Once again, the global fresh fruit and vegetable sector is preparing for Fruit Logistica. On 6, 7, and 8 February, the Messe in Berlin, Germany, will again host three busy trade fair days. We asked the Dutch and Belgian exhibitors, Harvest House and Group A. de Witte how they prepare for such a trade show.
Firstly, is it a given that you will take part as an exhibitor?
"For us, the annual participation in Fruit Logistica is not a certainty", says Harvest House's Rachel Toewar. "That said, our clients and business partners do expect us to be there."
"It is, after all, an opportunity where we can see and chat to each other in a different setting. It is also a chance to show off our latest innovations. We also find it important to represent the Dutch fruit and vegetable sector as the Holland Fresh Group collective."
"For us, it is a sure thing", says Alexander Van Orshaegen from Group A. De Witte. "It is, however, also necessary to take part in the show. It is a chance to meet with important partners and clients. At the same time, we can check out other companies and how they present themselves."
When asked how companies prepare the stand crew for the fair, Rachel answers, "By involving them as much as possible in the process. Our Communications department starts preparing a long time beforehand. It begins with discussions between the Commercial Management and the management of all the subsidiary companies."
"These are done to identify goals and needs. After every edition, an internal evaluation is also done among the entire stand crew. This input is extremely important to, for example, brief the stand builder. In this way, we ensure that, between us, our presentation in Berlin is better and nicer-looking every year."
"For us, it is especially important that everyone is well-informed about the trade show's practical matters. These include things such as the program, maps, and flights. The stand constructors are the same every year, so we do not have to worry about that", says Alexander.
"Most of our peers book their appointments beforehand. However, we see more and more that there are times during lunch or in the evenings in the restaurant when you can sit down with partners. Here, you can do business in a more informal", he continues.
"We plan appointments to take place as much as possible at our own stand. We have all the information, products, and materials at hand there. We can, therefore, receive and inform our visitors as well as possible. Outside of trade show hours, we, of course, use the opportunity to talk to our business partners in a more informal setting", adds Rachel.
According to her, it is an absolute must to introduce new ideas or special themes at the fair. "With this, we not only distinguish ourselves. We also stay relevant to our clients. For example, the introduction of our tomato dispenser last year was a great hit. This year, the emphasis will be more on the theme of sustainability. We will, for example, let people see and taste that a sustainable company can also deliver very tasty products."
It is also a must for Group A. De Witte to introduce new concepts and themes at the trade show. "The market keeps changing. To keep up, it is important to be innovative yourself too. As a fruit and vegetable supplier, it would be a shame not to do market research and change products. These must then be presented to our partners and clients", says Alexander.
Diana van der Meer of Harvest House using the tomato dispenser at last year's fair
How is the trade show evaluated and do they try to measure the results?
"We do not set hard KPIs prior to the show", answers Rachel. "We measure the results of our efforts mainly by the positive reactions to our products and ideas, the valuable discussions with our business partners, and how busy our stand was. And it is packed every year!"
"We evaluate the fair by asking our colleagues how they experienced the trade show and what they found to be positive or negative," concludes Alexander.