Step 2 – Trade fairs as part of the marketing mix

Trade fairs as part of the marketing mix

Trade fairs as part of the marketing mix

In order to make a strategic decision regarding trade fair participation a company must look at its marketing mix in terms of its products, pricing, communications and sales channels.

Trade fairs should not only be seen as an efficient communications and sales channel. They also influence product and pricing strategies, and as information technology evolves they naturally change too. The internet plays a major part here, providing access to information in any place and at any time. Thus, where capital goods are concerned, for instance, trade fairs have evolved from a large buyers’ event to places where information is exchanged and people engage in face-to-face meetings.

Selected functions

Trade fairs

  • provide a focus that mirrors
  • selected markets
  • offer entertaining experiences and appeal to all senses
  • guarantee and enhance market transparency
  • open up new markets
  • facilitate a direct comparison of value for money
  • promote an in-depth exchange of information

Elements of the marketing mix

Elements of the marketing mix

Communications mix: traditional advertising, sales promotion / direct marketing, public relations, direct sales, sponsorship / event marketing / product placement, new media

Pricing and sales conditions mix: pricing, credit, discounts, payments, service

Distribution mix: sales organisation, sales channels, storage, transportation

Product mix: product quality, product range policy, brand, product design

Trade fairs in the marketing mix

Assessing one’s competitors

Assessing one’s competitors

An evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of a company’s competitors provides yet more useful information in assessing the options as regards taking part in trade fairs.

When assessing one’s competitors the aim can be to:

  • better determine one’s own position on the market

  • learn from the market activities of one’s competitors

  • provide a better insight into the developments at one’s own company

Participation in trade fairs as an integral part of company activities

Participation in trade fairs as an integral part of company activities

The prospect of taking part in a trade fair usually generates widespread and emotional debate throughout the entire company hierarchy, in a similar way to advertising, sales promotion and public relations activities.

Without doubt, trade fairs are complex affairs. Bad experiences, insufficient knowledge of important factors, for example those concerning the choice of event and the effects of participation, can lead to scepticism or unwillingness to take part.

This sense of insecurity can only be confronted by understanding trade fairs as an integral part of company activities and by incorporating this approach into the company’s dynamic development process.