2018 HKECIA exhibition survey reflects strong foundation of Hong Kong’s exhibition industry despite US-China trade war
29 July 2019

2018 HKECIA exhibition survey reflects strong foundation of Hong Kong’s exhibition industry despite US-China trade war

The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) has released the latest in its series of annual surveys of the exhibition activities in Hong Kong, covering the calendar year 2018. The survey results show that Hong Kong’s exhibition industry remains steady, in terms of the number of “trade” and “trade & consumer” exhibitions, with a slight decrease in the number of participants.

In 2018, a total of 138 exhibitions (over 2,000 sqm) were held in Hong Kong, of these 68 were “trade” exhibitions, 20 were “trade and consumer” exhibition, and 50 were “consumer” exhibitions. The 2018 HKECIA survey is based on the data collected from 78 respondents out of 88 “trade” and “trade and consumer” exhibitions. “Consumer” exhibitions were not included in the survey.

In total, over 69,000 exhibiting companies and more than 2.3 million visitors participated in the “trade” and “trade & consumer” exhibitions in Hong Kong last year.

The total number of exhibiting companies fell by 3.9%. The numbers from Hong Kong, International and Mainland China dropped by single digit whereas the number from Regional rose by 11.7%. Overall visitors fell by 1.7% with all regions down in number apart from Mainland China from which visitor number increased slightly by 0.3%.

The drop off was mainly due to US-China trade war which started in the beginning of 2018; higher tariffs imposed by both countries have seen reducing demand for their products, taking into account that these nations are both the largest manufacturers and consumer markets in the world.

Chairman of the HKECIA, Mr Stuart Bailey, says, “Hong Kong exhibition industry has a strong foundation. Although economic data and the survey results reflect that the challenges faced by Hong Kong have been increasing, Hong Kong remains a favoured destination for exhibiting companies and visitors alike. The drop-off is in fact less than might have been anticipated.”

While realistically acknowledging the fact that apart from the US-China trade conflict, Hong Kong is also experiencing slower momentum of economic growth in Europe, uncertainties caused by Brexit and escalating geopolitical tensions of various regions, Mr Bailey is confident that Hong Kong’s exhibition industry can face these headwinds and ride out the storm together.

“We are fortunate that there are also new opportunities for us to grasp. The recently released Outline Development Plan for the Greater Bay Area reaffirms Hong Kong’s leading position in the exhibition industry and gives a clear direction of consolidating and enhancing Hong Kong’s status as an international high-end convention, exhibition and sourcing centre,” he adds, “building close ties with our counterparts from other cities in the Greater Bay Area while exporting Hong Kong’s expertise in organising high quality exhibitions will bring benefit to all parties.”

1. Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, HKSAR Government (fourth from left in front row) as the guest of honour, had a group photo with Mr Stuart Bailey, Chairman of the HKECIA (fourth from right in front row) and Executive Committee members at the 29th Annual Dinner of the Association held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 6 June.

2. Over 160 participants attended the HKECIA Annual Conference on 6 June and enjoyed insightful sharing by speakers covering topics such as AI technology, experiential marketing, technology and smart events, festivalisation.

3. Over 300 HKECIA members and guests attended the HKECIA 29th anniversary dinner at the HKCEC on 6 June.

Notes to editors:

1. The HKECIA survey covered number of exhibiting companies, number of visitors, space occupied and stand revenue at major ‘trade’ and ‘trade and consumer’ exhibitions of over 2,000 sqm held in Hong Kong from January to December 2018.
2. The HKECIA distributed the questionnaire to 53 organising companies which ran 138 exhibitions in Hong Kong across the calendar year. Out of these 138 exhibitions, 88 were ‘trade’ and ‘trade and consumer’ exhibitions while the remaining 50 were pure consumer exhibitions. Figures stated in this media release are calculated from 78 completed questionnaires from ‘trade’ and ‘trade and consumer’ exhibitions.
3. ‘Regional’ in the Survey refers to Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific, North Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. ‘International’ refers to Europe, The Americas, Africa and Middle East.
4. Attendance figures are counted in terms of number of visits, i.e. if the same person attends exhibitions held concurrently at two different venues, this is counted as two visits.
5. Post report revision – The numbers of visitors from Hong Kong, Regional, International and Mainland China in the 2017 Annual Exhibition Survey have been adjusted. The total number of visitors after amendment is 2,389,000.

About the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association

The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) was established in 1990 to promote Hong Kong as a world-class exhibition and conference destination and the trade fair capital of Asia Pacific. It works to represent the interests of all members involved in the exhibition and convention industries, and provides a unified voice in dealing with the government, legislative and statutory bodies, the media and public organisations, on all matters associate with the role of the exhibition and convention industry in Hong Kong’s economy. In addition, it offers training and educational programmes, and collects, analyses and distributes information and statistics relating to the industry. Currently, HKECIA has over 100 members including exhibition organisers, venue managers and operators, contractors, hotels, and travel agents.

HKECIA is a member of UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and AFECA – The Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations.


For further enquiries, please contact:

Ms Alexandra Seto

Association Manager

Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association