12 Nov 2004
HONG KONG TOYS & GAMES FAIR 2005(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 11,2004)
January 11-14, 2005
Visitor Enquiries: (852) 2240-4435
MAJOR EXHIBIT CATEGORIES
Get ready for the biggest toy fair in Asia as the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair makes its 31st appearance with a brand new section and expanded popular features.
From January 11-14, 2005, this major industry exhibition will transform the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre into a veritable playground paradise. With almost every toy imaginable for any conceivable age group, exhibitors will have access to visitors from all corners of the world, providing one of the world's best opportunities to show and source the latest in toy trends.
Spanning all key industry categories, the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2005 will feature baby toys and products, battery-operated and electronic toys, die-cast/mechanical toys and action figures, educational toys and games, as well as hobby goods, multiple products/general merchandise, outdoor and sporting items, party items, toy parts and accessories, and those perennial favourites, soft toys and dolls.
With special exhibition group pavilions already secured for the Chinese mainland, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand, as well as a strong Hong Kong delegation, visitors can expect a truly international perspective.
In addition, running concurrently at the same venue the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2005, the largest trade show of its kind in Asia, will offer the opportunity to exhibit and source an array of stationery products.
"The Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair just keeps getting bigger and better, snatching the prestigious spot of second-largest toy show in the world," enthuses Anne Chick, senior exhibitions manager of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), which is organising the event.
"With more than 50,000 square metres of space, the fair offers something for everyone in the toy business," she adds.
To reinforce its distinguished world position, the 2005 fair has conjured up an exciting new Magic Section to offer the timeless world of magic goods its very own location.
In addition, the Bicycle zone successfully launched in 2004, wheels into an expanded Outdoor and Sporting Items arena, and Hobby Goods returns by popular demand in its own dedicated sector.
"The timing for the 2005 fair couldn't be better, with a more positive economic outlook and a bullish toy industry bringing consumers back to spending," notes Chick.
"With this renewed 'feel good' factor, we anticipate an even better event than 2004, which attracted an already impressive 1,807 exhibitors and 25,785 visitors from 123 countries and regions."
Indeed, a survey conducted at the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2004 revealed industry expectations of double-digit growth in the toy retail market in the US and Western Europe, with 80% of traders anticipating a better market outlook for the industry in 2004.
The survey also found that the trade anticipated battery-operated and electronic toys would enjoy the fastest growth this year, followed by computer and educational toys, with consumers in the 5-14 age group the likely drivers behind increased sales.
This age group has become notoriously fickle in its affiliation to toy types. "The shelf-life for toys is getting shorter and shorter," says Jeffrey Lam, managing director of Hong Kong toy manufacturer Forward Winsome Industries Ltd and chairman of the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2005 Advisory Committee.
"Children are getting more sophisticated and manufacturers must invest in R&D to keep pace with rapidly changing consumer demand.
"Hong Kong manufacturers are renowned for their production of high quality toys and can respond to the industry's demand for smaller orders and fast delivery lead times that these trends increasingly demand."
But, whatever the age group, the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2005 will offer something for everyone. Providing a specialised marketing opportunity to respond to the rapidly growing industry of healthy lifestyle products, the fair will stage an expanded and restructured Outdoor and Sporting Items section at the Convention Hall, in addition to Hall 5 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Covering six thematic zones, this section will include ball game equipment, bicycles, camping and hiking gear, fitness and gymnasium equipment, golf equipment, and swimming, diving, fishing and water sports equipment.
The Hobby Goods section, originally launched in 2003, will also take an expanded arena to display the very latest in action figures, models, miniatures, puzzles, collectables and board games, which are proving so popular with adults and children alike.
As well as providing the very latest in toy designs, the fair provides the perfect venue for keeping abreast of industry intelligence, making important new contacts and meeting up with regular customers.
The Private Showroom, an innovative initiative launched in 2003, provides exhibitors with a calm, quiet venue where they can network with high profile buyers and demonstrate exclusive products.
"The fair will continue to add new attractions to ensure that buyers get their best shot at the new buying season," notes Chick.
Visitors can also access the TDC's innovative online services at www.hktoyfair.com two months before the fair begins and utilise the time-saving Business Matching service that helps put together buyers and exhibitors with specific needs.
This unique combination of strong international presence and special features virtually guarantees that the Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair 2005 will be the best and most rewarding event of its kind to date.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
January 11-14, 2005
Visitor Enquiries: (852) 2240-4554
6,000 square metres
Licensed To Thrill
A vast collection of new products, styles, colours and finishes will link stationery firmly to the world of fashion at the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2005.
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