Creating a successful image
Trade fairs are a vital part of the communication package for many exporting companies
as part of their marketing strategy. Trade fairs have a direct effect and an indirect
impact on the exhibitor’s sales. The direct sales effect being the sales coming from visitors
of the trade fair booth and the indirect sales effects, that stem from the fact that
visitors become more aware of and interested in the participating company’s products
or services. The indirect effects matter especially for new products.
Attending a trade fair is a very expensive, time and energy
consuming activity. It is imperative to prepare the company’s
participation carefully and to decide on the objectives to be
achieved through participating in a trade fair. It is also important
to plan the company’s participation several months
in advance and to choose the types and strategic locations of
the fairs carefully.
There several types of trade fairs are:
Trade fairs are often promoted in trade journals. The Curaçao
Chamber of Commerce maintains a list of interesting trade
shows locally and abroad.
Keys to success for an exporter at a trade fair
Research has revealed that a majority of buyers use trade
fairs as a primary source of information when making annual
purchase decisions. A firm’s stand illustrates the capabilities,
effi ciency and commitment of the fi rm. The exporter should
think of the stand as an introduction, and the means of making
a good fi rst impression, essential to attracting potential
customers. Firms with limited space can compete in the trade
fair arena by using good design techniques and a well-trained
staff. There are simple techniques that small fi rms can apply
to make a strong impression.
The trade fair stand must perform the dual role of being an
effective showcase for the fi rm’s products and services, and
at the same time an effi cient platform for demonstrations,
discussions and sales. Research has shown that fi rms exhibiting
at trade fairs have approximately seven seconds to capture
the interest of passers-by.
The stand surely must not look cluttered. It must have enough
room for people to come in and look at products displayed. If a
demonstration is needed, the stand must be large enough for
a suffi cient number of people to have a clear view.
The key to success lies with the staff present. Staff must be
friendly, easily to approach and well informed about the firm’s
products and services.
Typical costs of participating in a trade fair
Costs can vary greatly depending on the trade fair. To prevent
over-spending, it is essential to prepare a comprehensive and
realistic budget, and then adhere to it.
To ensure that a participant does not over- nor under-spend
on various exhibition-related activities, a detailed listing of
all possible areas of expenditure must be made in advance
and then resources allocated proportionately. Typical costs
STAND COSTS. Consider space, stand design and construction,
electricity, water, waste, gas, graphics, furniture, floor
covering, equipment, fl oral decorations, transportation, lifting
and handling costs, internet connections, insurance, storage
STAFF AND STAND RUNNING COSTS. These may include
staff training, hotel accommodations, staff uniforms, exhibitor’s
badges and passes, catering and hospitality.
PROMOTIONAL COSTS. Budget for preparation and production
of press information; rental of rooms for press conferences
and seminars; design an production of sales literature;
pre-show publicity, including design, production, mailing list
preparation and/or rental form a commercial list provider;
sponsorship of fair events on websites; fair-linked advertising
such as gifts, souvenirs and stand photography
Source used for this article:
‘Trade fairs: creating a successful
International Trade Forum;
The magazine of the International