As part of CEI Asia's inaugural Editors' Choice industry excellence report, here we celebrate the best convention and exhibition centres across the region: 

Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)

Operating for nearly 30 years, HKCEC still sets the gold standard for Asia. With its gleaming silver-winged structure rising on the shores of Victoria Harbour, the HKCEC has been as much a part of this city’s iconic skyline as Sydney’s famous Opera House. Its 306,000 sqm provides more than 91,000 sqm of rentable space—and all in the very heart of the city.

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Since its 1988 opening, the HKCEC has welcomed an astonishing 100 million guests at some 45,000 events. What’s more, the centre has always been ahead of its time—it was the first organisation in Hong Kong to attain ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System certification.

Major events handled in 2016 included the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, which welcomed 1,000 exhibitors from nearly 40 nations, and the ever-popular Art Basel (below).

HKCEC communications manager Gloria Fong tells CEI Asia that 2017 will be another busy year. “While most of the exhibitions at the centre are recurrent, we are excited to welcome Cloud Expo Asia in late May, which will be held alongside Data Centre World—and new sister events Cloud Security Expo and Smart IoT Hong Kong.”

Another highlight, Fong notes, is the return of International Design Furniture Fair Hong Kong. “The Fair was successfully held at the HKCEC in 2015, and the organiser decided to bring it back next August,” she says. “It is expected to welcome over 10,000 visitors, from property developers and retailers, to hoteliers and distributors.”

To ensure it stays on top, Fong says that every year the HKCEC carries out numerous enhancement projects, including major upgrades that take from three to five years. One such three-year improvement project, scheduled to be completed in 2017/2018, is a plan to enhance CCTV systems, access control systems and security control rooms, to better ensure a secure environment.

AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE)

Celebrating its 11th anniversary this December and located on North Lantau Island—just minutes from Hong Kong’s spectacular airport, AWE is a world-class venue, offering more than 70,000 sqm of business events space.

AWE CEO Allen Ha

In June 2016, the venue welcomes more than 20,000 delegates from across the Greater China for the Nu Skin Greater China Regional Convention. AWE’s exhibition halls 3, 6, 8 and 10 were combined to create a 22,000-sqm pillarless venue where delegates were seated to watch the ceremony. 

Spokeswoman Tracy Lau says that in November, AWE hosted the 55th Orient and Southeast Asian Lions Forum, welcoming 10,000 delegates. Looking ahead, February will see the prestigious Longines Hong Kong Masters return for the fifth consecutive year. In March, the LINC Asia-Pacific medical gathering will return for the eighth time.

And in May, AWE will be hosting a new event, Critical Communications World 2017, which is expected to draw 3,500 professionals.