China's Canton Fair Opens With Huge Crowds, Tech Influences

The gifts and premiums portion of the China Import and Export Fair – more commonly known as the Canton Show – in Guangzhou, China, was held this week and attracted 138,000 attendees from more than 80 countries, visiting over 8,000 exhibitors to the second phase of its massive three-part fair.

While power banks and selfie sticks dominated the show floor in previous years, virtual reality devices in a variety of styles and price points were the biggest hit at this year’s show. For pens, drinkware and bags, prominent color trends were those derived from nature: a variety of blue hues, greens and browns, shown in both metallic and matte finishes.

“The Canton Fair seemed to be busier and pulsing with energy ahead of recent fairs over the last few years. The aisles were busy and we saw many familiar faces from both supplier and distributor friends,” said Scott Pearson, executive vice president of Counselor Top 40 supplier Logomark (asi/67866). “Canton is typically not about what’s new, but what’s trending and developing into a commodity product, which is easily recognizable by the sheer saturation across endless common category factories and traders.” 

Pearson noted that technology accessories, power banks and Bluetooth specifically, were in abundance and widely varied in quality, compliance and pricing, reinforcing the critical nature of choosing partners wisely.

“Drinkware is booming with double-wall stainless vacuum bottles and tumblers (thank you to our good friends at Yeti),” Pearson said. “It’s amazing to see how the strength of one company’s advertising and marketing campaigns can directly sway a category. Yeti has done just that.” Pearson said the city of Yongkong in China is reportedly producing over 60 million pieces of Yeti or Yeti-influenced drinkware items.

Next year’s Canton Fair will be held at the end of April. More details can be found at