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VENUE 33EastErn PromisE EN takes at look at a collection of expanding East and South East Asian venues aspiring to make a bigger impact in 2012 by focusing on international exhibition business growthSingex Singapore EXPO (Singex) claims to be the largest purpose-built MICE facility in the country. According to Singex Group's CEO Aloysius Arlando, mounting concerns over business confidence and effective cost management has led the venue to customise business events packages to the specific needs of each industry.He says the venue's new 8,000sqm Max Atria, set to open in May, will take advantage of "a growing trend of 'Confex' events, which is due to the convergence of exhibitions and conferences blurring the line between the two types of events".Singex recently announced a joint venture with European event organiser Fiera Milano. Together, they have launched RehabTech Asia, a show focused on rehabilitative and assistive technology and integrated care, in February 2013. In addition, they are collaborating with the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore and National Environment Agency on the first WasteMET Asia focused on solid waste management and environmental technology, and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore.Further highlights later this year include International Furniture Fair Singapore and Food and Hotel Asia.The venue has 10 column-free halls. Further amenities at Singex include extensive 3.5G mobile coverage, Wi-Fi access, business centre, Internet kiosks, nursing rooms and prayer rooms.Last year, Singex hosted InterDec and BuildTech Asia, International Furniture Fair Singapore, Military Simulation and Training Asia and Undersea Defence Technology Asia. Singex also involved the community and students from a local post-secondary institution. "In 2011, we continued to engage the community through agreements with institutions like the Institute of Technical Education, and the local polytechnics to provide students with a living classroom and practical experience," said Arlando. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Victoria Harbour is owned by Hong Kong's Trade Development Council (TDC) and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.The HKCEC offers 66,000sqm of purpose-built exhibition space and 91,500sqm of total rentable space. The venue achieved a record event attendance of 5.9m visitors for its fiscal year 2010-2011, up by a quarter on its previous 12 months.This year the HKCEC's management team HML confirmed five new exhibitions as a result of its business development strategy. The new exhibitions will cover sustainable living, Indian property, antiques, frozen food and diving and resort travel. Strategically, Hong Kong's position at the Pearl River Delta, the low-lying area surrounding the Pearl River estuary where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea, gives buyers and exhibitors access to one of the most densely urbanised and economically growing hubs in the world. As co-owner, the TDC is effectively the resident organiser at the HKCEC, but there is a lot of business from UBM and an influx of smaller organisers from the mainland as China's exhibition industry grows.The HKCEC is adjacent and connected to the Convention Plaza which also includes the 829-room Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, the 553-room Grand Hyatt, a 39-storey office tower, 580-unit serviced apartment tower, shopping arcade and an underground car park. HKCEC's new business adds to 100 longstanding exhibitions booked into the venue.The venue will also welcome 30 major conferences this year, expected to attract more than 30,000 delegates. Half of these are international. The topics are again diverse and range from medical science and clinical pharmacy to yoga, bridge and tunnel construction. The HKCEC also launched its own iPhone app last November to coincide with its 23rd anniversary.HKCeCHong KongSIngAPoRE