Presents for every occasion

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 April, 2010, 12:00am

More than 4,000 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions are marking the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair from today until Friday.

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the fair organiser, will present loyalty awards to exhibitors who have been long-term participants.

This year's fair has a 12 per cent increase in exhibiting space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. There are 17 group pavilions.

The Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair is being held concurrently at AsiaWorld-Expo. A free shuttle bus service will run between the fairs. More than half of the gift fair's exhibitors are local companies, while Sri Lanka and Denmark are new participating countries. The fair will host 100 buying missions from 78 countries and regions, bringing in more than 8,200 buyers.

According to the HKTDC, the fair will once again present opportunities to conduct business and gather market intelligence. Exhibitors will promote their products and brands to worldwide buyers and meet buyers informally to explore business potential.

A new section called World of Gift Ideas has been created to mark the 25th fair. 'Prominently located in Hall 1, World of Gift Ideas is a highly creative section, not only in its products but also in its booth designs. The section is composed of raw booth-space exhibitors, who have designed and decorated their own booths to boost brand recognition and attract buyer attention, and exhibitors who opt for specially designed deluxe booths,' says a HKTDC representative.

Two product categories - figurines and decorations, and outdoor and travel goods - have been set up to accommodate market developments and consumer spending patterns.

The popular Hall of Fine Designs returns to attract buyers who focus on excellence in design and performance. This deluxe zone features well-recognised brands such as Cerruti 1881, Fila, MC2 by Topchoice, Moschino, Nici, Prince and Ungaro.

The Spain and France group pavilions will make their debuts. The Spain pavilion, led by the Spanish Fashion Jewellery Manufacturers' Association, features this year's autumn/winter collections of custom jewellery, gifts and components. Product categories include advertising premiums, corporate gifts, fashion jewellery and accessories, figurines and decorations, general gift items, outdoor and travel goods, packaging, party and festive items, pictures and photo frames, stationery and paper, tech gifts, toys and sporting goods, watches and clocks, wedding favours and trade services.

First-time exhibitor Dsign A/S, which showcased its products at Frankfurt Paperworld in January, has higher expectations of the Hong Kong fair.

'We believe the HKTDC fair will attract a lot more international buyers than the Frankfurt fair,' says Hanne Tolberg, managing director and owner.

This is the first year that Dsign A/S has exhibited at fairs and Tolberg hopes that participation will help to spread the company's concept of display solutions to different companies.

Apart from providing a range of jewellery, paper and hair accessory products to clients, Dsign A/S also offers a display service. It helps clients organise a whole themed shelf that can be directly placed in their shops, saving them time and trouble.

Due to the swine flu outbreak, many European and American companies did not attend last year's fair, yet Hong Kong exhibitor AH-HA does not think it adversely affected the fair.

'Last year, we got to spend more time focusing on our Southeast Asian clients, which was a bonus as that is one of our target markets, but we believe this year there will be an increase of European and American visitors as we started receiving product enquiries earlier this year,' says Andrew Au-yeung, head of marketing and operations.

With the advancement of mainland companies and the after-effects of the economic crisis, companies believe that special factors must be added to a business or products in order to stand out in the competitive market.

'In the past, overseas companies would use Hong Kong as a middleman to contact mainland production companies, but now they can directly contact the companies themselves, so local companies are slowly turning into original brand manufacturing companies to produce their own brands and increase their competitiveness in the industry,' Au-yeung says.

After the economic downturn, important markets, such as the United States, are more conscious about importing overseas products because they want to protect their own economies, he adds. Companies targeting these markets must increase the special nature of their products and ensure they are of high quality while maintaining reasonably low prices.

Uniqueness also plays a big part in the production of Dsign A/S products. 'Our company doesn't follow any major trends and we have attracted a lot of attention from buyers at the Frankfurt Paperworld fair,' Tolberg says.

Angel Wong, marketing manager of Winko International Products, another exhibitor, agrees that the special nature and diversity of a company's products are important, but adds that a company's service also plays a significant part in creating business.

'We believe that customer service is important and sometimes also provide service that isn't related to our company for clients,' she says.

Free admission

For trade visitors, register now for your free admission badge through one of the three following channels:

Smartphone Info Site download HKTDC FAIRS at iPhone App Store (for iPhone users) and Blackberry App World (for Blackberry users);

Mobile Info Site visit; or SMS your e-mail address to (852) 6386 5527 (Gifts & Premium Fair).