I am excited to begin the Chairman’s report by announcing very encouraging growth figures resulting from our annual Exhibition Survey. In 2010, the number of trade exhibitions, visitors, exhibiting companies and space taken all showed significant increase, some with double digit percentage.
During the year, Hong Kong hosted 118 major exhibitions, out of which 94 were trade shows. Over 648,000 visitors from outside of Hong Kong attended trade exhibitions, representing an increase of over 13% from 2009. This significant leap was fuelled by a strong comeback of international visitors by 18%, surpassing the pre-financial crisis level. While the total number of exhibiting companies only showed a modest increment of 2% to 56,800, the increment of total space occupied, however, was a remarkable 10%, signifying that many companies were taking larger booth areas than before. This was a clear demonstration of the confidence of exhibiting companies from worldwide to business potential presented by Hong Kong trade shows.
While we are happy to see Mainland companies investing heavily in our shows, it is clear that Hong Kong remains an important global sourcing hub. Our international business partners have returned after a short lived dent, demonstrating time proven effectiveness of Hong Kong trade exhibitions as their business platform. With such positive indicators, the Association has full confidence that trade exhibitions in Hong Kong will continue to flourish and they city’s leading role in the industry will remain.
This year, AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE), Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) have teamed up again to undertake an Economic Impact Study. This study will be based on 2010 survey figures and will assess overall contribution of the local exhibition industry to Hong Kong’s economy. The study results will be ready in the third quarter this year.
As the only body representing the exhibition and convention industries in Hong Kong, HKECIA formulates positions on issues relating to the industry and expresses views through different channels. The Association communicates members’ concerns and updates of industry development regularly with the Hong Kong SAR Government with regard to promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s Trade Fair Capital.
During the past year, the Association has submitted a proposal to the HKSAR Government regarding the development of the West Kowloon site and proposed to the authority to include convention space in the site. The Association successfully appealed to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau regarding the Review on Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance for adopting the “Opt Out” mechanism against the “Opt-In” option which would affect B2B marketing activities by many of our exhibition organisers.
With regards to the assessment of the effectiveness of CEPA, HKECIA has submitted a paper to the HKSAR Government voicing out the inadequate support of CEPA to the Hong Kong’s exhibition industry.
HKECIA will continue to provide input and support to ensure effectiveness of the promotion programmes of MEHK for attracting and assisting event organisers, exhibitors and buyers to Hong Kong.
The Association has come into an agreement with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) that they will foster closer collaboration with private organisers for promoting Hong Kong exhibitions through disseminating industry-related & event information through hktdc.com, their SME Centre and overseas offices; organising education seminars to keep Hong Kong companies abreast of the opportunities offered by trade fairs; and organising image-building and B2B promotions through publicity campaigns and overseas/mainland promotions.
During the year under review, co-operation MOUs 合作协议 have been signed with the Beijing Chaoyang District 北京朝阳区 and also with the Hainan Province Convention & Exhibition Industry Association 海南省会展协会. A meeting was held between the Chairmen of the Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao Association 穗港澳会展协会会长联席会议 to discuss further co-operation and the 2011 Forum. HKECIA members met with the Jiangsu exhibition industry delegation 江苏会展企业代表团for industry information exchange and attended the Exhibition and Convention Economic Forum organised by The Haizhu District Government in Guangzhou 广州(海珠(琶洲)会展经济论坛.
The Sub-committee contributed their time and efforts significantly to the Annual Exhibition Survey. They continued to support HKECIA’s media relations and promotional activities in compiling information and arranging media interviews; preparing speeches for the Launching events in HK, China Seminarand the Hong Kong hosted lunch at the annual congress in Singapore; and providing input for the HKECIA yearly leaflet.
Education & Training Sub-committee
HKECIA continued to support the Professional Diploma in MICE & Event Management Course by Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Sub-Committee is also looking into more training opportunities for members. A Social Media Seminar, in conjunction with the member’s Christmas cocktail, was organised in December 2010 by the Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee assisted the Chinese University in organising an Executive in-Resident Programme for Convention, Exhibition & Event Management.
Exhibition Operations Sub-Committee
The major concerns for the Sub-Committee are work safety and environmental protection.
A “Guide to Health & Safety in the HK Exhibition and Convention Industry”, drawn up with input from the HK Labour Dept, was introduced and is available through the HKECIA website. The launch of the “Green Card” training and accreditation system for contractors (mandatory since 1 June 2010) has been a great success. Enforcement of the Green Card requirement has also resulted in mainland contractors employing local (green card) labour.
The Sub-Committee continues to raise awareness of environmental issues among members. In particular, Organisers are strongly recommended to lower stand height limits, reducing accidents and the amount of raw materials disposed of into HK landfills. The Sub-Committee will continue to explore more environmentally-friendly materials and working practices, and how more recycling can take place after each event. Environmental guidelines are also available on the HKECIA website.
HKECIA has entered its 21st year since its incorporation in May 1990. The Association now has 102 members including 53 full members, 37 associate members and 12 overseas members, making it a truly representative voice for our exhibition and convention industry. I believe we all should be very proud of the development and the contribution from our industry to Hong Kong's economy over the years.
TRADE PROMOTION, COMMUNICATION & NETWORKING ACTIVITIES
In addition to receiving delegations from China, HKECIA has organised and participated in the following activities.
Launching events in HK, China Seminar– In conjunction with the Global Event Summit (GES) held in London in September 2010, MEHK organised a half-day seminar in partnership with Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO), China Association of Exhibition Centres (CAEC) & GES. Mr. Stanley Chu, Honorary Life President, presented an overview of the Hong Kong exhibition industry at the meeting.
Hangzhou InterExpo – In January 2011, 11 members participated in the Hong Kong Pavilion with an area of 54 sqm. Mr. Daniel Cheung, Chairman was invited to take part in the panel discussion at CEFCO on exhibition co-operation initiatives across the border.
Macao Fam Visit– This was the fourth year that our Members were invited by Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) to visit Macau in October 2010. 37 members joined the visit. The two-day programme included a tour to various new hotels and the Macau Science Museum; a lunch hosted by MGTO and a dinner hosted by MIF; attended the MIF opening and visited the exhibition; and watching the show “The House of Dancing Water” at City of Dreams. Many members reflected that it was a fruitful and an enjoyable visit.
UFI Annual Congress – At the October 2010 UFI Annual Congress held in Singapore, representing HKECIA, Mr. Stanley Chu gave a speech at the lunch reception hosted by Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and HKEICA with 400 delegates attended.
Social Media Seminar cum Members Cocktail – The combined event held in December 2010 was very successful with 100 members attended.
APPEAL FOR CONCERTED EFFORTS TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES
We all agree that to sustain Hong Kong's leading position in the region, we need a better cooperation within the industry and more support from the Government. The Executive Committee will continue to work on more cooperation opportunities with Commerce & Economic Development Bureau (CEDB), HKTDC, Tourism Commission and HKTB.
Having worked in the industry for so many years, it has been always my desire to contribute my knowledge and ideas to the Association and the industry. I do encourage members to contribute some of their time and input to industry-related issues and activities.
To end my report, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all Executive Committee members for their input, tremendous support, and contribution to the Association.
Last but not least, I would like to appeal for the solidarity of the Hong Kong’s exhibition and convention industry, especially in the time of challenges, to work together on maintaining our leading position in the region and for a better future.
Chairman, (2010-2012) HKECIA