Spring Fair 2019
by Rebecca Clarke
A few weeks ago, I attended Spring Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, with our Managing Director Gary. This is the second time I have attended the show and again I was blown away by the sheer number of exhibitors. We attend the show with a view to catch up with many of our current customers, and hopefully create some new relationships with companies we haven’t worked with before. Having come from a customer service background rather than sales, I find it very easy to chat with people about their products. The challenge however is to get people to engage in a conversation with a sales person, rather than a buyer. After all these exhibitors have paid a high price for a stand, for the carriage of their products and their staff to physically man the stand. They do this with the sole purpose of selling. Exhibitors hope that buyers will be impressed with their products and begin purchasing from them. I however am not looking to purchase, I want to sell.
As you walk through the rows and rows of stalls, you can see the exhibitors looking at your badge, trying to see where you are from and if they want to spend their time speaking with you. Generally speaking, we rarely have someone stop us and start a conversation. If we find someone we would like to work with, it’s a matter of us initiating the approach and beginning a conversation.
What I found interesting at this particular show, was the massive increase in vendors publicising plastic free products. It seems that more and more companies are doing their best to decrease their environmental impact and switch to environmentally friendly materials where they can. This is of significant interest to us at Premier Labels. We have a range of fully biodegradable materials which we try to advertise as much as possible. Standard paper has the potential to be recycled but the adhesive can be an issue. However, with our fully biodegradable paper and films we overcome this issue and help our customers achieve their environmental policies with their packaging. Companies who are committed to reducing their environmental impact are clear to see at the show. Opening my sales pitch with information on biodegradable packaging was such a hit, it quickly became my only conversation starter. I even had one vendor give me a hug as they were so excited about having fully biodegradable packaging.
Now that the show is over and the exhibitors are back to their normal routine, I will begin contacting them and sending out samples of our materials. Hopefully when we attend the show next year, we will be catching up with more existing customers than this year and hopefully most of them will be using biodegradable materials.