In the middle of October we were invited by the Vice Mayor Mr. Duo of Yiwu to talk about future cooperations. There we learn that on November 12th an import fair will be opened in Yiwu. It is important to know that in the city of Yiwu, about 2 hours from Shanghai, the first city in the new China after the Cultural Revolution was the one where traders could shop. Today there is a huge wholesale complex with tens of thousands of manufacturers and wholesalers for almost every kind of product.
Mr. Duo wants us to present our German products as PANDA.BLACK. We are already interested, but whether we can prepare everything for our first trade fair appearance so quickly in a few weeks is doubtful. After one day of consideration, we inform Yiwu’s fair manager that we will participate in the fair.
Here we go. We only have two weeks until the opening. I.e. project management in Chinastyle. There is no plan, so let’s get started. After a meeting with the fair manager we went back to Wuhan to prepare our products from the showroom. I would have liked to have made a joint plan, discussed all the topics and coordinated the procedure, but things are different in China. Here we do what someone needs at the moment, what is shared via the WeChat Group. Everything is moving fast. The designer sent us a first impressive 3D stand design after just a few days.
One week before the opening we arrive back in Yiwu and see for the first time the big stable white tents that will serve as exhibition halls. It was decided not to go to the fairgrounds, but to present the fair right next to the wholesale buildings, so that the dealers would stop by while they were shopping. In the still empty tents we determine our location and have an almost perfect place. Quickly phone the stand designer and we’ll drive into his office. According to our wishes, he immediately implemented changes on the computer.
We have a 90sqm2 head stand in special edition in the middle of the fair. With sweet pandas on the walls and brand logo around. Here we find enough space for our approximately 100 different articles from Germany.
Just in time for the fair, we are back on site and we are informed that the fair will open one day later. This is also China. The night before the opening, the fair management received a phone call from Shanghai and the name of the fair in Yiwu had to be changed, which is also done at 4 o’clock in the morning. On the opening day a new banner with the new name hangs on the stage.
The opening ceremony is attended by the most important politicians in Yiwu. I have the honour to be the only guest to give a speech. Due to the short term name change I am politely but decisively pointed out that I have to name the new name.
Since we can only be on site for the next two days, we need stand personnel during the entire time. We are very lucky to have three wonderful young ladies who not only learn everything about the products and PANDA.BLACK, but also approach the visitors very refreshingly and professionally.
The aim is of course to get in touch with Chinese dealers. Our Sales Angels establish the contacts and then pass everything on to our local man in Shanghai, who then works together with the dealers.
We thank our Sales Angels for the great work on site.
The three month period is very unusual. On January 15th we will dismantle and transport the goods to the next location. German products are in great demand in China.
About the Yiwu Import Fair 2018
According to statistics, imports of consumer goods in Yiwu in the first nine months of this year reached 760 million yuan. In May 2018 of this year, exhibitors from over 100 countries and regions participated in the Yiwu fair, bringing more than 100,000 foreign consumer goods. The total number of visitors was 118,100. The above described autumn exhibition of the import fair takes place for the first time.