From mobile devices to virtual reality, home products, fashion and luggage, you can source almost anything at Global Sources trade shows
If you are a private labeler or a seller looking to develop a brand, it’s very likely that you’ll be sourcing products from factories in Asia. So it makes a lot of sense to attend trade shows there, and meet face-to-face with potential suppliers.
Not only does this cut out lengthy email conversations, where your requirements can be easily misunderstood, it helps you get a feel for the right supplier and start building a relationship with them.
Trade shows also give sellers a chance to get hands on with potential products. In the age of the internet sellers can be all too tempted to source products without ever seeing them. At trade shows, sellers can get their hands on sample products, test them out and make a far more informed decision on which products to source.
Global Sources Trade Shows
Global Sources Exhibitions are held twice a year, in April and October, at AsiaWorld-Expo in Hong Kong. They include three trade shows split across three phases.
Electronics (11–14 & 18–21 April)
Consumer Electronics (11–14 April)
The world’s largest electronics sourcing show kicks off with the Consumer Electronics phase, which showcases 3,800 booths of consumer electronics, gaming equipment, components and smart living products.
It is also home to the Startup Launchpad, Asia’s largest gathering of startups in the consumer electronics field. The event consists of a trade-show pavilion, where 300 startups will be showcasing their products, and a conference track.
Mobile Electronics (18–21 April)
Global Sources Mobile Electronics is the biggest sourcing show in the world for mobile electronics – even bigger than Canton Fair! It features 2,800 booths offering the latest mobile devices, AR and VR technology, wearables and mobile accessories.
Gifts & Home (18–21 April)
Co-located with the Mobile Electronics show is the Global Sources Gifts & Home show, which brings together innovative design and award winning products from across the field of home and gifts.
It also features the New Sourcing Markets pavilion, which gives sellers the opportunity to source products from countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia.
Fashion (27–30 April)
The Global Sources Fashion show is the largest fashion trade fair in Hong Kong, featuring 1,800 booths of apparel, accessories and fabrics. Among the pavilions, you’ll find large collections of bags and luggage, footwear and sportswear.
This phase offers sellers a great chance to see the latest trends, and even features shows where you can see best-selling Amazon products live on the catwalk.
What special features are there for online sellers at these trade shows?
At Global Sources trade shows, you’ll find a number of features that are designed to help online sellers. The most useful, and possibly the most innovative, feature is the sourcing mobile app.
At other shows sellers have to take notes and then, when they get home, try to match them to samples and pictures – the sourcing app eliminates this headache.
When you talk to exhibitors, you simply scan the QR code on their booth and this creates a record in the app with their details. You can also make all of your notes within the app and add pictures of their products. This means all your information is collated in one place, and is easier for you to access when you get home.
Global Sources also helps online sellers by highlighting exhibitors that accept small orders. There is no predefined count for what qualifies as a small order, and it can vary from product to product. It simply means that these suppliers have existing products available in quantities below the usual market-standard MOQs (minimum order quantities), or are open to discussing a lower MOQ with buyers.
How are Global Sources Exhibitions different from Canton Fair?
There are three main areas where Global Sources Trade Shows are different from Canton Fair.
Global Sources aim to ensure that the people attending their shows only see products that are relevant to their business. So, sellers will find that the three phases of the Global Sources trade shows have a far more defined product focus than those at Canton Fair.
The booths at the Global Sources shows are also arranged by product category, which means that you won’t have consumer electronics beside machinery booths, or home booths beside food suppliers. This again makes it easier for sellers to find what they’re looking for.
While Canton Fair focuses on the volume of booths, Global Sources focuses on the quality of the exhibitors. In fact, they say that there shows are designed to help sellers see past the “usual, cheap plastic stuff that proliferates at other trade shows”.
This is achieved through features such as the Analysts Choice Zone and the Cool Design Awards that allow sellers to watch demos and view galleries of the most innovative products on offer at the show, as chosen by design experts, big buyers and experienced etailers.
The final main difference between the two is the type of exhibitors. The Canton Fair is mainly state-owned enterprises from mainland China, whereas the exhibitors at the Global Sources shows are mainly private manufacturers.
The benefit of this, is that private manufacturers have their own money on the line, which tends to make them more innovative, more flexible and more willing to work with different types of online sellers.
How can sellers make the most of their time at the shows?
If you’re going to travel to Asia for a trade show, you want to make sure that your visit is as productive as possible.
So, before you even arrive in Asia you need to start preparing, by researching the exhibitors, possibly making initial contact with any that you plan to speak to at the fair, and planning your route around the show floor.
At the show, you need to make sure you have the essential kit: your smartphone, business cards, battery booster and a pen and notepad just in case. Your aim is to see as many suppliers as possible and whittle them down to those that are worth following up.
After the show, it’s decision time! You need to follow up with the suppliers who looked promising, disregard the ones that you didn’t like and keep a note of those that you were unsure about for future reference.
What other shows are on in Hong Kong during the time?
Sellers who attend the Global Sources trade shows like to make the most of their time in Hong Kong and often attend other exhibitions that are on at the same time. These include:
- Hong Kong Electronics Fair (13-16 April)
- Hong Kong Houseware Fair (20-23 April)
- Hong Kong Home Textiles & Furnishings Fair (20-23 April)
- Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair (27-30 April)
- Hong Kong Printing & Packaging Fair (27-30 April)
Sellers often compliment their visit to the trade shows by attending Global Sources Summit, which is co-located with the Mobile Electronics and Gifts and Home shows. The Summit, which was voted Best Amazon Conference at the 2017 Seller Awards, runs from 18-20 April and is for intermediate to advanced Amazon and online sellers who source from China.
The agenda covers a mix of sourcing and selling related topics, with speakers at April’s event including Will Mitchell, Mike Jackness, CJ Rosenbaum, Ashlin Hadden, Sean Smith and Taylor Benterud. Sellers can also choose to attend an additional workshop, and have the choice of a beginner’s workshop, an Amazon AMS and PPC workshop or a Facebook marketing workshop.
Web Retailer readers can get a $100 discount on tickets to Global Sources Summit with the code – WR100.
This post was sponsored by Global Sources.