ILEA shake-up looks into Africa, China

As Hong Kong chapter sees unprecedented member activity with events growing in China’s Greater Bay, International Live Events Association’s global leadership adjusts to global changes

AN ASSOCIATION chapter representing creative event organisers and suppliers in southern China and Asia will see stronger links with fellow members in Africa if a global reorganisation goes ahead.

Leaders of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) are discussing how they can cater more to a changing world in which Asia and China is seeing strong growth in business event activity while emerging markets such as Africa are becoming more active.

Cecilia Lavin, vice-president of ILEA’s Europe Middle East and Asia region, said in a videoed address to the Asia chapter’s 2024 kick-off event in Shenzhen on Monday that mergers between International regions were being considered. This would include merging Asia into a newly named chapter that also represents Africa.

Backgrounder… Hope rising in southern China

Lavin added that the ILEA leadership was reassessing its global role as new markets emerged with China and Asia now more central to the world’s economy. She said ILEA also recognised differences in culture across Asia compared to markets in the west and how these should be approached with the appropriate sensitivity.

ILEA is headquartered in the United States where it has the most chapters followed by UK/Europe, the Middle East and more recently Africa with a chapter listed in Nigeria. The Asia chapter comes under the association’s Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific  region.

Activity among ILEA members in Asia has previously been centred on Hong Kong but has more recently spread to the emerging Greater Bay Area where the chapter has attracted more members. This reflects the rapid growth of business events in China with organisers making use of digital technology in presenting conferences and exhibitions.             

More… HK and Macau planners bridge the divide

The chapter 2024 launch was held at Hilton Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Centre, which is adjacent to one of the world’s largest business event venues. 

Following a tour of one section of the Shenzhen World facility, featuring a hi-tech auditorium and ballroom with 60 metre ceiling, presentations were made by newer members highlighting the big name brands they worked with on large-scale events across industries such as autos, telecoms and F&B.

The event heard that prospects for members across Hong Kong-China/Greater Bay and Asia included internship opportunities for students studying event management and tourism. The chapter is also in discussions with investment authorities in the east China city of Ningbo about holding events in the region.

The ILEA Asia chapter 2024 launch on January 15 came as another business events association – PCMA Asia Pacific – announced a kick-off event at the AIA Carnival site along Hong Kong island Harbourfront on January 25. The event features a behind-the-scenes tour of the carnival site and networking sessions hosted in the AIA Observation Wheel cabins.

Main picture: A section of Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Centre. The ILEA Asia chapter 2024 kick-off event was held at the Hilton adjacent to the centre

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