Industrial marketing - business to business marketing

" Sales begin long time before the salesman picks up the phone "

How to participate with success to expos

Expo and fairs

How to participate with success to expos

Summer is over. It’s fall again. Many expo and fair centers reopens with fresh forces even in difficult economical environment. Even this year when companies have less money to spend on marketing and expos, a lot of them don’t want to renounce to participation to expo and fairs. The most important thing is to profit after every penny we invest by getting new customers.

Participation to regional, national and international fairs is an excellent opportunity to build up new business partnerships, to build company’s image, to present company’s business or products to potential and existing partners.

Unlike traditional advertising (ATL), PR events, or expos can offer a much more personal experience, because at this events we can influence our costumers trough almost all of their senses. At many occasions they do have the opportunity to live test the products or services.

Why do we participate to fairs?

Possible reasons, goals to participate:

–          launching new products

–          new market’s research

–          competitive analysis

–          customers’ data base development

–          developing commercial partnerships

–          building company’s brand

We have to pay attention to the following:

The first major step to expo participation is the right selection of the expo. We have to pay attention to the place and period of the expo, the precise theme of the expo (general, technical, consumer goods, automotive industry, tourism ..), the organizers, it’s brand, the visitors, the costs of the participation and the budget of the event.

Then we have a long list of important actions. We recommend a well defined action plan, maybe a Gantt.

–         stand reservation, month before the event, (specifying dimension, position, facilities)

–         preparing the advertising materials (product catalogues, flyers, banners, posters)

–         sending personal or trough media invitation to existing and potential partners, stakeholders,

–         logistics

–         selection and training for stand staff (company’s employee and hostess)

–         building the stand: rented from the organizers (cheaper and faster to prepare) or custom made (with much more effects on image)

–         the effective participation to the event: reception of the visitors, presentation of the company and it’s products, making contracts, obtaining demands and data

–         final action: disassemble the stand, packaging, data processing and using, and follow-up.

The positive effects of the expo can be pushed further by a series of methods: short interactive programs at the stand (product presentation or mini-conference), visiting potentials partners stand with specific business gifts, maybe unusual gifts.

Data processing and using them is vital. We don’t have to forget “promises” we made at the expo to customers – send them quotations, visit them, call them. A simple thank you call or e-mail could have a very positive effect in the following days or weeks.

Don’t forget participation to a fair has a long term effect. It’s very rare that we can sell as much at the fair that we can cover our expenses. But, what is important, that some customers may remember after months and make a bid or when next meeting them after long weeks they may accept much easier an offer to cooperate.

“Selling begins long time before the sales man calls”. We have to support the sales force by specific business to business communication.

Szekely Szilard

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Posted on : Sep 09 2010
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