The advantages of a language strategy for exhibitions
With this new format, we would like to discuss an important aspect for the growth of a brand in a foreign key: the exhibition. The tradeshow is a useful business storytelling tool to tell the characteristics of your brand in a specific place. The tradeshow brings together important aspects related to communication and marketing that aim to increase visibility and generate opportunities and interactions. Building the business and establishing new contacts are the goals that a company plans to achieve thanks to the fair.
It is essential to plan the aspects related to marketing, choosing the objectives, strategy, and communication that will lead us to be chosen by buyers.
The exhibition, intended as h2h interaction, has grown over time: formerly it was a communication tool to promote a sale, today it is a business enabler that leads to create and tell experience. The fair has evolved with the aim of creating values and with modern technologies it gives the possibility to be seen online and chosen by specific users, as in the case of online matching (in b2b key).
In ancient times, the trade fair was mainly a meeting place between supply and demand (thinking about the market), today, instead, it integrates with other valuable tools that lead to the exchange of interests, experiences and is an important means of promotion. As opposed to the now predominant online marketplace, the fair is a place to live with all the senses the experience promoted by a brand.
A fair is a place where you can learn about and integrate best practices with those that already represent your company. It is a place where your customers can learn about new trends and the way you tackle them, it is the place to connect directly to the final consumer, through buyers and the right place to get immediately visible results.
According to modern statistics, 75% of small and medium enterprises invest in the fair tool to establish contact with the market, in order to meet customers, establish relationships and transmit feelings (customer journey).
“People do not buy goods, they buy relations, stories & magic” [Seth Godin]
There is no other way to achieve as many goals at the same time as the fair, which also allows us to: project the image of your company abroad, illustrate the strategies that distinguish us, present your products and get feedback directly from the market and thus support sales.
It is possible to participate in trade fair events as individual companies or as a group, sometimes financed by regional or national actions in your country.
Planning the exhibition
The keyword is planning. Choose the fair carefully to avoid spending your budget on a fair that cannot or does not have the capacity to achieve your goals. Consider the possibility of repeating a tradeshow in the following editions, in order to consolidate your position and gradually improve your presence.
The choice of the fair is of particular importance: for example, you can focus on an event that has a certain popularity and work with the masses or a niche fair that brings us only the buyers you are interested in. It is good practice to visit the fairs as visitors before choosing to exhibit at that disputed event.
You can use trade fair search tools that provide qualitative and quantitative information. It is advisable to locate a trade show based on the target market.
Assess the costs of achieving the objectives. Balance direct costs (organization, logistics, suppliers, etc.), invisible costs (personnel who accompany us at the fair and are therefore absent from the company) and indirect costs (cost of additional personnel at the fair).
Entertainment during the exhibition
It is vitally important to be effective at a trade fair and to achieve the objectives you have set yourself (visibility, contacts, sales, etc.) to be attractive. One of the latest trends in trade fair marketing is to create entertainment that revolves around the main event: festivals, congresses, gala evenings, presentation speeches and moments of fun will bring your company to relate with the surrounding environment. The events mentioned are well associated with the business aspect and aim to create networking, matchmaking, and relationships in general.
We, therefore, consider the possibility of organizing events related to the fair, in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere, such as a dinner with your customers, a cultural evening, an open public event to consolidate the relationships established during the event.
Training of staff at the exhibition booth
The task of the staff in charge of representing your company at the fair is to create engagement. First of all, they must be able to identify and distinguish the curious from the potential customer and dedicate the right time to each of them. It is advisable that they are a member of the company team who knows the company and its characteristics.
The staff must be properly trained and qualified. Careful planning will lead the staff to create a productive engagement. It will, therefore, be necessary to be prepared on: what to communicate, to whom to communicate it, the objectives to be achieved, the necessary budget and the related activities to be prepared at the fair.
The staff must also be prepared on the culture and customs of the market in which the fair is operating, and preferably be able to communicate in the buyers' language. In this regard, it is advisable to hire local staff through specialized agencies. It is particularly important to know the local culture and bridge the cultural gap to filter the information you collect during the event.
During the exhibition
After carefully planning the fair months in advance, you can develop some actions related to your presence at the fair. For example, consider inviting the press and journalists to your stand, inviting them for a cocktail party or a presentation. Prepare and distribute documentation in languages, such as brochures, information about your social channels, blogs, videos and the tools you use to tell the story of your company.
We can also prepare gifts or gadgets for those who will visit us at the fair or offer spendable online codes dedicated to customers who have visited your stand. A welcome kit, suitably localized in the visitor's language, will provide information about the features of your company and summarize your proposal of values.
Don't forget to advertise in advance your participation in the event by creating hashtags to monitor during and after the event, telling the pre/inter-fair phases with live streams (Facebook or Instagram Live) of the event or creating landing pages on your website inviting buyers to the fair.
During the fair, it is useful to schedule the activities in such a way that you can take the time to dedicate to networking.
After the exhibition
Moreover, it is important to use customer cards that will provide us with data with which to enrich your database and allow a commercial follow-up as well as the elements to evaluate your experience at the fair.
Most of the contacts will take place at the end of the fair: the follow-up is vital to understand what kind of person you are interfacing with. You will, therefore, be able to thank visitors, send them your company profile and possibly schedule a second follow-up.
Always remember to contact online who you have met offline!