Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd and the Guangdong Toy Association (GDTA) have formed a joint venture, Guangzhou Li Tong Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd, to organise Toy & Hobby China – Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair and Baby & Stroller China – Guangzhou International Stroller and Baby Product Fair. The new cooperation will start from 2015 to organise the next edition of the two concurrent fairs, which will be held from 8 – 10 April 2015 in the Poly World Trade Center in Guangzhou.
These events, which attracted over 930 exhibitors and 38,000 visitors to its 2014 edition early this April, will benefit greatly from the alliance, with the organisers predicting an increase in the fair’s internationality in the future. “We are happy to form this strong collaboration with GDTA. We believe, by merging our more than 25 years’ experience hosting international trade events in Greater China and the local influence GDTA has in the toy industry in the country, these two fairs will expand steadily in the near future,” said Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.
Other than adding variety to their visitor profiles, which include wholesalers and distributors, department stores, retailers and much more, the cooperation will also expand the two fairs’ product offerings. Remote control toys, computer games and software and computer learning systems will be among a long list of new products, which include die-cast models and playground / outdoor equipments, to be featured in next year’s Toy & Hobby China. Baby & Stroller China will also see a more complete product scope which ranges from baby clothing to car seats and infant furniture.
Mr Zhuoming Li, Chairman of GDTA, is also delighted by the creation of the joint venture. “Messe Frankfurt is one of the leading trade fair organisers in the world. Bringing them on board will help to boost the fairs’ overseas profile,” he said, stating the organisers have already received positive feedback from exhibitors regarding the upcoming edition and more than 1,400 of them have confirmed participation next year. The two fairs will occupy an exhibition area of 75,000 sqm in the 2015 edition, more than 50% larger than the ones held earlier this year in April.
The toy industry in Mainland China will benefit hugely from this move according to Mr Jiechen Cai, an industry authority. “We are pleased to see this partnership between Messe Frankfurt and GDTA. This will be a win-win situation for both the fair and the toy industry as it will further open up overseas markets to local companies,” said Mr Cai, Secretary-General of the Chenghai Toy Association.
The first Guangzhou International Toy and Hobby Fair was launched in 1989. The scale of the fair has expanded almost 10 times over the past 25 years, especially after the concurrent fair, Guangzhou International Stroller and Baby Product Fair was established in 2010. Moreover, as China – one of the world’s consumption and manufacturing powerhouses – continues to attract many multinational corporations’ attention, the fair has also seen a larger and larger international presence over the past quarter-century. This year’s edition brought nearly 50 overseas brands under one roof, including Disney, Snoopy, SpongeBob SquarePants and many more.
Easing of the one-child policy further fuels China’s toy market
China is the world’s biggest toy manufacturer and exporter, with the total export value of toy products in the first nine months of this year reaching USD 18.98 billion, up 37.8% from 2013. Guangdong Province acts as the driving force for the industry, according to Ms Wen. “Guangdong’s toy exports to Europe, the US and emerging countries all recorded double-digit growth last year, proving the importance of this fair, which is located in the capital of the province, as an ideal platform for overseas’ buyers to do sourcing,” she said.
Furthermore, with a population of children between the ages of 0 – 14 standing at over 200 million, China’s annual toy consumption reaches over RMB 20 billion (USD 3.26 billion) – making it one of the largest market in the world, according to GDTA. It is believed this figure will increase even further as the country eased its one-child policy last year to allow couples to have two children if either parent is an only child. The National Health and Family Planning Commission estimated this will add more than eight million new babies to the population within the next five years. “We project the annual compound growth rate of domestic sales of toy products will be 15% in the future years, while even bigger growth will be seen from the baby and toddler toy market,” Mr Li said, stating plastic and electronic toys will remain in trend for the foreseeable future.