Visitors Return to Beijing Gift Show

Interview with Chien-Ee Yeh:

Visitors Return to Beijing Gift Show

The 47th China Beijing International Gifts, Premium & Houseware Exhibition (Gifts & Home Beijing) took place at China International Exhibition Center (Chaoyang) on 23 March 2023.

During the three-day event, which took place 23-25 March, thousands of selected products from over 20 categories, showcased by 1,000 high-quality exhibitors, were displayed at the event, opening up a new chapter for China’s gift industry in 2023. 

RXAP President Chien-Ee Yeh came to the show to witness the recovery of the gift industry. It also marked his first presence at a China-based show after three years affected by the pandemic. He was interviewed by Beijing Daily and Global Times Website, sharing his thoughts about the show and his confidence in the exhibition industry recovery. He also expressed his commitment to offering added value to customers throughout the year by combining online and offline services.    

1 Beijing Gift Show represents the first show you have attended post-pandemic upon your return to China. What’s your take on the show?

First of all, I’m just so excited, the past three years have been a tough experience for everybody, and it’s great to see that China has reopened. Now the top priority for all is driving recovery and growth.

Government authorities at different levels in China have taken measures to promote the return of face to face events in China, injecting great confidence back into the industry.

At RX we are always focusing on delivering the up-most value to our exhibitors. We look to build platforms that enable our new customers to meet our repeat customers to continue to expand their business profiles and networks – which post-pandemic is crucial, especially for our small and medium sized customers. Helping our customers check out new products more efficiently and engage with more suppliers is key.

During the show, customers were able to conduct face to face conversations with exhibitors and so far, feedback has been positive and encouraging. It was great to see so many happy and excited faces back on the show floor, as an organizer I see this as a sign of positiveness, showing business is really back.

Beijing Gift Show represents the first successful return of RX China’s gifts and home portfolio. It also marks the recovery process of the industry. We will organize seven gifts and home events in five cities in China throughout the year. Next month, Shenzhen Gift Show will cover an exhibition area of over 200,000 sqm, representing a super large-scale flagship show. The whole industry is keenly and excitedly looking forward to it.

2What about the recovery process of RX’s global exhibitions business last year?

A. Overseas, the pandemic restrictions were lifted earlier and we’ve seen an eruption of purchase needs. Last year, many RX shows demonstrated a strong performance. For instance, IBTM in Barcelona attracted increasing numbers of visitors, offering huge encouragement to RX and the MICE industry.

Of course, we were not simply waiting for customers to return. We continued to discover new opportunities and identify high-quality events as acquisition targets. In early 2022, we acquired Big Data LDN (London), one of the biggest data and analysis shows in the UK. Last September, we hosted a successful Big Data LDN (London) show which exceeded our expectations. The number of exhibitors doubled from the 2019 edition and nearly half of the exhibitors were participating  in the show for the first time. Next year, we will launch the show in New York.   

We have more than 400 trade shows across the globe and most of them are B2B events. We will see whether there will be opportunities to introduce high-quality shows to new local markets to satisfy local needs. In addition, we are also considering launching new events.

3 China is entering the new normal in 2023. What’s new about RX in terms of your China business, and your value proposition in China in particular?

A. No matter before the pandemic or in the 'new normal', we are continuing to improve services to satisfy the evolving needs of our customers. We also continue to innovate. We are working hard to combine digital and face to face efforts to satisfy the needs of our customers.  

The gift industry has been evolving over the years. The gift show features four sections, including business gifts, festival gifts, cultural and IP-authorized products, and gift services. As per the specific customer needs, we will help visitors to find the right booths, guiding them to the right exhibitors and product zones. As you know, a face to face event usually takes place during the course of four days, but what about the rest 361 days in the year? How do we offer continued services to our customers, so that they don’t have to look for any other platform, channel or solution to satisfy their needs? We look at maintaining relations with the customers throughout the year. We combine online and offline elements by offering electronic and digital services and products, therefore offering increased value for the industry.  

The gift show itself features a digital tool – Limaotong (LMT). To date there are over 5,000 gift companies featured on the platform. The user base, clicks, and online interactions are growing. The tool offers the opportunity to combine online and offline services. The customers are also welcome to take part in webinar and live streaming sessions, including exhibitor’s live presentations and new product launches. In terms of offline activities, we offer buyers the opportunity to conduct face-to-face contact with exhibitors, where they can check product quality physically. For example, at the gift show, they can touch the product, see the actual look, and feel the overall quality and style of the product.

We launched our digital platforms to customers for different industries to help them engage with their customers throughout the year. 

Another key value offered by RX to its customers is our business match-making service. This is something we’ve always focused on. It’s also very important to our customers. At IBTM Barcelona, we offered 100,000 face-to-face sessions, an amazing feat indeed.

4 Earlier this year, China reopened and cancelled its quarantine rules for inbound travellers. As an international event organizer, what efforts are being made by RX to help the recovery of international trade and exchange?  

A. During the economic recovery process in China, RX will welcome overseas exhibitors and visitors back to China, while bringing China-based foreign trade companies to key overseas markets. RX has an International Sales Group (ISG), and we have an international sales team based in China. They are tasked to bring China-based companies to foreign markets to participate in RX’s outbound events by leveraging our global network. After the pandemic, many China-based manufacturers and companies are looking to resume relations with overseas customers. Following the business reshuffle, they wish to expand the overseas customer base, meet new buyers and learn more about the latest market developments and demands. In this regard, we are working actively to accommodate such needs by bringing them to key events in Europe, America, Japan, and Korea.     

We are seeing a lot of interest in China-based companies in expanding their market in ASEAN countries. Therefore, we launched AMTS Indonesia not long ago. In the latter half of this year, we are also looking to  launch WEPACK ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are promoting China-based companies in the ASEAN market. We are glad to launch a range of measures to help the recovery of the international trade after the three-year epidemic, which is very important for the China-based exporters and for the overall economic resurgence in China.