Hong Kong has always been committed to promoting culture, creative and IP trade, leveraging the city’s unique East meets West advantages. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) hosted lifestyle and licensing events in April, gathering global trend-setting creative products and services, and helping the industry seize business opportunities. 

Following the successful conclusion of Home InStyle and Fashion InStyle last week, a range of exciting fairs and conferences will continue this week. The Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair runs for four days at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) from April 27 until April 30. The Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair and concurrent DeLuxe PrintPack are at AsiaWorld-Expo. The Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) and Asian Licensing Conference (ALC) are also held at the HKCEC for three days from April 27. 

The four events have attracted more than 4,800 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions, while the ALC gathers some 30 international licensing industry leaders to discuss trends. These activities have created global business opportunities across industries and disciplines.

“Over the years, the HKTDC has been committed to promoting Hong Kong as the regional creative hub through exhibitions, conferences and diversified activities”

Sophia Chong, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC

Sophia Chong, Deputy Executive Director of the HKTDC, said: “Over the years, the HKTDC has been committed to promoting Hong Kong as the regional creative hub through exhibitions, conferences and diversified activities, helping local creative industries to go global. In response to market demands, the Gifts & Premium Fair launched the Cultural & Creative Corner for the first time last year and again this year with a variety of products rich in craftsmanship, creative design, cultural characteristics and ‘intangible cultural heritage’. The Licensing Show also invited renowned museums to display their art IP licensing, as well as international brands to showcase their creative designs and IPs. The two printing and packaging related fairs provided diverse packaging, creative solutions and customised services for different products. The three fairs complement each other, facilitating cross-disciplinary cooperation, generating greater synergies to the industries.”

Exclusively Show 2024

Sophia added that the HKTDC is dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the business sector through its diversified support services and online-to-offline sourcing platforms, assisting the industry to promote and procure green products and solutions. The trade shows held this week include green zones, while exhibitors offering green products at other zones are also provided with green labels for buyers’ easy  identification.

Promoting local design brand with international cultural and creative activity

The Hall of Fine Designs in the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair brings together local and international well-known brands, including Red A (Booth: 1C-G03) from Hong Kong, Yashica (Booth: 1C-E04) from Japan; c-secure (Booth: 1D-C05) from the Netherlands and LifeBion (Booth: 1D-C06) from Italy. Highlighted products include Rollink FUTO, a lightweight and collapsible suitcase by local enterprise OMG Design Factory (Booth: 1D-A03); and Evopad Eco (Booth: 1C-D09), a portable multi-functional desktop tool serving as mouse pad, phone and pen holder made from recycled PET bottles which earned it a Bronze at the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards (HKSDA) 2021.

The fair features a dedicated Cultural & Creative Corner, showcasing nearly 30 exhibitors, notably the Chinese Gifts Themed Exhibition, which is part of the 2024 National Cultural and Tourism IP Authorisation Series Activities under the guidance of the national Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Enterprises from Shandong and Henan will exhibit intangible cultural heritage products, showcasing the distinctive cultural essence of the regions. The Mainland China pavilion at the fair features a variety of lifestyle and creative products from different provinces. The Shaanxi pavilion (Booth  5E-F01-02, 04, 5E-G01-03), organised by the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Commerce, debuts this year to showcase products encompassing ancient and modern culture in the Cultural & Creative Corner. These include ceramic products, Terracotta Army themed exhibitions, trendy toys and an augmented reality app that integrates cartoon drawing and colouring. The Outdoor & Sporting Goods zone debuts this year, displaying camping equipment, dance shoes and sports products. The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association (HKEA) has also organised a thematic pavilion (Booth: 5C-D02) to showcase the extraordinary design and brand strength of Hong Kong exhibitors. The winning pieces of the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards organised by the HKEA are exhibited on-site.

There are cultural, creative and design elements at the HKILS. The Bring Me Home Souvenirs Series (Booth: 5G-B22), inspired by collections and exhibits of various Hong Kong public museums, are developed to infuse daily lives with the essence of art, history and science. Numerous renowned museums from Mainland China, including the Palace Museum (Booth: 5F-F03), the National Museum of China (Booth: 5F-G03), the Gansu Jiandu Museum (Booth: 5F-G03) and the Henan Museum (Booth: 5F-G03), participate in the HKILS to showcase their art IP. Plastic Thing Limited (Booth: 5G-A37), founded by Yan Ip in 2013, is well known for its character Fatty and exhibits in the HKILS for the first time. Director of Plastic Thing Limited Yip Kim Kwan, together with the operators of the rising Asian IPs, spoke at the Licensing Academy session discussing strategies for unlocking opportunities through licensing, and the major challenges they face along the way. DLAB (Design Licensing and Business Support Scheme) Hong Kong Pavilion (Booth: 5G-S01 – 5G-S45) returns to the HKILS, promoting the latest creative designs of 45 local brands.

Focus on sustainability and innovation and technology

According to the green technology & environmental services industry profile in Hong Kong published by the HKTDC Research last year, the added value of Hong Kong’s environmental industry in 2021 amounted to HK$10.2 billion (US$1.3 billion), with an annual growth rate of 2.2%. 

The Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair welcomes eco-friendly exhibits. Matrix Promotion Limited (Booth: 1E-B03) launches Monopoly Go Green, which uses recycled paper and FSC-certified timber and incorporates eco-friendly concepts in the game, such as building a greenhouse to earn more rent.

To establish IP licensing as a sustainable development strategy, ALC invited Lisa Zhang, Co-Founder of Alfilo Brands, to discuss sustainable future in IP licensing and her experience in IP cooperation with museums in the Licensing Academy session on Day 3 (April 29). She will also explain how to use Green IP to diversify revenue streams and ensure a sustainable future. Other thematic sessions include generative artificial intelligence, the rise of new IP creation, and beauty in licensing.

Discussing latest industry trends

The Hong Kong Gifts & Premium FairHong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair and DeLuxe PrintPack will feature seminars, exhibitor and buyer forums, and cultural performances focusing on sustainability, industry innovation and technology, creative design thinking, the silver economy, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area opportunity and consumer market trends. 

At the Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, representatives from Coresight Research, Google and Pinkoi analyse consumer trends and OMO (online-merge-offline) retail concepts. Representatives from Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) and St James’ Settlement Jockey Club Upcycling Centre conduct a seminar on sustainable gifting and upcycling. 

Digital platform creates efficient exhibition experience

Under the EXHIBITION+ model, April fairs integrate offline and online elements. Buyers can continue searching for products and services on the Sourcing platform and network through the Click2Match smart business-matching platform. During the physical fair, buyers can use the Scan2Match function of the HKTDC Marketplace App to scan exhibitors’ exclusive QR codes, bookmark favourite suppliers, browse product information and continue discussions with exhibitors online during or after the show.

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