- Public visitors generate retail opportunities for exhibitors
Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd, the physical shows of the 41st HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and 10th Salon de TE drew to a successful close yesterday. This year’s fairs adopted the new EXHIBITION+ hybrid model, attracting more than 6,200 industry buyers to visit the physical fairs and browse products online, as well as more than 25,000 public visitors to shop for exquisite timepieces. The online fairs will continue to run until 6 October. As of today, the HKTDC has already arranged more than 1,200 business meetings, enabling more global watch and clock traders to explore business opportunities through the fairs’ online platform.
HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Sophia Chong said: “Although numerous sectors around the world, including the watch and clock industry, have been hard hit by the pandemic, we are pleased to see that affordable luxury watches are a hot pick in the market, and that watches featuring innovative technologies and sustainable elements are part of the new fashion trend. This year, the two fairs showcased a wide range of trendy, high-quality products from notable brands. Exhibitors were also able to capitalise on retail opportunities driven by the recent disbursement of the government’s consumption vouchers.”
E-tailing presents new business opportunities, fairs give exhibitors a retail boost
The HKTDC conducted an on-site survey with exhibitors and buyers during the fairs to gauge the development trends in the watch and clock industry in 2023. The survey found that the majority of respondents considered e-tailing (37%) and the recovering purchasing power of customers (28%) to present the biggest business opportunities. Of the exhibitors surveyed, 39% of them are engaged in e-tailing businesses, while 33% indicated an intention to invest resources in developing an e-tailing business over the next two years to capture more orders. Regarding product trends, respondents expected smart watches (47%) to be the most popular watch category in 2023, followed by mechanical watches (15%) and digital analogue watches (14%).
In addition, some exhibitors said that sustainability themed watches will be another key trend. Speaking at the MINI green watch series product launch during the fairs, Esther Wong, Founder and CEO of Acestar Concept Limited, said: “As people become more environmentally conscious, this green watch collection has become the talk of the town. Sales of the watch at the fairground did well and we have already sold about 1,000 pieces. A new buyer expressed interest in bringing MINI green watches to the United States and South American markets, while another new buyer from Mainland China is keen to cooperate with us by investing in the development of a new eco-friendly product. Overall, the response from both public visitors and trade buyers has been overwhelming.”
The two fairs were open to the general public this year, with a lively buying atmosphere at the fairground. The on-site survey revealed that the per capita consumption of public visitors was HK$1,146. Mike Lam, Chief Operating Officer of Mira Watch International Ltd, said the traffic at the fair was very good. “The average per capita spending by customers at our booth is around HK$4,000-5,000. A mechanical sports watch priced at HK$10,000 has sold particularly well. We expect this year’s on-site sales turnover to reach HK$1 million.”
Click2Match helps industry players seize business opportunities
This year’s fairs adopted EXHIBITION+, a brand-new exhibition model integrating online and offline trade show formats, extending face-to-face interactions from physical exhibitions to an online platform. To help overseas buyers maintain contact with exhibitors, the HKTDC mobilised its 50 global offices to invite international buyers to engage in business discussions with exhibitors via video conferencing. In addition, the HKTDC utilises its smart business-matching platform, Click2Match, to generate AI-recommended leads for exhibitors and buyers until 18 September. The platform also provides functions such as a meeting planner, instant messaging, video conferencing and file sharing to facilitate communication between buyers and exhibitors. The online fairs will run until 6 October on hktdc.com Sourcing where trade buyers can continue their sourcing journey at their own convenience.
The renowned Swiss brand Victorinox, famed for its army knives and sporty watches, was at the Watch & Clock Fair to source watch parts and components. Kelvin Lo, Head of Sourcing – Watches, Victorinox Dongguan Company Limited, said: “Through the HKTDC’s Click2Match platform and its business-matching team, we set up physical meetings with six parts and components suppliers before the opening of the fair. The platform proved to be effective in helping us identify suitable suppliers in advance. Following business negotiations at the physical fair, we have been successful in finding five potential suppliers, one of which has adopted a brand-new technology to produce leather straps.”
Chit Tat Clock and Watch Company Limited was another exhibitor that was able to connect with overseas buyers via the Click2Match platform. The company’s General Manager, Philip Lau, said the brand focused on selling its stock to consumers at the fair, helping to expand its retail business. In addition, the company arranged more than 20 online meetings with overseas buyers via the Click2Match platform to conduct business negotiations after the physical fairs, with Mr Lau saying he was satisfied with the results.
Following a successful series of fairs over the summer, the HKTDC will hold the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), International ICT Expo, electronicAsia, Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) and Hong Kong International Outdoor and Tech Light Expo from 13 to 16 October, all of which will adopt the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model. The model’s round-the-clock services will boost the flexibility and effectiveness of business promotion for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and offer benefits ranging from extended fair periods and expanded platforms to enhanced business opportunities.
- Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair: https://hkwatchfair.hktdc.com
- Salon de TE: https://hkwatchfair.hktdc.com/te
- Photo download: https://bit.ly/3xdWJ6u
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.
Please contact the HKTDC’s Communications & Public Affairs Department:
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