With big hotel chains like Hyatt, Intercontinental, Ritz Carlton, Hard Rock Hotel, Venetian, The Sands etc., setting up new hotels at the Taipa new zone, the total conference area in Macau has been increased to 500% compared to 5 years ago.
Below are some pointers and tips for exhibiting in Macau for your reference.
1) Know your audiences - If you have a captive audience, your message should be more SPECIFIC (generally conferences falls into this category). If you have moving audiences, have some STUNNING graphics to draw attention to your booth.
2) Set up your booth or exhibits early - Macau people are generally more relax and laid back, so do allow more time for set up if you need the local staffs to help with the set up.
3) Work with contactors who has local facilities - There are many contractors from Hong Kong or China who are pitching for businesses in Macau, some have facilities in Macau but most do not. It will be tough to have last minute changes or add-ons if their production facilities are in China or Hong Kong and not in Macau itself.
4) Stay near the Venue - There are two parts of Macau, most new hotels are in Taipa new zone, it is good to stay near the conference or exhibiting venue to cut down the travel time, even if you have to pay a little more for the hotel.
5) There are FREE shuttle services from most of the hotels to the Pier, so do check it out and hop-on to these buses even if you do not stay in that particular hotel. This is something unique about Macau's transport system.
6) Generally all goods are duty free when you send it to Macau, so do not worry about any duty or customs issue on your product samples or souvenirs or give-a-ways.
7) Macau Dollars and Hong Kong Dollars are freely used in Macau 1:1, but you get a better exchange rate in Singapore than in Macau, so do change your Macau $ or Hong Kong $ in Singapore.
8) Taxis are easily available and affordable in Macau, you do not need to book it in advance like many other cities, but they do expect some tips after the trip.
9) Freight and Courier Services are efficient and reasonable in Macau. You can always leave your exhibits after the show at the hotel concierge or venue and arrange TNT, FEDEX or DHL to pick it up.
10) Try to get a direct flight to Macau if you are hand carrying heavy or bulky samples. Fly in from Hong Kong and taking a Ferry service to Macau with heavy items is troublesome and energy draining. There is a 24 hours ferry service between Hong Kong Island and Macau with hourly interval, Ferry from Kowloon stops at 9.30pm.
11) Macau is like Las Vegas, there are plenty of good restaurants, shows and musicals. However, during peak exhibition season, the good ones are usually fully booked, so do reserve it early if you intend to bring your customers for a dinner or a show.
12) If you have some spare time, do a day trip to Zhuhai, China for some shopping and local seafood. Most hotels have free shuttle services to the border gate (about 1/2 hours from most hotel). There are also counters with 'VISA on arrival' application at the gate and plenty of travel agents to help you to do a VISA with a minimum fee. (By the way, Singaporean travels Visa free to China)
13) Exchange all your Macau $ back to your own currency before you leave the country. Not many countries accept money exchange of Macau $ except Singapore, Hong Kong and southern China.