Stores Promotion through Trade fairs and Exhibitions

An increasingly popular method in stores promotion is where a country’s merchandise is promoted by a chain or a department store. India had earlier arranged such promotion in association with Bloomingdales in the USA and Gallerie Laffaitte in Paris. The most important event in the category if Stores Promotion for Indian products, however, is the Expedition India organized by one of the largest US Chain Stores, JC Penny along with their Indian associates Banaras House. Air India and Government of India Tourist Office also collaborated with this venture.

Under Expedition India 715, JC Penny stores throughout the USA displayed a large number of Indian merchandise which included fashion apparel accessories for women, men and children and home furnishing materials valued at $110 million for 3 weeks. To make the campaign successful, Penny employees were given 20,000 scarves 70,000 social associate badges, 11,000 stickers 120,000 tags, 13,000 sets of stationery and envelopes as promotional material. While the campaign was on, 30 and 60 seconds television commercials were telecast at prime time to an audience of 162 million people.

Fairs and exhibitions constitute the means of presenting goods and services in an attractive manner with the aid of color light and motion in order to catch the imagination of the visitor, attract his attention and get him interested in the objects displayed. They help reach the public which may not be reached in any other way or which by nature would disregard other media of publicity. Fairs are more useful for industrial products where demonstration is more effective.

Participation in a trade fair will help an exporter to have an idea of (1) what is available in the market concerned, (2) who would be his competitors (3) to what extent would the product have to be adapted (4) prevailing process in world markets and (5) strengths and weaknesses of competing products. In addition, he would be able to know the new development and technological trends in his industry. He may also come across a possible buyer for his product and an agent to represent him.

Though fairs traditionally had been medium of business from time immemorial the use and popularly of trade fairs and exhibitions of late have increased tremendously. So has increased the number of trade fairs an exhibition. Generally the term trade fair is used mean general and large fairs whereas exhibitions mean specialized fairs or solo or company exhibitions. Even in the category of trade fairs, there are different types:

General fairs: In these fairs there are exhibits of all types they have attraction both of the business firms as well as for the household buyers. There may be separate pavilions or separate groups. But side by side national pavilions exhibiting diverse products are also there. A good example of such a fair is the Milan fair.

Specialized Fairs: These fairs are highly specialized in the sense that only specific products are displayed. For example, the leather fair in Paris or the book fair at Frankfurt. These fairs are intended for the trade and industry and not for the general public. The objective of such fairs is not only to conclude deals immediately but also to have first hand knowledge of technical development in that particular sector, to identify business partners on a long term basis or to get ideas for product development.

Solo Exhibitions (National): Sometimes the government of a country may organize an exhibition of its export products in a country where market prospects are bright. The exhibitions may be a specialized one i.e. where only a small number of related product groups are displayed or a general exhibition showing all important export products of the country. Indee 79, the exhibition of Indian engineering products in Indonesia in 1979 is an example of specialized national exhibition.

Company Exhibition: Such an exhibition is organized by an exporting firm to exhibit its own products. Depending on the nature of the products the exhibition may be open to trade and consumers both.