Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.
Does your trade fair measure up?Wednesday, July 11, 2007 > 09:11:14
(Source: CanadExport, Trade News, June 20, 2007)
Measuring your international trade fair success
Trade fairs are popular ways for entrepreneurs to promote their products and services, attract investment or partners, and glean important market information on the ground. But participation alone will not guarantee success. CanadExport looks at 10 quick questions to ask yourself in order to measure the success of an international trade fair experience.
1. Did you raise awareness of your company, its products or services?
You can get a rough idea of your successes in this regard by counting the number of people who visited your booth, as well as those who attended your presentations or demonstrations.
2. Did you secure business leads?
How many people exchanged business information with you? While these leads will keep you busy when you return from the trade fair, it is critical that you follow up on them promptly.
3. Did you sell products/services or take orders?
While business of this nature is not conducted at all trade fairs, sales and orders are an excellent measure of success. You can measure this criterion in terms of both the number of orders taken and the value of those orders.
4. Did you meet with existing customers?
If the event is held in a market in which you are currently conducting business, it is good practice to advise your existing customers that you will be attending and offer to make arrangements to meet with them.
5. Did you conduct market research?
Trade fairs are excellent venues to obtain feedback on your products or services. This is primary research, which is typically expensive and time consuming to conduct by other means. The trade fair provides you with a captive and knowledgeable audience from which to solicit opinions and suggestions.
6. Did you learn about your competitors?
International trade fairs, particularly those that focus on a particular industry or industry sector, bring a large number of competing firms into a small space. All of these firms are intent on demonstrating their latest and greatest offerings. What better opportunity exists for conducting competitor intelligence? You can measure your success by the number of competitors analysed as well as the quality and relevance of the information that you gathered.
7. Did you secure any contracts?
Not all trade fairs present opportunities for contractual agreements, but they can lay the groundwork for future contracts. You can determine the value of the trade show by the value of the contracts directly or indirectly generated as a result of your participation.
8. Did you find strategic partners?
International trade fairs are ideal venues for meeting prospective foreign and local partners or finding leads for qualified candidates. They event can also be used to conduct initial interviews with potential partners.
9. Did you learn more about your industry and future trends?
Whether it's new technologies, new players in the industry or economic developments in a potentially lucrative foreign market, international trade fairs are saturated with information relevant to your business. Did you gather valuable information to help your operation gain a competitive advantage in the future?
10. Did you acquire new products, technologies or processes to improve your business?
International trade fairs are open windows into the best practices in the industry. It is your opportunity to learn from the best and acquire the tools you need to raise your export efforts to the next level.
For more information, go to the Government of Canada's guide Successful International Trade Show Marketing, available online at www.exportsource.ca/tradeshow.