A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO TRADE FAIRS: INTRODUCTION
In our line of work, the Go Fair team has encountered every possible interaction with business representatives, heading to a trade fair, exhibition or a trade show. Over the years, we’ve seen not only mistrust towards the effectiveness of business travel as a cost-effective investment in a company’s development, but also general confusion and disorientation towards how to best capitalize on such events. Yes, there are those companies, who have integrated business travel and fair attendance in their expansion strategies, but there are plenty more companies, who’re first considering trade fairs as a viable option and don’t have a firm grasp over the basics dos and don’ts.
Go Fair dedicates this guide to these companies – to show small and middle-size businesses a flexible, easy and affordable way to make a fair work for them in the long run. We’ve seen all sorts of mistakes made, simply because people don’t know better. These range from choosing the wrong event for their business to searching for hotel rooms just a few months before the dates – a considerable financial load as room rates skyrocket this close to an event.
In the following weeks, we’ll present you with articles that guide you through the process of organizing a business trip beginning with the high-level decision making process to selecting your accommodation, to advice for when you’re at the fair and tips on making the first steps after you’ve flown back home after the event concludes.
As each advice column is published, we’ll update this master article and our guide will follow a rough general timeline encompassing the different stages of planning a business trip.
THE WHY AND THE HOW
Why do you need to attend industry events? What are the key benefits to attending for your business – short-, mid-, and long-term ones? How do you know which events are best for your company? What criteria should you choose to find the best trade fairs and exhibitions? Should you attend as an exhibitor or as a visitor?
THE WHERE AND THE LOGISTICS
When should you start searching for hotel accommodation and plane tickets? How do you land the lowest rates? What are the best strategies in choosing hotel location? How should you think about your commute? Do you even need to stay through the whole event? How many people should even go to the exhibition? What the most important terms and conditions you should be aware of before heading out?
THE TRADE FAIR ETIQUETTE AND STRATEGIES
What are the things you should prepare before flying out? What is the best general trade fair etiquette you should follow? How do you best adapt your behaviour to business goals? How should you walk the line between being personable and pitch your products and services to other attendees?
THE DAYS IMMEDIATELY AFTER
How do you know your time spent at the trade fair or exhibition has been worth it? What are the things you should immediately do after the event has passed? We will also discuss staying in touch with the contacts you’ve made, evaluating your expenditure, following up on leads and already considering next year’s event – choice in venue, if the event you’ve attended is not annual, as well as jumping on the reservation wagon, if it is annual and the dates have been announced.
We encourage readers to send us enquiries and their personal questions, which we can answer as we go alone or feature as a different section altogether. Write to us at [email protected]