Case Study

First Time in Japan! The 99th Kiwanis International Convention held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture

1.1 billion yen in economic impact

The 99th Kiwanis International Convention was held from July 17 to 20 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, with 2,832 participants from 29 countries attending

From the bidding process to opening day

The Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC), Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, and JNTO all worked together to make a bid for the 2014 Kiwanis International Convention. It started when the CCB-IC staff met with the director of the Kiwanis International Convention at the trade show IMEX America in October 2012. In January 2013, Kiwanis International performed a site inspection and recognized the high quality of Chiba City’s hotels and the city's convenient access to Narita International Airport. Also noted was the fact that the conference would fall on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tokyo Kiwanis Club, the first Kiwanis Club in the Asia Pacific region.

Makuhari Messe, the perfect MICE facility

Makuhari Messe's International Exhibition Hall, International Conference Hall, and Makuhari Event Hall form an integrated complex on a 210,000 square metre site, constituting one of the foremost convention facilities in Japan. One advantage of Makuhari Messe is the number of hotels within walking distance of each facility, eliminating the need for shuttle buses. With all this, plus an ideal location midway between central Tokyo and Narita International Airport, Makuhari Messe stakes a strong claim to being the perfect MICE facility. Features frequently praised by organizers include the remarkable convenience of getting to Makuhari, and the safe and clean environment that is a hallmark of Japan.

Prince Akishino in attendance at opening ceremony

At the opening ceremony, Prince Akishino endorsed the Kiwanis slogan: “Serving the children of the world”. The governor of Chiba Prefecture and mayor of Chiba City also gave welcome speeches, and the president of Kiwanis International gave his thanks for the event's polite hospitality. A video message from Caroline Kennedy, the United States Ambassador to Japan, was also played. This VIP turnout showed the high profile of the meeting.

Regional Hospitality

The CCB-IC carried the meeting through successfully by working with Chiba's prefectural and city governments, high schools, universities, and businesses. Prominent examples were digital welcome signs at Narita International Airport, welcome banners along the streets in Makuhari, and welcome stickers on the fronts of many businesses in the area. Students from a local high school gave choir, orchestra, and dance performances and received a standing ovation. At the venue, during breaks in the program, demonstrations were held to give participants a taste of Japanese history and culture, including calligraphy, tea ceremony, flower arranging, a martial arts fair (featuring judo and kendo), and a kimono show. Participants, high school students, university students, and language volunteers dispatched by the CCB-IC enjoyed lively interactions.

During the conference, a "Japan Night" was held at which participants were delighted by the folk entertainment performances arranged by the CCB-IC, including the Funabashi Bakamen Dance and drumming by Sakura Taiko.

In order to promote local tourism facilities, the CCB-IC arranged for free shuttle buses running between Makuhari Messe and art and history museums in Chiba City. The Aeon Shopping Mall and Mitsui Outlet Park, which are both within walking distance of Makuhari Messe, issued special discount coupons for the participants, and Tokyo Disney Resort also issued "Convention Passports" (discount coupons for admission to the parks).

Chiba City Museum of Art debuts as a unique event venue

In cooperation with the Chiba City Museum of Art, a special exhibition was held to welcome Kiwanis. For the first time, the museum's Sayado Hall was used as a unique venue for a VIP reception. Sayado Hall was constructed in 1927 in the "neo-renaissance" style. Guests enjoyed a traditional lion dance and a candy-making demonstration in this dignified room.

The Chiba City Museum of Art is an award-winning building, selected by the Ministry of Construction in 1988 as one of Japan's “Public Architecture Top 100” for excellence in public construction that makes a significant contribution to the community.

Chiba Prefecture, Chiba City, Makuhari Messe, and local businesses and schools worked together with Kiwanis International, and leveraged their strong network to ensure the convention’s great success.

Kiwanis International
Kiwanis International is the third largest volunteer social service organization in the world, with over 210,000 members in 7,500 clubs spread across 80 countries around the world. In Japan, there are 1,750 members in 29 clubs. Their social service work focuses on children, and their slogan is "serving the children of the world".

Makuhari Messe (International Convention Complex)

Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC):

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