Top convention centres in the PhilippinesBy Elizabeth Wood
28 Jul 2015
SMX Convention Center
Manila-based SM group opened its first exhibition venue, SMX Convention Center, in Pasay City in 2007. Located beside SM Mall of Asia—one of the largest shopping malls in the world, attracting an estimated 200,000 people daily—it is said to be the largest private venue in the Philippines for trade events and exhibitions with four exhibition halls, five function rooms and 14 meeting rooms. Notable events hosted here have included the TravelTour Expo, Philippine Fashion Week and Manila FAME. President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the recent three-day Livestock Philippines conference organised by UBM Exhibitions Philippines Inc., owned by United Business Media.
SMX Convention Center Davao, on the island of Mindanao, was the second property to open with the SMX brand name, followed shortly after by SMX Convention Center Aura in Taguig City. SMX Davao offers three function rooms and five meeting rooms totaling 5,200 sqm, while SMX Aura has three function rooms and 13 meeting rooms, covering 3,137 sqm on the third and fourth floors of the SM Aura Premier shopping mall.
The group recently opened its fourth property and the first convention centre in the Visayas, SMX Bacolod in the Negros capital. Located in the new wing of the group’s eight-year-old shopping mall
SM City Bacolod, it has 4,269 sqm of event space, with a pre-function lobby, six meeting rooms and three function rooms which can accommodate up to 4,500 people in a concert-style setting or up to 2,800 people for a sit-down dinner. The centre will host MICECON 2016, a three-day meetings and incentives expo.
Philippine International Convention Center (PICC)
Built on reclaimed land along Manila Bay, the PICC opened its doors in 1976 coinciding with the creation of the Philippine Convention Bureau (PCB). It has more than 70,000 sqm of floor space including a Plenary Hall that can seat about 4,000 and a Delegation Building with 12 meetings rooms and two banquet halls. The World Law Conference, World Congress of Anesthesiologists and the 74th Annual World Dental Congress of the FDI have all been hosted here.
World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM)
A member of the World Trade Centers Association of New York, WTCMM opened in 1996 and offers 11,300 sqm of contiguous indoor space and 21,000 sqm of outdoor events space. With a 1,200-sqm pre-function lobby, a three-storey booth structure and a drive-in for a 40-foot container truck, it is said to be the only venue in the Philippines where heavy equipment shows can be staged with ease.
It has hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Conference, and the National Women’s Summit attended by about 15,000 delegates.
The centre is close to Makati, the country’s main financial and business district, and is a 15-minute drive to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The 609-room Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, the closest hotel to the centre, is a five-minute drive away.