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Mighty MICE

HK Disneyland Resort ups its offerings

In a drive to differentiate itself from the other meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) service providers, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort's business solutions and events department has expanded its offerings by optimising its own resources to meet the growing needs of corporate events.

By levering Disney's brand and its renowned Hong Kong theme park, the department has seen corporate bookings for exclusive land-buy arrangements - where groups can essentially hire the park for their own use - during Halloween climb three-fold this year compared with last year.

One of the reasons behind this growth is that Disney has lowered the requirements of its charter programme. It now allows a minimum of 500 guests from a company to book the park's facilities for use outside its normal opening hours, down from the original minimum requirement of 5,000. Companies with 500 guests will need to share the park with 10 other companies, which also need to bring along at least 500 guests.

"This arrangement has been very well received among companies in Hong Kong and the park is big enough to accommodate their needs," says Martin Leung, business solutions and events director at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

Leung leads a team of about 30 staff responsible for sales and event management functions at the theme park and its two hotels: Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Hollywood Hotel.

For the land-buy programme, the park allows corporate guests in after public opening hours to enjoy the rides and other entertainment facilities. Disney has hired additional staff to cope with these extended services.

Another reason for the growth of corporate attendance is that companies are devoting more of their resources to their employees.

"In recent years, we have seen companies becoming more generous in providing staff training and travel incentives. Disney is one of the few locations in Hong Kong that can provide both. It is now quite common for companies to involve their staff in training during the day at the hotels, and afterwards, allowing them to join their families and friends at the park in the evening. We call this 'meet and play'," Leung says.

"The needs and expectations of corporate clients are growing. They don't only need a venue to organise events; they are looking for partners to work together. So we have trained our staff and started a dedicated team five years ago to utilise all of Disney's resources and creative talent to cope with these needs."

Leung adds that as the park expands, the resort is looking for candidates with some F&B experience. Most important, though, is that people have a positive attitude in offering solutions to clients.

In addition to the land-buy programme, Disney also provides corporate training to companies based on its own programme at the Disney Institute, which all of its own employees are required to attend.

The institute's professional development programme is built on Disney's real-life practices. It is designed to cater for training needs, including customer service, leadership and innovation, Leung says.