How Attending The Canton Fair Can Jumpstart Your Business

China Import and Export Fair

The Canton Fair is the world’s largest trade show that takes place twice a year within the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou.

Every year, the fair attracts more than 220,000 buyers across the globe and 150,000 exhibitors who are eager to showcase their latest products.

You pretty much get access to the latest gadgets, technologies and even the opportunity to meet thousands of reputable manufactures and vendors who produce for international fashion brands and retailers.

With unprecedented access to networking events, fashion shows and sneak previews of next seasons trends, the fair has become a global phenomenon.

The Fair Itself is split into 3 Phases:

Phase 1
Electronics, lighting equipment, vehicles & spare parts, machinery, hardware & tools, construction materials

Phase 2
Consumer goods, gifts, and home decorations

Phase 3
Textiles and garments, shoes, office supplies, cases and bags, recreation products, food , health products and medical devices

We decided to attend all three phases during our first visit

We can’t stress enough the importance of preparing well in advance for your trip to the Canton Fair.

This fair is not an exhibition where you simply show up and can expect to figure everything out once you get there.

You have the option to register and get your buyer’s badge on the day of the fair.

Bear in mind that registering on the day of the fair will require a few things, such as – a passport size photo, business cards, filling out a short form and money to cover a small fee.

We’ve come across stories and articles of people stating they had to queue up for hours to process their application for the buyer’s badge.

We beg to differ because the whole process took no longer than 10 minutes!

Getting to the Fair

To enter Guangzhou you will need a Chinese Visa. We recommend you order the Visa at least 3-4 weeks in advance to avoid possible delays.

Remember the canton fair attracts over 200,000 buyers each year. This means an influx of visa applications will be sent to your local Chinese embassy for processing.

Don’t be that last minute person trying to get everything sorted days before you fly out.

We recommend booking your hotel and flight 2 to 3 months in advance. The flight prices will skyrocket during the peak seasons of the canton fair. There are hotels located right next door to the complex such as, The Langham Place Guangzhou or, The Westin Pazhou‘. The majority of business hotels within Guangzhou however, will provide a complimentary shuttle service to and from the fair. This will make your first trip to the Canton Fair easy sailing.

Do I Really Need To Attend The Canton Fair?

We remember being on the fence on whether we wanted to endure a 13-hour direct flight to Guangzhou. At first, It was scary to think we were about to enter a foreign country especially when our expertise in speaking Mandarin was pretty much non-existent. Looking back now, it was one of the best decisions we’ve made.

If you are serious about starting and growing a retail or boutique brand, you should consider attending the Canton Fair at least once!

The experience itself was amazing, previewing products that had yet to launch allows us to stay ahead on trends. Its no wonder why the Canton Fair has become a gold mine for Amazon and eBay Power sellers.

For more information about the Canton fair and how you can join us on our next sourcing trip to Guangzhou, join our newsletter and we’ll share the details!

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