Advisory Dec, 03 2010

Trade Show: Opportunistic Platform

Trade show, a part of marketing strategy has emerged as the most appealing platform for the franchisors to fulfill their aggressive business expansion plans. Read on to make the most of trade shows.

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Trade Show: Opportunistic Platform

Trade shows offers an excellent opportunity to showcase different brands under one roof. It is a platform for entrepreneurs, traders, existing and established franchisors to display their business concepts for further growth and expansion. Such events facilitate one-on-one discussion with prospective investors and franchise seekers in a relatively shorter span. It gives franchisors and aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to build a long –term relationship with each other.

As per Ranjan Gupta, Head Operations, Le Sutra, “Trade shows are great B2B platforms and are very targeted by a company when it is looking at growing the brand presence. It is a great opportunity for the aspirants who are exploring the various ways to get started with their own businesses.” Trade shows are worth the efforts especially for those companies which have recently been through staffing/management changes, mergers, acquisitions, or other business renovation. However, as such shows offer gamut of franchise opportunities, the participants must prepare themselves well in advance to make the most from such trade shows.

Blueprints for trade shows

To start with, the franchisors need to develop a plan of action to take absolute advantage of their participation in the trade show. These include:

  • What to display: The most significant thing to consider before participation is what to display. Franchisors need to carefully examine and accordingly decide the things that will be displayed. It can be franchising business offerings, relationship with the existing customers, introduction of a new product, positioning of the company, generating leads for sales and so on.
  • Segmenting the target audience: Segmentation of the audience is utmost important as it allows the franchisor to focus efficiently on the target audience and offer them with exactly what they were looking for. The target audience can be the aspiring entrepreneurs and customers (both existing and prospective). According to a spokesperson, Dabur India, “We have a highly focused approach towards participating in trade fairs. The intent is to reach out to our target audience, be it in the B2B or the B2C space, and build a greater brand connect with our consumers and vendors.”
  • Motive behind participation:The franchisor must understand their motive behind participation to help themselves stay focused. A franchisor’s motive can be to attract potential and qualified aspirants, selling of the franchises, products/ services or building brand image.

Designing the stall/ booth

With the blueprints in hand, the next step for franchisors is to design their stall or booth. Some of the main factors to be considered before designing or purchasing the stall/ booth includes:

  • Size and type of the booth
  • Budget and functionality of the booth
  • Seating arrangement, in case if you want to sit and discuss your franchise plans with the prospective franchisees
  • Marketing material such as pamphlets, business cards, brochures, banners and so on to communicate the desired message and so on.

Strategic outlook

Strategic outlook is an important criterion for franchisors to showcase their best deal. As the blueprint would not be of any use if you do not strategically apply and execute it. As Gupta says, “To make the most of a trade show, you need to carefully select the show and bring-in good collaterals to give out to the aspiring entrepreneurs. Besides this, the company can utilise the platform by showcasing and offering the best deals.” So, the strategies are essential as they enable you to:

  • Select an appealing display for your booth that meets the budgetary requisites, marketing and functional needs.
  • Identify and pick effective graphics for the marketing tools such as brochures, pamphlets, business cars, banners that fulfills your brand’s communication needs.
  • Enhance your display by using exhibit accessories, signage and lighting techniques, high impact portable display boards, booth fixtures and so on.
  • Opt for cost-effective giveaways and promotional products while keeping in mind the image of your company and its perceived value among the prospects.
  • Go for powerful means of marketing in order to generate maximum sales.
  • Ensure professional appearance of your team who are staffing at the booth as they represent the franchise company, generate leads and secure sales for both the products/ services and franchises.

Significance of trade shows

Trade shows offers a momentous opportunity to enhance your brand and product visibility, franchise business offerings, promote new and existing products, and generate leads and drive incremental sales. As per a spokesperson, Dabur India, “Participation in consumer fairs help generates trials and brings in new consumers into the fold, while business-focused trade fairs is a good way to engage vendors and identify newer franchisees/ suppliers.”

To conclude, Trade shows promote dialogues amongst entrepreneurs, business tycoons, and government representatives and foster a greater understanding for collaboration between practitioners, industrialists and policy makers. Thus, trade shows are a must visit for aspirants wanting to gain a fair share of their business or franchising deals.

Related: Reducing the start up cost of franchise

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