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China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) – Complete guide in 2022

The Canton Fair is the mecca for importers, and every year over 180,000 buyers make the pilgrimage to Guangzhou to source products from over 60,000 Suppliers. The Canton Fair happens twice a year and happens over nearly 2 weeks.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Canton Fair, it is the largest trade show in China and has been taking place for over 50 years. For the first time visitor of trade shows in China, the Canton Fair is the best introduction. It has something for almost everyone, no matter your industry, and it is very Western-friendly.

Chapter #1 China Canton Fair Basics

There are many China import and export fairs that anyone can go to, mainly at the expense of importing goods, building ties with a supplier, and comparing fair prices. Among these fairs is the China Canton Fair held in Guangzhou, China, the most prominent and oldest trade fair in China.
Every year there are almost 180 000 companies, importers, and buyers attend this canton fair. And there are 60 000 suppliers present at the fair offering their services. This canton fair in China will also take place twice a year and last for two weeks. Thus, giving you enough options of attending to any of the respective dates they include while making it feasible for you. 
The Canton Fair 2022 has three phases, a big venue that can maintain 25 000 attendees worldwide. Each characteristic and factor of the Canton fair will discuss as we go through the articles. So continue reading as we explain what the canton fair is, how to go, and what you can get from attending. 

  1. What is canton fair china?
China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

The Canton Fair, also called China Import and Export Fair, is the oldest (since 1957), grandest, and has the most recorded attendees. It is an annual fair, two per year during China’s spring and autumn seasons in April and October. It is also held in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, China, specifically at 380 Yue Jiang Zhong Road.
As of 2007, its name becomes China Import and Export Fair from the original “Chinese Export Commodities Fair.” The China Ministry of Commerce and Guangdong Province provincial government founded this event. At the same time, the China Foreign Trade Centre arranged the event.
It is the most well-known and sought-after event among all the trade fairs in China, with over 24 000 China’s leading international trade firms attendees. Canton fair China also has various products with over 16 product categories divided. It will be displayed in 51 sections in the venue. 
There are three phases of the Canton Fair 2022 event:

Phase 1: Products are primarily focused on industrial creations, equipment, and machinery, such as:

  • Household appliances
  • Lighting equipment
  • Vehicles and car components
  • Tools and hardware
  • Chemical products
  • Building materials
  • Energy resources
China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

Phase 2: This phase consists of products for decorations and layouts intents.

  • Gifts
  • Home Décor
  • Every day products
China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

Phase 3: Phase 3 focuses on business products that will sell wholesale.

  • Medical Devices and Health Products
  • Foods
  • Textiles and Clothes
  • Shoes
  •  Luggage, Cases, and Bags
China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

What are the canton fair 2022 dates?

As mentioned above, the Canton Fair event happens only twice a year: in the spring, which is around April and May, and in autumn, which is around October and November. Since it started in 1956 and was executed in 1957, these dates were fixed. 
If you are attending the Canton Fair 2022, here are the dates you should note, based on ChinaTradeFair:

Spring 2022 Edition

  • Electronics and lighting – April 15-19, 2022
  • Consumer goods and ceramics – April 23-27, 2022
  • Textiles and medical products – May 1-5, 2022

Autumn 2022 Edition

  • Electronics and lighting – October 15-19, 2022
  • Consumer goods and ceramics – October 23-27, 2022
  • Textiles and medical products – November 1-5, 2022

Where is the canton fair 2022 located?

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, is the exact location of the China Import and Export Fair Building. Expressly, you can note the Pazhou Metro Station (Exit A or Exit C) because from here, going to the venue is only a walking distance. 
There are many ways to reach the venue by taking a subway or bus. However, it would be best if you had long patience, since people like you, whether local and international consumers and exhibitors, will be going in the same way. You should expect the transportation to be crowded, especially on the first day. 

What is the function of the canton fair?

The China Canton Fair is an event that caters solely to export trade; however, imports are also now conducted. Fairs are one way to host various events that target the economy, technology, product creation, advertisement, trade that helps increase ties to China and global firms. 

Is it best to attend to canton fair during the pandemic?

Because of the situation, we are facing right now—the pandemic, flying to China to attend this fair is hard and nearly impossible. It is why the annual 130th Canton Fair opens its doors to the online and offline setting. If you have the means and are eager to attend in person in China, you can do so. The event will proceed respectively and will take place in Guangzhou. 

Chapter #2 The Pros and Cons of Attending China Import And Export Fair

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

As the Canton Fair China event is fast approaching, you need to decide whether to attend or not. Going to this fair is helpful, especially for start-ups ad first-timer. It caters to practically everyone, regardless of their business, and is highly Western-friendly. However, even if the Canton Fair is the largest trade fair in China, there are still drawbacks. 

Pros of Attending Canton Fair China

Biggest fair trade fair in China

As we noted above, this is the grandest and the largest compared to other trade fairs. Hundreds and thousands of vendors present their products from different types, categories, and sorts. In fact, there are more than 25 000 vendors are present. Many CEOs and an agent from the firm they represent—began talks with the vendor on the spot, scheduled a meeting, and started the negotiation. It was easy to access them to create ties to business in China. 
The whole Canton Fair exhibition also contains over 150,000 high rate products with unique factors and low prices. You can sight-see if you cannot do the same tactics as others who attended the event. Take note of the products you see, get the vendors’ contact details, and do your research.

Best to source products

You know from the previous section how high the number of vendors and the products they offered at this event. Because of this, it is easier for you as buyers to collect data and source the products you need. 
Furthermore, based on the data provided by China Import And Export Fair, 16 product categories are displayed on the 56 sections of their venue. With these numbers, for sure, you can find what you need at an affordable price. You can also visit their website before attending the event to see the varieties of products they offer. 

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Many local and global suppliers

During the Canton Fair, you will meet a lot of China wholesale suppliers. Some of them would be large corporations, small companies, trading companies, even expert factories that work in a specific sector. As we noted above, there will be 25 000 of the present. So how can you select amongst many of these vendors?

  • Find a supplier who is familiar with their products. Even if you’re dealing only with a sales merchandiser, it is best to know since you will ask many questions that help you know details about the products. 
  • Look and choose a supplier that will cater to your needs, answer all your inquiries, and be glad to perform with you and your team on a proactive basis.
  • Interact with China suppliers with your desired products for further information.

Well-organized

Not only is it the largest fair, but also how organized the whole event is. Even before the pandemic, attending this event won’t be a problem, especially for international attendees. 
Starting with travel—traveling from your country is easy as long as you have a Chinese Visa. You also have varieties of transport means like the subway, bus, and taxis. 
Finding a hotel to stay in is also not an issue. As long as you’ve booked months before the event, you’re good to go. Registration and entrance to the Canton Fair are also simple given how huge its venue is; lines will not be that long. 

Massive Market Scale

The Canton Fair, with its huge size and breadth, is a biannual show for anything imported and exported from China. Buyers from 227 nations have registered and attended the event. Also, vendors from different sectors gathered to sell their products and services. Because of this data, the market where Cantor Fair focuses is saturated. Yet, it can still cater to any of your product needs. 

Cons of Attending Canton Fair China

Lots of buyers

Attending the fair will benefit your business as you expand and meet suppliers that are open to working with you at a fair price. However, since it’s an event open to all, you can expect that other attendees have the same aims as you—probably your competitors too.
The China Canton Fair itself attracts many buyers hundreds of thousands of customers. The estimated attendees are 200 000, coming from more than 210 countries and regions.

Challenging to build rapport with a supplier

The goal of your supplier will be the same as you, which is to see hundreds of potential buyers during the three phases of the event. You can anticipate that they will split their attention amongst other attendees. So probably, if they don’t want you—you will become just another business card.

Focus on consumer products 

Since the China Canton Fair is very diverse in product selection, you can find suppliers and products you want quickly. However, this canton fair’s products offer specific niches like lights, solar products, flashlights, camping tools, and more. These products are perfect for the consumers, and vendors provide them to the trade fair attendees.

Chapter #3 Crucial Tips for the Canton Fair 2022

The Canton Fair is an excellent event that allows importers and buyers worldwide to meet suppliers. Many suppliers from various sectors like cars and tools, machinery, gifts, home decor, and foods. 
At the same time, this fair allows importers an opportunity to connect face to face or online. It means you have the option to know more about the product, shipping, prices, quality, and other details.
If you’re considering going to the Canton Fair now or sometime in the future, the following tips will help you:

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

Plan Ahead

The main reason why you’re going to the China Canton Fair is to meet suppliers, find the best products, and even build connections. Whether you’re attending in the spring season or autumn, it is still best that you make the most out of it. 
Before going to the event, plan everything ahead of time. It is where researching and making time table is crucial. You can go to the China Canton Fair website to check which phase is feasible for you and the section of the venue to attend. Also, don’t forget to list all the products you need and expect to find. In this way, it is easy to navigate the venue. 

Pack light things

You’re not going to China for a vacation, but for business purposes. It is best to pack light things with all the attires you’ll wear. You can never leave the Canton Fair China empty-handed, so along with your light things, bring an extra suitcase or backpack to keep any bought belongings. For sure, you might be able to find some more items at Chinese marketplaces. Hence, you’ll need to ensure you have enough room to carry them home. 
At the same time, you’ll also be handling business cards, pamphlets, and paper info, as vendors will pass them to you as you walk each booth. To avoid holding all in your hand, bring an extra bag or a large bag.

Be ready to discuss terms

Negotiating and giving out company details will always happen when you go to the fair. Although this may appear strange, we recommend you to bring two business cards—one with general information and the other with specific details. 
Many suppliers are present at the canton fair China, which means you can meet hundreds of them. Naturally, you’ll give them a business card because you want to get at least known by these vendors, logistic companies, factory, and have a chance to talk. 
The only problem is they may only capture your interest and find better ones later. It is why you can give them a business card only containing your name, company information, and website to contact you. 
If ever you find a supplier that you will indeed work with, this is the time you’ll give out all your contact information. Furthermore, cases like this happen, which lead to business talks and negotiations. It is best to prepare questions related to MOQ, product material, payment terms, lead times, and shipping.

Capture your trip

The whole China Canton Fair happens for a week, and during these events, you will go through hundreds of thousands of booths. It is helpful to bring a camera, pen and paper, notebooks, and staplers. You can also get your camera, phone, and an extra battery so you can document the products, their image displays, and other details.
These materials will also help you jot down all the necessary information that will be of use, such as:

  • What factories are notable for this kind of product
  • Do they have certification? 
  • Where do they produce their products?
  • Materials and equipment they use
  • Monthly production capacity
  • How fast is the shipping process?
  • Connections and availability
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In this way, you will have all the things you need in deciding which you want to work with and show them to your team. This documentation will also serve as your future reference.

Have spare time

We know that you are ready to conquer the canton fair china with your business needs. This event may be a lifetime experience that will help your business and company grow. Therefore, you need to prepare the dates and categories you’ll go to. 
However, it is best to have at least a day to explore outside the complex and enjoy, whether for work or fun. 
For fun, you can visit some of Guangzhou’s more noteworthy sites like Canton Tower, Guangdong Museum, Baiyun Mountain, Shamian Island, and even the Canton TV Tower skyscraper. 
If it’s for work, you can visit the factories you are interested in partnering with. You can also look for shopping centers and other local businesses for market research. Or you also have the option to go to lunch or dinner with your supplier and other CEOs.

Chapter #4 7 Things To Know When Attending The Canton Fair China On-site

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

One of the main benefits of going to Canton Fair 2022 is avoiding the lengthy sourcing process in online B2B platforms. Because through this site, it begins with you contacting the suppliers and building strong ties with them. You will go through in-depth details and ship samples back and forth until everything is ready. 
This process is a hassle to many, so going through an event with all the suppliers ready is best. If ever you are interested in going, these tips will help you. 

Learn to communicate

Learning the Chinese language or Mandarin is unnecessary, but it would still help you know the basics. Don’t fret about speaking, as there would be an English speaker. Most of the vendors know can communicate in basic English. 
Furthermore, if you still want to have a deeper conversation with these suppliers, you can hire a translator. Here are some of your options:

  • Find a translation firm ahead of time. 
  • You can post on Upwork on your translation requirement and receive a response from them. 
  • There is an available translator at the event venue or near the venue. You can hire them for a day, for a fair price, but some of these translators put a higher price than they should be.

Where to stay

Before going to China to attend the event, make sure you book months before the date. It is to ensure that your room is ready when you arrive. Booking ahead of time is also a wise choice for price and before the hotel is fully booked.
We recommend three options: hotel, Air BnB, and hostel.
It is good to stay near a hotel or a few stations from the Canton Fair convention. You can also benefit from the hotel’s shuttle bus services to the convention since it’s more convenient. 
You can also book an Air BnB if you are coming with more people. However, if your budget cannot afford both, you can stay at a hostel. Compared to the two, the quality and services aren’t as excellent. 

Things to bring

You will need many things to bring when you go to the event, starting with an extra suitcase. You can expect the surge of business cards, templates, brochures, even pamphlets containing all the details of the supplier’s business. And you can’t leave without them so that only leaves you to put them in an empty suitcase.
We also recommend taking these things so you can write important details, track items, and any related information that can hook you:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Clips and Binders
  • Stapler
  • Camera

The most crucial part that you should never forget: Business Cards. You should be the one to offer your business card since most vendors will be hesitant to provide you with it first. 
It would help if you never forgot about the camera because it would help you capture the details you’ll overlook. It also serves as a memory and files to review later on. 

Suitable clothes

Because you’ll be speaking and interacting with many vendors—likely future suppliers and partners, it is why looking clean and friendly makes a solid first impression. 
Suitable clothes do not always mean a suit paired with shiny black shoes. Or a glamorous dress with high heels. All you need is comfortable, clean clothes that will make you presentable as you walk around the whole venue. 

Things to keep in mind

Because hundreds and thousands of suppliers will offer you the same thing, you tend to be confused. So before talking with a vendor, know which products you need, what your needs are, and price anticipations. It would also help if you were open-minded about what you’ll be seeing and the ties you’ll be making. 
Furthermore, do not be afraid to ask all your questions. The goal is to leave the venue with all the information you need without wasting your time. Please keep it simple and direct. At the same time, list all the questions ahead of time so that communication will be accessible.
Some of these questions are:

  • Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
  • Product Prices
  • Lead Times
  • Shipping Time
  • Biggest Clients
  • Quality Control
  • Product Certifications
  • Main Export Markets

Places to eat

There are numerous food choices that you can choose from in Guangzhou, China. For instance, you can see multiple fast-food chains restaurants within walking distance of the exposition center. You won’t even travel that far to eat. 
You can also eat and walk around the hallways. There are food halls and booths where you can buy your food. Plus, you can try authentic Chinese food in the restaurant near the area.

To do’s after the fair

The Canton Fair will bring you a great experience, especially if your goal is to meet suppliers and look for products. Even after the fair is done, you can still meet your chosen supplier over lunch or dinner to discuss further. Or, if your time meets, you can visit their factory and learn more about their businesses. 
However, if you still want to explore things aside from work, you can do so. It is helpful to find enjoyment other than work—there are many famous landmarks, mountains, and food that you can try. You can walk around the city, and for sure, it will keep you entertained. 

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Chapter #5 Partaking in the Canton Fair Online

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

China Canton Fair is the biggest trade fair in China. Every year 180,000 people from more than 180 nations and regions come to see this event. However, the Chinese government changed the traditional fair setting to online because of the pandemic. 
This pandemic badly affected global trade, which is why since 2020, they shifted the Canton Fair into “Canton Fair Online.” 

Canton fair online setup

The Canton Fair Online is divided into three parts, such as:

A platform for Online Display

Vendors will shift the traditional booths to virtual booths that buyers can access. These booths utilize stall numbers, company keywords, and display categories.
The trade show will also use videos ( 3D and VR), text, images, graphics, live broadcast, and other methods to show the product information online.

A platform for Live Broadcasting

Each supplier will get the chance to showcase their products in their 10×24 hour online live room. It allows them to discuss their products with their customers or do a one-on-one chat with them.

A platform for Matching Supply and Demand

One of the fantastic features of this product is when buyers submit their demand information, the platform will match the vendors based on it. 

Who are to exhibit canton fair 2022

Import Exhibit

About 25,000 enterprises have signed up to exhibit at the 127th Canton Fair, organized by the booth.

Export Exhibit

Vendors are foreign companies that have paid their exhibit fees in advance. Based on the estimates, over 400 companies from approximately 30 nations and regions will attend.

China import and export fair categories

Import Exhibit

For the import exhibit, there are 50 show sections and 16 categories. Some of these are:

  • Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances  
  • Lighting Equipment     
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts                          
  • Shoes
  • Machinery                                    
  • Gifts
  • Food
  • Hardware & Tools                            
  • Office Supplies, Cases & Bags
  • Home Decoration
  • Recreation Products
  • Building Materials    
  • Energy Resources   
  • Office Supplies, Cases & Bags, and Recreation Products
  • Consumer Goods
  • Textiles & Garments    

Export Exhibit

The export exhibit has six categories, such as:

  • Household Electrical Appliances
  • Building Materials & Hardware
  • Machinery Equipment, Food & Drink
  • Household Items
  • Fabrics and Home Textiles 

Chapter #6 How to Enter in China Canton Fair

China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) - Complete guide in 2022

You can try many ways if you want to visit the China Canton Fair. In this list, we provide three: registration and through invites. There are two types of invites: E-invitation cards and paper invitation cards. 
Remember:  Spring Session – Apply by March 30th.
Autumn session – Apply by September 30th.

Registration

You can receive free admission to the Canton Fair event as a buyer. On the other hand, entering is not as simple as getting into a store. It is necessary to register on the Canton Fair’s website. You can register through this link.

E-Invitation Card

This invitation card is exclusively issued by the China Foreign Trade Centre as an official invitation. They will send this invitation through email and only one copy. However, you can share this one copy with your company representatives. This invitation will be beneficial while entering the venue and applying for a Chinese visa.

Paper Invitation Card

The paper-type invitation is also required for all the Canton Fair attendees applying for a visa. Unlike the e-invitation, this copy cannot be used and is sent only through the mail. Plus, only three company representatives can use this one. 

Chapter #7 FAQs About Canton Fair 2022

If you are still confused and deciding up to this point, these most often asked questions regarding the Canton Fair will help you.

Is Canton Fair available for free?

It’s free to attend the Canton Fair China. However, as attendees, you are responsible for all other expenses and requirements, primarily the VisaVisa. You will also need o pay for hotels, accommodation, papers and other things. 

Why do you need to go to the Canton Fair?

Attending a trade fair in China, especially the canton fair 2022, is beneficial. It allows you to boost your place in the worldwide business world and build strong relationships with suppliers. 
Through this fair, you can meet numerous suppliers and work with them. You can also stop the risk of losing money since you can see everything yourself, from the products to the proprietor. There are over 20,000 booths on-site and 60,000 online, so these numbers came at your convenience. 

How much time should you spend at the Canton Fair?

The whole canton fair event happens for a week based on each category. Because it is a large fair, you cannot visit all booths at once. Therefore, you have the week to look around and go back and forth. 
Tip: Make a strategic plan of the areas you want to visit. In this way, you will not be wasting your time and effort walking to the fair.

How to apply for a Chinese Visa?

The majority of international tourists and residents need a visa before entering China. To apply for a visa, you must either go to the Chinese Embassy nearest to your location or use a visa service. Or you may opt to utilize Chinese travel brokers to make it easy for you to get your Visa quickly.
There are two Visa options for you: A regular Chinese Visa and a Business one.
Chinese Visa lasts for ten years now, so going back and forth to attend trade fairs is easy if this is our option. On the contrary, a business Visa needs a simple and free invitation form from the Canton Fair. 

Is it required to apply for an invitation and bring business cards?

Registration is essential for you to attend the canton fair 2022, whether it is the canton fair online or on-site. It is why attempting to submit your application before the due date is a must. 
Furthermore, your business cards represent you and your company. Keep it clean, simple, and contain all the information needed. So having one will be a great advantage for the suppliers to know you. 

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