The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA), first incorporated in May 1990, is now in its 24thyear. The Association currently has 112members, making it a truly representative voice for our convention and exhibition industries. Our commitment over the years has been to represent and promote the industry with a unified voice, and to support members in areas such as professional development, business networking and information exchange.
The results of our HKECIA Annual Exhibition Survey for 2013 were recently announced. The survey shows that the Hong Kong exhibition industry achieved steady, moderate growth over 2013. Exhibitor numbers, visitor numbers, and rental revenue generated from exhibitions were all positive. I would again like to thank the Communications Sub-Committee and all those of our members who provided data, for making this important study possible.
In June 2013, HKECIA hosted the 6thGuangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao Exhibition Industry Cooperation Forum. We will continue to work closely with our colleagues from Guangzhou and Macao, and encourage members to take advantage of this valuable knowledge exchange and networking opportunity.
In my capacity as HKECIA Chairman, I continued to sit on various advisory committees and working groups set up by the Government during the year. Through these channels, I was able to share opinions and concerns from within our industry with Government officials and representatives of related industries.
During the year, HKECIA actively participated in major exhibition activities taking place in the Mainland, and in particular the annual CEFCO event. We also held regular meetings of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau exhibition alliances, which have helped promote greater cooperation between exhibition companies in the three regions.
In view of the importance of the Shanghai exhibition industry to our members, the China Committee has been closely monitoring changes in the Shanghai market triggered by the construction of the new 500,000 sqm China Exhibition Complex in the Hongqiao district.
After successfully handling the extensive work associated with producing the 5thedition of the Economic Impact Study in 2013, as well as managing the Annual Exhibition Survey this year, the sub-committee has kept up a busy round of activities. These have included providing valuable support to the Association in areas such as media relations, press interviews and chairman’s speeches.
This sub-committee successfully organised the annual HKECIA Seminar in December, which attracted over 120 participants. The package deal that offered members a substantial discount for taking part in both the annual seminar and Christmas cocktail reception was continued, helping boost attendance at both events. At a more general level, the sub-committee made attempts during the year to engage in co-operative endeavours with various universities with the aim of promoting our industry to students there.
The focus of this sub-committee is to make working practices safer for all of those involved in the build-up, dismantling and running of Hong Kong events. The sub-committee is also tasked with minimising the environmental impact of these events. In the year, the sub-committee ran health and safety training courses, circulated detailed guidance concerning international safety procedure standards, and enhanced worker accreditation through the “green card” scheme, which is now in place.
The sub-committee continued to emphasise the “3Rs” – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – and remind members of the environmental impact of events and the critical capacity situation of Hong Kong’s landfills. Here again, I would ask all parties involved in our industry to critically examine the processes that go into the promotion and running of events, and look at ways of reducing their environmental impact.
The Membership Sub-committee is heavily involved in organising networking opportunities for members, as well as supporting Association events such as the annual dinner and seminars. It also handles all membership issues; as at the time of writing, the Association has 71 full members, 31 associate members and 10 overseas members, making a total of 112. In 2013, the sub-committee helped organise our “Christmas networking cocktail and industry seminar” event, attended by 125 members, and our Annual Dinner, attended by 315 members and their guests.
The Association has been actively involved in a number of valuable activities over the year, and I would like to mention some of the most significant here.
In June 2013, our AGM was held as part of the 23rdHKECIA Annual Dinner & the 6thGuangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao Exhibition Industry Cooperation Forum at the Regal Airport Hotel, with 315 members in attendance.
In October 2013, 19 HKECIA members and 91 delegates from companies in Ningbo attended the Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum 2013 – Exhibition Industry Session. One outcome was that the Ningbo Exhibition & Convention Office passed on a wish-list of JV projects and details of a government incentive scheme to all HKECIA members. Also in October, a total of 27 HKECIA member companies joined the Macao Fam Tour, and benefited from IPIM’s offer for HKECIA members to attend the MIF welcome dinner and opening ceremony.
In November, a Golf Tour at Sai Kung Kau Sai Chau was held, made up of 3 flights with 12 people.Also in November, in my capacity as HKECIA Chairman, I delivered a speech at the UFI Congress, Seoul, Korea, attended by over 420 participants.
December was the occasion for the HKECIA Annual Seminar cum Christmas Cocktail Reception at the HKCEC, with 125 members attending this function. The seminar topic was “Nimble Exhibition Marketing – The Power of Data”, and four speakers from overseas were specially invited to the seminar by the HKECIA.
In February 2014, the HKECIA held its Spring Dinner at a seafood restaurant in Lei Yu Mun, attended by 78 members.
Finally, at the end of February, 21 HKECIA members attended the 7thGuangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao Exhibition Industry Cooperation Forum in Guangzhou.
Hong Kong enjoys a leading position in the region, but this is not something we should take for granted. To maintain our supremacy, we need to work on building better cooperation within the industry, and getting more support from the Government. To this end, our Executive Committee will continue to explore opportunities for cooperation with the Commerce & Economic Development Bureau, the HKTDC, the Tourism Commission, and the HKTB.
The second of my two terms as Chairman of the HKECIA (2010-2014) is now drawing to a close, and I would like to finish by expressing my utmost gratitude to my colleagues at the Association, and in particular to my fellow Executive Committee members for the consistent support they have offered me.
Though stepping down as Chairman, I am delighted to be staying on the Executive Committee in the new term, enabling me to continue serving the Association and the industry. As I step down, I would ask all of you to provide your warmest support for our new Chairman, Mr Javed Khan.
Daniel Cheung – Chairman (2012-14), HKECIA
30 May, 2014