Shows, exhibitions and conferences: connecting to thousands under one roof

Devi Paulsen, CEO, Hypenica

Imagine the opportunities that become available when one business is given the platform to connect with another; the relationships that are built; the contacts that are made; and the business agreements that are signed through networking.

Attending a show, exhibition or conference provides you with all these networking opportunities. This is why Hypenica believes so strongly in making this happen.

“We produce these events for the business-to–business (B2B) trade sector, focusing on the built environment, agriculture, transport and infrastructure sectors in Africa. The main reasons we do this, is it never fails to provide great support for businesses. We provide the platform for businesses to be able to get in front of their customers quickly and in a short space of time,” says Devi Paulsen, CEO, Hypenica.

Paulsen provides the five key objectives as to why these events are so important as a marketing channel and what you can gain by attending.

1.    Lead generation: “A company will generally attend a show, exhibition or conference because they want to generate new leads and fill there pipeline (their sales pipeline).”

2.    Branding: “A lot of the time companies who want to reinforce their brand identity to their key customers use the opportunity.”

3.    Thought leadership: “This is critically important, especially in the conference context. Anybody who wants to position themselves as the key provider of a service or technology generally wants to be seen as a thought leader. Participation as either a speaker or panellist at a conference affords them this opportunity.”

4.    Networking: “Another critically-important aspect of attending a show is the opportunity to network. People that want to network with their peers, customers or sometimes even their competitors find the experience invaluable.”

5.    Product market testing: “Another reason why people would generally want to exhibit or be a sponsor is to test their product on the market through research. For example, how does the market respond to their new product or concept?

“The greatest achievement is to see business taking place on the exhibition floor. We recently hosted the African Agri Investment Indaba 2016 in Cape Town, which was the first of its kind in Africa. Before we even started, we had brought in a total of US$2.6bn of agri projects and potential investors. For me that’s what it is all about.”

Paulsen stresses that preparation is key to the success of any event.

“Whether you are attending as a delegate or an exhibitor, you need to understand what you want to achieve. That way you’re assured of a successful experience.”