On April 17th, The Ministry of Commerce of PRC has decided that the 127th Canton Fair is to be held online from June 15 to 24.

As Canton Fair’s organizer said, they will improve the technological application and supporting services to enhance the online experience of all enterprises and traders. They will strive to hold an especially wonderful “online Canton Fair” with special significance through special measures in this unprecedented time. For more information, you could visit the website of the Canton Fair. http://www.cantonfair.org.cn

At present, it is not known in which way to present it, but hopefully:

Do not make like B2B platform, sellers just upload products, and buyers search the keyword to get suppliers.

Why? The reason is simple:

1、Offline exhibitions do not only solve the problem of information matching between buyers and sellers.

2、B2B and B2C are not the same, B2C only needs customer service, but B2B needs sales.

First, let us consider two questions.

As a buyer, why spend 5-6,000 USD for the plane& hotel and spend an entire week in China for a trade show? Can’t buyers search for the supplier on the Internet?

As a seller, why would I spend 6,000 USD or even 50,000 USD for a show that only takes a few days?

If it’s just for buyers’ information or inquiries, 6000 USD is enough to promote it on the Internet for a year, so why spend so much time and money to exhibit?

The real reason is not that “buyers can see the product directly”, “sellers can show the actual product” and so on.

Rather, it is that the offline exhibition is “fast” enough, mainly in three aspects.

1. The speed of getting information to clarify needs is very fast.

Based on the complexity of B2B business, usually, buyers are not immediately clear what their needs are.

The buyers needed to communicate with multiple suppliers to get enough information to help him refine their requirements.

But in traditional online channels, it’s very slow to get the information.

What jobs need to do as a buyer?

1) Search the information of suppliers on the Internet first;

2) Determine the matching degree by studying the supplier’s website;

3) Email the supplier to ask for information;

4) It may be the next day after the vendor’s clerk responds to the email. And may not necessarily respond directly to my questions.

5) The buyer asks the question again;

6) The salesman said he would check with the engineer or boss

Then finally tell the buyer that it can’t be done. This whole process, it maybe takes three days.

But in the offline exhibition, buyers can check one hall after another, and can communicate directly with engineers or bosses for the first time, the efficiency is much faster.

2. Those who will pay so much to visit the exhibition in China are already “active customers” who will take action quickly.

What is an active customer?

The customer is already actively looking for a solution, he may go to a trade show, he may go to a B2B platform, he may go to Google to search for a supplier, and then clearly tell you, I need XX products, please quote it directly.

3. Through on-site observation and direct communication, it can build trust between buyers and sellers during the exhibition.

In offline exhibitions, buyers can judge: whether the supplier has the strength or not (booth size, location and design are the most intuitive reflection of the strength) or “whether the sales are professional enough” in the shortest time, so as to quickly promote the purchase process.

Buyers and sellers can talk in the exhibition, customers can observe the sales staff’s dress, words and deeds, reaction, look, attitude, etc. Communicate face to face and build trust faster.

Combined with the above, this is why the position of the exhibition cannot be replaced in today’s Internet is so developed.

The above is my opinion about the online Canton Fair.