved in and I would recommend that FIDE continue to be involved in the future. There were very good keynote speakers and opportunities to network and good possibilities for exploring relationships with other groups eg Esports.