A 365-day trade show. People-relationships-technology

When people hear about trade shows, many probably first think of booths. But is an industry event really just an exhibition that only lasts two or three days? Definitely not. Trade shows also have a rich accompanying schedule of training courses, workshops and presentations, offered by experts and often included in the ticket price; there are webinars during which specialists share their know-how, podcasts that touch on the most topical issues in many disciplines, not to mention seminars, conferences, congresses and festive galas. Trade shows are… a relationship you work on for 365 days per year.

Omnichannel strategies
- I never thought that organising a trade show was such a complex affair - is one of the most common remarks by our new staff members. Gone are the days when all you had to do was make a phone call and buy a newspaper ad to promote your event and attract guests and exhibitors. Today, if you want to prepare a trade show, you first need to meticulously define and research your target group, analyse its needs, define your key messages, set goals, draw up effective strategies, optimise your campaigns, select the best outreach channels, build relations with sponsors and key opinion leaders and, above all, always stay in touch with your industry. The pandemic has hastened the inevitable: digitisation, which is now a prerequisite of any efficient business, has also taken root at Targi w Krakowie. The figures speak for themselves. In 2021 alone, our company organised 16 online conferences, recorded a podcast (“Packaging Innovations. Rozmowy spakowane”), launched a new streaming service at the International Book Fair in Kraków®, and replaced printed catalogues with electronic ones.

Aware of the growing audience reach of online video formats, Targi w Krakowie has increased its focus on video materials that show not only the events as they unfold, but also the lead-up to the trade shows. What else? We send out 160 newsletter campaigns, generate and manage content on more than 20 websites, maintain 15 active Facebook pages, as well as Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, and organise multiple online campaigns using channels like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads. We have tapped digital marketing analytics and optimisation tools to ensure that news about our events reaches a much greater audience and, most importantly, the target groups that interested in any given theme.

More than numbers

One of the foundations of our competitive advantage is that we care about creating positive emotions across the entire customer journey. You could say that one person’s experience is the work of a whole team of people: sales reps, marketers, PR experts, graphic designers, technical support, cleaning personnel and car parking staff. Everything the customer does, from entering the website, through phone contact, all the way to attendance at the trade show, will have an impact on the ultimate perception of their brand. And the way the company is seen will then often determine our future relations. Ever since its beginnings, Targi w Krakowie has for 26 years now worked to earn the trust of hundreds of business people who come back to attend its events every year. - In their reviews, our exhibitors often emphasise that they felt well taken care of at every stage. The trust we have been building for years is now paying off, because thanks to our focus on customer experience, companies are very keen to choose our events - emphasises Grażyna Grabowska, CEO of Targi w Krakowie. The last two pandemic years were an acid test for our customer relationships. There was a risk people would forget us once we were no longer able to organise events. But they didn’t. Thanks to our deep bonds and the opportunities offered by technology, they not only decided to stick with us throughout this difficult time, but continued to share their knowledge and experience at our online conferences and through podcasts. This made it easier for us to start working again on in-person events, because we know that our clients are really waiting for them - she adds.

To sum up, you could say that by using multiple outreach channels and different promotional strategies, trade shows have become one of the most effective tools for building lasting business relationships. This potential is appreciated by exhibitors, who not only are taking advantage of the current trade show offer, but are also getting more involved, helping produce publications devoted to the current trends and challenges in various industries.