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Hong Kong Sees a Strong Resurgence of Trade Shows

This is a photo of the Hong Kong skyline.

HONG KONG — The numbers coming out of Hong Kong point to a strong rebound in trade show activity: 117 exhibitions scheduled for 2024; 70 recurrent shows scheduled, the same as pre-pandemic; and the number of events in the second half of 2023 reaching 84% of pre-pandemic levels.

Also good news: The major trade fairs are returning to Hong Kong after relocating to Singapore. There are also new entrants this year, including Hong Kong Cat Expo, the Hong Kong China International Tattoo Exhibition, and the Hong Kong Holiday and Travel Expo.

In the next couple of months, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC) will host APLF Leather & Materials+, Fashion Access March 19-21, Art Basel Hong Kong March 28-30, and the international trade show for wine and spirits in Asia, Vinexpo Asia Hong Kong, May 28-30.

Looking ahead, the buzz is building around Consensus, the long-running and influential cryptocurrency and Web3 event, scheduled for Feb. 19-21, 2025. In a strong show of industry support, Hong Kong also won the opportunity to host the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific 2025 trade show next spring. The event is expected to attract more than 1,500 travel, trade and MICE professionals from Mainland China, Southeast Asia, India, Japan, South Korea and other markets in the region, as well as long-haul attendees.

Related. Hong Kong Awaits Return of Cosmoprof 2023 in Asia

Behind this growth is the HK$1.4 billion Incentive Scheme for Recurrent Exhibitions, launched last year. It offers show organizers rent subsidies of up to HK$20 million at the HKCEC or AsiaWorld-Expo. The government plans to subsidize 200 exhibitions over three years, 61 of which have already been held, according to The Standard.

“As of January 31, we have approved 54 subsidy applications of finished exhibitions, involving HK$265 million. These exhibitions attracted some 80,000 exhibitors — 30,000 local and 50,000 non-local — as well as 1.2 million visitors,” Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Algernon Yau Ying-wah told The Standard.

“After the turmoil in the past four years, all major recurrent trade fairs staged at the HKCEC before COVID have returned to the HKCEC in 2023 or will return in 2024,” HKCEC Managing Director Monica Lee-Müller said. “The number of recurrent trade exhibitions is expected to reach 70, as in pre-COVID years. We expect the volume of international exhibitors and visitors in 2024 will gradually increase from 2023, provided that the flight capacity will resume normalcy.

“Hong Kong’s unique competitive advantages as a leading city for hosting trade exhibitions and international conventions remain unchanged,” she added. “The HKCEC is still a top choice for holding international trade exhibitions in Asia for its world-class service and superb infrastructure and facilities.”

Reach Monica Lee-Müller at

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