Valérie Le Roy, Manager of the Agriculture Hub at Comexposium

In 2018, The Paris International Agricultural Show (SIA) attracted more crowds than ever, while the Salon du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers (Cheese and Dairy products show) reinforced its position as a successful niche show. Valérie Le Roy reveals the latest news from these two recent events.

What was new and what were the highlights of SIA 2018?

This year’s show was a great success with the public. We welcomed 672,000 visitors, which is
more than 1% of the entire French population! We introduced the AGRI’RECRUTE hub, for employment and training. Out of 50,000 vacancies advertised each year by the agricultural sector, 20,000 don’t get filled! Which is why it’s so important to put the institutions and associations working in this sector in contact with the general public.

We used a specific communications strategy for this project and it worked very well. We also updated the AGRI 4.0 area which we launched in 2016. We’ve increased its exhibition floor area five times over three years and it’s now an impressive 500 m². Digital is on the rise in the agricultural sector. This space brings start-ups together, but also includes other types of companies working on agricultural solutions linked to new technologies. We also held our mini BtoB show, AGRI PRO, again this year. The trade dimension has always been present at SIA, but we hope to make it more visible with this new initiative. As well as the dedicated exhibition space, buyers were able to enjoy a business club and meeting rooms. This year 15,000 visitors and 62 international delegations registered on the trade side.

You asked Promosalons to promote AGRI PRO. How would you assess your experience with us?

Eight Promosalons local offices promoted SIA’s business dimension. This was a tricky task, because this event is mainly thought of as a show for the general public. Their activities were well-targeted and tailored according to country, for example e-mailshots followed by calls to highly-qualified targets. Following the approaches they made, we welcomed a Bulgarian pavilion this year and a Romanian pavilion is planned for next year. We would like to give even more space to the professional dimension of SIA and know Promosalons’ will secure proposals from other countries. We’ll need to make strategic, lucid, choices in the years when we’re promoting SIA and SIMA at the same time.

The Cheese Show was held jointly. What can we take away from that event?

It’s a niche show, greatly enjoyed by the participants, who do real business there. The exhibitor satisfaction rate is 100%! We welcomed 7,600 visitors (21% international) and 220 exhibitors (30% international). We celebrated a country guest of honour for the first time and chose the UK. Another innovation was the “Paris Cheese Experience”, an educational tour for fourteen VIP visitors. After visiting the dairy products section at Rungis market, they visited Parisian dairies and completed their grand tour at the show.

How did the Promosalons network support you during the show?

Four teams marketed the show and we called on the same countries to promote it to visitors: the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. They ran targeted activities, such as identifying and following-up top buyers. The number of visitors from those countries increased substantially. Promosalons UK was a great help in engaging institutional clients and exhibitors to honour their country. For example, Promosalons UK forged a partnership with an English brand which celebrates British expertise. There are many others, but this shows the added value of having ambassadors for our shows on the ground.