With all the disturbing news reports of street protest coming out of Hong Kong in recent weeks, there is also some positive news to report.
The management company of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), has embarked on major new renovations at the facilities.
The new stage is part of the continuing HK$1 bn (US$128m) HKCEC Five-year Advancement Project.
The new stage of work began on 29 June 2019 and covers the Convention Hall, Theatres, Foyers and Hall3 FG in Phase I. Audio system, air handling units, water pipes and fire services installations will all be upgraded. Carpets, operable partitions and wall fabrics will be replaced, while toilets and ancillary rooms will be refurbished.
Subsequent stages will cover other facilities in the rest of the HKCEC.
Full completion of the stage is expected in 2024.
The Advancement Project follows the complete revamp of the Wi-Fi system in 2018, which now offers complimentary, faster, higher density and more stable service. Installation of the smart Building Management System that uses IoT technology is in good progress.
Setting up of 5G infrastructure has also started. As soon as 5G spectrum is assigned by the Hong Kong Government, visitors to the HKCEC from worldwide can immediately enjoy the service.
Ms Monica Lee-Müller, HML’s Managing Director, said, “At HML, we take great pride in the architectural splendour, the dramatic location and high quality construction and fitting out of the showpiece venue we manage… HML is committed to upkeep the HKCEC as a world class venue.”
Lee-Müller said the work was spread out over five years in order to minimise impact to event operation. “We are grateful for the understanding and co-operation from event organisers, who will enjoy enhanced efficiency and functionality of our facilities, and benefit from the Project,” she added.
EW asked Lee-Müller, to comment on the effect on the city's MICE business stemming from recent weeks of street protest.
“Except on 30 June when the Hong Kong Government decided to close down the HKCEC, the HKCEC has been operating as normal," she told EW. "Although there have been road closures nearby during several public activities, the HKCEC remains accessible by foot, private cars / freight trucks and public transportation. Major events, including the Book Fair with close to 1 million attendees, were held as scheduled. Over the past few days, two annual concurrent popular events, Ani-Com & Games Hong Kong and Hong Kong E Sports and Music Festival, continue to attract huge crowds.
"I’d like to echo what Stuart Bailey, Chairman of Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA), said last week. Indeed there had been a number of incidents in Hong Kong over the past few weeks. However, MICE events and attendees were not targeted. I’d suggest participants pay attention to traffic diversions and avoid locations where rallies are being conducted. And continue to do business and enjoy Hong Kong. We at HML continue to be optimistic about the industry’s growth in upcoming years, hence investing in our multi-million Five Year Advancement Project for the HKCEC.”