HelmsBriscoe, VariArts Take Meetings Procurement to China

HelmsBriscoe, which provides site selection and RFP services for meetings, has partnered with VariArts Travel Group, a high-end travel consolidator based in Beijing, to expand its presence in China, one of the world's fastest-growing meetings markets, it announced this week.

"China's meetings market has huge potential," said HelmsBriscoe founder and CEO Roger Helms. "We will provide China's meeting planners with a one-stop solution, greater resources and more advanced technology to help them offer more complete services and compete for more group clients."

Under the terms of the partnership — the goal of which is connecting Chinese meeting planners and venues — VariArts will leverage its hospitality industry relationships and staff to help HelmsBriscoe increase the distribution of its brand, services and technology within China, which boasts more than 2,000 convention hotels with 600,000 guest rooms, and where the meetings industry is a $150 billion market with annual growth of over 20 percent.

"The meetings procurement business is still new in China, where the meeting industry is less mature than it is in the United States and Europe," said HelmsBriscoe China Executive Director Yog Wang. "HelmsBriscoe's services and technology allow us to bring a more efficient business model to venue partners and event planners in China. China's independent meeting planners will be well supported by our global reach, unrivaled partnerships with suppliers and ongoing guidance."

Added VariArts founder and CEO Lin Xu, "The HelmsBriscoe platform will create a true community in China's meetings industry. It will encourage the growth of independent meeting planners in China feeding on our strong entrepreneurial culture. We aim to become the meetings service procurement hub that brings professionalism and education, global support and pricing advantage to our Chinese associates."