Withers and Co China Blog Matt

The Pen Saleman's Dream

Every 6 months the promotional products industry converges on Hong Kong and China. 50 years ago when this all began it was for one trade show in Canton, China. Now there are more shows that you can shake a stick at, supplement those shows with business meetings, factory visits, social events and Hong Kong in particular becomes a pens salesman’s dream.

Coming from sleepy old New Zealand you need to have your whits about you or as fast as you can say “ni hao” and in a blur of Tsingtao, Trade Show lanyards and Lan Kwai Fong lights, Hong Kong will chew you up and spit you out.

Any muppet, and trust me there are plenty of them out there, can walk a trade show, visit a factory, or sit in a meeting. It is only those really good operators that can ask the right questions, take what they find, see and hear, and convert it all into sales.

The trick for the young players is this; travelling to Hong Kong only spends your money. To make money, it is all in the follow up and the conversion. You need to know what you want to achieve, and you work and work and work until that is achieved, then you have a Tsingtao (beer) and relax.

My first trip to Hong Kong in 2007 I didn't have a drink the whole trip. My view was my boss was paying for me to be there to work my arse off, not to get on the razz, so that's what I did - worked my arse off and learnt the trick to the trade. The next 9 years I may have not been so strict.

I always look forward to the trip, but a little more so this year as we are saying over on the island.

Our hotel has been rated one of the best boutique hotels in the world so that will be pretty cool. In true Withers & Co style though we booked on a deal and got it super cheap.

Because we both enjoy our travel we are always on the hunt for good travel content and somewhat surprisingly we have found some awesome content since our last trip. Especially on things that are a bit different and off the beaten track. We are heading into this years trip with a pretty kick arse list of things we want to do – bars and night clubs, all manner of eateries, and some retail stores I am particularly excited to check out.

This all mixed in with the trade fair, a trip up to China to visit factories and meetings with numerous business contacts we may be in for the most successful trip yet.