Milan, September 19, 2008 – It’s called Trade Fairs: Everything you need to know (Come in Fiera), a 122-page exhibitors’ manual presented this morning at the headquarters of Fondazione Fiera Milano and created by its Research, Development and Training Area, in partnership with Fiera Milano Spa.

Presenters included Claudio Artusi, Managing Director of Fiera Milano spa, Costantino Ruggiero, General Manager of Eicma, Stefano Luccini, Head of Communications Management for Gewiss, Roberto Foresti, Sales Manager of Fiera Milano spa, and Enrica Baccini, Manager of the Research, Development and Training Area of Fondazione Fiera Milano.

For many companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, and certainly for those in Italy, trade fairs have always been the primary tool for promotion and communication. Compared to traditional forms of advertising, increasingly congested with messages competing for consumers’ attention, trade fairs still offer a key advantage in terms of person-to-person interaction, which continues to hold its own against the rising tide of on-line communication.

However, businesses do not always know how to make the most of their participation at such an event, given the increasingly globalized economy and the fact that trade fairs are visibly changing and proactively integrating new means of communication and promotion. 

In the words of Fiera Milano’s Managing Director, Claudio Artusi: “On one hand, businesses invest their time and resources in trade fairs that they expect will generate benefits for them. On the other hand, trade fairs have become extremely sophisticated.  Nowadays, participating effectively in a fair not only means opening a temporary window to your company’s business, but also communicating with your primary target by making the fair an occasion for initiating an ongoing dialog, acquiring information and knowledge, and establishing relationships. Thus, it becomes even more imperative to gain understanding and in-depth mastery of this vehicle, during all its phases: preparatory, participatory, and post-event. This is the need we intend to fill with this manual, and we like to think of it as an added service to our clients”.

One of the objectives that led to the creation of this manual – explains Enrica Baccini – is to show how participation in trade fairs embodies a paradoxical twist. Although it is one of the oldest activities in the history of conducting business, in the last decade participation in trade fairs has shown itself to also be one of the most modern and dynamic, and subject to the effects of rapid change and innovation. Today, participation in trade fairs implies a dual approach to creating a system and culture of cooperation -- the first because it needs to be in line with corporate strategy; the second because it’s not just about “whether” you will participate, but also “how”.  We hope this manual will be useful to all those who are asking themselves these questions.

To this end, Trade Fairs: Everything you need to know, is divided into two chapters and analyzes the trade fair phenomenon, marketing mix, the reasons why it’s a good idea to participate in a trade fair, errors to avoid in order to maximize time and resources, cost-benefit ratios, and even covers very concrete topics like stand set-up, and the operational aspects that are an integral part of the exhibition, including budget management and staff.  Even the subject of communication is explored in detail, from the media world to external events, as well as travel to foreign fair locations and how to handle emergencies, should they arise.