Tuesday, 21 November 2017

HINTS ON DOING EXHIBITIONS IN RUSSIA



One of promotion methods is exhibiting on thematic exhibitions.
Main exhibitions are usually held on annual basis or every second year.

When you are already operating on the market exhibition is a good chance to demonstrate new items, meet existing Customers and search for new Customers, but we will mainly talk  of exhibiting before entering the market.

Exhibiting before entering market can have following advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages: 

1) Inviting potential Customers and existing sales leads to stand and possibility to conduct big number of meetings in 3-4 days in one place with possibility to show samples of goods you produce.

2) Getting general input and information about the market visiting stands of Competitors and conferences which are normally a part of business programme of main exhibitions.

3) Growing brand awareness in specified region.

Disadvantages:

1) You might be visited by not relevant businesses or not decision makers unless you have sent invitations to key persons of potential Customers in advance.

2) Without preliminary market research you might find out that your competitors have better offer on the market or that your product is not ready for local market.

3) Costs for exhibiting are relatively high and there is possibility that future profit and opportunities will not cover costs.

HINTS:

- Before taking decision to exhibit in Russia please do marketing research first to get general understanding of the market.

- Some of the tasks can be first time performed by attending exhibition as a visitor which can save your budget.

- Usually exhibition have long-term effect and not always bring short-term results or immediate orders.

If you have decided to go ahead and have exhibition stand below action plan can be used to proceed.

a) Choose stand location and define stand area and setup.

HINTS:

- It is better when your stand is situated alongside main walkways or crosses of main walkways.

- If your stand area is less than 20 m2 it is better to book near smaller stands, than your stand will look bigger in comparison.

- Please ensure sufficient light to highlight the stand.

- Make your stand higher to ensure stand dominates the area and can be seen from different angles.

- It is better to built locker room on the stand to avoid pilferage and place fridge, coffee machine and spare samples or give aways.


b) Make a tender for building a stand and appoint stand builder. 

Even if majority exhibition organisers offer ready solutions you might need to hire an independent Company to build your stand. From experience sometimes if you go for standard solution offered by organisers you get ordinary looking stand with old furniture, problems with electricity, etc.
Professional stand builder will make design and ensure all your expectations are met including graphics, furniture, fridge, coffee machine, snacks, etc. Goodlooking stand can be built even on small area as below example (design is by Expostroy LLC)



c) Ensure that samples and marketing aids are sent on-time and you have proper partner to clear goods in Russia and bring them to the stand.

Russian certification might be needed for goods being imported, so please take care about it in advance. As an example TR CU certificate was required to import catalogues to the stand.

d) Make visitors of your stand feel comfortable.

- Coffee or tea with chocolate or sweets will make conversation longer if needed.

- Give aways are always appreciated by visitors.


HINTS:

- Make sure you have written down visitors contacts and topic of discussion as otherwise it will be hard to remember the subject of discussion.

- Please take into consideration that last day of exhibition is usually no good for business contacts after lunch and many exhibitors are  starting to pack the stand.

- Follow up sales leads continuously after exhibition. From our experience it is normal practice when
everybody is following up new contacts in 1 or 2 weeks after exhibition but after 2 months majority of contacts and sales leads are being forgotten. It is always better to make several approaches.

Note: (To drink or not to drink - that is the question.)

Some visitors prefer alcohol to be present on the stand but we do not recommend to attract visitors with alcohol. Even if alcohol to some extent might be used during meetings with already established partners / customers, with new Customers regular business discussion with tea or coffee is more recommended.

Best Regards, Yury






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