Visiting relevant fairs/conventions - good idea?
Thread poster: Sitiens (X)

Sitiens (X)
Local time: 06:10
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mar 11, 2013

I have been thinking about visiting fairs/conventions that are relevant to the areas I specialize in. Partly to keep up-to-date with the development in the fields, but also to perhaps make some connections, and to get out of the office (which is my home...). One fair is quite close to me and would only require train tickets and entry fee, but the other one is in Germany, so that is probably a future project.

Is this a good idea? Have you done this, and did it pay off?

Thank you!


Laura Brugnaro  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
English to Italian
+ ...
I'll be visiting an Expo in April... Mar 11, 2013

and then I'll let you know!
I also thought it could be a good idea to visit shows relating to my expertise areas, to pick up some study material, to contact directly companies in the field ... who knows, maybe I'll be in the right place at the right time.
I will visit it for 2 days (it will be held in my hometown, so no hotel expenses) in order to study it without getting exhausted. I will prepare some brochures to hand out, so that they won't forget me the second I exit the booth.
It will be my first Expo (Venice International Boat Show), so I'll let you know!

Have a nice day,


Fabio Gutiérrez  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
Member (2011)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Worth to try: absolutely Mar 11, 2013

According to my experience it does pay off, indeed! However, you should invest a fair deal of time in browsing the exhibitors' list, picking those you want to target and contacting them beforehand to arrange an appointment.

It seems wise to try first with a small investment by attending a close fair. It will enable you to improve your sales strategies and to evaluate if it pays off for you before deciding whether or not travelling to Germany is worth your money. I have followed a similar approach.

And do not forget to take your business cards with youicon_wink.gif

[Bearbeitet am 2013-03-11 17:06 GMT]


Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
Italian to English
Yes Mar 11, 2013

It depends on what your sectors of specialisation are but I've been popping down to Verona to visit Vinitaly every spring for many years.

It's close enough to do the round trip in a day and all my wine producer/publisher customers are in the same place at the same time so it's pretty much a no-brainer (for me and for the other wine translators I usually bump into!).

Be sure to structure your visit, plan who you want to see and if possible arrange one or two appointments beforehand, particularly if you are going to the fair for the first time.


Mailand  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
Italian to German
+ ...
Same fair, same thoughts Mar 11, 2013

I've been visiting the same fair as Giles does for the last 8 years (I think ....) and would generally advise translators to visit trade fairs in their fields. Even if you do not contact anyone specifically, it's an important source of information - but having business cards and a list with your contacts and/or possible future clients ready and at hand, is going to make a visit really worth your while businesswise!


Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:11
German to English
Can't hurt if you can afford to lose the time Mar 11, 2013

I try to attend the auto show in Frankfurt (held during odd-numbered years). It's also a parts supplier show, so I hand out my business card at various booths. The jobs I get are negligible, but I pick up a lot of informational brochures and other material relevant to automotive parts and supplies. Under the tax rules of my country (US), I can deduct costs of the trip. Depending on the tax rules of your country, you may be able to deduct travel expenses, entry fees, etc.


Nicole Maina  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:11
Member (2005)
German to Italian
+ ...
"Hang out where your customers hang out" Mar 11, 2013 one of Chris Durban's suggestions in her marketing-workshops.

A fair is always a good investment.

I usually go to 1 or 2 fairs a year, and have recently been to a specific training (in Berlin, at the BDÜ-conference) for translator's marketing at fairs.

My advice:

plan everything very well and in advance, your logistics, your material (*professional* business cards, brochures if you want, but not necessarily), even what you'll wear, and define your target precisely: who you want to contact, how many, for which kind of services etc.

study the fair's website in every detail, choose the companies you want to visit, print out the fair's map and look for the best and shortest way through your list of potential customers (or existing ones)

prepare an "elevator pitch", try it out on some potential customer you do not care so much about and as soon as you feel self-confident, go on to the ones you really want to conquer

do not talk to the hostesses, make sure you talk to the decision-makers

never leave the booth without the business card of the person you have talked to, and take notes on it (or on a list) - after the fair you will never ever remember what you have talked about or if you promised to send an email or an offer or whatever

after the 3rd or 4th coffee, ask for a glass of watericon_smile.gif

remember that results can sometimes be immediate, but more often they will be mid-term or also long term. I met one of my best customers of 2012 (in terms of turnover) on a fair in 2009.

last but possibly most important point, and the one that I hate the most, no, let's say really dread:
call back all of the contacts you have made during the fair. I know, it's annoying, but it really must be done.

sounds complicated, but it's not, you just have to try, it's definitely worth it!

be motivated, as they told us in the training: the worst that can happen is that everything remains as before!

[Modificato alle 2013-03-12 08:15 GMT]


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