. HKCEC's first event in 2021 gathers delegates from nine countries | Meetings & Conventions Asia

HKCEC's first event in 2021 gathers delegates from nine countries

Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium saw daily average of 3,000 attendees, proving the staying-power of face-to-face meetings.

The Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium is the first trade exhibition in Hong Kong since the fourth wave of Covid-19 hit the city in late November 2020.
The Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium is the first trade exhibition in Hong Kong since the fourth wave of Covid-19 hit the city in late November 2020. Photo Credit:HKCEC

Despite an enduring fourth wave of coronavirus infections in Hong Kong, business events have endeavoured to push on, with organisers implementing safety measures and tools to facilitate both face-to-face and hybrid meetings.

And it seems to be paying off.

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) for instance held its first post-Covid 19 event, the 98th Hong Kong Wedding Fair, in May 2020. Against all odds, the centre went on to hold successive events in June (Beauty & Fitness Expo 2020) and July (Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo).

Then there was November's Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel held during the Fine Art Asia 2020 show at HKCEC, showcasing 22 galleries with exhibition spaces in Hong Kong.

And we begin 2021, HKCEC's ongoing events calendar continues to prove the staying power of in-person meetings, starting with the year's first event: the Hong Kong International Dental Expo and Symposium (HKIDEAS), which ran from 22 to 24 January.

The annual event has always been held at HKCEC, but its August 2020 edition was postponed due to the pandemic.

This year's edition featured 23 parallel sessions and four workshops, which incorporated live video conferencing. An average of more than 3,000 dental professionals attended daily, from countries such as China, the UK, USA, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Lebanon.

The three-day event is the first trade exhibition in Hong Kong since the fourth wave of Covid-19 hit the city in late November 2020. Stringent preventive measures were implemented by the organiser and the venue.

“We are eager to participate in HKIDEAS and promote our products at one of the biggest events in the dental industry. With all the comprehensive preventive measures, we feel safe and sound," said exhibitor Kanas Ng, associate sales director of iTero, Hong Kong & Taiwan.

According to Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of HML (Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited), this bodes well for the future of physical events, which "cannot and will never be replaced".

Lee-Müller added: “The well-attended exhibition is a great kick-start of 2021. It clearly demonstrated strong demand for physical events and... we are committed to work closely with organisers to implement stringent preventive and social distancing measures to enable events to be held safely. We will also continue our investment in facility renovation and the construction of a 5G network. We are fully geared-up to welcome events and visitors back to the HKCEC once they are ready.”

For now, extended social distancing measures remain until 17 February. This includes mandatory wearing of masks in public and dine-in allowed only until 6pm with a maximum of two people per table. If the situation remains stable, measures will be eased from 18 February, with eateries allowed to operate until 10pm, with four people per table.