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Profiting from international trade fairs

Vivien HackerTrade fairs are being held every year in cities across Europe. They are ideal events for anyone involved in international trade.

They are a good starting point for any business looking to export their goods, but wanting to research the market before committing time and money.

I've been a regular visitor to trade fairs for over ten years, here is a quick overview of my experiences...


Trade fairs actually began in medieval Germany when churches and the land around them were used by local traders to display and sell their wares. In fact the German word for trade fair is 'Messe' which is directly derived from the word meaning a religious service, i.e. 'mass'. So, as in any market place, you meet people and in particular the companies exhibiting their wares, and you get a taste and a feel of exactly what they are offering, i.e. their Products. In several instances companies who have contacted me to advise them have done so after exhibiting at a show where foreign visitors to their stand have remarked on how their purely UK-based product would find interest outside the UK!

Another by-product of visits to trade fairs abroad or staffing a stand is the forming of Relationships, so that future business done by email or over the phone is made more personal. The encounters at trade fair stands present you with Opportunities to develop face-to-face conversations which eventually lead to orders being placed in the future. Trade fairs are about Forward-looking exchanges, sometimes purely small talk, but frequently they are about Information. You enquire at a stand, you collect data and impressions, and you quickly have the basis to help you make decisions in the future about buying goods or how best to sell them.

And if a company sends out a group of colleagues to explore a future market or sell to it, then the visit, if properly planned, can and will develop Team-thinking and bonding.

People and Products; cross-cultural Relationships; Opportunities for the future; Forward-looking exchanges; Information giving and gathering; and the optimal human outcome of Team-building and strengthening provide the foundation for PROFITable international trading.

To find out how we can help you prepare for a trade fair visit or represent your business at a trade fair, don't hesitate to contact us.

Posted: 19th January 2017

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