Trade show, as a promotional platform for companies, has been around for ages. And building materials industry has a fair share of globally reputed and mature shows. Some of the global exhibitions include ISH (Plumbing, Sanitation, HVAC), Light+Building (Lighting, Building Automation), Interzum (Furniture Components), Living Kitchens, SICAM, Big 5 (various building material segments), etc.
As you would agree, there are some differences between the shows held in India to the ones organised internationally. Reasons could be many. These could include market maturity, But this difference of location changes the whole dynamics of ways in which shows can be used by visitors for furthering their businesses.
At any given point of time, since most of us are visitors (by numbers!), we can run a checklist for some important takeaways:
Identifying the right trade show to visit
Different shows have different ‘persona’ around them. The visitors should try and ‘align’ their business objectives with the quality of exhibitors on display. Each location has a ‘flavour’ to it. Some shows are more oriented towards international buyers while some are looking at buyers only from a specific market. Talking to people in the industry helps to decide on a show.
Plan well in advance
In addition to saving good amount of money by planning to visit a show in advance, it gives a business visitor clearer idea of what to expect. Using the exhibition website over a period of time leading upto the exhibition gives a visitor enough information to work on. The leading international exhibitions regularly update their website with the list of exhibitors that can be sorted on various parameters – country, product category, etc. Some other exhibition organisers run a ‘match-making’ service on their websites. These can be used quite effectively to tie-up with exhibitors and arrange a meeting at their booths.
Do your homework well
We get only limited time to meet exhibitors at good shows. So, if we know the right exhibitors and have the right questions ready with us, it is very useful in going about in an exhibition with a fair degree of objectivity.
Post-trade show activities: Follow-up meetings
Many experienced visitors plan to stay back for a few more days. They use this time to visit the factories and offices of the relevant exhibitors. This also helps in getting a clearer idea of the core strengths of the company in consideration.
A good international exhibition typically is held over a 3-4 day period. To get the best out of an exhibition, the visitors should spread out their preparedness over a period of time.
Ultimately, preparing for a trade show is just like an exam. Better one’s preparation, the better the results!