Trade Fairs - Many opportunities

Search

Visitors

Try to approach each visitor on individual basis.  Remember your goals and the necessity to focus first of all on selected target groups.  

Professionals

This group knows the market perfectly and knows what to expect from your offer.   

Devote part of your time and energy to acquire new customers.  In the course of discussion prepare a good foundation for further contacts.  Do not go into too much detail about the offer, because the multitude of data bombarding visitors at the fairs makes them forget less important details anyway.  Focus on the most important features of your product.  You can, e.g. describe the market segment, your product exists on; underline factors, which distinguish your offer from others, and present benefits your potential customer would be able to reap from it.

At the same time remember to turn your participation in the fairs into an opportunity to maintain good relationship with regular customers, to look after good contacts.  

Professionals usually visit the fairs for a specific, strictly defined reason.  They are also at work, so respect their time.  When organising a meeting be punctual. Do not talk more than necessary. Be concrete.  

Remember, the fairs are the place to conduct white business intelligence.  Watch out for people, who cruise the fairs asking a lot of detailed questions.  Avoid answering questions concerning the policy of your company. Do not provide details disclosing your unique technologies, etc.

Journalists

The fairs show the essence of the market, so they attract many industry journalists.  It’s a good idea to show the media your best profile, to distinguish your company from others.  Prepare a special press info concerning the product you’re advertising at the fairs and distribute it together with other company information materials in a press folder.  You can add a small gadget with the company logo, as well.  

Apart from this, you just have to be open and show some initiative.  In the course of discussion you may try to position yourself as an expert.  If journalists accept you in this position, they might call you some day and ask for help.  Your openness might become helpful in the process of maintaining friendly relationship with the press.  

Individual customers

You should focus on this group at the B2C shows mostly, but it's good to remember about it at the industry events as well.

Individual customers require a little bit different approach than professionals.  Unlike company representatives, who are driven by rational decisions, individual customers usually make emotions-influenced choices.  You can draw their attention with promotions and various kind of events, tasting of delicacies, interesting gadgets and competitions.

Foreign customers

Communicating in the mother language of the guest would be a perfect solution but it's not always a possibility.  It’s a commonly accepted practice in the business environment to communicate in English. That’s why the fair personnel should be fluent in this language.  It may happen, that the language proficiency of the guest is too low for them to understand everything you say.  You should then try to rephrase your thoughts without giving away any impression of impatience.  You could try to win the guest’s heart by asking how is "thank you" or "you're welcome" in their language and then using these words in the right context.  Even if it sounds awkward, this effort will be considered a gesture of good will.  

A smile, a greeting handshake – these are universal signs indicating positive attitude towards the interlocutor.  However, do not exaggerate with the gestures. Some of them have different meaning in other cultures or can mean something totally opposite. For instance, your head nodding for a Bulgarian would mean a negation. If he wants to consent to something, he shakes his head.  So be careful with the gestures - they can be very misinforming.  Also, try not to hasten your guest. In many cultures such behaviour is considered offensive.  

You will probably be subjected to other cultural difference as well. Do not be surprised by them.  Attempt to adjust to your interlocutor's behaviour and when you’re surprised by something do not fret yourself about it too much. Your guest probably realises, that the mentality, approach and customs in your cultural environment may differ somewhat from those he represents.