Promoting products in person at international fairs.

An essential instrument for offering and promoting our products internationally is undoubtedly trade fairs. From engaging in conversations with current clients in the area to establishing new contacts and strengthening relationships with potential buyers, events like these remain one of the preferred methods for companies deciding to export internationally, despite their high costs.

Even though these companies may develop digital marketing strategies to reach other markets, the physical exhibition of their products never takes a back seat. It has become an irreplaceable channel for exporting companies in various sectors.

However, obtaining returns from these fairs can be considerably challenging at times, as we may not always generate the necessary leads to recover the investment made. These situations can arise due to external factors beyond our control, such as the lack of receptivity from potential buyers or the economic situation of the region where the event is held. Additionally, there are internal factors like lack of knowledge or preparation that we can control to maximize our return at international fairs.

To begin with, we can research importers in the region and invite them to visit our booth at the event. This way, we ensure that we have a minimum number of scheduled meetings and do not start from scratch upon arrival.

Furthermore, we can study the commercial situation of the area to assess the feasibility of attending the fair. Additionally, we can prepare our pitch with a better understanding of market trends where we will exhibit and the knowledge of companies purchasing our product.

These preparatory processes can be extensive if done manually, searching for companies one by one, and it's also possible that we may not find all the necessary contacts. Fortunately, there are market technologies that significantly facilitate these processes, allowing us to access all companies exporting our product in each country and obtaining useful information from each of them to prepare for each trade event, such as contact details of purchasing managers or the product portfolio of each potential client.

These tools are also useful for arranging meetings or contacting companies after the fair, filtering the most relevant ones for your business and focusing on leads that best fit your product.

Export professionals continue to invest in these in-person events, having created a necessity for seller-client commercial relationships. To learn more, we had the pleasure of speaking with Paco Sáez, Business and Sales Manager at LORUSSO, who has answered the following questions:

xNova: What methods do you use to identify potential buyers or importers who will attend a fair and how do you prepare for it? Do you contact them in advance to arrange a meeting?

Paco: We see if those fairs offer business meetings or commercial encounters, not just the booth. We use a platform where suppliers and buyers connect, and we analyze aspects such as which market I am targeting, or if I have the capacity to target the market or not. And in terms of labeling, the requirement of regulation or if I have personnel who speak English very well.We choose the preferred country to attend the event and there we arrange a closed visit with the buyers who are already interested.

xNova: During the fair, how do you approach meetings with potential partners or clients? In terms of presence, what do you think needs to be highlighted about your stand or product?

Paco: We arrange meetings in a central location, and they are organized with Extenda, Junta de Andalucía, agencies...The main thing I would highlight is that they dress well, and that they are very grouped together and not individual so that we are not seen isolated.

xNova: Regarding the competition that may be found at these events, do you have any strategies to stand out more than them?

Paco: We work with a very differentiated product in its appearance, packaging, quality, and origin.

xNova: Do you have a follow-up and calling process after the fair? If so, how do you carry it out?

Paco: Our process consists of being patient, prioritizing which customers interest us, making long decisions, and considering alternative suppliers for the chosen importer and distributor. Once this is done, we send them a very personal WhatsApp and maintain direct communication with them, taking advantage of the opportunity to follow up.We also use WhatsApp to place orders from around the world.

xNova: Do you conduct campaigns to announce attendance at an international fair? If so, through which channels?

Paco: Current customers notify us and provide us with free entry to the event. We operate a lot by recommendation. Many times they do not answer the phone or email, the key is in social networks.

Through seduction via social networks to the stores at the fair that are on Instagram.

Therefore, despite the growth of new digital trends to promote our products, participation in these physical events remains crucial for companies seeking international expansion. Thanks to Paco Sáez, we have been able to understand firsthand the importance of adapting to each trade fair and market, as well as maintaining constant communication with potential customers both during and after the fair.


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