In addition, the first step in promoting a trade show is often a telephone call to determine the trade professional’s expectations and present the event verbally. This call should then be followed up in writing, by email or letter. Organising an introductory meeting is also an opportunity to create a special bond. For each sector of trade or industry, Promosalons Côte d’Ivoire relies on professional associations and federations as well as institutional players with whom it has a close relationship. With the flourishing use of the internet, social media is becoming an increasingly important means of communication. Ninety-eight percent of Ivorians own a mobile phone and the number of smart phones is growing rapidly. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and services such as Google Adwords and Google Adsense are being used with increasing frequency. Going forward, trade show promotion is expected to become more and more digital.
Advertising – costly but effective
Advertising has a strong impact but is also the most expensive course of action. The government newspaper and national television are the most popular media. Whereas government radio, in contrast, has lost market share to music radio stations. International radio stations, such as RFI and the BBC, enjoy large audiences and may be a useful avenue to explore. In addition to show promotion, the local office helps professionals with their travel arrangements to attend shows. This support is crucial, especially for first-time visits. It covers administrative procedures, especially obtaining a visa, which is often the main obstacle to Ivorians’ travel, trip organisation, and assistance at the show itself. It helps make the visit more effective thus increasing visitor satisfaction.