Concurrent International Franchising Show to Explore Business Opportunities
HONG KONG — Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the inaugural SmartBiz Expo and the Hong Kong International Franchising Show opened today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Together, the twin events, which run from 6-8 December, generate synergy and showcase value-adding and versatile business solutions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grasp the latest business opportunities.
“With the challenges and opportunities posed by the changing economic landscape and evolving digital era, the HKTDC is pleased to launch the SmartBiz Expo to provide companies with timely insights, inspiration and a platform for interaction,” said HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong at the opening ceremony. She added, “SmartBiz Expo is a unique cross-industry platform spotlighting innovative business solutions, creative ideas and cutting-edge technologies.”
– One-stop platform to upgrade and transform
Featuring more than 500 exhibitors from 43 countries and regions, SmartBiz Expo aims to enhance SMEs’ competitiveness and encourage them to explore technology and innovations. The fair is divided into several theme zones: Techtopia, Envision Lot, Boosters, Hatchery, Pathfinder and Muses. Techtopia zone displays an array of technologies, including augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications from established companies, such as VTM Digital Ltd (Booth No: 1D-E16), Win Win Industrial Co Ltd (Booth No: 1D-E10), and Alibaba Group Services Ltd (Booth No: 1D-D02).
For companies seeking to sharpen their competitive edge, Boosters zone offers the latest technology, from cloud and e-commerce systems, to branding and financial services. Meanwhile, Envision Lot zone exhibits inventions and research findings from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Europe and Asia. In addition, Hatchery zone serves as a promotion platform for local and overseas start-ups to pitch their businesses to potential business partners. Another highlight is the Pathfinder zone, which gathers exhibitors from countries and regions including Saudi Arabia, Canada and Indonesia, to foster opportunities in investment partnership among Belt and Road countries and regions, particularly within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area.
– Industry experts unveil latest AI and tech trends and opportunities under Industry 4.0
During the three-day event, more than 20 seminars will be held to cater to the needs of SMEs. The series will systematically help companies explore the latest global market trends, identify challenges and introduce various innovative solutions through real case-sharing sessions, as well as unveil the latest industry technologies. Industry experts will examine global market conditions, business opportunities in AI, technological innovation and marketing strategies, as well as the latest trends in online shopping and social media. Speakers include Herbert Chia, Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China; Leo Liu, Alibaba Cloud General Manager (HK, Macau, Taiwan & Korea Region); Andrew Young, IBM China/Hong Kong Ltd Commercial Sales Unit Executive; Gerardo Salandra, CEO and founder of Rocketbots; and David Tang, CEO of BeeHive Network Information Technology Ltd. To help businesses harness new opportunities and inspiration, the HKTDC is also hosting a three-day “FitBiz Rendezvous” programme, featuring a series of thematic forums and seminars, multiple pitching sessions and inventors, as well as tech-savvy demonstrations.
In addition, with the rising trend in product and service customisation, a seminar, co-organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Productivity Council, will explore how manufactures can adopt smart production with ‘Industry 4.0’ by integrating their business and production processes. In addition, the seminar series “InnoTech for Branding – From Surviving to Growing,” co-organised by the HKTDC and the Trade and Industry Department, will spotlight cost-effective marketing strategies for companies to grow in a competitive business setting. Topics to be covered include branding with virtual reality, online marketing and big data, with the aim of helping SMEs formulate efficient branding strategies. A series of business-matching and networking events are also being held to expand business connections with potential partners from around the world.
– Franchising – an alternative for new business opportunities
The booming franchising sector in recent years has inspired young entrepreneurs and SMEs to adopt the business model. With its strategic geographic location and diversity, Hong Kong has developed into a regional franchising hub for many international brands expanding to Asia.
The Hong Kong International Franchising Show returns in its third edition for companies and entrepreneurs looking for franchising brands to identify business partners and gain franchising tips. The event gathers 130 exhibitors from such places as Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and the United States, with zones covering catering, retail, education and various services industries. Well-known brands, including popular local music institute, Parkland (Booth No: 1E-A07); the health-food brand, bless (Booth No: 1E-A08); local pet training institute, Dogaroo (Booth No: 1E-B15); intelligent vending machine, iAPP (Booth No: 1E-B17), and Korea’s popular Nolboo (Booth No: 1E-E09) will be among the participating exhibitors.
The “Franchising and Wealth Building” seminar series features industry experts and leaders from around the world to share franchising success cases and the latest trends. In particular, a seminar featuring prominent industry representatives from Tai Hing Worldwide Development Ltd, Tao Heung Group, and Maxim’s Group will share the latest innovations and developments in Hong Kong’s competitive F&B sector. The seminar series will also spotlight such topics as franchising business management from afar, innovative business concepts for catering, and franchising opportunities in the Chinese mainland. A series of networking and business-matching activities will be held to assist companies to expand their business networks and foster cooperation.
The HKTDC is concurrently staging the Asian E-tailing Summit (6 December), the Business of IP Asia Forum (7-8 December), and DesignInspire (7-9 December), at the HKCEC for companies to get the latest market information and foster cross-industry cooperation.