Grand Convention wants Mice market-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Friday, August 29, 2014
THOUGH it has made its name as a venue for social events, Grand Convention Center of Cebu wants to make its mark in the Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) market.
President Winglip Chang believes their facilities can rival what top hotels have to offer. Though they do not have accommodations, Chang pointed out that their location more than makes up for it, as they are situated near hotels along Cebu City’s Archbishop Reyes Ave.
The Grand Convention Center of Cebu was closed for eight months to go through major renovations. Management moved the main entrance to the side to allow access to its three restaurants. While Chang did not disclose the amount needed to complete the renovations, he said it was substantial.
The company also acquired recently a 1,700-square-meter property beside their existing parking lot. They plan to build a four-level parking garage that can hold up to 380 cars. They expect to complete it by December.
Function rooms on the second floor were opened last December and have so far been popular for social events. Chang noted, though, that they are beginning to host Mice events, most recently a three-day gathering held by the Philippine Councilors’ League.
“We are happy with the turnout, especially since we opened at a time that is considered a slow month in business,” he said.
3 restaurants, function rooms
Though he is glad about the reception so far, the company is going a step further to get more events by hiring a sales team to promote the venue.
While it is one of the most popular venues for Chinese wedding receptions, Chang said they are also becoming a venue for small meetings of pharmaceutical companies.
“We’re quite strong in these areas but we’d like to be able to grow (the Mice) market.”
Its three restaurants are meant to cater to different needs. The Grand Majestic offers a buffet selection while Tsay Cheng is a quieter place for Chinese cuisine. It also has smaller function rooms for small meetings. Isla Sugbu Seafood City is meant to attract tourists that want to have a taste of fresh seafood in a clean, market-style setting.
The second floor can accommodate functions of up to 1,200 people, banquet-style. Chang said they can charge P550 per person for a minimum of 300 persons. However, he assured they could be flexible.
“Talk to us. Maybe we can find something we can make a deal with,” he told reporters.
They plan to launch the new center in late September and are holding promotions in the run-up to the launch. Seafood City will be offering discounts to those who can present boarding passes marked Cebu as the destination. Last Wednesday, customers were surprised when it was announced that the price of the lunch buffet at Grand Majestic would be brought down to P195.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 30, 2014.