I am writing to report on a tradeshow I was invited to attend from May 21st through May 23rd which is called the 2010 Chinese – Maqiao Warp Knitting Expo which was held during the Chinese Warp Knitting Week (May 18th – May 23rd) in Haining, China.  It was a busy month and I didn’t think I would be able to attend but I found an evening and a day to attend and was there for the opening ceremony on May 21st.

The day before the show I called my friend in the government to ask her about attending the tradeshow and she advised she would look after me and my assistant during my visit to Haining.   So early Thursday evening I took a train from one city to another to make the event and was welcomed by a driver and four star hotel compliments of the government and expo promotion council.   The next day I wanted to be at the show early so I had the driver take us there at 8:30am.  When I arrived there were not many people there and the exhibitors were preparing for the opening, so I took some pictures of the venue, see below:

Street View, Warp Knitting Week, Warp Knitting Mart and Tower in the background

The gated entrance with the tents in the background

The schedule for the week – “Chinese only”

Tradeshow Tents

The registration area outside the tents at 8:45am

Shortly before 9:00am the government officials, organizers and delegates arrived below is a picture of the excitement with video and camera crews:

Government, Organizers and Delegates arrive otherwise known as “GOD”

The opening ceremony started at 9:00am, it was a beautiful day and the sun was shining.  Below are pictures with government officials and organizers giving speeches, wishes, and preparing for the inaugural ribbon cutting.   The great thing about the show is they took into consideration there foreign guests and all speeches were in Chinese and English.

Government, Organizers, Delegates (GOD)

The audience (Ms. Yu and I)

Ribbon Cutting and celebration of the opening of the Warp Knitting Expo

The show took place in two places, one was the outside tents were the registration and ribbon cutting was and the other was inside the China Warp Knitting Mart.   Below is a photo from inside the tent right after the opening ceremony.   The isle ways were busy.

Tradeshow isle after opening

I spent the morning visiting all the relevant suppliers in the tents.  It was good to discover new warp knitting suppliers offering jerseys, dazzles, mesh, lace, gingham cloth, waffle cloth, bleach cloth, mop thread and other sport/athletic fabrics.  As well there were some suppliers offering non warp knitted products such as jersey twill, jerseys and denim.  I ended up taking 280 product shots that will be featured on SourceTheGlobe.com in the near future.   I will also report my discoveries to specific clients; if you would like to be included on this list let me know?

At 11:00am I was advised it was time to go for lunch and we should meet back at the front near registration.  When I got there at 11:15am I was told to wait, so that’s what I did.  I noticed a lot of Yellow shirts (employees) standing around and only a few people at the registration area, see below photo:

Registration area at 11:10am

Finally we were taken by a Van with other foreign and local guests to the local restaurant which is owned by the Haining government.   When I arrived speeches were talking place at the restaurant.  See the picture below from inside the restaurant.

Speeches and Lunch

By 12:30pm we were finished lunch and I was heading back to the show on a bus as I was eager to visit the China Warp Knitting Mart.  When I got back to the show it appeared as everyone had left and there were only a few visitors in the Mart and at the show below is a picture from inside the mart and inside the tents:

China Warp Knitting Mart, 1:00pm

Tradeshow tents, 1:30pm

Back inside the Mart at the entrance they had a fashion show that featured warp knitted fashions that took place at 2:00pm, there was a handful of attendees/exhibitors that watched, see photos below:

Fashion Show – Warp Knitted Fashions

Fashion Show – Warp Knitted Fashions

Fashion Show – Warp Knitted Fashions

Fashion Show – Warp Knitted Fashions

Fashion Show – Warp Knitted Fashions

After the fashion show I spent another hour at the tradeshow in the mart and tent then hurried to the train station to see what was available for a seat to Shanghai, when I go there the line was out the door (30 minute wait) of the railway station, see below photo:

The 30 minute line up to purchase Train Tickets, Haining, China

When I finally go to the front of the line I found out that there were no more seats left on the fast train to Shanghai but I could have a standing space on a one hour journey which I gladly accepted.  Below is a photo of standing room only during the journey:

Fast Train Standing Room Only – Haining to Shanghai

The next day I spoke with an exhibitor inside the tent about the attendance on day two of the Expo and she advised there were not many people, she advised that the show ended early.   But she was ecstatic to see her favorite singer (Coco) on the evening of 22nd but advised the weather was not nice as it was cold and rainy.  She advised that there were about 5,000 people who turned up to see the show even with the bad weather.  See below a picture I took of the stage area for the concert which was located behind the mart and tower:

Concert Area

To conclude warp knitting is something every sport/athletic team will utilize and a few fashion and lingerie brands may also apply to their designs.  In addition warp fabrics/fibers are used in awnings, cloths and mops.  A show like this has many hurdles and challenges as warp knitting is very market specific and most warp knitting fabrics are staple products that do not change often.   If this is your business I believe it is a good show for you to visit and say hello to your existing and possible new suppliers as well as it’s a great opportunity to meet relevant government officials.  If you plan on attending let me know and I can try to guide or go with you.  If you can’t visit and have a specific question and/or want, and need please send me an email.

If you would like to share any comments or stories please leave a comment.   Thanks and happy warp knitting sourcing…