Staff Reporters
Dec 15, 2017

Readers' Choice: Best convention centre

Convention centres in North Asia dominate the winner's circle.

Readers' Choice: Best convention centre

As part of CEI Asia's annual Readers’ Choice Awards, here we celebrate the best convention and exhibition centres across Asia Pacific—as voted by you, our readers.


A staple of the Hong Kong events infrastructure, 2017 was a banner year for AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE). In July, AWE held the Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo, as the largest overseas event held by the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency. August saw the venue host Sneaker Con 2017, the event’s debut in Asia, and in October AWE hosted the 12th iteration of Eco Expo Asia.

Enid Low, chief strategy officer at AWE, spoke on the venue’s success: “Our team’s flexibility and whole-hearted dedication has earned us widespread support from stakeholders across various disciplines, debuting events ranging from political to business, entertainment to sport.”

Focal events for 2018 include Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair in March and the first Belt & Road International Food Expo in June.

AWE has made good on its goal of boosting Hong Kong’s events reputation, especially for large-scale events. The venue currently boasts 10 ground-level, column-free halls and additional meeting rooms—all packing their own servicing, data, telecoms and wireless broadband—and the biggest purpose-built indoor entertainment arena the city.

HKCEC is a mainstay

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)

A mainstay in the convention and exhibition centre category, HKCEC welcomed 5.7 million visitors and 1,102 events in 2017, including the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, Art Basel Hong Kong, the Hong Kong International Auto Show, and the city’s own chief executive election.

Central to HKCEC’s success has been its in-house team. Stuart Bailey, managing director of Diversified Communications Hong Kong says of the venue’s staff: “All aspects of managing the venue are carefully considered and the small details taken care of. The team are highly professional and adapt quickly to solve problems. Simply put, HKCEC is one of the best exhibition venues in the world, and the management team who operate it are the reason for that.”

2017 also saw HKCEC kick its ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) initiative into high gear. The venue is reinventing its building management system with physical devices housing built-in software, sensors and network connectivity, allowing the facility to collect and communicate data. This evolving direction—also incorporating a wifi rebuild, location-based technology, and structural and air quality management—will allow HKCEC to make strides in event tech.

NECC making waves

National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai

A compelling addition to this year’s awards circle, the National Exhibition and Convention Center Shanghai (NECC) is making waves in the industry. More than 50,000 event-goers and 3,000 exhibitors attended 2017’s China International Hardware Show in October, while in early November, the Industrial Automation Show (IAS) took full advantage of NECC’s extensive capabilities.

More than 120,000 visitors attended the ground-breaking event, with the venue putting on display the latest in aerospace, aviation, robotics, communications and new energy innovation.

Planned as the world’s largest single building, and exhibition complex, the NECC has quickly added a new facet to Shanghai’s booming facilities with 400,000 sqm of indoor and 100,000 sqm of outdoor exhibition space.

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