Taiwan demonstrates its commitment to business events by developing more world-class facilities for event organisers
Over the last few years and through the pandemic, Taiwan has kept busy constructing and upgrading event venues across destination to host events both large and small.
In Kaohsiung, new event spaces, accommodation options and supporting infrastructure have risen in Asia New Bay Area. One new space is the Kaohsiung Music Center, which opened in 2021 in Love River Bay, the junction between Love River and Kaohsiung Port.
Su Wei-Hsiang, project manager with Kaohsiung Meeting & Event Promotion Office, said: “The Kaohsiung Music Center has an auditorium (Hi-Ing Hall) in the Wave Tower, which can take up to 6,000 people. In addition, the outdoor square (Hi-Breeze Square) can accommodate about 10,000, and is perfectly suited for group activities.”
In the meantime, The Coral Zone, an independent two-storey building within the same compound, provides a multifunctional space for experiential activities, exhibitions, and businesses.
This facility joins existing venues such as the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center (KEC) which has a capacity of 1,424 standard booths and 4,000 people; the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts which has a total capacity of 5,861 seats; Kaohsiung Arena with the capacity of up to 15,000 people; and the 880-seat Dadong Arena.
Elsewhere in the port city, Kaohsiung Port Cruise Terminal recently opened in March 2023. Shaped like a whale, it can berth two large cruise ships of 225,000 at one time. Its 24-hour boardwalk – which offers shopping and dining – links to the new Pop Music Center, and the arts and shopping district within a green necklace along the waterfront.
Kaohsiung does not just have the hardware, it also has beefed up its software.
Su revealed that the Asia New Bay Area is the most comprehensive 5G AIoT (Artificial intelligence of things) implementation site in Taiwan.
The KEC, for example, participated in the 5G AIoT Taiwan Industry Innovation Platform Subsidy Project, and launched its own 5G private network in the venue.
Renee Chu, project director of KEC, said: “I’m proud to say that we are the first exhibition centre and only one so far to provide a private 5G environment.”
Amber Shih, deputy marketing manager of KEC, elaborated: “The 5G private network allows users to receive the signals in their mobile devices at the location, with the benefits being high bandwidth, and low latency. These 5G applications help to enhance attendees’ on-site experience.”
There are ways KEC has made use of the 5G improvements, such as a 3D 4K beam display, used to project speakers who may not be physically present at the venue, but yet are able to interact directly with the audience in real time.
There is also an app that functions as an indoor navigation tool that leads exhibition buyers to the booths they are looking for, as well as a two-way translation display using AI, where users can speak in their mother tongue and the app will show the translated speech.
“(With 5G AIoT, event planners) can deploy subtitles for an online conference, reducing the need for interpreters. Attendees just need to use their own mobile phones with the app installed,” Shih said.
KEC also provides a 5G Reality Studio. Providing an example, Chu said: “We cooperated with one exhibitor at the Fastener Show and brought the entire 5G production team to their factory to film a panorama video, before ‘bringing’ the factory to our exhibition hall.”
During the show, exhibitors took buyers on a virtual tour, which helped them learn about the entire manufacturing process while physically standing in KEC, but was immersive enough to feel as if they were touring the factory.
“By doing this, we cut down on travel time and transportation costs, as well as reduce carbon emissions from having to travel from KEC to the factory,” noted Chu.
Over in the capital, Grace Chen, deputy executive director of Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2), said: “TaiNEX 2’s state-of-the-art facilities are a testament to Taiwan’s commitment to advancing the MICE industry and (creating a) convenient business environment. We are also the first exhibition hall to be awarded Green Building Label – Golden Level in Taiwan.”
Owned by the government and operated by Taiwan External Trade Development Council, TaiNEX 2 has 34,480m2 of space, comprising two exhibition floors and a conference floor. Located on the 7th floor of the building, the Skylight Convention Centre offers 14 convertible meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 3,600.
Combined with the TaiNEX 1, this convention and exhibition centre becomes the biggest in Tawian, providing nearly 80,000m2 of event space.
New venues have also risen in other cities. For example, the Taoyuan Convention and Exhibition Center is set to be fully operational by end-2023, where the main hall has a capacity of up to 6,000 people.
Further south, the Tainan Convention and Exhibition Center opened last April. The venue comprises four levels above ground and one level underground, and offers 10 flexible meeting spaces that can accommodate from 20 to 1,000 people.