What all things we need to for the trade fair? How can we design an unique stand design? What will be the sales strategy? How can we add value to the trade fair?
These all questions seems confusing and specially for a person like me who has no experience of displaying product/services at trade events. For me 24th Jan, 2019 was quite fascinating as well as challenging because this was for the first time where I along with my team ‘Omni’ had to display and sell our designed product to the students of Kingston University on in our business school atrium trade fair. This was challenging for us as no one from our team had any previous experience of trade fairs except the visits we made as a normal visitor at various trade events.
Well, based on my experience after the completion of our trade fair I must say that you have to prepare a lot in order to display you and your products at trade events.
For this trade fair, we displayed a MVP for our product in the form of booklets and templates which included activities encouraging personal connections. To be honest, I feel didn’t do well enough despite of winning best sales pitch award for the trade fair.
There were certain areas which needed a lot of improvements. We eventually ended by messing up our value proposition till the end of the trade fair.
One of the common mistake we all tend to make is that we directly jump on value proposition when it comes to selling of our product (Rackham, 1998). In addition, various studies have found that despite of designing products that fulfills the needs of the customer, various businesses find it difficult to sell their products because sometimes customers have not formulated their problems which are solved by the product although they are facing the problems in their day to day lives (Castleberry & Tanner, 2011). However, at this point of time it becomes very crucial for businesses to communicate their value proposition in such a way that makes conversation interesting allowing to emphasize the needs and wants of the customers using open and closed probes, unlike usual sales pitch which are boring and start with highlighting the features and benefits of the product. We committed the same mistake and directly started highlighting our value propositions.
Secondly, we noticed that despite of designing a product which was a unique solution for very crucial issue known as “Loneliness” , we found it challenging to communicate our message to the customers because most of them were not ready to accept the fact of feeling lonely at times openly . Hence, this challenged our existing marketing strategy and were forced to think different ways of promoting our product in such a way that can encourage the flow of the customers towards us without negatively highlighting the problem we were solving.
Nevertheless, despite of making fair amount of mistakes in this trade fair, this experience proved to be quite fruitful to us as it provided us with valuable insights which were not only helpful for our start-up but can be crucial at various stages of my career.
Hopefully, we will figure out the challenges till the next trade fair which is at Eden Street by the end of February and will come up with a finished product soon.
- Castleberry, S.B. and Tanner, J.F., 2011. Selling: building partnerships. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
- Rackham, N. and DeVincentis, J., 1998. Rethinking the sales force: Refining selling to create and capture customer value. Pennsylvania, NY: McGraw-Hill.