Promotional Products and Sourcing (A Visit to the Canton Fair)

Guangzhou at first hearing is just a hard to pronounce word for westerners. But for old hands in the promo industry it …

Guangzhou at first hearing is just a hard to pronounce word for westerners. But for old hands in the promo industry it is the source, the hive from which promotional companies are built. As a newcomer to the industry, sourcing the source is an imperative to understanding. As I perused the isles at an up-tempo pace, there was much to see, but less to discover. Why? because I was looking for those things I hadn’t seen before.

What is apparent about the Canton Fair is that the whole world is there. Alongside the rare Kiwi, I heard Australian, American, Russian, Israeli, British, Japanese, Scottish, French and German accents ringing in those halls (and the list goes on).

The Chinese stallholders are aware of all leads which the Canton Fair generates. These stallholders and manufacturers are solid links in the chain, some of which connect to utopia. The reciprocity of these relationships reads as follows: Without their western counterparts, business wouldn’t be nearly as prosperous. Without our eastern counterparts, margins would be lower (much lower) and the cost to customers would rise.

A large part of the Canton Fair demand comes down to retail. Buyers sourcing a new line to stock – from the Mom and Pop’s to Walmart (or Mum & Dad’s to The Warehouse, here in NZ). For promotional agencies, being informed & satisfying our clients needs are foremost. In our case, some of our bigger clients also have wish lists for their regular promotions. For these clients the equation is something like this: ‘the new’ equals brand innovation, status and increased sales.

It is important for us as a leading promotional agency to stay ahead. Reaching the top starts with a secure awareness of the industry as it stands, current limitations, what is working (what is not) and a vision of what is possible for the future. We need to lead by example. This means regularly returning to the source to find the latest and greatest. And did we succeed? In this case, yes. Around ten new prospective promotional products came back to New Zealand with us. Contact us today to find out how we can help you customise an event or promotion.

Peter Koro
Creative Strategist – Boost Promotions

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