6 Jan 2005
Fair Previews(HKTDC Gifts, Premium & Stationery, Vol 01,2005)
January 11-14, 2005
Visitor Enquiries: (852) 2240-4554
Licensed To Thrill
The demand for attractive goods to service the computer industry, and the trend towards licensed characters on children's stationery, will take the spotlight at this event.
Held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from January 11-14, 2005, the Stationery Fair is being staged alongside the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2005.
Pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand will reveal some of their hottest office and stationery products at the fair. In total, an anticipated 250 exhibitors will show all major categories of stationery, including artists' equipment, children's stationery and school supplies, educational systems, office supplies, paper and paper products as well as a wide range of writing equipment.
"Hong Kong is an important hub for global trade in stationery and office supplies," notes Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), which is jointly organising the fair with Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. "This makes it an ideal location for Asia's second- largest event of its kind with such an acknowledged international profile."
In the first seven months of 2004, Hong Kong imported a total of US$715m-worth of stationery (excluding printed matter) and exported a total of US$799m during the same period.
The stationery fair has more than earned its international reputation, Chick adds. "In 2004, the event drew more than 12,300 buyers, with more than half of visitors from 115 countries and regions overseas."
On display were the latest products of 221 exhibitors from Brazil, Canada, the Chinese mainland, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and the US, which complemented a strong presentation from Hong Kong's world-renowned stationery manufacturers.
The 2004 fair received some glowing reports, with buyers and exhibitors meeting old and new contacts, and securing excellent business opportunities. "This fair has really opened up the Chinese mainland market for us," says Andy Pan, marketing director for Creative Album of Singapore, which will continue its participation in the 2005 event. "We didn't really do much business with the mainland until we started exhibiting in Hong Kong, and have now met some very professional buyers."
The fair also exceeded the expectations of photo album and binder company Kleer-Vu Deluxe Album Inc of Canada. "The Hong Kong fair has attracted a vast number of buyers; no show in the US has the same diversity," says the company's general manager Stanley Gestetner.
"We met more than 100 buyers each day, and received on-site orders from buyers from the Chinese mainland, the Philippines, India, Singapore and Thailand," he adds.
Chick notes there is still time for exhibitors and visitors to sign up for the 2005 fair and take advantage of two important industry shows with similar target buyers.
As a further fair attraction, she says visitors can catch up with the latest news on licensing at a seminar on one of the hottest topics in stationery. Here, distinguished industry speakers are expected to share their expertise with potential licensees and discuss the latest issues in intellectual property rights and brand development.
Licensing has become big business in the industry and is destined to grow even further, Chick predicts.
"Responding to market demand, back-to-school products like schoolbags, pencil cases and desk stationery increasingly carry world- famous logos and cartoon characters from Looney Tunes and Disney characters to popular TV shows.
"Licensees benefit by the creation of immediate consumer awareness for their products and lower investment costs than if they were to develop their own brands."
President of the Licensing Group Ltd of LA, in the US, Danny Simon is equally optimistic on the state of the licensing industry in Asia, and especially in the stationery business.
"In 2002, sales of licensed products in the Chinese mainland grew by 33%, which is far higher than anywhere else in the world," he told a previous stationery fair seminar.
Stationery sets are also playing an increasingly important role in the home and small office, where fancy transparent or translucent items provide useful and stylish accessories.
Ergonomic design is another growing trend that will be showcased at the fair. Look out for such products as writing utensils with soft holding zones and angled writing points, and the further use of gel technology to add even greater comfort and flexibility to writing instruments and computer accessories.
These are just some of the many exciting new products that will make the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair an essential event for all serious industry traders.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
APRIL 28 - MAY 1 , 2005
Major Exhibit Categories
Halls 1,2,3, Atrium 2, Grand Hall
Convention Hall, Mezzanine 1,2
Rooms 201-212, 301-312, 401-410, 601-610
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
1 Harbour Rd, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Expecting Booming Business Again
Tens of thousands of exhibitors and buyers across the globe have already pencilled in April 28 to May 1 as the year's four most-important days on the business calendar. The reason? That's when they'll be attending the 20th edition of the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair 2005 - Asia's biggest trade fair and the third largest of its kind in the world.
Jeffrey Lam, chairman of the fair organising committee, believes this year's event will top the number of buyers attracted in 2004. "The majority of buyers will be from the Chinese mainland," he says. "The mainland economy continues to boom and its marketplace continues to grow as prosperity spreads right across the country."
Lam feels there are valid reasons to be upbeat about the 2005 edition. "Not only are regulars coming back but we are also attracting still more new buyers who are spreading the word that this is the place to come to find valuable opportunities, do business and make money," he says.
The chairman also believes the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) has provided a shot-in-the-arm for the Hong Kong economy, with overseas manufacturers now teaming up with local partners to make brand name goods in several categories, including watches and plastics.
"Furthermore, CEPA2 is making a strong impression on our economy, with more than 700 additional Hong Kong-made products being allowed onto the mainland free of tariffs. All this trade and activity will be reflected in the wide range and very large variety of products on display at this and other Hong Kong trade fairs," he states.
Equally enthusiastic is Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick. "We're making sure the letter 'i' is well and truly dotted for next April," she smiles. "That means the 'i' for 'initiative', the 'i' for 'ingenuity', the 'i' for 'innovation' and the 'i' for imagination - all qualities that will be foremost among the exciting range of products on display."
Chick says there are many top-drawer items to be seen, many of which are perennial favourites with buyers.
The list includes watches and clocks; toys and sporting goods; general gift items; fashion jewellery and accessories; party and Christmas decorations; advertising gifts and premiums; ceramic novelties; consumer electronics; picture and photo frames; silverware; stationery; paper and packaging; and travel goods, umbrellas and trade services.
In addition to the main event, the Hall of Fine Designs is an important added attraction - one devoted to exquisite and upmarket gifts of outstanding design paraded in a stylish and elegant setting.
Clearly, with this premier event now back in its customary slot at the end of April, it is time to finalise arrangements to ensure you make it to the fair to negotiate your piece of Asia's biggest business pie.
WHAT THEY SAID LAST YEAR
All the stops have been pulled out to ensure the 2005 edition of Asia's biggest trade fair and the third largest of its kind in the world attracts even more buyers and exhibitors than last year's record-breaking event.
The April 2004 edition showcased the products of 3,446 exhibitors: 2,452 from Hong Kong, 139 from the Chinese mainland, and 855 from 31 other countries and regions.
In terms of buyers, 28,732 were from Hong Kong, with the remaining 27,738 from 146 countries and regions.
Typical reactions from exhibitors included those by Yuva Lertsirimit, export sales manager of Precious Memory Co Ltd of Thailand: "The fair offers an opportunity for us to expand our business base as many visitors from around the world come here. It's also the most important fair for us because we can meet new customers as well as see our old friends."
Meanwhile, Michelle Young, accounts manager for Artfield Mfg Co Ltd, Hong Kong, said: "I think the fair has become one of the largest sourcing platforms of the gifts and premiums industries in Asia, both in terms of business generated and the interest taken by the international buyer community in premium items from this part of the world."
Among the large number of buyers was Andante Co Ltd president Hisao Kawano of Japan who said: "The fair is very useful. I've been coming here for more than 10 years and I've been impressed by how much designs have improved."
Ergo Europe Ltd director Jorge Miranda of Portugal spent about 80% of his annual ordering budget at the fair.
He said: "It's very important for me to be here and see the trends. I'm looking at Hong Kong companies for the designs, but the companies from the Chinese mainland are improving a lot."