Ophelia Zhang

Ophelia Zhang

I am salesman for Tooky Toy, which has 20 years of experience in R&D at wooden toys.

Guide to the Canton Fair!


Where is the Canton Fair?

The Canton Fair exhibition hall is located on Pazhou Island in Guangzhou, China. The China Import and Export Fair (commonly known as the Canton Fair) is a monumental beacon of global trade. It founded in the spring of 1957 and held annually in Guangzhou in the spring and fall, the Canton Fair was originally intended as a platform to showcase China’s tremendous industrial achievements and aims to promote trade relations between China and the world.

Canton Fair is mainly for export trade, but also for import business, and can also carry out various forms of economic and technological cooperation and exchanges, as well as commodity inspection, insurance, transportation, advertising, consulting and other business activities.

Over the decades, the Canton Fair has evolved beyond its original purpose to become an important link in international trade. The Canton Fair not only highlights China’s pivotal position in the global economy, but also serves as a testament to the interconnectedness of global trade networks.

Photos of the first Canton Fair in 1957

When is Canton fair in 2024?

The 2024 Spring Canton Fair is scheduled to take place in three phases:

  • Phase 1: April 15th to 19th
  • Phase 2: April 23rd to 27th
  • Phase 3: May 1st to 5th

Which phase of the Canton Fair do I need to attend?

In the first phase, it focuses on industrial subjects, including electronics and home appliances, machinery, building materials, hardware tools and other 8 categories and 20 exhibition areas;

In the second phase, it focuses on consumer goods and gifts and decorations, including 3 categories and 18 exhibition areas;

And in the third phase, it focuses on textile and clothing, food, medical and insurance subjects, including 5 categories and 16 exhibition areas.

If you would like to find a toy supplier, attend the second stage

Canton Fair is organized into 3 phases to showcase a wider and more comprehensive range of industries and products, allowing buyers and suppliers from different industries to participate at the matching time. Each stage targets a specific product category, which helps to ensure specialized display. Spreading out the crowd can also facilitate logistics management and greatly save visitors’ time. This is why Canton Fair can become one of the largest and most effective international trade fairs in the world, more organized and more coordinated.

Is Canton Fair worth going?

The Canton Fair is well worth attending if you are there for business purposes. Whether you are an exhibitor or an observer, it is an extremely valuable one. As a toy supplier with 20 years of foreign trade experience, I think there are several reasons:

1. There is a wide enough range of industries and products on display: Canton Fair covers almost all kinds of export commodities, including including electronic products, household goods, machinery, textiles, garments, accessories, gifts and so on. If you want to find new products and items, you can always come and have a look.

2. Buyers and suppliers from all over the world are likely to be here. It is an excellent platform to find customers or suppliers.

3. It helps you observe the market situation and also further adjust your products to meet the needs of the international market.

4. Gives buyers and sellers the opportunity to have face-to-face communication, which can improve trust and increase the chance of cooperation.

Of course, participating in trade fairs still requires you to prepare in advance, seize the opportunity at the right time, to insight and analyze, in order to really achieve your business objectives.

How to get a ticket for canton fair?

You will need to register on the official website in order to obtain a Canton Fair Buyer Entry Badge. Please follow the instructions on the website.

  1. You need to fill in your personal and company information. If you don’t have a Buyer Entry Badge yet, you can go to the “Buyer Badge Pre-application” section of the website and follow the instructions.
  2. Once the application for a Buyer Badge has been accepted, please log in to our Buyer’s E-Services tool, click on “My Canton Fair” — “My Buyer Badge” and print out this pre-application receipt.
  3. Upon arrival at the Canton Fair, present this pre-application receipt, your valid personal documents (overseas passport, Hong Kong and Macau Home Visit Permit, Taiwan Compatriot Permit, Chinese passport with overseas work visa valid for more than one year or overseas permanent residence permit), and your business card to the Overseas Buyer Registration Desk to receive your Buyer Badge free of charge.

If not, you can buy badges at the fair instead of registering online, but it will cost you more (200RMB, approximately $30 USD). When you arrive at the fair, go to the Overseas Buyer Registration Desk and show them your passport, business card and personal photo.

Scale and impact of the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair is known for its impressive scale and far-reaching impact on the global trade pattern. It attracts thousands of exhibitors from home and abroad and hundreds of thousands of visitors from over 200 countries and regions. Its business spans a wide range of industries, from electronics to home décor and fashion, reflecting the dynamic nature of global trade. The show not only facilitates direct access to the Chinese market for international buyers, but also enables Chinese manufacturers to establish global partnerships that influence global trade practices and strategies.

For example, the scale of the 133rd Canton Fair set a record high with the following characteristics:

  1. Total exhibition area: 1.5 million square meters.
  2. Number of booths: nearly 70,000 booths.
  3. Number of exhibitors: 34,933 offline exhibitors and 39,281 online exhibitors, totaling more than 74,000 enterprises.
  4. Scale of importers: Import exhibitions were set up in all 3 exhibition periods, reaching 30,000 square meters and attracting 508 exhibitors from 40 countries and regions.
  5. Types of exhibitors: Manufacturing enterprises and private enterprises are the largest exhibitors, accounting for 50.57% and 90.1% respectively.
Inside booth photos at the Canton Fair

Product Fairs and Industry Trends

Electronics and Home AppliancesVarious electronic consumer products including cell phones, tablet PCs, cameras, portable electronic products, and new electronic and electrical products such as smart home devices and wireless chargers.
Building Materials & Hardware CategoryIncludes building and decorative materials (such as flooring, tiles, wallpaper), sanitary equipment, hardware and tools (hammers, drills, wrenches, etc.), as well as a variety of innovative building materials products.
Machinery and equipment categoryPhotographic equipment, processing machinery, general-purpose machinery, fluid transportation machinery, power machinery, electrical equipment, garden machinery, etc.
Consumer goods categoryIncludes food, beverages, agricultural products, wine and coffee, as well as a variety of home furnishings, gifts, crafts, and toys.
textile and garment categoryDisplay fabrics, accessories, finished garment products, home textiles, etc.
Hardware and tools categoryIncluding various specifications of steel plates, steel tubes, aluminum profiles, screws, standard parts, etc.
Chemical products categoryRubber products, plastic products, paints, chemical raw materials and products, etc
Othersinformation technology, sanitary ware ceramics, etc
Product categories of Canton Fair

A kaleidoscope of products and innovations were on display at the Canton Fair, ranging from cutting-edge technology and fashion products to home furnishings, from women’s cosmetics to baby products as well as toys. This diversity not only reflects the latest market needs and industry trends, but also sets the stage for future developments. For example, the emphasis on sustainability and smart technology at recent fairs has highlighted the global shift towards environmentally friendly and technologically integrated solutions.

Digitization and Technological Innovation

In an era dominated by digital transformation, Canton Fair embraces technology and transcends geographical barriers. Through virtual exhibitions and online negotiations, the Fair opens up new avenues for trade that are not constrained by physical presence. This digital leap not only ensures continuity in uncertain times, but also broadens participation and makes the Fair more accessible to a global audience.

Environmental Sustainability and Social Responsibility

The Canton Fair’s increasing focus on green products and technologies echoes the global call for environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Exhibitors are encouraged to adopt sustainable production methods, demonstrating how trade and environmental objectives can be integrated. This focus not only enhances the appeal of the fair, but also aligns with broader global initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable development.

International Trade and Geopolitics

In a changing geopolitical landscape, the Canton Fair promotes the stabilization of international trade and strengthens cooperation and dialogue among countries. By providing a neutral trade platform where a growing number of countries and regions around the world have the opportunity to meet face-to-face, the Fair helps to reduce trade barriers and promote mutual economic growth and understanding, thus playing a key role in shaping international trade policies and relations.

Guide for Attendees and Exhibitors

For those looking to navigate the Canton Fair, preparation is key. From leveraging the Fair’s online resources for matchmaking to understanding the logistics of exhibiting and visiting, a well-planned approach can significantly enhance the experience. Additionally, exploring Guangzhou’s rich cultural and business landscape can enrich one’s visit, blending trade with travel in a uniquely rewarding way.

What is the future direction of Canton Fair?

As the global economic and technological landscape continues to evolve, Canton Fair is ready to adapt and innovate. Whether through further digitization, adoption of new trade models, or promotion of sustainable practices, the Fair will remain at the forefront of global trade. Its monumental legacy and ability to reinvent underscores its vital role in shaping the future of international business.

The Canton Fair, with its rich history and forward-looking approach, encapsulates the spirit of global trade and cooperation. It remains a cornerstone of international commerce, offering a glimpse into the future of a more connected and innovative global economy.

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