Advertising
Advertising

7 Tips to Make Sure Your First Visit to the Canton Fair is a Success

7 Tips to Make Sure Your First Visit to the Canton Fair is a Success

Twice a year – in the fall and in the spring, the Canton Fair is held at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou. It has been occurring annually since its’ conception in 1957. The last session (the 119th session to date) had over 185,596 international buyers in attendance. Over 24,514 exhibitors showcased their products. There was a recorded 60,233 booths on display.

If those figures don’t paint the magnitude of the extravagant Canton Fair, nothing will.

We know how technologically advanced China is – which is why anybody who’s serious about developing their image on an international level… is losing money by not attending. Doing so lets you see, first hand, how China manages the foreign trade market, and gives a wide-eyed look into how China dominates its trade connections with the world.

Since the Canton Fair showcases the largest selection of products, from an extravagantly huge number of vendors, visitors, and companies… it is the largest trade fair in China. The on-going 120th Canton Fair is being held in 3-phases, from 15th October to 4th November 2016 for different product lines. Suppliers from the leading industries of electronics, home decor, textiles, food, and hardware (and more) make their way to China for this incredible, amazing event.

It is essential for any importer who is serious about buying products (or looking for product ideas) to attend. With all those suppliers in their respective trades, it is impossible to attend the fair and not get bitten by “the bug” of flurries, blurs, and excitement.

We have to talk about some things first: where are you going to stay? How will you make the most of this experience? What will you do to make sure your “vacation” goes off without a hitch?

Read on to find out.

Advertising

1. Where Will You Sleep?

First things first, you need a Visa. It’s advisable to get one from Hong Kong. Then, it’s simply a matter of flying into Hong Kong Island airport. Luckily, there is a “Visa agency” parked smack-dab in the center of arrivals – so you have no qualms about where to go in this new, foreign country.

Booking a room in a luxurious, comfy hotel near the Fair is ideal.

The next step is to apply to the nearest Chinese embassy (in your country) to make sure you have a passport. You can even pre-register on the Canton Fair website for information on acquiring an “overseas buyer’s badge”. The directions from there, on the site, are pretty straight forward.

Moving on! Here is a checklist you should double-check of things you should have

  • Your passport + additional copies
  • 3 passport photos (you can never be too careful)
  • 200 RMB (Renminbi) for door entry

In all likelihood, you’ll need to stay in Hong Kong overnight. Some fun hotels you can check into are the Shangri -La, or the China Hotel, among a lot of other five-star choices.

This is a fantastic pre-game warm-up to meet other like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs, and business people. Throw back a couple drinks, eat some delicious food, and have a good time.

2. Have A Good Mindset

“People say you need a lot of passion for what you do, and it’s so true. Because any rational person would give up.” – Steve Jobs

Advertising

In business and life, your mindset (more often than not) determines your reality. A lot of successful entrepreneurs (who have made millions of dollars) equate a large part of their wealth to… you guessed it… their mindset.

Now is the time to expand your horizons about what human beings are capable of – and “upgrade” your thoughts to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible.

3. Business or Pleasure? Both!

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

All business and no pleasure robs you of the experience of being in a new country for the first time. Widening your breadth of humanity makes you a better marketer – as this “boot camp experience in networking” gives you the “cheat codes” towards connecting better with people. (i.e, your customers.)

Some pit stops you’ll want to gander about once you’ve “taken off your suit tie” are the Canton Tower, Shamian Island, or Baiyun Mountain.

4. Pack Light

Remember the #1 rule of going somewhere new: packing light keeps you on your flight!

It’s easy to pick up souvenirs – especially since every single booth will try to give you something. This is classic marketing: give something away for free to ensure repeat business. The business people you meet at the Canton Fair will, to put it bluntly, leave you feeling “stuffed.”

Advertising

Be sure to bring a backpack, separate, for these souvenirs, brochures, and interesting literature.

5. Navigating The Fair

Great! You’ve made it! Now, what?

Shortly after checking into your hotel room is the perfect time for planning the fair. Find out the latest exhibition site plans, so you know where all the products that you want.. No, need… are, so you won’t be scrambling around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Keep this in mind: even with the many golf car shuttles readily available, freely maneuvering the site is tricky work. Doable, but tricky.

It’s best to network and “get out there” by stopping at booths (the ones you want) and sparking up a conversation. Lack some serious conversational skills? Amazon and YouTube are great resources for learning how to speak eloquently in conversation.

It will also help you to talk with some qualified, exceptional salespeople – as the right salesman knows how to strike up any conversation (with anyone!) and “tune in” to the essence of whoever they’re talking to.

Part of working the scene and getting a feel for the companies surrounding you involves a bit of structure. Some things you can do to maximize your chances of blasting every “meeting” out of the park include…

Advertising

  • Eating a healthy breakfast, nourishing breakfast. A glass of milk, a 4-egg omelet, some toast with lettuce and tomatoes, maybe some bacon… and you’re all set! (Isn’t that just a BLT? Yep! Good ol’ fashioned healthy BLT.) Sure, some foods may taste better when it’s fast food… but it sends you to the grave quicker.
  • Drink water. Lots of it. (You know you need more water in your system anyway.)
  • Don’t collect each and every catalog/brochure/flyer you see. Chances are most of these will be discarded in the recycling bin anyway.
  • We live in the digital age! Take photos, record vlogs, post Twitter updates (and hashtag important businesses after meeting them – doing this doubles the chances of a business remembering you later on down the line).

6. Don’t Miss Electronic And Home Appliances Zone

You may think of IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, Germany) and CES (Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, USA) when speaking about electronics show, but do you know that Canton Fair is actually bigger than these famous international exhibitions?

The Canton Fair attracts about 2500 “electronic & home appliance” exhibitors each year, which is 1.5 times of IFA with a large number of manufacturers & top brands from all over the world. You will be able to see popular global technology trends and may find good suppliers with better quality & prices.

7. Talk With Manufacturers

This is a trade show – there are going to be manufacturers who are more than willing to talk about their line of products. (It’s in our selfish blood – we love talking about ourselves.)

Plus, maybe you can even squeeze out a sweet discount – something the poor saps who didn’t come… won’t get! (Be sure to bring a local translator just in case.)

Last Thoughts

This is an experience. Being willing to go behind the scenes, do things you haven’t done before, and engage with new people, using their new products… is a gift not many savvy business people take advantage of.

Use this time to make the most of your product line, and ultimately your bottom line.

More by this author

6 Reasons Why French Press Makes the Best Coffee 9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Easily Show Affection 12 Ways To Earn More Money While You Have A Full-Time Job 7 Steps to Reduce Your Laptop’s Fan Noise & Increase Speed 7 Ideas To Decorate Your Home Using LED Strip Lights

Trending in Work

1 How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor 2 10 Ways to Build Positive Work Relationships and Work as a Team 3 20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018 4 22 Team Building Activity for Work That Are Fun and Encourage Creativity 5 17 Types of Online Work at Home Jobs that Really Pay Off

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

Advertising

1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

Advertising

3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

Advertising

5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

Advertising

Read Next