Afri-Centric, formally Hospitality Affairs, has been attending a number of trade shows locally and internationally to promote our eventing and travel side of the business. Participation at these shows does not come cheap by any means but through International Market Access Programmes (IMAP), pioneered by the National Department of Tourism, we are most grateful to have been selected as one of the few companies which were granted assistance and support.
The big question is, given communication advancement and how business interrelationships have digitally evolved over the years, are these platforms still as effective for doing business?
In our case, it would be a resounding yes, as there is indeed hard evidence of the value of face to face contact and dialogue. When you are selling heartfelt experiences, developing relationships is important and it is at these events that people can build a rapport with counterparts who they wish to do business with.
Recent research from HubSpot shows that 68 per cent of entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online and 95 per cent of respondents said that face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. Human contact rules behind the machines.
According to Show Daily Publication, “personal interaction is rich in non-verbal clues and emotional nuance, something you cannot get through email or phone, only 7 per cent of our communication is in words.
The age-old saying, people do business with people, not companies, remains true, and trade shows are a valuable opportunity to spend worthwhile time to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones”.