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Maximizing Time and Resources at Trade Shows
By: Jason Li, Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions
Posted: February 17, 2010
To maximize your conference experience, check out the schedule in advance and sign up to attend. Popular tracks may fill up fast.
In good times or bad, most companies that are visiting or exhibiting at a trade show are concerned with maximizing their investment in time and resources. And with China taking the center stage in the global marketplace, the Personal Care & Homecare ingredients (PCHi) event provides the most effective business platform for domestic and international ingredient suppliers to engage manufacturers of cosmetic, personal care and household products.
The event is rotated annually between Shanghai and Guangzhou—two of China’s most affluent business cities that are also regional manufacturing hubs for the personal care, cosmetics, toiletries and home care industry, As such, PCHi gathers formulators, manufacturers, R&D technologists, and senior management from all corners of the global community.
Rapid development and continuous innovation in the ingredients industry require stakeholders to stay informed and updated, and the PCHi conference program is specifically designed as a one-stop platform for peer-to-peer exchange of industrial knowledge and information, especially as it relates to China. Conference themes for the 2010 program will focus on how global industry changes affect businesses in China, and vice versa. Speakers will cover topics that are relevant for global companies looking to invest in China and for Chinese companies looking to do business elsewhere.
As a new year of events aimed at raw material suppliers and formulators begins, following are some tips and useful reminders to make the most efficient use of time and resources before, during and after an event.
Before you go…
- Pre-register. Pre-registration can mean a free entry or discounted pass for shows that charge an entrance fee on-site. Upon registering, one can typically sign up to receive event e-newsletters to be kept up-to-date on industry and show-related news leading up to opening day. Pre-registration for PCHi is open and entitles you to FREE access to the show.
- Check out the conference schedule (see PCHi's schedule) and sign up to attend. Some popular tracks may sell out fast due to a popular speaker or topic, so book your space before it’s too late. Also, take note of new conference tracks, which are usually unique to the industry or locale of the exhibition. For example, the most popular topics are the ones about local regulations and products available only locally in the event country.
- Visit the event Web site regularly to be informed of the latest news about the exhibition. If the Web site has a meeting schedule engine, sign up and begin making appointments with exhibitors about a month before the show begins.
- Book and plan your travel. If you’re traveling overseas, be sure to check with your travel agent or the event’s appointed travel agent about visa requirements, and begin the process early to avoid last minute stress or disappointments.
During the show…
- Attend the opening ceremony. In some countries like China, you’ll be able to learn who the movers and shakers (especially government officials) in the industry are, and perhaps discover a thing or two about the local culture if you’re an overseas visitor.
- Study the map (see the PCHi floorplans) and plan your route and time before hitting the floor, bearing in mind the meetings you scheduled, and the conferences you signed up for. Don’t forget to stop by the smaller booths as you never know what innovative technologies you can find there. And speak with as many people as you can, being sure to collect their business cards; you might find the information useful in the future.
- Stop by the organizer’s office to share your feedback. Event organizers typically send out surveys but in case one doesn’t reach you, feel free to approach the organizer’s office to speak with a staff member.
After the event…
- Mark the next year’s location and dates on your calendar so you won’t miss it. If possible, pre-register to attend so you won’t forget when the time comes.
- Follow up with the important contacts you met at the show, and save the details of the people you were acquainted with, being sure you note the event and year that you met them. Again, you never know when you’d need these contacts for a product or service request in the future.
Before you go…
- Promote your presence at the show to ensure maximum returns on your investment by placing the trade show logo and your booth number on your Web site, advertisements and in e-mail signatures.
- If you’re launching a new product at the event, begin informing customers and prospects through your company’s regular marketing channels. You can also team up with the show organizers to include a teaser in the show’s e-newsletters.
- Explore sponsorhip opportunities at the event to increase your exposure on-site.
During the show…
- Attend the opening ceremony for networking opportunities and if time allows, attend conferences that are relevant to your product offerings since these are where potential clients will be.
- Keep someone stationed at your booth; don’t waste your investment in a booth by leaving it empty. Build a roster for your team, and if you’re short on staff, talk to the show organizers about getting part-time help to simply collect business cards and distribute marketing material.
- Be prepared to make a booking for the next year's event and while you are doing so, take a moment to provide feedback to the organizers. Be sure to ask about the success of any new event features so that you can decide if you’d like to take part next time.
After the event…
- Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Get in touch with your prospects shortly after meeting them at the show—you can be sure your competitors are doing the same.
- Begin marketing the next exhibition your company will be participating in.
About the Author
Jason Li is Project Manager at Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions for the Personal Care & Homecare ingredients (PCHi) trade show. Reed Sinopharm Exhibitions Co. Ltd. (Reed Sinopharm) is a joint venture between Sinopharm, the largest state owned pharmaceutical group in China, and Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading organizer of trade and consumer exhibitions with a portfolio of over 460 events in 32 countries. As the leading professional, specialized trade show and conference business organizer of medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical events in China, Reed Sinopharm covers the entire supply chain and is dedicated to the medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare industry sectors. Reed Sinopharm organizes and manages numerous exhibitions and fairs including CMEF, API China, PharmChina, ExpoLab and TCMEx that rank among the largest in its niche sectors worldwide.
Venue: Shanghai Everbright Convention & Exhibition Center
Date: March 10-12, 2010
Times: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Wednesday and Thursday), 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Friday)
For more information, visit www.pchi-china.com.
The conference program is an important component of PCHi 2010 and FREE to register. There are in total four themes in the program: New Technology and Innovations, Regulatory Summit, Formulators’ Workshop and Marketing Trends.
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