This year was rather dramatic for organizers of fairs due to the obnoxious pandemic situation. Most of them are large companies with high fixed costs and they have put off subsequent events until the next year.
There have emerged ideas about setting up digital platforms and organizing fairs online. This is what was proposed by Marmomac – a digital fair was held under the name Marmomac ReStart. Judging by the difficulty of finding reviews concerning this event – on official, unofficial as well as social media channels – it was no great success. The list of exhibitors ended with numbers which constituted more or less 10% of a normal fair event. This is hardly surprising. You do not need any special system to be able to communicate online. Bidders and customers can contact each other without the need to use trade fair platforms. It is a little bit like as if someone were proposed a telephone network where calls would have to be ordered in advance.
I wonder what the future of fairs will be like? There are hardly any prospects of being able to meet in the exhibition halls any soon in the near future. The STONE fair has been postponed to autumn 2021. Other events – both Polish and international, in various industries, not only the stone industry – planned for the spring have also been cancelled or postponed.
What will be the impact of this year’s missed event in Poznań for the market we can only try to predict.
The first thing that comes to one’s mind is the lack of Chinese tool vendors. There will be no mass trading with China, which should result in an increase in the amount of orders from Polish suppliers – including those who offer tools made in China. Perhaps then, those willing to shop at the fair will find out that domestic suppliers, perhaps at a slightly higher price, deliver goods that have a predictable standard of production and stable quality.
Not many people are interested in the fact that sales at the exhibition stand often took place outside the official fiscal system – hence the low price. The possibility of cheap purchases is important. Perhaps potential buyers (and their pockets) might be convinced by the argument that from Polish suppliers they are also buying appropriate service and the possibility of warranty for just a slightly higher price. When buying at a Chinese exhibition stand, they have no chance of making a complaint.
Due to a lack of trade fair marketing communication, companies that want to maintain the current sales levels should be looking for other methods of communication with the market. And it is quite an urgent task. Fairs will not be held, and we are in a period in which we need to take care of the materials and tools with which we could begin the next season.
Recent weeks have shown that the amount of orders coming from the market are almost at the level of the previous years, so there is work to do. There have been problems with deliveries, however – see the previous issue of the Kurier Kamieniarski. It seems that in order for the next season to close at a good level, a number of activities ensuring communication with the market should be launched. We actually intended to allocate some funds to participate in the fair after all. In the case of exhibitors, such funds were not negligible in amount. Hence, it is worth worth investing some of this money into building up on business relations.
What can be done?
You should definitely increase the number of phone contacts. Perhaps the sum prepared for the fair should be used to print out leaflets, press advertisements, publications in social media and trade magazines. Generally, you need to increase your activity so that the number of contacts with customers during the month is the same as you normally have when participating in fairs.
If we manage to ensure such measures, then despite the lack of trade fair meetings, we will certainly prepare well for the next season.
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Dariusz Wawrzynkiewicz | Published: 19.11.2020