A fair argument

If you look in Chambers Dictionary – the one all genuine crossword-solvers should use – you will find its definition of a recession is, “a slight temporary decline in a country’s trade”, whereas a depression is, “a condition of reduced trade activity and prosperity”. Not a lot to worry about then, is there? It’ll all be over quite soon.

But then I’ve always been a glass half-full man, and since I’ve spent my life promoting trade fairs I suppose that’s just as well, since it has been clear to me over the years that British companies’ attitude towards trade fairs has always been ambivalent, to say the least. Consider the figures: 30% of the average marketing budget of German firms is spent on trade fair participation; the comparable amount for UK industry struggles to get into double figures.

No prizes for guessing which country leads in manufacturing exports …

Why is this? Well, Germany has the best and most international trade fairs by a street in almost any industry; their shows are attended by a genuinely international audience; and their space costs are cheaper in comparison than anything the UK can offer, because in most cases the organisers own their halls, and their infrastructure is far more solid and reliable. It is interesting that in the first three months of 2009, no major German trade fair in any industry has shown a decline in exhibitor participation, or in the quality of visitor attendance.

So at a time when the global economy appears to be suffering from – let’s say, a case of introspection – why not venture into the export market and put your trust in a German trade fair? There is really no point in disappearing into your shell, since it will be far harder to emerge when times improve if your company has effectively disappeared from the marketing map for 12 months. Be positive, show the flag, do all those non-British things – you’ll feel a lot better!  

Golf Europe 2009 takes place in Munich from October 4-6