Furniture Fair 2013: Chinese Company Uses Provocative Displays For Trade Show Promotions

by Julian Righetti on March 19,2013 in China Trade ,

One of the advantages to working in Shenzhen is our team can quickly visit local suppliers and trade shows. Trade shows can be a valuable way to assess potential suppliers and build relationships through face-to-face dialogue. This week’s SIFE (Shenzhen Furniture Fair 2013) surprised me though. Rather than companies showcasing their furniture and products, sellers put on a different sort of display. I was surprised how….provocative…. some of these exhibits were…..

There also were some very cool furniture designs, but the throngs of people seemed more interested in the beautiful bodies than furniture styles. If you looked past the human pyramids, there were some pretty good deals, either individual 1 MOQ orders or large purchasing opportunities. Most products seemed catered towards the domestic market though.

SIFE Furniture Fair 2013: Advantages to Attending

  • Great way to network and research market
  • Face-to-face contacts are always better than email communication
  • Quickly assess prices and product quality
  • Free Admission

We found several products with attractive pricing that some of our clients were interested. If you want to learn more about this furniture fair 2013, here’s the link:

In our opinion, one aspect of these types of trade shows in China is that

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they are often more related to company “face” and spectacle than actual deal-making. The more bizarre, grand, or unique a company’s presentation is, the more “face” or reputation gravitas a company has.

Furniture Fair 2013: Tricks of the Trade

Many Chinese companies use local foreigners, “spectacles” (like above), or anything “bizarre” by Chinese standards as marketing tools at exhibitions. This phenomenon, “white guy window dressing”, is often employed in business dealings when a Chinese company wants to seem more “international”. Once you know about it, you can quickly tell when the local expat drunk has been dragged out of bed and paid for 5,000RMB to showboat for Chinese or foreign customers, etc.

Some call it “White Guy Window Dressing.” To others, it’s known as the “White Guy in a Tie” events, “The Token White Guy Gig,” or, simply, a “Face Job.”

And it is, essentially, all

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about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections — real or not — to businesses abroad.



Hammersourcing is a trade services company based in Shenzhen, China. Contact us at

  1. Albert Wehmeyer says:

    Furniture can be a product of design and is considered a form of decorative art. In addition to furniture’s functional role, it can serve a symbolic or religious purpose. It can be made from many materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Furniture can be made using a variety of woodworking joints which often reflect the local culture.*,

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