Trade fairs are an opportunity for time well spent [INTERVIEW]


During meetings at the fair, it is easiest to get to know the competition's offer. There is no better way to analyze than a two-three-day intensive live benchmarking - says Wojciech Kokotek, project director of Międzynarodowe Targi Poznańskie, in an interview for the bulletin of the Polish Meat Association.

Wojciech Kokotek, Director of POLAGRA

Just two years ago, it seemed that the pandemic "turned the table" and live meetings would be limited to a minimum. After a few years, we can probably say that the black scenarios did not come true?

Absolutely yes! Personally, I think that live meetings - whether business or social - have become even more valuable, also because we remember the time when they could not be organized. I guess that makes us appreciate them even more. I am not saying that nothing has changed, because exhibitors are more meticulous than a few years ago in choosing the places where they want to be present, but the trade fair industry is rather optimistic. Business meetings in the well-known trade fair formula are still needed, not to say indispensable.

We know very well what the everyday life of people who are responsible for making decisions in their companies, contact contractors and key clients looks like every day. It is difficult for them to find a time to meet online, let alone three days to participate in the fair.

In any business, you always have to ask yourself: how will I use my time and how the time spent on the meeting will translate into the achievement of business goals. The experience gained during the POLAGRA, Wino or Smaki Regionów fairs shows that it is during meetings at such events that it is easiest to learn about the competition's offer. There is no better way to analyze than two-three days of intensive benchmarking. If we devote a few days to collecting information about the competition, meeting with clients, we will learn more than for several months of trying to "remotely" analyze.

Trade fair organizers often emphasize that these are meeting places, also less formal ones. How does this relate to the analysis you are talking about?

It complements perfectly! We meet with clients, check whether our company is one of the leaders, whether the direction we have chosen is right, but we also meet people who facilitate and enable us to establish contacts. Such acquaintances really result in long-term cooperation. It may happen that at the fair, completely by chance, during a discussion panel, we will meet people with whom we have unsuccessfully wanted to make an appointment for the last six months.

What if we already have a large group of customers? Why should companies exhibit at the fair?

It happens that potential exhibitors raise this argument. We always answer them then: imagine a situation where your company is not at the fair. Your customers, however, are here and they end up at the stands of your competition. Personally, I would be afraid of losing such a client. But there's nothing to be afraid of. I prefer fairs to have very good associations, because it is a very intense, but also very satisfying time for everyone.

/Jacek Strzelecki/

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