As a buyer, going to trade fairs can be an important step to increasing your business. Fairs vary in size, but the world’s largest trade fair is the Canton Fair. If you’ve ever been to the Canton Fair, you were quite possibly overwhelmed by its complexity. It does, however, have a very wide range of choice.

At the fair, you’ll find 1.2 million square meters of space hosts and over 20,000 exhibitors. The problem is you’re competing with over 200,000 buyers. In a fair this size, many challenges arise. Even keeping notes of products that interest you is difficult. The fair has a huge scale. Coming up with a walking plan that is efficient is extremely hard to do.

If it sounds like a headache, it can be. Last month, however, a revolutionary new system was introduced to help with these challenges. Technology has stepped in to save the day for buyers. For the first time, a conference badge was issued to visitors. This badge contained a digital smart card. The card was designed specifically to help buyers do an expo power search.

The days of writing down business and product names that interest you are gone. Each product at the fair was given a bar code similar to those in a supermarket. If an exhibitor had something that interested a buyer, the buyer simply held up the bar code to their badge and the data was stored in a smart card. The end result of the power search was a digital list of the products that interested the buyer.

The name of the system is ExpoBee. The buyer can link product choices to a web site, and view not only the product, but the company information. The site also helps with comparison shopping. It can detect products that are in the same category and prepare a comparison shopping report. The ExpoBee software will even review your product choices and make suggestions about other booths you may want to visit.

When visiting a trade fair, it can be difficult to show too much interest when you see a product. This technology makes it easy to avoid this problem. You simply scan the label and show interest in a low-key way. Trade fairs are for gathering information, not price negotiation. This system helps stress the fact.

In China, there are three different levels of pricing. If you want the best prices, have a China-based trade assistant conduct your negotiation. The book, “Importing from China” recommends that you combine your fair experience with factories that meet your sourcing needs. The Fair is located in one of the largest manufacturing areas in China. Touring, and using a China-based assistant to negotiate, can make your entire fair experience a profitable one.