Johnny Wan, senior exhibitions manager with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), enthusiastically announced that 6,000 buyers showed up on the first day of the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition) 2012, held Apr. 6-9, that hosted 950 exhibitors across approximately 1,300 booths. Both numbers set new highs for the four-year-old event, with the exhibitor number more than doubling that of the fourth autumn edition of the HKILF, now recognized as the world's No.2 and Asia's No.1 lighting fair. “We hope to replicate the success of the autumn edition this spring,” Wan said at the Apr. 7 Media Breakfast Meeting.
The exhibitor number exceeded 1,000 at the autumn show for the first time in 2005, and increased to 2,104 in 2011, with the buyers numbering 33,319 compared with 15,220 at the spring 2012 edition. There is good chance for the spring show to do as well as the autumn one considering that the 14-year-old autumn show has become a well-known event from humble beginnings…the first autumn fair had 176 exhibitors but 470 by the fourth edition, Wan said when interviewed by CENS Lighting Magazine.
The HKTDC launched the spring lighting fair in 2009 to meet the needs of the shortening lighting design cycle, allowing buyers to source the latest products after the autumn show to stay ahead of the competition and refresh product lines. Some 235 exhibitors showed up at the first spring event.
Wan, in charge of the spring lighting fair, said that the lighting fair is mainly driven by rising demand for eco lighting, China as the global hub of lighting production and its ever rising consumer power, and Hong Kong's central position in Asia. “Hong Kong is adjacent to China and a meeting point of all Asian passages, an advantage deprived of Singapore. The former British colony is within five-hour flying time for half of the world's population,” stressed Wan.
Other incentives H.K. offers to businesspeople include being the world's freest economy, friendliness, visa-free access for most nationalities, rule-by-law to completely protect individuals and businesses, and extensive English-speaking residents. Perhaps the critical advantage is proximity: buyers can go to a fair in the morning and easily tour factories in the afternoon on the Pearl River Delta, where over 50,000 plants employ nine million workers.
Wan attributes the success of the spring lighting fair mainly to professionalism, internationalization, quality service and significant brand recognition. And the spring event is truly buyer-friendly, with 10 product zones arranged systematically to enable easy, convenient sourcing, Wan stressed.
The HKILF, like Hong Kong's other globally-known watch and clock, gift, electronics fairs, has become the world's No.1 or No.2 of its kind, is the fruit of the city's 40 years of dedication to build the MICE industry. Hong Kong as an international trading hub owes its success to the former British government who started to build a trade fair sector some forty years ago, when Hong Kong was still home to many factories while China was still a closed communist market.
"Hall of Aurora" a first-time installation at the spring lighting fair 2012.
Among other functions, the HKILF helps lighting startups build brand names. This year, the HKTDC installed the “Hall of Aurora” the first time at the spring event as it did at the autumn edition over the past few years, with the setup intended to shake off the lighting shows' stereotype of being a club for OEMs and ODMs. “This year we invited international branding agents to speak at the marketing forum, helping to build profiles for 93 lighting brands,” said Wan.
After 40 years of dedication to build the MICE sector, Hong Kong has many well known trade fairs.
A lighting design contest, now only held at the autumn lighting fair, will likely be another drawing point added to the spring show, according to Wan.
(by Ken Liu)