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Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2017 attracts over 20,800 professional buyers

25-01-2017

Debut and long-time exhibitors achieve successful business Seminars’ attendees discover enormous market potentials


News Detail

Hong Kong International Stationery Fair 2017 attracts over 20,800 professional buyers

Debut and long-time exhibitors achieve successful business   

Seminars’ attendees discover enormous market potentials

The latest edition of the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair ended on a bright note with an increase in the number of buyers. From 9 – 12 January, 20,821 visitors (2016: 20,519) from 114 countries and regions passed through the doors to source a full spectrum of trendy and functional stationery products offered by 255 exhibitors from around the world. The top 10 visiting countries and regions were (in order of highest attendance): the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the US, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Malaysia.

Commenting on the fair’s success, Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said: “The strong feedback we received from both exhibitors and buyers reaffirm the show's status as Asia's industry-leading business platform. In addition to its trade value, with a range of innovative products and a strong line-up of insightful seminars, the fair has become a breeding ground for new ideas that help industry peers excel in competitive business within the digital era.”

Debut and long-time exhibitors achieve successful business   

With strong industry support across Asia, the 2017 show again welcomed the three returning pavilions from Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The Taiwan Association of Stationery Industries was the organiser of the Taiwan pavilion. Along with 13 well-established and emerging Taiwanese companies, it showcased the unique competence and creativity from the region. Mr Donald Mai, Secretary General of the association, shared: “We have been supporting this fair since its first edition as it provides us a perfect gateway to tap international markets. The result has always been positive. It is especially important for Taiwan’s SMEs and new companies to be here as they can obtain first-hand information about how markets respond to their new products and help them to set their future business direction.”

Echoing the view on the fair’s international nature is the first-time exhibitor International Writing Instrument Corp, one of the many innovative brands that joined the Taiwan pavilion. At the show, the company displayed a comprehensive product portfolio including notebooks, pens and writing pads that drew in large crowds of visitors. Ms Mei Chang, Senior Manager of the company, said: “The fair is a springboard to promote our brand to overseas markets. We are happy about this year’s presence as we generated many potential business leads including a retail buyer from the Philippines that is showing strong interest in placing orders. The result is very encouraging.”

Bosser International Co Ltd, a manufacturer of paper trimmers and paper cutters and recurrent exhibitor from Taiwan, received instant results at the fair. Mr Michael Wu, a representative from the company, disclosed: “We have met decision-makers from big companies, and importers from over 20 countries and regions. On the first two days of the show, we received around four orders, with a total value amounting to approximately USD 100,000. The result is beyond our expectation.”

The Hong Kong International Stationery Fair is the first stationery, office supplies and hobby & crafts trade event in the calendar year. By joining the fair and examining market potentials, industry manufacturers and suppliers will be able to plan their business ahead for the entire year. Benefiting from this nature is Mirage International Industries Inc, an office supplies and stationery company from the US that has been exhibiting at the fair since its inauguration. Mr Scott Wen, representative from the company, noted: “The fair is one of the most important industry shows and it sets the tone for us for the rest of the year. In fact, we met most of our key customers through this platform and they made up a significant proportion of our annual revenue. We met clients from mature and emerging markets. On the first day of the fair, we received around 15 good leads including a retail store chain from India that was interested in placing orders for our stationery sets. We are definitely happy with the result.”

In addition to business, the show has also proved to be a hotspot for ideas exchange. Exhibiting at the fair for the fourth time, Classic Sign and Design Ltd, a self-adhesive sticker producer from the UK, acclaimed the show as an all-in-one event. Mr Maarten Stelwagen, Salesperson for the company, said: “We’ve met a lot of potential buyers from different countries, and received an order from a German stationery company which owns 15 offices around the world. Without the show, it would cost us much more time and effort to reach the potential customers. What impressed me most was that there were factories approaching us to offer manufacturing solutions and innovative ideas, such as integrating magnets into our stickers. They are actually thinking one step further. It is a great platform for idea generating.”

Besides exhibitors, visitors from around the world also shared their satisfaction towards the show. Ms Caroline Xu, Director of an exclusive brand from Office Depot (China), stated: “Our headquarters is in the US and I am responsible for the sourcing in the Chinese mainland. I’m mainly looking for office supplies and personalised stationery items. Compared to other industry events in the Chinese mainland, I found the products here were better in quality and reflected the market trends. I have found two potential office supplies companies from the Chinese mainland and will further discuss business opportunities with them.”

Mr Umut Bayhan also visited the fair to source office stationery that are new to the Turkish market. He is the Assistant General Manager of Ofix.com, an e-commerce platform in Turkey that supplies all kinds of products for offices. He said: “I am impressed by the fair’s size and its strong presence of Asian brands that provide innovative and high-quality products. I had meetings with a number of companies and will consider placing orders. The trip is beneficial and I will return next year.”

Seminars’ attendees discover enormous market potentials

The digitalisation trend creates challenges and opportunities for the stationery industry. To help industry peers master the fast-changing market, a number of events took place during the four-day show. Events included the seminars “A Glimpse into the Forthcoming Design Trend” and “Unfold Retail Opportunities in the Digital Age”. Industry specialists with varied business backgrounds had fruitful dialogues regarding the future of stationery, such as:

Mr Masayuki Takabatake, Stationery King (Japan), shared:
“Under the digital era, traditional stationery will merge with a digital platform. To allow the products to stand out from the crowd, it is important to integrate more creative and functional designs that make the utilisation of stationery more enjoyable for users. My main purpose attending the event is to share the happiness of using stationery. I think the key to promoting the industry’s sustainability is to share the enjoyment we gain from stationery.”

Mr Yukitoki Tabata, Group Leader, Global Marketing, Overseas Business Promotion, Stationery Business Division, Kokuyo Co Ltd (Japan), shared:
“Stationery is not the past or just an authentic product, it also reflects culture. It can also provide comfort compared to using gadgets. Kokuyo applies this belief when developing a new product. We identify what users feel dissatisfied with regarding existing goods and offer solutions.”

Ms Carol Chan, Business Development, Pinkoi (HK) Ltd, shared:
“The rise of the design-oriented market sees a surge of fancy, innovative or environmentally friendly products. Some manufacturers seize the opportunities and develop more sophisticated and high-class stationery in a small amount at a higher price just to match a niche market. The stationery market has expanded as there are more choices available to consumers.”

Mr Kenneth Choi attended “A Glimpse into the Forthcoming Design Trend” seminar. He is the Design Manager of Truecolor Stationery Co Ltd, a wholesale manufacturer from the Chinese mainland. He commented: “The seminar offered me a deeper understanding about the stationery market in Japan. I also learnt about the fundamental difference between digital stationery and analog stationery and how two different media can be combined. I am glad to have gained important market knowledge and insights from the event.”

The Hong Kong International Stationery Fair is jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The fair was held alongside with the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, the HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The next edition of the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair will be held from 8 – 11 January 2018. For further information about fair, please visit www.hkstationeryfair.com.

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