Popular around the world, trade exhibitions are taking off in West Africa as a medium for businesses to connect with targeted markets in concentrated bursts. Although exhibiting at trade shows and expos is costly, if done well, it promises a high return on investment, generating sales orders, and new business tie-ups for months if not years to come.
Trade fairs may either be B2C (business to consumer) focused or B2B (business to business). Most B-2-B trade expos have conferences included, giving delegates the opportunity to network with pharmaceutical wholesale distributors, retailers, exporters and be up to date on new industry innovations.
While attending a trade exhibition can be gainful, exhibiting at one can be a costly blunder if not done professionally. It’s an activity that you cannot outsource, and involves proper planning, training, and investment. Most importantly, it puts the reputation of your business at stake. And failure is both public and humiliating.
Common blunders are failing to set clear objectives for the exhibition and exhibiting at the wrong time and place. Not deciphering the subtleties of trade shows and creating a horrifying stand that repels rather than attracts visitors. And having untrained staff operating the stand are also indicators of failure.
Know what you want to achieve?
Like all other marketing and promotion activities, setting your goals right before you start is crucial to success. Whether you intend to move a product, generate sales orders, accumulate leads, launch a new product or service, or do brand promotion, know your goal before anything else. And single out measurable metrics – units sold/ordered, leads accumulated, questionnaire responses, competition entries etc. Being clear about your goal informs your exhibition choices, stand design and even staffing.
Start small and overestimate costs.
Considering everything, estimatingly the end cost of exhibiting is three to four times the cost of the stand. Find out what is included, because in some cases it may be nothing more than space and an electrical socket. Some event organizers, however, may have stands or modular furniture, and lighting. You should determine what you will have to provide yourself. Spaces close to entrances often cost the most. While corner stands, and the ones around the perimeter will cost more than stands in the central isles, where visitors generally don’t visit. In the beginning keep your stand modest and choose a cheaper location. To put it simply treat your first pharmaceutical exhibition as a learning experience.
The Final Thoughts
Make sure to factor in travel and accommodation costs, productivity lost because of staff attendance. Also, advertising and printed promotional materials, and all the additional equipment you would require. All these factors will enable you to assess the return on your investment later. An international pharma expo will bring together thousands of pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, personal care and nutraceutical manufacturers and solution-providers. It will also have the top pharmaceutical wholesale distributors, retailers, exporters attending. To say in short there will be informative conference sessions and the exhibit floor will be bustling with high-caliber exhibitors.