Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) organized the SmartBiz Expo and the Hong Kong International Franchising Show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Together, they showcased the 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.”
Featuring more than 500 exhibitors from 43 countries and regions, SmartBiz Expo enhanced the SMEs’ competitiveness and encouraged 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, Win Win Industrial Co Ltd, and Alibaba Group Services Ltd.
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.
During the three-day event, more than 20 seminars were held to cater the needs of SMEs. The series systematically helped the companies to 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.
In addition, with the rising trend in product and service customisation, a seminar, co-organised by the HKTDC and the Hong Kong Productivity Council, explored 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, highlighted the cost-effective marketing strategies for companies to grow in a competitive business setting.
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 returned with its third edition for companies and entrepreneurs looking for franchising brands to identify business partners and gain franchising tips. The event gathered 130 exhibitors from 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; the health-food brand, bless; local pet training institute, Dogaroo ; intelligent vending machine, iAPP , and Korea’s popular Nolboo are among the participating exhibitors.
The “Franchising and Wealth Building” seminar series featured industry experts and leaders from around the world to share franchising success cases and the latest trends. The seminar series dealt with 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 were held to assist companies to expand their business networks and foster cooperation.