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Exhibition, trade fairs
Exhibitions and trade fairs enable the selling process activities such as attention, display, desire, persuasion and purchasing & etc; all into one single activity. An exhibition is an organized presentation and display of selection of items very precisely.
Exhibition and Trade Fairs are becoming the best trading platform in India recently. This platform offers the best networking between the buyer and seller than any other mode. Because, if we look from the perspective of the exhibitor this platform offer one-to-one, face to face interaction with many prospects from different region, at many times it crosses boundaries and limitations of the exhibitors and give chances to meet up people which they might have not even thought, thus open new horizons. At the same time from the point of view of the person who visits any exhibition or trade fair, there are many advantages. One can meet with ample of suppliers, physically see and feel the products, compare the products, services & prices with others etc. The most interesting factor is all these are under one roof. This kind of an opportunity will not be available with any other platforms. Let us elaborate on the above further:
Today, an exhibition is the most powerful & efficient tool to market products and services available to companies.
Exhibition process involves planning how to display which is the first thing to do. This should be the top priority which should be eye-catching and draw attention of customers to the booth.
The main reasons to participate in exhibition is to:
- Inform the market about your product & service
- To increase sales volume
Some of the major benefits are:
- Cost effective way to target the potential market
- Customer can feel the product & service
- All the promotional activities in one place
- All the visitors can be a prospect
- Continues creation of awareness of your presence in the marketplace
- It enhance to widen the customer data
- Can introduce or can be the launching place for new products and service
- Renew relations with the existing customers
- Good platform to do research on competition
- Survey of market for existing and new
- Media attraction is very important
- Affirming your position in the industry
- Act as meeting place of employees from various places
Having said that, it is important all the exhibitions organizers retrospect themselves whether they justify in all terms. As we all know, organizing exhibition or participation involves huge investment of time, energy, manpower, money and so on. In India, the ratio of exhibition organizers and the number of exhibitions are too extensive. If we look at the statistics, one subject of exhibition is repeated at-least by five organizers. Many of the exhibition organizers must be unable to focus on the subjects they are choosing. If we discuss on this, there are lots of lacuna in the exhibition and trade fair industry now a days in terms of organizing their events.
One of the major reverse sway to the industry is small time exhibitions and organizers. In the last two decades of my career have been observing very few organizers in India could sustain, similarly the exhibitions. Many exhibition companies and exhibitions had come up and vanished during the said period. Why this phenomenon? Have anyone really thought of it? Yes many might have, but the bottom-line is no one wants to say ‘the king is naked’. Many people think that organizing exhibition or trade fair is a simple job and can make lot of money. I agree that every business is running for making profit likewise exhibition business. But at the same time it is our moral obligation to think of its sustainability, long future and growth, mileage to exhibitors who are participating etc. All of us are either knowingly or unknowingly forget the fact that after all the exhibitors and visitors should be benefited and happy, which is the most important factor of every successful exhibition.
Like any other business, exhibition and trade fair is also a brand building exercise. A lot of planning, brainstorming, discussions, good team, infrastructure, consulting etc. are integral part and unavoidable in each and every stage of an exhibition. There are many factors influencing one exhibition. To name out few of them viz;
Subject / Theme
Venue & location
Days & dates in the calendar year
Promotion and the most important is…………… ‘Service’
The above are few of them only. When we plan for an exhibition, we need to consider all the above factors which directly influence the future of an exhibition and many other factors which are not mentioned here. As an example if we take the case of ‘subject’, it requires a reality check in terms how many similar exhibitions happening, if yes locations, timings etc. It also requires lot of deliberation to assess its viability. Venue and timings are equally important. We have live examples in front of us that some exhibitions, though successful and the brand name is established in certain areas are turned out to be utter failure in it’s sub-editions in other areas (locations).
These are some thoughts which need real attention and also many factors have not mentioned here. As stated above, service is the most important aspect of any business so the case in exhibitions and trade fairs as well. Today’s world is totally customer dominated and one cannot take the customer for ride any more. They are equally (may be more) smart to differentiate between what is good and bad. I have observed a common phenomenon in many exhibitions irrespective to their brand value, volume etc., and the services provided to the exhibitors and visitors by the organizers are below average in most of the cases. This is something common in India. This has not been seen in other countries. Even if we need to say ‘NO’ to something, the way of informing should be in a corrective manner (I am sure there are exceptions, but this happens in most of the cases). In many cases either organizers or their representatives behave in a very unacceptable mode to both the exhibitors and visitors or may it be to the service providers. These may be very small cases on our views, but it adversely affects the image of the exhibition and the organizer. Therefore, service plays a crucial role in our business may it be anything.
The other major factor which the industry is facing today is lack of skilled and knowledgeable personnel having in-depth knowledge about exhibition, trade fairs and events in all areas. Mostly it has been seen as exhibition means production, logistics and such related areas. The related management institutes are also not so keen on designing all the aspects of the industry requirements in their curriculum, so as to enable the students to master in one area and have knowledge of other functional areas.
There are many more for discussion which would directly benefits the whole fraternity only. Self-analysis and healthier discussion also help us to enhance our own capabilities. I wish this would lead to a good, healthy discussion.