It just ended and the international exhibition Big Five Dubai (23/26 November, Dubai Trade Center) is the most important event in the construction sector throughout the Arabian Gulf region and the Middle East.
The fair in Dubai has seen the massive presence of Italian companies, more than 400, representing sectors such as building material, pumps, doors, windows, handles, paints, building equipment, plumbing fixtures, marble, piastrtelle, floors, etc., etc.
Only a small percentage of Italian companies present at the fair came to exhibit strong agreements already signed with local partners or a direct presence in the market (through its own local company or a branch): This is mostly medium to large companies that They are present over the entire area of the Arabian Peninsula for many years already.
The rest of the companies, the majority, were presented at the fair without having direct knowledge of the market, taking advantage in most cases concerning benefits to cover the costs of participation due to the regional contributions, associations or chambers of commerce.
But also taking advantage of concessions, in each case the investment required for participation was still substantial as to expose a fair means incurring still important costs such as spedizone goods, air travel and stay for the business delegation, the local trips etc.
Trade shows are a great promotional tool also in this area but, for our experience should be made only after having direct knowledge of the market.
Many operators, even in the case of the last big five, in fact they have got to deal with the outside world, know the market, competition, price levels, etc. etc.
The days at the fair are held inside the halls and the only way to be acquainted with the outside world and ‘represented by the restaurants for dinner at the end of the day, before returning to the hotel to sleep tired and ready for the next day of the exhibition, and so on….
I think that the financial instruments made available to businesses to promote the internationalization process, should first be focused on actions that allow direct knowledge of the market as part of the entrepreneur, before then going to financial events such as fairs.
It runs the risk that in fact these important financial resources should be dispersed and, at the same time, investment companies are not focused on preliminary actions such as the knowledge of the target market.
EUR Gulf for years assisting Italian companies to raise awareness of the market through its service “missions of business in the UAE,” which allows him to start a proposal phase with meetings with stakeholders. A mission of about four days allows you to have a complete picture of the market, closely conosocere its dynamics, competition, value chain, to meet local operators, technical partners and importers, etc.
Very often companies that we have seen at this stage have worked out arrangements with distributors directly during the mission.
A positive witness of this is for example that of a customer of Campania, industry technical furniture for laboratories, which prepared its participation at Arab Lab 2014 with a mission preliminary business that allowed him to select the most local distributors suitable and arriving at the fair with a collaboration agreement already started, where to invest was also the local distributor. Participation in the fair, then, was only the next tool to market and not what you hope to get contracts. A tool that has been used for so much for what it is: a promotional tool to sell.
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