Cover Story - Convention centres to watch
ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Sitting on the banks of River Torrens and surrounded by lush greenery, the Adelaide Convention Centre is a refreshing venue for business events in the heart of Adelaide’s city centre.
Opened in 1987, the centre is undergoing an extensive phased redevelopment to ensure it answers event needs today and into the future.
The first phase – West Building – started operations in March 2015, just as the original plenary building was demolished to make way for the East Building, slated for completion in 2017, in time for the International Astronautical Congress in September.
Extending westwards over the railway lines to link with Morphett Street Bridge and with its own entrance, the West Building houses the Panorama Ballroom which can sit 1,000 pax for a conference and be divided into three smaller spaces; a multi-functional hall that can be sub-divided into six configurations, thanks to the use of large retractable lighting grids that allow even ceiling heights to be adjusted; and a mobile plenary facility for up to 3,500 people.
What’s new Phase two expansion – the construction of East Building – is proceeding as planned. It celebrated its ‘topping out’ milestone in January last year, and its bronze-colour, zinc façade has been unveiled. It will have capacity for 3,500 people.
BRISBANE CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE, QUEENSLAND
The successful host venue for the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is located on Brisbane’s South Bank, also home to the Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Museum, among many other major attractions.
Operated by AEG Ogden, BCEC features 44 meeting rooms, with capacity for eight to 8,000 delegates and an ability to support five concurrent conferences. In addition, there are three stand-alone auditoria and 20,000m2 of exhibition space.
What’s new BCEC unveiled its Great Hall’s A$1.5 million (US$1.15 million) makeover in February 2016, which features new tiered seating, carpets and lighting, and a fresh colour palette in hues of purple. Also in February, the Centre launched a new brand with ‘Next Level’ as the focus of its messaging as well as a mobile friendly website for conference organisers on the go.
SHENYANG NEW WORLD EXPO, LIAONING
The Shenyang New World EXPO offers 24,000m2 of exhibition space in the form of two halls, and 4,000m2 of meeting and conference space in the form of a convention hall and 17 meeting rooms.
Its has a Venue Services & Safety Department that tackles front line relations, venue safety, crowd management and security.
It is also directly connected to an underground train station, two hotels and a 260,000m2 shopping mall.
What’s new Officially opened in March 2017, the Shenyang New World EXPO is the newest venue to in northeast China. Being new has its benefits – it boasts modern technology of world standards.
Months ahead of its official opening, a special arrangement was made for the venue to host the 2016 Annual National Planning Conference in September, the annual meeting of the Urban Planning Society of China.
ZHENGZHOU INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE, HENAN
There are six levels of multi-purpose function space at the Zhengzhou International Convention and Exhibition Centre (ZZICEC), offering 60,800m2 of space. In its inventory is the Grand Hall, which can seat 3,160 people theatre-style, the International Theatre for 1,090 people, two theatres for 400 people each, 17 meeting rooms of varied sizes, VIP reception rooms, a Chinese restaurant, a Western restaurant and a cafe.
ZZICEC is able to provide simultaneous interpretation for up to eight languages.
What’s new The signage system that supports event information and commercial advertisements was upgraded to LED.
LAVASA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE, MAHARASHTRA
Lavasa International Convention Centre (LICC) is a convention facility at the planned cosmopolitan city of Lavasa, near Pune. It is spread over 6,070m2 of land, with 3,300m2 available for conventions. Event spaces are pillar-less and boast vibrant interiors to break the monotony of long conferences. The lakeside foyer adds to the leisurely ambience of the centre.
LICC is able to support exotic themes and has its own hospitality specialists to help clients execute events of varied nature.
What’s new LICC now offers a steadfast Cisco tele-presence facility, eight language simulcast interpretation console, ceiling mounted high definition cameras for live web-casting, video conferencing facility, a wide network of floor points for video projection, telephone, Internet and sound outputs, ceiling mounted dropdown screen and a network of ceiling mounted speaker system.
NOVOTEL MANADO GOLF RESORT AND CONVENTION CENTRE, NORTH SULAWESI
Novotel Manado Golf Resort and Convention Centre, part of the Grand Kawanua International City in Manado, is a modern architecture with state-of-the-art conference facilities. The 2,226m2 Grand Kawanua Ballroom can accommodate up to 2,500 people and be divided into three smaller spaces, while the 555m2 Junior Ballroom is suitable for 400 people and be divided into four meetings rooms.
What’s new It now offers high-speed wired and wireless Internet connectivity in the lobby and ballrooms, as well as LCD projectors and sound systems.
Website www.novotelmanado.com/ www.accorhotels.com/7342
SKA CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER, SUMATRA
Recognised by its shorter name, ska Co Ex sits in a business district in Pekanbaru and is managed by Swiss-Belhotel International. It houses a 2,119m2 multifunctional ballroom that can be converted into four smaller function rooms, five mid-sized function rooms for 100 to 200 guests, and luxurious facilities for VIP guests such as a suite, a separate VIP elevator and butler services.
What’s new A Chinese restaurant will open soon.
SENDAI INTERNATIONAL CENTER, TOHOKU
The Sendai International Center offers two halls and 12 conference rooms across three floors as well as outdoor facilities that can be used by both event delegates and the general public. All feature modern events equipment.
The main halls span 1,150m2 and can seat 1,000 people. They also provide simultaneous interpretation facility for up to six languages.
Other facilities include an information centre and a cafe on the ground level.
A key advantage of the Sendai International Center is its convenient location. It is four minutes by subway from Sendai Station, which itself is 90 minutes from Tokyo by bullet train.
What’s new The centre was substantially upgraded in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, although Sendai was largely spared from the disaster. The largest addition to the centre is the year-old exhibition hall while the newly opened Tozai Subway line, which puts a station adjacent to the centre, has helped to improve the venue’s access.
BORNEO CONVENTION CENTRE KUCHING, SARAWAK
Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on the Kuching Isthmus can host major international conventions for up to 5,000 delegates, exhibitions of up to 787 booths and smaller events. The pillar-free Great Hall is complemented by 14 meeting rooms, extensive registration and foyer space, and a world-class restaurant, The Raintree, which can customise menus and offers catering services.
What’s new Since early 2016, BCCK has complemented its traditional event venues with a catamaran that is perfect for social gatherings. Named Sayang Sarawak, the vessel can accommodate up to 40 people in theatre-style on the lower deck and 30 people in cocktail fashion on the upper deck. Event packages and catering services can be customised.
Organisers hiring Sayang Sarawak have a choice of two routes, from Kuching Waterfront to BCCK and from the Isthmus jetty up to the mouth of the Sarawak River.
SPICE CONVENTION CENTRE, PENANG
SPICE Convention Centre is one of five key components making up the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre (SPICE), an integrated development by local developer, S P Setia Group.
Its 4,546m2 Grand Ballroom on the subterranean floor is suitable for large events, and can be divided into four smaller spaces via operable wall partition. The ballroom can seat 8,000 people theatre-style, and is supported by two VIP serviced rooms and 13 smaller function rooms, both on the lower and ground floors. Atop SPICE Convention Centre is a rooftop park, a 2.8-hectare ‘green lung’ that can be used for outdoor events, weather permitting.
What’s new Opened in March 2017, centre is Penang’s first dedicated business event space of this scale.
HENANN ALONA BEACH RESORT CONVENTION CENTER, BOHOL
The three-storey convention centre is the first venue of its kind in Bohol province, offering conference capacity for up to 1,000 pax or cocktail parties for 1,500 guests. It also has 13 breakout rooms and meeting rooms for 30 to 90 people each.
Unlike most convention centres, Henann Alona Beach Resort Convention Center adopts a resort setting on the beachfront. It will become more accessible once Panglao’s international airport begins operations within the next few years.
What’s new It opened in 2015 as part of the 400-room luxury Henann Resort in Panglao, Bohol.
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER KAOHSIUNG
Located in a downtown area with many five-star hotels and local restaurants, the International Convention Center Kaohsiung welcomes events of all sizes, from meetings for 20 people to conferences for 1,800 people. It can also house 460 exhibition booths.
The centre’s exhibition hall allows for multi-level booths and elaborate displays, while conference halls has movable partitions.
What’s new It upgraded its air-conditioning system this year, and brought in new safety features such as the addition of a wall between escalators on the first and third floors for enhanced fire prevention.
KAOHSIUNG EXHIBITION CENTER
The waterfront Kaohsiung Exhibition Center features 25,000m² of indoor and outdoor event spaces. These comprise two 9,000m2 halls, a conference venue for up to 4,000 people, VIP rooms and a press centre. Simultaneous interpretation services and free Wi-Fi are available.
What’s new Kaohsiung Exhibition Center implemented the Event Sustainability Management System (ISO 20121) in April 2016. To successfully obtain this certification by the end of 2016, the venue contributed to three dimensions of sustainability – economic, environmental and social.
Recent hardware enhancements include lighting and air-conditioning upgrades in the conference hall, and a landscaping project.
AVANI KHON KAEN HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTRE
A four-star, 196-room hotel located in the heart of the growing Khon Kaen city, Khon Kaen province, Avani Khon Kaen Hotel and Convention Centre offers a range of flexible spaces for meetings of up to 2,000 people. The main convention centre houses eight function rooms across 4,000m2, and opens up to a pre-function area, gardens and pool. These spaces can be further split into smaller rooms to suit the event.
What’s new The biggest change recently has been ownership. As of July 1 last year, the hotel and convention centre previously operated by Centara became part of Minor Hotels Group and was rebranded as an Avani property.
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