Guest Blog Post: Putting Theory into Practice at London Design Fair 2016

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Read the previous post about KO-HO’s participation in the Kasvua viennistä -hanke

After finishing the Kasvua viennistä – hanke, KO-HO soon travelled to London to put into practice what had been learned at the 2016 London Design Fair. Matti from KO-HO explains the work Xport did for their participation in the fair.

Xport’s Work Before the Trade Fair

KO-HO is a small start-up, and we did not have the resources to do the pre-show work. So we asked Xport to do some preparation work for the fair. From the Kasvua viennistä market research, Xport created and ran an e-mail campaign to invite target customers to meet us in London.

This was followed by phone calls and personal e-mails to 20 London-based companies asking them to meet us at the fair. Finally, there was a second e-mail campaign the day before the London Design Fair. This e-mail list can be used again in future, and we can continue to add to it. Also, we can track interest in the e-mails using Mailchimp’s tracking and analytics.

Some of these companies identified themselves at the fair, and we are optimistic they will generate some business in future. We now have several great companies showing real interest in buying our chair and will soon have the first production run of the Motive Chair.

Xport also encouraged us to use a trade show folder, which was great and worked really well. We organised the business cards we’d collected, made notes on the meetings and helped organise our post-show follow-up work,  reminding us what we’d agreed to do. After the show we followed up with a thank you e-mail and sending price-lists to people that asked for one.

Putting Theory into Practice at the Fair

We practised our sales pitch in the hotel room the day before the show, when we could focus just on this. Having a structure to the pitch really helped when talking on the stand. If the conversation went in a different direction, we knew where to re-start it. Each day at the fair was more practice, and we developed, changed and improved the pitch during the fair to make it more natural for us.

As a result of this practice, we were much more confident and relaxed in London. We went to the front of our stand ready to talk to customers. Of course this is the point of being at the fair. If you are not confident, however, it is difficult to give an effective presentation or to tell a story that interests the customer, but not at this fair!

By talking to more people, we got more feedback on what customers are really interested in, which will help us with our product development. It also meant that all the visitors to the stand got a consistent message from us, and many people thanked us for the presentation. I guess we became quite comfortable with our English because, on the final day, someone asked us ‘so are you from the UK?’ 😳

Our next fair will probably be in 2017, and with this experience behind us, we will build better pitch and story and we are really looking forward to it.

 

December 2016, Matti Korpela, Owner/Designer KO-HO Industrial Design

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