This year’s edition of the most important trade fair for print and crossmedia solutions, drupa, has received nearly 2,000 exhibitors from 54 countries, and we have had the pleasure to be one of them. The investment climate was tangible as 54% of the visitors – who traveled from 188 countries – came to the fair with clear investment intentions according to drupa’s official data. Moreover, 29% placed orders during the event and 30% are willing to do it during the weeks following drupa. Also, 60% found new suppliers.
As a company with over 40 years of experience and know-how in the graphic industry, we can proudly affirm we are part of these statistics, in a good way. After a week processing approximately 430 contact forms gathered from our stand visitors, we found out that we attended business meetings with people from 80 countries, many of whom are placing or willing to place orders. We found exceptional partnerships (Also with scholars and universities!), we focused our brand new 3D division, Look3Dprint, and learned. Learned a lot.
Not everything was a bed of roses
However, rejoicing at our results is not an end in itself, as intensive-stand-visiting-strategy during a trade fair is the easy part. Keeping up with our new contacts and implementing personalized and straightforward B2B marketing tactics in the least possible time before any other company does is a real struggle that many of us are experiencing, especially bearing in mind that:
- Many of the visitors came by with no clear intentions and some simply left their business cards without saying a word;
- Some brought no business card or had incomplete contact info (Wasn’t this a print industry trade fair?);
- Language was a barrier for some small businesses from non-English-speaking countries;
- Not setting appointments was the rule, not the exception, which made planning ahead more difficult.
Unfortunately, business must go on and for those of us who could not keep in regular touch with our headquarters (This is a shout out to the WiFi issue, drupa!) during the fair, this means extra information research, extra effort and extra workload organizing data and tailoring custom email campaigns in an unsure way, all combined with daily tasks.
But a good customer service pays off, it always pays off.
Although business etiquette should give space to debate, fortunately it was not paralyzing. Drupa has finally decided to stick to its classic 4-year cycle showing an exceptional listening ability from its management group, Messe Düsseldorf. We all should follow the example and make our best to serve our new contacts and thinking about their needs. There is no business without efficient communication, even if we have to make an extra effort to reach out those who are not aware of this.