In this land of hospitality, direct contact, power of conviction and visitor support are the cornerstones of successful promotion.
Promoting trade shows in Senegal means being on the ground seven days a week. Mail shots and telephone follow-up do, of course, play their part. However, in this country with its oral tradition, direct contact is still the most effective approach. With no fixed working hours and no separation between work and private lives, any occasion provides a good opportunity for communication, including weddings and baptisms! The Promosalons team also takes part in various network meetings – with clubs bringing together influential figures from the institutional and art worlds, the Association of female company directors, etc. Close links have also been forged with government representatives, including the Ministers for Housing & Living Conditions, Agriculture and the Environment, sectoral associations and financial institutions.
Nurturing and Supporting
Information meetings, held at the offices of Promosalons or the Chamber of Commerce, are an essential promotion tool. The Promosalons team not only needs to inform, but also to convince people of the benefits of attending trade shows, given the sizeable investment involved. With France being so far away, at least one week needs to be allocated, including industry visits and sight-seeing. Promosalons Senegal offers visitors a package of support and assistance throughout their stay. Viewing these information meetings as a contributing factor to the development of their business, past visitors generally satisfied with their experience, are happy to come and talk at these sessions.
Press conferences are also arranged, ideally with the organisers present, generating articles in the specialist press, both in print and online. Senegalese businesses have been slow to adopt digital media, though some progress is now being made in this field. The local office is expanding its online communication with a new website and special posts on LinkedIn and Facebook.
26 years in the service of French trade shows
Ibrahima Ndoye has been a manager of the local branch since 2002 and has worked with the construction trade show BATIMAT since 1991. Equally at home in France and Senegal, both he and his deputy, Madjiguene Ndoye, are adept at reconciling two very different world views. They are assisted by three colleagues who look after the accounts and administration.