Hanoi Aims to be the “Events Capital”

In its effort to become a focal point for the region's innovation and a hub for national and international cultural events, the city has ramped up its efforts.

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Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, has emerged as a popular destination for national and international events in recent years. This vibrant city has hosted numerous gatherings that have captured the attention of visitors from across the globe. With its rich history and cultural heritage spanning a millennium, Hanoi has successfully merged tradition and modernity, resulting in a captivating and dynamic atmosphere.

Hanoi has successfully organized the International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi’23. International visitors attended the event’s closing ceremony on June 3 at Art and Culture Center 22 Hang Buom, Hanoi. Photo: Hanoi Photo 23

Hanoi aims to establish itself as a regional innovation hub by leveraging its rich cultural resources and promoting creativity as the backbone of its sustainable urban development. This endeavor is in alignment with the city’s dedication to fulfilling its obligations as a member of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities.

An eventful city

Since the issuance of the Government Resolution on the development of Hanoi’s cultural industry between 2021 and 2025 on February 22, 2022, there has been a significant push towards organizing large-scale events in the capital. This initiative aims to foster the growth and promotion of Hanoi’s cultural industry.

The announcement ceremony for the Michelin-starred Vietnamese restaurants in Hanoi (three) and Ho Chi Minh City (one) took place in Hanoi on June 6th.

This development marks a significant milestone in elevating the reputation of Vietnamese culinary culture and bolstering tourism in Hanoi and across Vietnam.

Recently, all attention has been focused on the highly anticipated two-night concert in Hanoi at the end of July featuring BlackPink, a renowned South Korean pop group.

The famous Korean girl band BlackPink will hold a performance in Hanoi later this month. Photo: BlackPink 

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has been proud to host a range of significant international events. These include the Monsoon Music Festival, the Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF), the Photo Hanoi’23 Biennale, the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the Hanoi Culinary and Tourism Festival 2021, the 31st SEA Games, the Vietnam Airlines Classic – Hanoi Concert 2019, the Hanoi Street Carnival 2019, the Japan Cherry Blossom Festival 2019, and the Korean Days in Hanoi 2017, among many others. These events have showcased the city’s vibrant cultural scene and its ability to host prestigious gatherings of global significance.

According to Bui Hoai Son, a Standing Member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture and Education, the development of the cultural business heavily relies on the strategic building of brands for cultural events.

“It can be said that these activities are a catalyst for localities, particularly tourist attractions, as they offer a chance for artists to both showcase their talents and engage with fellow colleagues, audiences, and other stakeholders,” he stated.

Through this initiative, Vietnamese events and artists will establish a significant presence in the global arts and culture scene, showcasing the rich diversity of our country’s artistic expressions.

Effective branding can enable cultural events to extend their impact beyond the cultural sphere and contribute to the socio-economic development of the local community and the country. By building soft power, these events can further enhance the country’s position in the international integration process.

 Exhibition “Hanoi – A City in Photography”/ International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi’23. Photo: Nguyen The Son

Enhancing the city’s brand

Various experts have emphasized that organizing major cultural festivals and events in Hanoi is crucial for the development of different sectors within the cultural industry.

In order for Hanoi to establish itself as a thriving hub of events and a sought-after destination in the region, it is imperative to develop a well-defined and targeted strategy.

Nguyen Trung Hieu, a renowned People’s Artist and the Director of the Hanoi Drama Theater, confidently expresses that Vietnam’s rich history, distinctive traditional culture, and diverse art forms make it highly feasible to host international events of significant scale.

“However, the achievement calls for the efficient coordination of diverse resources, encompassing state and social assets, resources from Vietnam and international sources, financial backing, manpower, and infrastructure,” stated

According to Hanoi, there is still a shortage of cultural and sports facilities as well as public spaces.

The exhibition “Fashion Photography” is an event of the International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi’23, which took place from May 12 to 30 at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Photo: Chu Viet Ha

In a city with a population of 10 million, it becomes challenging to find a location that can accommodate around 50,000 individuals for significant events. Although Hang Day Stadium can only seat 22,500 people, the My Dinh National Stadium, under the management of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, offers a larger capacity option.

Bui Hoai Son believes that Hanoi is the nucleus of Vietnam, vital to the country’s cultural advancement. As a result, the promotion of Hanoi’s culture necessitates the combined efforts of the city’s internal initiatives and the support of key stakeholders, notably the central authorities, according to Mr. Son.

In order to successfully organize international events in Hanoi, the involvement and collaboration of key entities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the government are crucial.

The representation of a country encompasses not only its capital, but also its iconic imagery that captures the essence of the nation.

During the 2022 Cultural Conference, Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Phong of the Hanoi People’s Committee emphasized the importance of building the city’s brand through events. He highlighted the need to establish this brand not only at the city level, but also gradually on an annual and international scale.

The Hanoi People’s Committee has released an implementation plan consisting of 45 tasks, with 10 of them focusing specifically on policy changes and administrative reforms aimed at promoting the growth of cultural industries.

The city has identified 30 major cultural events held annually, both domestically and internationally. In light of this, the city has made the strategic decision to allocate resources to this selected sector, taking into consideration its financial capacity. Over the span of 2021 to 2025, Hanoi plans to invest approximately VND14,000 billion (US$588 million) towards the overall development of culture.