The creativity and inspiration of the 30th combined Bangkok International Gift Fair 2010 and Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2010 (better known as BIG+BIH 2010), the Southeast Asia’s largest gift and houseware show, is on display at the MAISON&OBJET in Paris on September 3-7, 2010.
The Thai Lifestyle Product Federation, working closely with the Department of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce and the Royal Thai Government Office of Export Promotion Activities, has been organizing BIG+BIH twice a year in April and October since 2001. A presence at this October’s show has already been confirmed by over 600 companies from Thailand, South Korea, Switzerland, Indonesia, Ghana, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, who will be displaying their innovative and inspired furniture and home décor, artificial plants and flowers, handicrafts, spa products, textiles, toys and stationery at the 40,000m2 exhibition hall. Ninety thousand visitors are expected to attend the only all-ASEAN showcase of the best of the region’s lifestyle products over the four trade days of October 19-22 and two public days of October 23-24.
The Thai Lifestyle Product Federation serves as ambassador of the country’s lifestyle industry through the collaborative efforts of its seven member associations: the Thai Gifts & Premiums Association, the Thai Toy Industry Association, the Thai Housewares Trade Association, the Northern Handicrafts Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NOHMEX), the Thai Stationeries and Office Supplies Association, the Thai Design & Objects Association and the Home Decorative Design Association.
BIG+BIH October 2010 with its theme “Soul and Style of the Orient” aims to showcase the evolution and development of oriental design and creativity as it has responded to the continuing changes of the past decade. The designs on display will not be just Thai or national styles but “Oriental Chic, Modern Design” crafted of materials and using processes that are in line with international standards of quality and safety.
“There is a very nice ambiance and atmosphere at BIG+BIH similar to MAISON&OBJET. So while not the biggest show, it’s the most beautiful one in the region – quality over quantity. Our uniquely Asian inspirations have made these products beloved around the world. To create an impact for the people who attend the fair, we need unique products, but we also emphasize unique booth design, and more and more of our companies are paying attention to this,” said Mr. Somchai Thanapolkiat, Director of the Thai Lifestyle Product Federation and President of the Thai Design & Objects Association.
“Home decorative gifts and premiums, housewares, toys and stationery items will be presented at what will be a very homey affair in both its atmosphere and design.”
In 2009, the total export volume of Thai lifestyle products reached 2,200 million euros and is expected to increase 12% to 2,470 million euros in 2010. The export value of gifts and houseware products during January-July 2010 has already risen to 1,320 million euros – a 17.8% increase over the same period last year. The largest buyers for Thai lifestyle products are in the US, Europe and Japan.
The global economic downturn has presented problems that have required some creative solutions. “It doesn’t matter if the economy is up or down – we still innovate products, and we create tailor-made designs and products for customers. For example, over the past two years, the number of products we offered was lower but the variety was greater. We’re not mass-producers.
For the past five years, we’ve been selling items by the container, but now we provide a mix in the container to meet the needs of buyers,” commented Ms. Duangjai Koosrivinij, Director of Thai Lifestyle Product Federation and President of the Thai Toy Industry Association.
“The really big manufacturers in China and other mass-production-based countries have suffered enormously from the economy,” Mr. Thanapolkiat added. “But we haven’t been affected that much because we are smaller, which allows us to be nimble and flexible and adapt very quickly. The most important thing for us is that we are all on the same page, support one another, and send a unified signal to the world that we’re still here and creating something new and exciting – so come to the show and let our quality speak for itself.”
Everyone involved is working to assure that visitors are amply rewarded for the trip. For example, the venue for BIG+BIH has been moved to Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC), a high-tech, ultra-modern convention facility that is much closer to the city center than the previous site and just a 15-20 minute drive from the new International airport. On arrival, dedicated VIP immigration lanes for BIG+BIH participants will free them from having to queue up with other travelers, and shuttle buses will take them to their hotels or to BITEC with its comfortable Buyers Lounge complete with translators. As everyone who has visited the country knows, the Thais are as hospitable as they are creative.
Moreover, the Federation which is supported by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau will be giving away fabulous incentives to buyers who pre-register at the Federation’s website which is bigandbihfair.com. These items include fully paid trips to magnificent destinations such as Samui and Pattaya, as well as complimentary hotel rooms at two of Bangkok’s most luxurious 5 star hotels and much more.