We know that this year, MAXPOL has organized attendance to the SIAL trade fair for 23 companies from Poland. Can you name these companies and the sectors they represent?
Yes, it is true. This year, through our intermediation, 23 companies from Poland are participating in the fair. There is, traditionally, ŁOWICZ, a company that needs no introduction – a renowned dairy producer. A second dairy company which is BARTEX. A coffee producer – GRANA, vegetable preparations have been brought by AGROSIK, vinegar by OCTIM, LUBAWA brought jams and vegetable preparations, BONA – mayonnaise and ketchup, PSZCZELARZ KOZACKI – honey. Savoury and other snacks have been brought by RARYTAS and PIEKARNIA GALICYJSKA. Cookies and other confectionery arrived with PRIMART, dried fruit with BAKALLAND. Chips have been presented, as the name suggests, by CHIPS & SNACKS. CISOWIANKA and USTRONIANKA brought soft drinks, PERŁA brewery from Lublin – beer, OSHEE – energy and isotonic drinks, DRINKTECH and EKO-VIT – energy drinks. Meat is exhibited by WIPASZ, and meat preparations by RAB-JAŻYNIEC.
Do other editions of SIAL trade fairs, organized by your company, enjoy as much interest from exhibitors as SIAL in Paris?
Yes, of course. I have to admit that increasingly more companies take part in other editions of the SIAL fairs we organize, namely: SIAL Canada, SIAL China, SIAL Asean, SIAL Interfood, SIAL Middle East. From year to year, not only are our exhibitors increasing in number but we can hear increasingly more often that their products conquer these markets and are recognizable. An example of a trade fair at which the number of Polish exhibitors have been systematically on the rise is the SIAL China fair in Shanghai.
Soon, that is next year, ANUGA 2017, another very prestigious trade fair, widely popular among Polish exhibitors, will take place in Cologne. Have you already begun selling the exhibition space?
Yes, we have already been selling space for the ANUGA 2017 fair for two weeks. Companies are very well aware that the available space will disappear in no time, and the German organizer is unable to expand the halls to provide additional space. Of course, our regular exhibitors have priority in getting space. We suspect that within a month, we will have already sold the entire space and we regrettably cannot accept other interested parties, thereafter.
How about the development of the Private Labels fairs? Which ones of them enjoy most popularity?
The Private Label fairs, just as ANUGA, are selling rapidly. This year, at the PLMA trade fair in Amsterdam, we facilitated the participation of 34 companies from the food and chemical sectors. These fairs develop in a similar way as ANUGA, therefore, as the current edition of the fair is over, virtually all space for the next one has already been sold out. Therefore, companies reserve space while still being present at the fair. Apart from the Private Label fair in Amsterdam, we also recruit exhibitors for similar events in Japan, the USA and China. These fairs also enjoy much interest.
What trade fair events have you prepared for 2017? Are there any new fairs to which an exhibitor should pay attention?
For 2017, we have prepared many proposals of events taking place both on an annual and bi-annual basis. They include the largest London exhibition, IFE – a food fair, as well as a packaging event for the food industry – Pro2Pac. Both take place at the same location and time. These fairs attract very much interest, not just because a lot of Poles live in the British Isles, longing for excellent Polish products. Natural product fairs also undergo very active development – the two well-known ones, are Biofach in Nuremberg, and the Middle East Natura & Organic fair in the United Arab Emirates. Novelties include the fairs we have opened in Singapore, namely, Speciality & Fine Food as well as Speciality & Chocolate Asia. I recommend browsing the schedule of our events, available in the Food from Poland magazine, or reading the schedule on our website.
How has the increased participation in fairs affected a possibility for small and medium businesses to obtain cofinancing?
It has affected very significantly. This stimulus has an unquestionably positive effect. An entrepreneur who wants to succeed cannot rely on positive financial results alone, it must be remembered that this is not just the excess of income over expenses but, above all, an effect of cooperation with people, employees, customers and suppliers. Therefore, thanks to cofinancing of fair events, it is easier to allocate funds for the development and demonstration of a company and its products abroad.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and managers in companies who would like to enter foreign markets with their products – what would you suggest to them?
Above all, one should become well acquainted with the market and think where and at what trade fair the company should present its products. Subsequently, it should prepare well for such a presentation, check the functionality of packaging, the amount of samples to be shown, and their proper arrangement at the stand. Success is also a matter of a well-designed stand – and we will obviously help the exhibitors with that.
What is the essence of the professional service provided to exhibitors by your company?
Professionalism, within the meaning of our company, consists, above all, of: assistance to companies in deciding on their participation in industry trade fairs; availability of our employees, both at the level of the President of the Board and ordinary workers; a serious approach to the problems of our customers; long-term thinking in solving and preventing difficulties; a comprehensive customer approach; constant and reliable cooperation; gaining trust; and, of course, good opinion among the customers. Such values contribute to a double success: of the company and of the customer, which pleases us very much.
What are your predictions connected with the trade fair business for the next years?
Fairs will not disappear. They have no successor and their development will continue. The Internet cannot replace fairs. It is just a tool for transfer of information and for correspondence between partners, yet these two things are but a fraction of marketing. The advantages of participating in fairs include: an opportunity for direct contact with customers, so-called B2B meetings; a direct opportunity for becoming acquainted with the products; a possibility to negotiate the conditions of potential cooperation.
Systematic growth in the number of exhibitors and the expansion of the group of regular customers participating in many fairs each year both prove that trade fairs will continue developing.
What more can I say but to wish you further successes and, of course, many satisfied and regular customers. Thank you very much for our conversation.