Fair trade – making the most of overseas exhibitions

International trade fairs provide an invaluable opportunity for businesses to target potential customers, win business, and boost your brand and reputation abroad, but you need to plan and orchestrate carefully. That was the message from LCCI’s recent seminar: How to make the most of trade fairs abroad which was held in the splendid library of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Niels Dickens of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce stressed that planning, preparation and perseverance were the keys to success within this competitive environment. Identifying the trade show that works best for your business objectives is critical, and will set businesses in the right direction to achieving their potential. Company staff can then focus on the details from perfecting their pitches to familiarising themselves with the event venue to help them stand out from the crowd.

Focusing on the importance of engaging with all visitors during t trade shows, Amelie Galatry from Promosalons revealed that of all business to business (B2B) marketers interviewed, 75 per cent believed that trade fairs and face to face meetings were the most effective tactic to get business.

One way to maximise this potential is through B2B brokerage meetings which are often arranged at trade shows, fairs, exhibitions or conferences but can also be standalone events. These give businesses the chance to meet a maximum of potential business partners within a short period of time, making the most of time in-between exhibiting.

Investment

Making the most of trade fairs abroad, however requires considerable marketing, investment and time from participating companies. Social media can play a key role and industry expert Warren Knight shared his experience in using the digital world to access potential clients. In an increasingly digital environment, 26 per cent of sales come from recommendations on social media. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are revolutionising the way companies can use the internet to make the most of international trade fairs, and with an average of 5,700 tweets being sent every second, this can be done faster than ever before.

Cutting costs and not corners was also a theme and Nghia Tran from the Department of International Trade briefed delegates on the financial support that was available to companies.


Nicole Subrovska, law student at the University of Surrey and International Business Intern at LCCI within the Enterprise Europe Network team

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