Hong Kong International Licensing Show

A record-breaking 11, 162 visitors attended the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, July 3-5, including more than 4, 000 from outside Hong Kong. Visitors from the Chinese mainland led the way, followed by Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, the United States, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.

The show featured more than 300 brands and properties promoted by over 120 exhibitors from around the world. Exhibitors included YGM Trading, which promoted Michel René, Guy Laroche and Charles Jourdan brands at the fair's new Lifestyle Pavilion.

"It was our debut appearance, and we received many enquiries about Michel René, " said a YGM Trading spokesperson. "Our company used to focus on apparel, so our participation here gives us the opportunity of extending the brand into other categories, like sunglasses, watches and bed linen, " said the spokesperson.

Another exhibitor was BrandElite Licensing Ltd, an agent for a number of characters from Japan, Korea, Europe and the US. "We received numerous enquiries, and a number of deals are now under negotiation, " said Executive Director Wennie Wong.

The automobile brand Mini, as well as cartoon characters the Shenbingkids, Postman Pat and Katakune, were particularly well received, according to Ms Wong. "This is our fourth year at the fair, and the quality of buyers continues to improve. We will be back next year, " she added.

World Team Management Ltd, which owns the AC Milan and UEFA Euro 08 licenses, exhibited for the first time at the show. The company produces a variety of items, including cups, watches and stationery. "Most of our prospective buyers are interested in retail distribution, while some propose to extend our brands into areas such as spectacles and sporting goods, " said Marketing Officer Grace Chiu. Ms Chiu added that the fair was effective in reaching potential partners and that the company would definitely return.

Another newcomer was Singapore's Global Brands Group Pte Ltd, which represents FIFA, the PGA, FIBA, FA England, Bum Equipment and Chorion. Christie Chor, the company's Assistant Marketing Manager, was pleased with the "enthusiastic enquiries" she received, noting that "some prospective deals are under review." Ms Chor added that the show was an effective platform for exploring business opportunities in Asia, especially the Chinese mainland.

Many visitors came from the mainland, where the licensing industry is booming. "My major aim is to get acquainted with more international brands and explore partnership opportunities, " said Shenzhen Dongxing Industrial Co Ltd's General Manager Wang Dong Xu. "The mainland falls short of market information about licensing, so this event is a very important channel for us to gather information."

Zhongshan Fuji Chemical's Liang Qiu Fang was equally impressed. "This is really eye-opening. There are so many brands and products here. It is very focused and the scale is huge. We do not have such shows in the mainland, " she said.

According to a TDC research report, "China's Licensing Market and Hong Kong's role, " Hong Kong is an ideal gateway for licensing companies looking to enter the Chinese mainland market. Hong Kong exhibitions and consumer product shows are an excellent platform for reaching potential licensees. Hong Kong has deep business connections with the mainland, and it is renowned for its business integrity, its independent judiciary and its intellectual property rights protection.

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