March 7, 2023 | By Bronwen Largier

Two international jewellery shows packed out Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the first five days of March, putting all of the venue’s exhibition halls in use for the first time since the pandemic shut down events and paused global travel in March 2020.

Just a few days short of three years since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation, the major Hong Kong business events venue was finally back to full steam, with over 2,500 exhibitors from 36 countries and more than 60,000 buyers from 130 countries attending the  Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show, which were held concurrently at the venue.

“There was no better time to be hosting the twin jewellery shows as the opening followed on the heels of the city’s lifting of the mask mandate,” said Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML).

“The full utilisation of exhibition spaces by the twin jewellery shows underscored a strong rebound of Hong Kong’s exhibition and convention sector.  Since the reopening of borders with overseas destinations and the Mainland [of China], HML has seen a surge in booking enquiries from both overseas as well as local exhibition and convention organisers.

“HML will continue to proactively promote to global exhibition organisers Hong Kong’s advantages as a strategic city within the Greater Bay Area and it’s unique strengths in expanding smooth and convenient linkages between China and other international markets,” said Lee-Müller, adding that investment plans were being executed.

“HML has continued to press ahead with our investment plan, upgrading our facilities and strengthening staff competence. These efforts, coupled with our experience and expertise in supporting world-class events, has laid a solid foundation for us to gear up for the return of international events and welcome visitors back to Hong Kong and the HKCEC.

“We are confident that Hong Kong will reclaim its leadership status as the Trade Fair Capital of Asia.”

Hong Kong was one of the last major business events players to ease quarantine measures and restrictions for arriving international travellers, which prevented them from entering event venues upon their arrival in the city. The final measure, which prevented event attendance for the first three days after entering Hong Kong, was removed in mid-December, allowing business events in Hong Kong to once again be competitive with other global cities.

A traditional gathering place for global or regional shows, Hong Kong suffered in 2022 as international events returned to other countries around the world, including its Asian competitors, and some organisers relocated their events from Hong Kong to other destinations.