Can you describe your exhibition and tell us what’s new for this anniversary session?
SIAL Paris is an international showcase for the food sector, bringing together all the key stakeholders – producers and buyers alike – to focus on key issues affecting the industry. SIAL also reveals the trends and innovations that will shape tomorrow’s food industry. It is regarded as the key food industry event:
Excellent ROI: an exit poll of visitors in 2012 revealed an average of over 5 months’ additional sales
High-calibre visitors: 150,258 buyers in 2012
A unique, full-scale market testing opportunity: new products reach a captive audience of buyers.
SIAL continues to expand and strengthen its position as the preferred partner of the global food industry. SIAL is already the world’s leading exhibition network with unrivalled geographic coverage: Europe and world (Paris), North America (Montreal & Toronto), South America (São Paulo), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi) and Asia (Shanghai and the Philippines). Through its global presence, SIAL has not only gained a considerable understanding of all the sector’s stakeholders, but has also established itself as the global trends and innovation observatory.
For SIAL Paris 2014, we have set our sights even higher, making it even more comprehensive with the inclusion of an Equipment, Technologies and Services sector. Industry professionals were keen to take advantage of the qualified visitor traffic we could offer them and we responded to their request. We shall also be raising the visibility of fresh foods with an enhanced Fruit & Vegetables sector. The 2014 session will be even more special than usual because we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in fitting style. Join us on 20 October for a special event marking the occasion. Another new feature will be the World Tour by SIAL. We have invited 28 journalists from across the globe to come to SIAL and highlight current food trends in their countries.
Tell us about your international development strategy?
Since 1964, SIAL has continually been building its international dimension. SIAL has become a brand, a unique relationship marketing experience in the global food industry. The concept’s universal nature makes it possible for us to adapt it to the main regions of the world with shows taking place in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, China, and just recently Southeast Asia. Our added value, the quality that sets us apart, is the fact that we enable our customers – exhibitors and visitors – to seize growth opportunities worldwide, whether their business is local or international.
It has always been our goal to be the world’s leading food industry network: today this network includes more than 12,000 exhibitors and 280,000 buyers. That makes all the difference to our customers. We are committed to the same objectives across all our shows:
Make it easier for our exhibitors to access export markets and facilitate productive meetings between producers and buyers;
Promote networking by bringing all industry players together to address shared problems;
And lastly, create a friendly atmosphere conducive to forming quality business relationships.
With six offices abroad, we are in constant contact with our partner companies in the main countries, and also with the world’s media. So we have unique industry expertise and the credibility to share it.
Promosalons has been supporting you for many years (SIAL is one of Promosalons’ founder members). What has been the outcome of working with this network? Do you have a message to pass on to the Promosalons offices that have supported you?
Yes, Promosalons has been supporting our international development goals for 47 years. As a result of this long-term collaboration, more than 200 countries were represented at the last SIAL Paris, with a 12% increase in international visitors. What do we expect of your offices abroad? A great deal! The maximum possible! As SIAL ambassadors, Promosalons’ local representatives must represent the SIAL network. They have to be experts in their market and know the food industry ecosystem inside out. They have to forge links locally with all opinion leaders in their market, including trade organisations, the big food companies, key retailers and food service players, influential media and political institutions! We rely a great deal on the local offices to develop this knowledge, share it and put it to work effectively for SIAL. It’s quite a challenge! Our new partner for SIAL 2014 is Nigeria, which we hope will help us boost our presence in Africa as it continues to develop. We really hope that SIAL 2014 will see a record number of visitors, in both quantity and quality. Many thanks to our partners in advance for their commitment.