This was the first tradeshow to take place in Hong Kong since the pandemic started, and although event organisers were initially apprehensive, visitor turnout surpassed last year's record
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Like all events around the world, Covid-19 resulted in the postponement and cancellation of events due to travel restrictions and border closures.
Lohas Expo and Vegetarian Food Asia 2020 was one of those which postponed, but after two postponements, the tradeshow finally took off in October. It was also the first face-to-face tradeshow to happen in Hong Kong since the pandemic started.
First launched in 2012, the Lohas Expo is billed as the first tradeshow in Hong Kong dedicated to natural, organic, sustainability and green living. Later in 2015, event organisers launched the Vegetarian Food Asia in lieu of the growing vegetarian market, as part of the Lohas Expo.
This two-in-one show format adopted a mixed approach, and targeted both trade buyers and the public.
Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), part of the tradeshow was a forum that featured renowned speakers who spoke about industry trends and products throughout the three show days. Awards were also given out to recognise leaders in the industry.
On the B2B side, a business matching was developed to connect buyers and suppliers for the Lohas Expo 2020, while Vegetarian Food Asia conducted public workshops and sharing sessions from green living experts.
Event organisers also launched a “Taste of Veg” e-platform to create early engagement with their target audience online.
Thanks to government subsidies which including the free venue rental of HKCEC, event organisers were also able to reduce the participation fee for exhibitors.
All in all, the tradeshow ended on a high note with record-breaking physical attendance, and stringent hygiene measures in place. There were more than 32,000 visits over the three days, up eight per cent year-on-year.
Baobab Tree Event’s managing director Culsin Li, said the record-breaking visitor count came as a “surprise”, and was a very “encouraging” sign the industry will bounce back once the pandemic is over.
“We are optimistic about seeing more expos being held in Hong Kong. We also understand that physical shows cannot be replaced, because people enjoy interactions, and are eager to rebuild connections with each other,” she stated.
The tradeshow had to be rescheduled twice, first in February and the second in July, which posed a huge logistics challenge.
Li shared that as the situation remained fluid, it constantly left them in limbo. Also, it remained a question whether visitors were willing to visit a large public expo physically with the pandemic still in play.
Once the green light was given, Baobab Tree Event communicated with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, HKCEC, sponsors, partners and exhibitors in a timely manner. This allowed them to organise the expo in two months.
In terms of safety and hygiene standards, organisers also had to work with various parties to ensure the highest hygiene standard to assure both exhibitors and visitors. This included venue disinfection, staff monitoring, and entrance requirements.
These hygiene and safety measures were then clearly communicated to potential visitors via their website and social media channels, to boost visitors’ confidence.
Event Lohas Expo and Vegetarian Food Asia 2020
Organisers Baobab Tree Event and Inspire Advertising & Marketing
Dates October 23-25, 2020
Attendance More than 32,000 visits throughout the three days, and more than 12,000 pre-registered online visitors