Making a Difference in Trade Fairs

What is a Trade Fair?

The purpose of the trade fairs is to promote and transfer the goods and services that are the subject of trade, and the technological developments, information and innovations related to them, through setting up stands. Trade fairs are organized in areas suitable for the qualifications determined in these principles for the exchange of information, cooperation, market growth and the establishment and development of future commercial relations between visitors and exhibitors. They are organized by considering the interests of the field, sector, and society that it is the subject of. Also, their organizer, name, type, place, subject, date, and duration are predetermined.


What are the Fair Types?

Fairs are divided into two classes according to the geography of the target audience to be reached and the purpose of organization.

According to the geography of the target audience to be reached, the fairs are divided into three groups as regional, national, and international.

Regional fairs do not appeal to large audiences, they are organized on the basis of a certain geographical region and generally receive visitors from that region. At national fairs, the main target audience is citizens of the country, but it is often open to other countries. International fairs, which bring together companies in both national and international markets, reveal a globalized structure. In order for this type of fair, which targets international visitors, to meet expectations, international companies must participate.

Fairs are divided into four groups as General Fairs, Commercial Specialized Fairs, Integrated Fairs and Consumer Fairs according to the purpose of organization.

General (Horizontal) Fairs are events with a minimum of 50 participants and a duration not exceeding 15 days, where agricultural, industrial and consumer goods and various services are exhibited and promoted without targeting a specific sector and can also include social and cultural events.

Commercial Specialized (Vertical) Fairs are narrower events with at least 25 participants and the duration not exceeding 10 days, where only the goods and services produced in the subject of the fair are exhibited, visited only by the target audience related to that sector.

Integrated Fairs are organized by integrating all other products, finished and semi-finished products, equipment and raw materials related to a main product.

Consumer Fairs are events that are open to all segments of the society, where exhibitors and visitors generally consist of the center and neighboring centers where the fair is held, and consumer goods are exhibited.




Importance of Attending Trade Fairs

Fairs, which constitute the meeting point of producers and consumers, are an important sales and communication tool that enables direct communication with the customer. The opportunities offered by the fairs can be analyzed in two groups as the opportunities they provide to the exhibitors and the visitors. Opportunities available to exhibitors are as follows:

·       Evaluating export opportunities,

·       Opportunity to meet with manufacturers, suppliers, importers and non-governmental organizations operating in the sector,

·       Reaching a wide target audience at once,

·       Participating in sectoral activities,

·       Opportunity to strengthen existing collaborations and dealership network,

·       Gathering information about new markets,

·       Identifying new trends,

·       Establishing strategies to increase market share,

·       Making a competitive assessment,

·       Obtaining information about the general situation of the sector,

·       Strengthening existing collaborations and recognizing new partners,

·       Increasing brand awareness,

·       Reaching potential customers,

·       Expanding the sales volume,

·       Evaluating individual customer demands,

·       Receiving feedback on products, services, and strategies,

·       Pricing policy determination.


Opportunities for fair visitors can be listed as follows:

·       Discovering new products, services, and technologies,

·       Conducting market research,

·       Making price and condition comparison,

·       Obtaining information about the technical features of products and applications,

·       Strengthening cooperation and getting to know new partners,

·       Evaluating the economic environment,

·       Socializing with the business environment,

·       Making evaluations about current business by meeting with existing business partnerships,

·       Developing sectoral knowledge by participating in seminars and events at the fair,

·       Following the innovations and developments in the sector,

·       Opportunity to meet with as many different companies as possible in line with business objectives,

·       Opportunity to meet with predetermined companies in line with business objectives,

·       Meeting new people and expanding business network for future job opportunities.



Fair Preparations

The first thing to do before participating in any fair is to analyze the current situation of the company. Evaluating the current situation, customer profile, capacity and problems of the company is important in deciding whether to attend a fair or to reach customers using other methods.

The next step after deciding to participate in a fair is to choose a fair by considering factors such as the purpose of participating in the fair, the needs of the company, its conditions, customer expectations, the general situation of the sector and the geographical location of the target audience. While the fair choice of local businesses is in favor of regional fairs, enterprises with sufficient capacity, sales force and demand prefer national fairs. Companies operating or planning to operate in international markets generally aim to improve their import and export activities by taking advantage of international fair opportunities.

Another important step after choosing the fair is to examine the past reports of the selected fair. It is very important to examine the number and names of the companies participating in the previous fairs, how many square meters the participant companies participated in, the number of individual visitors, the purchasing power of the visitors, the sector profile, the persona and profile studies for the visitors, to determine the expectations from the fair and to know the target audience.

After deciding to participate in the fair, the products to be exhibited, the stand location and design suitable for these products must be determined, posters, visual and written documents must be prepared in accordance with the message to be given.

In budget planning, which is one of the most important stages, the cost of participation in the fair and other possible costs should be considered. The things that should be included in the fair participation budget can be listed as follows:

·       Participation Fee (Rent is usually determined per m2, but expenses such as OHS, electricity, cleaning, digital catalog can also be requested.)

·       Stand Expenses (Varies according to design, material and size.)

·       Invitation Expenses Before the Fair

·       Marketing and Communication Expenses at the Fair (Expenses for products such as catalogues, brochures, business cards, posters and promotions)

·       Product Selection Preparation (Test and prototype costs)

·       Logistics Services

·       Personnel Preparation and Training

·       Personnel Travel, Accommodation and Subsistence Expenses

·       Event Expenses at the Fair

·       Post-Fair Sales / Marketing Follow-up Expenses.




Making a Difference in Trade Fairs

Today, the fact that consumer behavior is highly variable and complex, rapidly developing technology and intense competition have made the promotion of a product or service as important as producing or providing a service. Under the current conditions in national and international markets, no matter how high-quality products a company produces or how much quality service it provides, it cannot succeed in the sector in which it operates unless it can promote it well and correctly.

In order to achieve high efficiency and make a difference from the fairs attended, the targets must be determined correctly. Companies participating in fairs may have various goals. While some companies aim to increase their sales, others may aim to collect feedback for their new product.

Fair selection is also of great importance in terms of obtaining efficiency from participation. How the fair selection should be made is explained in the "Fair Preparations" section. In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that the company organizing the fair is experienced and knowledgeable, and whether the necessary consultancy services are provided for international fairs.

Remarkable, creative and company-related stand, posters, brochures and visual designs will attract visitors to the stand and will benefit in line with the desired goal.

At the same time, it is very important to use social media and digital channels effectively before, during and after the fair, and to keep the company's website up to date.

The stand attendants who will take part in the fair must have received adequate training, have knowledge of products and services at a level to conduct business negotiations, and have high communication skills. In addition, it is important to get the information of the visitors coming to the stand by using the business cards or forms, in order to be able to communicate later.

At the next stage after the fair, the company representatives who visited the stand should be contacted and thanked, and more detailed information should be given about the company and its products. 

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