Business at trade fairs thrives on encounters between people. Cynthia Giesel, Trade Manager Office Supplies & Retail of Staples (Deutschland) GmbH, is a frequent expo attendee. As a buyer, she knows exactly what she wants from an exhibitor so she can have an efficient day at the trade fair.
Insights-X: What are the 3 requirements for an efficient expo visit in your view?
Cynthia Giesel: First of all, I rely on good groundwork. Who is exhibiting? What information will be available during my visit to the expo? Secondly, on making appointments with suppliers I really want to meet, and thirdly, on enough freedom to be able to go off on a little "voyage of discovery".
Could you describe to us how you get ready for a visit to a trade fair?
C. G.: I think very carefully about what I'm looking for. Then I take a look at all the exhibitors listed on the website of the trade fair organiser in advance. This way, I always discover new suppliers for myself. And I make appointments with the companies that are of most interest to me.
Sometimes, it's the little things that are irksome. Is there something that exhibitors do that really annoys you when you attend an expo?
C. G.: I haven't had any negative experiences with my suppliers so far. As a rule, everything is very well organised. However, I would fly into a rage if an exhibitor tried to talk me into buying stuff I do not want to buy.
And what do you appreciate about the trade fair presentations of exhibitors with regard to the needs of buyers?
C. G.: Most exhibition stands are very big and inviting and display a sufficiently large variety of products. For me, it's important to get a first impression of the back-to-school business of the year to come at Insights-X and to have the new products actually on display.
With so many appointments one after the other, do you still have time to be inspired and make chance discoveries?
C. G.: I try to give myself some free time between appointments to do precisely this; unfortunately, this is becoming increasingly difficult due to the large number of exhibiting suppliers.
Cynthia Giesel, thank you for the interview!