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Top ways you can grow your business by attending the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair is the largest trade show in China and provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to learn about new products, services, and innovations in their industry on an international level. If you are looking to connect with suppliers or find the next hot product for your business, the Canton Fair is definitely a must-attend event!

The Canton Fair is the largest trade show in China and provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to learn about new products, services, and innovations in their industry on an international level. If you are looking to connect with suppliers or find the next hot product for your business, the Canton Fair is definitely a must-attend event!

What is the Canton Fair?

The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is an annual event hosted in Guangzhou, China.

Since its inception in 1957, the Canton Fair has grown to become a massive event that acts as a hub for international trade between Chinese manufacturers and trading companies from all around the world. With over 200,000 people attending each year, it provides an array of opportunities and resources for businesses everywhere looking to expand their horizons.

At the Canton Fair, you can find a wide range of products showcased by manufacturers and suppliers from around the world. From consumer goods to machinery and electrical equipment, it offers almost everything under one roof. Many manufacturers also choose the Canton Fair to provide exclusive previews of their latest products.

The Canton Fair 2023: what to expect

The Canton Fair 2023 is the 122nd edition of China's largest and most renowned trade fair. This year’s fair will take place from April 15th to May 5th and will include three phases:

• First phase, April 15th to 19th: Electronics and lighting products.

• Second phase, April 23rd to 27th: Textiles and garments, shoes, office supplies and medical equipment.

• Third phase, May 1st to 5th: Hardware tools as well as building materials, vehicles and spare parts.

Top reasons to visit the Canton Fair in 2023

The Canton Fair has been a major source of trade between Chinese and foreign companies for over 60 years. It is a great opportunity for businesses to grow their international connections and explore new opportunities. Here are the top reasons why your business should attend the Canton Fair in 2023.

1. Meet suppliers face-to-face

Meeting suppliers in person at the Canton Fair can be incredibly beneficial for businesses of all sizes. Not only does it allow for a physical representation of products and services, but it also creates an opportunity for buyers to establish a great relationship with their suppliers through meaningful face-to-face interactions.

2. Discover new products

One of the best ways to discover new products to sell in your business is by attending the Canton Fair. With over 25,000 exhibitors each year, the Fair offers an incredible selection of goods from a variety of different suppliers. You can find almost anything imaginable and explore emerging market trends while networking with potential partners and industry experts.

3. Get better deals

Attending the fair gives businesses the ability to negotiate prices and get a better deal than what is typically offered through online marketplaces, such as Alibaba.

4. Create New Business Opportunities

The Canton Fair is an excellent way to build relationships and get your business’s name out there. You can meet not only potential suppliers, but also people who may be interested in your product or service, as well as find potential investors who could help finance future projects.  

Here’s what Epic’s team in China has to say about the Canton Fair:

“By attending the Canton Fair you can save time and money. You are able to connect with an enormous range of suppliers under one roof. You will slash your travel bill!”


“I love how the fair showcases so many new and exciting products. It’s a great place to get inspired AND land good deals!”


“The best tip I can give people attending the Canton Fair is to wear really comfortable shoes!”


Visit the Canton Fair with an expert Sourcing Agent

The Canton Fair is a great opportunity for business owners to source new products from Chinese suppliers. But before you book your trip, consider hiring a sourcing agent to help make sure your visit runs smoothly and that you get the best deals possible.

What is a Sourcing Agent?

A sourcing agent is someone who specialises in helping businesses find products from overseas manufacturers and suppliers. A good sourcing agent will have extensive experience working with Chinese suppliers, which can be invaluable when visiting the Canton Fair.

They will be able to connect you with reliable suppliers, negotiate prices on your behalf, and ensure that all of your products meet quality standards. They will also handle all of the paperwork associated with importing goods from China.

Benefits of visiting the Canton Fair with a Sourcing Agent

Working with a sourcing agent can save you time and money in several ways:

  • First off, they know how to navigate the Canton Fair so they can help you avoid long lines or any other potential pitfalls associated with attending such an event.
  • Secondly, they are familiar with local customs and understand what makes Chinese suppliers tick so they can get better deals than if you were negotiating on your own.
  • Finally, they are committed to making sure that every transaction goes smoothly so that when it comes time to ship your goods back home there won’t be any surprises or delays that could cost you money or cause problems down the road.

Top 10 Tips for Visiting the Canton Fair

While the Canton Fair is a great opportunity for businesses, it can also be overwhelming if you don't know what to expect. Here are 10 tips for visiting the Canton Fair that will help make your experience as smooth and successful as possible.

1. Create an itinerary

Before you arrive, create a detailed plan of which exhibitors you want to visit and how long you intend to stay at each one. This will help ensure that you get the most out of your time at the fair.

2. Dress appropriately

Business casual attire is recommended when walking around the fairgrounds, so make sure to dress appropriately but comfortably.

3. Make sure all documents are in order

You'll need to have all necessary documents with you such as visas and business cards when entering the fairgrounds. Also check ahead of time whether any special permissions or permits are required for the products you intend to purchase while there.

4. Use a translation app

Many vendors do not speak English fluently, so it may be beneficial to download a translation app onto your phone before arriving at the fairgrounds so that communication isn't an issue when discussing business opportunities with vendors.

5. Bring cash

Cash is still king at the Canton Fair, so make sure to bring enough money with you in case vendors don’t accept cards or other forms of payment.

6. Research local customs

Knowing basic Chinese phrases like “hello” and “thank you” can go a long way towards creating positive relationships with vendors while at the Canton Fair. Additionally, research local customs ahead of time so that you know how best to interact with them onsite without offending anyone inadvertently.

7. Know when bargaining is allowed

Many vendors are open to bargaining but some may not be willing depending on their product category, so it's important to know when it's appropriate (or not) before trying your hand at bargaining!

8. Set realistic expectations

Before arriving at the fairground, set realistic expectations about what types of deals can be made, who will benefit from them (you or them), what kind of quality standards must be met, etc., as this can save both parties lots of headaches down the line if everything is laid out clearly beforehand.    

9. Have fun

Don't forget that attending trade shows should also be enjoyable! Take some time off from meetings and negotiations to explore nearby attractions and of course the local cuisine; this will help keep energy levels up throughout the day.

10. Visit the Canton Fair with a sourcing agent

Visiting the Canton Fair with a sourcing agent can give you a leg up on the competition and give you access to insider knowledge. Plus their linguistic skills will come in handy during negotiations. By being familiar with local customs, these agents will also be able to develop stronger relationships which can lead to better deals overall.

To sum up, attending the Canton Fair is a must-do for any growing business. It serves as the perfect platform to meet and build relationships with suppliers and explore new, exciting opportunities.

Make the most of the Canton Fair 2023 with Epic Sourcing

Attending the Canton fair with an expert sourcing agent, like Epic Sourcing, will help you maximise those opportunities.

There are a few ways we can help:

Need expert support at the Canton Fair?

We'll give you a translator and a sourcing specialist to guide you through the Fair.

Post-fair support

We'll help you organise factory visits, negotiate contracts, and get samples sent back to your office in Australia.

We'll attend the Fair for you!

Send us a wish list and we'll connect with suppliers on your behalf and create a report about what's hot in your industry.

Get in touch for details!

Our services extend well beyond the Canton Fair.

We can be the bridge that connects you to all of China's premier expos and trade fairs

Get an insider's scoop into the most exciting expos and trade fairs China has to offer in 2023.

Download a full calendar of our upcoming expos

If you want to get ahead of the curve in your industry, attending an expo is a great way to connect with top-tier suppliers and discover the newest products for your business. Get ready - it's time to spot those game changers!

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