Click2Match creates cross-industry opportunities
Online-and-offline sourcing emerges as new trend
The HKTDC International Sourcing Show is the first online-and-offline trade exhibition organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
The online section of the show, the HKTDC International Sourcing Show | ONLINE, which opened on 17 March, featured more than 1,400 exhibitors from 20 countries and regions, attracting some 23,000 buyers from 131 countries and regions. The show drew buyers from Hong Kong and around the world, including India, Indonesia, Japan, Mainland China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
To help businesses capture new opportunities, the HKTDC mobilised its network of 50 offices worldwide together with its artificial intelligence-powered online business matching platform, Click2Match, to connect exhibitors with buyers. As of 31 March, more than 7,000 online business matching meetings had been successfully conducted, facilitating buyers and sellers to capture new business opportunities and help them overcome the impact of the pandemic.
Following a successful debut at HKTDC Autumn Sourcing Week | ONLINE last year, the HKTDC once again offered 3D virtual booths at the International Sourcing Show | ONLINE. It also launched a product video production service to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) design and produce promotional videos, facilitating them to showcase their products in a more eye-catching way and get better prepared for the era of digitalised sourcing. Both the 3D booths and the video service were well received by exhibitors.
Exhibitors and buyers positive about hybrid exhibition format
Even though the global pandemic situation is showing signs of improvement in some regions, its impact continues to be profound. Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, believes that global sourcing will become increasingly digitalised and that future trade fairs will be more likely to offer a hybrid model of online and offline sourcing to reap the benefits of both formats. “When physical fairs resume, the HKTDC will continue to organise regular online sourcing events that will feature different themes and will align with the sourcing cycles of different industries. Our goal is to generate even more business opportunities for suppliers and buyers globally,” Mr Chau said.
As the trend for combining online and offline sourcing gains traction, the HKTDC conducted an online survey to gauge the views of exhibitors and buyers joining the International Sourcing Show. The survey found that the majority of exhibitors surveyed (80%) considered that trade fairs with online elements will become their major promotional channel in the future, while 96% said they would participate in the HKTDC’s online and physical exhibitions again. According to the survey results, most buyers (82%) indicated an intention to participate in trade fairs offering online and physical elements to develop both online and offline business opportunities.
Regarding business results, more than 80% of exhibitors said they had achieved one of the following objectives through the event, including generating new sales leads, meeting new customers, promoting their company’s brands and products, and launching and promoting new products. Over 90% of buyers agreed that the show helped them seek out new products and new suppliers and get a better understanding of market trends.
Click2Match helps facilitate business discussions and deals
Many companies taking part in the show were successful in finding either buyers or suppliers through the Click2Match platform. Rachel Chan, Business Development Specialist at Avery Dennison (Hong Kong) Ltd, said the online fair offered her company a good opportunity to introduce its total printing solutions and RFID labels to buyers from different industries. “We are very happy to have video meetings with more than 10 new buyers from different places including Mainland China, India, Malaysia and Thailand. The buyers are keen to develop cooperation opportunities with us, and we hope to continue receiving new sales leads or enquiries. The online show also helped to increase our company’s exposure.”
Atitaya Dechboon, a representative of Fashion Hometex Co Ltd in Thailand, said “We have made four new contacts with buyers from Mainland China, Brazil, Poland and Saudi Arabia. We expect potential orders worth US$100,000 from three new buyers. We are very satisfied with the Click2Match service which allowed us to arrange video meetings as frequently as we liked without any time conflicts.”
Artem Mykhailyk, Chief Operational Officer at Micon Trade LLC in Ukraine, was interested in sourcing smart wearable devices and DVR cameras. “Through the International Sourcing Show | ONLINE, we have found three potential suppliers from Mainland China and Taiwan. We plan to place orders worth US$280,000 with these suppliers. The show provided a unique and well-arranged online sourcing platform that offered an alternative to physical exhibitions amid the pandemic. I found it easy and convenient to find suitable products and make appointments with potential suppliers.”
Hanna Touma Bechara, Manager at Modern Electronics Co in Lebanon, found two potential suppliers from Hong Kong and Mainland China through the online fair. “Our budget for buying audio systems is US$30,000. Due to travel restrictions under the global pandemic, online trade shows like this are the only way we can find new suppliers for the time being.”
Intelligence Hub webinars let companies feel the market’s pulse
The Intelligence Hub set up during the online fair hosted 17 webinars which featured more than 60 industry experts sharing the latest industry developments and trends, attracting more than 44,000 views in total. The most popular webinars include “International Sourcing Outlook”, “Survive and Thrive: Leveraging End-to-end E-commerce Solutions”, “Utilising Licensing to Expand Your Business” and “Toys & Children’s Products Safety & Regulations Updates”. In addition, the HKTDC launched the “Let’s Go Phygital: Power Up for the New Normal” seminar series, helping SMEs adapt to the hybrid online and offline sourcing model, with the first round of webinars held during the online show. The videos of the webinars have been uploaded to the Intelligence Hub webpage (https://isshow-online.hktdc.com/en/intelligence-hub), enabling companies to review insights from industry luminaries anytime, anywhere.
The International Sourcing Show is first HKTDC exhibition to adopt an online-and-offline format, integrating the seven HKTDC trade fairs* that were originally scheduled to run in spring 2021. The online part of the show is available from 17 March to 29 July, while the physical exhibition will be staged from 26 to 29 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. While the Click2Match business matching service for the online show has concluded, buyers can continue sourcing with exhibitors through the upgraded hktdc.com Sourcing platform (http://sourcing.hktdc.com) until the end of July 2021.
*The seven fairs are: the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles & Furnishing Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week, HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, and the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair. The latter event is co-organised by the HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Co (HK) Ltd.
HKTDC International Sourcing Show: https://isshow.hktdc.com/online/en/
Intelligence Hub: https://isshow-online.hktdc.com/en/intelligence-hub
Media Centre: http://mediaroom.hktdc.com/
Photo download: https://bit.ly/3msyefr
About the HKTDC
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly SMEs, in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
Please contact the HKTDC’s Communications & Public Affairs Department:
Janet Chan, Tel: +852 2584 4369, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Agnes Wat, Tel: +852 2584 4554, Email: email@example.com