MICHAEL WILLIAMSON
HILTON SHANGHAI HONGQIAO
GENERAL MANAGER

Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao’s new general manager, Mike Williamson, talks to micenet ASIA about his plans for his new assignment and some of his personal aspirations for his tenure in China.

BY LEILA BOTHAM

Q: You have enjoyed quite an illustrious career in many countries including the UK, Romania and UAE. What attracted you to Shanghai and what is your new role at Hilton Hongqiao?
A: After so many years working in Europe and the Middle East, the opportunity to come to China was irresistible. China is a totally new experience for me, and I am very excited about learning the culture and enjoying everything the country has to offer. As Shanghai is one of the most dynamic cities in China, I am sure to have happy experiences here. I am particularly proud to be taking the helm at the comparatively new Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao, with its great facilities and a very professional management team already
in place.

Q: The hotel offers excellent meeting and event facilities, including the largest ballroom in the Puxi area. Tell us a little about the facilities on offer at Hilton Hongqiao.
A: The ballroom is truly spectacular, with a 6.7 metre high ceiling and more than 1700 square metres of column-free space that can accommodate more than 1000 seated guests – making it ideal for a grand banquet or conference. The wide corridor outside is also ideal for a reception cocktail party. Additional features are a VIP room with exclusive entrance beside the ballroom, along with three dressing rooms.
A separate conference zone, which can be sealed into an independent area, contains six meeting rooms of varying sizes, all offering wired and wireless broadband Internet access and audio/visual equipment. A soundproof boardroom provides a secure environment for top-level director meetings and the like. This entire meetings area can also be turned into luxurious banquet rooms to entertain
VIP guests.

Q: What do you think sets Hilton Hongqiao apart from your competitors?
A: As a MICE-oriented hotel, we can boast the largest ballroom in the Puxi/Hongqiao area and first-class conference facilities. Our dedication to service excellence ensures guests have a memorable experience.
We like to make guests feel at home. After a day’s work or sightseeing they can feel safe, relaxed and ready to take advantage of all the hotel’s great products including our all-day dining restaurants & bars or relax in our great gym and spa.
The Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao is the perfect place either to entertain or
be entertained.

Q: What is your vision for the hotel? What strategies do you plan on implementing to grow MICE business for Hilton Hongqiao?
A: My vision is seamless service delivery from every sector and department of the hotel, ensuring that our customers and guests have a totally carefree and enjoyable experience, convincing them to return and recommend the hotel to their friends and associates.
The hotel has already established an enviable record and stack of awards for excellence organising MICE events, and we shall build on that by further streamlining procedures and acting on feedback from partners and delegates.
Our marketing team will make full use of the extensive Hilton international network, Internet sales channels and other media outlets to reach out to new markets, and will be conducting both local and international marketing presentations. We also have a number of incentive programmes to give our clients maximum benefits from using our premises.

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