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‘tis the Season

The Northern Summer is over.  Business is getting back into full swing.  From Hong Kong to Las Vegas cavernous events centres and expo halls are gearing up to host entire industries even for a week.

New Zealand businesses have long been a presence at tradeshows along with businesses from all corners of the globe.  Attendance is motivated by many factors and comes in a wide variety of forms.  First timers may be walking the floor getting the lay of the land, seeing who is exhibiting and what the latest trends or innovations in the industry are.  It may be that more experienced exporters take the opportunity to catch up with as many key contacts as possible when they are gathered in one place. There are also those few New Zealand businesses who will have a fully branded physical presence with a major stand at a show for meetings, product demonstrations and to support their position in the marketplace.

Whatever the approach, it is vital to remember that New Zealand businesses travel a long way to hit a cluttered environment and there are some simple tips to make the most of your time in the market.

  1. Set your objectives – A visit to one market for just one tradeshow easily costs $5-$10,000 so there had better be a plan to make the most of the time with tangible outcomes to measure the value of the trip against.
  2. Research the market – Ensure you know why you are going there, who else is attending, what you want to see, intelligence you want to gather so that you do not head home lamenting missing any key opportunities.
  3. First impressions count – Ensure that you know how to present yourself and your business.  What are the protocols at the show in the country you are visiting?  Ensure that you are prepared and presented to the expected standard and that any collateral you are utilising supports your objectives and will leave a positive lasting impression.
  4. Plan months out – Trade show attendees are in high demand.  Decision makers and influencers are rarely found at their stands which are meeting places from which pre-arranges appointments begin.  Don’t leave it to chance.  Find out who you want to talk to.  What you can offer their business and nail down time to meet with them.

What preparation do you undertake to make sure you are ready for trade shows? How do you research and what, tips or tricks can you share about what delivers the best value?

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