Leverage Shenzhen As Your Base During Trade Show Season (For Canton Fair, Global Sources, & More!)

Michael MicheliniBlog, Business, Ecommerce0 Comments

Looking to come to China for your trade show “hustle”? A common question I see floating around various wechat groups goes something like this (an actual Wechat group chat message)

Q: If you can go to only 1 Fair this October, which would you go to? Why? I’m trying to decide between Fashion in HK or Phase 3

So – Which trade show is right for you?

Depends upon what you want, how much you want, etc. HK is more of traders. Canton you still have a chance of meeting direct suppliers and since you will be in the mainland anyway, you can visit existing leads. HK is always expensive game. I terms of products also, it really depends. If electronics, HK is good option. If cost is a concern that makes you think, I would say you just need to plan bit more accurately. Make Shenzhen or Guangzhou as base and then travel around. Any decent hotel in GZ or SZ should be 300-500 RMB. Train costs per day can be say 200 RMB. Other misc can be say another 200-400 RMB

More answers and perspectives

I am seeing more and more factories in HK (of course you can’t compare to size & selection of Canton Fair, but my supplier (factory) will be in HK. And your knowledge is a zillion times more than mine on this, lol.

for selection (and size) and for first time, I would say Canton Fair. And if you are interested in electronics /gadgets in general, spend a few days in Shenzhen. Highly recommend Huaqiang Plaza Hotel, located the center of this world. (And I randomly met one suppliers getting lost in SEG market there…. I am forever very grateful for getting info from Alex suggesting there. And also for fun, personally found Shenzhen a bit of a paradise.

I would actually recommend to tailor the trip based on your own needs. I have across people who even don’t go anywhere else but HK and it has worked for them, but logistically SZ as base makes sense. HQB is surely a goldmine for hunting. SZ as fun place – Yes, indeed! 🙂

How do you travel between all these trade shows?

The PRD (999 read here for our overview of the Pearl River Delta) is a massive megalopolis – starting to form the name the Greater Bay! You can spend hours upon hours traveling from one area to another.

This is why we feel comfortable to say Shenzhen city should be your “base of operations” during all these trade shows.

Related post – we have an “epic” article covering almost every single option of crossing Hong Kong and Shenzhen border here. Today’s guide is positioned for those using Shenzhen as their headquarters when going to the various trade shows during the peak Canton Fair season.

And if you’re looking for meetups and events, check out our Canton Fair meetup schedule here.

Balancing Cost And Location

Where is a good place to center your headquarters? If you plan to go to Guangzhou and Hong Kong trade shows, it is a hectic back to back travel spree between the 2. Plus, if you don’t know already- Hong Kong is super expensive! Hotels and basically everything else is sky high. It was shocking to me when I first landed there in 2007 with the mindset that Asia / China was cheap! It costs more than New York City where I had spent so many years before.

That is a reason I even decided to venture across the border into Shenzhen for my base way back then, and still leverage the 2 sides of this border for living and business.

You can do the same when you are visiting these trade shows. Just need to plan ahead – #goodthingyouaredoingyoursesearchandreadingthisbeforeyoutravel

You can travel from Shenzhen to both the Hong Kong trade shows as well as Canton Fair. Global Sources is at the Asia World Expo near the airport, so you need to find buses to and from there. If you want to go to the Mega Show, you can take the bus down to Wan Chai from Shenzhen and you’re there.

But High Traffic During This Peak Trade Show Season

You also need to keep in mind that this is trade show season. Hotels are more expensive, buses are jam packed, and things will just be slower in general. We got this note from Cameron:

Just an FYI for those taking the shared car to the shows / hk. Be careful taking them from sz to hk the morning before any of global sources electronics shows start – 10th, or 17th. They back up for up to 3 hrs going through the hk border because all the sz suppliers are heading to the show. I have made that mistake before

Beware of Fake Cash Notes In Guangzhou

This city is so annoying for scams. Be careful during trade show season when getting change from a taxi drive. I have a few fake 50 yuan notes on my wall to remember my bad experiences. Tate from McCauleys GZ says:

Just a reminder to those of you that are coming over for Canton Fair the taxi drivers are handing out fake notes again, it’s already started. Pay the taxi via wechat or check your notes and remember the last few digits so you get the same note back, not swapped for a fake. Some of my customers have been duped over the last few days.

Leveraging Shenzhen As Your Base To Go To The Hong Kong Global Sources Show & Summit

You can take the Skylimo service from Huanggang Border or Shenzhen bay border to the HK airport, and then walk to the Asia World Expo. Costs is normally 150 HKD per person on the China side of the border before entering the border.

Also, if you are going to the Global Sources Summit, if you use our coupon code M50ML you will get a $50usd credit (and we get a small commission too, thanks in advance for this win-win).

Leveraging Shenzhen As Your Base To Go To Canton Fair

Getting to the Guangzhou Canton fair is a bit of a challenge compared to Hong Kong, but possible. Here are a few ways:

* High speed train from Luo Ho station. There is a massive train station just across Lo Wu (Hong Kong MTR) on the China side – called Luo Ho. You will take the train from this Luo Ho to Guangzhou EAST (Dong in Chinese) station, as that one is closer to the Canton Fair trade exhibition center. I then just line up for a taxi, but you can also take the local subway system. If you’re coming from Hong Kong directly to the Canton Fair, you’d go from Hung Hom to Guangzhou East station.

* Coach Bus – You can take coach buses at various pick up places in Shenzhen. You should have a local help arrange it for you.

* Shared Car (Didi – the Chinese Uber) – a popular and affordable way is to take a shared car.

* Dedicated Car (Didi again) – if you don’t want to share a car with strangers, you can get your own dedicated Didi. A bit higher fee but worth it if you’re looking to save time and have a more reliable drive.

* Use Our Canton Fair Bus Service – we at Global From Asia have been arranging group buses to and from Canton Fair and Shenzhen to help people out. We can help prepare it in advance, and you can fill out the form or add our current wechat account at www.globalfromasia.com/cantonfairbus/

Leveraging Shenzhen To Go To The Mega Show & HKTDC

The Mega show and HKTDC is in Wan Chai, so there are a few ways you can go there:

A coach bus from Huanggang or Shenzhen Bay borders to Wan Chai is what I recommend and use. I just hop on and it takes me to the final destination.

You can also take the MTR station from Luo Ho (Lo Wu) or Futian Checkpoint (Lok Mau Chau) and follow the transfers of subway stations until you arrive at Wan Chai MTR stop. I don’t normally do this because it is hard to get a seat and you are also going to have to transfer a few times. Taking the coach bus you get on, and stay on, until you arrive at the Wan Chai stop.

Traveling From Guangzhou To Hong Kong (or Stop in Shenzhen)

More questions from people looking to get from Guangzhou / Canton Fair back to Hong Kong for more trade shows or to the airport. Can consider going to Shenzhen first, and then to HK.

I need to get from Guangzhou to HK.In the past have taken the train, but long from airport & took hours at border. Waiting for the new line to open next year! Any other suggestions? I am thinking it will be better to take train from Guangzhou to Shenzhen & find a shared car….

Any suggestions? details on car? Saw lots of adverts last time

If it was me, I would just invest in the train from Guangzhou East station to Hung Hom (Have done this many times) – sure it costs a bit of an investment, but time is money – especially during the busy trade show season. You can try to save money taking a bus or shared car to Shenzhen first and then MTR downtown HK, but think this would be a massive long transit time with a lot of potential delays (traffic jams).

And Hey – Global From Asia Has Pretty Cool Conferences in Shenzhen! 🙂

And, last but not least, a good reason to leverage Shenzhen, China for your trade show trip is Global From Asia organizes some pretty amazing conferences during the season.

Friday Oct 27, 2017 we have our first ever Cross border Matchmaker where you can connect with top Chinese sellers and get the service providers they are using to have a strategic advantage in your business.

Friday April 21 – Saturday April 22, 2018 – our third annual Cross Border Summit. This is our big event each year, and keeps getting better with age. You can read about previous events and get the overall idea of the event here.

Let Our GFA Travel Agents Help You On Your Transportation!

We would love to help you arrange some travel during your trip. Please feel free to check out our page to learn how we can book cars, buses, and other transportation – not just to and from Guangzhou’s Canton Fair – but even the Hong Kong show and other events.

I remember how much of a nightmare it was for me during my first trip to China, and we hope this service can help you. Also, we hope you support our GFA blog by taking part in our various conferences and events during the trade show season.

You will have a great time at the Canton Fair and trade show season, and we are excited to have you! Keep an open mind, and try your best to be patient as there will be delays and miscommunications – just factor that in to keep your blood pressure low.