With the pandemic continuing unabated and international travel still greatly affected, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is reconfiguring its industry trade fairs and conferences in the first half of 2021 as part of its efforts to find ways to help Hong Kong companies continue to do business during the pandemic. In addition to enhancing its hybrid model that combines online fairs with physical fairs and symposiums, the HKTDC will also organize new local exhibitions and hold a number of its key international conferences online, including those targeting the finance, creative and marketing sectors.

HKDTC expects that difficulties in staging in-person trade shows in the first half of 2021 will have a significant impact on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It says it is reacting to this new situation in a flexible way, launching a new sourcing event, the HKTDC International Sourcing Show, that will consolidate seven HKTDC trade fairs originally scheduled to be held in spring. The new event will run from March to July 2021 and will be held in online and physical formats, exploring business opportunities across a range of industries. The seven exhibitions include the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong International Home Textiles and Furnishings Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week, HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair, and the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair (co-organized with CIEC Exhibition Company (HK) Limited).

Several of the HKTDC's physical fairs have been migrated online since the onset of the pandemic, with a new artificial-intelligence-driven business-matching platform, Click2Match, helping to bring buyers and exhibitors together. The International Sourcing Show is the first hybrid fair in both online and offline formats to be launched by the HKTDC, with participating buyers and exhibitors able to use an exclusive online exhibition platform for business matching and video conferencing beginning March 2021. The physical fair will be held in Hong Kong in July, helping companies to discover more new business opportunities once the pandemic situation has eased. HKTDC believes that the online-to-offline (O2O) format of the International Sourcing Show will help buyers and sellers alike be better prepared for the "new normal" business environment in the wake of the pandemic.

In addition to the seven above-mentioned fairs, the HKTDC Hong Kong International Jewelry Show and the HKTDC Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show have been rescheduled to run at AsiaWorld-Expo on July 2-6, 2021.

In addition to organizing physical and online exhibitions, the HKTDC will launch a year-round business promotion through its hktdc.com sourcing platform to connect local SMEs with global buyers. The theme for the promotion in the first quarter will be "Everything from Home," focusing on popular products such as computers and peripherals, fitness supplies, video games and kitchen appliances associated with the rapid rise of the stay-at-home economy. In addition, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will provide additional resources to expand the scope of the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF)—support that will help local SMEs explore more business opportunities through O2O promotional platforms.

To assist trading companies in getting a foot in the retail market and help their businesses recover from the pandemic, the HKTDC will launch a new public exhibition, HKTDC Lifestyle ShoppingFest, to be held from April 28 – May 2, 2021, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Details will be announced in due course.

Due to safety concerns, the HKTDC Food Expo and three concurrent public fairs have been rescheduled to the second half of 2021. Moreover, the HKTDC Education & Careers Expo, rescheduled to run July 15 – 18, 2021, will now be held concurrently with the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair and HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo (July 14 – 20, 2021) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Several events serving the finance, creative, marketing and professional services sectors will also migrate online for 2021. These include the Asian Licensing Conference and HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (January 11 – 15, 2021), the Asian Financial Forum (January 18 – 19, 2021), the HKTDC Hong Kong International Film & TV Market – FILMART (January 15 – 18, 2021) and MarketingPulse, to be held in March 2021.