ARE TRADE FAIRS OVERRATED? Yes darlings, they are. I will be sharing my experience and the experiences of business owners at trade fairs.
Tradefair! Hmmmmm, I think it is overrated at the same time it also depends on the goods and services you have to offer. The 3 times I have done trade fair, I was at loss, couldn’t even make back the money I paid for the stand. Most people want extremely cheap things in good quality. Also, those in the food business make more profit. I think location and publicity of the trade fair also matters. Tradefair is overrated for me sha – BOLU
From Bolu’s point of view, I understood where she was coming from. I remembered one trade fair I participated in. When we did not make sales on the first day, I and my friend were already thinking of making barbecue, zobo, punch and small chops since food business was moving. It was not funny, we were eating and consoling ourselves even if there were no sales. Our mantra was’ we cannur comman go and die’. We were even mourning the fates of those that brought representatives and skaters they have to pay and feed daily.
I asked another business owner, would you attend a trade fair ever again, given your experience. She outrightly typed NOPE. We had the same experiences, it is a sore spot!
My experience of trade fairs ended in tears, premium tears. My first ever trade fair was with naijasmestradefair at Ndubuisi Kanu Park. It was whack, with no publicity whatsoever and low turnout. The Influencers that were invited just came to showcase themselves. I saw vendors snapped pictures with them and gifted them their products. I do not know if this is another form of advertisement. But I do not care! Then the supposedly TV lady asked for ‘something’, I looked at my friend, my friend looked at me. I dipped my hands into the bowl of sweets and gave her. You do not expect me to give you out of the sales I have not made how inconsiderate can people be.
The second trade fair was at Moremi hall, Unilag. You know the high spirits I was in when I learnt about the trade fair. The spirit of I am going to buy a car from the sales made here. I just ate away, sold at my cost price and the rest they say is history. I lost my phone and had to pay handsomely to the person that found it. If I am asked if I am going to ever buy a stand at a trade fair. My answer is NO! A big fat one.
The psychological and emotional stress you go through when planning for a trade fair, I was not ready for it. I had to fight for a stand I paid for at an exorbitant rate. Pray for customers to patronize me. Pray for good weather amongst other things. It was not worth it. Coupled with the fact I had my customer care job which I had to resume to at night. Imagine me selling away during the day and attending to clients at night, it was not a walk in the park. Shebi I would have used the money to buy pizza and enjoy Coldstone ice cream for a month.
As a business person, would you attend a trade fair and buy a booth? Yes, it depends on how popular the trade fair is. Cus I wouldn’t want to pay a huge amount to get a space and end up not making one sale. I will do my findings well to know how popular the trade fair is( to tick the box of “Will people even attend”) In a case like that, even if I don’t make sales, which I hope not…lol, I will make sure at least 5% of the visitors know about my store, follow my page or any other thing sha. Cus trust me, the fear of “what if I don’t sell” is what is stopping businesses from trade fairs. – FATIMA
If I had dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s as Fatima said she would maybe, just maybe my money would have been put to good use.
Exhibiting at trade fairs can bring benefits to your business. You can meet directly with potential customers and generate leads. Exhibiting at trade fairs is a good way to raise your profiles and generate brand awareness. You will also learn more about your competitors. However, success is not guaranteed and there are costs involved. Consider the pros and cons before you decide to invest your time and money.
The results you achieve are partly up to you, it involves a lot of work and preparation. Your results are also partially determined by the success of the event and organizers. So it’s important to do some careful research before deciding whether to attend as a visitor or as a vendor.
Are trade fairs overrated? Have you attended as a vendor? Did you make sales or We thank God?