Marking the first major event to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) following the COVID-19-induced hiatus in the first half of the year, the 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair carries a theme of inspiration to help people face up to challenging times.Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the fair will be held from 15 to 21 July (Wednesday to Tuesday), drawing more than 730 exhibitors to present a wide selection of books and activities over the week. The fair features an array of attractions, with the HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo as one of the highlights. The book fair is the anchor event in the citywide Cultural July campaign, which comprises more than 600 online and offline cultural events, catering to different interests and age groups. The campaign will include thematic exhibitions at the Art Gallery at the HKCEC (main picture), seminars hosted by acclaimed writers, and celebrity storytelling sessions. Visitors can experience the joy of reading and interacting with authors as well as trying out the hottest new sports and leisure activities, helping to build both spiritual and physical strength.
Inspirational, motivational reading
The theme of this year’s Book Fair is Inspirational and Motivational Reading, with the tagline “Reading the World • Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”.“The Hong Kong Book Fair Cultural Events Advisory Panel aims to create a spiritual oasis through this year’s theme, encouraging citizens to read inspirational and motivational books that can empower them to face the challenges ahead,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “The Sports and Leisure Expo, meanwhile, will introduce exciting sports and leisure activities that can encourage people to develop a healthy and positive lifestyle and live their lives to the fullest.”
Hygiene ramped up
Mr Chau said the well-being and safety of exhibitors and visitors will be the top concern at the Book Fair. Measures will be put in place to protect people against the pandemic, including requiring everyone entering and staying in the fairground to wear a mask, setting up temperature-screening stations, providing hand sanitiser at multiple locations around the venue, and stepping up the cleaning and disinfection of exhibitors’ booths and the venue itself. To spread the flow of visitors and encourage people to visit the fair at non-peak hours, in addition to offering morning admission tickets the HKTDC will introduce night-admission tickets as well as the special re-entry promotion. Details of on-site preventative measures can be found here.
Aligning with this year’s theme, the HKTDC will showcase a thematic exhibition – Words to Warm the Heart – at the Art Gallery outside Hall 3. The exhibition will introduce a number of inspirational authors and some of their selected works, including A Nong, Cheng Kok-kong, Lee Chack-fan, Philemon Choi, Wu Yin-ching, Shirley Loo, Agnes Chan, Joseph Sung, Su Hei and Rap Chan. In addition, precious memorabilia provided by the authors will be displayed to help readers understand their creative journey from different perspectives. Items on display include calligraphy artworks, rare collectibles, lyric manuscripts, letters from readers that have seldom been seen before, and protective clothing used by frontline healthcare workers during the SARS outbreak.The Art Gallery will also feature another two exhibitions with the themes Cherished Memories of the Children’s Paradise and The Dragon Never Dies – Bruce Lee @80. The former exhibition displays rare copies of the popular kids’ magazine Children’s Paradise from different eras along with related items, while the latter, co-organised with the Bruce Lee Club, brings together Bruce Lee memorabilia from collectors.Similar to last year’s event, the 2020 Book Fair will feature eight seminar series – Renowned Writers (co-organised with Mingpao and Yazhou Zhoukan), Theme of the Year “Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”, English and Foreign Reading Series, World of Knowledge, Children and Youth Reading, Spiritual Growth and Personal Development, Lifestyle, and the Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series.
Alongside the Book Fair, the HKTDC has lined up numerous cultural and educational institutions, libraries, museums, shopping malls, cafes and bookstores to organise a broad range of cultural events running from late June to late July as part of the Cultural July – Joyful Summer Reading citywide campaign. The aim is to promote the pleasure of reading to people across Hong Kong.In addition, the HKTDC has allocated resources to set up a new Cultural Journey Online webpage on the Book Fair website. The webpage will showcase different e-reading resources, museum exhibitions and cultural activities offered by partners so that users can broaden their horizons and gain new knowledge at any time.
Sports and Leisure Expo
As one of the highlights of this year’s Book Fair, the Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo has received an overwhelming response from participating companies and organisations. Covering a broad range of sports and leisure brands, products and services, the expo will feature 10 themes including Refresh & Relax, a new section featuring a selection of the latest sports and wellness products. Free trials for esports racing simulators and new sports activities such as sport stacking will be offered by CHALLENGER Z-NTERTAINMENT LIMITED and the Hong Kong Sport Stacking Association respectively to provide participants with a taste of the excitement offered by different sporting activities. The expo will also feature numerous celebrity-sharing sessions and performances, featuring a star-studded roster of speakers and renowned athletes including Hong Kong badminton player Angus Ng and long-distance runner Christy Yiu, who will both share on their sporting journeys.Highlighting the fun of different leisure activities, the expo will offer a series of handicraft, photography and table-top game workshops, including a card case and glass painting key chain workshop jointly presented by local handicraft fair LOCOLOCO and local craftspeople; a creative smartphone photography workshop run by Fotobeginner; and the KeyForge Challenge Competition presented by Capstone. In addition, an on-site lucky draw held during the expo will feature a range of great prizes sponsored by exhibitors including a Speed Stacks® Training set, sports backpacks and various sports and leisure products.
The HKTDC Education and Careers Expo and HKTDC Entrepreneur Day (E-Day) will be held from 16 to 19 July and 16 to 17 July respectively, running in parallel with the Book Fair at the HKCEC. Providing a one-stop life-planning solution, these two events will offer youngsters, jobseekers and business starters a broad range of information related to education, employment, business opportunities and support. Admission to the two events is free of charge.