The 2011 Spring Canton Fair came to a close just a few days ago. Luckily, I was able to go to Phase 3 with my dad and brother Chase, albeit just for two days. The Canton Fair is the oldest trade show in China and the world’s largest international trade show, and it has over 50,000 exhibits of dealers and manufacturers over a span of 2 weeks, divided in 3 phases. The one I went to was the last phase, which consists of textiles and garments, shoes, medical and health products, among lots of other things. To say that it’s an important event is an understatement, as a lot of things nowadays are sourced from China!
I was able to take a few photos before I flew to Hong Kong to meet with the rest of my family for our annual summer trip abroad. More pictures soon!
The front of Popark Plaza, which is just walking distance from the hotel we stayed in.
A quick snap before sunset (magic hour!) and before having a nice beef noodle dinner.
If it’s been raining in Manila recently, it’s been raining in China too.
Good thing the China Import and Export Fair is always held in this massive place with ceilings so rain will never be bothersome to people who flew in from different countries just for this twice-in-a-year event.
The Fashion Fittings and Accessories were located at separate tents, not at the main areas. Found lots of hats, scarves, and jewelry! But of course there’s always a minimum order quantity or MOQ.
Clothing manufacturers from all over China put up fancy booths to attract possible business opportunities with both locals and foreigners. The bigger factories are normally placed in the middle, but there are some interesting finds in the side exhibits too so it’s not enough to just go through the center aisle.
Shoes, and lots of them! If only they were for sale and not just for exhibition.
When hunger strikes, there’s a food court of sorts in each main building. I got myself a yummy cheese bread and some Starbucks for a much-needed caffeine boost.
I also found this nifty McDonalds with a calming Zen-ish view, perfect for people who want to relax after spending hours endlessly walking from pavilion to pavilion.
There were more than 5 halls just for clothing, and it’d definitely take you more than a day to finish everything. Found a number of jeans manufacturers, as well as factories who make different kinds of knitted things.
You could ride one of these to get to where the textiles and fabrics are.
The last area we went to had all these beautiful fabric swatches free for everyone to see and feel. There were also some manufacturers who were open to the idea of customized cloth and being sent a design to print on fabric - cool beans!
Before leaving for Hong Kong, my dad, brother and I went to visit the Guangzhou Tower, which is now the world’s tallest TV tower at 600 meters.
Guangzhou, you will be sorely missed! Hope to visit the next Canton Fair and visit tourist spots other than the tower next time!
Mid-April, I was very fortunate to be included in the roster of media people sponsored by Unilever Philippines to attend the Clear Technology Expo in Shanghai. It was an event held at the Unilever Research and Development Center and around 60-70 people from 7 different countries were there to witness the revolution that is New Clear.
Did you know that Filipinos have the highest hair washing frequency? Yet 77% still complain of scalp problems. Clear has discovered a breakthrough technology to solve this, thanks to the concept of total scalp care and Nutrium 10, a blend of resistance boosting vitamins and minerals that works on the inside to strengthen and rebuild the scalp’s natural resistance to scalp problems. And what’s even nicer about this is that not only does it stop at the roots, but it’s also a good hair care shampoo for the tips which are also prone to damage.
The press kit included 2 booklets, one about New Clear and the other a complete guide to a perfect scalp. The endorser on the cover is Xiao S, an absolutely gorgeous actress and singer who somehow makes me want to dye my hair black to look all sexy and vampy (but we all know how out of character that would be!).
Agoo looking chic in her oversized sunnies and matte red lips and Jessica seriously reading the morning paper.
Reggie from Style Bible and Kelda from Unilever Philippines.
Here are the people I went with and was lucky enough to meet because everyone’s just unbelievably talented and kind. Team Philippines: Charmagne, Kelda, Jennifer, Reggie, Agoo, Cheche and Jessica.
Most of the morning of the expo was spent for presentations and introductions. Francois Renard, the global vice president for Clear, shared insights on the paradigm shifts regarding the scalp. Victor Hugo Jr., the global brand manager (who is Filipino!) of Clear, introduced substance as the founding pillar behind the new mix. Dr. Graham Turner, a Discover category project leader, talked about the importance of scalp health. Amit Jayaswal, the global R&D director, introduced the breakthrough technology that is Nutrium 10.
After that there were important lab tours that provided some interesting inside information such as the formulation of the new technology behind New Clear, as well as a live demonstration of how Clear users have less hairfall and breakage compared to other brands.
(I was the only one in the bunch with really light brown hair, besides Agoo who had a slightly dark brown shade. We shared a few laughs on how they used my exact same hair color in their hair swatches as an example of damaged hair! They placed healthy hair and damaged hair in a basin and the damaged strands sank so fast it made me a little sad about the health of my own hair. Yikes!)
Back at the Swissotel Grand where everyone stayed, there were cocktails and brand immersion activities.
Francois Renard and Dr. Graham Turner answered some questions at panel.
Brand manager Paul Katimbang did a scalp test on Charmagne and she managed to get a pretty high score! After determining your scalp’s grease quotient, the program instantly recommends the best variant of New Clear for you. Was too scared to have mine tested because of the insane amounts of chemicals used in achieving my current hair color. Hair suicide much!
French fragrance expert Gaelle Clement showcased the winning fragrances used in New Clear. One interesting thing I learned from her was that Clear smells different depending on which country you go to and the fragrances are loosely based on existing local favorites and preferences. Clear Men here in the Philippines takes its inspiration from Clinique Happy!
Thanks Clear and Unilever. ‘Til next time, Shanghai!