I still remember when I attended the Canton Fair for the first time in my life back in 2011.
Standing in these giant halls of the exhibition complex in Guangzhou and seeing the endless lines of exhibitors from all kinds of industries was an overwhelming feeling.
With more than 24,000 exhibitors it is the largest trade fair in the world is held every six months in Guangzhou, a city in the South of China.
Here is all you need to know to make the mostout of your trip to the canton fair in spring (15th April – 5th May) and autumn(15th Oct - 4th Nov) 2019:
Is it worth going to the Canton Fair 2019?
Will you get tons of contacts to new suppliers and new product ideas? Yes.
Will you find the cheapest suppliers for the product that you are searching for? Probably not.
Most of the supplier at the Canton Fair are used to dealing with foreigners and to ship their products around the whole world which is definitely a plus. However, you need to be aware that those companies won’t have the cheapest pricing for the products that you are searching for. The Canton Fair has gotten incredibly popular over the last years and therefore attracts many wealthier customers from western countries which is driving the prices up. To find the cheapest supplier in China you would have to either carry out extensive research on Chinese platforms like 1688.com or hire a sourcing agent like us.
Nevertheless, the Canton Fair is a great place to get a quick impression of a high amount of Chinese suppliers in an extremely short time. You can quickly determine whether the chemistry is right and if you want to work together with them in the future. It also helps you to get an instant understanding of the quality of their products, which can save you a lot of money that you would usually spend on shipping samples to your home country.
How to register and how much to pay
As a buyer, you can pre-register online to get your free badge for the exhibition. However, you can also simply go to one of the hotels around the fair and buy a badge over there for around 200 RMB.
Some hotels like the Langham or the Westin next to the exhibition center also offer the badges for the fair and you don’t even have to be staying at the hotel to get it. Sometimes their waiting lines can be a lot shorter than at the actual fair.
How to make the most out of your visit
Contact suppliers in advance: Reach out to suppliers in prior, so they can prepare customized samples or quotations for you in advance – thus making your visit more worthwhile.
Manage your contacts: After a few days at the Canton Fair, you will have most-likely collected a big stack of name cards from the suppliers that you’ve met. To avoid confusion, I suggest you to take picture of samples that you like together with the name card of the supplier. Alternatively, you can also take notes on a notebook and clip the name card of the supplier onto each page next to the corresponding notes. I recommend making small remarks like “Yes” “Maybe” or “No”, depending on if you have a good feeling about the supplier or not. Nothing is worse than staring at a name card after the fair and trying to remember which stand it belonges to and what the MOQs there were.
Use wheeled luggage: Carrying around a big pile of prospects and booklets can be really tiring. Simply use wheeled luggage to put all your stuff into.
Book early: If you already know that you want to go to the fair then book your plane and hotel early! Most hotels in Guangzhou will besold out weeks in advance which leads to an enormous increase in the daily rates of the hotel. It might be cheaper to book a flight to Hong Kong first and then get on the highspeed train to Guangzhou, which will only take about 40minutes. During the period of the Canton Fair there will be a few events in Hong Kong as well that might spike your interest (e.g. Global Sources, HKTDC, Mega Show)
Ask the right questions: Make sure to gather the most important information in the beginning, so you don’t waste your time. Find out what the MOQs (Minimum OrderQuantities) are, if the company is a trading company or a factory and if their products carry the necessary certificates to be sold in your market. Depending on your business it is also important to find out whether the factory is able or interested in manufacturer OEM or even ODM products.
Take the subway: Yes, it will be crowded on the subway, but it is still the best choice if you want to save time and money. The streets around the canton fair are often times jammed with traffic, so taking a Taxi can sometimes be a bit frustrating. If you take the subway line 8, you can either get out at XinGangDong station (新港东) or at PaZhou station (琶洲) and walk to the exhibition center within 5minutes.
Knowing when to go to the Fair
The Canton Fair has so many exhibitors that it is separated into three phases. Each week there will be different exhibitors on the fair, while the second week/phase is usually the most popular one.
Electronic & Household Electrical Appliances, Consumer Electronics, Building Materials, Lighting Equipment, Hardware & Tools
Consumer Goods, Household Items & Toys
Textiles, Garments & Office Supplies, Medicines & Health Products
Do you need an interpreter at the Canton Fair?
Frankly speaking, many suppliers at the fair will have English speaking staff at the fair, because they know that there will be many foreigners coming to visit.
However, having us as your interpreter can still have a lot of benefits for your trip: We can help you navigate through the enormous halls of the fair, making sure that you use your time efficiently.
Over the past years, we’ve negotiated with hundreds of Chinese suppliers and therefore know their pricings and tricks and often achieve significant savings for our customers when dealing with Chinese factories. Read more about our interpretation services here.
Still unsure about the fair or need help? Let's have a quick call via WhatsApp, WeChat or Skype and let us help you. Or use the contact formular on the bottom.
WhatsApp: +49 177 2950 951
If necessary, we can arrange transfer services to pick you up and transfer you between airports, hotels and the canton fair.
We can provide a large range of vehicles, including small buses & transporters or premium limousines.