Sydney businesses will get a lesson in good manners this month to help them make the most of the fast-growing Chinese tourist market.
After a sold-out run late last year in the lead-up to the busy Chinese New Year period, the City of Sydney’s ChinaConnect program is expanding in 2013. Bookings are now open for four free workshops in June and August.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said more than 350,000 Chinese tourists visited Sydney every year.
“That’s expected to grow to over 600,000 visitors a year by 2021,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These cultural awareness workshops will help equip local retail, hospitality and tourism businesses to make the most of our fastest-growing tourism market.
“Local businesses large and small will learn practical skills they can apply straightaway.”
This year’s ChinaConnect workshops will be held on 25 June and 27 August, with afternoon and evening sessions offered each day.
The interactive workshops improve participants’ cultural awareness when dealing with Chinese customers, especially on issues such as cultural sensitivities, expectations and preferences.
Afternoon sessions will focus on practical advice for working with Chinese customers, including etiquette tips and how to communicate effectively. These workshops are suited to people working in customer-facing roles, such as hotel reception staff, retail assistants or other front-of-house roles.
Evening sessions will have a strategic focus, looking at the characteristics of Chinese consumers and how to tailor products and services to meet their needs. These workshops are suited to people working in marketing or business development.
More than 150 people from over 100 different businesses attended last year’s debut series of ChinaConnect workshops.
Will Figueira, manager of Red Bottle, a premium wine retailer in Haymarket, attended one of the sessions and said it had given his team a valuable insight into the mindset of their many Chinese customers.
“The ChinaConnect workshop helped us understand what’s important to a Chinese customer when they’re considering a purchase and how we can reflect this in our business – from relationship building and customer communications to the feng shui of the space,” Mr Figueira said.
“As a result of the workshop, we’re now looking to make our store even more China-friendly by introducing Mandarin product descriptions on our shelves and doing more Chinese-language advertising. I would definitely recommend the ChinaConnect sessions to other businesses in Haymarket and beyond.”
The ChinaConnect program is part of the City’s year-round support for local businesses, which also includes an annual business forum as part of the Sydney Chinese New Year Festival and sponsorship of the Sydney-China Business Forum.
Date: Tuesday 25 June and Tuesday 27 August 2013
Time: 2pm–4.30pm and 6pm–8.30pm
Venue: Barnet Long Room, Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay
Tickets: Free, but bookings are essential here
For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
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For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin.
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