Hungexpo Budapest Congress and Exhibition Centre: Cleverly Expanded and Modernized for Now and the Future

Date: 25/05/2022


Gala Systems

Re-opened last September with a capacity of 15,000, the Hungarian convention centre – Hungexpo – was chosen to host this year’s AIPC Annual Conference. This event will also serve to showcase the centre itself, with now 65,000 m2 of event space set in a landscaped park. To achieve this, Hungexpo underwent an extensive expansion and refurbishment during the pandemic, which was co-funded by the Hungarian government and French-owned GL Events Group. It resulted in the renewal of all five existing pavilions as well as the addition of a new reception building, two exhibition halls, and a 2,000-seat flexible conference venue. For Hungexpo CEO Gabor Ganczer, the latter is key to further strengthening the facility’s international market leadership.

Taking advantage of technology to deliver flexibility
The recently built convention centre includes a 2,500 m2 auditorium equipped with a Gala Venue® Flooring and Seating System – in which seats may be raised to variable heights or concealed underneath the floor structure in just minutes – as well as mobile partitions to temporarily divide the space. “Within an hour, we can go from an auditorium style to a flat-floor banqueting facility. That is why we chose Gala – to be able to convert our large auditorium for other functions besides traditional events,” explained the CEO, while emphasizing that the MICE segment will always remain the target.

It was Ganczer’s longstanding goal to see Hungexpo increase its competitiveness in the international market through a versatile convention centre. When he first learned about the automatic Gala conversion system at the 2017 AIPC Annual Conference, it cemented the concept: “I felt this was exactly what we needed because of the flexibility and reactivity it would allow us to provide to our clients,” he recalled. “It was easy to convince the Hungarian state to invest in the Gala System, because its versatility provides the opportunity to generate more revenue!”

Already hosting major international events
Since last September, the new congress space has been put to the test with the return of large events, such as the One With Nature’ World of Hunting and Nature Exhibition (2,000 guests) and the Planet 2021 Expo and Conference (1,500 guests from 120 countries). Still dealing with the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Hungexpo will present June’s Annual Congress of the European Psychiatric Society in a hybrid format (1500 guests expected).

Promising future
To meet event planners’ expectations for increased space versatility, Hungexpo has equipped itself with a fully flexible convention centre using Gala Systems’ technology. This venue not only meets the unique requirements of varied events but also maximizes occupancy with quick turnaround times, supporting the unpredictable demands of the MICE industry for future uses. Teaching seminars, tiered gala banquets, flat floor exhibits, pop concerts and separate speaking events can all be held within the same hall. Now, as the largest multifunctional convention venue in Central Eastern Europe, Hungexpo is poised to become a top venue for prominent international events – good news for the entire Hungarian tourism industry!

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