MICE Overview: Shanghai World Financial Center

Adding it’s own distinct, hanger-style peak to the ever-modernizing skyline of Shanghai, the characteristic, centrally located Shanghai World Financial Center has the stated aim of being “the venue that consistently raises the bar in the conference industry”. It certainly starts from an iconic base, as one of the defining features of China’s most modern city, and hosts such a vast assortment of services within it’s curving sides that attendees could easily enjoy their entire trip to China without ever leaving the building.

Of course, it’s ‘the forum’ – an extensive and well stocked business and convention segment – that will bring MICE participants to the center, and it consists of an incredible 21 different spaces in which to hold your event. For premium events, the superlative open spaces of the 94th floor (750m2 floor area, 8m high ceilings) have views across the city, and elevators that allow customers to bring in substantial displays (as large as a mid-sized car, and including one, should you need it) into this striking space. It’s over 400 meters above the surrounding city, and perfect for wowing even the choosiest of potential customers. The whole thing was only completed in 2008, so even the most local of clients may be taking their first glance.

For the less cash-stacked, venues downstairs are similarly flush, minus the views. On the 4th, 5th and 6th floors you’ll find luxurious, secure conference rooms with a heavy focus on ergonomics and energy saving (the minimal environmental impact of the center’s facilities make it an ideal venue for green companies – other green facilities include biodegradable amenities and the exclusive use of recycled paper). Aside from the 800m2 grand ballroom, attendees can also access private, boardroom style VIP rooms that incorporate all the overwhelming opulence of the 94th floor, minus the views, and with a far less substantial price tag. State of the art conferencing equipment includes audio and visual services that are set up for on-the-spot translation, while a large business center and wireless Internet are also up for grabs.

If your event just won’t be complete without a decadent menu, custom made organic dishes can be provided, and altered to incorporate any number of national cuisines or an elaborate selection of fusion dishes. The center’s banquets can comfortably welcome up to 360 people, while the largest of the conference room squeezes in up to double that number.

Besides the conference facilities, there are plenty of other attractions on site for visitors to sample. The 100th story observatory – at a vertigo inducing 474m – surpasses even the 94th floor for overwhelming views, particularly in the early evening. If that’s not exhilarating enough, the 97th floor sky bridge can give even the bravest visitor a spinning stomach. The exotic, modern art interpretations of the buildings on offer in the souvenir shops make wall-worthy mementos.

Then there’s the elegant luxury of the Park Hyatt Shanghai, with views across the river and an enviably personalized service. There’s a range of restaurants incorporating high street brands (Starbucks, Subway) alongside astonishing, sort-after luxury eaterys, local dishes, and even a selection of shops that’ll help you stock up on souvenirs and high-class wine before the journey home. When it does come to going home, both the regional and international airports are only half an hour drive away, whilst the nearest subway is a five-minute stroll.

Of course, as much as you could stay on site for your entire trip, you probably won’t want to. Fortunately, Shanghai World Financial Center couldn’t be much more in the thick of things, and a gentle walk will take you to some of the city’s premiere attractions. The iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower – Asia’s tallest – is a mish-mash of iconic modern architecture, featuring a revolving teahouse and stomach-wrenchingly fast-paced elevators. The huge Jin Mao building is just down the road too, as is Shanghai’s impressive Science and Technology Museum. If your clients are Shanghai based, you’re in luck: the huge number of the city’s biggest businesses are crowded around the fashionable Pudong area.

Back inside the building, the high technology of this modern day venue can only reflect well on the businesses that use it. From the cleverly designed two storey elevators, to elaborate energy saving systems and sophisticated temperature controls, there’s little in the way of modernity that the designers haven’t incorporated. Of course, being only a year or so old, you certainly won’t find anything shabby or run down.

The stunning design of the Shanghai World Financial Center, combined with a vibrant, business-oriented surrounding area, a spectacular array of conferencing options and an undeniably flash feel to the whole place make the facility a massive MICE draw. Throw in a staff that focus on the small things alongside a strong ethical appeal, and it’s hard to think why anyone wouldn’t be interested in this monstrous Chinese venue.

As published in ASEAN Tourist Board literature, 2009.