From April to June, Hong Kong’s exhibition scene has been picking up more momentum with the return of a series of close to 20 physical exhibitions at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Featuring a wide variety of products and services ranging from technology, and lifestyle, to arts and jewellery, the successful fairs attracted over a million visits under the pandemic, which is a promising sign for the exhibition industry.
The positive response clearly indicates that the value of physical shows is high and Hong Kong has demonstrated how to safely and seamlessly resume large-scale business events gradually, and pave the way for further recovery including international conventions and trade fairs.
Kenneth Wong, General Manager, MICE & Cruise of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, shares that “We are delighted to see such a strong pick-up in demand for physical fairs. These events are a good demonstration of Hong Kong’s readiness to welcome business events of any scale, and also an encouraging sign for the exhibition industry that the physical show is invaluable and we are very much looking forward to a resumption of more trade fairs in the coming months.”
Inaugural physical show drives future of business
“GOVirtual Business Expo is newly launched to provide a one-stop trade platform to support enterprises to unlock and capture the boundless potential of virtual business in the post-pandemic economy, and to encourage active interactions between the tech industry and business sectors which will inspire frequent cooperation,” says Culsin Li, Managing Director of Baobab Tree Event, organiser of GOVirtual Business Expo, with which the GS1 HK Summit is co-located. Li adds, “we are thankful to host this new show safely and help our visitors to explore virtual business opportunities and technology and business trends in the Greater Bay Area.”
Positive feedback, remarkable attendance
Priscilla Lo, Director of Hongkong-Asia Exhibition (Holdings) Ltd., organiser of the 18th Hong Kong Mega Showcase, the 19th Hong Kong Food Festival, the 21st Hong Kong Homex 2021 and the e-Expo & Auto HK, was ecstatic about the impressive attendance during the pandemic. “We are glad to see that our efforts paid off as our exhibitors and visitors alike were very satisfied with the overall arrangements. We’re grateful to HKCEC for its support and flexibility to enable the smooth and safe delivery of our events,” she shares.
Hygiene and safety are our top priority, says HML
“By implementing stringent preventive measures at the HKCEC and working closely with organisers, a number of well-attended exhibitions and conferences have been held safely and successfully since January 2021. The safety of visitors, users and staff of HKCEC is paramount. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (‘HML’) ensures that organisers integrate preventive measures in event arrangements and in compliance with regulatory requirements and industry best practices,” assures Monica Lee-Müller, Managing Director of HML.
First HKTDC physical show since COVID taps into pent-up demand
The five-day inaugural Lifestyle ShoppingFest of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) delivered a one-stop shopping experience for over 55,000 consumers keen to explore a broad selection of products, from global delicacies to fine jewellery and much more, presented by 430 exhibitors.
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC said that the positive response to the new event reflected the fact that physical shows are irreplaceable. “We are pleased that our inaugural Lifestyle ShoppingFest was held successfully, with 75 per cent of exhibitors believing physical shows can help boost their business, while 82 per cent of visitors were satisfied with the health and safety measures at the show.” Next, the HKTDC will host three concurrent trade fairs in July, its first B2B events since the onset of the pandemic.
Strengthening the city’s position as a leading exhibition hub
The city’s recent success in hosting physical events in a safe and seamless manner and the enthusiastic response from the public, together with the strong free venue rental support from the HKSAR government, all are solid encouragement for the city’s upcoming B2B trade shows, such as Jewellery & Gem ASIA Hong Kong held by Informa Markets in late June, the inaugural HKTDC International Sourcing Show and TKS Exhibition’s International Travel Expo Hong Kong in July, just a few of the city’s even stronger line-up in the third quarter.
Lee-Müller of HML highlights, “the Government’s Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme can certainly strengthen our competitiveness in attracting exhibitors and buyers and reinforce the city’s position as the region’s leading exhibition hub.” The subsidy scheme will be extended for six months to 30 June 2022, to benefit more convention and exhibition activities and enhance the confidence of event organisers in staging activities in Hong Kong.