This time last year, AsiaWorld-Expo opened its doors for the first time. Only 12 months later, the venue capped an impressive first year playing host to the world's largest and most important telecommunications event, ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006. It was the first time in the event's 33-year history that it had been held outside Geneva.
The event, which ended a five-day run on 8 December, was the largest ever trade exhibition to be held in Hong Kong. It covered 70,000 square metres, or the entire floor space of the city's largest and most sophisticated exhibition and events centre.
"It was a great honour for us and, we feel, a fitting tribute to the hard work and passion we have all put into making a great first year for AsiaWorld-Expo," said Nicolas Borit, Chief Executive Officer of AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited.
62,000 participants - including 1,543 members of the media - converged in Hong Kong for the event, benefiting from the convenient location alongside the Hong Kong International Airport and on-site facilities, tailored to the needs of the international business community.
Equally, 695 exhibitors from 37 countries enjoyed the seamless links between the airport, the venue and Hong Kong's train and road network to transport substantial booth set-ups while also taking advantage of Hong Kong's unique position as a gateway city for China with global connections. The 2006 edition of ITU TELECOM WORLD saw a record of some 150 exhibiting companies from China.
For AsiaWorld-Expo's team, the seamless running of the event was the result of two years of planning and close partnership with the organiser and different parties. With the high quality hardware and world-class services in different aspects, AsiaWorld-Expo had met the demand of the organiser, exhibitors and visitors and was a key partner to the success of the event.
For the 4-week set-up period, 2,053 trucks converged on the venue bringing 2 kilometres of temporary trusses, which were used to support exhibitor rigging requirements up to 23 tons for an individual stand, along with 35 kilometres of ICT cables for supporting a sophisticated technology infrastructure, which connected the venue with cities across the world.
A seamless traffic management scheme with extensive marshalling facilities was essential to the success of the event. Ground floor access to column-free halls with high-floor loading allowed for easier loading and unloading of large amounts of booth and high-tech equipment.
To ensure the greatest level of visitor comfort, AsiaWorld-Expo also offered varied food and beverage outlets with seating for more than 3,000 persons as well as different levels of stand catering services. The venue's Expo Concierge service dealt with enquiries, ranging from direct baggage handling from the airport, to travel bookings and comprehensive business centre services.
Security issues were a top priority with a wide range of high-level business and government representatives, as well as millions of dollars worth of high tech equipment on show. Over 230 security personnel had been deployed during the event.
Looking ahead to 2007
The massive show topped an exciting first year for AsiaWorld-Expo which has racked up an impressive calendar of international trade fairs, corporate conventions and entertainment events.
"People recognise the need for more high-quality, ultra-modern exhibition space - and AsiaWorld-Expo keeps Hong Kong firmly on the map as a major centre in Asia for large-scale international events," said Borit.
Borit said he and his team were looking forward to 2007, which already had a packed calendar of new and repeat events. A much anticipated new event is the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress, the world's third largest aerospace show, which will be held in Hong Kong for the first time in September and also the repeat of the hugely successful China Sourcing Fairs launched in April 2006 which had already outgrown by 20% for the second edition in October 2006, attracting over 81,000 visitors from 148 countries.
"We gauge our success by the success of the organisers who put their trust in us every time they host an event here. We've had an incredible first year and we look forward to welcoming back our valued customers and building new events in the year ahead."
Comments from our ITU TELECOM WORLD exhibitors and visitors
"Our participation has been a great success, from the launching of a new company, to business relationship building and trade show logistics. AsiaWorld-Expo should be counted as one of the best venues for a show of such prestige and it's been a pleasure to be here."
Francis Wong, Alcatel-Lucent, APAC
"Thanks to AsiaWorld-Expo's high ceilings and column-free exhibition space, we were able to erect a three-storey booth. This is AsiaWorld-Expo's great advantage. The venue also delivers highly professional services. Compared to other venues, AsiaWorld-Expo is more professional and responsive."
Li Zhengjian, Event Marketing Director, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
"I've been to many exhibition centres around the world and AsisWorld-Expo is one of the best. It is integrated with the airport, offers easy and quick transfer into the city centre and has a good layout. Services are good and reasonably priced."
J. Kaufmann, an overseas visitor to ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 (translated)
ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006 facts:
- Economic benefit to Hong Kong, estimated at HK$900 million
- 61,958 participants, including 1,543 from the media, and 955 ministers, CEOs and VIPs
- Covered 70,000 square metres over 10 halls
- 3 three-storey exhibitor booths: including Huawei's booth which included an elevator!
- 56 two-storey booths
- 2,053 trucks requiring 1,540 man-hours to unload
- Over 2km of temporary trusses, rigging up to 23 tons for one individual stand
- 35km of ICT cables
- Power supply equivalent to supplying a city of more than half a million people
- Venue-wide broadband connections supplied by PCCW, Hong Kong's largest telecom service provider
- 63 dedicated high-bandwidth links with Shenzhen, Beijing and Sweden
- 28,484 square metres of carpeting
- A variety of food and beverage services with over 3,000 seating capacity
- High-level security programme to cater for CEO and ministerial-level guests