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New and Improved Canton Fair
By: Seth Berman

The long awaited move to a central location is coming off as a great idea in my book!

Now, you can actually see all the products, in an easy to follow format, no more turning in circles in separate buildings, finding hidden companies in the corners.  Vendors seem to have taken this to heart, and put more effort into setting up nice displays.  Actually, my Dad and I both think that the product at this fair is a jump up.  The factories are getting better at designing and communication.  Now, only if they shipped what they showed!

It seems that the other fairs who used to surround the old fair, didn’t want to miss out on the action.  So, not only is the Canton Fair absolutely huge, but there are 4 more fairs with 5 minutes walking!  I’m guessing that this competition is good for us long term, because all this extra showroom space means larger booths for all the companies now.  I noticed this strait away, and really felt that it is an improvement over the old show.  Now, companies seem to be able to afford larger spaces, and can show more of their products.  

The Jinhan Fair is strait across the street from Building A and B, and right next to Building C.  You can get to it by going through the subway exit.  The highlights at this fair remain true.  A lot of suppliers from Fuzhou, with nice products made from iron, wood, glass, and ceramic.  Its mostly home décor, and showrooms here are also larger than they used to be.  

Across from this fair is the CAC, it says woven and handicrafts.  I didn’t enter this fair, since it seemed smaller, and part of a hotel.  But, I talked to somebody who was there, and they seemed to think it was good for wicker and natural product, but still lacking innovation…  Well, innovation isn’t why we go to the canton fair…  That’s our job.

And back on the other side of the street, near Building B of the Canton Fair is the China Export and Gifts Fair.  Actually, this fair, seemed to have a lot of ceramic suppliers on the 1st floor.  The 3rd floor  (actually called “2F”) was 70% full of  natural material suppliers, too…  Woven goods, wood, and handicrafts.  Why 2F?  We got a bit lost, and pressed the 3rd floor button, and apparently, 2nd floor is empty, but they don’t want people to find out…  Well, we found the right floor eventually…

And, back to the Canton Fair.  It is nice to finally see real furniture suppliers with decent showroom space at the fair.  It’s nothing like the CIFF, but there are now some options.  Again, I come back to appreciating that they have enough space, and that it is all together in easy to walk buildings.

The show seemed to have drawn a good crowd, as usual.  I’m not sure what the final numbers will show, but definitely lots of people and languages from all over the world.  Crowds were concentrated, in the Canton Fair, but I’m guessing people will wonder out to the other fairs in the later days.  If they ever get out, it seems that you could easily spend a week in building A and B…  (Building C is for Toys, Gifts, and Premiums)

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