Before selecting a fair in which to participate, the objectives for doing so need to be defined. These we have already briefly mentioned and may include:

  • Gathering information about the marketplace that will help you with your export marketing strategy
  • Getting customer feedback on the products you have to market
  • Identifying potential buyers and/or representatives
  • Learning more about the competition and the products they have to offer
  • Taking orders and/or to selling your products

Linking your trade fair objectives to your export and research objectives, and marketing strategies

It is obviously important that your trade fair objectives tie in with your overall exporting objectives, as well as with your research objectives and planned export marketing strategies. After all, you will be using the trade fair to gather market information and this information must support your other information gathering objectives. You may, for example, find that there is some pertinent information that you are missing and the trade fair will provide an opportunity to focus on getting the missing information.

Similarly, you will be using the trade fair to market your firm and your products. It is therefore essential that your efforts at the trade fair are closely linked to your export marketing strategy. If, for example, you intend to make use of an import agency to enter the market, then one of your trade fair objective may be to identify suitable agents. On the other hand, if you want to ensure that your product meets customers’ needs, then you may want to ask as many potential customers what they think of your product(s).

Once you have set your trade fair objectives, the next step is to identify a suitable trade fair to participate in – one that will meet most of your objectives.