International Fairs and Missions
All companies must locate suitable customers, a fundamental step to any export process. Different tools include internet, e-mail, attendance at fairs and missions and personal visits.
International fairs are excellent for communication, representing one-stop shopping where buyers and sellers from different sectors meet over a few days to show what they have, to see what is available and to do business. No other channel can provide a better forum for marketing as intense as a commercial expo.
Commercial fairs represent an interactive environment, in real time, bringing together supply and demand. They promote the formation and growth of markets. Three economic functions of fairs can be distinguished, namely, the exchange of goods, the exchange of information and the promotion of products and organizations.
Via a trade mission, you can visit a group of business persons, usually exporters and importers but which also may include investors and other with interests in the field, in another country, to promote trade between the visitors and the business community of the target country. Trade missions are a popular form of facilitating international trade.
Trade missions are usually organized by governments, chambers of commerce, associations or development organizations, and any similar organizations. It is also common for a trade commission to be accompanied by high governmental officials such as ministers or even the President, who visit a particular country to foment better bilateral relations.
The internet is an extremely useful and certainly the most economical instrument for locating potential customers, by finding directories of potential customers, agents, distributors, etc. Carrying out e-mail correspondence is also a way of locating customers, but you cannot control reception. There are other ways of locating potential customers, such as:
- Guides and directories with international information on products and producers.
- Publications and/or inserts of advertising targeting possible purchasers.
- Data bases of companies accessed via internet
It is important to recall the importance of using contracts at the time of closing business in a trade mission or fair. They should be signed under the international trade terms most favorable to the two parties, stating clearly who is to assume each responsibility.