Trade fairs in Germany – key instruments for developing new markets
What do companies require to successfully develop international markets? They need to make contacts with potential customers, they need distribution and service partners, and they need platforms where they can present their products and their business to the public. Achieving these goals requires either a broad palette of instruments, or a single, well-prepared presentation at a trade fair. Trade fairs are by far the most versatile of broad-spectrum marketing instruments. Trade fairs enable businesses to develop and maintain relationships with customers and clients, to search new partners and personnel, and to position themselves within the market. Trade fairs provide a test market for new products and a market research environment. And of course, trade fairs are a place to do business. These factors make trade fairs ideal venues for smaller and newly established companies, which often lack the funds necessary to employ a broad spectrum of marketing tools. For these companies, trade fairs are an effective multi-purpose solution.
German trade fairs meet all these requirements and enjoy a high level of acceptance as purchasing instruments. Many of the visitors to German trade fairs are decision-makers: over 60 % of all visitors to German trade fairs are involved in decision-making processes relating to purchasing. Therefore, exhibiting at a German trade fair provides access to high quality contacts.
The importance of trade fairs for smaller businesses is reflected in the exhibitor mix, with over half of all businesses employing a staff of less than 50 employees.
German trade fairs make it easy for businesses to reach their target groups. From bicycles to wind energy, and from carpeting to biotechnology – there is a specialist trade fair for nearly every industry. Around 170 trade fairs of international or national significance are held in Germany every year.
However, their appeal is not restricted to those wishing to do business with German companies. Trade fairs have become important meeting places for exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. Over half of all exhibitors are from abroad, and one third of these come from countries outside Europe. Around a quarter of all visitors – and one third of the trade visitors – are from abroad.
Foreign companies exhibiting their products and services at trade fairs in Germany can use this opportunity to gain new customers both in Europe and further afield. Importers visiting trade fairs in Germany can explore a spectrum of products from around the globe and compare their quality and pricing.
But the international character of German trade fairs is not the only factor that appeals to exhibitors and visitors from around the world. There are at least six other key factors:
German trade fairs are organized by professionals: the organizers have extensive experience in the development and management of international trade fairs and draw on the services of highly specialized and internationally experienced experts for their marketing, sales, service and engineering requirements.
German trade fair organizers market their services to exhibitors and visitors around the world: The larger trade fair companies maintain a global network of agencies in order to inform exhibitors and visitors locally. Approximately 600 information centres located around the globe provide easy access to German trade fair organizers.
Exhibitors, visitors and organizers engage in long-term cooperation: One key factor in the success of the German trade fair industry is the close cooperation of the various parties in advisory committees and other bodies. These arrangements ensure that trade fairs are developed and scheduled in line with market requirements.
The services available to exhibitors at trade fairs in Germany are internationally leading: German trade fair companies constantly seek to extend their range of services. They support exhibitors looking for stand construction companies, multi-lingual personnel, travel booking services or press and marketing services.
Germany offers exhibitors trade fair grounds and infrastructures that are among the best in the world. The high quality of Germany’s transport infrastructure is a crucial factor in minimizing transport costs to and from trade fairs.
Trade fairs in Germany offer excellent value for money: exhibitors enjoy access to a high volume of quality visitors while paying comparatively modest stand rentals. The low per-contact cost ratio enjoyed by exhibitors at German trade fairs compares favourably with both international competitors and other channels.
Therefore, more and more exhibitors and visitors from countries around the world bank on trade fairs made in Germany when planning to develop new markets.