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Mixing business with pleasure: The Hong Kong Rugby 7s and Dragon Boat Festival

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Mixing business with pleasure: The Hong Kong Rugby 7s and Dragon Boat Festival
Sports and festivals can be exciting accompaniments to business events.

Planners of association conferences, corporate meetings and incentives in Hong Kong can leverage events like the Rugby Sevens and the Dragon Boat Festival and International Races.

The annual Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens (HK7s) is one of Asia’s most popular sporting events. Held at the Hong Kong Stadium in early April this year, it had a sold-out 40,000-pax attendance each day. Some 40 per cent of spectators were from abroad, with a sizeable presence from Australia, according to organiser, Hong Kong China Rugby (HKCR).

Besides the tournament proper, there were live music performances to entertain the crowds. HKCR said “sport, entertainment, food, drink and eclectic energy combine as the stadium takes on a life of its own”.

The HK7s offers sponsors and partners “the ideal arena in which to achieve their business objectives”. All hospitality suites were sold out.

HKCR also co-hosts and supports the Sevens Week. This year, the program included other rugby matches, a sport and sustainability summit and an international sports and emergency medicine conference.

“More than 20 breakfasts, brunches, lunches, drinks and dinner functions were organised by consulates, chambers of commerce, societies and local rugby clubs,” said HKCR’s marketing manager, Jon Pallett.

While no figures are available on how many business events were timed to coincide with the HK7s, there were a myriad of public and private hospitality events across Hong Kong. For instance, Southside by Ovolo hosted the Aussie-helmed ‘Kick Offs and Kick Ons’ podcast team at a pre-game party.

The 2024 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and the Hong Kong, China Dragon Boat Association took place at Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front earlier this month.

It featured 17 races with more than 170 teams comprising over 4,000 athletes from 12 countries and regions.

“During the Dragon Boat Festival, delegates can feel the vibes with the festive-themed drone show at the Wan Chai harbour front and witness exemplary teamwork in the international dragon boat races at buzzing Tsim Sha Tsui, or even arrange local tradition-inspired team-building activities for incentive groups,” said HKTB.

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