Event Watch: Dragon Week (New York, January 23-27)

Curated Week Of Events Designed For New York-Bound Chinese Tourists

Piaget, which created eight Emperador XL watches for the Chinese Year of the Dragon, will be a brand partner

Piaget, which created eight Emperador XL watches for the Chinese Year of the Dragon, will be a brand partner

Set to take place during Chinese New Year, from January 23-27 the membership-based network Affinity China will present Dragon Week, a series of exclusive events catering to high net worth Chinese tourists. Organized in partnership with China Luxury Network (previously on Jing Daily), its consumer intelligence and brand advisory division, Dragon Week is designed to give wealthy outbound Chinese tourists the chance to take part in curated experiences never before available to the average traveler. Among the events planned for the week are an “East-West Gala,” private lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building hosted by Yue-Sai Kan and her Friends of China Beauty Charity Fund, a private fashion show at Bergdorf Goodman, and a private performance by the Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

Considering the popularity of New York as a luxury shopping destination for China’s wealthiest consumers, Dragon Week is heavily geared towards providing these tourists with the chance to get up close and personal with a wide array of high-end brands. During Dragon Week, Affinity China will host brand events that give guests ample opportunity to experience and learn more about brand culture and heritage, as well as provide exclusive shopping opportunities. Dragon Week partner brands include Piaget, J. Mendel, Ralph Lauren, Estée Lauder, Montblanc, Tribeca Wine Merchants and Coach.

Perhaps due to a dearth of New York retailers that currently accept UnionPay, Affinity China will debut an invitation-only “Dragon Card” for its guests during Dragon Week, with pre-loaded credit that can be used at partner stores.

As Christine Lu, CEO and Co-Founder of Affinity China, recently noted, Chinese New Year is an ideal backdrop for Dragon Week, as the holiday is becoming a popular time for China’s outbound tourists to head overseas. Said Lu, “Realizing that many of those in our network will travel during Chinese New Year, we decided to partner with NYC institutions and iconic brands to craft a truly memorable experience.”

With more wealthy mainland Chinese looking to send their children overseas for education, Dragon Week will also include tours of top universities and private high schools, as well as private information sessions at the Harvard Club to learn more about the American educational system. To facilitate communication, guests of Dragon Week will be accompanied by Mandarin-speaking “ambassadors” at luxury boutiques and events — a perk that has become much appreciated by this group of big-spending travelers in major destinations like London, Paris and Madrid.

As Sage Brennan, co-founder of China Luxury Network, pointed out, Dragon Week is designed to be replicable in a number of cities that have become popular with Chinese tourist-shoppers. Said Brennan, “We look forward to hosting more Dragon Week events in other major U.S. cities throughout 2012,” adding, “By working with luxury brands and service providers to directly engage with Chinese consumers during China’s three primary travel windows (Chinese New Year (January 23-25), China Labor Day Holiday (May 1-3) and China National Day Holiday (October 1-3) — JD), we are gathering priceless insights into this consumer group and will work closely with brands to develop high ROI brand experiences and offerings throughout the year.”


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Events, Market Analysis