China important driver for recovery of global exhibition market

(Xinhua) 10:23, June 22, 2023

SHANGHAI, June 21 (Xinhua) -- As China's convention and exhibition industry gradually recovers in 2023, it will positively impact the global exhibition market, industry insiders said at the Global Exhibition CEO Shanghai Summit.

The event, hosted by the Shanghai Convention and Exhibition Industries Association (SCEIA) and concluded Wednesday, focused on such topics as embracing digitalization, innovating venue services, and helping small and medium-sized enterprises to go global through exhibition platforms.

Jochen Witt, president and CEO of JWC, a globally leading consulting firm from Germany for the trade fair and conference business, was optimistic about the recovery prospects of China's exhibition market as China's economy continues to grow and is a significant contributor to world economic growth.

Over the past decade, there has been massive investment in exhibition venues across China, with the capacity of venues tripled, laying a good foundation for the long-term development of the exhibition industry, he added.

Witt's observations were echoed by Chen Xianjin, an official from the SCEIA. Chen said China has been the fastest-growing exhibition market during the period, and almost all internationally renowned exhibition enterprises have set up subsidiaries in Chinese cities such as Shanghai.

The resumption of the summit is a significant sign of the full recovery of China's convention and exhibition industry and its return to the center of the global exhibition market, bringing new opportunities to the international convention and exhibition industry, Chen added.

According to David Zhong, founder and president of VNU Exhibitions Asia, since the beginning of this year, strong government support and market demand have jointly promoted the recovery of China's exhibition economy, with the number of visitors and exhibition areas of many industry leaders' exhibitions reaching a record high.

Taking his company's Pet Fair Asia 2023 as an example, Zhong said it would be held in Shanghai in August, with an estimated exhibition area of 230,000 square meters, an increase of 27 percent over 2019.

"In the first half of this year, our company's revenue has completed the full-year target and will likely increase by more than 10 percent this year compared with 2019," Zhong said.

According to data from the Ministry of Commerce, China's professional pavilions held 540 exhibition activities in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, increasing by 3.3 times compared with last year's Q1. The total exhibition area reached over 10.31 million square meters, a 3.3-fold increase year on year.

There were 286 exhibition activities with an exhibition area of more than 10,000 square meters, accounting for 53 percent of the total, a 6.7-fold increase year on year.

From the perspective of exhibition categories, exhibitions with themes of the digital economy, new energy vehicles, health, and food saw rapid growth. The convention and exhibition industry in provinces and cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Liaoning, Guangzhou and Shenzhen recovered quickly.

Data from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce shows that the city's main exhibition venues plan to hold nearly 300 exhibitions this year, with an exhibition area of more than 14 million square meters.

The Global Exhibition CEO Shanghai Summit was held annually from 2014 to 2019, attracting more than 1,000 corporate executives and government officials from over 20 countries and regions. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Kou Jie)


Related Stories