MEET IN: 5 new convention centres

19 Aug 2009

China National Convention Center (CNCC), Beijing, China

When will it open? One of its first scheduled events will be the CIBTM (China Incentive Business Travel and Meetings) trade show and conference this September.

Where is it? In the heart of Beijing’s Olympic Green, the CNCC is adjacent to the iconic Bird’s Nest, Water Cube, National Aquatic Centre and National Indoor Stadium.

Fast facts: The seating capacity of the CNCC’s plenary hall is 6,000; the grand ballroom is able to accommodate up to 3,000 people and there is 22,000sqm of exhibition space. There are nearly 100 meeting rooms of various sizes for congresses, meetings, incentives and other business events. The CNCC Grand Hotel, a deluxe four-star hotel with 420 rooms, is adjacent to the convention centre. The CNCC complex includes two office buildings, retail shops in the basement and food outlets. The centre is around 30 minutes from Beijing International Airport and the CNCC has its own subway stop.

Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching (BCCK), Sarawak, Malaysia

When will it open? The grand opening is scheduled for October 18 this year, but some events have already been held in the centre.

Where is it? Overlooking pristine rainforest in the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, the BCCK is the first international purpose-built convention centre on the island of Borneo.

Fast facts: Capable of holding events of up to 5,000 people, the Great Hall can be divided into four separate units. There are also 14 other meeting rooms of various sizes and a business centre. The centre has confirmed that it will host the Napoleon Hill International Convention in 2010, with over 2,000 delegates, making it one of the largest events ever held in Borneo.

Songdo Convensia, Incheon, South Korea

When did it open? October 7, 2008.

Where is it? Songdo Convensia is in the city of Incheon, to the north of Seoul and home to South Korea’s award-winning Incheon International Airport.

Fast facts: Facilities available at Songdo Convensia include two main exhibition halls and 23 conference rooms. Some of the support facilities at Songdo Convensia include wireless internet capabilities throughout the entire convention centre, RFID card systems, voice recognition cameras, and interpretation in eight languages.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia

When did it open? June this year.

Where is it? The new Melbourne Convention Centre is in the heart of Melbourne, on the southern banks of the Yarra River. The centre is adjacent to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and the two entities are combined as a single complex under the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre name.

Fast facts: The centre’s foyer can accommodate 8,400 guests for cocktails and features a floor pattern with six different coloured tiles representing the currents of the Yarra River. The Plenary Hall can seat 5,000 people and there are 32 meeting spaces of various sizes. Environmental issues were at the fore of the centre’s design, resulting in it becoming the world’s first convention centre to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating.

Lavasa Convention Centre, Maharashtra, India

When will it open? In the second quarter of 2010.

Where is it? In the new urban centre of Lavasa, which is 76km from Mumbai and an hour’s drive from Pune.

Fast facts: Lavasa is a cluster of four new towns with the accent on preserving the local environment and providing cutting-edge infrastructure. The convention centre will be operated by Accor, the French-based hotel and convention giant. Accor will also operate Pullman, Novotel and Mercure hotels here. There will be a Nick Faldo Golf Academy ideal for conference delegates to unwind on the greens. The convention centre will hold around 1,500 delegates.

Kenny Coyle

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