Canton Fair 2023

If you missed the largest sourcing trade show in the world, the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair 2023), let us take you on a virtual tour with our Founder and CEO Ben Kong and our China Operations Team. The Spring session of the Canton Fair 2023 was held from April 15 to May 5, 2023, and over 250,000 people attended. 

The fair is divided into three phases, each showcasing different categories of items.

Phase 1 – April 15 to April 19, 2023 – Electronics, household electrical appliances, hardware and tools, and building materials.

Phase 2 – April 23 to April 27, 2023 – Consumer goods, gifts, and home decorations.

Phase 3 – May 1 to May 5, 2023 – Textiles, garments, apparel, shoes, and office supplies.

When the Linton team arrived onsite during Phase 1, we found it quite interesting that our US Accounts team could obtain access badges at no cost, while our Chinese team had to pay about $50 a day to acquire their Buyer’s badges. If you plan to attend the Autumn session, pre-register yourself and your team on the official Canton Fair website.

Entering the massive complex of the convention, we found ourselves enveloped by dozens of Exhibition Sections and tens of thousands of exhibitor booths. Here are some of the interesting and not-so-interesting takeaways.

The Interesting

Many factory direct exhibitors. If you know what you are looking for, you can go straight to the source. However, you will need to know how to differentiate trading companies from the actual manufacturers.
Amiable conversations and clear English language skills. The factories we spoke with took our inquiries quite seriously and offered cut-to-the-chase responses. If you plan to attend by yourself next time, be prepared. The better prepared you are to discuss product details, the more you can get out of the time and cost invested in making a trip to the fair.
A good opportunity to build relationships. The Canton Fair offers a unique chance for you, as a buyer, to meet with multiple suppliers at once. You sit down with them, look into their eyes, share with them your excitement, your frustration, your next hero SKU idea and your vision to grow. In return, just like any genuine relationship, they may or may not be the one. Use discretion to identify true partners to share your business journey in the years to come.

The Not-So-Interesting

Everyone will tell you they are a real factory that makes exactly the items you are looking for. Make sure to ask the right questions before further engaging with the factories.
Over-representation of identical items across different exhibitors. If you are looking for new and unique ideas, you will need some luck.
The Canton Fair is not a substitute for professional sourcing and supply chain partners like Linton Group. Out of the hundreds of thousands of factories out there, less than 10% attend the fair. Linton relies on our established structure and network to find the best fit on behalf of our clients.

Linton China Operations Team Canton Fair 2023

In summary, the Canton Fair provides a great opportunity to reconnect with suppliers, meet new ones, and explore new ideas. Additionally, engaging with attendees can lead to some entertaining stories. We invite you to schedule a call with us to hear our detailed takeaways and humble opinions regarding your products or ideas.