16 January 2015 – The four major trade shows in Hong Kong this week recorded a buyer attendance of over 110,000, an increase of four per cent over the previous year. The four shows – HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, Hong Kong International Stationery Fair and HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show – together featured over 3,000 exhibitors, setting a new record.
The HKTDC’s Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said the fairs’ results were encouraging and the buying momentum was promising. In terms of buyers’ attendance for the Toys, Baby Products and Stationery Fairs, mature markets such as the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain registered growth while the United States increased 25 per cent. Participation from Japan and Korea also rose. Buyers from emerging markets were also active, with double-digit percentage growth from such places as Poland, Thailand and the Chinese mainland.
In response to the continuing trend of “frequent but smaller orders”, the Small-Order Zone returned to the Toys Fair, Baby Products Fair and Stationery Fair this year. The zone featured nearly 120 showcases displaying some 1,200 items available in quantities of between 5 and 1,000 pieces. Over the four-day fair period, 7,000 buyers visited the Small-Order Zone, generating 16,100 business enquiries.
Monitoring Market Trends
“The HKTDC ensures that buyers will always find the latest products in demand,” Mr Chau said. “We closely monitor the economic situation, the latest development and product trends in different industries. High-tech products give consumers a brand new experience. Traditional toys which make use of environmentally friendly materials and combine innovative design and technology can revitalise toy products.”
Responding to this trend, the HKTDC introduced the “Smart-Tech Toys” product zone last year. Windrider R.S.B Aviation Ltd, a first-time exhibitor at the Toys & Games Fair, is a distributor “DJI Inspire 1”, a ready-to-fly flying system. It features a 4K camera for aerial filming that offers mid-air image transfer. Windrider’s Managing Director Lou Tsz Ming said the company received overwhelming responses from buyers and the first batch of Inspire 1 drones had sold out quickly. “At the fair, we’ve established contacts with many potential customers and partners worldwide, including Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Buyers expressed strong interest to place orders,” said Mr Lou.
French exhibitor Colemoi is a designer and producer of educational toys for kindergartens and therapy toys for children with special needs. The company’s General Manager, Jean-Michel Huit, said: “This is the fourth year that we are exhibiting at the Toys Fair. We have met many international buyers from places such as the Chinese mainland, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK. I’m pleased that a UK buyer is about to place orders soon. This fair really helps our expansion in Asia and the products appeal to international customers.”
To cater to market demand, a “Baby Food and Healthcare Products” zone was set up at the Baby Products Fair. CATALO Natural Health Foods Ltd. exhibited at the fair for the first time. Patrick Liang, the company’s Assistant Business Development Manager, remarked “our company has already established a leading presence in Hong Kong and we are keen to develop the Asian market through this fair. We have met with large wholesalers and e-tailers from the Chinese mainland and talked to potential buyers from Africa and Korea.”
Global Buyers Source From Hong Kong
Eager buyers from both traditional and emerging markets came to Hong Kong to source new products, including US firm, Hobby Express, a leading distributor of hobby products. Kurt Cleveland, the company’s President, said: “I am very impressed with the Toys Fair’s scale. Our focuses this year are radio-controlled toys, hobby products and science toys. I found the Buyer Meetings organised by HKTDC very useful in helping us identify the potential suppliers.” On the second day of the fair, he had already found 20 to 30 potential items and said he planned to procure about 10 to 15 products to develop new product lines.
Philippine buyer Lyn Marie O. Lu, Business Development Manager of baby&beyond, visited the Baby Products Fair for the first time. The company distributes a wide range of baby products to 30 retailers in the Philippines. Her company is going to launch its own brand and hopes to bring in more branded products from the Baby Products Fair. She found several suppliers that offer feeding products, bedding as well as health and safety products, and would place orders after the Fair.
At the Stationery Fair, Thai buyer Sudrak Chambundabongse, Vice President of Merchandising at B2S Company Limited, sourced various types of high quality licensed products from the Fair. “The Fair is very international and the quality of exhibitors is excellent. I have met over 10 exhibitors, including companies from the Chinese mainland, Greece, Hong Kong and Korea. I am really looking forward to do businesses with them," said Ms Sudrak.
The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and Hong Kong International Licensing Show were organised by the HKTDC while the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair was co-organised by the HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd. The Licensing Show was held from 12-14 January; the three other fairs ran 12-15 January.