Bolstered by government support, the exhibition industry in Greater China is showing signs of recovery, which has resulted in growing confidence among exhibition organisers, speakers noted at the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2023 last week.
During a session entitled China and the Exhibition Industry in 2023, Michael Kruppe, managing director at Shanghai New International Expo Centre, pointed out that confidence in holding and participating in exhibitions in China is seeing a recovery, in line with the Chinese economy.
Many local governments have also realised the important of the exhibitions industry’s role in contributing to economic recovery, and are also providing financial support for exhibition organisers, Kruppe said.
He added that the red tape in organising exhibitions has also been reduced in China, and is limited to obtaining police approval which can be done online.
General manager of the Shenyang New World Expo, Diane Chen, concurred that business has indeed returned, with exhibitions and conferences booked at the venue this year, which was unimaginable when the zero-Covid government policy was still in place.
Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management), opined that long-term confidence in China and Hong Kong has not dimmed.
“Now that China is open, it is where organisers and exhibitors want to be, as they have missed the market and deals to be made in the last three years,” Lee-Müller noted.
Separately, Lee-Müller noted that international exhibitions heading to Hong Kong will take some time to return as the destination only reopened last month. But Hong Kong’s strength lies in its service efficiency, duty-free port, no sales tax, and tradeable currency puts it in a very good position for business events organisers.
Despite her confidence in the future of business events brimming, Chen pointed out that it is necessary to “anticipate and mitigate risks” as much as possible in order to better manage future crisis.