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NECC spurs exhibition growth
Caroline Boey, reporting from IT&CM China, March 21, 2017

Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC), which opened officially in June 2015, is set to strengthen the Chinese city’s standing as a top exhibition and business travel destination.


In UFI’s latest global ranking of exhibition cities, Shanghai is top in China and among the five biggest in the world.


Credit: National Exhibition and Convention Center


Thrice the size of Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC), NECC allows show organisers to expand their events beyond the 200,000m2 cap at the latter venue.


According to Mark Cochrane, regional manager Asia-Pacific, UFI, net space sold in Shanghai in 2015 was 3,326,737m2 versus 11,186,000m2 for the whole country. “Shanghai alone is bigger than Japan, the second-biggest country for exhibitions in the region. Apart from shows moving from SNIEC to NECC, there are new show launches from other parts of China as well,” he added.


NECC has snatched the Child Baby Maternity Expo (CBME), the world’s largest trade fair for products and services, from SNIEC.


Michael Duck, executive vice president of UBM Asia, owner of CBME, said the event has grown from 130,000m2 to occupy 239,732m2 of space at NECC this year where 88,000 trade buyers and 2,600 suppliers selling 4,000 brands are expected to attend the three-day show in July.


“Mega events seem to be (trending) and a number of shows have become too big for SNIEC,” Duck said, adding that big shows from Guangzhou such as the China (Guangzhou) International Beauty Expo have been launched at NECC.


The 2017 Shanghai International Beauty Expo will take up 190,000m2 of space and 2,000 companies from all over Asia, Europe, America and Oceania will be represented.


Lan Xing, expert consultant, Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Industries Association, commented the number of large-scale events of more than 100,000m2 was growing: “Mega shows are also increasing in size, attracting exhibitors from Japan, South Korea, Russia, the Middle East and the ‘Stan’ countries who want business from China.”


Cochrane told TTGmice Shanghai’s advantage as an exhibition city is that the “key pieces” of being a commercial and business centre are in place.


“Shanghai is up there with Las Vegas and Frankfurt and it is among the world’s top five, if not top three exhibition cities,” he remarked.


Hoteliers – such as Dorian Rommel, general manager of Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li – also believe Shanghai’s business events industry is on a growth spurt because of NECC.


Quoting the Shanghai Municipal Tourism administration, Rommel said 23 exhibitions moved from Beijing and Guangzhou to Shanghai and the city is projected to host up to 45 per cent of all business events, including exhibitions, taking place across the country.

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