Since 1957, the China Import and Export Fair has run three sessions per year, with three phases in each session. This fair is essentially the biggest trade show in the world and is better known as the Canton Fair.
If you can think of it, they are selling it. Each phase has a different theme:
Phase 1: Electronics & Household Electrical
Appliances, Lighting Equipment, Vehicles & Spare Parts, Machinery,
Hardware & Tools, Energy + Resources, Chemical Products, Building
Phase 2: Consumer Goods, Gifts, Home Decorations.
Phase 3: Office Supplies,
Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products, Medical Devices and Health
Products, Food, Shoes, Textiles & Garments.
It’s almost impossible to explain the scale of this event. If you ran down each aisle of the fair for two days straight, you probably wouldn’t see everything. It’s huge!
Because I’ve previously attended, I received my annual invitation last night. Looking at the invitation brought back a lot of memories and lessons learned, that I thought I’d share.
Here are three reasons why you should go to the Canton Fair.
1. If you own a business you’d be crazy not to attend.
When I say they sell everything, I mean everything. And it’s not just ‘Made in China’ stuff… there are representatives from nearly every country in the world selling things, so there is a wide variety of quality and selection.
Attending the Canton Fair is the best way to physically see products before you commit to buying anything. You also get to see a variety of different options, so you can compare the quality of your specific product compared to different sellers.
Many business owners use a middleman to source their inventory. This may work for some, but if you are serious about increasing your profit margins, understanding your supply chain, and making a relationship with the manufacturer, there is no other replacement for physically going to the fair.
2. If you are fresh out of college or looking for a new venture, go to the Canton Fair.
I can guarantee that you will see more business opportunities than you can shake a stick at. Whether it’s food, clothing, heavy machinery, makeup, furniture, or whatever… you will find something that you can make a business with.
I’m serious about this. If you are a recent college grad (or your kids just graduated) and you’re looking for a great opportunity, SEND THEM THIS. Tell them to go. It’ll be scary and uncomfortable, but it’ll pay off in the long run.
3. If you want to see the start of the Silk Road, this is a must see.
To be clear, this event is not made for tourists. During the application process, you need to demonstrate that you will be doing some kind of business – or that you at least intend to.
However, you don’t need to prove that you are some big corporation or that you are going to spend big money. You actually don’t really need to prove anything. (If you do go through the whole application process, this is a great way to get your 10 year China business visa, as you will receive an official invite that you can present to your local Chinese embassy.)
There you have it…
When it comes to investing or creating a successful business, a lot of your success can be attributed to the action that you take. Attending the Canton Fair is a great way to educate yourself, see new opportunities, and get access to a market that most people will never see in their lives.