canton fair 2019: definitive guide

This is a complete guide of the latest Canton Fair.

In today’s guide you’ll learn:

  • Why should you visit Canton Fair Complex?
  • How to book the best hotel at the cheapest price?
  • How to attend the Canton Fair in 2019?
  • How to find your most suitable supplier in Caton Fair Complex?
  • One thing you must do but most buyers neglected

In short: if you want to earn more money by importing from China, you will love this new guide.

If you’ve already decided to attend the Canton Fair but you don’t want to worry about organizing your trip, don't hesitate to contact us!

Chapter 1: Canon Fair overview

The Spring Canton Fair of 2019 has come to the end of last month, Statistics shows that there are 195,454 overseas Buyers from 213 countries and regions who visit the Canton fair complex.

why there are still so many overseas buyers who travel all the way to participate in the Canton Fair? Even if we have a lot of B2B platforms on the internet.

Canton fair overview

What is the Canton Fair?

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, has a history of over 2,200 years, is one of the world-famous Foreign trade ports, as well as one of China's Four largest cities. (the other three is Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen) The Canton Fair, also known as China Import and Export Fair, is located here.

Guangzhou China

In 1957, the first session of Canton Trade Fair is held in Guangzhou.
Old photo of Canton Fair, it is also the First session China trade show.

First session China trade show

In 1978, China began economic reforms called “China Reform and Open-up policy”.

In the following thirty years, it has become the only famous channel for foreign businessmen to import products from China.

Statistics-Canton Fair buyers
In recent years, due to the development of Alibaba and other B2B platforms, the Canton Fair has not been as important as it used to be. However, it is still an indispensable exhibition for businessmen who need to import goods from China.

Why should you visit Canton Fair Complex?

1, All exhibitors here will carefully prepare the latest and most fashionable products and materials to show on the fair. It's a great opportunity to catch the latest trends and find new products to sell.

2, It's a great opportunity to face to face many different suppliers in one time, prove that you are a serious businessman, which will start a good relationship.

canton fair complex fashion trend

3, You can contact with your current suppliers, and source for some alternative suppliers, which make a leap for your business.

4, Exhibitors who attend the Canton Fair need pay at least $12,000 for one booth (size: 3m x3m), most of them are eager to do business with you, where you can quickly contact a number of excellent suppliers.

Unfortunately, due to the high cost, some small factories which with high quality and good price will not participate in the exhibition. then you need contact with a professional local sourcing agent to help you. Not only attend the Canton Fair effectively to find the most suitable supplier, but also find some local good suppliers which will not attend the fair. Click here to contact us.

Chapter 2: How to start your Canton Fair trip?

So if you’re the first time to visit Canton Fair complex, this chapter is for you.

In this chapter, you will know the full information of Canton Fair, how to get the Canton Fair badge and China Visa, how to get to Canton Fair complex, and advanced tips how to book the best hotel with the cheapest price.

Let’s jump right in.

Canton fair overview

What are the dates of Canton Fair?

Canton Fair is held twice a year, in every spring and Autumn. In each session it has three phases:

Canton Fair Phase 1: April 15th-19th or October 15th-19th
Canton Fair Phase 2: April 23rd-27th or October 23rd-27th
Canton Fair Phase 3: May 1st-5th or October 31st - November 4th

During the opening period, the Fair will be open from 9:30 to 18:00 and will go through the weekends.
Pro Tip:
1, At the last day of each phase, it will only open for half day, some exhibitors will even close the booth at this day, so pay attention to your schedule at the last day of each phase.
2, The date will always keep the same for each session, that means, in 2019, phase 1 is from April 15th-19th or October 15th-19th, in 2020, it opens at the same date.

The Schedule of Canton Fair 2019 is as follows:

Canton Fair exhibit categories


How do I get a visa and badge to Canton Fair?

countries do not need a visa to enter Hong Kong, however). In order to obtain a VISA, you need to visit the Chinese Embassy or Consulate where you live or hire a visa service to do this for you.

There are various ways to obtain a China visa for Canton fair visitors, but a canton fair Invitation letter is possibly the easiest way.

China Business Visa

Pre-register online on the official Canton Fair website, which is free of charge. The only official website of canton fair login:

In order to save your time, click here to follow the steps to Register a new account,

Your application will be approved within 3-5 working days. Once you have set up your account, you must register for a Buyer Badge. When your Canton Fair registration is confirmed, you can get an invitation letter. It normally will take weeks, pay attention to your mail box(At the same time, please pay attention to your junk e-mail. When I applied for the Canton Fair invitation online, I got it in the junk mailbox several times.)

With the canton fair Invitation letter, overseas buyers could:
l Apply for Visa to China.
l Get registered and free entry badge to the Fair.

Catoon Fair badge

Pro Tips:
1, Don’t forget to bring your passport when attending the Canton fair.

2, Prepare Two-inch color passport photos (blue or white background, size: 5cm X 4cm) which will save your time when you get your Fair badge. Otherwise, you need to wait for the line to take a photo and cost $5.

3, Take it easy if you forget to Pre-register online, you can just do it at the show or the appointed hotel, but it will cost you RMB 100 (about $20 USD). Click here to view appointed hotels.

4, Save well your Canton Fair entry badge, the Badge is also valid for the next sessions of the Canton Fair, which surely saves your time with easy access. If you forget to bring the Card or lost it, re-application will cost you 200 RMB/card(About USD 30) as a service fee.

How to get to Canton Fair Complex?

Canton Fair location is in Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou city, which is close to Hongkong. As I know, several years ago, most overseas Canton Fair visitors first arrived in Hong Kong and then went to Guangzhou by bus.

Nowadays, Guangzhou is a major airport hub of China, with plenty of direct flights from North America, Europe, and Asia.

So, for overseas buyers, you can choose to arrive at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) or Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)


For visitors who arrive at Guangzhou airport, approximately 45kilometers away from Canton Fair Complex.

For visitors who arrive at Guangzhou
1) You can take the Subway to go to the Fair (this is the fastest and most convenient way; However, it will be crowded in the morning and at closing time.)
Xingang Dong Station and Pazhou Station on Line 8 are the nearest metro stations to the fair.

Subway to canton fair complex(1)

2) By Bus: Many hotels in Guangzhou provide pick-up service from Canton Fair to their hotel
Besides, Canton Fair offers Free Shuttle Buses from the Canton Fair Complex to the Downtown, please click here to check if it is suitable for you.

3) By taxi: although you need to wait for some minutes because of crowd traffic, this is also a good choice. Most Taxi drivers don’t speak English, they would know the Canton Fair Pazhou Complex as 广交会琵州展馆. Tips: keep your hotel business card in order to show them the Chinese address when you back to your hotel.

For visitors who arrive at Hongkong
1) By high-speed railway: HK West Kowloon Station to Guangzhou South Station, less than one hour.

High speed railway

2) By Bus from Hongkong to Guangzhou, about 3hrs.

3) By train: Hung Hom Railway Station to Guangzhou East station, the trip by train lasts about 2 hours.

4) By Car: You can also rent one van/car to go to Guangzhou. If you have 3 or more people together, this will be a good choice.

How to Find a Hotel during the Canton Fair?

Booking a hotel in advance (4 weeks or more in advance if you can), which will make your traveling easier.

1, Stay in a hotel that is near the Canton Fair Complex. (Pazhou International Exhibition Center Area.)
Hotels near Canton fair Guangzhou Complex, but the price is also relatively high compared with other districts.

Not it’s Four months before October Canton Fair, I search Guangzhou Five-star hotels during the Canton Fair time on, with keywords: China Import and Export Fair (Yuejiang Middle Road), the result shocks me: the nearest hotel which you can go to the Canton Fair Complex by walk, need cost about $300, The Westin Pazhou need cost more than $600, even the two-star hotels, that need cost about $200.

hotels near canton fair guangzhou-1
Advantage: can walk to the Canton Fair Complex.
Disadvantage: expensive, crowd, less option, inconvenient life

2, Book a nice hotel in the downtown area, which takes the subway to Pazhou or Xingangdong station to Canton Fair complex.
Advantage: convenient life
Disadvantage: crowded

3, Stay in the hotel of Dongguan city, this is the most recommended way, all experienced customers will choose to live in Dongguan, they love and enjoy hereafter one exhausting day in Canton Fair complex.

Dongguan city, which is located between Hongkong and Guangzhou City. Here is full of the star-rated hotel, One of Top 5 cities of high-quality 5-star hotels in China. The transportation is very convenient. Let me explain to you why you want to choose the hotels here?
First of all, let’s have a look at the price:

hotels near canton fair guangzhou-3


Regal Palace Hotel: located in Houjie town, Dongguan city, the appointed hotel of Canton Fair Registration Office for overseas Buyers, which only cost $60 per night.

WOW: Five-star, downtown area, the hotel price in Dongguan is very friendly!! You spent much less money when you live in a five-star hotel in Dongguan than live a two-star hotel in Guangzhou.
Second, from Canton Fair complex to Dongguan downtown, it’s about 60kilometers which less than one hour by car via highway. during these days, the traffic in Guangzhou is particularly crowded. You cost almost the same or even less time to Dongguan hotel.
So, why not choose a hotel in Dongguan?

Don’t know how to arrange the trip from Dongguan to Canton Fair Complex? Don’t worry! We - Blingsouring, located in Dongguan downtown, will support you to organize your trip, hotel booking, private transfers from Canton Fair Complex to Dongguan hotel.

Chapter 3: How to find the most suitable suppliers in Caton Fair complex?

Attending Canton Fair can be overwhelming due to the hundreds of suppliers in the same industry that you will come across. You need to know that suppliers are not created equal.

In order to avoid wasting your time with the wrong suppliers, you need to make the right preparations.
The question is:
How to find the most suitable suppliers in Caton Fair complex?

That’s exactly what this chapter is all about.

Canton fair overview

Preparations before attending the Fair

1, The most important part:
Determine what types of products you are looking for and prepare the products list, and research your products well, such as know the exact specifications of the product, the color/size you want, the price range of products, the Standards, and Regulations in your market, and the packing way you prefer.


Products sourcing in Caton Fair-1

2. Need Translator?
Most suppliers attend the fair would have English speaking salesperson who can discuss related products. But if you are coming and attending the fair at the first time, I sincerely suggest you hire a local translator to assist you during the fair, especially to find the translator who already has experience; it will be helpful and also save a lot of your time. You can find a translator through the following three-way:

2.1) From Caton Fair Interpretation Service Center (ISC)
You can book at the show or make an online booking, click here to reserve an interpretation service online

2.2) On the way to the entrance of Canton Fair complex, they are always a lot of part-time translators who provide this service, they will be cheaper than you hire a translator from Canton Fair ISC.

Canton fair translator

Two kinds of translators above, communication is basically no problem. The disadvantage is that they have no trade experience, and some of them even never entered inside the Canton Fair complex. what they can do is to translate for you. Here just tell you the truth: I have been working as an interpreter in Canton Fair when I was studying in university, at the first two times, I only worked for exhibitors as a translator.
2.3) Cooperate with a professional sourcing company. Blingsourcing: Our workers are highly qualified and have at least 3 years’ experiences, fluent in English and Mandarin, knowledgeable of Canton Fair and products, skillful to negotiate with sellers. We react fast and properly, handle things independently. You will feel worry-free to have an assistant at your side to save cost and work efficiently. Click here to contact us.

3. Download Useful App
* WeChat: As a matter of fact, everybody in China prefers WeChat to communicate. It is a useful and convenient platform to connect with suppliers (very similar to WhatsApp)

* Didi: Use Didi to take a Taxi which will be very convenient. (Very similar with Uber, Hailo…)


4. Other necessary preparation
* Business cards will save your time, no matter when you enter in the fair to fill with the registration form or discuss with different suppliers, they will always ask for exchange business card.

* A notebook and pen to write down the details you’ve confirmed with suppliers. This was a very effective way of keeping track of suppliers we visited

* Luggage or backpack: for putting brochures, samples or your personal belongings.

* At last, make sure that your phone is fully charged and remember to bring a power bank.

Attending the Canton Fair

The Canton fair complex has 3 major areas (A, B, and C) with 16 halls of 60,651 standard booths. It’s Monstrously big.

canton-fair complex map
When entering inside the canton fair complex, remember to take the free “Buyer Guide”. From here, you will know where to find the suppliers of your interested products, where to have food.

canton-fair complex layout
It could be very challenging to remember all the suppliers after your visit. As a result, you need to follow up suppliers with your notebook and ask questions about the following:
Ø What's the unit price and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)?
Ø How about the trade terms and payment way?
Ø Are you a manufacturer or trading company? Can we visit your factory?
Ø How can we get a sample? how much should I pay?
Ø What is the delivery time for sample and production?
Ø Which countries or markets you have served?
If your products need some special standards and regulations at your market, in order to not waste time, then you need at the first time to ask suppliers.

TIPs: 1, When you take photos of samples, remember to place the supplier’s business card beside the item, in order to help you identify them easily.

‍2, It is normal that some suppliers don't allow to take photos.

3, Organize your relevant information (such as supplier information, business cards, Catalogue, photos and etc.) when one day is over and back to your hotel. Don't wait until the last day of the exhibition to organize your information together, you will find that it is a mess and confusing.

Chapter 4: One thing you must do after the Canton Fair

Canton fair Guide

Visit Your Potential Suppliers

It is not easy to travel to China, especially for South American customers. You will lose a great chance to know the suppliers’ real situation If you just attend the exhibition. Smart and experienced overseas buyers will visit the suppliers after the exhibition, no matter how the sales staff describe their manufactures at the exhibition, you need to visit your potential suppliers in person, this is the most important thing after the fair. In addition, you can further strengthen your relationship with your suppliers.

There are some points that cannot be reached at the Canton Fair which will be easier to accept when discussing during the visit to the factory. For example: During my time at the Canton Fair, my client and I tried to persuade a rain boots manufacturer to accept the MOQ of 500 pairs, but they never agreed. Later, when we visited the factory and sincerely made our request again, the factory finally agreed.

  • Visit Chinses manufactures, especially when they are located in different cities and provinces, this will be a great challenge for foreign buyers.
  • how to arrange the trip?
  • How to go to the supplier's city?
  • How to travel from one city to another city in China?
  • How to book a hotel in different cities?
  • How to travel between different cities more effectively?
  • How to collect the sample?

When you order samples from suppliers, most of them need time to make, how to send these samples to you? you definitely don't want them to send to your country one by one, that will cost a lot!

The best way is to cooperate with a sourcing company. Blingsouring will provide valuable service, coordinate and organize your visit time efficiently; we worked not only as your interpreter but also your business assistant.

Chapter 5: Other Famous China Trade Show/Fair

Canton fair Guide

1, Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (09 - 12 Jun 2020)

Guangzhou lighting fair
This Guangzhou lighting fair is the most highly regarded platform for the LED and lighting industry

2, China International Beauty Expo (05-07 Sep 2019)
The Largest and Leading Beauty Industry Trade Fair which located in Guangzhou.

3, Jinhan Fair for Home & Gifts (Mon, 21 - Sun, 27 Oct 2019)
This fair is held at the same time of phase 2 of Canton Fair October, the exhibition is closed China import and export fair complex, where you can walk to this Fair directly.

4, International Famous Furniture Fair (16- 20 Mar 2019)
If you are looking for China Furniture Fair, you shouldn’t miss this finest Furniture Fair which located in Dongguan city.

5, East China Import and Export Commodity Fair (ECF) (March 1-4, 2020)
East China Fair (ECF) is the Largest B2B Fair for Garment Industry Products located in Shanghai.

6, Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics (25-27 Sep 2019): This shanghai fair display all kinds of fabrics, yarns, lace, and accessories.

shanghai fair Intertextile

7, HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair (03-07 Sep 2019)
8, Hong Kong International Jewellery Show (04-08 Mar 2020)
9, Global Sources Fair(October 2019)

Chapter 6: frequently asked question you may also concern:

Canton fair Guide

Q & A

1, There are two sessions of Carton fair, which is better? Which phase I should visit?
The Spring and Autumn Canton fair is almost the same. Just choose the one which time is more suitable for you.
There are three phases at each session, so it’s very important to choose the correct phase. Phase 2 is very popular for Amazon sellers because it focuses on consumer goods. However, the best phase for you will depend on what you’re looking for. If you not certain which phase you should attend, please leave your comments below or contact us, we will help you to decide

2, Can I buy samples in Canton Fair?
All the products here are for show, not for sale. But there is an exception: on the last day of each phase, some exhibitors are pleased to sell their samples or even provide to you for free.

3,How is the weather in Guangzhou China?
October and April are similar, it's hot. The temperature is about 25-30 degree (77-86 degrees Fahrenheit)
Pay big attention here: please wear comfortable casual shoes! One time I participated in the Canton Fair with the high heel shoes, after one day walking at the Canton Fair, I feel that my leg is not mine anymore!

4, Is there Wi-Fi at the fair?
Yes, there is free Wi-Fi at the fair, but not work well. You can buy a Chinese Card for your mobile.

Now It's your turn

For anyone importing from China, you should visit Canton Fair at least once. Meeting with Chinese suppliers and manufacturers and looking through products in the Canton Fair, that will open a window for your business with new possibilities and opportunities.

I hope you enjoyed my guide of how to attend Canton Fair.
Should you have any other question, Let me know by leaving a quick comment below right now.

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