Global Guide

Canton Fair 2024 - A Complete Guide to The Ultimate Sourcing Fair

Here is everything you need to know about the Canton Fair, located in Guangzhou China

Canton Fair 2024 - A Complete Guide to The Ultimate Sourcing Fair

What is The Canton Fair

Also known as the China Import and Export Fair, The Canton Fair is the largest product sourcing fair in the world. It's been going on for around 70 years, and is the mecca for all things product sourcing.

China's Canton Fair sees exporters turn 'more aggressive', with foreign  buyers at a premium | South China Morning Post

Canton Fair Dates 2024

The 135th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) Phase Dates:

  • Phase 1: 15th-19th April 2024, 9:30-18:00
  • Phase 2: 23rd-27th April 2024, 9:30-18:00
  • Phase 3: 1st-5th May 2024, 9:30-18:00

The 136th China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) Phase Dates:

  • Phase 1: 15th-19th October 2024, 9:30-18:00
  • Phase 2: 23rd-27th October 2024, 9:30-18:00
  • Phase 3: 31st Oct.-4th Nov. 2024, 9:30-18:00

Canton Fair is grouped by category PLEASE GO TO THE RIGHT WEEK

Exhibition section of the Canton Fair

The first phase is dedicated to electronics and lighting.

The second phase focuses on consumer goods.

The third phase focuses on clothing

  • Phase 1
  • Electronics & Household Electrical Appliances
  • Lighting Equipment
  • Vehicles & Spare Parts
  • Machinery, Hardware & Tools
  • Energy + Resources
  • Chemical Products
  • Building Materials
  • International Pavilion
  • Phase 2
  • Consumer Goods
  • Gifts
  • Home Decorations
  • Phase 3
  • Office Supplies
  • Cases & Bags
  • Recreation Products
  • Medical Devices and Health Products
  • Food
  • Shoes
  • Textiles & Garments
  • International Pavilion

Largest-ever Canton Fair kicks off in Guangzhou, China

How much does it cost?

Badge for Canton Fair is free after pre-registration. But keep in mind, you get one badge and that is your badge for life. If you lose your badge you will have to pay for a replacement. It makes it kinda cool, because you see people with badges that might be 15 years old with their picture in their 20s.

Pre-register HERE using Buyer E-service Tool

Brief History of Canton Fair

The Canton Fair goes way back to 1957 and was formerly known also as the China Import and Export Fair. The original intention of the China government was to hold the Canton Fair to break the international blockade and earn valuable foreign exchange to buy important supplies.

Over the years, the Canton Fair has undergone and grown many changes and improvements. Before, it focused mainly on traditional Chinese products such as textiles and ceramics but as China's economy has grown and diversified, so has the range of products on display at the fair.

How to attend the Canton Fair? Importing from China to Australia

Partying at Canton

This is called Party Pier. It's close by to the fair and is typically the place to go out in Guangzhou. It will still be mostly locals, but this will be the place to run into other tourists or people attending the show. It's a string of bars and restaurants and a pretty good time.

Zhujiang Party Pier Beer Culture & Art Zone Tours – Guangzhou, Guangdong  Province, China | Synotrip

Shuttles at the fair

Most hotels, especially the american brands, will have shuttles to and from the show for free. They run really well and are super convenient. The thing is a close hotel might still take a 10-25 minute shuttle ride to get there, or a way cheaper hotel might be further and take 30minutes. Depending on your budget and how many rooms you need, it may make sense to do the latter. Or I would definitely say stay at a nicer hotel further than a closer bad hotel that's the same price. Just email the hotels and ask if they offer shuttles to the show.

Visa Free Travel

Here are the details. Make sure you are flying into Guangzhou to do this! If you go by train from Hong Kong I don't think this will work. I've heard of airlines not being educated on this though so please reach out to the airline before you book.

Bonus tips:

Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of Guangzhou. So when staying at the show, pick a nice hotel, because you probably won't want to go explore that much. You are going to be so exhausted after finishing up so going back to a comfortable spot makes a world of a difference.

Wear comfortable shoes, the show is literally the size of a city and you'll be walking a lot. To get an idea of how big it is, a normal expo will fill up 1 or 2 of numbers, below. Canton has 16...

Canton Fair 2024 – Product Development Academy

Also, this is how i recommend staying organized. Use your notes app and input pictures in live time of each booth youre meeting with. You can insert pics of products, videos, the business card, pictures of you taking a selfie with the supplier, and notes about the meeting. You will lose these cards or forget about the booth, so staying organized is a huge help. The selfie is helpful when the factory doesnt answer your email post show as well.

Bring business cards!

this is a non-negotiable. You need to be bringing cards with you to the show. You will look incredibly unprofessional without them, and expect to go through a lot of them because every booth you talk to will ask for one. They also call business cards "name cards". Watch this quick video on how to properly hand out a business card in China because it's very important.

Goodluck and see you at the fair!


How much does it cost to attend the Canton Fair?

Attending the Canton Fair is free of charge. However, visitors do need to obtain a visa to enter China and are responsible for their own airfare and hotel expenses.

How often is Canton Fair?

The Canton Fair is often held every spring and autumn in Guangzhou, China.

Is joining the Canton Fair worth it?

Yes, the Canton fair is worth visiting as it provides a great opportunity for buyers to meet their suppliers and build a rapport with them. The event also provides a chance to personally meet several exhibitors, negotiate prices and delivery terms, take a look at their work samples, and pay a visit to the manufacturing unit before closing the deal.

To view my list of other shows I recommend, check out this article here.