The Foreign Trade Export Support division of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) conducted a Trade Show-Sales Mission Prep Workshop. Ten Abu Dhabi companies attended the 1-day workshop at ADDED’s main offices.
Companies attend trade shows/exhibitions and sales mission/trade missions for a number of reasons, but primarily to increase sales in export markets. Companies incur direct and indirect costs by traveling to foreign markets and want this investment of time and money to have a positive benefit to the firm.
Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Director-Foreign Trade Export Support explained the purpose of the workshop, “We want to give companies some guidance on how to gain better outcomes from participating in trade shows and sales missions.” He continued, “Whether that participation with us, another organization, or the company on its own.”
The 10 companies that attended the workshop had as many as four people each attend, Mr. Chris O’Neill, International Trade Support Specialist lead the workshop and made clear why, “Most people think of these events the sole concern of marketing, sales, or business development. We want to make it clear that the sales team might be on the booth, but the entire company is involved.” He added, “So we wanted each company to three or four people attend the workshop.”At the end of the workshop, each company had a workbook to use for future planning for participation in trade shows and sales missions. Mr. O’Neill commented on the workbooks, “The work product from today’s workshop is a starting place for each company to develop a systematic approach to preparing for these types of event, how to identify prospects, and how to streamline the follow-up process.” He continued, “Each company’s management will discover what is best for their firm. Our objective today was to provide them a framework to increase their success as exporters to grow their companies.”
The company representatives that attended the workshop found it beneficial. One attendee commented, “Great workshop. Better than what I expected.” Another attendee stated, “I appreciate your efforts to make this workshop very very successful. I believe it will help with big returns from the trade shows.” A third attendee gave his opinion, “Every company should go through this workshop before going on to a trade show or on a sales mission.” The Export Support division of ADDED plans to conduct this workshop again in September, in Al Ain.