I am writing about the China Keqiao International Textile, Fabrics, & Accessories Expo that ran from May 5 – 8th, 2010 in Keqiao, China which is located in Shaoxing, China which is known as the Textile City of China.  I arrived into Shaoxing via train from Shanghai on May 6th and attended the show on the 7th, when I got there I had to negotiate with a taxi to take me to Keqiao.  It was total Chaos and it was difficult to find a taxi to take me to Keqiao, finally one taxi had two other passengers going that way, so we agreed that I would pay him 50 RMB to take me to my hotel in Keqiao.

The organizer (Shanghai Gehua Exhibition) of the show and the Shaoxing Government provided a free 3 star hotel and transportation back to Shanghai on the 7th.  The hotel did not have A/C and it was warm so I slept with my window open the whole night as a cool breeze was refreshing.  But the mosquitoes were an issue so I decided it would be best to sleep with the window open but the blinds drawn.  Below is a picture of the driveway to the hotel:

New World Hotel – Keqiao, China Entrance Driveway

This was my fourth time at this show; previously I attended this show two times and exhibited another two times.  The organizer and government offer free transportation from Shanghai and hotel (4 star) to the show from May 5th through May 7th for all foreigners.  All foreigners means anyone holding a foreign passport who wants to attend.  I find that 95% of the foreigners they brought from Shanghai are just there for the experience and not industry professionals.   I also noticed that the hotel option was also downgraded as my current hotel was now a Chinese 3 star hotel.

On the 7th I was told to be downstairs at 8:30am for a bus ride to the expo from the hotel.  At 8:30am there was a handful of people on the bus, at 8:40am I was told the bus departure would be delayed til 9:30am.  At this point I decided it would be best to take a taxi to the show, so off to the busy rush hour to flag a taxi.  I finally arrived to the show at 9:00am, see below photos from the entrance:

Gala Entrance with balloons all over

Main building entrance

The entrance to registration area was busy with lots of people vying for the free promotional information, see below photo:

Promotional Counter – Everyone wants what is free

When I got to the front the show it was still not open and well I was standing around I noticed a group of students, so I asked that what they were doing at the show.  They expressed they were university students from Shaoxing visiting the show for interest.  They all wanted a picture with the foreigner, see below photo:

University students at the Expo

When the doors finally opened I noticed that some of the exhibitors still had not opened their booth right near the entrance, see below photo:

Early morning, booths not open

Inside the actual tradeshow it seemed smaller than previous shows; the quality of exhibitors has diminished.  I was told it was a challenge to find the exhibitors and that most who come to this show want lower priced suppliers.  I disagree as at the previous show I found a handful of great fashion and premium suppliers.  Beside the main hall of the show they had heavy industrial suppliers of equipment set up, see below photos:

Industrial Fabric Knitting Machinery

Industrial Knit Machinery

Inside the show they had a trending area in the middle of the hall, see below photos:

Trending Area

Fabrics China Creation Competition

Robotic Trends

Fabric Trends

A few booths had models to show off their fashions, see below photos:

Model showing off their new fashions

Model mannequins

At 1:30pm I needed to leave the show to catch a taxi back to the hotel where I could catch the bus back to Shanghai.  Upon leaving the main hall below is a photo of what I saw as I exited the show:

Expo Service Counter

Back in front of the hotel it seemed like the fashion industry was in full swing as trucks and workers kept on moving fabrics down the streets and into shops, see below photos:

Bulk Fabric Shops

Truck transportation

Human Transportation, how far did this guy travel?

Non-stop busyness

In closing I find the show is challenged with its identity and purpose.  It will need a complete over hall and re-branding to attract the right buyers, exhibitors and media attention.  The region of Zhejiang, Shaoxing and Keqiao is strong in the apparel industry and the show must demonstrate more of their strength to show that it has staying power and can compete and compliment against the larger Tier 1 and 2 cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing.

If you have any comments or feedback please leave below, thanks and happy textile sourcing.