International Trade Shows

                                                      Setting Participation goals

  Objectives are the starting point for company’s possible participation in a show or fair and are what will determine its subsequent actions. In setting goals, it is important to bear in mind that fair is not simply a place to sell products.
Fairs are the ideal events to find out about the latest promotional and marketing trends, and discover the latest novelties in equipment and packaging, presentations and technologies. In addition - and this is extremely important – they are useful places to find out what the competition is doing, make business contacts and interact with clients and consumers.
   To summarize, fairs are the ideal scenario for carrying out market intelligence and finding out about technological developments. With proper planning, they can be the best place to gather valuable information in a very short time.
Here is a list of objectives that a company may consider when deciding to participate in a show:
Find new clients
Identify agents or distributors
Penetrate/explore a new market
Introduce/validate a new product
Strengthen customer loyalty/raise the company’s profile (visibility)
Promote a product
Position or reposition a company brand
Carry out market intelligence and technological monitoring
Increase sales
When defining the goals you must ensure that these can be achieved with the financial, human and logistical resources available to the company. Therefore, it is important to set priorities: what do we really wish to achieve? We must also make an effort to set objectives that can be quantified.           

Selecting the trade show 
Shows certainly provide great opportunities to contact a large number of people, but the challenge lies in determining which ones are really of interest to the company. Entrepreneurs should 
therefore  devote sufficient time to researching the event that they plan to attend and make sure that it is appropriate or useful to their company. Before choosing a fair, it is important to remember
 that although a general classification exists, show organizers, in their desire to respond to the public’s needs, often organize events that combine various elements of different types of   fairs.   Below we list the most widely recognized show categories.       

                                      Criteria for selecting a show                                   
Choosing a show should be based on a number of criteria to help determine  which type of    event is best suited to the company’s needs. Below are some aspects to consider when making a selection:                                                                                                                                                
Type of fair: Is it a sectoral or general fair? Is it a professional trade show  or is it open to the general public? Or both? Is it a local, national or international event?                                         
  Geographic area: Where is it being held? Does the location respond to the   company’s                objectives? Will it help the company to contact a varied range of  international clients,                 regardless of the venue?                                                                                                                       Date: Is the date convenient for the company? In the case of fresh or    seasonal products, are there sufficient samples and are those samples  appropriate?                                                             Visitors: It is helpful to have an idea of the number of people who visited   previous shows,               previous shows, including the percentage of nationals and foreigners; the  type of visitors (producers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers); and the     sector(s) represented    (fresh produce, processed products, supermarkets, food services, organic produce, private brands, etc.).                                                                                                                                                    
Exhibitors: It is useful to know how many exhibitors participated in
previous events, including the percentage of nationals and foreigners; the
type of exhibitors (producers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers); the sector
represented (fresh produce, processed products, supermarkets, food
services); and whether previous shows were attended by companies that
compete with your company’s products or rather that complemented them.
Background and periodicity: Is the show well recognized in your sector?
How many shows have taken place? Has the number of visitors and
exhibitors increased or decreased at recent events?
The show organizers: Are the organizers internationally recognized? Do
they have experience in organizing fairs in their sector? Do they have
“pulling power”? Do they provide solid promotional campaigns? Are they
accessible? Knowing the show organizers and having an opportunity to
contact them is helpful and facilitates access to pre-show information.
Promotional activities: How is the fair being promoted by the organizers?
What type of publicity is used? Is the show advertised nationally,
internationally or both? In general, the organizers of these types of fairs
publish information online, but it is also useful to listen to the
recommendations of organizations that promote exports and the opinions
of companies that have participated in previous events.
                                     PREPARING FOR THE TRADE SHOW                                           
Good preparation has a decisive impact on achieving the proposed objectives. Therefore, once your company has decided to participate in a particular show, it is essential to begin preparing for the      event. We  recommend that this process begin one year before the date of the fair.                               Preparing the budget                                                                                                                              
Selecting individuals to represent the company                                                                                     
Arranging travel logistics                                                                                                                       
Reserving a space and decorating the stand                                                                                           
Training company representatives for the fair                                                                                        
Preparing promotional materials                                                                                                                Beginning promotional activities                                                                                                            Sending out samples                                                                                                                               

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