Held last week from April 27-30, the Hong Kong Gift Fair, now in its 32nd year, attracted over 4,300 exhibitors from 32 countries. In conjunction with the Gift Fair was the 12th annual International Printing & Packaging Fair at the Asia World Expo, with both shows organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The twin fairs together attracted 62,000 buyers from 138 countries and regions. Nearly 47,000 buyers attended the Gifts & Premium Fair, while over 15,000 buyers participated in the Printing & Packaging Fair.
“Looking at the performance of major economies, the Chinese mainland’s first-quarter economic growth beat expectations and income growth among its citizens accelerated,” said Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the HKTDC. “Also, the recently announced consumer confidence for the United States and the Eurozone improved. These developments are conducive to the prospects of the gifts and premium sector.”
With the trade show divided into areas like, the Smart Design Village, the Isle of Originality and Brand Oasis, the show is putting a greater emphasis on product uniqueness and aesthetics, rather than what’s the least expensive and easiest to mass produce. Tapping into younger buyers’ dual interest in eco items and experiential promotions, one exhibitor, Eco Matcher, integrated technology and eco elements into corporate premiums by planting trees on behalf of corporate clients. Recipients can then monitor the trees’ condition online. Additionally, Chinese manufacturers continue to make inroads in their ability and amenability to ship small quantity items, fairly inexpensively, to North America.
Product trends included collapsible silicon water bottles, tech apparel, fidget toys, pet products such as an electric water-spun paw washer for dogs, items made from cork and corrugated cardboard and personal drones of all shapes and sizes. Check out this video of a hovering mini Eiffel Tower, and now imagine you have the item created in your client’s logo and use it to generate traffic at a trade show or special event.
“The Fidget craze is happening everywhere – at every show I attended in Asia, every booth had endless versions of design, quality, pricing and functionality for this fidget frenzy,” said Scott Pearson, executive vice president of Counselor Top 40 supplier Logomark. “Although the original design has been around for years, these spinners are now flying of the shelves at 7-11’s and will saturate the promotional market over the next six months.”
The Hong Kong Gift Show has also offered an increasingly robust slate of education sessions in recent years, and this year’s show featured such topics as “Consumer Market Trends in India,” “Business Opportunities in Asian Markets,” “The Latest Trends in 3D Printing & Luxe Packaging,” and a packed session on “Selling Into the North American Promotional Products Market,” led by ASI’s president/CEO Tim Andrews and Logomark’s CEO Trevor Gnesin (see photo, below).
Next year’s Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair will be held from April 27-30 at the Hong Kong Convention Center.