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Marketing Your Business Through an Expo

By July 18, 2017Fitness

If your product or service caters to the health, fitness or well being industry, one of the best ways to market your product is to participate in Exhibitions related to health and fitness.

The advantages are real, and if done right, expos can help you grow leaps and bounds. Face to face interaction, selling your products or services, forming partnerships, signing distribution deals and the list goes on.

There are some companies which spend most of their marketing budget on participating in expos. For example taking bigger and bigger stand on the expos they participate in, and are able to leverage it to expand and grow their market-share and brand.

With so many health expos taking place, how do you pick the right ones?  This is the question of the hour.

How do you pick the right expo to promote your business?

There are so many expos for health and wellness industry at local, national and international level, how do you know which one is the most effective to market your business by participating in it?

Answer by Matt Dim  (CEO of Don’t Participate in Expo’s unless, Inc.):

“Our company is focused on telling people don’t participate in the expo unless you have figured out, which one can serve you best.  It is not about just showing up, you can call any expo and they will be more than happy to take your money. Those who have been doing it for a while know “what not to do”, which is just as important as “knowing what to do” and some cases, it is even more important to know where not to spend your money.”

For the rest of the people, here is a guideline to follow:

ROI is the key and every thing you will read below will help you decide.

Bigger is better:

The bigger the event, the more resources they will put in to marketing it. Bigger events may cost a bit more to participate but the value they provide is also a lot more. They normally get more distributors, retailers and suppliers coming, not only to attend but to form deals.

Sometimes you can open a whole new country for your product by partnering with someone who already has the local reach and the connections. For example when Fitness First wanted to enter the UAE market, they did so under license by the multinational conglomerate, Landmark Group. Which not only made their entry to the UAE market easier but it allowed them to leverage Landmark Group’s network.

Why larger is better? For example the worlds largest health and fitness expo is taking place in Dubai from Nov 23-25. It will attract decision makers from Asia, Middle East, Africa, besides North America and Europe. These are the people who will be there with an “intent” – an intent to look for opportunities and form partnerships. Your participation allows you to tap into it.

Sometimes, just being at the right place at the right time, is all you need.

Location city:

You must look at the brand and the value of the city itself. Is the market in that city saturated or is it at a growth stage. The decision to hold the largest fitness expo in Dubai was clear.  Trade and tourism skyrocketed due to the brand and appeal of Dubai and vision of the leaders of Dubai.  This amazing growth has helped Dubai become one of the top five fastest growing cities in the world, according to a survey of 300 cities by a leading American think tank.

Dubai already spends $1.7 billion of total expenditure p.a in sports/fitness industry in the city. When you bundle this up with Dubai’s connectivity with around 2.2 billion people across Asia, Europe and Africa and easy access to visa, it makes the participation opportunity even bigger.

Out of all the locations we looked at, the final choice was between London, UK and Dubai, UAE. We ended up choosing Dubai because it makes it easy for people to come; provides visa on arrival to all western countries and even an online visa for any of the other countries. Imagine how many people from Africa, Asia and Middle East can get a visa with no headaches even at a short notice?

Leadership of Dubai: H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Emir of Dubai.

Since his accession in 2006, he has undertaken major reforms in the UAE’s government, starting with the UAE Federal Government Strategy in April 2007. In 2010 he launched UAE Vision 2021 with the aim of making UAE “one of the best countries in the world” by 2021.

According to TheNational, “In the 10 years that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has been Ruler of Dubai, the emirate has not only defied a global economic crisis, but emerged from it bigger, better, stronger, smarter – and happier.”

The UAE, said Sheikh Mohammed in December 2006, “is the embodiment of confronting difficulties, overcoming obstacles and conquering the impossible”.

Ten years later, on the anniversary of his accession, it is a statement of faith that holds true.

Leadership Dubai Style: The habits to achieve remarkable success by Dr. Tommy Weir says this:

Read Leadership Dubai Style to learn how Dubai grew against the odds (and how you can as well).

Every now and then a story comes along that absolutely captures your attention. Dubai is one of those for me, but not just me — millions around the world yearn to come to Dubai. This global supercity, which just five decades ago was a cholera-plagued backwater, might just be the picture of a dream becoming reality. For decades Dubai brought in –imported– leading minds from every field to learn from them. Now it’s time for Dubai to teach us how to lead!

Health and wellness in Dubai

Health and wellness is very important to Dubai and its leadership, and it is one of those places, which can be considered gateway to an opportunity for your company.

The event is also strategically taking place on the National Sports Day, this is when the entire city takes part. Imagine your brand being promoted and marketed on the most important health and fitness day in the country.

Backers of the Expo –

Who are the backers of the expo you are to participate in? For The largest Expo in the world in Dubai, Arif Mirza and Trainer.ae under the patronage of Dubai Sports council are organising the event at Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC). This means it has the financial muscle of Arif Mirza and governmental support.

Dubai Sports Council referred to hereinafter as DSC was founded in Nov. 30th 2005 as per a decree issued by UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister, Dubai Ruler H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (The crown prince of Dubai) is DSC’s president, who is primarily responsible for implementing the decision passed by the board of directors through the general secretariat, supervising the work of general secretariat as well as relations between DSC and UAE football federation, Dubai sports clubs, national bodies, and international organizations.

With the weight of DSC behind it, Arif Mirza is investing millions to make sure the world looks at fitness expos with a whole new lens.

The expo you participate in, make sure to see who is doing it and what support they have at local, national and international levels. This will further tell you what kind of turnout you can expect.

Timing of the Expo: Timing of the Expo also plays a critical role in making sure the turnout is good.  For example for this expo in Dubai, the dates were strategically chosen to fall on the national sports day of UAE, which the entire Dubai – from Royals to corporations all participate in.

This is why it is important, before taking part in any exhibition, you look at the dates and see if there is an additional benefit in participating.

Online Research – Start with the website of the health expo, is it up to date, do they add regular content, is the look and feel easy to navigate, does it have any broken links and is it helpful?

Social reach: This can be different for each expo’s target market, instead of spreading themselves thin, some focus on one or max two of the social networks, while ignoring others. This is the main reason you should not just judge based on one network but check the top few: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin and Google +.

Their engagement and activity is a direct reflection of their professionalism and reach. If they don’t have the time to do marketing for their own event, how will they be able to get people to come to the event?

Organic reach: Organic reach refers to their footprints in the search engines. Do they rank for the main keyword for their expo. For example :

Type the following keywords in the Search engine:

largest fitness expo

you should see www.FitnessExpo.ae on the first page.

Click on the link to make sure it opens.

or you can also search for:

The largest fitness expo in the world

or

Worlds largest fitness expo

You should see www.FitnessExpo.ae on the first page.

Do the same with other expos, this will tell you whether they have the team to be able to take advantage of the organic reach.

Next thing you want to see is how deep is their reach? You can find this out by seeing how many pages they have indexed in the search engines or how many keywords they rank on.

Make sure they are staying up to date: Simple way to find out how often they add new content is by going to their press or blog section and see how often something new is added? Don’t just look at the frequency but also look at how deep the content (quality of the posts) is. This tells you if they have a marketing team which knows more than just social or organic but also understands “to give real value to the end users, you must provide them with the best of information”.

Expos need serious marketing reach if they expect to draw in a crowd, so if they are not putting in the work, pass it.

Unique Offerings:

Does the expo have anything unique, which further helps you decide? Something to help push sales, attendance and or joint venture meetings. For example the largest expo in Dubai has a dedicated deal making team. The job of this team is to make sure you get the most value out of coming to the city of life. Once you buy into the expo as a vendor or as a sponsor, this team works with you to make things happen. You decide who or which companies you want to meet from the Middle East, Asia, Africa or any other part of the world and this team’s job is to pre-arrange those meetings.

If you don’t know who you want to meet, the team works based on your goal. Do you want to enter the UAE market? This team decides who you should meet and sets up your meetings with the government officials and local distributors. If you want a partner who can help push your product/service to other countries, this deal making team books it all for you.  The idea is to make sure by the time you come, there are pre-arranged deal making meetings lined up for you. This will allow you to benefit from the event itself plus no company will go back without having options to grow.

The event you will take part in, does that event do anything more or do they just let you come and do everything yourself? Normally people work their booth and take as many cards as possible and at some point in the future try to find time to talk. But those who win know that real deals happen with recommendations and they happen face to face.

Normal events leave it up to the vendors to make their booth into a success. Some companies could take the worst events and still make a boat load of money out of them, and on the flip side, there are others who can go to the best and walk away with nothing. The main difference between the two is the company that wins has the experience to do it right and they put resources into making it happen. They don’t just show up and stand at their booth. For the Worlds Largest Fitness Expo in Dubai, the organisers decided to make sure every company wins.

This is the main reason, there are participants side, dedicated design, Marketing, Human resources, and “Deal Making” teams – separate from the event. Their job is to help you with anything from A to Z.

When to decide:

If you are going to take advantage of face to face marketing and possibly grow your market share, expos are a very good opportunity. Based on the product or service you offer – the bigger the event, the better it is for you.

The early bird catches the worm – William Camden

This is key if everything else lines up – participate as early as you can. Some people do it as soon as the event is announced. This is what has happened with this expo also. The reasons are simple, the early guys become part of many different marketing mediums, which the expo uses to promote the event.  Your brand gets most of this for free. You were going to participate anyways but doing it early, gets you the additional benefits, the value of which is priceless.

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