Why Should You go to Trade Shows?

27th January 2017

In fresh produce trade shows are becoming more popular. The shows in Amsterdam and Madrid are making a real push to be seen as the second biggest trade show in produce in Europe. As I am sure you are now asking yourself ‘why only second?’ I’m going to tell you all about the number one fresh produce trade show in Europe…

The king of the fresh produce trade shows is hard to dethrone. Every year more than seventy thousand trade visitors descend on the city of Berlin in early February to attend the ‘Fruit Logistica’ show. With visitors from 130 countries and exhibitors representing 84 countries it covers an area of nearly 120 thousand square metres for three days at the ‘Messe Berlin’.

This year is also the twenty fifth anniversary of Fruit Logistica and the @25fruitchallenge has been running on social media for a few months now. The photo challenges come to a head at the show itself in both the foyer and the city cube between 9am and 6pm for the whole of the three days of the show. There is also an intriguing ‘Fruit Happy Hour’ running on all three days from 4-6pm, the only instruction for this on their website is to ‘be surprised’..!

Here at JW European we have always attended the show in some form or another with at least one employee attending. This year however for the first time we will have our very own, not-sharing-with-anyone, small corner stand (Hall 8.2, B-13, come and see us for prosecco and Italian cakes!).

General business advice on trade shows in any industry is to sniff out and attend the right ones. Attending the right trade show for your company in your industry can expose you to new trends and products and generate some new creative ideas. It gives you the chance to learn from other companies you might not otherwise have met and in fact, the chance to spy on your competition (although this definitely does need to be considered from the defence point of view as well!). Leads for both strategic alliances and new customers can be generated and face to face communication in person is always better than ‘phone or email as it is more immediate and dynamic.

Another angle from business advisors is that attending trade shows is a great chance for bosses and employees alike to have a bit of fun networking and going out together. Fruit Logistica is definitely a good place for that, from the man dressed up as a giant jazz apple that winds his way through the crowds every year, bouncing off visitors, to the girls dressed as bananas in the fruit hall to the gin bars masquerading as stands in the Spanish hall it can, at times, have a festival feeling. It is also tradition to carry the fun on into the Berlin restaurants and bars when the halls shut. For a select hardcore group it is also tradition to attend the second day of the show on zero sleep after a very hectic night out that starts to get very messy and a bit hazy in the Irish bar in the Europa Centre at about 2am…

I personally think that the real benefit of trade shows is the social connection and the live face to face networking (as opposed to live clicking on LinkedIn). Being networked in your industry is important for advice, increased knowledge and confidence and the positive influence the right connections can yield. Another by-product of networking can also simply be friendship with people having similar career experiences as yourself. Friends in the office is widely acknowledged to be a huge factor in job satisfaction and friends in the industry is simply a wider cast net.