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SMG Announces Management Contract for Shenzhen Exhibition & Convention Center in China


Las Vegas — SMG announced it signed a management contract for the new Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center in China and launched North American sales efforts for the center, which is expected to debut in 2019.

The contract announcement was made during the IMEX show in Las Vegas. SMG Executive Vice President of Convention & Exposition Centers Gregg Caren called it a significant achievement in SMG’s 40-year history. “SMG believes in having a local focus with the international brand for each venue worldwide,” he said at the news conference announcing the contract.

The deal also reinforces SMG’s plans to expand further into the international convention and exhibition marketplace. The company recently inked deals to manage a new venue in Panama City, Panama and another in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The new Shenzhen center will be developed jointly by China Merchants Shekou Holdings (CMSH) and OCT group. Shenzhen is in the Delta River region near Hong Kong; Macau Shenzhen is the largest export city in China and considered to be the country’s business equivalent of Silicon Valley, Calif.

When it is complete, Shenzhen will join SMG’s global network of more than 75 convention centers worldwide and will be two times the size of Chicago’s McCormick Place — which currently is the largest convention center in North America at 2.6 million square feet of prime exhibit space.

Shenzhen’s Phase 1 alone is expected to offer 4.6 million square feet of space featuring 16 column-free halls of 215,278 square feet each (20,000 square meters). Another two million square feet will be added in Phase 2. There will be three registration halls, two of which will be directly connected to metro stations. In addition, it will be built to LEED green standards and local Chinese three-star construction standards.

The largest convention center in the Asia-Pacific region is the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, with 4.3 million square feet of prime space. Convention centers in China account for seven of the largest 10 convention centers in that region, according to the most recent edition of Trade Show Executive’s World Top Convention Centers.

Reach Gregg Caren at (610) 729-7000 or

Stephanie Selesnick contributed to this article.

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