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Choosing the right venue for that major event
By Nie Xin

SHANGHAI is a place where one can almost always find a party. This is both a blessing and a curse for event organizers as they face tougher competition to plan events that will dazzle those who attend.

Party Town is the latest "big event" venue. It opened last month in Pudong, opposite Shanghai Science and Technology Museum. It the first venue in China to feature a Japanese anime theme.

"The diversity of event venues in Shanghai provides more options for event organizers, including commercial companies covering all the industries and private party holders," says Edison Fan, an event and party organizer who has been in the industry for more than 10 years.

The facility, cost, location and venue size are essential elements when an event organizer chooses a venue. But companies are becoming more selective these days and want an atmosphere suitable to their brand identity, Fan adds.

The latest event Fan helped organize last month was a commercial promotion for a fashion brand. The party was held at Hotel Massenet at Sinan Mansions.

This was the third time this year Fan has used this venue.

Located on Sinan Road, Hotel Massenet is one of a few boutique hotels in the heart of Shanghai. The hotel consists of 21 garden villas built in the 1920s and 1930s. Each villa is three to four stories high and they range in size from 550 to 600 square meters. Each mansion has multiple living and dining rooms, a kitchen, library, entertainment room, butler's quarters, garage, four en-suite bedrooms and private garden. They provide guests with seclusion and privacy.

Toya Wu from Inshine Group, a communications company, says the range of venues for events in the city has changed for the better in the past few years.

"We used to choose more hotels and shopping malls to run big commercial events, but it's no longer limited to those ordinary places," Wu says.

Inshine specializes in organizing fashion shows, new product releases and opening ceremonies. The latest event they organized was a fashion show at Beijing Exhibition Museum in Beijing.

In Shanghai, popular event venues include the Science and Technology Museum in Pudong, International Conference Center, World Finance Center and several five-star hotels.

Creative parks like M50, Red Town on Huaihai Road W., Shanghai 1933 Old Millfun in Hongkou District and Highstreet Loft on Jianguo Road W. are also sought-after venues for companies that want to make an impact with their event.

"The culture and history in old warehouses along with the good location are important reasons for choosing this venue," says Wu.

"It's similar to Hotel Massenet, where guests can personalize their stay and choose from three interior design styles - classic, contemporary and chic."

More new venues with different functions and features mean fiercer competition for venue holders but better prices and options for event organizers.

Party Town

Address: 35 Jinyan Rd

Tel: 400-021-2525

Hotel Massenet

Address: 51 Sinan Rd

Tel: 3401-9998

Red Town

Address: 570 Huaihai Rd W.

Tel: 6281-7382

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164