Tradeshows in China

What you need to know about 2,500 Tradeshows in China.

There are officially over 2,500 annual tradeshows in China every year. This is China, so numbers are usually dramatic and tradeshows are no exception. The one that attracts the most visitors is the Canton Fair held twice a year (April & October) in Guangzhou of China’s southern Guangdong province. Here I don’t want to talk only about Canton, but also help you find the other tradeshows in China vying for your attention.

What we already know about tradeshows in China.

They are big, bustling places which can be loud and stressful. It is typical in one of China’s larger cities that you will be harassed about the fair from the moment you leave your hotel in the morning until you return in the evening. The harassment is generally from all angles whether it is drivers, translators, shipping companies, trading agents, and manufacturing companies, someone with a “cool” new product or even selling extra-curricular activities! It is tough but stay calm and don’t engage when you know there is no point – either outside or inside the tradeshow. The plus points of attending in the first place should out-weigh any annoying experiences you may suffer. Meeting so many vendors under one roof for face to face discussions can be of huge benefit. You can also inspect some product samples and check out any new developments in your industry.

How do I know what’s on, when and where in China?

With so much happening in China every day how can you cut through the chaff and find out where your precious time should be spent? It is important to stay informed about shows taking place in China. Here are some of the most helpful information sites.

A Comprehensive guide to what is on where and when. Allows you to search by city and redirects you to specific event websites. If offers other information from getting there maps to Chinese visas. Their website is available in around 100 languages from Arabic to Irish which is helpful to people with clients who do not speak English.

China Fairs is another with detailed listings of what’s happening across China regarding tradeshows. One of the main features here is also the ability to book a hotel.

Site focused on the Canton fair only with lots of information on attending same. I also recently enjoyed this blog from Steve Chou that is a really realistic snapshot of the fair.

Exhibitions organized in HK and also promote HK products and services to a global market.

One of the leading online B2B sourcing website in China offers information on fairs set up by Global Sources.

What to do before committing to China?

Well before you even travel it is best to download an exhibitors list from the shows dedicated website. All exhibitions have their own website accessible through one of the resources above. When you get your hands on the list you can quickly search suppliers that might be of interest to you and even make contact with them and arrange a suitable time to meet at the exhibition. I advise this if you find a genuinely interesting company. The supplier will take you more seriously if you have done your research rather than walk in. Don’t forget you can always pre-register online which may save you some hassle on arrival. You also need a VISA to travel to China. Business cards too, they are an important prop when meeting with Chinese suppliers. How to own the exhibition room when you enter? Hit the ground running the first day and remember these tips:

- Break the ice. Go to see any of the pre-arranged supplier meetings.

- Don’t Cheat. Take the exhibition halls line by line.

- Get assistance. Get help for your visit from people who know how to achieve your goals.

- China is not Milan. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

- Hydrate your engine. Drink bottled Water.

- Save the planet. Don’t collect catalogs from everyone.

- Take notes. A simple notepad can be effective in recording details.

- Be Digital. Photos and videos are a good friend too.

- Be Patient. You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


Scott Summers

Is this all at once or one event at a time? Still that figure though 2500? That is insane. At least we know that the economy is booming.

Lovely Marfil

Thanks for sharing these helpful websites. I would check them out when I need to attend a Trade Show in China. I will also surely keep those Do's and Dont's in my mind to avoid trouble at all cost.

Maury Cheskes

I'm glad there are websites that allow you to research the tradeshows on your own terms. It's great that they're so accessible.

Nnaemeka Odimegwu

Trade shows in China is a great activity. 2500 trade shows in all in one year. How does the usual importer catch up with everything? The article was a real good eye opener.

Angelo Bugay

Great article! It has all I need to know before involving in a Trade Show in China. I will surely take all the advice said above. Thanks for posting this!

Eric Mason

This is interesting: Canton Fair held twice a year (April & October). I'll take note of this.

Kevin Jonson

Among the trade fairs you have visited, which one had the most media coverage? The links don't really mention anything about media coverage and national attendance.

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