Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Canton Fair experience

Mum and I think I may have been the youngest one in this convention- everyone else appeared to be established entrepreneurs! :))
That's only 1/4 of Area A, and there were 3 (A-C)
Walking 100 hectares is no joke! Dad forced me NOT to pack heels for this trip. Good thing I trusted his advice :))
"under the sea" in glass
Loved walking on the glass part of this overpass. :)
Tempted to sell brushes... Gotta see if I have a market for those!
I love dolls.
At Area C, looking at Areas A&B... The days were cold and gloomy in Guangzhou.
on the morning of our last day, sans the makeup.

As I've mentioned on my Tumblelog, my dad's been helping me come up with things for an online enterprise/trading biz to start my own corporation.

My mom and I flew to Guangzhou, China last Thursday (April 22)and we attended the 2nd phase of the Canton Fair. It showcased 100 hectares of booths filled with ceramics, furniture, dining/kitchenwares, gifts, home decorations and consumer goods. Twice a year, this event takes place at Guangzhou and it's China's biggest trade fair of the highest level, of the most complete varieties and of the highest attendance and business turnover

So glad mum and I were grouped with Filipino-Chinese people. They weren't first-timers like us, so they offered us some great advice about purchasing, shipping, etc. They helped us a lot with the language barrier as well. Almost all of the workers at the hotel and around the city couldn't speak any English, so they were our translators.

At the fair they don't sell anything per piece. There are only a couple of stalls willing to hand out samples, but you had to wait until the last day of the fair (28th, and we left on the 27th). The typical thing that happens is that you'd have to purchase at least 2000 pieces of something, or fill up a 20-footer container vehicle before they can ship the items to you. So if you go to these things, you have to be serious about foreign trade.

As an investor/buyer (like myself), you have to go there with tons of name/business cards, and collect all the catalogues/brochures/business cards you can from the booths whose products you're interested in. You can then communicate with those people later on and arrange for samples or orders... At the fair, buyers were all over taking photos with item numbers, and a lot were also listing down items and negotiating with the exhibitors about their purchases already. It was so cool!

Entrepreneurship requires great risk... Out of the 5 businesses you'll put up, only 1-2 of those will prove to be a success, and only 1 will survive in the long run. Obviously, the key is perseverance and determination. Again as with all things, in order to succeed, you have to be FEARLESS.

I spent my younger years in a school focused on business and leadership (we had trade fairs each year and had to make our own products, booths, commercials, brochures, business plans, etc). I think it contributed a bit to me being hesitant about getting into merchandising at such a young age. But I know it's always been in me. You can ask my friends- I used to sell a lot of stuff during grade school! Organizers, cards, photos, stickers- all of which I made myself. I bought my own things from my earnings (I think what I'm most proud of was buying my own mountain bike. LOL). But I think I can run a corporation through the guidance of my dad, and of course, patience and perseverance!

I won't be announcing anything official about it just yet, this thing takes time. I haven't made up my mind about what goods/services to offer. This whole thing has to be fun, and another learning experience of course. Going to the Canton Fair was an amazing experience. Planning to go to the Shanghai World Expo next!

"Stress is the spice of life!" - Hans Selye



YJ said...

What an interesting group of pictures!!! =) It sounds like you had a busy few days at the fair!

ge said...

did you know that kazaks here in china have trouble getting jobs and fitting in, they were known to be troublemakers kasi. :( but i have kazak friends who friendly and cool naman, so i dunno, stereotype.

Raleene said...

YJ- thank you! and yes, hella busy but FUN! tons of amazing things there.

Ge- OMG seriously? But... but.. I don't look like a troublemaker! LOL... Yeah stereotypes! Like Filipinos being known as nurses/caretakers. Oh wellz. Whenever I go to America they always think I'm Spanish and get shocked whenever I tell them I'm Filipino... They think I'm "too tall" and "too white". What the...

Anonymous said...

..hmmm i love your blog...but I kind of got a bit put off as how u say nurses/caretakers...whats wrong with being one? Im a nurs myself and im really proud to be one...and honey, its the nurses who are doing well here.

I dont like it being in the same line as a troublemaker. you make it sound degrading.

Raleene said...

I never meant to make it sound like I thought being a nurse was a bad thing! I just mentioned that they often have STEREOTYPES for ALL RACES. I'm surrounded by so many people taking up nursing and a lot of my good friends are also in that profession! It's a noble job. You save lives. I'm just saying there are tons of other Pinoys who excel in their professions too and it's SO SAD that they don't get as much recognition around the world because majority of Filipinos are nurses, caretakers. I raise my eyebrows at those people who LAUGH when they link Filipinos to being maids- what's wrong with being one? what would the world be without maids?

No reason to get offended :))

Anagon =) said...

i really like this post! :) So cool! im a small online entrepreneur myself, and enjoying every bit of it--even the risks involved! ;) it's nice youve been to foreign trade expos, i have to save up for such, but good thing they also have once in awhile trade fairs in wtc!
Love the brushes! :D Goodluck with your future corporation!!

Aurora said...

One of the dolls looks like you. I think it's cos of the lips. :) Good luck on the business. And yea, when I read your comment regarding the nurses, I didn't think it was offensive. I'm a Filipina living abroad and attending the uni. Sometimes people think I'm a nursing major, but I don't take offense. A lot of my friends are nurses, and they're cool! Stay pretty, love!

From your fan.

MELISSA Z. said...

Amazing pics! Great post! <3

Vito Selma said...

i think il go with you to the next one! looks like fun.

Anonymous said...

the kabuki brushes are GORGEOUS. :D