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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

VENUE WATCH34 Convention and exhibition CentreChina Nine years after becoming a member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the venue hosted the UFI Asia Open Seminar. The event, held in China for the first time in February, brought together 230 industry experts from 20 countries and territories to discuss exhibitions in the world's fastest growing exhibition market under the heading of 'Asian Exhibitions in the Year of the Dragon'. Since opening in 2004, nearly 300 exhibitions and 1,350 meetings have been held at SZCEC, with more than 20 million visitors passing through the doors. In 2008, 72 exhibitions and more than 500 meetings were held at the centre, with an annual exhibition area of 1.8 million sqm, making it the third biggest in China. According to Lucia Peng, SZCEC's deputy director of marketing and operations, financial subsidies for hall rental and international promotion by the government will be provided to show organisers.Shows held at the venue include CHTF, China's biggest cultural exhibition, China International Cultural Industries Fair, China International Optoelectronic Exhibition, China International Social Public Security Products Expo, Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition, and the Watch and Jewellery Fair.Later this year, the venue will host the China Public Security Expo, China (Shenzhen) International Finance Expo, and International Printed Circuit and Electronics Assembly Fair.The venue is the biggest single-block building in Shenzhen, with indoor exhibition space of 105,000sqm in nine halls and a total rentable area of 280,000sqm. An accompanying conference centre above the exhibition halls includes 35 meeting rooms.The Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex) is located in Goyang's West Ilsan district, South Korea. It has two exhibition halls, the most recent of which opened in September 2011, and offers indoor space of 55,000sqm. It also has 24 meeting or conference rooms, and a multi-functional event hall for 6,000 people. The venue's first hall opened in 2005 and offers 54,000sqm, 32 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom that can accommodate 2,000 people. According to Phil Chung, Kintex's international sales and marketing manager, organisers from UK, Singapore, Japan and Germany are now discussing potential joint ventures with the venue.Kintex is Korea's largest fair and conference venue and has permanent parking for 4,200 vehicles. Chung claims the new exhibition space saw the venue host the Korea Industry Fair (KIF) last September. KIF featured six international trade shows: Korea metal week; Korea Machinery Fair; Seoul International Electric Fair; Seoul International Tool exhibition; Korea International Printing Machinery and Equipment Show; and Koplas for the plastic/rubber industries.This year Kintex will host: UBM Korea's Asia Non-Wovens Exhibition and Conference (ANEX) which will span 13,000sqm; The Great India Education Expo, a pioneering Indian exhibition for Korea organised by Afairs; and 12 more international trade shows, each between 30,000sqm to 60,000sqm. Other highlights will include the 17th Korea International Packaging Exhibition, Korea Pharm 2012 and the Afterschool Content Fair 2012.KintexThe Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC) aims to be one of the world's best venues by 2020. It offers just over 50,000sqm of exhibition space and hosted 300,000 people for the Bangkok International Motor Show. Last year, it was selected to host Thailand's five core industry events under the campaign 'Better the Best' in 2011 by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). According to BITEC's corporate communications manager Pimpanit Pianvanith, the venue targets potential clients in Europe and North Asia, and works closely with TCEB to help organisers, professional federations and trade associations to bring international events to Bangkok. To enhance its visitor accessibility, biteCwhile also meeting the demands for additional space, BITEC completed a skywalk to connect the venue to the newly extended Sky Train at Bang Na Station last November. This will provide visitor access to a new, air-conditioned Welcome Hall, which has exhibition space of more than 1,700sqm. Its major exhibitions last year included the Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair, Renewable Energy Asi and Metalex, ASEAN's largest international machine tools and metalworking machinery show. Highlights for 2012 include Horti Asia 2012 for the horticultural industry in May and Fastener Fair 2012 in September.BITEC plans to add at least another 20,000sqm of exhibition space in its next phase of expansion. Studies are being conducted to also add a hotel, office building, and park and ride facilities.ThailandSouTh Korea