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《M&C Asia》Hong Kong Toycar Salon 2023 generates AI racers as event ambassadors

The 3rd edition of the show is expecting strong support from B2B and B2C attendees.

Set for 22 to 24 September 2023 at Kowloon’s The Space at D2 Place One, the third edition of the Hong Kong Toycar Salon (HKTCS) returns to connect brands, licensors, and buyers, offering car aficionados a look at the model car, figurine, and global diorama scene.

This year, HKTCS is diving into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and generating 34 distinct AI racers – designed with help from ChatGPT, Mid Journey, Stable Diffusion, and Adobe Firefly – to be used as event ambassadors and to support the growth of AI in the toy car industry.

Noting that AI can save exhibitors time and costs, and support creativity, Market Hubs managing director and Hong Kong Toycar Salon curator, Lierence Li, said the AI-powered Toycar Salon is going to “work” better than previous years’ themes which mined the so-called Metaverse and NFTs simply because it is more functional in the real world.

“It’s unique because AI is more grounded. We can use it for TV shows, to generate content and to answer customer services demands and so on. This is realistic,” added Li. “The Metaverse is non-centralised, a little more removed from daily life. And the negative perception of NFTs is thanks to the idea that it’s easy money and a bit of a scam. AI is part of daily life. You can’t get away from it.”

The help of AI

For HKTCS this year, not only is AI fostering international collaboration with industry stakeholders such as copyright holders, car manufacturers, and designers – including major players Mattel and Tomica – the show combines both B2B and B2C platforms, the only show in Asia to so.

The speed with which AI can demonstrate such collaborations for all market players is HKTCS’s trump card, especially in expanding markets such as Indonesia and Thailand.

Li said that getting consumers and professionals alike to separate AI from the Metaverse and NFTs is tricky – especially in Hong Kong. “I do worry about that. They were all buzzwords at one time and so I worry about how we compete with Singapore and other parts of Asia that are less technologically conservative and more educated about the tech.”

Needing more space

Some challenges facing the Toycar Salon’s growth are venue diversity and availability. Li pointed out that the shortage of medium and small-sized exhibition venues in Hong Kong could lead his show to other regional cities. For Li, and other SME shows such as Toycar Salon, the key is balancing space size and costs.

“For shows that combine B2B and B2C, hotels are inappropriate and not cost effective for SMEs. Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre (KITEC) is scheduled for demolition and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) is perpetually booked solid,” said Li, who believes this year’s visitor count for Toycar Salon could exceed the 13,000 of 2022. On top of the loss of KITEC, expansions to existing venues such as HKCEC are still years away.

“I can see a lot of mid-sized shows with potential to grow bigger but with nowhere to go, but venues in Taiwan, Macau or Singapore are interested in hosting – either by relocating or hosting subevents. It’s something to consider for growing shows.”

Original article: https://www.meetings-conventions-asia.com/News/Events/Hong-Kong-Toycar-Salon-2023-generates-AI-racers-as-event-ambassadors