The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) today announced the results of its annual exhibition survey for the year 2015.
Mr Gregory So, 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 newly elected members of HKECIA Executive Committee at the 26th Annual Dinner of the Association held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 8 June.
The survey, which presents a valuable snapshot of the state of the Hong Kong exhibition industry, revealed a positive year for the industry in 2015. The total number of companies choosing to exhibit in Hong Kong rose slightly, following strong attendance from Mainland China and International exhibitors. At the same time, visitor numbers rose by almost 13% over 2014, led by a return of Hong Kong visitors and a solid rise in visitors from China.
Given the social and economic uncertainties of 2015 and their wider effects on the Hong Kong economy, the survey indicates that the exhibition industry remains robust. Hong Kong clearly remains a favoured destination for exhibitors and visitors alike, and continues to build on its wide reputation as the Trade Fair Capital of Asia.
The survey was based on the results of questionnaires sent to 89 “trade” and “trade & consumer” exhibitions utilising 2,000 sqm of floor space or above. Responses from 77 “trade” and “trade and consumer” exhibitions were received. Purely “consumer” exhibitions were not included in the results.
Over 130 participants attended the Global Exhibitions Day Conference on 8 June.
In 2015, the number of companies choosing to exhibit in Hong Kong rose to 67,019, from 66,164 the previous year, a relatively modest rise of 1.29%. Although this figure was moderated by a downturn in Hong Kong exhibiting companies, Regional, International and Mainland China exhibiting companies all showed increases. Healthy growth of 6.02% in International exhibiting companies and 8.40% in Mainland China exhibiting companies were highlights of the survey.
Visitor numbers showed slightly different but similarly positive trends. Despite the previously noted downturn in Hong Kong exhibiting companies, the number of Hong Kong-based visitors jumped by an impressive 19.78%, followed by good growth in Mainland China visitor numbers at 9.36%. Meanwhile, Regional and International visitor numbers each recorded minor dips after particularly strong growth the previous year. In total, visitor numbers for the year broke the two million mark and recorded strong overall growth of 12.92%.
After a drop the previous year, in 2015 net meterage occupied by exhibitors rose again by 2.59%, reaching 920,903 sqm. Growth in net meterage is generally a sign of business optimism, and this was reflected too in the approximate stand rental revenues for the year, which rose by 5.31% over 2014.
Chairman of the HKECIA, Mr Stuart Bailey, said that the survey results were heartening for the industry and for Hong Kong, too. “When we see exhibiting company numbers, visitor numbers, net square meterage occupied by exhibiting companies and stand rental revenue all achieving positive growth,” he noted, “we can be confident that the exhibition industry in Hong Kong is on the right track. This is especially the case when times are tight, as they have been for the past couple of years.”
Over 340 HKECIA members and guests attended the HKECIA 26th anniversary dinner at the HKCEC on 8 June.
Of special note is the fact that exhibiting companies from outside Hong Kong increased strongly, indicating international confidence in the trade platforms that Hong Kong is able to provide for both buyers and sellers, and the spending power that can be harnessed here. That is supported by the equivalent rises in visitors from both Hong Kong and Mainland China.
In fact, exhibition activities in terms of number of exhibitors and visitors actually outperformed tourist arrivals in 2015. “These are results that strongly reaffirm Hong Kong’s leading position and unique advantages as Trade Fair Capital of Asia,” said Mr Bailey. “Through these exhibition activities, the city continues to act as one of the world’s most important sourcing hubs”.
The 2015 exhibition survey is just one of the important tasks undertaken by the HKECIA, an organisation made up of representatives from across the exhibition and convention industries. To celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Association, on 8 June 2016 an anniversary dinner was held at the HKCEC, attended by over 340 members and guests. Mr GregorySo, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of HKSAR Government, was Guest of Honour on the occasion.
The HKECIA also organised the Global Exhibitions Day Conference on 8 June 2016, in support of the first ever Global Exhibitions Day, driven by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) to highlight the exhibition industry’s benefits for the economy and the fun of working in the industry. Over 130 HKECIA members and non-members attended the Global Exhibitions Day Conference with the theme of China’s Belt & Road Initiative. The new initiative proposed by the PRC government aims to connect Asia, Europe and Africa to promote economic co-operation among countries along the five Belt and Road routes.