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An Ultimate Guide to Attending the Canton Fair in 2024

canton fair

The upcoming Canton Fair also known as China Import and Export Fair serves as a symbol for international trade and business growth”. Over sixty years, the big trade shows have facilitated the opening up of diverse opportunities in the giant China markets. The Canton Fair is an incredible opportunity for every customer to benefit from the wholesaler and the importer. I’m looking forward to this upcoming event which has a calendar for 2024. It is canton fair dates not simply a world trade show. It is an encounter of innovation and diversity, aggregating various goods in one place and an atmosphere of building materials sustaining relationships.

What is the largest trade fair in China in 2024?

Canton Fair 2024: Phases and Dates of Spring Session

The Canton Fair is the biggest trade show in China held twice a year. It is officially known as the China Import and Export Fair and functions as a significant platform for manufacturers and suppliers from various industries to showcase their products.

 

Where Is the Canton Fair Held?

The Canton Fair is held in the China Import and Export Complex (Canton Fair Complex for short). It is also known as Guangzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center or Pazhou International Exhibition Center.

The address: 380, Yuejiang Zhong Lu Road. Hai Zhu. Guangzhou City, China.

The China Import and Export Complex is located on Pazhou Island of Guangzhou, China. This is a huge place and probably the biggest modern exhibition center in Asia.

Just a few numbers to figure out its size:

  • Canton Fair Complex covers 1,100,000 square meters.

  • 338,000 square meters reserved for indoor exhibitions

  • 43,600 square meters reserved for outdoor exhibitions


By the way, the word “Canton” of Canton Fair is another name for Guangzhou. People who speak Cantonese, a local language, often call the city “Canton.” People who speak Mandarin, another language, call it “Guangzhou.” Both names mean the same place.

Multi-form and Multi-dimensional Display of Enterprise and Product Information

Currently the user is able to find 40,000 products on a single site and 25,000 companies on online platform. It will also be displayed on a multi-angle display with functional icon and text presentation. Further, the product information includes Chinese and English names and a variety of content for the visuals.

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How to Prepare for the Canton Fair


1. Download the latest floor plan of the Canton Fair.

2. Download the Canton Fair app. It is a valuable tool for attendees that offers a complete guide to the fair, with details about exhibitors, products, and events. Additionally, you can use the app to plan your own schedule of events and exhibitions.

3. Decide what products you’re interested in before you go. Don’t just hope to find something interesting on the spot. Of course there is a big chance that you’ll find at the fair something you’ve never imagined about. However, for the most part, you need to have a determined list of must-see products. Otherwise you’ll get lost in the excitement of “How amazing and cheap it is!” and fail to examine the product and the supplier.

4. Explore various import finance options to enhance the efficiency of your upcoming business transactions. Among these, a significant choice is to secure deferred payments from Chinese suppliers, supported by the comprehensive coverage offered by Sinosure, officially known as China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation. As a prominent state-owned enterprise specializing in export credit insurance services, Sinosure is widely regarded as one of the most trusted Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in China. When negotiating post-payment terms with your Chinese partners, having these terms insured by Sinosure significantly increases their willingness to provide such arrangements, instilling confidence and security in your trade agreements.

5. Use the Canton Fair website to research potential suppliers in your niche ahead of time. Like with any other trade show, it’s a good idea to spend some time researching the suppliers who will be at the fair. Keep in mind that the Canton Fair website isn’t the easiest to navigate, so be patient. Make a list of 20-30 suppliers in advance, along with their booth numbers, that you plan to visit.

6. Prepare a list of questions to ask the suppliers about the products you are interested in.

Here are some general questions:

  • Where is your factory located? Which facilities do you own?

  • What are your most popular products?

  • Which countries do you export to?

  • Who are your main customers?

  • Do you have clients in my country? Can you provide their names?

  • How many containers do they usually order?


Additionally, here are some questions specific to the product:

  • Is it possible to get exclusivity on a certain product or range?

  • What are the exact specifications and features of the product?

  • Can I get it in a specific color/size? If so, how much does it cost?

  • What is the minimum order quantity for first-time buyers?

  • How is it packed? What are the package dimensions? How many items are in each package?

  • Do you have any certifications?

  • How many of these items can you produce in a month?

  • How fast is the shipping to my country?


7. Prepare tons of business cards. Every supplier you’re talking to at the fair will ask you for a business card. Make sure you have plenty of them, not less than 300. But consider using a secondary email address on them unless you’re comfortable with spam and potentially getting added to many mailing lists.

8. Take wheeled luggage with you. At the Canton Fair, you’ll gather many catalogs and samples from suppliers. Carrying them around can get quite heavy, especially if you’re doing a lot of walking. That’s why a wheeled carry-on suitcase is the best option for transporting your catalog collection.

9. When it comes to what to wear at the Canton Fair, opt for comfort! You’ll be doing a lot of walking, and Guangzhou can get very humid. So, wearing fancy shoes and a suit might not be the best choice. Suppliers know this and won’t judge you if you’re not suited up. However, it’s still a good idea to avoid dressing too casually. Opt for something like comfortable pants (not jeans!) and a basic polo shirt. And make sure to choose shoes that are both professional looking and comfortable.

10. Get a portable charger. You’ll be taking tons of pictures of products, so make sure your phone is fully charged. Having a portable charger can be a lifesaver since it will be pretty hard to find power outlets at the fair.

11. Install VPN. If this is your first time in China, you might not know that some popular services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are blocked there. Getting a VPN before your trip will let you use these sites while you’re in China.

How to apply for the Canton Fair Invitation?

It’s important to possess invitation letters as stated earlier. It gives international buyers and sellers the option of Applying for Chinese visas. The final decision will be made by the Chinese Embassy in your country.

Get an invitation letter and a unique badge giving you free access through Register Express. If you receive a letter of invitation, you should follow these instructions.

How to Register and Get the Buyer Badge for Canton Fair?

How to obtain a buyer badge varies depending on whether you are a first-time buyer or a regular buyers. The registration procedure is shown on this page. : Source: cantonfair.com.

The registration process may differ based on whether you’re a first-time attendee or a regular buyer who has already visited the Canton Fair. Here are the registration workflows for different scenarios:

canton fair registration

First-Time Attendee

It is recommended to register for the Canton Fair in advance, though you don’t have to. Registering at the fair will cost you 200 RMB or about 30 USD. Registering in advance will save you this service fee.

Additionally, note that when you register online beforehand, you receive an official invitation letter. This invitation is helpful when applying for a business visa to enter China for the Canton Fair.

1. Visit the Canton Fair website and click on the “Buyer” tab.

2. Create an account by providing your personal and business information.

3. Apply for an invitation letter online, submitting necessary documents: your personal details, passport copy, and business card.

4. Wait for approval. Usually it takes a few days to a week.

5. Receive your invitation letter via email. This will be helpful for getting a Chinese business visa.

6. Register for the fair on the official Canton Fair website. Provide your personal, business details, invitation letter, and a photo.

7. Get your Buyer badge (Buyer’s IC Card). The Buyer badge is the only official entry pass to attend the Canton Fair. It works for multiple sessions and lasts for several years.

Please, note that you can collect your Buyer badge only in person. It is available at the China Import and Export Fair Complex. However, to save time and make registration easier, organizers have established 31 Overseas Buyers’ Registration Offices in hotels. It is highly recommended to obtain your badge from these offices, particularly during peak registration hours at the Canton Fair Complex. If you pre-register, the process becomes even easier as you can pick up your badge through the Express Channels at the Registration Office.

Regular Buyer (who has attended before):

1. Visit the Canton Fair website and log in with your existing account.

2. Verify if your account information is up to date. If needed, apply for a new invitation letter or update your existing one.

3. Enter the Canton Fair directly with your badge. Once obtained, it is valid for upcoming sessions, so keep it safe. However, if you forget to bring the badge or lose it, the replacement will cost 200 RMB (about $30 USD). You will also have to follow the standard procedure to obtain a Buyer’s badge, either at the Canton Fair Complex or at the designated Registration Offices in hotels.

Other Ways to Apply for the Canton Fair Invitation

As mentioned earlier, having the invitation letter is important. With this letter, overseas buyers can:

  • Apply for a visa to China (but it’s up to the Chinese Embassy in your country if it will work).

  • Get a special badge for free entry to the Canton Fair in Registration Express Channel.


To acquire the invitation letter, you may:

contact us

How to Apply for a Business Visa to Canton Fair

To secure a business visa, ensure you have:

  • A valid passport with at least six months validity.

  • Two passport-sized photos (4.5cm x 3.5cm).

  • An invitation card either from Canton Fair or a Chinese company.

  • If the invitation is from a Chinese company, include a copy of their business license.

  • A business card with your company’s name and contact details (phone, email, etc.).

Where to Apply for a Business Visa to Canton Fair

Here are common sources to obtain a Chinese visa:

  • Apply online at https://cova.mfa.gov.cn/

  • Visit the Embassy or Consulate General of P.R. China in your country (Missions Overseas).

  • Contact a local travel agency or visa agency for assistance.

  • Reach out to the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong through their website http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/fwxx/wgrqz/, or by phone at 852-34132300 or 852-34132424. You can also email them at fmcovisa_hk@mfa.gov.cn.

  • Consider the 72/144-hour Transit Visa Exemption Policy for shorter stays.

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The 135th Canton Fair will be held in the spring of 2024 in Guangzhou, China..

Below are the specific dates for this year’s schedule.

Please note these dates. Then you won’t miss the upcoming 135th Canton Fair!

The 135th Canton Fair will be held from Mid-April to Early-May:

  • Phase 1: April 15 – 19, 2024

  • Phase 2: April 23 – 27, 2024

  • Phase 3: May 1 – 5, 2024

The table below shows you the holding times of the three stages of the Canton Fair and the product categories of each stage.

Canton Fair 2024 exhibitor list

Canton Fair has more than 225,000 exhibitors in its four years. It’s a very good choice of suppliers (most are not listed in Alibaba or elsewhere B2B sites). There are often new ideas that will be interesting and are essentially new on the market. Canton Fair’s online catalog includes 55 sections across thirteen different product categories, of products and services. The best product is awarded by the Canton Fair Designer Award (CF Award). Contact the supplier for the information you are looking for. It’s also an added advantage for the company. Make sure the product has exclusiveness in the desired market!

 

The 135th Canton Fair

1. Household Electrical Appliances
2. Consumer Electronics and Information Products
3. Industrial Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing
4. Processing Machinery Equipment
5. Power Machinery and Electric Power
6. General Machinery and Mechanical Basic Parts
7. Construction Machinery
8. Agricultural Machinery
9. New Materials and Chemical Products
10. New Energy Vehicles and Smart Mobility
11. Vehicles
12. Vehicle Spare Parts
13. Motorcycles
14. Bicycles
15. Lighting Equipment
16. Electronic and Electrical Products
17. New Energy Resources
18. Hardware
19. Tools1. General Ceramics
2. Kitchenware and Tableware
3. Household Items
4. Glass Artware
5. Home Decorations
6. Gardening Products
7. Festival Products
8. Gifts and Premiums
9. Clocks, Watches and Optical Instruments
10. Art Ceramics
11. Weaving, Rattan and Iron products
12. Building and Decorative Materials
13. Sanitary and Bathroom Equipment
14. Furniture
15. Stone/Iron Decoration and Outdoor Spa Equipment1. Toys
2. Children, Baby and Maternity Products
3. Kids’ Wear
4. Men and Women’s Clothing
5. Underwear
6. Sports and Casual Wear
7. Furs, Leather, Downs and Related Products
8. Fashion Accessories and Fittings
9. Textile Raw Materials and Fabrics
10. Shoes
11. Cases and Bags
12. Home Textiles
13. Carpets and Tapestries
14. Office Supplies
15. Medicines, Health Products and Medical Devices
16. Food
17. Sports, Travel and Recreation Products
18. Personal Care Products
19. Toiletries
20. Pet Products and Food

canton fair

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the Canton Fair 2024?

This will vary depending on where and what the trip takes. Normally, online registrations for Canton fairs are completely free. The fee for online registration is 200 RMB or roughly 30 USD. These costs include airfare, ticket transportation to the airport business visa, and accommodations for your stay in the town of Canton. Depending on location and type of hotel, these fees are typically between $20 and hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars a night. The cost can also change according to the seasons as well as flight availability in a hotel and flight schedule.

First-time Buyer

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How to Reach the Canton Fair

The easiest way to reach the Canton Fair is by flying to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport which connects to many big cities worldwide. Once you arrive in Guangzhou, there are three convenient ways to get to the Canton Fair from the airport.

By metro

Guangzhou’s subway system is efficient, and there are stations very close to the Canton Fair Complex.

The route from the airport:
Take Line 3 (North extended line) from Jichang Nan Station to Tiyu Xi Station.
Transfer to Line 3 again from Tiyu Xi Station to Kecun Station.
Finally, transfer to Line 8 from Kecun Station to Xingang Dong Station (for Area A) or Pazhou Station (for Areas B & C).
Total travel time is about 43 minutes.

By taxi

You can easily find a taxi in Guangzhou. You can tell the driver “Pa Zhou” or “Canton Fair”. Make sure the driver uses the meter to avoid overcharging. The taxi fare is 2.6 RMB/km. If the distance is more than 35 km, add an extra 50%.

By shuttle bus

Guangzhou Airport Express offers a direct shuttle bus service between Canton Fair Complex and Guangzhou Baiyun Airport during all three phases of the Canton Fair. Service runs from 13:00 to 18:00, departing approximately every 30 minutes. The journey takes about 50 minutes.

There are also shuttle buses available between the Canton Fair complex and major hotels in Guangzhou.

Keep in mind that during the Canton Fair, there may be lots of people moving around. It’s a good idea to plan some extra time for your trips to and from the fair.

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10-day 24-hour Live Marketing Service

Tencent provides live broadcasting to all exhibiting companies 24 hours a day for 10 days. The broadcast room allows for the promotion of personal and business information of the company and offers group meetings or individual meetings.

Support Suppliers and Buyers to Publish Supply and Demand Information

It provides centralized supply and demand information and matches customers and suppliers. Aside from this online platform, Tencent Cloud Conferences & Exhibitions utilizes smart search and recommendation to satisfy demand. Information on both parties will be available on the registration origin, payment terms, past exhibitors’ participation and other aspects of a transaction.

Join in Public Live Broadcast Events

In the event you are invited by the government or a company to an online event or attend live broadcasted activities where businesses can advertise products and services to global consumers.

 

Canton Fair Transportation Guide

Transportation from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to Canton Fair

  1. Taxi Service: A direct and efficient way to reach the Canton Fair is by taxi. This ride lasts roughly 45 minutes to an hour, subject to traffic conditions, and typically costs between 120 and 150 RMB.

  2. Metro Journey: Guangzhou’s metro offers a budget-friendly alternative. You start on Line 3 at the airport, switch to Line 8 at Kecun Station, and disembark at Pazhou Station, conveniently located near the Canton Fair. This route takes about an hour and costs approximately 7 RMB.

  3. Airport Express Bus: Utilize the Airport Express Bus Line 10 for a direct connection to the Canton Fair complex. Expect a journey of around 50 minutes at a fare of about 25 RMB.

  4. Private Car Service: For those seeking comfort and ease, consider booking a private car. Prices vary based on vehicle type and service provider, generally ranging from 200 to 300 RMB.

 

 

Transportation from Hong Kong to Canton Fair

  1. Direct Flight: The fastest route is a direct flight from Hong Kong to Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, taking about an hour. The average fare for this journey is between 1000 to 1500 CNY.

  2. High-Speed Train: Another efficient option is the high-speed train, connecting Hong Kong to Guangzhou South Railway Station in approximately 1 to 2 hours. From there, a short taxi or metro ride will get you to the Canton Fair. The train ticket typically costs between 200 to 300 CNY.

  3. Bus Service: Direct bus services offer a more economical choice, with a travel time of around 3 to 4 hours. The cost for a bus ticket ranges from 100 to 200 CNY.

  4. Ferry Ride: Alternatively, a ferry trip from Hong Kong to Guangzhou is a scenic option, taking about 2 hours. Ferry tickets are usually priced between 200 to 300 CNY.

Where to stay at Canton Fair?

The Canton Fair is located at the Pazhou Exhibition Center. There are many hotels nearby, mostly luxury hotel, offering a range of choices from budget-friendly to high-end options.

To get your Buyer’s Badge easily, check the official Canton Fair website for a list of confirmed hotels with Overseas Buyers’ Registration Offices.

The Canton Fair takes place at the Pazhou Exhibition Center. There are many hotels nearby, offering a range of choices from budget-friendly to high-end options.

A list of luxury hotels near the Canton Fair with rooms starting from 100 USD:

The Westin Pazhou: This fancy hotel is right inside the Canton Fair and run by the Canton Fair. It’s a very convenient option for attendees to get to the fairgrounds.

The Langham, Guangzhou: Another luxury hotel near the Canton Fair. The Langham offers extra amenities like a spa and several restaurants.

Shangri-La Hotel Guangzhou: A top-notch five-star hotel in the city center, approximately a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It has various dining options, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

China Hotel, A Marriott Hotel: Located in the city center, this Marriott property provides easy access to the Canton Fair. It features multiple dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou: A luxury hotel in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It offers a spa, several restaurants, and a rooftop bar.

Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun: Situated in the Baiyun District, this Hilton property is approximately a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It provides various dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Crowne Plaza Guangzhou City Centre: Located in the city center, it takes about 25 minutes by car to reach the Canton Fair. The hotel offers multiple dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Grand Hyatt Guangzhou: A luxury hotel in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It features various dining options, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou: This luxury hotel is also in the Tianhe business district, about a 20-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It offers multiple dining options, a spa, and an indoor pool.

W Guangzhou: A trendy hotel located in Zhujiang New Town, about a 30-minute drive from the Canton Fair. It boasts several dining options, a rooftop bar, and a fitness center.

A list of budget-friendly hotels near the Canton Fair with rooms starting from 25 USD:

Jinjiang Inn
Hanting Hotel
Super 8 Hotel
Home Inn Plus
Vienna Hotel

Important Notes

  • To ensure you have the best accommodation, book the hotel well ahead of the fair dates.

  • It might be wise to book a hotel that has an Overseas Buyers’ Registration Office, where you can easily get your Buyer’s Badge. So before your visit, check the official Canton Fair website for a list of confirmed hotels for the specific fair session you plan to attend.

How to Find the Best Supplier at the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair can be a bit overwhelming for buyers, especially when it comes to finding the right suppliers. First of all, it’s important to note that all exhibitors go through the preliminary verification by the fair organizers, so you don’t need to worry about running into fake companies.

The big question is: How do you find the perfect supplier among hundreds of exhibitors? In this article, we’ll discuss some tips to help you identify a reliable supplier at the Canton Fair.

1. Work directly with manufacturers.

At the fair, there are many booths run by trading companies, not the manufacturers. These trading companies add their own margins which can make the products more expensive for buyers. This is why many experienced buyers prefer dealing directly with the factories, as it usually leads to lower prices and better deals.

How can you identify who owns the booth? You can often spot a factory booth by the similar product range and production techniques. However, to be absolutely sure, you may need to take a close look, check documents, or even better, visit the factory after the canton fair phase over.

2. Inspect products.

Checking products is the core step when choosing a potential supplier. Examine the craft, function, and quality issues. Request product samples to test the product personally after the fair. A reliable supplier should willingly offer samples or demos to potential customers.

3. Verify certifications.

Certifications can indicate a supplier’s dedication to quality and meeting industry standards. Look for suppliers with relevant certifications like ISO, CE, or other relevant industry-specific standards. This means that the supplier has put in place strong quality management practices and follows global standards.

4. Evaluate communication skills.

Smooth communication is the road to successful collaboration, especially when you’re engaging with partners from diverse cultures and languages. Be straightforward and ask questions that you’ve prepared before attending the Canton Fair. When talking to suppliers at the fair, pay attention to their communication skills. Are they able to understand your needs and requests? Do they answer your questions promptly? A reliable supplier is the one who enables easy and clear communication.

5. Check track record.

Ask your potential supplier for their current and previous customers. Contact them to learn about working with the supplier. Ask about product quality, communication process, delivery times, and overall impression. This feedback can give you valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

6. Visit factories.

Once you’ve found the suppliers you have a good connection with, consider arranging visits to their factories. These tours may give you valuable insights into their factory size, production techniques, and facilities. You might even explore their latest products which they haven’t displayed at the fair to keep their designs and technologies secure from imitating.

once you coming to canton fair, you can consider join these trade exhibition also if you are interested.

Ningbo International Lighting Exhibition 2024

ningbo

time : 08 – 10 May 2024

address: Ningbo International Conference and Exhibition Center, Ningbo, China

it is also worth going if you’re specializing in Lightning product

 

Yiwu Gifts, Fashion Products and Household Products Exhibition 2024

time : 19 – 21 May 2024

address: Yiwu International Expo Center, JinhuaChina

 

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