Trade and Investment March 2011

Gift Show Nostalgia Trip

Plus two major events for doing business in Asia

Recently demonstrating children’s colouring products at a gift show in Japan brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. This may sound like a strange activity in which to engage, but it is just one practical way we can support UK firms expanding into overseas markets.

Between 1 and 4 February, I was involved in promoting UK products at the Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS). The UKTI Japan team’s “British Showcase” stand featured three firms that participated with the help of our OMIS (Overseas Market Introduction Service). We thought this would be a great way for firms to test the market and introduce products without being physically present.

TIGS, as Japan’s largest business-oriented personal gift and decorative accessory international trade show, attracted key retailers, importers, distributors and mail-order houses to the Tokyo Big Sight international exhibition centre.

One of the firms we represented is RenArt, which develops and sells a range of patented children’s colouring products under the Blendypens, Colorsplitz, Spritzer, Sprayza, Trio and Dotza trademarks. We demonstrated the products at the British Showcase stand and sought feedback from potential buyers. The interactive and fun nature of the products made our stand incredibly popular with visitors. Buyers and demonstrators had a great time making pop-up cards, using finger puppets and making various artistic creations with stencils, airbrushes and other products.

RenArt products are aimed at children, but during the trade show I found a lot of adults really enjoying the products that seemed to take them back to the creativity of childhood. In Japan, with its rapidly ageing society, success may lie in store for products, such as those made by RenArt, that stimulate the spirit of play and creativity in both children and adults.

For more details about trade shows in your sector in Japan, or how the UKTI Japan team can help, contact: (at)

UKTI Open Day
Calling UK firms in Japan, Japanese partners of UK firms in Japan, and distributors or agents for UK firms in Japan!
Interested in developing your business in Japan, South Korea or Taiwan? UKTI Japan will hold an Open Day on 22 March at the British Embassy Tokyo Ambassador’s Residence, commencing at 4pm to explain what assistance UKTI can provide.

We have a team of commercial officers, with experience and specialisation in industry sectors, who have helped numerous British businesses raise their profile and identify business opportunities. UKTI teams from Seoul and Taipei will be present to talk with firms hoping to grow in their respective markets.
For details and to register:

Doing Business in Asia Pacific:
Hong Kong, 24 March

Does your business want to explore new opportunities or further develop in the Asia Pacific region? Come and benefit from highly experienced business professionals and market experts—including a commercial officer from UKTI Japan—by learning from their “on the ground” first-hand experience and knowledge.