Just as there are shared stands at some trade fairs abroad for exhibitors from all over Germany, Germany’s federal states organise shared stands on the same principle. In Bavaria, the trade fair participation programme of the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs gives small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to exhibit at trade fairs abroad. Around 400 exhibitors a year present themselves at shared Bavarian stands at around 50 trade fairs in nearly 30 countries.
Expert: Sieglinde Sautter
Head of the department for trade fair participation and business trips
For small and medium-sized companies, in particular, the trade-fair participation programme is an important way to promote exports. It makes it significantly easier for them to break into new markets. Surveys show that 10 percent of our exhibitors are taking part in a trade fair abroad for the first time. And 80 percent of exhibitors wouldn’t have exhibited at the trade fair if it hadn’t been for the participation programme.
Variety of industries
There are shared Bavarian stands in a variety of different industries, including broadcasting, IT, hotel fittings and furnishings, mechanical engineering, construction, medical technology, environmental technology and energy.
Help with organisation
The participating exhibitors benefit from these shared trade fair appearances in many different ways. What they find most useful is the help they receive with organisation. Exhibitors get a turnkey exhibition stand with flexible square footage. Bayern International handles all the organisation and looks after everything locally. Exhibiting companies get free use of shared facilities, such as a lounge where they can connect to the Internet and send and receive faxes. They also receive relevant market information in advance from partners in the host country and tips on hotels, flights or forwarding agents. This allows exhibitors to focus all their attention on preparing for the trade fair.
While the exhibitors gain most from the help they receive with organisation, but they do also benefit from financial support, which reduces the pressure on their trade fair budget. Take the broadcasting, digital media and satellite trade fair, Cabsat 2013, in Dubai, for example. An exhibition stand of nine square metres would normally have cost 3,690 euros, but companies with an annual turnover of up to 50m euros paid only 2,025 euros. The two square metre stand unit with an information desk was also considerably cheaper, costing 780 euros instead of 1,420 euros at the same trade fair.
Preparatory trade fair training
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, goes the saying. And with its Fit for Fair trade fair training programme, Bayern International now offers intercultural preparation for exhibitors at trade fairs abroad. Our all-day seminar provides answers to important questions faced by exhibitors both before and during a trade fair – focusing on the host country: What does the target audience expect from me at the trade fair? How do I establish business relationships that last? What are the dos and don’ts in the host country? An experienced trade fair trainer and an intercultural expert prepare exhibitors for their appearance at the Bavarian stand, and business people are invited to report on their experiences in practice. The Fit for Fair trade fair seminar is offered for trade fair appearances in Brazil, China, India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
“Trade Fair Plus” initiative
In 2012 Bayern International launched its “Trade Fair Plus” initiative, which combines a trade fair appearance with helping companies to explore business opportunities in regions unfamiliar to them – thus obtaining additional value. For example, after the medical trade fair Kimes 2013 in Seoul, a group of Bavarian exhibitors took a 240 km trip to Daegu, home of global conglomerate Samsung.
Western Europe initiative
Help is offered not just in emerging markets but in established markets as well. As part of its western Europe initiative, Bayern International offers Bavarian companies the opportunity to exhibit at shared stands at trade fairs in western Europe without direct financial support. Participating companies benefit from help with organisation and free service facilities locally.
This article was published in TFI issue 3-4/2013
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