The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted business activity and supply chains across the globe, with numerous trade fairs and events around the world being postponed or cancelled, depriving many enterprises of business and marketing opportunities. According to global exhibition industry association UFI, potential deals worth at least US$ 145 billion were not concluded as events failed to take place as scheduled. To help companies rise to the challenge, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is offering a number of new platforms and special packages to capture every business opportunity available.
HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said: “To help enterprises tide over the COVID-19 outbreak, we are launching a series of digital initiatives, including webinars and virtual exhibitions. We are also offering online-to-offline (O2O) promotion packages for companies to participate in our physical exhibitions and conduct promotions through our online platform, offering a double opportunity to expand their customer base and capture orders.”
Virtual connections between global buyers and supplies
The HKTDC has also launched a month-long Spring Virtual Expo on 1 April. This digital exhibition will give businesses a new channel to establish contact and source from quality vendors. The HKTDC’s online marketplace, hktdc.com Sourcing (sourcing.hktdc.com), features around 130,000 quality suppliers and more than 2 million international buyers, with over 24 million business connections made every year. Supplier information is verified by third-party organisations to enhance buyers’ sourcing confidence.
In addition to existing users of hktdc.com Sourcing, the Spring Virtual Expo aims to attract other active online buyers. The HKTDC has invited buyers from all over the world to participate, including VIP buyers and those who have participated in HKTDC fairs.
Multiple sectors covered
To further enhance the effectiveness of business matching, the Spring Virtual Expo focuses on four themes: technology – lighting and electronics; gifts and houseware; lifestyle; and fashion and beauty. The 33 groups of products covered under the four themes will include lighting, construction and hardware, electronics and computer accessories; home products, gifts, toys, baby products and stationery; jewellery, watches and glasses; and fashion accessories, clothing, and health and beauty products.
To help meet their different sourcing needs, global buyers will receive personalised product recommendations through online channels such as social media, online advertising and email, helping buyers and sellers to seal deals more quickly.
Omni-channels to explore new opportunities
The HKTDC is offering a range of O2O packages combining online and offline promotion. “Exhibitors can showcase products at the exhibitions and promote online at the same time. This extends the fair period so businesses can reach more buyers and field orders,” said Fong.
Fong added that the HKTDC will organise a Summer Sourcing Week from 25 to 28 July. Featuring nine fairs located at the same venue, it will provide a one-stop cross-industry platform for global buyers to replenish their stocks. Additionally, the HKTDC is looking into O2O business-matching services at its fairs so that overseas buyers who cannot come to Hong Kong can locate target exhibitors in advance. Video conferences will be arranged between buyers and exhibitors to discuss business deals.