Do we still need fairs?

Do we still need fairs?

We are living in a mobile world. We call the newborns digital natives, and it seems that we can do everything remotely. We don’t commute for our meetings as much as we used to. We use Skype or other virtual meeting assistants. We let our workers work from home. There are even some digital nomads who work and travel the world at the same time.

So, do we still need to go to another country to showcase our products at fairs?

My first guess would be that the fair business is a dead business that no one would travel great distances to make business contacts. But when I started to research about it, I quickly found that my hypothesis was wrong. The fair business is in fact stronger than ever.

These days the Turkish decoration industry is preparing for the Ambiente 2020 fair, the magnet for over 136,000 buyers from 167 countries and the stage for around 4,500 exhibitors from 92 nations. In terms of sourcing, Ambiente is the largest platform outside Asia. Thanks to the efforts of Messe Frankfurt’s Istanbul office, hundreds of Turkish companies will be there as well. According to the office, Motobike Istanbul 2020 and Automechanika 2020 are already sold out and will be extremely fulfilling for both the participators and the visitors.

A local example is the “Rail Industry Show,” organized by Modern Fuarcilik with the support of the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry of Turkey, that will be held on April 14-16 at the ETO TÜYAP Fair Center in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir. The TCDD Transportation Corporation, Ankara Chamber of Industry, Eskişehir Chamber of Commerce, DTD Railway Transport Association, Rail Systems Association and Eskişehir Chamber of Industry are among the other institutions that support the event. The fair will bring together all the stakeholders of the railway industry.

It is being planned to be held with the participation of more than 100 domestic and foreign companies from 15 countries and more than 3,000 visitors The event will bring together infrastructure, superstructure, technology, security, electrification, signaling and IT firms, as well as light rail system manufacturers from Turkey and all over the world. Moris Revah is the co-founder and the general manager of Modern Fuarcılık. Revah aims to contribute to the progress of Turkey and the its railway sector and also to make Turkey one of the most important meeting points of the global railway industry.

An example from the attendee point of view is Invent Analytics. It is a leading provider of advanced analytics solutions for retailers and they will be attending the Retail Supply Chain Conference in Dallas in February. The founder, Gürhan Kök, says that the conference will be a very suitable venue to meet with prospective clients so that they can sustain their growth in the U.S.

After talking to both fair organizers and business owners who attend fairs, I realized that the both parties mainly said that if the fair is organized according to the current needs and trends of the specified industry and if the participants can meet face to face with people who are genuinely interested with the services and the products of the participants, then it’s worth the effort. A fair must provide the basis to establish new business contacts, develop existing business relations and make new agreements. So, Turkish companies should attend more fairs globally, but they must choose wisely.