Hong Kong Gift Designs Shine on Global Stage
HK SMART DESIGN Gained International Recognition
The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association (HKEA) led a delegation of 21 local designers, winners of the Hong Kong Smart Gifts Design Awards 2015 (HKSGDA 2015), to an Inspiration Trip to Frankfurt, Germany beginning 11 February. During the 8-day trip, designers exhibited in “Ambiente 2016”, the world-renowned consumer goods trade fair, took part in creative networking programmes, explored overseas market and international product design trends, exchanged concepts with famous designers around the world, as well as discussed business opportunities with importers, retailers and trade organisations. Funded by CreateHK since 2014, this “Break the Cocoon, Sparkling Hong Kong!” project is well into the third edition.
HK Designs showcased in “Young & Trendy Hall”, Ambiente Frankfurt
The HKSGDA is the only gift design competition in Asia of which the winning items are invited to be showcased in the “Young & Trendy Hall” (Hall 11.1) at Ambiente Frankfurt). This year over 60 items are being exhibited.
“Ambiente Frankfurt” is the leading international trade fair for consumer goods. More than 134,000 trade visitors come to see products of exhibitors from 152 countries or regions. With our innovative and original designs, HKSGDA met up with over 2000 potential buyers in the 5-day exhibition, and successfully connected Hong Kong’s local creativity to the global market.
The delegation was led by Mr. Benson PAU, Project Convenor of HKSGDA and Vice Chairman of HKEA. A networking reception hosted by Hong Kong team was held on the first day of show, inviting overseas exhibitors, buyers and media. Hong Kong Trade Development Council, German Designer Club and German Trade Associations came to show their support. Business opportunities abound.
“Differentiated from their European counterparts, HKSGDA designs are innovative and special and often carry Eastern elements,” buyers applauded the creativity of Hong Kong designs. Other buyers commended the unique concepts shown in Hong Kong’s giftware products.
From Frankfurt to Munich – more valuable experience
Apart from showing creativity, the Inspiration Trip also aims at helping Hong Kong designers promote their original designs to international buyers. The “ZipZipBag”, a winning item of HKSGDA, was awarded Best Solutions Product by Ambiente Frankfurt. Its designer, Mr Jacky Wong, felt honoured by the recognition for promoting environmental friendly lifestyle. The award boosted product enquiries and webpage visits significantly and demonstrated that Hong Kong designs have won the approval of the international giftware industry.
A visit to the famous retail group, Li & Fung’s flagship store, Karstadt, was organized for our delegation. Karstadt’s head of operation made a detailed presentation on purchasing and customer buying behavior, allowing our delegates to understand the household and giftware market in Germany, as well as the brands, retail operation and distribution model. Questions on issues designers would face when launching their own brand were also answered.
The delegation went on to visit the German Designer Club (DDC). Besides sharing of experience and ideas, it is hoped that the visit would open up more cooperation opportunities in terms of design and business. DDC designer, Olaf Schroeder, led a tour to his studio and show room, and shared his experience in design and online sales.
For the first time “Break the Cocoon, Sparkling Hong Kong!” Inspiration Trip took designers to Munich. The delegation was received by Bayern Design of Germany, whose Managing Director, Dr. Silke Claus, introduced the largest German design event – Munich Creative Business Week (MCBW). She also lined up a workshop, via Designaffairs, about new materials application and product design market survey skills, and arranged visits to local design companies for experience sharing. The organizer also brought designers to BMW Museum, the number one icon in car industry, to learn how BMW evolved from an aircraft engine manufacturer to a world famous car company, and to understand its marketing, branding and sales strategies.