In the communication budgets of most companies, participation in trade fairs constitutes a sizeable cost position. For many machine manufacturers, these easily exceed 50% of the total of their marketing costs.
Nevertheless, the world is changing and strategies of communication also. How does this affect tradeshows? We spoke on this subject with Mr. Paul E. Schall, the biggest private organiser of technical fairs in Germany and we will publish the full interview in our next issue. Extracts:
We hear more and more people complaining about some drift observed on trade shows, notably as regards to the size of stands. It seems that it becomes difficult to attract attention without huge budgets. Do you have a general answer to this problem?
This phenomenon certainly exists on some trade shows and we must first of all congratulate the organisers because if one is willing to invest such a sum in a stand, this means at the same time that there are significant expectations for the show. The dimensions of a stand as such contribute to the image of the company but they do not guarantee success. Experience shows that the attraction on visitors is not proportional to the number of square meters. It is definitely recommended to construct the stand in an attractive way; nevertheless it is even more important to conduct an intensive information campaign on the company’s involvement before the show and to arouse the curiosity of visitors by innovative actions and of course interesting products*.
Mr. Schall will also answer the following questions
- Are your own shows also affected by this phenomenon?
- In the same time, more and more companies discuss the relevance of the very large trade shows. Even well-established shows, like for example EMO, are considered to be financial chasms that are time consuming. What is your opinion on this subject?
- We see more and more regional exhibitions blossoming, in Switzerland as in France and Europe, attracting mainly regional exhibitors and visitors. Is the future belonging to these small professional regional events?
- Although this seems paradoxical in our globalised world which offers effective possibilities of transport and travel, one has the impression that exhibitors and visitors come out the European borders less willingly. What is your feeling here?
- What is the proportion of exhibitors from outside Germany on your main fairs?
- Some manufacturers even claim that they no longer wish to exhibit on trade shows and that they wish to implement other means of promotion. What is your opinion of communication professional on this theory?
- Smaller companies, especially SMEs, often deplore the fact of not being treated in the same way as larger groups (often of international dimensions) on trade shows. What advice can you give to these exhibitors?
- You have been in close contact with the markets of industrial manufacturing for more than 50 years. What are the major changes you have observed in the universe of tradeshows during this period?
- Your group was able to follow the path of success all these years. What is your vision for success in the long term?
- To conclude, does this inspire you to give some advice to exhibitors?
*This does sound like the comment of the Siams organisers in our last issue, doesn’t it? (Read the article here)
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