As a major breakthrough in post-pandemic trade shows, Global Sources Hong Kong Exhibitions kicked off on April 11, tapping into the rebounding demand from buyers and suppliers worldwide.
2023 marks the 20th anniversary of Global Sources Exhibitions; the Hong Kong shows, which kickstarted on April 11, are the inaugural stops of the celebration tour. “Over the past two decades, we have been dedicated to connecting top-tier suppliers with buyers from all around the globe, fostering growth and opportunities for businesses across the diverse and dynamic consumer electronics landscape,” says Hu Wei, Chief Executive Officer of Global Sources.
After three years of COVID
-19 that saw its trade shows scaled down and migrated to a hybrid online-and-offline mode, this is Global Sources’ first post-COVID
full-scale trade shows, occupying all 10 exhibition halls at AsiaWorld-Expo. Held in two phases, the shows are expected to draw more than 60,000 professional buyers from 150 countries and regions worldwide.
John Kao, Global Sources’ Vice President, Hong Kong Show and Overseas Show, says: “I am so very moved on this momentous occasion. It’s such a pleasure to once again see so many familiar faces as well as new ones. We want to express our deepest gratitude to buyers and exhibitors who have worked alongside us over the years.”
Decades of evolution
Global Sources is known as the world’s first international business-to-business (B2B) platform, and the worldwide trade facilitator has been moving in tandem with the progress of global businesses since 1971.
“There were ups and downs over the last three years, and to ride out the storm of economic crisis is certainly no easy task,” notes Carol Lau, Global Sources’ Senior Vice President, Client Service, Sales Support & Analytics, adding that the corporation has had ample experience persevering through crises. These include the 2008 financial tsunami and the 2003 SARS epidemic, both of which saw steep declines in global trade volumes.
Keeping up with market trends
Many of the accomplishments, Kao says, can be attributed to Global Sources’ ability to respond to the demands of buyers and exhibitors. When live exhibitions were scrapped or postponed during the pandemic, the company expanded its digital offerings, launching a customized online matching service to help international buyers connect with verified suppliers. When the epicenter of global trade and manufacturing shifted to the East, Global Sources tweaked its operation focus to stay ahead of the game.
Take car electronics. “Mainland China’s manufacturing capabilities and automotive electronics market has been growing exponentially, at the same time, propelling the electric motorcycle and scooter markets. This is why car components and electric vehicles are major highlights of this year’s show,” explains Kao.
“Customer-centric is at the heart of everything we do,” says Wei, who credits the company’s success to understanding market trends and what their clients want, designing services and products that fit market needs accordingly.
Customer experience is also top-of-mind when Global Sources curates its exhibitions, each one planned around a year ahead. Lau says that the company applies artificial intelligence (AI) technology in tailoring product recommendations, ensuring buyers will get the most out of the exhibitions; there are also digital mechanisms that better identify the background and categories of buyers as they register before the shows.
“Data such as whether they are wholesaler or manufacturer is incredibly useful to suppliers,” Lau adds. “This time, we also generate a QR Code for each exhibitor booth. It means that tracking the booth location and accessing exhibitor and product information is easier than before.”
Over the 20 years, Wei observes that as many more buyers are looking to diversify their supply chains, Global Sources will continue to explore new markets. “Sourcing shows in Vietnam and Germany are in the pipeline, for instance. We will remain nimble and vigilant in strengthening our planning strategies and attracting international talents of different backgrounds.”
“Moving forward, digitalization will be a primary focus, as are introducing buyers to new, innovative products and stimulating global trade,” Wei concludes.
Global Sources Hong Kong Trade Show 2023
Date: April 11 – 14 (Phase I) / April 18 – 21 (Phase II) 2023