Tag: marketing

Inbound Business 2017

Inbound Business EXPO Japan 2017 sought to answer one of Japanese business’ toughest questions, “How do we attract foreign customers?” With Japan having achieved record-setting tourist numbers last year and the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, this is an important thing to find an answer to.

ramen booth indoors

There seemed to be a general fixation on inbound business from Asian countries — and given the statistics, this makes sense. But most people we spoke to were more than interested to appeal more to people coming from EU, US, and Oceania. Walking around the exhibition floor, you could hear a lot of visitors speaking European languages. The potential to expand business was certainly there.

We were glad to see of Japan’s best feet was put forward: food. Any resident of Japan gets eager to take foreign visitors out to eat for good reason: it’s delicious. A large part of the exhibition floor was dedicated to food and restaurants (most of whom were giving out samples). This is in line with other trends that can be witnessed around Tokyo; for example, any tourist information centre comes stocked to the brim with restaurant pamphlets.

rental kimonos on display

A few Miss Universe Japan prefectural winners were present (Miss Shizuoka and Miss Fukushima pictured here). The pageant winner, Sari Nakazawa, has been very active in promoting Japan as a destination.

prefectural winners shizuoka and fukushima
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Marketing Webinar To Watch Before Your Next Trade Show

Earlier last year we visited the 23rd Tokyo International Book Fair. One of the most interesting exhibitors we met, a marcom company, was also one of the most difficult to pick out of a crowd. They had a corner booth which could be seen from almost 180 degrees; however, there were no floor signs and all the literature and wall posters were visible from just one direction. On account of a lack of signage and poor layout, we had no indication of who the exhibitor was or what he did until we shook hands.

This is a bit of an extreme example, but proper trade show marketing can be complex. Consultant and marketing expert, Ruth Stevens, gives an excellent talk on this subject in a webinar put on by Business Outfitters.

Of particular interest is the part on booth design, which is a huge part of trade show marketing. As Stevens points out, signage often fails to convey something very basic — what the exhibitor does. It is also interesting that some exhibitors might want to restrict visitors, so to keep their competition away from sensitive information.

This is a great watch, even if just to get the basics prior to your next trade show.

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