A message from Jean-Claude Bel
On the eve of next monthís EFTTEX, EFTTA CEO Jean-Claude Bel has this message for all those attending the exhibition in Amsterdam.
Thirty years after the first EFTTEX took place in Birmingham in the UK, we stand ready to celebrate a very special show next month in Amsterdam.
But we will not just be celebrating a number when we gather at the Rai Centre. No, we will also be celebrating the fact that, after three eventful decades, EFTTEX is as strong now as it ever has been.
Over the past three decades EFTTEX has matured into a must-attend trade show that draws exhibitors and buyers from all over the world. The trade has changed; the way we do business has changed; competition has been and gone; and the global financial crisis has laid down its challenge. But throughout this time EFTTEX has continued to grow steadily, driven by an ever-stronger trade association and the broad support of the industry at large.
But what is striking to me in this age of quick and easy travel and of digital communications is that a trade show like EFTTEX not only survives but positively thrives. The answer, I feel, lies in customer care.
I used to have a poster on my office wall, bought from a souvenir shop in the US. On it was the slogan ĎIf you donít take care of your customers, someone else willí.
In this highly competitive world, that slogan is true now more than ever. And to my mind there is still no better way to show your customers you care than to meet them face to face. To make the effort to see them, shake their hands, talk to them and to listen. In short, to get to know them as people.
EFTTEX provides that opportunity. And if you are not there doing it, rest assured, someone else will be. If you are confident enough in your products and services to rely simply on sending the latest catalogue and a price list, then good luck to you. But I know there will be five, ten, maybe twenty competitors meeting your clients and customers in the hall at EFTTEX, listening to them and showing them why they have better products and services. Are you really willing to take the risk?
Maybe the global crisis has taken away the arrogance that some companies once had. People know now that they have to be proactive to survive. It could explain the steady numbers of exhibitors at the past three EFTTEX shows in particular, each of them regarded as a success.
But what has always been there is the shared understanding of EFTTEX exhibitors that there is no more cost effective way to reach customers.
EFTTEX will always be rooted in the European trade, but it now draws exhibitors and buyers from 70 countries around the world. Many are from small to medium companies seeking new customers from just about anywhere. How else could they reach as many potential customers? It would be an impossible task to travel the world seeking out partners, showing new products and managing existing relationships. It would be a never-ending year-round cycle of travel and meetings. And as for the cost, there is not a small company that could bear such an expense.
Thatís why EFTTEX is such an important show. If you prepare well and follow up your meetings properly, it will pay for itself. As I always say to new companies who are undecided about committing to the show: the first order will cover your expenses, the second is money in the pot. And if you are not there, you wonít have any orders at all!
EFTTEX continues to have the support of the biggest brands in Europe; it has adapted to the globalisation of the market trade to become a truly international show; and it has a committed team behind it willing to travel the world to promote it to enthusiastic businesses wherever they may be.
As the 30th anniversary show heads our way, we are looking forward to providing the trade with a first-class meeting place. The rest, of course, is up to you!
See you in Amsterdam.