Asia Adult Expo makes its Hong Kong debut
Exclusive adult-themed exhibition hopes to excite Hong Kong traders with host of sex toys, erotic gadgets and intimate apparel
The Asia Adult Expo 2013 finally opened at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday after a torrid time trying to bring the fair to the city.
The HKCEC fobbed off earlier attempts to introduce the adult-themed delights by telling organiser Vertical Expo Services the venue was "fully booked". But Vertical said the real reason was that the centre thought the fair's theme was too hot for Hong Kong to handle.
"HKCEC was initially worried about the fair's racy image, but we've proved an adult trade fair can be just as professional as any other trade show, " Vertical CEO Kenny Lo Yuk-wa said.
He said the struggle to host the fair in Hong Kong after having held it in Macau for five years was worth it because the city was where the real sales action was.
"Macau is different from Hong Kong. It's more about leisure there. But everyone knows Hong Kong is the place to get serious business done," Lo said.
He hopes up to 8,000 traders will visit the three-day business-to-business "sexpo", where 150 exhibitors and brands will show their latest sex toys, erotic gadgets and other adult paraphernalia.
The fair, held in conjunction with the Intimate Lingerie Asia fair, is not open to the public and is off-limits to those under 18 years of age.
One exhibitor hoping to excite buyers is US-based Pipedream Products, which is offering electric vibrators made from hi-tech aluminium and ceramics. "People in this part of the world are more conservative, but they are also curious for all things adult-related," said sales executive Raymond Houtenbos.
Mainland companies are also touting innovative wares.
"We're more focused on markets in the West, but ideally we'd like to get into the mainland market. Young people now are less conservative than the older generation," said Shanghai-based Rosstar spokeswoman Minnie Zhang, whose company is promoting an iPhone-controlled, music-playing vibrator called the "Mini Vibra".
Local condom brand Wonder Life is hoping to make the most of a home-court advantage.
"We are a 100 per cent homegrown brand and this is our selling point. Since this is Hong Kong's first adult fair, we have come to show our support," sales manager Chan Man said.
"Hong Kong needs more trade fairs like this."
Vertical's Lo said: "There are misconceptions about the adult industry in Hong Kong. We hope this fair will show that it's actually no big deal."