10 April 2007
Breaking Recrods For Business(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2007)
Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition)
For example, the buyer for Tweeter, a national, high-end audiovisual chain in the US with some 160 stores in 22 states, describes last year's show as a key venue for finding new providers and meeting existing suppliers.
"This show is essential for me - I don't ever come here without finding a new source, a new manufacturer, a new product," says Rick Penney, the company's vice president, product development-sourcing.
Exhibitor Binatone Electronics Int'l Ltd, which has exhibited at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair for more than 15 years, is equally enthusiastic. "Most of our current buyers and potential customers visit this fair so it's crucial for us to be there," explains Binatone group sales & marketing director Dino Lalvani. "Our participation is an important way for us to build up the brand image and promote our new products."
Firms like these have been signing up in their thousands for the Hong Kong Electronics Fair 2007 (Spring Edition), which will unveil the latest in consumer electronics trends from April 14-17 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"The fourth edition of the fair has more than 2,300 exhibitors and is expected to surpass last year's event," predicts Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), organiser of the event.
She notes that 2,261 exhibitors from 18 countries and regions and 51,339 buyers from 153 countries and regions took part in the 2006 fair, setting a new record.
"With an increase in exhibitors and buyers of 19% and 9% respectively, the spring edition is now firmly established on the international calendar and, from the level of current interest, we predict that a new record will be set this year," Chick says. The widening interest in the event is partially credited to the TDC's ongoing drive to explore and develop exciting new product zones and to position exhibitors into easily identifiable areas, creating increased interest from, and easy access for, buyers.
This year, for example, the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) will introduce two new zones that build on the strengths of existing display areas.
Home electronic and electrical products can now be found in a new section entitled Home Tech, which will offer a wide range of intelligent home appliances, home security products and healthcare products.
Vision and Sound is an essential zone for the latest products in home theatre and entertainment systems, which are some of today's biggest-selling home electronics items.
These new developments will be in addition to such familiar favourites as the Hall of Fame, the prestigious home of globally-recognised brand name collections that hosts more than 160 companies displaying the finest quality and most creative designs.
The Lighting Section will once again feature the newest lighting designs for the fast-changing home decor industry, while other special sections will include Digital Imaging, Electronics Manufacturing Services, Hong Kong Electronics Parts Procurement Square (supported by the Japan External Trade Organisation - JETRO Hong Kong), and the Metal Parts and Components Pavilion.
Chick adds that buyers should not miss the International ICT Expo, a concurrent event that will spotlight the latest technological developments from a large number of cutting-edge suppliers.
"The International ICT Expo will feature more than 500 information technology product suppliers and software applications developers categorised into eight zones for convenient, easy sourcing," she explains.
These zones will include Network and Mobility, Enterprise Solutions, Linux and Open Source, Digital Living and Multimedia, E-Logistics and Retail Technologies, Home-grown Innovations, IT Outsourcing and Trade-Related Services.
Chick notes five special highlights to ensure visitors are kept abreast of the very latest developments in an ICT environment that moves at the speed of light. "Mobile Business, Software Outsourcing, NFC Wireless Payment, Intelligent Transportation and Green ICT reflect the key areas of growth in the ICT field," she believes.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises haven't been forgotten either as the highly popular SME IT Clinic returns for a fourth consecutive year. "This provides SMEs with a valuable chance to seek free advice from exhibitors on system applications and solutions that can aid business development," Chick explains.
Equally attractive in the past have been the seminar series where industry experts share their insights on product trends, technologies, market potential, regulations and business practices.
"This year, highlights will include International ICT Summit 2007, Mobile Business Conference 2007, Green ICT Forum and IT Outsourcing Forum," she notes.
"Given this tremendous range of attractions and the enormous interest from exhibitors and buyers alike, there is little doubt that the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) will live up to its reputation as one of the world's key industry events for the electronics trade."
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
No Hong Kong fair organised by the TDC would be complete without the important seminars that provide invaluable industry insights, and the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) is no exception.
This year's seminar highlight will be The Challenge of Intellectual Property Rights in the Electronics Industry, a topic of growing concern to buyers and exhibitors.
As such, it will be a fitting continuation of the instructive tutorials that formed an important adjunct to last year's spring edition, which included Pan-PRD Linux/Open Source Development.
In this seminar, Hong Kong Linux Industry Association chairman Alan Kan told a keen audience that Linux was now eroding the market share of other software giants.
Citing profitable companies and services that use Linux, which include Google and Sony, Kan claimed "independent and innovative software development is the way ahead".
Other seminars included Design as Sales Argument - European Trends, in which Marketing Communication Group, German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association chairman Peter Weber explained that consumers were looking for individuality as well as functionality, and that design was an important marketing tool in today's competitive market environment.
"The current trends in Europe are to use more colours for both household appliances and consumer electronic products, while focusing on elegant design and special shapes," he said.
Weber also highlighted the importance of more brand marketing. "Combining brand awareness with design will help companies extend their product lines and increase consumers' confidence," he said.
Elsewhere, business was urged to consider the benefits offered by the Digital Trade and Transportation Network (DTTN) at a seminar entitled Adding Value to Your Business with the DTTN.
Digital Trade and Transportation Network Ltd marketing manager Terry Chow explained that DTTN places a document conversion engine in the middle of any number of entities involved in the trading process, such as buyers, sellers, freight forwarders and government agencies.
If one party uses XML-based documents and the receiver uses primarily spreadsheets, DTTN translates the document for either party. "DTTN lowers the e-trade entry hurdle for SMEs and enhances larger companies' operations," Chow explained.
"Information is power," claims Chick, "and never more so than in today's fast-changing electronics industry, which is why market intelligence opportunities prove so popular at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair."
TEXT BY SANDRA JENNER