On the heels of Hong Kong topping the charts in The Economist’s ‘Global Normalcy Index’, the vibrancy in the city’s exhibition scene is demonstrating how Hong Kong continues cultivating business under the new normal —the Hong Kong Book Fair, the city’s largest annual fair, returned with fanfare this July with more than 830,000 visits recorded, about 85 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels, all under a new standard of stringent hygiene and seamless operations.
“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,” said Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
The enthusiastic attendance of the Hong Kong Book Fair manifests 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 in this quarter.
Strong line-up of events in Q3, double to that of Q2
Boosted by the momentum of the vibrant physical event scene in the second quarter, over 30 exhibitions have been scheduled in Q3, almost double the number of exhibitions in Q2.
The highly-anticipated large-scale events are set to return in Q3 – 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.
“AWE is excited about the return of some of the city’s largest events starting in August and we are well-prepared with the latest hygiene enhancement and facilities upgrade to welcome everyone with top-notch experiences,” said Irene Chan, CEO of AWE.
World-class venues investing to set new standards
In a HK$600 million (US$77.4 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.
HKCEC, which has been hosting well-attended exhibitions and conferences since January this year, 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.
Asia’s world city 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.
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