When you go to a business trade fair the key is in the preparation. If it is the first time you have been to one, fear may take over you and, for that reason, we have asked our expert in trade fairs, Pilar González, how she prepares herself whenever she has to go to one. Pilar is the Corporate Sales Manager at Dacsa Group, has been working in Dacsa Group for more than 14 years and is our expert in business trade fairs. For that reason, we wanted her to help us to write an action plan for those who go to a fair for the first time.
The first thing he wanted to emphasize is that, as important as the preparation and what happens during the fair is, a lot on the importance rests on how to act once the fair has ended. It is equally important on how you prepare for the business fair as what you do once you come back to the office after a few days of intense fair.
How to prepare a business fair
The next question you should answer is: Who is exhibiting at this trade fair? Is your competitor there? If you are planning to go to a fair and you do not find your competitors there, you’re probably making a mistake choosing the fair. In addition, having your competitors near, will help you to be always alert to new developments that may arise in the sector.
Finally, plan a good communication strategy. You should schedule the meetings that you can in advance and give enough time for the interested visitors to organize themselves. Take advantage of the days you are at the fair and try to meet your key customers outside the trade fair, try to meet them for a dinner or a coffee.
The stand must also be considered. When you choose the location, remember to avoid the corners and those places that are just for transit (it must be easy to find you). If the fair is huge, take care about the sector in which you locate. Put the stand with complementary sectors to your product. It is also important to take into account the size of this, this must be adjusted to your needs and budget, and always remember that you should highlight those products that you are presenting or that you want to enhance. A business fair is a very good place to present new products.
Finally, in terms of merchandising, make sure that the products you are going to give away are the right ones, are a small and manageable size and useful gadgets on a day-to-day basis. In addition, if we talk about international fairs, remember that the brochures must be accurately translated into the language of the fair.
During the fair
Do not forget that the stand is a representation of the company: try to keep it tidy and welcoming. The design of this must be consistent with the image of the group: logos, corporate colors, etc …
Take advantage of the fair. You are in a place that concentrates all the trends in the sector. Give yourself some time to visit the fair, to know what is going on in your sector, new products processes, packaging … everything! At the beginning and the end of the day, are usually the quietest hours, use those times!
Manage all the information you receive. Take a moment at the end of the day to get together with all the team about all the information received. During the day there are many visits and everything that you do not write down at that moment, will have been forgotten the next day. It is essential to maintain a good attitude throughout the day. Trade fairs are long and exhausting, but the 6pm visit is as important as the one at 10am.
After the fair
Do not delay in sending a thank you email to everyone who has visited you. Timing is important, and the first email should arrive quickly. Each visit will require different response information. Prepare the information well and try not to take a long time to send it. Set some deadlines for a second round of contacts (if you have not received a reply before). Finally, remember to keep all the information well stored . What today is not a business can come back in the future!
In Dacsa Group we have been attending trade fairs for many years. Originally we started with very sectoral ones, which have always been used as a meeting point with clients. Over the years, as the company has grown, we have expanded our presence at these events. Currently we can be found at several European (FIE, Snackex, Brau Beviale) and also international (Gulfood) fairs. During this time, we have put forward new product lines (special flours, preparations mix for bakery and baking, pastry, baby food, etc.), included new companies of the group and have seen our customers evolve.
On a personal level, Pilar affirms that the fairs have allowed her to concentrate a significant number of visits to clients at a single place and time, and to get to know the trends towards which the markets have been moving at each moment. Going to a fair is always an economic and personal effort, but, if it is well prepared, it ends up having more advantages in the medium term than expected.