Annual HKECIA exhibition survey reaffirms Hong Kong’s leading position as Trade Fair Capital of Asia
26 June 2018

Annual HKECIA exhibition survey reaffirms Hong Kong’s leading position as Trade Fair Capital of Asia

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 2017. The survey data shows that Hong Kong’s exhibition industry has performed well over the year despite fierce competition from new facilities in the region. Key indicators of the survey, such as the number of exhibiting companies and the number of exhibition visitors, show encouraging growth year-on-year of 5.2% and 11.8% respectively. The results reaffirm Hong Kong’s leading position as the Trade Fair Capital of Asia.

In 2017, Hong Kong hosted a total of 135 exhibitions occupying at least 2,000 square metres of gross floor area. The 2017 HKECIA survey is based on the data collected from 78 respondents out of 87 “trade” and “trade and consumer” exhibitions. A further 48 exhibitions of this size were held during the year that were purely “consumer” exhibitions, and were not included in the survey.

Although the total number of “trade” and “trade and consumer” exhibitions held in Hong Kong fell slightly from 2016 to 2017 (from 91 to 87, a 4.4% decline), this was offset by a 5.2% rise in the total number of exhibiting companies across all responding exhibitions, to over 72,000. The number of exhibiting companies from two categories International and Mainland China performed especially well and grew by 12.6% and 20.2% respectively.

The rise in exhibiting companies was accompanied by a substantial rise in visitors, with visitor numbers for 2017 soaring by 11.8% to over 2,465,000 compared with the previous year. In fact, the numbers of visitor were up in all the key categories of Hong Kong, Regional, International and Mainland China, with the most significant rises being Regional visitors (up 27.7%) and Mainland Chinese visitors (up 29.6%).

From an economic perspective, total approximate stand revenues rose by almost 12% for the year to HK$3.8 billion, reflecting the rise in the number of exhibiting companies despite a small fall in the net square meterage. This data indicates continued strong demand for Hong Kong exhibition exposure on the part of exhibitors from near and far, and reinforces the continued importance of Hong Kong for companies and industries seeking high-level exposure in Asia.

Re-elected Chairman of the HKECIA, Mr Stuart Bailey, notes that Hong Kong clearly remains a favoured destination for exhibiting companies and visitors alike. Although the survey data supports the view that the current economic environment is favourable for exhibition activities, Mr Bailey cautions against any form of complacency. “The sign of a robust industry is that it is prepared for difficult times as well as good ones,” he says. “With the Hong Kong exhibition industry on the precipice of change, now is the time for all our industry partners to come together and prepare for the challenges that we know we will face in the coming years. We must have a strategy that clearly recognises the new future ahead.”

While realistically acknowledging the tough competition facing Hong Kong from regional competitors, Mr Bailey is confident that Hong Kong’s skills and achievements give it capabilities that more recent competitors just cannot match, so long as the industry pulls together and collaborates closely with government. “The latest survey shows our significant advantages,” he says, “and reinforces how much status Hong Kong has internationally as an exhibition destination. Now it is time to see how we can build on this to tap into the changes ahead. In particular, we view the Greater Bay Area as a huge opportunity. It is essential that we work closely with our government and mainland partners to ensure that Hong Kong’s role as a key MICE hub is fully understood and recognised. This in turn will help us maintain the momentum we have built up over many years.”

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 2017.
2. The HKECIA distributed the questionnaire to 52 organising companies which ran 135 exhibitions in Hong Kong across the calendar year. Out of these 135 exhibitions, 87 were ‘trade’ and ‘trade and consumer’ exhibitions while the remaining 48 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.

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.


1. Bailey Communications Hong Kong Limited (Mr Stuart Bailey) Chairman
2. Global Sources (Ms Wendy Lai)

Executive Vice


3. AMC (Exhibits) Ltd (Mr Adolph Chan) Vice Chairman
4. Comasia Ltd ( Mr Peter Cheung) Vice Chairman
5. Coastal International Exhibition Co Ltd (Ms Brenda Yau) Hon. Secretary
6. Schenker International (HK) Ltd (Mr Thomas Lau) Hon. Treasurer
7. Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd (Mr Stanley Chu) Hon. Life President
8. AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited (Ms Enid Low) Executive Committee Member
9. Baobab Tree Event Management Co Ltd (Ms Culsin Li) Executive Committee Member
10. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd (Ms Annamarie Myers) Executive Committee Member
11. CP Exhibition Ltd (Mr Andrew Kay) Executive Committee Member

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (Management) Ltd

(Ms Monica Lee-Muller)

Executive Committee Member
13. Hong Kong Tourism Board (Mr Kenneth Wong) Executive Committee Member
14. Hong Kong Trade Development Council (Mr Stephen Liang) Executive Committee Member
15. Milton Exhibits Group (Mr Peter Jung) Executive Committee   Member
16. Pico International (HK) Ltd (Mr Steven Fang) Executive Committee Member
17. TKS Exhibition Services Ltd (Mr KS Tong) Executive Committee Member
18. UBM Asia Ltd (Mr Michael Duck) Executive Committee Member
19. Ungerboeck Systems International Inc (Mr Alan Wong) Executive Committee Member
20. UBM Asia Ltd (Mr Daniel Cheung) Special Advisor

For further enquiries, please contact:

Ms Alexandra Seto

Association Manager

Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association