Twice per year China holds a trade show commonly called the Canton Fair, based in the city of Guangzhou. (Canton is its old English name.)
Canton Fair includes roughly 4.3 million square feet of exhibition space. (That’s the equivalent of 72 US football fields.) Over four weeks, 200,000 buyers from all over the world are drawn to the Canton Fair. To call it a mammoth feat is to entirely underestimate the scale of this operation. While I’m looking at pens and jotters and mugs, other people are looking at washing machines, motorcycles and garden statues.
If you’ve done this journey (likely hundreds and thousands can relate to what I am talking about right now), you know that it’s filled with extremes. It’s challenging and exciting, difficult and worthwhile.
On these trips, I also take the opportunity to visit some factories. The factories are very open and they let us take photos and movies of the manufacturing process. We share these internally, so we have a stronger understanding of how things are made. That helps us do a better job of designing new products or re-engineering products to hit a better price point.
Anyway if you think I’m going to write and tell you about all the cool stuff I’ve seen, you must be kidding! There is no way I’m sharing any of that right now, you’ll have to wait.
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