31 May 2005
Beyond All Expectations(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2005)
Record numbers of exhibitors and international buyers attended the Hong Kong Houseware Fair from April 21-24, ensuring that it comfortably held its position as Asia's largest and most important trade show in this diverse industrial sector.
Golden opportunities abounded for some 31,669 buyers from 151 countries and regions, and they were kept busy over the full four days moving from booth to booth to assess and smartly access their choices from the smorgasbord of international products on display.
All told, on show was a treasure trove of products from an unprecedented 2,167 exhibitors from 37 countries and regions.
Hong Kong Houseware Fair and Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair 2005 organising committee chairman Jeffrey Lam said the show had established itself as a "mega event" that provided the perfect platform for sourcing a diverse range of stylish and creative houseware products under one roof.
"Hong Kong goes from strength to strength in terms of design," he said. "In the Hall of Elegance, for example, we saw an excellent range of products representing the epitome of good taste."
His views were echoed by exhibitors generally upbeat about global economic prospects, with 65% believing prospects for 2005 would prove better or slightly better than for 2004.
Back on the home front, it was noticeable that buyers appreciated Hong Kong's use of the Q-Mark quality certification. This scheme, administered by the Hong Kong Q-Mark Council under the auspices of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, seeks to enhance product quality and service standards.
"We believe Q-Mark certification helps boost consumer confidence in our kitchenware products," said Kin Hip Metal & Plastic Fty Ltd marketing director Andy Sun.
Echoing his praise for the Q-Mark scheme, Konstar Industries Ltd president York Wong said: "Q-Mark is now recognised by foreign customers and is very helpful for marketing and promotional activities."
Meanwhile, as the Hall of Elegance set its usual hot pace with streams of visitors viewing its world-class designer collections and upmarket brands, other added attractions included a briefing on intellectual property rights.
Hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the briefing served to update exhibitors on the Council's policy, existing legal procedures and the penalties for any infringements in this important area.
Summing up, TDC senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick said: "The modern trade fair is more than a collection of booths. It is also a forum for change and innovation as well as a business and social opportunity. The 2005 Hong Kong Houseware Fair has well and truly lived up to expectations."
WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS
INCREASED INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION
The Turkish contingent boldly proclaimed that the country's products brought on stream a "unique and highly profitable new source" of smart products and ideas.
Poland was another country putting out the welcome mat for the first time. Boasting a vibrant emerging economy, Polish commercial consul Andrzej Pieczonka addressed a seminar on "Practical guide to entering Poland's houseware market". He supplemented his advice with a valuable tip: "Make Poland your distribution hub for trade within the European Union as well as Eastern Europe."
Local exhibitors were just as positive. Hong Kong's Green Square Enterprise Ltd chief marketing officer Cissy Mo, for example, said the fair provided a superb opportunity to showcase new products like plastic beaded curtains and accessories in medium-density fibreboard because "we know buyers are focused only on housewares when they come here".
From the US, American Lighting was back at the fair for the third consecutive year and showed a colourful new series of gooseneck lights and novelty neon lamps. President Bernard Koay enthused that "this fair is always good for us as we meet so many international buyers here".
First-time Russian visitor Vladimir Ignatchenko, general director of Grand Elitar, was "very impressed" with the quality of the products and the services available. He described the fair as "a good place for us to source suitable products."
Brazil's Nadia Saab, CEO of Emporio Lapoltrona, said, "We're back to source top quality furniture for the Brazilian market as well as decorative items for the home in porcelain, bronze and glass. This year's fair is well organised with more options than ever before, and the prices are extremely competitive."
Philippe Tarde, director general of France's La Cantiniere, said: "The choice here is much more international than at European fairs ... I am very impressed with the organisation, everything is very smooth."