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Apr 26, 2018

Find out why your business should attend ISPO Shanghai

David Owen of Pattern Ltd (UK & Ireland Representative for ISPO Shanghai),explains why UK companies should take the trip to the Far East

Does your company need to approach a new market? Well there isn’t a much bigger marketplace than China.

The outdoor and sport marketplace in China is booming and continuing to grow. According to the 13th five-year plan issued by China’s State General Administration of Sports in May 2016, the total turnover within China’s sports industry will amount to more than $460 billion by the end of 2020.

However, China’s long-term goals are even more ambitious: The State Council has set a goal for the total output value to reach $725 billion by 2025. In other words, the Chinese government will do anything to ensure that the market grows by 20 per cent annually over the next ten years.

So ISPO Shanghai, being held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC) on July 5-7, is the place to be to introduce yourself to the market.

In 2017, the show hosted 572 companies during the fair and attracted around 14,000 visitors. David Owen, said: “It’s an incredible market, so now is the time to get to China and put yourself on the map.”

ISPO Shanghai predominantly focuses on summer sports and the most important sporting trends.

In addition to the numerous potential business, ISPO Shanghai offers the latest Asian-Pacific market studies, which are held in forums such as the Asia- Pacific Region Trail Running Summit, the China Kids Sports Industry Development Forum, the Watersports Industry Forum and the Sports Fashion Trend Forum.

David added: “We want to attract more UK firms out to Shanghai.

“The motivation for doing this from the UK side is that we get over 100 UK companies to ISPO in Munich and literally only two or three go to China. The brands do go via their distributor but it’s better to put yourself on the map initially as a company as well as the brand. You’re going to be doing a better job of engaging people if people from the company actually go over. Then they find a foot in the country, obviously a lot of the manufacturing happens in China anyway. So that could be combined at being at the show then going to check out the factory.”

ISPO are making moves to attract more British companies out to Shanghai and are in talks with a number of organisations. There will be a British pavilion and measures in place to make sure that those who make the trip have the best experience.

David added: “We have a huge program to encourage British companies that come to the show to feel well integrated – it’s obviously a different landscape to the one we know from the UK’s viewpoint.”

So far, many companies have been prevented from expanding due to opaque bureaucracy, threats of product piracy, and a language barrier that should not be underestimated. For this reason, ISPO Shanghai is organizing the three-day Market Introduction Programme for China, where companies on site can be advised on the most important issues by experts.

David said: “My strong recommendation to all the companies going there, whether they are visiting or not, is to join the Market Introduction Programme because I tagged on to that a couple of years ago and it was very interesting, even just from the perspective of taking ideas away that you could use in the UK.”

Anyone who wants to be successful in the Chinese e-commerce market cannot avoid Tmall. Tmall is the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace and is part of the Alibaba Group. A cooperation between ISPO and Tmall enables companies to open a flagship store quickly and easily.

Alibabas Tmall is a cross border B2C platform for official brand stores that want to sell from abroad to China: This means that the platform only accepts foreign traders who offer 100 percent authentic products and can prove this.

With Tmall, you can currently reach over 400 million consumers. A flagship store opens the door to a thriving market. ISPO and Tmall support you in opening your own flagship store, so that you can successfully enter the Chinese e-commerce market right from the start.

David said: “The relationship with Tmall is good because it helps companies open a flagship store quickly and easily. That helps the brands that come to ISPO Shanghai to get in there quicker – a green light channel.”

ISPO is working closely with the China Outdoor Retail Association, CORA, to benefit both organisations.

David said: “The outdoor market is growing as the Government is encouraging the population to be more active. To get in on the ground floor of a burgeoning market one needs to be there now rather than in five or six years time when it has developed.

“One of the things we have had to do with ISPO Shanghai is redesign the show to match the way the market sees things in China. Now it has been split into five segments to give people the angle that they want.

“It’s absolutely 100 per cent fair to say though that ISPO Shanghai is very, very Chinese. The vast majority of visitors of the 14,000 that attend are from China .”

There are funds available to British companies who wish to exhibit in Shanghai this year via the FSPA and Outdoor Industries Association and David Owen is organising the UK Pavilion at the show. The pavilion is a great way for companies to exhibit at the show with minimal organisational effort.

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