Borne out of the innovative thinking and farsightedness of three mega entities-the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Rajiv Gandhi Hyderabad International Airport (GMR Airport), and the State Government-the Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau (HCVB) has remained true to its mission of promoting the City of Hyderabad as an ideal destination for conferences and conventions of national and global levels.

'The visibility of Hyderabad in the international arena is critical to market the city as an attractive global MICE destination. Hence, HCVB was formed with a vision to make Hyderabad the most compelling destination in India and accelerate economic growth and development by increasing visitors and convention business. It has been developed as a One-Stop-Shop for all queries from decision makers of the international and domestic Meetings industry,' states Jalil (Gary) Khan, CEO, Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau-India. 

'A comprehensive business plan was formulated, unique to our city, industries, various communities, artisans, educational institutions, and community needs. The salient features of the city were taken into consideration, including our accommodation options, conference and exhibition venues, suppliers/providers of products and services, and a strong validation of support from the State Government to make Hyderabad a true MICE destination,' he says while sharing how the Bureau came into being.


'The plan was created after an in-depth study of 22 premium visitors' bureaus worldwide. Subsequent business plans were articulated based on reality in a changing business environment, economic factors, city/infrastructure development, innovation in the industry, expansion, etc., factors that contribute to addressing the question - 'Why Hyderabad?',' he adds.

Over a period of about two years, a series of meetings with prospective stakeholders, industry players, and government officials were held for the planning of a potential marketing body for the city. The input was sought, and various scenarios and models were discussed at such meetings. The State Government then commissioned ISB to conduct a study to check the feasibility of forming a marketing organization to promote the city with the objective of bringing conferences/meetings to Hyderabad. With professional consultations of legal experts, who would be present in such meetings, the Bureau was foreseen to be formed on a PPP model. With the ISB report and the overwhelming approval by the research educationists, Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau was created in 2011. A seven-member HCVB Board was formed with a permanent IAS-level government official (Secretary of Tourism, Government of Telangana). Khan was appointed CEO by the Board. He brought with him extensive international marketing and conventions experience of over two decades in leadership roles in a Fortune 500 company in the US. He is originally from Hyderabad and is very familiar with the city and its culture, heritage, language, social, and professional sensitivities. He has an MBA degree from a prestigious university in California.

Cherry-picking Hyderabad

Over the past 11 years, HCVB has developed parallel to the various verticals created over the years in Hyderabad. With the spectacular evolution and growth of infrastructure and numerous industries, domestic and global, managing the Bureau along with the robust support of the State Government has been an indescribable experience for Khan. 'The experience is even more unique as we are at par with many highly developed industrial and global destinations around the world,' he says.


'The great advantage that the city recognizes and covets is our young and growing community of highly educated individuals, each infused with a spirit of daring entrepreneurship. There is no dearth of skills, products, and services in the fields of IT, Life Sciences, Pharma, Biotech, Tools and Machinery, etc. Hyderabad is equipped with all the necessary requisites of an ideal location to present to a decision-maker at associations, institutions, corporations, and companies. The one question that I have learned to expand upon is this amazing story of Hyderabad and to answer 'Why Hyderabad?',' he asserts.

With its immense growth in infrastructure and being a lucrative destination for investments from various conglomerates worldwide, Hyderabad is far ahead of other growing metropolitan cities in India. According to GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), the city's airport is deemed to be one of the best in the world. The state-of-the-art Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) complements the Bureau, making the city the most stimulating MICE destination. Strategically located, the Centre can accommodate 50-6,000 people and surpasses global standards in design and infrastructure. HICC is equipped with 37 breakout rooms, in-house audio-visual technology, high ceilings, trained event management teams, and the highest number of washrooms.

The New York Times has featured the City of Pearls in its list of 41 places to visit, describing it as 'Dynastic grandeur in the heart of modern India' and sharing the must-visit tag with other fascinating holiday destinations. It has also been endorsed by National Geographic Magazine as one of the best cities to live in, in terms of quality of life.

HITEX, a Unique Venue

When asked how, according to him, HITEX is faring as a venue for exhibitions and conventions, Khan says, 'HITEX as a venue for Trade fairs, Exhibitions, and Showcases is exceptional and one of its kind in India. Being located in Hyderabad, which is geographically one of the most vibrant places, HITEX promises exciting opportunities in the business arena. Now that the pandemic is seeing an end, the MICE industry is expected to boom. With HITEX's halls that are expansive and customizable, along with the few more halls that are being planned for the future, HITEX would certainly be a go-to venue for all kinds of conferences and exhibitions from around the world.'

Offering a True Business Class Service

When asked how the Bureau, as a single platform, assists convention and exhibition buyers such as associations, association management companies (AMCs), and MICE planners in choosing Hyderabad city as the destination for their events, Khan explains, 'HCVB provides a one-stop shop for all one's needs in conducting a business meet. Whether it is a meeting of a small group of 50 or as large as 6,000 delegates, our experts can guide in planning every aspect of it.'


'Our dedicated team at HCVB can assist you in identifying and securing the best quotes from leading business event suppliers. We can steer your event planning, covering all components - venues, accommodation, transportation, catering, entertainment, and other technical requirements and leave you to focus more on your agenda,' he adds.

Planning for an international conference can be time-consuming and challenging, with daunting uncertainties. HCVB offers expertise in strategic planning, insights into political agendas, drafting compelling bid documents, and the capacity to influence decisions.

A strong network of resources is one of the strengths of HCVB, whereby it stands ready to shoulder any sort of event management. The tie-ups with strategic industry partners, stakeholders, and government bodies enable it to bring together information on logistics, infrastructure, appropriate venues, accommodation options, and government regulations that go into hosting a seamless and successful convention.

 'Once the planning is halfway through, there will be a handful of shortlisted venues for
your event. Hyderabad offers a wide range of facilities to choose from, be it a small meeting or a mega-conference. You will find just what suits you,' Khan elaborates.

HCVB will then coordinate and host a site inspection. It will provide full support for touring the facilities. 'This will help you know for sure that your delegates are going to experience a true business-class service,' he adds.

Event planners can avail the expertise and free assistance provided by HCVB on planning and presenting compelling bid documents to win business events. The Bureau is a not-for-profit body, and the assistance it provides is free of cost. It provides the opportunity to associations, organizations, and institutions to not just market their products, but also to market themselves and improve their brand image and recognition. This also helps bring in more memberships, a leading revenue source for associations.

Driving Growth

HCVB gives attention to potential conferences that are most relevant to the sectors evolving in the city, including Information Technology, Medical Sciences, Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Finance. 'The Bureau takes the initiative in bidding for events that can change the outlook of the city in terms of development as well as showcase Hyderabad in a broad perspective as the most preferred MICE destination. We focus on bringing those events to the city that can create a significant economic impact,' shares Khan.

It was a matter of immense pride for Hyderabad to host the eighth edition of the three-day prestigious Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 (GES 2017), which was inaugurated by our Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump, who headed the US delegation. The summit, with the theme 'Women First, Prosperity for All', was attended by approximately 2,500 delegates from 170 countries. HCVB acted as the nodal authority to coordinate the deliverables envisioned by the GES Committee.

GES is a preeminent annual gathering that provides emerging entrepreneurs with exceptional opportunities for networking, investment, partnership, and collaboration and promotes entrepreneurship as a driver for economic growth.

United to Grow

Having established strong relationships with numerous senior government officials in Telangana and Delhi, HCVB achieves global visibility via partnerships with the Ministry of Tourism, Delhi (ICPB) while remaining an apolitical body. Regular participation in global trade shows, along with the Government of India, has been established as a normal practice. At the state level, the multi-layered support extended by the state remains exceptional.

HCVB is also a founding member of the Global Science Convention Alliance (GSCA), which includes Adelaide (Australia), Toulouse (France), Daejeon (South Korea), Prague (the Czech Republic), and Oslo (Norway). In 2017, HCVB worked closely with Daejeon Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Alliance's various initiatives. It worked towards increasing its global footprint and visibility and promoting the exchange of data among all members. HCVB had also made a joint promotion agreement with Star Alliance, the world's largest global airline alliance comprising 26 member international airlines.

With such strategic partnerships built over the years, the Bureau has sought support and cooperation from all over the world.

Optimism Looms Large

The pandemic has been a tough time for the Events industry, which has also been the most resilient and adaptable to the changes. Although Khan admits that the in-person experience is vastly different from what the pre-pandemic times offered, and though there are advantages to virtual events, cost-effectiveness being the primary, he highlights the enthusiasm in companies participating in traditional events. 'You cannot deny their appeal,' he says, stressing that the MICE industry is a rapidly growing sector in the city, with a large number of conferences and meetings to be held here. 'This sector would be growing bigger and better by 2025. There is an immense scope of wider exposure to the city as a MICE destination,' he adds. The confidence in this claim stems from the efforts that HCVB has been putting into realizing its vision of 'Taking Hyderabad to the World and Bringing the World to Hyderabad'.

'HITEX as a venue for Trade fairs, Exhibitions, and Showcases is exceptional and one of its kind in India.
Being located in Hyderabad, which is geographically one of the most vibrant places, HITEX promises exciting opportunities in the business arena.'

Jalil (Gary) Khan
CEO
Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau-India

'The Bureau takes the initiative in bidding for events that can change the outlook of the city in terms of development as well as showcase Hyderabad in a broad perspective as the most preferred MICE destination. We focus on bringing those events to the city that can create a significant economic impact.'

Jalil (Gary) Khan
CEO
Hyderabad Convention Visitors Bureau-India

Planning for an international conference can be time-consuming and challenging, with daunting uncertainties. HCVB offers expertise in strategic planning, insights into political agendas, drafting compelling bid documents, and the capacity to influence decisions.