As Asia’s cultural and creativity hub, Hong Kong brings together innovative ideas and design talents. Coupled with the increasing demand of sophisticated consumers in pursuit of excellence, innovation and quality life, various industries such as fashion, lifestyle, product design and licensing are developing rapidly, creating abundant business opportunities.
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will hold a series of exhibitions and conferences this spring, covering various lifestyle sectors. The seven events will run concurrently for the first time, from 19-22 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The events include the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair; Home InStyle (formerly the Hong Kong Houseware Fair); the Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair; Fashion InStyle (formerly Hong Kong Fashion Week); the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair as well as the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference which will end on 21 April. Under the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model, exhibitors and buyers have the opportunity to participate beyond physical shows, through the intelligent Click2Match platform which will run until 29 April.
Ms Sophia Chong, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Hong Kong is a unique creative and cultural hub where East meets West and the city always excels in creativity. The HKTDC has been committed to promoting creative and design industries, help develop Hong Kong as Asia’s city of culture and creativity. This year, the HKTDC gathers a number of large-scale exhibitions in April, covering lifestyle products and licensing to strengthen cross-industry and cross-field cooperation, creating even greater synergy to the industries.”
“Since Hong Kong returned to normality, the HKTDC has organised several large-scale trade fairs and forums. Both domestic and international exhibitors and buyers showed support by attending the events physically, which is very encouraging. This time, the six major exhibitions attract over 3,800 exhibitors from 23 countries and regions, with 70% being non-local exhibitors who will participate in person. More than 20 international licensing leaders will also join the Asian Licensing Conference.” she added.
The HKTDC invited buyers from all over the world through its 50 global offices and expected the participation of 170 buying missions from 50 countries and regions – including Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, India, the Middle East, Germany, France and the United States.
Cultural & Creative Corner to debut at Gifts Fair and Home InStyle
The Hong Kong Houseware Fair has been renamed Home InStyle, in keeping with the latest developments; with the expectation of bringing more design and style-oriented products to buyers. The upcoming Gifts & Premium Fair, Home InStyle, and the Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair will draw more than 2,650 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions, reaffirming Hong Kong’s position as a renowned global hub for lifestyle product procurement. The Gifts & Premium Fair and Home InStyle will feature a brand-new Cultural & Creative Corner, promoting designer brands and products with unique styles. Additionally, the Gifts & Premium Fair will feature pavilions from a range of countries and regions including Mainland China and South Korea. At Home InStyle, a first-time participant – the Industrial Designers Society of Hong Kong (IDSHK) will feature 12 exhibitors and present multiple design-led crossover product series from the ReMIX Program, covering lifestyle items, accessories-decorations, electronic devices, furniture and household essentials. Each product integrates the essence of brand and unique creativity, offering global buyers a glimpse into local design scene.
The fairs will also feature several themed zones. At Home InStyle, the Zhejiang Pavilion will feature unique products from various provincial cities under the Zhejiang Ingenuity: Culture and Quality theme, providing a one-stop sourcing experience for buyers. The mainland’s Yuecheng District of Zhejiang Province will debut a pavilion at the Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair.
As branded products have always been popular amongst consumers, the Hall of Fine Designs at the Gifts & Premium Fair and the Hall of Elegance at Home InStyle will present various prominent designers and international brands. In addition, the Hong Kong Exporters Association will set up a pavilion at the Gifts & Premium Fair – featuring 21 local exhibitors and award-winning products from the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards.
Several seminars will also be hosted covering various topics. The seminar “Feel the Pulse of the Upcoming Trend in 2023” will delve into the latest consumer trends for this year, as well as the optimisation of business-to-business (B2B) marketing through ChatGPT artificial intelligence (AI) platform. Representatives from the Business Environment Council and local eco-friendly companies will also discuss how to integrate sustainable development into their products. Expert speakers from the Hong Kong Design Centre and the Hong Kong Interior Design Association will share experiences on creative designs; while the Hong Kong Retail Technology Association and several start-up representatives will analyse how e-commerce and metaverse applications can strengthen business resilience.
Fashion technology takes centre stage
In the first quarter of this year, the HKTDC Export Index surged by 9.3 points to reach 39.0, with the clothing industry being the most optimistic, seeing an index jump of 27.7 points to 51.5. As a leading trade show in the Asian fashion and textile industry, Hong Kong Fashion Week, renamed Fashion InStyle, brings together nearly 430 exhibitors covering the entire industry chain from upstream to downstream. The highlighted zone InnoFashion and Trade Services gathers 12 exhibitors demonstrating cutting-edge fashion technologies, including 3D printed fashion, artificial intelligence (AI) and wireless radio frequency identification technology (RFID). One of the exhibitors, AiDLab, will host the Innovation in Design Summit 2023, where industry experts from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the United Kingdom’s Royal College of Art will share how AI technology can be applied to the fashion industry. Another exhibitor, Stratasys, will unveil its latest 3D printing textile technology during the seminars. In addition, several fashion shows will be held during fair period, showcasing the latest clothing designs from multiple fashion brands.
The Hong Kong International Printing and Packaging Fair, jointly organised by HKTDC and CIEC Exhibition Company (Hong Kong) Limited, will feature over 450 exhibitors. The highlighted zones, World of DeLuxe PrintPack and Green Printing & Packaging Solutions, will spotlight a wide range of premium and eco-friendly printing and packaging solutions. A series of seminars and forums will be held with industry representatives sharing the latest industry insights and global trends. Topics will include: ESG – Design & Printing; New Technology on Print Color Control: CTV, Going Green: Innovations in Sustainable Packaging; and The Latest Trend in Prepress: IT Innovations for Printing Industry.
Showcasing diversified global licensing projects and unveiling market trends
This year’s Hong Kong International Licensing Show will showcase more than 500 licensing projects and brands, featuring top global licensors and licensing agents such as CAA-GBG Global Brands Management Group, MediaLink, Wildbrain CPLG and more. The Licensing Show will feature nine group pavilions – including the Mainland, Macao, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, presenting unique brands from various regions. Meanwhile, with the dedicated support of CreateHK, the DLAB Hong Kong Pavilion will showcase 45 local original Intellectual Properties (IP) and brands to promote the strength of homegrown design, including SHIBAINC, Falling Cyan, Malut Design and 8EGGS Studio.
Over at the concurrent Asian Licensing Conference, more than 20 experts from the global licensing field will gather to discuss hot topics, including the latest developments in global licensing, location-based marketing (LBM) and sport licensing, keeping participants up-to-date on market trends. Overseas speakers will include Ben Peace, Vice President for the Asia Pacific at WildBrain CPLG (the agency for PEANUTS, Sonic Prime, and the Teletubbies); Maura Regan, President of Licensing International; and Yvonne Chou, Head of Global Marketing at VICTOR Rackets Industrial Corp, (the badminton brand in cooperation with various IPs such as Peanuts, Hello Kitty, One Piece). The Licensing Academy, organized by Licensing International and supported by the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, will host a speaker from Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture. The speaker will share insights on how “royalty-free” marketing creates a win-win licensing model and how the IP of prefecture mascot Kumamon is protected. The event will also feature a session themed “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”, in the spirit of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day on 26 April.