(Sweden) — During a few short, intensive days, trade shows offer an opportunity to meet customers and make new contacts.
Products are launched and contracts signed. For Sandvik, trade shows play an important role in work to strengthen the brand and increase market shares.
When Sandvik Mining and Construction last year consolidated all products under the Sandvik brand, the intention was to present a uniform profile. The first time the profile was displayed was at Bauma, one of the world’s largest exhibitions for the construction industry, which is held every third year in Germany.
“This was a strategically important decision,” says Jeanette Svensson, Marketing Communication Manager for Sandvik Mining and Construction. “Bauma is one of the largest global exhibitions for the construction industry, with more than 500,000 visitors. Everyone is there, and it was a perfect occasion for displaying our new profile.”
Trade shows naturally involve more than visibility. This is where companies profile themselves and their new products. However, they also offer opportunities to meet customers, make contacts and get an update on what others in the industry are doing.
“Participating in trade shows provides an excellent opportunity to meet others in our industry, get new ideas and discuss common challenges and opportunities,” says Yvonne Strandberg, Marketing Communications Manager at Sandvik Coromant. “Trade shows are an important marketing channel and give us an opportunity to present our entire company and the Sandvik brand promise.”
Participating in trade shows is important for all of Sandvik’s business areas, but objectives may vary, depending on markets and segments.
“It is essential to participate in the major exhibitions, but smaller shows are also important,” says Lars-Petter Bergmark, Marketing Manager for Tube at Sandvik Materials Technology. “In growth markets, a trade show often has greater importance for the industry than in mature markets. We will therefore increase our presence at shows in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), for example.”
For Sandvik Mining and Construction, Jeanette Svensson believes that the major exhibitions within mining primarily provide an opportunity to meet with existing customers and demonstrate new products.
“The same is naturally important in the construction segment, but there it is also important to identify new customers. Then there are a number of smaller, niche trade shows. The guiding principle, however, is always to increase brand awareness,” she says.
In September , in conjunction with the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Sandvik Coromant launched a new exhibition concept that more clearly than previously profiles Sandvik Coromant as a partner company that focuses on customer success.
“We no longer think about a traditional exhibition stand, but rather a meeting place where people can discuss their own and other companies’ business plans,” says Strandberg.
More niche trade shows
When it comes to show trends, there is a clear trend towards more niche trade shows, while at the same time, the major exhibitions, such as Bauma, IMTS and Minexpo, are getting even bigger. Many trade show organizers are also expanding to new geographic markets. Messe Mnchen, for example, which has organized Bauma since 2002, had also held Bauma exhibitions in China.
“The importance of trade shows is constantly increasing. If you look back to how things were ten years ago, trade shows today are much more serious. It costs a lot to participate, and you want to see results,” says Bergmark.
It can be difficult to measure the return on participation in monetary terms, but the customer contacts that are established and strengthened are invaluable.
“Many of our partnerships began with a dialogue at a trade show and include such customers as manufacturing tool manufacturers. It is a question of establishing relationships with existing and potential customers. We constantly evaluate participation in various trade shows within marketing communications, and as long as we see that we are successful in communication that builds relationships, we continue to invest in the shows,” concludes Strandberg.
Important trade shows for Sandvik
IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) held every second year in Chicago in the US.
EMO (Exposition Mondiale de la Machine Outi), the world’s largest show for the manufacturing tools industry, which is held every second year in Hannover, Germany and every second year in Milan, Italy. In 2007, the show attracted 2,100 exhibitors from 42 countries and 166,500 visitors.
JIMTOF (Japan International Machine Tool Fair) is the largest machine tools show in Asia and held every second year.
Sandvik Mining and Construction
BAUMA is held every second year in Munich, Germany.
MINExpo is held every third year in Las Vegas, in the US . Otherwise, Sandvik Mining and Construction participates in some 100 trade shows and exhibitions each year.
Sandvik Materials Technology
International Tube Fair is held every second year in Dsseldorf, Germany, with more than 1,000 exhibitors and floor space of 95,000 square meters.
Stainless Steel World is an annual show held in the Dutch city of Maastricht.