1 Sept 2000
Record Gifts And Premium Turnout Precedes Expansion (HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2000)
Vol 3 2000
AFTER scaling new heights of popularity, attracting record crowds of exhibitors and visitors to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), Asia's leading gift industry trade fairs are poised for a double-encore in 2001.
A record 54,595 international visitors flocked to the HKCEC from 17 to 20 April for the 15th Hong Kong Gifts & Houseware Fair and the 10th Hong Kong Premium Show.
According to German-based independent audit specialists, the Voluntary Control of Fair and Exhibition Statistics (FKM), total attendance soared 18% on a year earlier.
A total of 3,446 exhibitors (another record) from Hong Kong and overseas displayed an almost infinite range of new products.
The two-in-one trade extravaganza, occupying 77,000 square metres in seven exhibition halls, plus meeting rooms and mezzanine areas, ranked as the largest event of its kind in Asia and third-largest in the world.
"I was a little overwhelmed by the immensity of it," said first-time Canadian visitor George Campbell, manager of Kindred Spirits, a company specializing in dolls and figurines. "While finding what we needed, I also discovered an incredible number of options."
The Hong Kong Gifts & Houseware Fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), while the Premium Show is jointly organised by TDC and the Hong Kong Exporters' Association.
In response to overwhelming demand from exhibitors and buyers, the four-day event, with its concurrent fairs, will expand into two consecutive fairs. Next year, Hong Kong Houseware Week runs from 17 to 20 April, followed by Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Week from 24 to 27 April.
"This is not a case of expanding simply to expand," said TDC exhibitions director C.S. Lee. "Our philosophy is to improve quality and add new types of products to enhance those already on offer. For exhibitors and buyers, it's a win-win situation."
At the recent event, a high profile Hall of Elegance highlighted brands and designs from 24 select exhibitors from Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.
Among the 17 group pavilions, new participants represented Japan and the Philippines. Additional pavilions featured exhibitors from Australia, mainland China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Macau, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the US.
In 1999, Hong Kong exported HK$278bn worth of gifts and household goods, with the US, Germany and Japan as leading markets.
"Hong Kong manufacturers continue to invest in new technology, equipment and training in both design and production to maintain our competitive edge," said Hong Kong Gifts & Houseware Fair organising committee chairman Jeffrey Lam.
"These fairs offer a multitude of opportunities to network and conduct efficient business."
Trends, like increased use of electronic technology in gifts and housewares, and strong emphasis on colours, will generate new business, Lam said.
Record attendance demonstrates that buyers are expanding their Asian sourcing, while pursuing opportunities due to the region's return to vigorous economic growth, he added.
Total attendance from outside Hong Kong reached 31,099, up 24% on 1999. Leading sources of overseas visitors were: the US, Taiwan, Japan, mainland China, Australia, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, the UK and Malaysia.
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