City Report 23,000sqm of events space. And more space is certainly required. A Demand Study for new convention facilities in Hong Kong conducted by AMR International, said an additional 132,000sqm of convention and exhibition space would be needed by 2028 to meet demand during peak months. The Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) offered its support for the government initiative, which could also see the acceleration of plans to develop another venue site adjacent to the AsiaWorld-Expo. “We call on the government to proceed swiftly as our neighboring cities in China and in Asia are all in the process of building more convention and exhibition space,” the HKECIA said in a statement. The HKCEC certainly has a case for extending, having hosted 1,102 events, including 104 conferences in financial year 2016/17. The figure included 36 new and 30 international conventions. Monica Lee-Müller, MD of the venue’s management company HML, reminds why the HKCEC is in such demand: “Organisers are not just looking for a suitable venue, but are expecting total event experience, which involves bringing together security services, catering services, technological support and logistics. HML is fully capable to provide them with creative and comprehensive solutions.” The HKCEC’s headache is that it is almost maxed out for space, which means HML is extra selective about new events. The new extension plan could alleviate some of this pressure. Meanwhile, art auction and tech events are proving popular at the venue. In September 2017, China Guardian held its auctions at the HKCEC for the first time, along with Sotheby’s Autumn Auctions and Fine Art Asia. New technology exhibitions held this year include Cloud Expo and Gerontech and Innovation Expo cum Summit. Such events helped boost Hong Kong MICE arrival figures for the first half of 2017 42 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD / Check out Kerry Hotel (above), a 546-room property opened this year with views of Victoria Harbour. The hotel has the city’s largest pillar-less hotel ballroom and 17 event spaces. It is the largest hotel meeting facility in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (above, right top) has opened the 750-room Disney Explorers Lodge. It has four themed gardens and a thousand pieces of art on display. The Murray (above, right bottom), a Niccolo Hotel, to open before 2018, will offer 1,858sqm of meeting space. It will feature 336 oversized rooms and suites over 25 floors. The West Kowloon Cultural District Built on 98 acres of reclaimed land it has Nursery Park for outdoor events. Aqua Luna II is a harbour cruiser able to accommodate 80 guests with ornate Ming Dynasty style dragon sail. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts opens its first first Hong Kong property on the Victoria Harbour in 2018. The Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott, a 495-room hotel, will complete in mid-2018. St. Regis Hotel Hong Kong, part of China Resources Building’s renovation project will have a banquet hall that can seat 250. ISSUE 91 for international meetings 3.4%. Just over half of the total guest arrivals (432,629) came from the Chinese mainland. Rewarding experience HKTB has upgraded its ‘Hong Kong Rewards’ MICE hospitality programme to offer rewarding experiences to delegate groups as low as 20pax. Convention groups can benefit from free cocktail reception at 50 hotels. The HKTB can also offer cultural performances such as traditional lion and dragon dances and kung fu demos. Taking the medicine in HK: In 2018, Hong Kong won 10 medical events of which eight are first-time in Hong Kong or Asia. The largest will be The 33rd Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018, Spine Summit 2018 and 22nd International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, bringing over 15,000 medical professionals from all over the world. Hong Kong will play host to city’s first-ever Unicity Global Leadership and Innovation Conference 2018, which will bring 17,000 overseas delegates and the city is welcoming back Asia’s largest tech event RISE Conference in 2018.