Global Roundup With Sam Shei, President-Elect of ILEA Hong Kong
Thursday, September 13, 2018
The International Live Events Association (ILEA) is a global organization, representing the voice of creative events professionals worldwide. The ILEA Global Roundup taps into leaders from around the world who lend their knowledge and expertise on a range of different topics impacting the creative events business. ILEA connected with Sam Shei, president-elect of the ILEA Hong Kong Chapter and director of Showbiz Creation Ltd to get his take on the events space in Hong Kong.
ILEA: What are some specific challenges event planners encounter in your area? How do they overcome these challenges?
Sam Shei: Some of the challenges include the limited space of venues, especially for large-scale or giant events, including exhibition centers, hotels and sports arenas. Fortunately, the government is trying their best to build more venues and arenas. We hope all these infrastructures can be completed in the next few years.
ILEA: What are some trends you’re noticing with live events in your region?
SS: Technology is growing rapidly, and telecommunication is becoming boundless. Various kinds of live events will not be limited to a specific area and size, and I believe such live events will be broadcast wider and wider through different social media platforms. Cyber streaming will be more activated, and the cost of event organizers will drop.
ILEA: For an event planner not from where you are, what are some things to be aware of/take into account when putting on a live event there?
SS: There are tons of issues to be aware of, but I will say as for a commercial live event, some significant areas should be taken into account:
- Achieve your objectives set from your client and make sure it delivers.
- Execute the lead time and actual event under the set schedule.
- Work tightly with your pre-set budget with affordable contingency.
ILEA: Are there any specific events in your area we should be aware of?
SS: Hong Kong is an international metropolis and, as such, has large exhibitions, fairs, conferences and meetings almost all year round. Under the One Belt Road Initiative, we believe more and more events related to the financial markets will take place here. Also, with the completion of the longest bridge in the world, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, there will likely be lots of events coming up.
ILEA: What are the biggest factors influencing the way events are being planned in your part of the world?
SS: One of the biggest factors is raising costs, especially on manpower and material. Event organizers will have to consider arranging their live events in more mobile ways with live-streaming technology. However, infrastructure is growing fast, so any traveling hub cities will benefit.
ILEA: Do you think artificial intelligence will ever have a role in this industry?
SS: Yes, definitely. It may also replace manpower-demanding tasks, such as registration, data processing and inputs. However, creativity is the key role in this industry. Let’s cross our fingers and hope it may still have it moment and not be replaced.
With over 30 years’ experience in the events and entertainment industry, Sam Shei is considered a pioneer in the events industry in Hong Kong. Currently, he is the director at Showbiz Creation Ltd. He has produced events in Asia, Europe and North America that range from customized C-suite incentive tours, conventions such as the Forbes CEO Summit, theatrical spectacles, headline concerts, major exhibitions and fairs, and tailored conferences and meetings.