Promosalons has been active in the Asean area since 2005. Our aim is to facilitate show organisers’ work in this region. They have a single contact who liaises with the four offices in the area covering the 10 countries. Sommawan Lowhaphandu, the Director at Promosalons Thailand, oversees the operation.
Organisers receive centralised market analyses and commercial opportunities, thus benefiting from a global approach to this free-trade area. With its distinct culture and networks, each country requires its own specific Promosalons action plan.
The geographical distance means that visitors from Asean have to invest a lot of time and money to attend French trade shows. They are therefore quality visitors with clearly-defined goals. The challenge for local offices is to establish long-lasting, personal relationships with them. Promosalons rises to this challenge through the long-established Asean teams, with their detailed knowledge of local networks combining with the expertise of our teams in France and Promosalons’ member trade shows.
Actions that strengthen ties
Mailshots remain essential and require considerable work to set up, populate and update their databases. They must be followed by targeted telephone prompts. These calls start to build bonds, conveying the benefits of the particular trade show and enabling travel services for the visitors to be offered (visa applications, hotel bookings, etc.). Relations with trade associations are also essential. They relay information about the trade shows and organise visitor delegations. While visitors to FMCG shows prefer to travel individually, industry visitors like to travel as a group, combining technical visits with their attendance at a show.
With the press, offering them invitations in exchange for pages of advertising or articles is a good solution, as journalists thrive on exploring international markets.
The Rise of Digital
The Asean population is well-connected and many have smartphones. Digital communication campaigns are on the increase, mainly on Facebook, which is the preferred social network both for personal and professional use. Company pages are proliferating, as are closed groups to encourage dialogue between same sector professionals. Registering in these groups and participating in their discussions is a recommended approach. Line, the equivalent of WhatsApp in Europe and We Chat in China, is another popular social network to join. Instagram is also on the rise and fast becoming essential - especially to reach the younger generations. And of course, influencer marketing campaigns, such as partnerships with bloggers, provide good results. Digital marketing must now be an integral part of any promotional campaign.