Hong Kong restarts convention and exhibition industry subsidy scheme

Scheme offers full rental coverage of Hong Kong’s two big venues, but mega exhibitions may not make it for the October 2021 deadline.

The Hong Kong government has announced that it will be relaunching the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme on October 3, 2020, to help ease financial burdens on the local convention and exhibition industry and help attract the domestic and overseas market to Hong Kong.

The HKD1,020 million (USD131 million) subsidy scheme set up under the government’s anti-epidemic fund was originally slated to be launched in July 2020.

It was postponed following the third wave of the pandemic in the city, which caused the postponement of conventions and exhibitions that were originally scheduled to take place from mid-July to September.

The subsidy scheme offers full coverage of venue rental costs for organisers of exhibitions and international conventions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and AsiaWorld-Expo.

“With the ongoing pandemic situation overseas, many international exhibitions and conventions originally scheduled for the second half of 2020 have been postponed or cancelled, said Monica Lee-Müller, Managing Director of HKCEC.

“Mega exhibitions typically have long planning lead-times, and re-launching them before the October 2021 deadline for the Subsidy Scheme may prove challenging. However, we believe that once the pandemic is under control, exhibition and convention organisers will waste no time bringing exhibitions back onto their event calendars.

“To ensure that mega exhibitions and international conventions return to Hong Kong after the pandemic, the industry will continue to communicate closely with the government so that timely actions can be taken to maximise the impact of the Subsidy Scheme.”