With travel restrictions still in place around the world, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) had no choice but to take its trade fairs digital.
Running from 27 July to 7 August, Summer Sourcing Weeks | Go ONLINE includes nine exhibitions, all migrated onto one online platform. In addition, an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled business matching service is being introduced to help suppliers and buyers close more deals.
“Although the Covid-19 pandemic is presenting huge challenges for businesses globally, it also offers the prospect of online business opportunities for enterprises,” says Benjamin Chau, HKTDC deputy executive director.
Indeed, while the physical trade fairs usually last for about five days, the online virtual platform is open for close to two weeks, providing both suppliers and buyers plenty of opportunities to do business.
“The HKTDC has initiated various online promotions, including the Spring Virtual Expo in April and the Summer Virtual Expo in late June and July, to assist SMEs and international buyers overcome the challenges during this difficult period.
“Now, to further boost business connections between global exhibitors and buyers, we are launching Summer Sourcing Weeks | Go ONLINE, an advanced online virtual exhibition that runs for 12 days starting from today and features the AI-enabled Click2Match business matching platform to help SMEs forge more connections and opportunities.”
The Click2Match business matching platform operates automatically using big data and AI technology, and other functions covering meeting planning, video meetings, live chat and online seminars run by industry experts, all of which will provide a better online sourcing and communication experience for buyers and exhibitors alike, says Chau.
The stay-at-home economy has also been driving demand for consumer electronics and homewares. The virtual fair features a broad selection of smart home and lifestyle products, while the Intelligence Hub introduces various webinars, including ‘Tech Trends Symposium 2020 – The Future of Intelligent Connectivity’, which will address the impact of the artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), the smart home, 5G technology applications and other related issues; Lifestyle & Interiors Trends from WGSN, and ‘Trendwatcher – The Reshaping of Retail Landscape’ by market research agency Euromonitor International.
Chau adds that Summer Sourcing Weeks | Go ONLINE is one of the HKTDC initiatives helping to expand the e-commerce capabilities of Hong Kong businesses.
“The HKTDC is actively equipping SMEs to embrace the digital economy. In addition to strengthening cooperation with a number of technology partners to provide Hong Kong companies with more cost-effective digital solutions, the interface and functions of our hktdc.com Sourcing online marketplace will be further enhanced and relaunched later this year, utilising a variety of new technologies to improve business matching efficiency.”