Category: CITEM

Top design and lifestyle brands take center stage at Manila FAME October 2018 Edition

Now on its 68th edition, the country’s premiere trade platform for exports and design, Manila FAME, will gather the country’s best micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on October 19-21, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City, Philippines.

Limitless possibilities abound in Manila FAME 2018

The bi-annual trade show will continue to stand as a blank canvas for the country’s skillful artisans, providing a platform that nurtures creative freedom among entrepreneurs. It showcases the distinct design imprint of the Philippines to the global audiences.

For its October 2018 edition, Manila FAME will anchor on the shades of off white and ivory, the palest pinks and skin-toned hues. These soft colors are basic, discreet, timeless and classic. The perfect base that leaves plenty of freedom to add more.


                                  CITEM Executive Director Paulina Suaco-Juan

“To emphasize the teeming ingenuity of local designers and entrepreneurs, Manila FAME serves as a springboard where they can explore their imagination. This will help us take Filipino craftsmanship to the next level,” said Paulina Suaco-Juan, the newly appointed CITEM Executive Director.

Manila FAME will put together exporters, designers and retail brands from all over the country under one roof to highlight Filipino artistry in the global marketplace. It will gather the best products from homegrown MSMEs in the home, furniture, lighting, holiday and gifts, fashion, visual arts and “food as gifts” sectors.

Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, Manila FAME aims to strengthen the country’s position as a viable source of high-quality, and design-forward home décor and houseware products.

Design forward special features to behold in Manila FAME


Design Commune

The upcoming edition of Manila FAME will feature the third edition of Design Commune. This special setting was conceptualized to establish a steady designer-manufacturer relationship where designers understand the skills of manufacturers, and manufacturers recognize the significance of product design and development.

This collaboration will conceive a constant output of well-designed products, creating an extensive showcase that meets the buyers’ expectation of a sourcing destination. The products to be developed will be segmented towards various markets including Europe, U.S. and Japan.

The main special setting will be designed by award-winning artist Tes Pasola who previously worked as a co-curator in the Product Design Consultancy Program during the April 2018 Edition of Manila FAME. During the same period, she was commissioned to make paper art collages for the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manila.  She is part of Movement 8, a group of the country’s finest and choicest designers that seeks to establish the Philippines as a serious player in the international high-end consumer market.

Artisan Village

A staple of Manila FAME, the Artisan Village is a venue for masterfully made handcrafted pieces designed by Filipino MSMEs to be introduced in the international market. As part of CITEM’s commitment to promote the participation of local communities in Manila FAME, handicrafts from Antique, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, and Marawi will be displayed to showcase the artistic capabilities and product selection of local artisans.

Bamboo Extreme

Taking after the youthful energy of today’s generation, the Bamboo Extreme program pushes the use of bamboo as a raw material for high-end lifestyle pieces. It seeks to provoke and renew interest in the local resource, veering away from bamboo’s reputation as a “poor man’s material.”  Spearheaded by the Design Center of the Philippines, the program is a disruptive, conceptual presentation of the bamboo material as it speaks of adventure, exploration and experimentation through the application of bamboo into product collections that capture the millennials’ way of life.

Home and Wellness Pavilion

Another returning special feature for this edition is the Home and Wellness Pavilion. This special area will showcase a wide range of gourmet gifts, health & wellness products and services, and other fiber based goods manufactured by select grassroot communities supported by the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness Marketing Service (DA-AMAS).

KATHA Awards

To continue the tradition of giving recognition to design-forward local enterprises, Manila FAME will also hold the annual KATHA Awards, the hallmark of product design excellence and innovation. It will distinguish the most innovative local fashion and lifestyle industries among the Manila FAME exhibitors who continue to develop and redefine the prestige of Philippine design.

Interested buyers and exhibitors can check out the official Manila FAME website at for more details. You can also follow Manila FAME on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.

6 Things To Do For A Successful Trade Show Participation

6 things to do

Entrepreneurs join trade shows as a marketing strategy to expand their business and attract more clients. Micro-, small-, and medium-scale entrepreneurs (MSME’s) greatly benefit from trade shows because it helps them meet different buyers and traders who seek to connect with business partners.

Trade shows expose businesses to a wider and more diversified market by inviting sellers and buyers to come together and discover what the market has to offer and hopefully create a partnership with one another.

However, expanding your business does not begin and end on signing up for trade shows. Entrepreneurs also have to do some work to effectively utilize these shows to engage with potential clients. That day will surely be the busiest, so here is a checklist of the things trade show exhibitors must do to fully enjoy their stint in their upcoming trade shows:

  1. Know your target clients and send them invites.

The very first step to having a successful trade show is acquainting yourself with the people who will be there. Doing some research can help you better understand what your market wants/needs, when they need it, and where they want to get them. It will also help you know how to best present your products in a way that they be enticed into investing. Once you have nailed down their behavior and attitude, you can use your networking capabilities such as social media, e-mail and business groups you belong to, to get in touch with collaborators and customers to stop by and see what you have in store for them.

  1. Identify products you can showcase.

Many trade shows hire product specialists to help exhibitors gain more knowledge on how to present the best products they can sell to their target markets. This knowledge can help you easily identify which of your products would suit your chosen trade show and market best, providing you the opportunity to offer something valuable to the attendees.

  1. Come up with an inviting stand/ booth design.

Trade shows typically offer the booth and the space itself bare. When you finally get your assigned location, it is best to choose a design that highlights the selling point of your business and products. A well-lit and uncluttered booth is a simple and subtle way to grab people’s attention and attract many visitors.

  1. Get rid of chairs.

Unless they are part of your exhibit, putting chairs in your booth is a no-no. Sitting down may send the wrong message to your customer that no one is visiting your booth. The lack of chairs will also entice them to look around your booth instead of simply using your space to rest their feet from walking around the show too much. Besides, if you are occupying a small space, chairs can make what limited space you have look crowded.

  1. Gather contact info.

You know those people who said they will look you up and contact you when they get home? They probably won’t. Instead of simply giving out calling cards, be the one to get in touch with the clients by gathering their contact information. This will not only help you maintain contact with them, it will also entice them to buy your products or invest in your business.

  1. Have giveaways.

Everyone loves giveaways. Regardless if it is a small keychain or a sampler of your products, you are more likely to be remembered by visitors if you give out little trinkets when they visit your booth. Instead of giving out a cardboard calling card, you can be creative in your ways of handing out information about your company and your products.

And please, no brochures. Unless they ask, they would probably feel uncomfortable going around the venue lugging around a thick catalogue. The show organizers have already done the job of compiling the contact details of all the exhibitors in the show guide to save you from the extra work. Be more creative and give out your catalogue in flash drives or disks, which they can easily fit into their pockets, so they can view your catalogue at home or while on the go.

Trade shows are like house parties where you take a lap, greet the people you already know and introduce yourself to the ones you don’t. Entrepreneurship is, first and foremost, about networking so don’t hesitate to make some rounds and socialize regardless if they are potential clients, collaborators, or competitors.

Now that you know the basic rules of a successful stint in trade shows, you can now confidently check out the leading and most fab trade shows in the Philippines like the 68th Edition of Manila FAME on October 19-21 at World Trade Center Metro Manila. Manila FAME, where a wider market  comprised of foreign and local buyers convene in the country. The Center for International Trade Expositions And Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arms of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is the proud organizer of the Manila FAME.

Registration for interested companies are still open. You can visit the show’s official website at and find out if this is the right show for you and your products.


Gibson, J. A. (2016, May 25). 15 Trade Show Booth Success Tips. Retrieved from Huffington


Larson, R. (2014, September 25). 10 Top Tips For A Successful Trade Show Booth.

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YFS Magazine. (2013, August 29). 12 Trade Show Networking Tips For Entrepreneurs.

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#ManilaFAME: Why Using Social Media Is A Must For Trade Shows (Part 1)


Social media allow users to interact with others and, share and create content through online communities, making it a useful platform for promoting events and products. Incorporating social media in marketing anything ranging from events to products is a common practice in generating income and internet following.

On using #hashtags

Because of its wide usage, hashtags are no longer a foreign concept to advertisers and entrepreneurs. In fact, if you want to reach out to a larger audience and advertise anything related to your business and events, incorporating an appropriate hashtag to social media captions and posts would be more convenient. In the case of exhibits and trade shows, adding a hashtag your social media post (positive, of course!) about the event is necessary if you want to get more exposure on the platform.

Broad reach

As the world’s social media capital, there is not one Filipino who doesn’t have an account in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Because we get most of the information on current events and trends, logging into social media has become a routine rather than a habit, which makes information dissemination easier compared to other platforms. Within a single day, a post can reach thousands of users. Inviting people to trade shows are simpler today because an invite on Facebook can alert all of the users in your Friends list. Of course, it wouldn’t automatically translate to foot traffic; but, as long as it gets people talking, social media has already done its job.

Target audience

Through social media, you can target your intended audience in your posts. The one thing popular social media platforms have in common is that they allow your posts to simultaneously reach specific groups, often in particular locations. So if your accessories business is angling towards women in their late 20’s to early 50’s, there is a specific setting in the posts tab that allows you to do narrow down your posts to reach them.

Little to no cost

For many entrepreneurs, paying for advertisements on social media is not on the top of their priority list when you can use the extra money to buy more raw materials for your products. Social media is a free platform, which is greatly beneficial for entrepreneurs because it doesn’t cost much to send invites to prospective clients and visitors. Many platforms offer free advertising services to businesses while paid post boosting usually comes at a low cost.


By using your own words, and appropriate emojis, you can easily personalize your message, depending on the image of your brand/company, to your market. Many social media platforms allow personal messaging which makes communicating with customers, clients and collaborators on a personal basis much easier. Tactfully imparting your brand’s message can help you pull in more customers who seek healthy means of communication with their suppliers.

Instant feedback

May it be in the form of the quintessential ‘Like’ button or comments and shares, but feedback (or the lack of) is still feedback. It helps you determine if your brand’s message is reaching the right people; or, if there is something to be improved in the way you communicate with them. Many users post their inquiries in the comments section of posts, which is also a great way for you to gather feedback and connect with potential clients.


Organizing an exhibit is already taxing enough, so advertising your business should not be. Using social media in spreading the word of your trade show stint does not need high-level skills or high-end technology. As long as your phone has a connection to wifi, and an application that lets you connect to social media, you should have no difficulty inviting people to come see your show.

Narrowed search

Social media is a wide place, and hashtags play a crucial role in gaining interest in your social media posts. It gives necessary traffic and impressions, courtesy of users to properly market your products. Adding a hashtag to your captions and posts helps increase your social media presence because they make your content visible to anyone who has an interest in your hashtag. But it goes beyond accumulating traffic. Associating your business to appropriate hashtags also aids in building your brand by letting you engage with visitors and join in conversations.

From an entrepreneurial standpoint, adding hashtags to social media content related to shows you are a part of give you the opportunity to be noticed in conversations about the occasion and establish your company as a voice in such topics. Adding hashtags to your social media posts is not a trade secret anymore. In fact, failing to add a hashtag associated to your brand and events in social media causes entrepreneurs and exhibitors to miss the opportunity to reach out to market beyond the four walls of the exhibition venue.

Remember that using hashtags and social media in marketing your stay at trade shows is a two-way street. While you can get noticed through hashtags, it is also important to be committed in engaging to related conversations to maintain your relevance in your chosen hashtags.

Once you have made a social media account for your business, all you have to do next is join the country’s leading trade shows like the upcoming Manila FAME October 2018 Edition on 19-21 October, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, where you can keep your clients and collaborators updated. The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), is the proud organizer of the Manila FAME.

Registration for interested exhibitors is still open. For more information, visit the official website at



Business Queensland. (n.d.). Using Social Media To Market Your Business: The Basics. Retrieved from Queensland Government:

MacDonald, J. (2017, May 5). The Importance of Hashtags: Know Where, Why and How To Use Them. Retrieved from Business 2 Community:


DTI, GREAT Women partner to elevate PH women-led artisans in the int’l lifestyle scene

mf2Women artisans of Resilience One Butterfly Enterprise, one of the GREAT Women beneficiaries of Manila FAME April 2018

Women micro entrepreneurs will receive additional capability support as they prepare to showcase their products in the upcoming Manila FAME show on April 19-21 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

In time for the national women’s month, the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and the Design Center of the Philippines, partnered with the Gender Responsive Economic Actions for Transformation of Women Project 2 (GREAT Women Project 2) to develop the export capabilities of 30 female-led companies.

Women micro-entrepreneurs under the program will undergo a series of need-based capability building and training sessions, as well as product development and management mentoring from CITEM and Design Center.

GREAT Women Project 2 is a development and enterprise platform launched by the Philippine Commission on Women in collaboration with the DTI Project Management Team and funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The initiative highlights the importance of bolstering the capacity of women as entrepreneurs while providing them with support in developing new products to target specific markets and raise their businesses’ overall competitiveness. Additionally, it seeks to promote women’s economic leadership and empowerment as it develops women leaders through small enterprise development initiatives.

“Empowering women entrepreneurs and artisans will lead to the empowerment of the businesses ensuring that economic progress in developing countries like Philippines is linked to individual prosperity, gender equality, and shared opportunity,” said GREAT Women National Coordinator Marcelina Alcantara.

She added that the project provides women companies with a wider venue for national and international promotions, business-related trainings and workshops, and, most importantly, enhances their self-confidence, economic decision making, and social empowerment.

Manila FAME creative director Tony Gonzales will head the initiative and will work with design experts from Design Center. One collection between five to seven items will be worked on per company to be debuted at the upcoming Manila FAME show.

 “It’s all about maximizing what the buyers can purchase from the Philippines. We’re working with these women micro-enterprises to expand their product selections and offer a wider range of items for the trade buyers this upcoming Manila FAME,” said DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

“Working with the Design Center of the Philippines will provide these women with essential export capabilities in terms of design and quality, essentially supporting their sustainability and standing in the international market,” she added.

In addition, Design Center noted that the project goes beyond just product development. It looks to provide business opportunities to MSMEs when they join Manila FAME, while also highlighting the design capability of the Philippines as a supplying nation.

mf3Sen. Bam Aquino with GREAT Women Project 2 officers at their special setting during the 66th edition of Manila FAME

Under Gonzales’ creative guidance, the GREAT Women Project 2 will adopt the Manila FAME’s direction in incorporating Philippine aesthetics with mainstream design trends as a means of raising the marketability of the companies to international buyers.

The Manila FAME April 2018 show will mark GREAT Women Project 2’s third participation at the Philippines’ premier lifestyle and design event.

The Center for International Trade expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the proud organizer of the Manila FAME – the second longest-running trade show in the Asia-Pacific, and the only trade event in the Philippines approved by Union des Foires Internationales, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Italy.

Manila FAME is a bi-annual business sourcing platform of export ready and finely crafted furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories. It showcases the best of Philippine design and craftsmanship. For more information, please visit


Conquering Design Trends at Manila FAME

Internationally renowned designer Tony Gonzales explores PH aesthetics as MF creative director


Playing between the lines of marketability and aesthetics, Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design event, continues its exploration on design trends, the Philippine design identity, and product salability on April 19-21 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

Multi-awarded and internationally acclaimed designer Tony Gonzales will take the helm for the show as its creative director and product development program lead.

“The show’s 67th edition will put emphasis in the infusion of mainstream design trends in Philippine products and aesthetics as a means of raising the marketability of local products to international buyers,” said DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

At the frontline is Design Commune: Patterns and Palettes, the highly successful show scenography launched in the Manila FAME October 2017 show that paired designers with local micro, small, and medium enterprises to develop new products that fit identified material requirements, techniques, and price points.

“Trends influence the overall product selection and demand in the market and we want to utilize that in our products. But we will not simply follow trends, we will establish that when it comes to fulfilling market demand, the Philippines is at the forefront of it,” said Gonzales.

“This will then cause a cascading effect. As we help our artisans and manufacturers to embrace new trends and apply them to their products, we support their sustainability and standing in the international scene.”

Philippine aesthetics meet design trends

The second installation of Design Commune will be an extensive exploration of the design trends that were introduced during its maiden edition and their subsequent evolution.

Ethnic Nomad takes inspiration from a variety of ethnic cultures, patterns, and colors ranging from South America to Philippine tribes. For this edition, Ethnic Nomad will include Spring and Autumn variations, showcasing light and pastel colors for the former and warm and homey tones for the latter.

2017 saw the rise of warm metals and this continued on to the first quarter of 2018 without any signs of dying down anytime soon. Continuing on the neutral trends of last year, Neutral Metals incorporates gold, bronze, and silver as elegant accents to home décor and furniture to give a blend of earthy sophistication.

A classic, Neutral Blues explores the versatility of the color blue having been a constant in ceramics and crafts in Asia and Europe. The theme will include a wide variety of products crafted after the theme’s palette that includes warm and cool-toned blues alike.

Lastly, Tints of Green gives a more subdued look into the green trend that has swept 2017 and the better half of 2018. The theme takes on a cooler tone, shifting away from bright greens to deliver a more relaxing natural feel.

“We are excited to showcase the adaptiveness of our artisans as we showcase a contemporary collection that merges the distinct Philippine aesthetics with mainstream design trends and we are looking forward to see the buyer’s reception when they see Design Commune,” said Gonzales.

A total of 75 MSMEs will be working with Gonzales and his team of designers Tes Pasola, Detleft Klatt, and Reine Shih for the project. The maiden edition included 60 companies from across the Philippines and was a major factor in the launch of more than 1,300 new products during the show.

Platform for New Products

As a collective show, the themes of Design Commune will cascade to other special settings of the upcoming Manila FAME show, including the GREAT Women Project 2. Gonzales will also lead the product development sessions with 30 MSMEs under GREAT Women in partnership with the Design Center of the Philippines.

More than 200 product development workshops were conducted in 56 locations across the country last edition, which resulted in nearly 1300 new products developed and launched exclusively in Manila FAME October 2017.

The 67th edition of Manila FAME looks to exceed the number of products launched in the October 2017 show with more partner MSMEs.

The Center for International Trade expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is the proud organizer of the Manila FAME – the second longest-running trade show in the Asia-Pacific, and the only trade event in the Philippines approved by Union des Foires Internationales, a Paris-based association of trade fair organizers founded 90 years ago in Italy.

Manila FAME is a bi-annual business sourcing platform of export ready and finely crafted furniture and home furnishings, holiday gifts and décor, and fashion accessories. It showcases the best of Philippine design and craftsmanship. For more information, please visit