Trade fairs are an excellent way of researching
and entering foreign markets and should form a core part
part of any exporting firm's export marketing strategy.
A trade fair represents a concentrated exhibition in space and time of the products
and services of hundreds, even thousands, of producers.
They are generally held annually and range from highly
specialised events focusing on a single industry, such as the Futurex exhibition that is held in South Africa each year, to very
general fairs such as our own Rand Easter Show.
Trade fairs provide an opportunity for companies
to introduce their firms and products to the foreign marketplace
and to check out the competition. The benefit of trade
fairs is that it all happens under one roof, thereby saving
you time and money in reaching prospective customers. Good
trade fairs will attract many buyers and sellers together
at one time and at one place and they therefore represent a concentrated
market in which you can gather information, learn about
the foreign marketplace and trends in the marketplace,
get customer feedback on your export products, identify
buyers and/or representatives, learn about the competition
and their products and even take orders. In order to be
successful with your trade fair, however, it is essential
that you plan your exhibition properly. For this reason
it is important to:
- Understand the different types of trade fairs
- Formulate your objectives for participating in a trade fair
- Select a trade fair that will meet your objectives
- Prepare a budget for your trade fair
- Book the stand
- Organise to participate in the trade fair
- Actually participate in the trade fair
- Ensure that you follow-up on your trade fair participation afterwards
We now move on to discuss each of these steps in more detail.