by Loren G. Edelstein | October 11, 2017
Global venue-management company SMG today announced it will be running the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center in Shenzhen, China. Plans for the facility call for 4.3 million square feet of exhibition space plus another 500,000 square feet of flexible meeting space in phase 1, targeted for completion in 2019. An additional 1 million square feet of exhibition space will be built in phase 2, along with three new hotels, industrial marts and other key developments in the new convention center district.
"This new venture in Shenzhen is a great way to celebrate our 40th anniversary," said Gregg Caren, SMG's executive vice president of convention and exhibition services, at a press conference during IMEX America, currently taking place in Las Vegas. "We look forward to further international growth and success that reflects the unique combination of resources, relationships and expertise we have developed throughout our history." 
Among SMG's other landmark venues are the Moscone Center in San Francisco, McCormick Place in Chicago, and Enercare Centre in Toronto. With 45,000 employees in seven countries, SMG now manages 238 venues spanning nearly 20 million square feet of functional space. Of those venues, 75 are convention centers, each year hosting more than 30 million people. The company recently added a convention facility in Aberdeen, Scotland, to its portfolio, and is poised to sign a contract for a new convention center development in Panama City, said Caren.
Shenzhen, one of the four first-tier cities in China, is considered China's Silicon Valley, with easy access to Hong Kong and Macao. As recently as the 1980s, Shenzhen was a small fishing village, explained He Fei, deputy general manager of China Merchants Shekou Holdings, the project's co-developer along with OCT Group. In homage to the destination's roots, the convention center is built in the shape of a fish bone. The fast-track project is now under construction, with 30,000 workers on-site.