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Smaller Hong Kong Gift Show Emphasizes Design, Tech Accessories

The 31st edition of the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair opened on April 27, projected to draw just over 4,000 exhibitors -- including 10 from the U.S. -- and 50,000 attendees from over 35 countries.

However, crowds seem lighter than in previous years, as do the number of exhibitors. In the show’s past iterations, booths were crammed in every available space in the Hong Kong Convention Center, lining hallways and walk-way areas for example, and wait-lists to exhibit here were quite common. This year, space formerly occupied by booths was set with tables and chairs for attendee rest areas.

Still, the show is the event to attend in Asia for global buyers looking for the newest gift items. Similar to previous years, accessories for smartphones and the melding of technology and health -- such as devices to monitor vital signs adapted as jewelry -- are ubiquitous. And with a nod to the ever-growing pet market, tech items to monitor the health of one’s pet -- like FitBit-esque products that can be clipped to collars to measure the number of steps they take and their heart rates -- made an appearance at this year’s show.

Once a show known for being a commodity producer, the Hong Kong Show has made a concerted effort in previous years to focus more on product design, as evidenced by the expansive Hall of Fine Designs. “Consumers are willing to pay more for gift items with special designs, as these products serve not only basic needs but also reflect the individual style of consumers and improve their quality of life,” said Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which organizes the event. “With the designers’ innovation and insights into daily life, many new products and brands have forged their way into the market. Quite a number of companies choose to progress from creating innovative designs to launching their own brands so as to enhance consumer loyalty and product value.”

Repeat show attendee Brandon Mackay, owner of the Utah-based supplier SnugZ (asi/88060), concurs with an emerging emphasis on product design at this show. “The Hong Kong Fair is an amazing opportunity to get the creative juices flowing,” he says. “I love using my time to collaborate with some of the best designers and companies in the region. I truly enjoy my time here.”

The 2017 Hong Kong Gift Fair will be held from April 27-30 and more information can be found here.