The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) has entered its 23rd year since incorporating in May 1990. Up till now, the Association has 116 members, making it a truly representative voice for our convention and exhibition industries. Over the years, we are committed to represent and promote the industry in a unified voice and support members in professional development, business networking and information exchange.
The Government has identified Exhibition and Convention, together with Tourism, as one of the four growth sectors which present opportunities for Hong Kong's further economic growth. I believe we should all be very proud that Exhibition and Convention Industry plays an important role and its contribution to Hong Kong's economy is indispensable over the past 2 decades.
The HKECIA Annual Exhibition Survey has just been completed in May. The survey shows a steady trend in Hong Kong exhibition industry in 2012. The number of exhibitions held in 2012 was 145, which was the same as in 2011. The number of visitors from Mainland China and the rental revenue generated from exhibitors in Mainland China continue to grow positively. We are in the process of conducting more analysis of the data and will release them in the near future. I'd like to thank the contribution of the Communications Sub-committee, as well as all the members who have provided data to make the study possible.
The biennial Economic Impact Study for 2012 is now underway and would be ready by this September. Thank in advance to AsiaWorld-Expo Management Ltd., Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Ltd., Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong Trade Development Council for their continued support and kind sponsorship of the Study.
The Association continues to support the infrastructural development of Hong Kong and represents the voice of the industry. Mr. Stanley Chu, our Honorary Life President and my-self are serving at the Exhibition Centre sub-committee of West Kowloon Cultural Districtdevelopment for the second term.
This year, our members, namely Mr. Stanley Chu of Adsale Exhibition Services Limited, Mr. Michael Duck of UBM Asia Limited, Mr. Allen Ha of AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited, Ms. Monica Lee- Müller of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited and myself were appointed by the Chief Executive of HKSARG to join the Working Group on Convention and Exhibition Industries and Tourism, under the Economic Development Commission on a personal basis for a 2-year term with effective from January. Our voice is further reaffirmed to provide visionary direction and advice to the Government on the overall strategy and policy to broaden Hong Kong's economic base and economic growth. The Association will review areas where Hong Kong Trade Development Council would further help to promote the industry and continue to provide input and support to ensure the effectiveness of the promotion initiatives of Meetings & Exhibitions HK of the Hong Kong Tourism Board for attracting and assisting event organizers, exhibitors and buyers to Hong Kong.
In support of the Government's initiative, the sub-committee organized a seminar on "Government Dedicated Fund (BUD Fund) on Brand Promotion in China: Winning Application, Effective Brand Promotion" in September last year. The Association received official delegations/officials of Wuhan CCPIT in January, China Foreign Trade Centre in February, and Beijing International Trade in Services Centre in August.
I already mentioned that the Sub-committee contributed their great effort in the Annual Exhibition Survey and the upcoming Economic Impact Study. In addition, they continued to support in media relations, press interview, market studies and research.
Education & Training Sub-committee
As our industry depends highly on recruiting talented personnel, we continue to co-organize the Professional Diploma in MICE & Event Management Course with the Hong Kong Productivity Council. The Sub-committee also helped organize the annual HKECIA seminar and Christmas cocktail, which was a great success.
Exhibition Operations Sub-Committee
The main focus of the Sub-Committee remains the improvement of working practices on-site, making the exhibitions safer for all parties involved, and addressing the environmental impact of exhibitions. On the subject of environment, the 3 Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, remain key points as it is the industry's ultimate goal to reduce the amount of exhibition-related waste which ends up in the landfills after each event. An internationally-accredited Health & Safety course was held in June 2012 and another, which was more condensed and Chinese speaking, was held in January.
The sub-committee focuses on creating networking opportunities for members and support Association's events like annual dinner and seminar. Since the last AGM, 1 Associate Member upgraded its status as Associate Member, 1 Overseas Member upgraded its status to Full Member, and 11 companies joined as new members. This made the total number of members to 116, including 71 full members, 35 associate members and 10 overseas members.
TRADE PROMOTION, COMMUNICATION & NETWORKING ACTIVITIES
In addition to receiving delegations from Mainland China, HKECIA has organized and participated in the following activities. The 22nd HKECIA Annual Dinner in June last year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre which was attended by 370 members and guests, the 2nd largest event after the 20th Anniversary Dinner in 2010. The 5th Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao Convention & Exhibition Industry Cooperation Forum was held in October in Macao. 32 members attended the Forum. A 32 member-delegation participated in the 2-day Macau Fam visit in October. The program, organized by MGTO, included a site inspection tour, the opening of the 17th Macau International Trade & Investment Fair and the 5th Guangzhou / Hong Kong / Macao Convention & Exhibition Industry Cooperation Forum.
Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and HKECIA jointly hosted the business lunch session at UFI Annual Congress 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE in November. It was attended by 475 UFI members from 50 countries.
The annual HKECIA Seminar cum Christmas Cocktail Reception was held at AsiaWorld-Expo in December. The combined event attracted some 200 members and guests. The reception was held in conjunction with the launch ceremony of Runway 11 of AsiaWorld-Expo, HKECIA Golf Day was held in January at Kau Sai Chau, with a participation of 19 members.
9 HKECIA members attended the 9th China Expo Forum for International Cooperation (CEFCO) in Chongqing in January. 23 HKECIA members attended the 8 th edition of UFI Open Seminar in Asia in Jakarta in February, taking advantage of the Association's early bird discount on registration fee.
Initiated by the China sub-committee of HKECIA, a seminar on "Government Dedicated Fund (BUD Fund) on Brand Promotion in China: Winning Application, Effective Brand Promotion" was held in September, with an attendance of 50 members. 19 members attended IOSH Managing Safety course in June. A more condensed, Cantonese speaking 2-day IOSH "Risk Management" course was held in January, with an attendance of 19. Both courses were made possible by the great coordination of the Exhibition Operation sub-committee.
In my capacity as HKECIA Chairman, I have spoken at quite a good number of local and overseas seminars and interviewed by local and Mainland China media to promote the Hong Kong exhibition industry.
APPEAL FOR CONCERTED EFFORTS TO OVERCOME CHALLENGES
With the volatile economic outlook, the coming few years would be of great challenge to us. 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.
I also encourage members to raise and discuss issues concerning the interests and the development of the industry through the channels offered by the Association. Only by doing so could we present constructive and practical recommendations to the government and policy makers.
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. We need full cooperation within the industry.
Daniel Cheung - Chairman (2012-14), HKECIA
7 June, 2013