5 THINGS TO DO TO GET THE MOST OUT OF HUGE EXHIBITIONS
What I did.
Feeling overwhelmed in exhibitions (most of the time they are huge) if you did not or badly prepare your trip will make you feel uncomfortable and will cost you a lot. (flight, accommodation, restaurants, etc..)
Getting in the first halls confident, crossing potential buyers coming from all over the world, exhibitors rushing for a coffee before the event starts, I did not realize then that all the confidence I had was about to fade rapidly away as I entered in one of the main hall with close to 2000 exhibitors. (only for this hall). In the HKCEC there are 5 floors with each at least 1 or 2 halls full of exhibitors. Hopefully the 3rd and 5th floors are more quiet in some areas.
Feeling immersed or rather drowned in this gigantic room with about 2000 exhibitors each of them stopping you as you pass in front of them to show their last best innovation of the best quality with the best price is quite an uncomfortable feeling if you don’t know what you are looking for, do not have at least a few contacts and did not prepare a few questions and answers.
What I should have done!
In China and Hong Kong, these events are, for most of them organized by peer to peer platforms such as Alibaba, HKTDC or Global Sources, maybe others…
Each of these platforms host tens of thousands of sellers, traders, factories.. offering ranges of products from packaging equipment to fashion, plumbing to tractors.., electronics, you can find almost anything that exists on these platforms.
These web platforms offer search engines where you can enter your desired product and you will be directed to selections of thousands of products and suppliers.
Most of these suppliers have verifications, accreditations, certifications that will allow to make first choices.
Say you are willing to buy 10 different products, what I suggest is to get in contact with 5 to 10 of these suppliers.
Be aware that these people you get in contact with are working hard to represent their products and companies, so please don’t waste their time and get in touch only if you are genuinely interested.
To conclude the difference between my last visit and the next one is that I will already have a selection of exhibitors to visit, with my list in my pocket, I will get the best prices with the best quality, will only need to order samples to test and feel the products. I will then even have free time after meeting with these vendors to browse for the eventual forgotten gadget.
All was not lost, because I had prepared to meet with the suppliers we already worked with, which was done and went well, and even met with a few new contacts we will probably work with once tested their products.