To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'Build a better Mice trap and the world will beat a path to your door.' Those were not the renowned American writer's exact words but the basic principle is one that Hong Kong's two major exhibition venues have clearly been following. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai rounded off a HK$1.4 billion expansion last April, increasing total space to 83,000 square metres. Thirty major exhibitions were lined up to make use of the newly available area in the 12 months following completion and 10 expos, featuring sectors such as electronics and jewellery, are expected to fill almost the entire centre during their runs. 'The expansion will improve the logistics and functionality throughout the overall venue and ensure that Hong Kong's status as Asia's trade fair capital will remain intact as the industry grows,' said the centre's managing director Cliff Wallace. He knows, though, that competition for business is sure to intensify with rival AsiaWorld-Expo at Chek Lap Kok airport now well into its stride after opening three years ago. Selling points are its location next to the airport, its own MTR station and, perhaps more important for exhibitors, that the 70,000 square metres of exhibition space include 10 ground-level, column-free halls with ceiling clearance of up to 19 metres. AsiaWorld-Expo has also made a point of installing state-of-the-art technology, giving delegates and exhibitors wireless broadband access, cutting-edge internet-based telephony and unlimited bandwidth in all 10 exhibition halls. Among the biggest exhibitions arranged so far are the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Conference, and the China Sourcing Fairs. The venue's aim is to host anything from relatively small-scale meetings and conferences to 'mega-functions' with as many as 10,000 delegates. Such numbers could be seated at the same time in the AsiaWorld-Arena, which has an audience capacity of 13,500 and has organised concerts by international stars Il Divo and Rod Stewart. And, if anyone needs to break away for a few hours, they can always head for the Nine Eagles golf course, just a few minutes' walk away beside the sea.