Hong Kong’s exhibition scene has demonstrated how the city has managed to cultivate business under the new normal. The Hong Kong Book Fair, the largest of its kind in the city, returned in July 2021 with more than 830,000 visitors, around 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic level.
The success of the fair comes on the heels of Hong Kong topping the charts in The Economist’s “Global Normalcy Index”. Hong Kong’s response to the pandemic and stringent hygiene measures has enabled the city to resume large scale conferences, fairs, and exhibitions with great success.
Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), said, “This year’s Hong Kong Book Fair attracted more than 830,000 visits over its seven-day run. The gradual recovery of the local economy will lead to the return of more physical public shows, and that the HKTDC is preparing to stage more exhibitions to give a further boost to the recovery.”
The enthusiastic attendance of the Hong Kong Book Fair highlights that Hong Kong is ready to host large-scaled business events. The success also serves as an encouraging sign for the even stronger line-up of exhibitions for the rest of the year, with over 30 exhibitions scheduled for Q3 alone.
Anticipated exhibitions include the 2021 Hong Kong Brands & Products Shopping Festival and the Puppy Summer Fun Expo in August, both debuting at AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE); the 16th MICE Travel Expo & 35th International Travel Expo, Informa’s HOFEX and Jewellery & Gem World Hong Kong, and the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair at the HKCEC.
World-class venues investing to set new standards
In a HK$600 million (£55 million) refurbishment, AWE has equipped its venue with comprehensive hardware upgrades, including enhanced technology and connectivity to be the first in Hong Kong’s MICE industry to offer Wi-Fi 6, a brand-new movable hybrid meeting booth Mobile Studio, and an advanced ozone disinfection system to give venue users greater peace of mind.
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has also created a high-tech space, Harbour Studio, for staging online programmes against the spectacular backdrop of Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour, while its Five-year Advancement Project is progressing steadily to provide elevated experience to event organisers, exhibitors and visitors in the long term.
Hong Kong has proved that normalcy is borne out by how the exhibition industry quickly adapts to new norms, redefining the events for the future. With the fast-changing environment, Hong Kong continues to evolve to stay ahead, referencing the city’s recipe for success in putting hard work into practice, so that organisers and visitors can plan at ease for their next business events back in Hong Kong.