Hong Kong Live at The Grove
If you ever have the chance to visit The Grove, an upmarket retail and entertainment complex in Los Angeles, you may find a trace of Hong Kong on the electric-powered Grove Trolley that takes you to the Farmer’s Market. According to Rick Caruso, the owner of The Grove, the double-decker tram idea was inspired by a visit to Hong Kong several years earlier.
Of course, the connection between Hong Kong and Los Angeles is much more than the Grove Trolley; there are also strong tourism ties between the two cities. The US has been one of Hong Kong’s top visitor markets for many years, with LA one of the top cities. To further strengthen these ties, the HKTB brought its “Hong Kong Live” promotion to The Grove in early summer in 2013. Rick Caruso was personally present at the event’s opening as an officiating guest, as was Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge.
The three-day consumer event was a showcase of Hong Kong culinary flair. All five epicurean activities, including cooking classes and live demonstrations by three Hong Kong Michelin-starred chefs, were sold out. The fine flavours even attracted Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, who wrote about the promotion in the Los Angeles Times.
The Grove visitors also experienced some of Hong Kong’s best-kept traditions, such as face-changing and tai chi. Adding vibrant colour to The Grove throughout the promotion was Hong Kong architect William Lim’s fish installations, which were crafted using the bamboo-scaffolding method unique to Hong Kong.
In the US, Hong Kong’s biggest long-haul visitor market, the HKTB employs a mix of marketing strategies and public relations, from consumer events to digital marketing. It also strives to attract large-scale conventions from the market, where many major international conference organisers and industry associations are headquartered.