8 Feb 2005
Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair 2005(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 02,2005)
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."
April 21-24, 2005
MAJOR EXHIBIT CATEGORIES
APRIL MEGAFAIR A MUST
More than 30,000 international buyers are expected to attend the Hong Kong Houseware Fair 2005, from Thursday April 21 to Sunday April 24.
This megafair event is also vital to exhibitors - and more than 2,000 of them - from 32 countries and regions, will be showing off their latest innovative products for house and home. Driving home the global thrust of the fair are 15 group pavilions.
In alphabetical terms, buyers will be casting their eyes over a breathtaking array of artificial flowers; bathroom accessories; cleaning items and supplies; home decorations and hardware & DIY products.
There will also be furniture, gardening and outdoor accessories; general houseware items; health and personal care items, handicrafts, household textiles, kitchenware and gadgets, lighting and small electrical appliances.
Also, look for utilitarian products; vanity sets; wonderful surprises; extraordinary choices; your usual favourites (but even better this time round) and zippy, nippy wares for the ultra-modern homemaker.
In sum, a red-letter and incomparable line-up of products and services certain to find favour with buyers.
"Long ago, the Hong Kong Houseware Fair established itself very firmly as Asia's leading trade show of its kind," says chairman of the fair organising committee Jeffrey Lam.
"We are confident that the 2005 fair will set a new benchmark for the wide range and high quality of the products on display."
His enthusiasm is mirrored by Hong Kong Trade Development Council senior exhibitions manager Anne Chick, who adds: "The exclusive displays in the aptly-named Hall of Elegance will showcase some of the biggest brand names among houseware products."
An added draw card will be the expanded Fabric Flair, giving buyers a wider choice of top textiles for the household including bed and kitchen linens, carpets, plus upholstery, all in a wide range of fibres and styles.
Regulars at the fair include Isabel Cheung, marketing manager of Style Ceramics Ltd, who says: "This is an important event in our annual calendar, and the most famous and popular fair of its kind in Asia."
Echoing these comments is Brian Sun, managing director of cutlery specialists Technical (HK) Mfg Ltd who says: "The fair is very important to us. In addition to being the major industry event in the region, and one of the most important shows of its kind in the world, it attracts a lot of potential buyers."
Meanwhile, Vivien Chueh, manager of Ceramic Plus Ltd, enthuses: "This is such a well-known event that buyers have complete confidence in attending and placing orders."
Meanwhile, a survey of exhibitors and buyers at last April's edition showed both categories optimistic about market prospects - especially in Western Europe and North America, which are anticipating growths of 48% and 46% respectively.
The survey also showed that overseas traders were upbeat about the knock-on effects of CEPA, with 40% showing increased interest in the Chinese mainland market and considering tie-ups with Hong Kong manufacturers to sell branded products to meet booming demand there.
Equally relevant, the survey showed that products with the highest growth potential for the Chinese market were home decorations, table-and- kitchenware and furniture.
IN THE EYES OF BEHOLDERS
Many house-proud people keep the vases in their homes permanently "alive" with such beautifully produced artificial flowers that visitors must touch them to confirm whether they are real or not. But at the same time, other householders are enthusiastic amateur gardeners who take pride in the flowers, plants and shrubs they grow, and are always looking for imaginative accessories to improve the appearance of their gardens. To cater for fanciers of both artificial flowers and gardening accessories, the very best of both will be on display at the Hong Kong Houseware Fair 2005... so take your pick ...
HONG KONG'S FAB FORTNIGHT
Forget about April in Paris ... the place for astute businessmen to be in April this year is, without a doubt, Hong Kong. Just look at the abundance of money-making opportunities that will be here for the taking in the second fabulous fortnight of that month:
We hope to see you at these and other Hong Kong Trade Development Council-organised events designed for better business opportunities.
WRITTEN BY GEOFFREY SOMERS