CIM 2019/6 Destination

New centre for Budapest

// Katrin Schmitt

Hungary invests in its infrastructure. Until 2021, 170 m euros will be invested in Hungexpo. This is to make it the perfect venue for large and mega-size events.

View of the new Hungexpo Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center. (Photo: Hungexpo)

Progress. “By 2021 Hungexpo will be completely renewed with a state-of-the-art congress centre and the latest event infrastructure,” announces Gábor Ganczer. Hungexpo’s CEO is pleased about the opportunity “to welcome further ITU events in the coming years.” For the second time since 2015 Ganczer welcomed the four-day International Telecommunication Association (ITU) Telecom World 2019 at Hungexpo Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center. The 13,000 sqm exhibition in halls G and F featured 270 exhibitors from 40 countries. The Forum in Hall A occupied seven conference halls, an area for meeting rooms, offices and a media centre. Around 4,000 delegates from 125 countries took part in the conference, opened by the Hungarian Prime Minister’s address on “Innovating together; connectivity that matters.”

The ITU Forum brings together a global audience of government representatives, regulators, leaders of the ICT industry, organisations and companies. The exhibition shows technologies ranging from 5G, satellite, electronic waste management, robotics, block chain, through “Smart AI, Banking and Cities” (Smart ABC), smart agriculture and homes to climate protection and fintech. National pavilions put talents, innovation, investment and partnership potential in the spotlight.

Six months before the conference kicked off on 9 September, Hungexpo had won the tender as the main contractor. This included branding and signage, show management, flooring and cleaning, IT, exhibitor and supply services as well as stand construction, conversion and dismantling. The Hungexpo team built 29 stands, 23 workstations and nine offices, totalling 920 square metres of custom-made spaces. For its grand finale, ITU staged an Internet Generation Day, specially designed for students, entrepreneurs and innovators from Hungary and the region. At the closing ceremony, the Hungarian foreign minister expressed his motivation to enable Hungary to host all ITU events from 2023 to 2026. ITU Secretary General Hou-lin Csao sounded positive about the development of ICT technologies in the country.

The same applies to the national meetings industry, above all Hungexpo: Budapest‘s largest exhibition and multi-purpose event complex is to undergo a 170-m-euro refurbishment and expansion. This will be co-financed by the government and the operator GL-Events. By 2021, two new exhibition halls (5,700 and 7,300 sqm), a reception building and a congress centre with 2,000 seats, 24 rooms and a 2,300 sqm rooftop terrace will be added.

“From 2021, Budapest can benefit and play the well-deserved role in the field of large and mega-size events, which was not possible before due to the lack of a proper size congress centre,” said Ganczer at the foundation stone ceremony, “with the current development, the capital will have the opportunity to host basically any size of international congress, conference or exhibition.”