Trade shows

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Page 1: Trade shows




Trade Shows

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Davidson defines exhibitions as:

“ presentations of products or services to an invited audience with the object of including a sale or informing the visitor

…. Exhibitions are considered part of the Business Tourism Industry because they stimulate travel (for both exhibitors and visitors)and create a high level of demand for travel services, catering and accommodation (Davidson 1994)”

Exhibitions may also be called trade fairs or expositions in different parts of the world.

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Trade Shows/Fairs – An Introduction

Trade shows provide a forum in which players associated with a particular industry can bring their wares together and exhibit in unity products, that are desired by a single trade or industry.

Trade shows are historically private shows open only to those involved in the industry. They operate on a business to business levels.

Some tradeshows open themselves up to the public on their final days, but most are still completely private.

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Travel industry fairs and exhibitions are the major marketing vehicles in today’s highly competitive market place.

In the rapidly changing world travel fairs and exhibitions have a special significance and importance to keep pace with new innovation in products.

These are considered an effective way to facilitate contacts, for exchange of information and ideas and to initiate sales in many industries.

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Significance International trade fairs give an opportunity to the participating

countries to meet a large number of buyers and exhibitors from different countries at one place, to study the market trends and to compare the price and quality of similar products

Exhibitors can compare their products to those of their competitors, while attendees have the ability to closely examine competitive products.

Ideal for introducing and testing new products, thus allowing for feedback about potential success of these products in the marketplace.

In addition, it provides a common platform for exchange of ideas, technical know how and sharing of information through seminars, workshops, symposia by experts from participating countries – all under one roof

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Participation in trade fairs also provides the participants an opportunity to assess their own progress with that of the exhibitors from other countries and the steps necessary to achieve better performance and results.

It Creates better conditions for two way communications among international partners within the market. It also helps in creating proper surroundings for encounters and dialogues between suppliers and customers.

Organisers of trade fairs could be : Different trade bodies or chambers Government and Semi Government Organizations.

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Revenue Generation

Trade shows are an extremely lucrative business. Serves as a source of revenue for show sponsors.

It also provides revenue for the host city and all related businesses. Booth space and Hall Rental Employment to a lot of people; carpenters, plumbers,

electricians, florists, drayage (move-in & move-out of booths)

Hotels – venue, rooms, restaurants, shops Host city – local newspaper, cab, toothbrush,

toiletries, purchases from the local shop

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According to Evan Liefer (Trade show retrospective(1990)) trade shows or expositions started when caravans crossing the desert would meet and exchange wares.

During the industrial era salesmen used to sell their wares calling customers on the road.

Due to the impracticality of trying to call on customers individually, salesmen began to rent hotel rooms to display their wares. (convention and visitor’s Bureau)

By mid 1920’s industrious young men developed an exhibit hall, thus allowing large groups of exhibitors who shared a common product or industry to showcase their wares together.

Currently the trade show industry represents the most exciting dynamic and cost effective means of marketers to achieve their sales goals.

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Travel Mart History

It was in the 50s that the first attempt was made to establish and organize trade shows relating to the tourism Industry.

The main objective of the fairs was:

A) As “Public Fairs” : to enable travel agents and Tour operators, hoteliers, carriers and National Tourist Offices(NTO) to establish contact with their markets, especially with the travelling public and thus to promote their programmes and services.

B) As “trade fairs” in the more specific sense, their opportunities for contact and business discussion

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Since then many other countries have been organizing travel trade fairs regularly.

A large number of exhibitors participate in these fairs representing all segments of travel industry and include travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, airline companies, shipping companies, national tourist organizations etc.

Over the years there has been a steady growth in the number as well as participation in the travel trade fairs.

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Trade show sponsorsTrade show ManagerService contractors and Sub-contractorsExhibitorsAttendeesTrade show Bureau

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Trade show sponsors

Show sponsors are generally trade or professional associations who use the trade show as integral part of their meetings/or conventions to generate revenue. Sponsors of meetings and expositions can be: Associations, Corporations, Trade Unions Independent companies, Religious Groups, Tour Groups, Theatre and arts groups, social organisations etc.

They sponsor meetings for numerous reasons dealing with the specific purpose of their organization.

Sponsors are responsible for procuring the physical facilities in which the trade show will be held.

This includes developing an exhibitor list, marketing the show to exhibitors and attendees, organising suppliers, organising move-in and move out of the show and overseeing all financial responsibilities and contracts involved with the trade shows

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Trade Show Managers

He is the person appointed by the trade show sponsors to run the show. And is concerned with infinite details of selling the show, moving in the show, setting up the show, executing the show and moving the show out of the convention or trade show facility.

Show managers traditional priority has been to sell the floor space to exhibitors. The show manager develops a new idea to the potential trade show, books a facility to host it and then sells the show to potential exhibitors.

Show managers are responsible for recruiting exhibitors and attracting attendees, selecting the show site, making hotel arrangements, developing educational programmes and overseeing all logistical planning.

To do this they first develop a profile of prospective/ and or past attendees.

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Once a profile has been developed, the show manager will use this information to develop an exhibitor prospectus to send to potential exhibitors.

A good prospectus will include dates and location of the show, past exhibitors, attendee figures, floor rental prices and other basic information.

Based on this prospectus the exhibitor makes a decision on whether to be a part of the exhibition or not.

After the exhibitor decides to take part in the show, communication between the exhibitor and show manager begins and will continue until the show ends.

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An exhibit kit is mailed out to the potential exhibitor which includes – “rules of the exposition organiser and exposition hall, along with a set of contracts and promotional pieces offering products and services from the official service contractor, mode of payment and insurance coverage provided.

Trade show manager is also responsible for attracting qualified attendees. He must know how to reach the intended audience as well as oversee the logistics of ticket sales and registration.

Another important task is to select an official service contractors and sub-contractors.

At the end the show manager has to evaluate the show and verify such facts as attendance and exhibition presence. In the case of annual shows the manager uses this evaluation to improve the next years show.

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Service Contractors

Individual responsible for providing all of the services needed to run the facilities for a trade show. He is a major, behind-the-scenes player.

They usually service two levels of customers: a) show management and b) Individual Exhibitors.

Show Management Services Decoration Booth set up, carpet, furniture rental, Signage and graphics On-site coordination Labour and union contracting and management Cleaning service Drayage – shipping the booth too and from local warehouse to exhibition

Hall, transporting it back from the truck to the booth site and then returning it to the truck after the show.

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Exhibitor Services

Rental options Booth Set-up Installation and dismantling services Accommodation Signage and Graphics Labour union contracting and management

Specialised services

Floral Catering Photography Supplementing booth personal Electrical, Plumbing, Exhibit design and construction AV rental etc

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Some of the services may already be provided by the facility hosting the show. E.g plumbing, air, water, electrical services etc. In such cases the facility itself acts as a specialist contractor.

The “Exhibitor Services Department” of the service contractor sends order forms listing the many services an exhibitor may want or need to order.

The exhibitors complete the form and return the form to the form to the general service contractor.

This is an extremely complicated process and demands constant, detailed communication between the show manager, the facility, the general service contractor, sub-contractors and exhibitors.

Once the show begins, representatives of the show managers are usually present through out the entire event to make sure it runs smoothly

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Another group of employees called the “account executives” oversee the “set-up” of a show. During the set up, the freight arrives, material is unloaded and delivered to the correct booth space on the floor, signs are hung, utilities connected, carpet is laid and booths are set –up.

These activities demand detailed planning and competent on-site management.

The account executives mediate any labour dispute and make sure speciality sub-contractors provide the necessary services.

These people are also responsible for the move-out after the show.

They also invoice the show managers and exhibitors. (exhibitors rent floor space from the show manager but buy other services and materials such as signage, booth rental, special decorating from general services contractors)

* **When the show contractors service the same show year after year they become experts and thus the organisers provide them with multiyear contracts.

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Exhibitors rent space, purchase an exhibit, have it transported and set-up, all in return for an opportunity to sell and are ultimately responsible for making a decision to participate at any show.

Exhibitors appoint “Exhibit Managers” to conduct their stalls during the trade shows.

There are basically two types of Exhibit Managers. The 1st group are

the employees of the company – managers, sales executives, corporate communication employees for whom the trade show becomes an added responsibility.

There are yet another group of professionals known as the “Exhibit Managers”. For them it is their career. Found only in larger corporations

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Duties of Exhibit Show Managers

They have several key duties. First, they help their company select which trade shows to participate in.

In-charge of logistics of moving their displays in and out of the venue.

Responsible for recruiting, training and supervising their booth staff.

Profit making is their prime responsibility hence they have to do everything possible to make sure that sales can and do happen.

In short they are responsible for effectively integrating the trade show activity or event into the overall market plan.

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Those people who attend trade shows and expositions to buy from the exhibitors and/or learn more about their industry are called the show attendees or the delegates.

There are different kinds of attendees at trade shows including serious qualified customers, trade show press and “lookie-loos” (members of the general public who are curious to know what is happening. Generally they have no qualifications or intentions to buy)

Any number of people from a particular company may serve as the show attendees, including CEOs, middle managers, sales managers or buyers.

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Trade show managers are interested in maximum attendees to make marketing future shows easier. The success of a show greatly depends on the number of attendees.

There are now a few private shows that open themselves to the public on the last day of the show to increase attendee numbers.

Today’s companies invest a great deal of time and money to send representatives to trade shows and many of these visitors have travelled long distance to attend the show.

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Trade Show Bureau

In 1978, 12 industry groups realised that a neutral non-issue-oriented organisation was needed to address the trade show industry.

They founded the trade show bureau for the sole purpose of “promoting trade shows as a bona-fide marketing medium.”

Trade show bureau researches studies pertaining to industry trends and effective marketing practices.

Trade show Bureau has managed to give the industry both credence and respect.

Today there are 17 sponsoring organisations and over 700 subscribing members of the bureau.

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International Tourism Borse - ITB

The first travel trade fair known as the International Tourism Borse (ITB) was held in the year 1967 in Berlin. Originally being held for a period of 7 days, it is now held for 6 days.

Starting with 9 exhibitors from the world of tourism at the Overseas Imports Fair along with a two day convention in the Berlin Congress Hall, in the year 1966, today ITB claims to be the world’s largest travel trade fair.

Over the years, the scope of the fair is being widened to incorporate more areas of interest in the field of tourism. For instance, the Congress “Electronics in Tourism” has been introduced

concerning use of electronics in various tourist trade fields.

The travel fair is normally held in the month of March each year. The total available space for exhibitors is around 163,000 square meters.

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World Travel Mart

The World Travel Mart is an Annual event held in London every year in the month of November.

WTM was first organized in the year 1980 as an International Forum.

World Travel Mart provides an opportunity to the exhibitors to present their products and services and negotiate future business contracts

WTM has evolved a unique feature since the last few years whereby the exhibitors can meet leading buyers with prior arranged appointments. (Meridian Club Membership feature)

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International Brussels Travel Fair

Popularly known as BTF, held in the month of November in the city of Brussels in Belgium. Brussels has a unique advantage of being the capital of the European Community.

The three day event is held between Thursday and Saturday

It is more of a technical than promotional event. All the three days are for the professionals and therefore of great interest to operators, hoteliers and travel agents.

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Some more examples

SMTV – Salon Mondial Du Tourism et Voyages, Paris, February

FITUR – Faria International Tourismo, Spain, Jan

EIBTM – European Incentives and Business Travel Meetings, Geneva, May

PTM – PATA Travel Mart

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Some recent additions

ITTF – International Tourism Trade Fair, Zagreb Croatia

BTTF – British Travel Trade Fair, Birmingham, England

MITT - Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition, Moscow

ITE – International Travel Expo, Hong KongITA – International Tourism Asia, Hong KongATM – Arabian Travel Mart, DubaiIITEM – India International Tourism Expo

and Mart, New Delhi