Asia's trade fair hub

Hong Kong, which has only limited space to expand its exhibition facilities, is keeping a close watch on what is going on around it. The city is remaining relaxed in view of vigorous growth.

Hong Kong is well aware of the growing competition all around: After all, square metrage is set to grow in the trade fair cities Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Macao, Singapore and Seoul over the next few years. The total is estimated at half a million. Hong Kong Trade Development Council TDC's Assistant Executive Director Benjamin Chau: "We must enlarge our facilities, introduce new trade fairs, and go on improving our trade fair services to remain competitive." The expansion plans for the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) were announced only last year: They propose the addition of approximately 19,400 m2 of exhibition surface to the trade fair and convention centre as from 2009. At the end of 2005, Hong Kong saw the inauguration of the new trade fair centre near the airport, AsiaWorld-Expo. The first construction phase - expansion is planned for this site, too - provides ten pillar-free halls totalling 77,000 m2 of exhibition space. The AsiaWorld Arena with 13,500 seats is also ready.
The TDC is setting a good example as far as events are concerned: Last April, the Hong Kong International Auto Parts Fair and the Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair pulled off their successful premieres. In total, the sponsors of the HKTDC organised five trade fairs in the port city. They annually draw 9525 exhibitors and 180,479 visitors. According to a survey by the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association, that is a good proportion of the total number of trade fair visitors.
In 2005, 41,599 exhibitors and 4.8 million visitors were counted at the city's 66 trade fairs, impressive growth rates when one considers that in the year 2000 only 26,097 companies exhibited. That is 59 % growth over a period of five years. Looking back even further, the number since 1996 has more than doubled: Ten years ago, when the study was conducted for the first time, 18,220 companies exhibited. Over the years, it has been shown that as a general rule about half the exhibitors each year come from Hong Kong. The number of exhibitors from the Asia-Pacific region has more then doubled from 3297 in 1996 to 8202 in 2005. Whereas in 2000, 2000 exhibitors came from mainland China, that figure has now reached 7266.
In total, 595,192 m2 were sold. That compares with 253,896 m2 in 1996. Stanley Chu, chairman of the trade fair association in Hong Kong, is particularly pleased "that most events in the city have a truly international character". In the case of 46 of the 66 trade fairs participating in the survey, it was shown that 52 % of exhibitors and 50 % of visitors came from outside the city.
The city generates about EUR 1.9 billion through its trade fairs. An overseas exhibitor spends an average of EUR 2100 per trade fair visit on accommodation, shopping and dining. A visitor from outside Hong Kong leaves behind an average of EUR 1600. The trade fair sector is very much appreciated at the mouth of the Pearl River and the city intends to stay Asia's number one for trade fairs.

m+a report Nr.8 / 2006 vom 08.12.2006
m+a report vom 8. Dezember 2006