7 March 2005
Online Exhibitions(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 01,2005)
Online Shows Offer Greater Opportunities
Thousands of small companies throughout Greater China now enjoy round-the-clock promotion of their products and services before, during and after trade fairs in Hong Kong. The Online Exhibitions concept recently introduced by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) offers small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a non-stop online showroom that dovetails with Hong Kong trade fairs.
The innovative package utilises the proven strengths of the TDC's Sourcing Guide to allow buyers to view exhibitors' products anytime, anywhere.
Sourcing Guide's Online Exhibitions offers buyers three main advantages, letting them view exhibitors' products:
pre-show - buyers can search for products two months before the show, saving time for more sourcing and deal-making at the fair
during the show - one month's exposure lets buyers locate suppliers and products easily and quickly
post-show - buyers can make new enquiries and chase orders for two months after the fair
This hi-tech marketing approach enables advertisers to reap the benefits of additional cost-effective, 24-hour promotion that can be accessed by existing and prospective buyers before, during and after key trade shows.
TDC publications manager Perry Fung explains that the Online Exhibitions programme evolved from the highly successful Sourcing Guide at hkenterprise.com.
"We are continually reviewing SME needs and recently introduced a Greater China version of Sourcing Guide covering Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and the Chinese mainland," he says.
"This has only been running for a few months but has already proved a runaway success, so we developed the Online Exhibitions package to further deepen and strengthen our SME offering."
Sourcing Guide currently hosts 537,970 registered buyers, has retrieved 34,341,143 company records according to leading accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and receives more than two million hits a day.
Equally important, 57% of Sourcing Guide visitors originated from the major markets of America and Europe, while overseas visitors in general spent an average 18 minutes a day browsing the website.
"This translates into serious exposure for local companies that take advantage of the Online Exhibitions offer before, during and after local trade fairs," Fung adds.
The TDC alone runs 20 major trade fairs a year and offers preferentially priced packages to exhibitors at these shows who also promote their goods and services via Online Exhibitions.
"The combination of exhibiting physically at a trade show and in cyberspace at Online Exhibitions gives local SMEs the best of both worlds at an extremely competitive cost," Fung maintains.
Online Exhibitions packages range from US$1,264-5,077, which Fung believes are "exceptional value" for the sheer range and promotional scope they provide.
"I think it is fair to say that this is one of the most attractive promotional packages in the market today, and one that maximises the enormous advantages of the TDC's huge database of international buyers," Fung says.
He adds that astute SMEs will combine Online Exhibitions, Sourcing Guide and advertising in the TDC flagship publication Hong Kong Enterprise to create a one-stop promotional shop.
"Sourcing Guide is convenient, can be accessed whenever and wherever the buyer is online and is also efficient, as just one click provides access to banks of information," Fung explains. "It is also very cost-effective as buyers enjoy free access once they have registered online."
Sourcing Guide, which is a key component of tdctrade.com, also features popular specialties like enquiry baskets, a message centre, new product alerts and recommended categories.
tdctrade.com was recognised by ACNeilsen as The Best Trade Promotion Portal In Asia in May 2003 and won CMP Asia's fourth Annual Intelligent20 Awards in November that year, as well as a Standard of Excellence Web Award from the Web Marketing Association of the US in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
"Hong Kong Enterprise, meanwhile, offers the advantage of high visibility, in that the magazine can be accessed by anyone in an office without the necessity of going online," Fung concludes.
"Add Online Exhibitions and you have a seamless promotional package before, during and after trade fairs - in fact it is the complete year-round campaign!"
WRITTEN BY JAMES PALMER
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