Trade Show Exhibiting During Challenging Economic Times
There is no doubt that the current financial meltdown has caused a serious need for marketing and sales functions in most corporations to be reevaluated, modified, and readjusted.
Most all tactics within a firm's marketing mix will need to be evaluated to determine which are the most effective in stimulating sales and closing business.
Trade show exhibiting is one of the most expensive and time consuming activities in the marketing/sales mix, and it often finds itself on the top of the list of the cost- cutting chopping block.
Because trade show exhibiting expenses include the immediate outlay of cash for exhibit space, exhibit materials, shipping, labor, transportation, travel, hotel expenses and daily expenses for those who work the booth, it is often easy to see where accounting-driven corporate management seeking to save money might decide that trade show exhibiting during tough financial times is just not worth it. Before that important decision is made, however, consider just how your presence - or absence - at important trade shows affects your business. Trying to save a few dollars today could compromise business tomorrow.
Consider this: If you drop out of a trade show that you have exhibited in before, what will your competitors say to your prospects and customers about your absence? The fact that you are not on the exhibit floor will provide your competitors with an excellent opportunity to simply and effectively cast doubt about your financial health and, more importantly, your ability to continue to sell and service your products. The exchange between your prospects and customers with your competitor could sound something like this: "Gee, I don't know where they are. Maybe they're in serious financial difficulty and can't afford to exhibit. But not to worry, because we're here and ready to serve your every need."
So before your company decides to drop out of any trade show, here are a few suggestions that will keep your customers, prospects, and competitors on the same page and make the most of the opportunities available to you on the show floor.
• Reduce the size of your exhibit space. As long as you are on the exhibit floor, your people are available to conduct business as usual. If a question arises about the size of your booth - if in fact it is smaller compared to previous years - you can simply say that serving prospects' and customers' needs during these challenging economic times is more important than having a fancy exhibit.
• Use simple exhibit materials. Today's lightweight, easy-to-set-up-and-dismantle exhibit materials provide the cost-conscious exhibitor with many opportunities to cut costs and maintain an excellent trade show presence. When compared to custom exhibits, modular exhibit materials offer dramatic cost savings and provide a simple backdrop for creating a professional exhibit environment from which to conduct business.
• Rent Exhibit Materials. Research local vendors to find an exhibit builder who will rent you an exhibit, including labor to transport it to and from the show and installation and dismantling services - all for one quoted price. Product could be shipped to the exhibit house and all materials could be delivered to the show for installation by workers who know the hall and what it takes to get in and out with few problems.
• Man the Booth with Local People. Instead of flying people from all over the country into the show city, try to man the booth with local sales, service, and/or office personnel. This will not only save money, but it will also give selected people an opportunity to represent the company in the exciting and often educational environment that trade shows offer.
• Consider National Shows More on a Local Basis. When money is tight, you can expect fewer prospects and customers to travel long distances to attend a trade show. But as an exhibitor, you'll likely see more local attendees, so adjust your goals and objectives to maximize those opportunities.
• Show Special Non-Product Benefit Offerings. While product is king, there are many non-product offerings that add value to a sale during tough economic times. Discounted or free extended warranties, free technical support, free product updates, a 30-day money-back guarantee, generous low-interest payment plans, free shipping, innovative trade-in allowances, lease option to own programs, and discounted service contracts are but a few ideas to add value to an exhibitor's trade show presentation.
• Immediate and Effective Sales Lead Follow-Up. New business is tough to get, so every opportunity an exhibitor has to favorably impress a prospect/customer and obtain the sale is magnified. Now is the time to focus on providing excellent after-show customer service. Sales lead management is critical in responding to a prospect's request for more product/service information, and the exhibitor who can effectively meet the challenges will get the sale.
• The Press. The trade and consumer press will continue to attend trade shows seeking news, new products, and stories associated with the industry and exhibitors. Successful exhibitors always have complete press kits to hand out, and they always pre-arrange interviews with editors attending the show to foster post-show coverage, ensuring that their products, services and news are accurately reported.
Conclusion. Tough economic times can't last forever. Those exhibitors who now focus on servicing prospect and customer needs while adjusting their trade show exhibit programs to meet new economic challenges will survive. And not only that: they'll also emerge stronger and more successful than those who fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Packaging industry in Republic of Belarus.
The area of Republic Of Belarus: 207, 6 thousand square kilometers; located in Eastern part of Europe. It bounds with Lithuania and Latvia in northern part, with Ukraine in southern part, with Russian Federation in eastern part and with Poland in western part. The country has strategically position to communicate west and east, north and south. The distance from Minsk to Warsaw is 500 kilometers, to Moscow – 700 kilometers, to Berlin – 1.060 kilometers, to Vienna – 1.300 kilometers.
Packaging industry in Republic of Belarus.
Back from last ten years Belarus passed fundamental changes. Nowadays, the amount of Belarusian enterprises and firms that produce packaging materials and prepackaging & packaging equipment is growing each year. Enterprises produce dickers of tare and package’s types of nutritional production, domestic chemistry, medical and perfumer produces film materials of different formulation and function. We have arising demand for modern automatic packaging equipment with good productivity.
Unfortunately, many enterprises do not have financial sources for updating old equipment, that’s why some enterprises buy used-up machines. Belarus has main packaging-equipment deliveries from Eastern Europe countries, Ukraine and Russia. But west-European packaging equipment producers compete with firms from Asia (Taiwan, Korea, Turkey etc.) at Belarusian market, that offer simple and rather inexpensive machines.
Nowadays in Republic of Belarus we observe noticeable growth of enterprises and firms producing materials and equipment for packaging industry, that are able to comply Belarusian enterprises growing needs with qualitative packaging. “VAEM” company delivers multipurpose function equipment for packaging loose and paste-like production in a large assortment to the Belarusian market. Minsk “Optron” device-constructional factory produces lines for milk-packaging, lines for fluid and loose products packaging in 0,5-1,0 liter holding capacity package, lines for potato and root-fruits prepackaging in polymeric grid (holding capacity – 3 liters maximum). Also well-known in Republic of Belarus are packaging machines of “Compo” private unitary company, Gomel machine-component factory’s packaging engineering, prepackaging-packaging automaton and mechanized sewing units for prepackaging and packaging of fluid, paste-like and loose products in polymer-material tare.
Thus Belarusian producers were able to gain high European level and at the same time to obtain national features in a rather short time. For example, “Belita” cosmetics and perfumery is able to compete with foreign analogs with it’s quality and package design. Brest milk-factory “Savushkin Product” assortment is not just very large but also well-known not only in Belarus but also in abutting countries markets.
This type of packaging is the most popular and the most common in our country. In Belarus 11 enterprises produce paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials. With full production capacity, paper industry enterprises can produce more than 370 thousands of tissue and cardboard each year (36 kilo for each citizen of Belarus). Cardboard and corrugated cardboard production demands special technologies and equipment. Besides, this business isn’t rather profitable, though we can notice advanced demand for these materials and packaging made from these materials in the last times. Perhaps, it is connected with common economical activity in Republic of Belarus.
“Bellesbumprom” concern contains 8 paper and cardboard-producing enterprises. They became shareholders in our country at first-priority. One of the biggest factories in Belarus is Svetlogorsk cellulose-cardboard factory. Packaging materials and packaging are 95 percent of all producing goods. Belarusian market releases are 60 percent maximum of output, other output trends for export. Factory competes secondary-queue building of producing area with 10.000 tones capability of cellulose. Paper-factory “Spartak” (Shklov, Mogilev area) main assortment is crimping paper, packaging paper. Enterprise had to reject almost all types of thin-paper production that was used before for confectionery goods packaging. Nowadays more thick paper or polymer film is used for these needs. In 1990 state enterprise “Albertin” (Slonim paper-factory) provided with Czech equipment produced 198.000 tones. Nowadays it’s about 30.000 tones. Though that enterprise produces more than 100 types of production including box-cardboard, chalk-overly paper and cigarette-packaging paper for Grodno tobacco factory.
There is no competition between package-paper producers and there is also no unsatisfied demand in Belarus. Consumers are Belarusian commercial bases traditionally buy monthly 500-550 thousands of paper (80’s – 1,500 tones maximum). Nevertheless the demand for this paper is decreasing. Now is more beneficial to use various polymer packages for nutritional production packaging.
Nowadays more than 80 percent of production is packed in polymer film in Belarus. Various polymer materials are produced mostly at “Belneftehim” concern factories. But they can not produce many types of polymer packaging materials for many reasons and raw materials for their producing, is needed to being import.
The present day statistic analysis discovered that polyolefin is the most wanted polymers in Republic of Belarus, and their use growing times for next ten years will give 4-5 percents.
One of the oldest and biggest enterprises in this sector is Mogilev artificial fiber factory that produces biaxial-oriented film and goods made from these materials. At the beginning of 2006 new lines for film-shuttered set in operation. It will allow increasing producing of materials that will have improved barrier characteristics. Belarusian-Czech “Pakland” enterprise is a single producer of honeycombed film and is an exclusive source of modern packaging materials made from foamed polyethylene (protective angles, profiles etc.).
Glass industry in Republic of Belarus is introduced by 9 enterprises. More than a half of them produce tare – glass bottles for prepackaging of nutritional production and beverage foods, jars for kid-nutrition and cans.
Nowadays Belarusian can’s producers needs are about 200-220 million of jars per year. Capability of glass-factories is 190 million of jars in converting to 0,5 liters. Producing capabilities seemed to be enough to satisfy demand on glass tare, but many types of glass tare are able to compete. Modern glass jar appropriated market needs is a good with spiral neck “Euro twist” and with lid “Twist Off”. Only in the end 2005 was planned to produce this type of tare (III-type jar) in amount of 110 million per year in Belarus. It will give about 50 percent of cans- producing enterprises needs.
Belarusian enterprises need to update operative equipment and provide the entry of new capabilities for European quality level goods. Besides, we need to pay attention to kid-nutrition producing enterprises need of jar “Euro Twist” (contain-capability – 50-200 milliliters) for fruit-vegetable cans prepackaging. Nowadays only 30 percent of this demand is satisfied. In 2005 was planned to produce 40 million of this tare.
Future perspectives in glass-industry are connected with producing shockproof-glass tare, with weight-decreasing using raw materials structure and formulation changing, with using various protective covers and with increasing of using cullet.
How to solve waste material problems?
Last years in the Republic of Belarus increased attention was given to the packaging waste material problem. As packaging industry develops, the problem of waste processing and utilization is getting more actually. Nowadays in Belarus there are 1323 storage centers collecting of package waste. Unfortunately, we must admit that waste materials conversion enterprises can not overpower the amount of waste materials that generate and accumulate at the dumps. Approved dumps in our country take 3, 500 hectare where are already accumulated more than 700 million tones of waste materials. Average amount of waste materials per year (in calculation for 1 citizen) is 2, 5 tones of waste materials. The level of waste using and processing is only 16 percent in Belarus.
We can decrease the level of waste in dumps if we get state support and incorporate other countries experience. One of the important steps in this direction became the organization of communal garbage separate collection project of Belarusian social organization “Ekoproekt” that works with GTZ/IBB support and co-operates with German organization OWI (Ost-West Institute). During this project Belarusian specialists learned charge and separation domestic waste materials system in Bonne (Germany), there was some information prepared for the population and some seminars about separated charge of domestic waste materials were organized for school-teachers and housing association workers. As the result, was planned a future cooperation and the way of solving problems (training population to be interested in environmental protection, cost-decrease of waste processing). That process is rather long but essential at the same time. Nowadays in Republic of Belarus takes effect the Council of Ministers Decree ¹ 269 of 27.07.2003 “About Collection and Using Some Types of Secondary Raw Materials Development”. According to the Decree, unfortunately, financial means that were given to special bank account assigned without taking into consideration storage organizations deposit. It leads to interest-decreasing of secondary raw materials store capacity augmentation. Besides, waste materials processing enterprises need technical re-equipment.
According to the last year Council of Ministers Decree, juridical persons have to sort waste materials at their factory areas to different types and sell secondary resources to storage organizations. But the majority of enterprises did not take care about this. Actually, waste materials collection, sorting and processing is a beneficial business, the real way to earn money. For example, during one summer day in the center of Minsk there is about 1, 5 million people and each of them leaves at least one empty bottle or jar, and this is almost about 700 m3 secondary resources. We can save 10-15 million rubles per day if we arrange right collection of packaging waste.
The present day, Belarus glass industry needs more than 222.000 tones of cullet, cellulose-paper producing – 182.000 tones of old paper; processing enterprises need unlimited quantity of aluminum cans and polymer bottles.
On the base of Mogilev garbage-processing enterprise is planned to learn new technology that will allow getting humus by California worms. “Tehnoresursinvest” enterprise developed new technology up-to-date know-how that would be able to dispose humus of heavy metals salts. In Mogilev there was an attempt to produce blacklead and black oil from out-of-repair rubber goods, but producing was stopped because of expensiveness of received materials. “Golden” waste materials are useless, and the recycling is rather expensive. Gomel scientists of A. V. Bely Institute of Metal Polymer Systems Mechanic developed formula of modificating additions that will increase the resistance of road-cover on 20 percents. They used secondary polymers as main component. Belarusian State Technology University scientists realizing “Mogilevhimvolokno” company order, developed method of consistence definition of polyethyleneterephthalate in secondary polymer raw material.