After three productive days, Paperworld China came to a close on a positive note after 12,857 visitors came to source from a total of 334 exhibitors in Hall 3 of the National Exhibition and Convention Centre (Shanghai). Both exhibitors and visitors applauded the show for offering vast business opportunities and reconnecting the industry.
Following a year full of unprecedented challenges, the industry required a meeting point to conduct business, share experiences and make new contacts, which is why both exhibitors and visitors eagerly participated in the fair. Positioned as one of Asia’s premier trade fairs for stationery and office supplies, this year’s show attracted domestic and overseas brands from Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the UK to take part in the three-day fair from 19 – 21November 2020.
On the success of this year’s Paperworld China, Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd remarked, “The pandemic and its related challenges did not stop us from continuing to provide a professional trade fair for everyone in the industry. Under the current circumstances, exhibitor and visitor attendance was strong and the show’s success simply would not have been possible without the support of exhibitors and visitors. I am also grateful for many overseas brands which arranged their local Chinese sales offices to represent them at the show.”
The atmosphere throughout the hall of the 2020 show was energetic, as participants engaged in business meetings and information gatherings. Some exhibitors also made use of the platform to cultivate their brand image by exhibiting with impressively designed booths. Thanks to the new industry tie between Paperworld China and the China Stationery and Sporting Goods Association (CSSGA), there were even more leading Chinese brands at this edition, including AP (China), Aton, Beifa, Changjian Paper, Chinjoo, Comix, Deli, Guangbo, M&G, Magi-Wap, Mont Marte, Snowhite, Sunwood, Superior, TuQiang and Wengu.
Nothing can replace the personal interactions that a high quality trade fair can offer. Zhang Chunya, Foreign Trade Manager of Jiangsu Changjiang Printing Co Ltd said, “Although there are a lot of online trade fairs in the market, frankly they are still not mature and their effectiveness is not particularly good. Only a physical trade fair can provide the much needed face-to-face conversations with customers, while also allowing us to better display our products to clients, which is essential in business.”
The company brought their patented anti-myopia (anti-short-sightedness) series writing notebook to the fair. The supporting feature is achieved through the use of specially designed yellow grids and light reflection technology. Thanks to its unique design, the product won the Gold Award in the paper products category of Paperworld China’s “Sidanxing · Best Stationery of China BSOC” Awards. Zhang added, “Paperworld China has reached a high level of proficiency in providing industry players with connections to both domestic and overseas exhibitors and visitors. As the Chinese government advocated, while we expand our domestic markets, we should not give up on the international market. Access to overseas markets is one of the unique advantages that Paperworld China provides to the industry.”
As a trusted convergence point for the stationery and office supplies industries within the region, Paperworld China has helped the industry get back on its feet and reshape the business agenda for 2021. Sunwood Holding Group is one of the biggest stationery and office supplies manufacturers in China. At the show, Sunwood showcased their new series of stationery for exams. The products are designed specifically to meet the needs of examinations. The company’s pencils, for example, are optimised for computer scanning. Commenting on the valuable business opportunities that Paperworld China provided, Wang Xinjun, Product and Marketing Director of the company said: “The demand for stationery has decreased due to the pandemic. However, now that the entire country has basically recovered, the demand has returned to normal. The show offered us a good opportunity to meet our target customers and business partners, who also see rising demand in the market.”
In terms of the future outlook of the industry in China, Tianchang Jiafeng Art Supplies Co Ltd was among many industry players to express confidence about the market prospects. The company is the authorised distributor of Mont Marte, which is a top-notch Australian art supplies brand of high quality oil paints, easels, paints brushes, colour and drawing pencils, drawing pads and sketch books. Chen Feng, Managing Director, explained: “China’s economy is growing, and the next stage of this growth will see developments in cultural education. Now that the Chinese economy is expanding again, the arts and culture sector will rise in tandem. In other words, there is great scope for development in our sector.”
Buyers applaud product variety
Among many things that make Paperworld China a highly effective business platform is the way it presents different product segments to buyers at the show. In addition to the four themed product zones (Smart Learning and Stationery Trends, Tomorrow’s Office, Creative and Cultural as well as Art and Painting), a unique area called “Small yet Beautiful” was featured.
Xu Lai, Director of Muwei Culture Communication Co Ltd was among the many visitors to attend the busy “Small yet Beautiful” showcase. He explained the value of the area, saying, “I’ve already identified many good stationery products, and some DIY items which are both practical and entertaining. Specifically, I have to mention the “Small yet Beautiful” area because it impressed me so much. Products of various brands are placed in one dedicated area, and those items are exquisite, creative and attractive. The area provides new merchandising ideas for stationery retailers, which will help them to increase their sales.”
Another trade buyer, Elena Volkoskaya, Office Head of the Shanghai branch office of Budi Basa, a toy brand from Russia, reflected on the great opportunities to connect with Chinese manufacturers at the show. “Our target customer groups also include buyers of stationery, cultural and creative items. Therefore, we came here to find new cooperation opportunities in this field and to expand our product line. Here, I was able to find quality brands both from China and overseas, as well as high quality Chinese OEMs, which help us quickly and efficiently get an understanding of the overall stationery market. Paperworld China has given us a lot of inspiration, particularly in terms of future collaborations. We have already identified a couple of exhibitors, and we intend to have meetings with them to discuss cooperation plans.”
Fringe events reveal trends and mandatory government standards
The fringe programme took emerging trends into account, such as China’s growing internet-based office market, which has gained traction amid the pandemic. High-level management from three Chinese stationery heavyweights, Deli, Comix, and Sunwood shared their valuable insights on the smart office market at the “Forum and Annual General Meeting of the Office Supplies Professional Committee of the CSSGA”.
Commenting on its utility, Victor Yu, Vice Secretary General of the CSSGA, said, “Some of the industry’s leading companies have experienced double-digit sales growth during the pandemic. Their experience sharing certainly helps the audience members. Participants are interested in the forum because they want to learn more about effective marketing and product development. Information on these topics is highly relevant to them. For many participants, a lot of the information that was covered was novel. The forum offers a very professional exchange platform for the industry.”
An audience member, Ming Han, Senior Designer of Shanghai Hero Group Co Ltd, stated that he would allocate more time to attend fringe programme events at coming editions. He said, “I want to collect the latest industry information on behalf of my company and also broaden my design ideas. The speakers impressed me a lot. Professor Zhang Zhan, Dean of the College of Applied Art & Design, Shanghai Polytechnic University, for example, shared a lot of inspiring ideas on how to create innovative designs. The forum brings together the industry’s elite brands, and greatly benefits audience members like me. In the post pandemic era, I think all different corners of the industry should innovate and focus on product improvements to stand out.”
The “Sidanxing · Best Stationery of China BSOC” Awards was the event that everyone in the industry was anticipating because of the high levels of recognition that it receives each year. The Awards identify excellent designs produced by forward-thinking manufacturers. In 2020, the Gold
Award winners impressed the jury panel with their exceptional products. For example, in the student supplies category, a practical clothing marker produced by Trodat provides a perfect labelling solution for children’s clothing and other personal belongings because it makes durable markings on textiles products. In the office supplies category, M&G Stationery’s innovative and patented automatic tape cutter is quick and easy to use with a single hand thanks to its concealed cutting blade design for safe use.
Other fringe programme events such as the “Request in common use of security for student’s articles” seminar and the “China Stationery & Book Retail Industry Forum”, offered information on compulsory national standards, as well as exclusive insights into the changing dynamics facing the stationery and office supplies industries.
Buyers, who were unable to travel to Shanghai due to the travel restrictions, were provided with the opportunities to remotely source products and connect with Chinese manufacturers and suppliers thanks to Paperworld China’s newly launched online business matching programme. From 9 to 13 November, a sourcing session was organised for buyers in Turkey, consisting of a total of 166 meetings. Another session took place from 16 to 20 November for the Middle East market, in which 173 meetings were organised. Each of the sessions was attended by 50 manufacturers and suppliers as well as 60 overseas buyers. The total transaction value of the two sessions is estimated to have reached USD 7.80 million.
The next edition of Paperworld China will be held from 15 – 17 October 2021.
Other Paperworld brand shows include:
Paperworld Frankfurt am Main
Paperworld India / Corporate Gifts Show Mumbai
Paperworld Middle East / Playworld Middle East Dubai
Hong Kong International Stationery Fair Hong Kong
For more details about these fairs, please visit