The Gozo Expo: A trade show that is an important local economic driver
The Gozo Expo, together with the Gozo Business Awards, has become a large-scale trade show that will be held at an international level on 31 May at the Grand Hotel, Mgarr, Gozo. This Expo can be considered a hybrid of a trade show and an exhibition that is mainly focused on exhibitors. It will feature a few conferences and/or seminars put on by the show organiser that relate to the topic of the expo. With names such as Google, Noovle, Webidoo and other local exhibitors, this unique trade show is a must-see for all business investors as well as the general public.
It will also feature live performances by the celebrated band The Travellers, George Curmi (Il-Pusè) and his Quartet, fire-eaters and fire-jugglers and a free coffee stand, culminating in the prestigious Gozo Business Awards on 1 June, same night as the Champions League Final between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC. In fact, by popular demand, special arrangements have been made to screen this final live in the same Grand Ballroom in which the Gozo Business Awards are being held.
This piece is not about what’s going on and what’s not during the two-day event. It is actually about the benefits and risks of trade shows and exhibitions. Considering the benefits and risks to your business when deciding whether or not to exhibit your product or service is paramount. These will be different for each event, but there can be a lot to gain from promoting your product in person in a different environment.
Trade shows are generally targeted at an industry and those involved or interested in that industry. Exhibiting at a trade show can be a great way of advertising to a target market and creating brand awareness. Exhibitions are open to a large and sometimes diverse range of audiences (usually the general public) and this provides you with a platform on which to promote your product or service to a wider group that may have little or no knowledge of your products and services.
Depending on your type of business, product and market testing can be carried out at trade shows and exhibitions to gain industry or general opinion about what you are offering. Being involved in a trade show or exhibition can provide you with opportunities to branch out to business-to-business (B2B) trading and create a customer database from the visitors to your display booth.
It is also important to ensure that you have thoroughly researched what is involved in attending a trade show or exhibition, and if you have a business adviser, do discuss it with them.
There are risks involved that you need to be aware of in the planning stages, including:
trade shows require probably more than one day of your time
travelling to trade shows can be costly
displaying at a trade show can also be costly
there will probably be quite a bit of competition at all shows
make sure to make the event relevant and attractive Choosing the wrong trade show and wrong venue to exhibit your business’s products or services can result in displaying to the wrong audience. Poor promotion can mean the costs involved in exhibiting at the show outweigh any revenue you make. For instance, we have been promoting the Gozo Expo via social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, we have also placed a billboard near the MIA, we have made arrangements with Maltapost to deliver flyers to all households and businesses in Gozo, as well as direct newsletter mail-shots to over 70,000 database clients.
When it comes to attracting people to your booth, it’s about standing out. Handing out flyers and business cards may boost the exposure of your business to some extent, but nearly every booth will have these basics. Ask yourself: ‘What can we do to get noticed?’
Deciding to attend
You might find attending trade shows is worthwhile if you have: • Enough funds to cover attendance, display and other associated costs
Worked out how many prospects and clients you will need to obtain to generate a return on your investment • • Visited a trade show at which you are contemplating exhibiting and you are confident that a sufficient number of contacts attend • Worked out a way of catching
people’s attention • Sufficient product literature
Also consider: • Finding out how to convert
customer leads into prospects. • Making sure your sales skills
are top notch. • Learning more about marketing. The Gozo Expo and the Gozo Business Awards have been created for the whole industry in Gozo, as well Malta, as a trade show which is an important local economic driver, offering businesses a chance to showcase their services and meet potential clients in a competitive, yet extremely beneficial, environment. For more information about the Gozo EXPO, Gozo Business Awards, attendance and exhibit packages, please contact Margaret Brincat on 9940 6743/mar[email protected]publications.net The Ministry for Gozo offers information and support to interested businesses, as well as through business support schemes. https://mgoz.gov.mt/en/Pages/Ho me.aspx