Cancel this fair
The owner of a gifts manufacturer, I was an exhibitor at the Trade Development Council's Gifts Fair in July.
I have been in the business for over 10 years and have participated in the TDC's spring gifts fair, every April, in order to meet new buyers and keep in touch with my existing customers.
Over the years, the TDC has been doing a reasonable job of organising the fairs. With the Sars crisis, most of my customers said they will not come to Hong Kong this summer, and I knew the chances of meeting new buyers at this time were dim.
But the TDC left us no choice. It did not cancel the April show and make refunds, but instead postponed it to July. I joined the show, regarding my payment as a 'holding fee' in order to retain my space for next year.
July, in fact, is vacation time for most American and European buyers. They usually visit Hong Kong every April and October. A show that pops up at the wrong time ruins everyone's schedule.
The July show turned out as I expected: it attracted mainly local traders and wholesalers, and buyers from Southeast Asia. As a result, it wasted a lot of my time, money and effort.
If the TDC is thinking of staging this show again in July next year, I suggest they seriously reconsider.
This year was an unusual occasion. The statistics for the number of buyers attending in July are not really valid. These were one-time buyers and the TDC should not treat them as evidence that July is a good time for another exhibition every year.
If the TDC insists on going ahead, for sure I will not participate next July. This time the TDC won my money, but it lost my faith in itself and its reputation.
RONEY CHAN, New Territories