Why does Milano EXPO represent an integrated strategy to relaunch Italy

Recently I started working on some analysis about Italy as most favorite destination for main target of tourists from East Asia in particular chinese, japanese and south korean users. To demonstrate it we should just consider that Italy is 1st country in EU-zone for number of nights spent by asian people (2,8 millions of nights by chinese, 2,8 millions of night by japanese and 800 thousands by koreans – source Unioncamere)

It’s common for marketing advisor to spend some hours x day on researches that may concern strategies on providing business services for specific market’s segments trying to figure out the method which companies consolidate their brand / services with promotion.

I decided to put on comparison some important players involved on services for tourism and I’m not only referring  about tour operators but I’ve also included in my prospect some national agencies (government) that operate in tourism industry like JNTO (Japan National Tourism Association) or Official Korea Tourism Organization.

Usually such kind of public agencies are mainly focused on attraction of foreign tourists toward their countries so they are well specialized on own territorial marketing. But if we consider the contents introduced through their websites about Milano EXPO 2015 in occasion of announcements about delegations or packages for business groups we can understand how promotion of Italy, in particolar of Milan, boosted following some key- value points, has been adopted by these agencies as functional method to make on focus some features of their country.

In particular, using this retrospective method of analysis I would like to explain the functionality that an integrated strategy for national tourism can have if managed with well framed marketing tools based on some specific elements like

1) History: Italy represents for asian users the center of Europe for that it may concern its origins. Rome for example is one of most important cities in the world for chinese political representatives and it’s considered the valid scenario to introduce bilateral issues (China – Europe) due of long history generated by roman empire and chinese dynasties in two part of the world that for long time have been considered like yin and yang of our globe, west and east. Lot of delegations are coming to Milan to present territorial focuses during EXPO and on doing so they are also introducing new cooperation’s opportunities in some specific areas of fresh developed China.

2) Food: italian agro-food’s system dominates the international markets. According with recent research by Coldiretti we got primate of exportation in the world for more than 20 classifies of products and we are in the second and third place for more than other 54 classifies. But pretty interesting is the first place we received thanking innovation, as it has been implemented for biologic production recently by more than 43.000 companies, that represent 17% of european players. These successful results are introduced  in many articles and scientific argumentations posted on some websites of japanese prefectures in the sections that refer to delegations that are joining Milan EXPO 2015,

3) Creativity: Milan is the capital of creativity according with official statement signed by korean ministry for trade and development during important anniversary that celebrated in Milan 150 years of bilateral relations between Italy and Korea (6 june 2014). And when we talk about italian creativity usually we think about arts, design, fashion but in last report issued by ISTAT and Eurostat, Italy is the first country in Europe that adopted creative skills for optimization of dynamics inside corporate governance and to regulate production in innovative and efficient way as well (more than 60% of companies in the survey declared the involvement of creative personalities in their corporate-assets)

We can easily understand as Milan EXPO well combines in its programs and entertainment’s structure some high value elements like history, creativity, quality, and of course food (introduced by main topic of Expo like energy for life and for the planet) that are featured as default’s contents in many strategic plans of companies and agencies specialized in services for tourism.

Thanking of this combination of elements we’ve been able to reach immediately great target of diversified users like those, in particular from East Asia, want try and enjoy Italy in the shape they always studied, imagined or, why not, tasted even only once in their life.

Milano got the big opportunity to experiment how to make this big structure (EXPO) moving ahead for 6 months with participation of well framed operators and cooperation of public offices with private organization and thanking concrete action boosted by all social counterparts for the first time we improved the awareness of potentiality that such diversified structure and skills put in sharing can offer to our Nation and economy.

Now we have to continue to consider that to re-launch Italy we needs definitely an organic system for tourism and hospitality in general where cooperation with strategic segments can be a fundamental base to provide high level services and meet international needs.

As consulting company and no profit organization i’m in charge of we are following this perspectives on two different ways. About business solutions we are developing marketing events inside some prestigious hotels in Milano making as main target of the program international guests.

here's expo too cover

We are selecting operators from food and tourism industry and we are arranging calendar of contents that we are going to communicate on social networks and online using directly some interfaces well known in Asia and not so common in usual online campaigns. It’s important for us to associate online marketing tools with concrete offline occasions to promote and meet potential clients. At the same time the companies are joining the project can receive special visibility as creators of promotional event in Milan during Milano EXPO.  http://fuoriexpo2015.eventsmilano.com

At the same time we are boosting international participation for those aspects may concern creativity as key value for italian economy in particular for Milan city. Recently we produced international cross cultural contest in cooperation with Milano Expo and during the Gala Night for the assignment of the awards we introduced a new board aimed to concentrate and develop proposals about youth international creativity in Milano.

carta-giovanile

This group of creative personalities joined for the constitution of Charter of Values for Youth Creativity that has been presented to the institutions which are aware of our intentions for creation of cooperation’s network on this theme.

We are already planning calendar with productions and contents starting by september 2015 and we’ll follow the mentioned strategy to assure  international participation as featured characteristics of our agenda.

Marketing online: If China reinvents Milan EXPO…

Chinese people are really interested about Milan EXPO 2015 for some specific reasons: first of all their holistic and circular vision on proceeding of situations in terms of cause and effects inevitably links Milan EXPO as important consecution of successful edition of Shanghai EXPO in 2010, then recently Milan is going be configured as one of most preeminent places for style, design and luxury among european cities.

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We should consider that one good selling point about “Italian Dolce Vita” for common chinese visitor would be more  fashion, design and luxury as part of prestigious life than italian tradition about food and gourmet, that’s because China also got important and long tradition for that concerns food and cooking experience. For sure the main topic of this italian edition of EXPO will be a great opportunity to educate chinese visitors about our well framed production of excellences that we can offer as special selection from wide italian gourmet’s scenario.

As international event with some hundreds of  thousands of participations from China (maybe more than 1 million of visitors from China) the occasion is great to boost communication and promotion concerning business ventures in particular for those chinese companies or investors who are improving their operative presence in Europe starting from Italy.  And cause China presents specific own system for those online applications regarding social networks, video sharing platforms, search engines, instant messaging and blogging and all those tools that are necessary to reinforce online marketing, it means that from chinese side it’s going to be created a new image of Milan EXPO on communicating contents and specifications that are useful to introduce chinese vision of EXPO.

In particular if we check some comments in chinese using sina weibo among thousands of “tweets” about Universal Exposition of Milan 2015 we can understand how sceptic they are about completion of pavilions, general organization and logistic issues in Milan comparing with Shanghai 2010.  But chinese operators who are involved in business issues from Europe to China and viceversa are introducing the semester of EXPO as special prosecution of glorious start for  boosting of chinese economy from 2010 and they are focusing on strategical campaign managed on chinese social networks keeping on feature those elements that are more connected with their business purposes than with those analysis could promote Milano EXPO itself.

So we can understand, following a concrete aptitude that is intrinsic of chinese behavior, how is important for italian companies and investors too to plan marketing strategy that should emphasize our presence or brand or business focusing on elements and discussions that have been already set up by chinese people in their structure of communication.

If China doesn’t allow any campaign on Facebook let’s start on practicing contents on Sina Weibo; if it’s not convenient to invest on optimization of keywords, tags and corporate’s web address on Google as search engine, let’s consider to analyze Baidu; if our corporate videos, produced to communicate something to potential chinese partners, cannot be uploaded on Youtube or Vimeo  let’s check the efficiency of YouKu: if we wanna communicate on wide range directly to chinese visitors we should consider to buy campaign on “we chat” or informing them through this instant massaging system about calendar of events will take in Milan during Milan EXPO.

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There are already more than 20.000 events collected in EXPO IN CITTA’ official website promoted by Milan City and it’s not easy for sure to put one of them on feature to attract specific target of international users but I think that if China is re-inventing parameters to understand EXPO with online social networks, that could represent a specific solution to underline those events or marketing campaigns we want to manage in behalf of chinese visitors (for specific strategic market’s purposes).

My consulting company with other partnered organizations is already involved on providing marketing services during Milano EXPO for operators from Food & Beverage industry and we’re planning specific onhere's expo tooline and offline promotional contents managed for chinese target. It means we are guiding clients on duplex way: first of all as  offline segment we are providing services to organize small exhibitions and promotional product – placements (promotional corners, gadgets, events, products tasting, educational contents) in some hotels in the center of Milan, on the other hand we are following the chinese way to approach Milan EXPO online, and on doing so we are exactly reinventing campaigns as chinese users are used to do through chinese social media: discussions, word of mouth’s methods, advertising for cultural events with specific sponsors from food and beverage industry, surveys etc everything is perfectly adapted for chinese destination in their online crossing media system.

China represents always challenge and opportunity at the same time. It’s up to you to choose the way to get the best.

If Milano EXPO 2015 means improvement of standards for tourism operators let’s provide high qualified trainings to support development of corporate services

Probably, as common perception,  the range of international participation to next Milano EXPO 2015  is still lower estimated in terms of affluence and business appeal by investors and international operators. For sure I think we need to improve some structural elements in the event’s management and co-related services, in particular for that regards Milan City’s transportation system and facilities for participants (over 20.000.000 joiners expected in approximately 6 months).

But I well know how from some countries, in particular the “chinese side”, they are looking to participate to this event like natural prosecution of Shanghai EXPO 2010 that was successful to inaugurate the role of chinese market on international scenario also as new destination’s market (for investments, retail, trends, business model and business dynamics in general)

We remember also the big investment issued by Vanke LTD, giant of real estate from China for the development of chinese pavilion in Milan EXPO’s area. For most of people not familiar with chinese perception about this event it was like an unexpected news but the country that hosted previous edition of EXPO cannot “lose its prestigious face” in front of new opportunity to show to the whole world the concrete attitude and powerful approach to western markets reached by China

vanke pavillon

This ferment is well expressed by number of tickets already sold by official agents and network that cooperate with Milano EXPO 2015, as reported officially for something like 900.000 tickets sold in China. In such scenario I firmly think that companies operating on tourism and hospitality as well as service providers for business development, private TicketExpoequity and international business ventures that are already planning to develop some aspects in their corporate management to facilitate commercial matching with chinese counterpart should invest on time in specific tools to improve their standards.

For example, it’s already well known as the italian private railways company NTV received recently the “Welcome Chinese Certification” official attestate of guarantee about the quality and number of services that the company can offer in Italy to Chinese guests.

Viceversa the Chinese Tourism Academy, partnered institution and specialized institute under control of Party Committee of China National Tourism Administration(CNTA), in joint with Welcome Chinese Certification Association and key operators in the tourism field, is going to promote officially on chinese chain the sales of services and cooperation’s activities with those operators.

As Studies Centre for oriental studies, our Asian Studies Group started two years ago trough our branches in main cities in Italy, on providing new courses in behalf of tourism operators (hotels, tour operators, recognized guides, transportation’s companies, agents involved in hospitality field etc).

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Recently we have introduced new specific module of Mandarin classes focused on speaking skills and intensive training about chinese characters pointed towards specific operators like tour guides. The program consist of 4 or 6 months of training (4 or 6 hours x week) and it aims to train attendants to pass HSK exam (levels 1-2-3) in very short period.

Separately the centre offers some short courses about business culture and cross cultural communication for commercial operators or for those services companies are looking to Milano EXPO 2015 as  new frame to boost B2b opportunities.

As part of the same program we provide 1 or 2 days seminars to train hotels and restaurants about hospitality’s features, lifestyle’s elements, and specific characteristics of chinese guests according with regional differences of origin.

Consider as follows some scheduled training programs for our quarters of Milan – Lodi – Turin – Rome

Intensive Mandarin Course for tour guides : read and speak (it includes simulation and preparation HSK 1-2-3 levels)

– September Registrations and level check

– 1st part: October from 6th official start till 19 of december (preliminary test module 1-2)

– 2nd part: from 12 of January till 27 of March (final test module 3 -4)

– April: simulation of HSK exam and preparation for oral interview with chinese external teachers.

– May: HSK exam / get ready for Milan EXPO 2015 official opening

In the same period our organization will introduce the institutions or corporates that joined our linguistic programs to Welcome Chinese Certification’s representatives.

It’s also available Iper Intensive program that takes 4 months of classes and it aims to complete preparation around 6 week before the official start of Milano EXPO 2015.

For more info about mandarin course for specific operators or for other programs like business culture and cross cultural communications please contact our general secretary at info@asianstudiesgroup.net 

The dynamism about a new and more “towards Asia oriented”  profile for corporate’s management in Italy drived by Milan EXPO 2015 could represent a new “era” not only for improvement of language skills achieved by specific operators but also for building of cross cultural  scenario into social environment that for sure will have a part in the completion of business joint projects between Italy and China. Maybe the baton from Shanghai 2010 and Milano 2015 would be well represented by such goal.

EXPO 2015 – Events and Delegations are going to get ready. Introducing Nagoya

As italians we are well informed about agenda of activities that every day are going to make the schedule for next Milan EXPO  2015 full of participations. Usually we are more into updates that regard italian pavilion and public administration involved in dynamics of management and general organization for the most important event of the year than news concerning business opportunities linked with EXPO scenario.

But we well know that big expectations from companies and professional operators are in particular towards international opportunities that such event could represent as pole of attraction for dozens of millions of participants (more than 20.000.000 of visitors are expected in 6 months )

Beyond institutional participation and delegation that usually follow specific schedules according with standards of interest not always addicted to market – segments or operative business needs,  I already collected some requests from specific associations and consulting firms as well as group of promoters for investment’s solutions and similar operators that are really up to introduce specific contents and develop mutual potential cooperation on commercial front with counterparts from different markets.

bg_event‘Cause I’m specialized advisor with strong competence on eastern asia markets, and thanking knowledge on japanese and chinese languages, following such needs, as consulting studio, we are already getting busy on specific researches about participation of prefectures and regional delegation from East Asia.

The purpose of such activity is for sure to identify concrete events that can represent good point of start for boosting services, involvement of volunteers, business matching for well framed operators as long as setting up nice framework to plan twinning perspectives for territorial administrations from both sides.

Today we have completed our first selection of special contents / participations about Japan Pavillon and we are preparing official analysis about the presentation of Aichi Prefecture for contents and operators from this prefecture during 5 days in August 2015, when the events square of Japan Pavilion will host performances and contents from Aichi end in particular from the main city of Nagoya.

At the moment the organizers are expecting to introduce around 40 organizations from Aichi and the new has just been introduced as official announcement from website of the prefecture recently.

Honestly we didn’t find more details on websites and official channels managed by organizers of Milan EXPO 2015 (Italian and english version) about such micro – attendance in August and due of the intense planning it would be for sure difficult monitoring so many contents but as japanese side is already collecting participations and interests to finalize delegations profiles, I think it is really important getting ready to select functional opportunities on time.

Thanking our network of partnered consulting firms and official relations with local institutions in Japan we have prepared letter of proposal as supporting studio for what it may concern matching of operators, official introduction and services providing. About services could be interesting for such delegations or events we are including some elements that should be useful on bilateral dynamics of involvement like

– accommodations with transfer service included

– interpreters and volunteers (japanese speakers) in cooperation with Asian Studies Group Italia© already involved on official selection for volunteers and professional profiles for Japanese Pavilion

– communication agency to develop specific contents on international dimension in cooperation with japanese PRs

– business tours in Italy according with shared schedule after selection about specific fields of interest

– B2b corner in Milan with participation of specific event during Fuori EXPO (list of events that will take place in the city with involvement of private operators)

– Training opportunities or joining specific seminars on well framed series of contents according with purpose of analysis

– General Assistance

We are going to introduce more well detailed info about those delegations from East Asia that we consider interesting to approach and meet with direct cooperation ‘s opportunity during the Universal Exposition of Milan 2015 as we invite you to send us comments or introduce your profile (as organization or company) if you want to get in touch with my studio and network of structures involved in these dynamics in Milan.

Our main office is in the centre of Milan and we are really focusing on such business agenda for preparation of internationalization’s tools during Milan EXPO 2015