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Yiwu City, Zhejiang

Things you must know to participate in the Canton Fair

Detailed introduction to the Canton Fair

The Canton Fair, also known as the China Import and Export Fair, is China’s largest trade fair and one of the most important trade events in the world.

Founded on April 25, 1957, it is held every spring and autumn at the Guangzhou Import and Export Fair Complex in China. The complex covers an area of more than 1.18 million square meters and displays a large number of products from many industries. It was originally called China Export Commodity Fair, renamed Canton Fair in 2007. Attracting thousands of exhibitors and buyers from all over the world. Over the past decades, the Canton Fair has developed into a comprehensive international trade platform, promoting economic cooperation and exchanges.

The Canton Fair is divided into three stages according to different product categories, and each stage usually lasts about five days.
Exhibition categories: The Canton Fair has a wide range of product categories, including electronics and home appliances, machinery, hardware tools, building materials, consumer goods, etc. Additionally, there are dedicated sections dedicated to industries such as textiles and apparel, home furnishings, and health and medical products.

The exhibition attracts thousands of exhibitors every year (the exhibition was not held in 2021-2022 during the new crown pneumonia period, and the Canton Fair Internet exhibition mode was held in 2023), including manufacturers, trading companies, and industry associations, to showcase their latest products and technologies and service.

In addition to exhibitions, the Canton Fair also holds a variety of activities such as seminars, forums, product displays, and matchmaking meetings. These events provide valuable opportunities to network, learn and exchange ideas on industry trends and market developments.

What should importers pay attention to when attending the Canton Fair?

The Canton Fair is a short-term event, and importers participating in the Canton Fair should prepare in advance to ensure maximum use of time.


Before attending the show, take advantage of networking opportunities to connect with suppliers, industry experts and other importers. Initial elimination can make the meeting more efficient.

Then conduct thorough research on the products and vendors that interest you. Make a list of priority projects and exhibitors to visit, and become familiar with the show’s layout and schedule.

Be sure to complete the registration process and have all necessary documents, including the buyer’s badge and business card, before setting off. This will enable you to attend trade shows and facilitate contacts with exhibitors.

Negotiation work:

Encounter the Right Product at an Exhibition Thoroughly examine the products displayed at the show to assess their quality, functionality and suitability for your market. And request samples from your suppliers. Testing samples allows you to make informed decisions and reduce risks before placing bulk orders.

You don’t need to sign a contract right away, compare prices from multiple suppliers, and use your buying power to negotiate favorable terms and discounts. (Overcome language barriers by using interpretation services or hiring a translator when needed)

Background investigation and evaluation

If your purchase volume is large and you have potential cooperative suppliers, it is recommended to conduct a comprehensive investigation on each supplier.

erify various business registration certificates.

Examples include business licenses (which show how long the business has been around and where it is registered to ensure authenticity during a site visit), ISO, CE or FDA certifications, depending on the industry and product category.

Review the company background

Conduct background research on the supplier, including its history, management team, organizational structure, and business operations, using the Internet and websites (companies without websites tend to be less rigorous). Find information about a company’s reputation, industry experience, and customer reviews or testimonials.

Assess communication and responsiveness:

You can test for a period of time to assess the vendor’s communication skills, responsiveness, and willingness to address your concerns and inquiries. Effective communication is critical to building long-term, successful collaborative partnerships.

Ask for references:

Ask suppliers for references from past or current customers, partners, or industry associations. Contact these references to gain insight into a vendor’s performance, reliability, and reputation.

Visit manufacturing facilities:

Whenever possible, visit your supplier’s manufacturing sites and facilities to assess their capabilities, production processes, and quality control measures. Inspect facilities for cleanliness, organization and compliance with safety and environmental regulations.


Discuss logistics arrangements, including shipping methods, packaging requirements and delivery schedules. Arrange transportation and logistics services to ensure goods reach their destination in a timely and efficient manner.

Clarify payment terms, shipping terms and other contract details with suppliers before finalizing orders. Make sure all terms are clearly outlined in a written contract to prevent misunderstandings or disputes later.

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