HKECIA prepared for business travel revival with annual conferencing

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The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (“HKECIA”) successfully held the annual conference on 1 June to update members of the latest industry information and trends.

The physical conference was hosted at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and was attended by over 130 members and non-members.  Aiming to update members and industry players of the latest industry trends and government’s plan to support tourism recovery, the conference opened with speeches from Mr Edward Yau, GBS, JP, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and Mr Stuart Bailey, the newly re-elected Chairman of HKECIA, followed by a presentation by Mr Dane Cheng, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) to share the up-to-date global tourism market outlook, HKTB’s overall strategy for the convention and exhibition industry, and plans for tourism recovery.

Conference participants were interested in the analysis of Hong Kong’s exhibition industry from the global and regional’s perspectives presented by Mr George Leung, CEO of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.  Mr Leung also shared insights on how Hong Kong’s exhibition industry could tap into the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, under the Mainland’s National 14th Five-Year Plan and could work together with local business community to lobby for the roadmap of enabling international business travelers to travel without restrictions.

The conference also covered the hottest topic of what NFTs are and how could NFTs be applied to the convention and exhibition industry.

Another highlight of the conference is the panel discussion among venue operator, event organiser and contractor about the journey to sustainable exhibitions in Hong Kong.

The HKECIA also hosted its Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) on 1 June 2022, from which the new term of the Executive Committee was elected.  The Chairman, Executive Vice Chairman, two Vice Chairman, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary were also appointed in the 1st Executive Committee Meeting following the AGM.  Mr Stuart Bailey is pleased to have been re-elected as the Chairman of the HKECIA for the fourth time.

At the AGM, members voted to rename the ‘Operations Subcommittee’ to become the ‘Sustainability and Operations Subcommittee’.  This new sub-committee will be tasked with identifying and measuring initiatives which target the reduction of waste and the reusing of materials in stand construction.  The new sub-committee will be working on an “HKECIA Sustainable Charter” in the coming year and which will invite members to sign as part of their commitment to being an agent for positive change.

Mr Bailey commented that Hong Kong’s exhibition and convention industry has survived another challenging year, the fact that there are still a hundred companies represented by HKECIA is a testament to the resilience and belief that Hong Kong will continue to play an important role as the super-connector between the Mainland and the rest of the world.

He said, “There is a huge appetite for largescale international events to resume but we need to have a plan that, with reasonable certainty, shows the international business community that they can travel without restriction or disruption.  Almost every other city in the region has already done away with mandatory quarantine periods, while Hong Kong, which now has achieved high immunity rates through vaccination and natural immunity, is still effectively isolated. We will continue to join other business associations and chambers of commerce to lobby the HKSAR government to lift these travel barriers.”

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