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Some surprises in the latest global events destination wish list

When many of us in the industry think about exhibitions and events in Asia, China tends to come to mind. This is naturally done with very good reason, but we would do well to take a closer look at some of the interesting events happening in some of the second tier developing economies in the region.


Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China have some truly huge exhibitions. The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is the largest toy industry event in Asia and the second largest in the world. The China Sourcing Fairs held all over the world are rolled out on an incredible scale and this year will take place throughout most of April in Hong Kong covering just about any category available from plumbing to security, swimwear and solar-energy products.

China has a booming tradeshow market with the locations to back it up. The new Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East opened in September 2012 with the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opening in mid-2013 for events. Hong Kong was voted best city for business events for the second year in a row in 2012 by CEI Asia. As expected, China is racing ahead in the events market, yet some exciting things are happening in the rest of Asia.

Growing economies showing off their events potential
Some of the main growth economies in the region are part of the so called “Next 11” list of emerging markets, including the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam. These countries are starting to flourish in the events arena and are proving to be exciting destinations.

smx-convention-center

The SMX Convention Center hosted a number of tradeshow in 2012, include the Toy Expo.

The Philippines is poised to surpass its peers on the Next 11 list, so it is more than worthy of a closer look, especially when it comes to the events market. The SMX Convention Center in Manila is just one of many venues playing host to a huge range of events this year, including Worldbex 2013 (building and construction) in March, the Manila International Auto Show and the Manila Food and Beverage Expo, both in June.

Off-duty delegates never will be homesick again
Delegates making the trip to Asia don’t have to settle for the inside of a convention center as their only cultural experience. Thailand is becoming a major destination, and for those delegates visiting Bangkok, there are some unique ways to see the city. Groups of delegates can hire an organizer and be taken around the city on a photo tour at flexible times of the day to take in a lot of the local scenes. You can see everything in Bangkok at 7 a.m., according to Volker Capito of Asia World Enterprise.

Organizers and guides also can introduce delegates to lesser known attractions so they see a different side to Bangkok. Automotive industry groups would enjoy the Jesada Technik Museum housing a huge private collection of planes, trains and automobiles. By making an extra effort and ensuring delegates have some time to take in a bit more of the city they are visiting, their trip will be enriched.

Ensuring delegates are prepared and protected
With new territory come new cultural experiences and ways of doing business. It is crucial to not only ensure delegates are culturally aware but also to make sure the entire business is protected by insurance covering global locations. There are many ways of ensuring delegates and staff can prepare to do business in different parts of the world and one of the best ways is to learn about it at a ground level.

For example, the Museum of Counterfeit Goods in Bangkok founded by law firm Tilleke & Gibbins holds talks where corporate groups can understand more about doing business in a global environment. As we venture further into new territories we need to ensure we have adequate business insurance coverage for our business and staff globally. It is not enough to be culturally sensitive; we need to be aware of the risks of cancellation, disruption, liability and reduced attendance at events due to unforeseen circumstances that could have a huge financial impact on our business.

Most events industry groups undoubtedly will keep an eye on China as a major destination and barometer of market activity. Yet the events unfolding in some of the emerging Asian economies certainly are eye-catching and worth getting involved in.

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