A Quick Guide to the Canton Fair 2014

The Canton Fair is a trade show that is held twice a year in the Southern China city of Guangzhou –April and October. It is a major attraction for all kinds of people engaged in imports, exports, or in businesses. It’s a great place to tap into different supplier networks and discover new products  that could become your next major source of revenue.

In fact, the official business turnover from the most recent Canton Fair clocked in at over 260 million dollars US!

Here’s some other facts:

  • The exhibition show is massive, taking place in the 1.1 million square metre China Import and Export Fair (Pazhou) Complex
  • Number of trading countries and regions: 203 (103rd Session).
  • Number of visitors: 165,436 (105th Session).
  • Exhibitors: Over 22,000 (with 21,709 Chinese exhibitors, 395 international exhibitors, 105th Session).

China is the production capital of the world, and everything and anything can be found at the Canton Fair. The trade show is split up into 3 phases each being 5 days long and with a different product category focus. Here’s what this year’s Spring session is looking like:

Phase 1 (April 15-19, 2014)

Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
Lighting Equipment 

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Hardware & Tools
Building Materials

Chemical Products

International Pavilion

Phase 2 (April 23-27, 2014)

Consumer Goods

Home Decorations

Phase 3 (May 1-5, 2014)

Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and
Recreation Products


Textiles & Garments


Medicines, Medical Devices and
Health Products

International Pavilion

How to apply for the Canton Fair

To be able to attend the Canton Fair you need apply to get a visitors badge. The process is pretty simple and does not cost very much. You sign up here at the official website. The documents you will require:

  • Scans of your passport
  • Details of your business name and registration in your country
  • Photos for your Canton Fair visitors badges

Once you apply and pay the registration fee, you will receive a letter of invitation to the Canton Fair. You can use this letter of invitation to easily get your China Visa. (Remember you need a Visa to enter China!!!)

How to make the best of the Canton Fair

The sheer size of the Canton Fair is pretty daunting, so how do you approach this gargantuan trade show Beast? Here’s our tips:

  • Don’t try to do everything: Going to every session every day and trying to network with every supplier is going to get your burnt out. Focus on product niches that you are either passionate about or have some knowledge of. Don’t go into the Canton Fair with a completely blank slate, because you will be paralyzed by the number of choices that are there.
  • Have business cards ready: There is a strong business card culture in China, so make sure you bring several boxes of your business card– preferably ones that are bi-lingual.
  • Stand out: Suppliers at the trade show will see thousands of interested potential trade partners. Try to develop a relationship with the suppliers you are interested in so that they will remember you when you follow up with them.
  • Bring a video recorder / take lots of pictures: You aren’t going to be able to remember everything you see at the Canton Fair, so it helps to record everything. Your smartphone is probably good enough.
  • Get plenty of rest: The Canton Fair is a gruelling battle where you will be on your feet for most of the day. Don’t get burnt out. Make sure you approach each day with energy and enthusiasm. This means plenty of sleep and plenty of caffeine (in that order!)
  • Get a VPN:  Remember that many websites you use daily are blocked in China: Facebook, Google, Youtube. You can get around this problem with a china VPN.

Canton Fair App for Android and Iphone

There’s also a super useful Canton Fair App for Android and Iphone that can help you maximize your efficiency while attending the Fair. Here’s some of the Canton Fair App Features:

  • Exhibitors & Products: Search exhibitors  and products by keyword or categories, Pilot the booth.
  • Buyers Guide: Attendance guide for overseas buyers
  • On-site Service: On-site service guide
  • Route: Select the destination, then route could be seen clearly.
  • Transportation: Metro route and transfer inquiry. Guide for  transportation  inside the complex.
  • My Favourite: Collect valuable information from news, exhibitors and
  • Hotel Booking: Trusted Hotel Finder in China
  • Customer Service

Last Words

The bi-annual Canton Fair is an excellent way to tap into the lucrative import / export game that China has to offer. You never know what sort of products you can find, export, and market at the fair so apply today and we will see you there!

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