Demonstrating children’s colouring products at a gift show in Japan brought back memories of my childhood. This may sound a strange activity for us to engage in, but this is just one very practical way we can support UK companies expand into overseas markets.
I was able to help promote products by UK companies at the Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS) from 1-4 February. The UKTI Japan team ran a “British Showcase” stand at the trade show and invited 3 UK companies to participate under our OMIS scheme. We thought this would be a great way for companies to test the market and introduce products without the need to be physically here.
TIGS is Japan’s largest business-oriented personal gift and decorative accessory international trade show. Key retailers, as well as importers/distributors, mail order houses etc visited the exhibition at Tokyo’s Big Sight. The previous TIGS in Autumn 2010 attracted over 190,000 visitors.
One of the three companies we represented was RenArt. They develop and sell a range of patented children’s colouring products under the Blendypens, Colorsplitz, Spritzer, Sprayza, Trio and Dotza trademarks.
We demonstrated their products on the British Showcase stand and sought feedback from potential buyers. The interactive and fun nature of the products meant our stand was incredibly popular with visitors! Buyers and demonstrators alike had a great time making pop-up cards, using finger puppets and making various artistic creations with stencils, airbrushes and other products.
RenArt products are aimed at children, but during the trade show I found a lot of adults really enjoying their products, returning to the innocence and creativity of childhood. In Japan, as we face a rapidly ageing society, perhaps products like RenArt’s which stimulate both children’s and adult’s spirit of play and creativity may enjoy success.
If you’d like to find out more about trade shows in your sector in Japan, or how the UKTI Japan team might be able to help you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.