As the leader in exhibition services, you have already been organizing a worldwide range of events for 26 years. Which of them would you deem particularly interesting and prestigious for Polish exhibitors?
Every fair is of great importance to an exhibitor who chooses it to establish new contacts and consequently, cooperation with contractors. The most prestigious events we participate in include such fairs as ANUGA in Cologne, SIAL in Paris, IFE in London, Yummex in Dubai, the Shanghai fair, and the greatest private label fair, PLMA in Amsterdam, where we are present now. The PLMA fair is among the most attended, and the number of exhibitors increases each year. This year, MAXPOL is servicing 32 companies from Poland.
To which fairs are you currently recruiting exhibitors?
Our company is currently conducting recruitment to the very prestigious “SIAL 2016” food industry fair in Paris, which will be held on 16-20 October. We have also started subscription for the “YUMMEX Middle East” confectionery fair in Dubai (7-9 November of this year). As for the next year, we have already started recruitment to the highly popular ISM confectionery fair in Cologne (29 January – 01 February) and the largest fair in the British Isles, IFE 2017, that will take place in London on 19-22 March. Space is selling rapidly at the fairs I have just mentioned, however, when ordering exhibition space, priority is always given to companies that have participated in previous editions.
Are customers in this industry loyal to the organizer, or do they often change partners?
Customers are different. There are companies that only go with us to fairs. They have full confidence in us and know their stand will be handed over in accordance with their expectations and on time, so they have nothing to worry about. There are also companies that change their organizer to see if it is able to prepare the stand better and at a lower cost… and they often come back to us. Constant cooperation as well as reliable and professional answers to the needs of customers increase the level of their loyalty.
What is the essence of professionalism in customer service at Maxpol?
Above all, MAXPOL's professionalism consists of professional assistance to companies in the selection of appropriate industry fairs they should take part in. It is also about the availability of all our employers, including the President of the Board. Our professionalism is prospective thinking in solving and preventing problems, as well as a comprehensive customer approach consisting of constant and reliable cooperation, winning of trust and consequently, good opinion among customers. These values contribute to a double win – for the company and for the customer. And this is very rewarding!
Has MAXPOL, after 26 years operating in the exhibition market, changed the customer approach in this industry?
Since the very beginning, customer satisfaction has been our creed. Systematic growth of the number of exhibitors and the expansion of the group of regular customers, participating in many fairs each year, allowed us to gain recognition from industry institutions. Our business has been positively evaluated and awarded the prestigious title “Leader in Exhibition Services”. We have also been granted the Recommendation of the Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry.
What do you predict for the “fair” business in the coming years?
I look into the future with optimism. I think there is no replacement for fairs and they will keep developing. The Internet is unable to substitute participation in fairs. It is just a tool to transfer information and to correspond with partners, this is but a fraction of marketing. Participation in fairs enables direct contact with customers, familiarization with products, or negotiation of conditions for potential cooperation. Polish enterprises look for new outlets virtually worldwide. We are recognized as manufacturers of many excellent products. Industries such as dairy, confectionery or meat are our key exports.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and company managers who would like to enter foreign markets with their products?
The success of an enterprise is made up of financial results, achievements of the assumed goals, and enrichment. I believe that success is more than just getting income higher than expenses. It is an effect of cooperation with people, customers, employees, and suppliers. It is them who create the positive results. Such cooperation is also reflected in the exhibition industry. We advise companies where and how they should present their products. As we know, medium and small businesses are the foundation of our economy. In the first place, Polish entrepreneurs must perform good research of the market where they want to sell their products. And the way to research and evaluate is presence at fairs. Here, it will be clear if the goods are of interest to recipients. If the entrepreneur manages to initiate business meetings, it will be the first step to export.
What aspects should an exporter pay attention to then?
Everything depends on the country and the export possibilities of our products, e.g. whether there is no embargo in the given country, whether many certificates are needed and lastly, whether transportation to these countries is possible and viable. But the most important aspect is the contracting of products.
Thank you very much for our conversation and I wish you further success.