HONG KONG, China–The Hong Kong Houseware Fair opened here today with more than 2,100 exhibitors from 32 countries, and with the debut of several new programs and exhibitions.
Overseas attendance for the fair—in its 25th year— was up 14 percent, said Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the show’s organizer. While the HKTDC remains “conservatively optimistic,” it has seen “signs of recovery” for the economy, he added. It also continued its sponsorship program to bring buyers to the fair this year, including some from the U.S.
Unfortunately, due to the volcanic ash that has disrupted air travel in Europe, some European exhibitors and buyers have not been able to make it, an HKTDC spokesperson said.
For those that are attending, however, the fair has several new additions to visit. The ASEAN Select exhibition debuts, with product from more than 100 companies from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. And products from Turkey will be the highlight of a special exhibition, as it is the show’s partnering country this year.
The fair looks to showcase premiere products as well, with the debut of the Hall of Elegance. “We need to develop the higher end of the market; we can’t only focus on the lower end,” said Chau during a pre-show tour yesterday. More than 40 exhibitors are participating in that hall.
There are also four new category zones for the fair overall: Home Accents, Home Living, Outdoor Living, and, with more than 300 exhibitors, World of Fine Dining. In addition, the World of Pet Supplies has seen an increase of 43 percent in its exhibitors over last year, with more than 100 exhibitors from eight countries and regions.
This year also marks the debut of the Hong Kong Home Textiles Fair, with more than 240 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions. Previously, these exhibitors were in a product zone within the Houseware Fair.
Evan Dash, principal owner, Innovative Technology, said that unlike Frankfurt’s Ambiente or Chicago’s International Home + Housewares Show, where he’s in his booth all day, here he’s able to walk the floor and spend time with suppliers. “We’re seeing a lot of international customers,” Dash told HFN. “It gives me another place to see them.”