The Gozo Expo: A trade show that is an im­por­tant lo­cal economic driver

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - BUSINESS & FINANCE -

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.

Ben­e­fits

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.

Risks

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

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