CEMS Global bridging buyers and producers
Exhibition for Expansion
Exhibitions have always been the best way to make both B2B and B2C Sales, since it brings the exact customer to meet the producer. For example, a person who wants to start or expand his own garment manufacturing unit will visit an exhibition where he/she will be able to physically see the equipment and have an in-depth conversation with the representative of the equipment before finally making the purchase decision. The role of exhibition in expanding a sector is very important because an exhibition manages to bring almost all suppliers required for a startup under one roof and becomes the one stop data solution for entrepreneurs. One of our key metrics through which we measure the performance of our exhibition is repeat booking of exhibitors and I am glad to state that after each exhibition, many companies book for next year, projecting the fact that they have successfully achieved their objective; and when our exhibitors achieve their objective, it is very evident that the entrepreneur had also achieved his/her objective as well, thus contributing to the expansion of the sector. To be more precise, the textile sector has been substantially growing at a steady rate and so has our exhibition in the textile sector which we started two decades back. One best example is our Dhaka Motor Show and we millennials are the witness to the growth of the automotive sector of the country.
Exhibition for Maximum Exposure
Exhibitions are and have always been the best means of brand visibility after long term Out-of-home (OOH) advertising or outdoor advertising, when it comes to branding. Generally speaking, the longevity of newspaper advertisement is 24 hours, television advertisement just a few minutes and social media marketing depends on the length of the campaign. During all three, the number of views cannot be measured for the offline ones but impression can be measured for the social media ones but the means of tracking a lead to its conversion is a lengthy process. When it comes to exhibitions, the branding stays for at least three days and visitors come face to face with the company and conversion is easy to track. Our Sponsors for our exhibitions get a lot of brand visibility through our press conference, inauguration ceremony as well as through all communication of CEMS as well.
Exhibition for Promotion
CEMS Global, the parent company of CEMS Bangladesh is headquartered in USA and they host all exhibitions. CEMS Global can be addressed as a trade promotion agency, since they promote trade through exhibitions, which they organize themselves. They create a marketplace by bringing in buyers and suppliers all under one roof and eases the hassle of sourcing suppliers.
Each industry does require different marketing strategy since they have different target groups and each of them have different demographics. As an exhibition organizer we have to run two individual campaigns simultaneously since one is for exhibitor and one is for potential visitors. CEMS Global also hosts exhibitions in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Indonesia and Morocco and even they have different marketing strategies. However, in this era we are heavily dependent on Digital Marketing and the strategy varies with different industries. We do exhibitions in the food & Agro, textile & garments, automobile, medical equipment & health tourism, power, solar, water, construction, safety and security industry and hence there are different strategies for all.
Establishing Visibility and Credibility
It is evident that social media has changed the way we market CEMS Global and as mentioned earlier we rely heavily on social media marketing for all our exhibitions. At present, most individuals spend most of their time looking at their phones and hence it is easy to come to their attention through social media. However, traditional direct sales, never loses its charm and in Bangladesh a personal touch, exponentially increases the chances of a sales call to be successful. Social media is extremely useful when it comes to visibility in Bangladesh and credibility is also another significant factor while marketing through social media.
Knowledge for Relevancy
When it comes to marketing, the basic principles remain the same and as long as you know how to grab one’s attention and turn it into a sales lead, no matter what the industry, hard work and research helps you to achieve your goals. At present, I have to deal with both marketing and sales of both local and international exhibitions and hence my sales experience from both M. M. Ispahani Ltd. and Grameenphone Ltd. has been my biggest strength. I was the Zonal in-Charge in Ispahani and dealt with direct sales force training and development; on the other hand I dealt with direct customers in Grameenphone, the combined experience in dealing with root level sales and marketing from both roles has immensely helped my transition as I have to bring both exhibitors and visitors during our exhibitions. The product of Ispahani and Grameenphone was very different from the service of CEMS and hence, I had to start from scratch and learn all the ins and outs of the exhibition industry and the truth is the learning never ends and I learn new things every day in this rapidly changing environment.
Experience leads to Excellence
My only suggestion to young marketing students is to work hard and gather as much experience as they can during their student years, through part time jobs, voluntary work, ECA and anything through which they have an opportunity to learn about the corporate world. At the end of the day, when companies select a job applicant in the marketing and communication field, they look beyond degrees. There are plenty of distractions for university students nowadays and hence my suggestion is to avoid those distractions and gain experience during their free time.