Hong Kong trade show blog series – First-hand experiences in the China Sourcing Fair
The China Sourcing Fair (CSF) is a premier trade show organized by the B2B trade media company Global Sources (GS). At this event, suppliers and buyers come together to network and source out products from Greater China and Asia. With the support of GS, the Hinrich Foundation (HF) was able to participate in the exhibit under the Export Assistance Program (EAP).
First-time attendees, Emerela, Lycah and Pik will share with you their experiences from booth set-up to talking to buyers to finding interesting products in the show.
Setting-up our Booth (Day 1 – Apr. 26, 2015)
Location: Hall 1, Asia World Expo
Booth number: 1D02
Our booth was in a very strategic location because it was near the entrance and exit doors from Hall 1 going to Hall 2.
At 10:30AM, we came in with boxes and bags filled with products ready to be showcased. The products included handmade fashion accessories, gifts and premiums, and home decor from developing countries across Asia such as Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Everyone in the team worked together to unpack them and displayed products on top of six large tables illuminated from the inside. After the products had been arranged, the boxes looked very colorful and festive!
Finally, we were able to see and touch the products from different countries and it was so amazing because of their diverse colors, design intricacy and interesting materials. Indeed, they emphasize the uniqueness, artistry and authenticity of each country.
Manning the booth (Day 2 – Apr. 27, 2015)
From an HF scholar’s point of view
By attending the trade show, I was able to directly talk to buyers from different countries such as Malaysia, the Netherlands, the U.S., India and Vietnam. I was able to get ideas on what products attract large buyers.
I am thankful because I learned some techniques from experienced HF export consultants on how to approach and talk to buyers in a trade show. I’m also happy that some of the buyers were interested in products from my country, Laos.
I also saw different products from other countries that have potential markets and hopefully I can get ideas on how Laos manufacturers can differentiate their handicrafts from other sourcing centers. These experiences and learnings will be useful when I start working with EAP-Laos.
During the first day, we had to be very observant of what was happening around us. Our main goal is to promote HF and the Online Developing Country Sourcing Site (ODCSS), and help buyers find products that will match their sourcing needs. It’s never easy.
As first timers, we had taken note of the following observations:
• The trade show was organized. There was GS staff walking around in uniforms and ‘Ask Me’ flags so you could easily ask questions. Identification tags were colored according to roles: VIP buyers, invited buyers, exhibitors.
• Buyers walked around and took note of products or booth numbesr. Some just like to look at the products. Some were interested and would ask you questions. The key is you have to be very courteous.
• Buyers were often curious about what we do as a Foundation so we had to clearly explain to them the details about how we help promote sustainable global trade.
Manning the booth did not only allow us to talk to buyers, we also had fun talking to our fellow export consultants. We learned tips from our colleagues on how to encourage buyers to visit our booth and we also learned about their countries and products. We also got the chance to share our own stories, which included challenges and successes in working with EAP.
Checking out some cool products (Day 3 – Apr. 28, 2015)
The show allowed us to see products from Greater China and we have observed how diverse the products are. As we visited booths around Hall 1 where gifts, premiums and home decor are exhibited, we got some perspective on the next product and color trends.
Products that caught our attention are bags and kitchenware made from silicon. Silicon was preferred as a material because it is durable and stylish.
Multifunctional products were also in the trade show, such as boxes that could be used as chairs or storage boxes that could be used as table tops.
Our first-hand experiences taught us the value of teamwork, patience and the innovation. It also gave us invaluable lessons about international trade. We will surely apply all that we learned in our specific tasks to carry out our mission of promoting sustainable global trade.
About the Author – Cherrilyn Baylon
About the Author – Emerela Puspita
About the Author – Phiengphaneth Chanthalangsy