The critical role of local contacts

Successful promotion

(posted on 9/05/2019)

In this small, corporate market, professional associations are highly influential. The Promosalons team relies on them to boost the visibility of its trade shows and develop tried-and-tested networking events.

The majority of professionals join an association and maintain a relationship of trust with that association.

Promosalons Switzerland builds long-term links with these organisations and calls upon them to relay information about the shows via emails, newsletters or on their website, in exchange for benefits such as invitations.

A notable feature of the Swiss market is its preference for paper materials, and this is true for potential visitors or the press. Direct marketing campaigns generally start with an initial paper mailshot, followed by email and telephone reminders.
Journalists receive information through press releases and press kits. Advertising also boosts the visibility of the shows and strengthens links with magazines: journalists are then more likely to publish articles.

Expanding initiatives on the ground

Networking events around a trade show are very effective. The team invites the organiser, specialist industry magazines, visitors and key speakers. The programme includes a talk by experts, a presentation of the show and an opportunity for networking at a drinks reception.

Since 2016, Promosalons Switzerland has been organising this type of event three times a year for Maison&Objet. These events have boosted the show’s profile across the country. They are now a regular fixture on the trade calendar.
They bring together a genuine ‘interior design and décor’ community around Maison&Objet.

Digital communication is not widely used in Switzerland. LinkedIn is the best channel for approaching professionals directly. When appropriate, the team contacts prospects via this social network to invite them to the shows. The LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts of influencers from different sectors have been identified so that the relevant shows can get in contact with them.

Digital communication is expected to take off in the future, particularly in the lifestyle, decor, design, food and new technologies sectors.

Established in 1985, the Promosalons Switzerland team became part of the Franco-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFS) in 2011.
Romain Duriez, director of the CCIFS, leads the team. Charline Fabbro, operations manager since 2012, is in charge of promoting 21 shows. This long-term presence in a mature market generates lasting results.
Initially, a few years of promotion are needed to build reputation and nurture a relationship with associations. It is then vital to continue working to remain attractive and compete with German and Italian shows.

Economic factors also come into play, such as the strength of the euro against the Swiss franc, which can influence buyer and visitor decision-making.

Some recent results:
• SIMA 2019: maintained 2017 levels, i.e. 947 unique visitors
• VINITECH-SIFEL 2018: 111% increase on 2016, i.e. 210 unique visitors
• SIAL 2018: 7.5% increase on 2016, i.e. 828 unique visitors
• POLLUTEC 2018: 1% increase on 2016, i.e. 719 unique visitors
• EQUIPHOTEL 2018: 16% increase on 2016, i.e. 244 unique visitors