Spring expo spurs trade-show hope

After 1.4 million visit online marketplace, HKTDC Summer Sourcing Week to use hybrid format with physical displays at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to reach global buyers

AS COVID-19 outbreaks come under control, Hong Kong Trade Development Council plans a digital trade show each quarter to connect buyers and suppliers online.

The HKTDC Summer Sourcing Week at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (above), July 25-28, follows the success of a pilot month-long Spring Virtual Expo on the council’s online marketplace hktdc.com Sourcing, which drew 1.4 million online buyers from around the world to visit and source.

A “Wellness from Within” promotion is also being launched this month, featuring a wide range of wellbeing products on hktdc.com Sourcing.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC deputy executive director, said more than 22,000 suppliers used the hktdc.com Sourcing platform to reach global buyers in April, despite a suspension in physical business activities and other restrictions brought by the coronavirus outbreak.

“As more than 2,500 fairs around the world were postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, there is a growing demand for online sourcing, said Chau.

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“In view of this, the HKTDC will organise the digital show every quarter this year. We believe that the online and physical fairs can complement each other and create synergy to help SMEs promote their products during these challenging times.”

Plans for Summer Sourcing Week include nine concurrent fairs, a one-stop sourcing platform for lighting, electronics products, information and communication technology, medical and healthcare products, houseware, fashion, home textiles, gifts, printing and packaging products and more.

A variety of online-to-offline (O2O) packages are also being offered to help suppliers reach global buyers through the Summer Virtual Expo coupled with physical showcase displays at the fairs.

A HKTDC spokesman said subsidies from the Hong Kong government would allow local suppliers to enjoy these O2O packages at half price. In addition, they can apply for subsidies under the enhanced Dedicated Fund on Branding, Upgrading and Domestic Sales (BUD Fund) and SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) for other fair-related expenses.

HKTDC is also organising a series of webinars with industry experts and representatives from tech companies such as Google and PHD Media to share practical tips for online promotion, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), omni-channel marketing, website design and best practices in taking online orders.

Each webinar held to date attracted more than 300 SMEs, a two-to-three fold increase compared with similar physical seminars in the past.

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