The HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair will kick off the New Year trade show season in Hong Kong next week. A record of nearly 2,800 exhibitors, up 3.6 per cent over last year, are expected to participate in the three fairs opening 11 January and continuing through 14 January at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, and the Hong Kong Baby Products Fair are organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The HKTDC and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd will jointly organise the Hong Kong International Stationery Fair. The parallel events will showcase a wide range of creative and interesting products that meet the diverse sourcing requirements of global buyers. Product highlights include an innovative quadcopter, a magnetic levitation toy, the world’s first interactive jigsaw time puzzle, and one of the world’s smallest three-in-one shredders. More than 20 seminars and special events will be arranged to unveil global business opportunities and product trends, and facilitate networking between buyers and exhibitors.
China’s “Two-child Policy” stimulates demand for toys and baby products
HKTDC Acting Executive Director Benjamin Chau said amid global economic uncertainties, toys and baby products have a relatively bright outlook, especially edutainment products. Mr Chau outlined three contributing factors. “Manufacturers are investing more on R&D and licensing, making the products more appealing to buyers from mature markets,” said Mr Chau, who added that, “China’s ‘Two-child Policy’ and the growing buying power in emerging markets are stimulating the demand for toys and baby products. In addition, recent blockbusters (such as the Little Prince, Star Wars and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) encourage spending on related licensed products.”
With around 110 million infants and children aged six or under on the mainland, annual sales of related products reached Rmb 2,000 billion in 2015. Under the new “Two-child Policy” (implemented on 1 January 2016), it is expected that an additional of 2.4 million babies will be born annually on the mainland, prompting estimated additional spending of Rmb75 billion on these products. During the first 11 months of 2015, Hong Kong’s exports of baby products to the mainland jumped almost 80 per cent. Exports to other emerging markets with young populations also recorded strong growth, including India (+424%) and Turkey (+189%).
Business matching promotes deals
In the first 11 months of 2015, Hong Kong’s toys exports performed well in certain mature and emerging markets. Double-digit growth was recorded in India (+59%), Canada (+23%), Germany (+20%), Australia (+20%) and the United States (+18%). Retail sales during the Christmas season were better than expected; while Europe, the US and Japan saw steady improvements, the Chinese mainland, Mexico, Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic outperformed other markets. Product-wise, smart and educational toys as well as toys related to popular movies were in strong demand.
More than 90,000 buyers visited the three fairs in 2015. Mr Chau said the HKTDC will this year organise 115 buying missions, inviting close to 6,000 prominent international companies to Hong Kong and source at the fairs. These include department stores, specialty shops, and retail chains. “Based on buyers’ requirements, we will arrange tailor-made face-to-face business matching meetings for buyers to meet with selected suppliers during fair period,” Mr Chau added.
He predicted the outlook for Hong Kong’s exports of toys, baby products and stationery in 2016 to be stable, although buyers will remain conservative, and play safe in terms of order size, lead time and pricing. “To meet buyers’ needs, we will continue to present the hktdc.com Small Orders initiative at the fairs, featuring products from about 100 suppliers available for orders of between five and 1,000 pieces.”
Creating licensing opportunities
Alongside the three fairs, the HKTDC will also stage the Hong Kong International Licensing Show from 11 to 13 January at the HKCEC. This will encourage exhibitors to explore business expansion through licensing. “The four fairs have complementary elements,” said Mr Chau. “In addition to buying and selling, the fairs offer opportunities for manufacturers to link up with international brands, and move up the value chain through brand or cartoon license agreements.”
This year, the Hong Kong Toys Industry Conference will focus on licensing opportunities with high-profile speakers sharing insights under the theme of “upgrade and transform”.
Effective platform for global brands
Mr Chau emphasised that the fairs are international events that have become effective platforms for global suppliers to promote and launch new products, as well as explore new opportunities in Asia and traditional markets. Together, the three fairs welcome exhibitors from 48 countries and regions, including newcomers from Greece, Canada and the Philippines (Toys Fair); Canada, Lithuania, Malta, Russia (Baby Products Fair); as well as British Virgin Islands, France, Japan, United Kingdom and Vietnam (Stationery Fair).
More than 250 renowned brands will be featured at the trio of fairs, including Hape, Eastcolight (Toys Fair); Goodbaby, Inglesina, Joovy (Baby Products Fair); and Dr. Kong, Fueki and Inozto (Stationery Fair).
Other fair highlights:
— The 42nd Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair will welcome over 2,030 exhibitors with thematic zones including Smart-Tech Toys, Kidult World, World of Sports and Brand Name Gallery.
— The 7th Hong Kong Baby Products Fair will feature about 520 exhibitors. A Korean Pavilion will be set up for the first time. Two new zones; “Baby Learning Toys” and “Disposable Baby Products” will enable buyers to source products easily.
— The 16th Hong Kong International Stationery Fair will showcase latest products from over 230 companies. The fair will be divided into five zones, namely, DIY Supplies, Gift Stationery, Kids & School, Pen & Paper and Smart Office. Representatives from Moleskine and Cherrypicks will provide first-hand insights into the latest design trends and discuss e-business strategies.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Toys and Baby Products Awards honours outstanding products with exquisite design, innovation and quality. The Awards Presentation Ceremony will be held on 11 January, followed by a product demo session on 12 January. Winning and selected products will be on display at Hall 3FG concourse during fair period, promoting innovative designs to global buyers.