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Between economic crisis and creative marketing
di

Like after election day: everybody is the winner.
The very same happens at the close of trade fairs – growing numbers, larger representativeness, visitors and exhibitors happy with business achieved.
Nonsense. The truth is that the current model of specialised fairs is failing. When I was young, in Milan we had the Fiera Campionaria as a point of reference for exhibitions and exchange; in a short period of time, something that had remained unaltered for many years was first supplemented and then replaced by specialised fairs.
Now, in my opinion, we are living through a similar period, and fairs, squeezed between IT development and the economic crisis, are failing to keep the pace.
I am back from the TTG Fair of Rimini, the event that has been able to carve out for itself the space left uncovered by the International Tourism Exchange, and which in past years has shown remarkable vitality. Even here, this year, there was a feeling of downgrading, with some pavilions unoccupied, and others where mobile partitions were visibly arranged to camouflage unallocated space.
There is no doubt that the economic crisis is influencing business behaviours, but it is also true that it stimulates reflection on behaviours and leads to irreversible change. Some fairs, by their very nature, have a reason to exist, e.g., typically, those that present products to be tried (ranging from bakery equipment to dental drills) and therefore allow to concentrate various solutions in a limited space. The case is different for tourism, where motivation is more based on tradition than on a real need to participate in fair events.
It happened to Job in Tourism, too. Four years ago we had to add four pages to our print publication in order to contain all the advertisements; well, the economic crisis has disrupted all previous scenarios, and has forced the introduction of a new approach – advertisements are no longer printed on paper, but posted in the web; an increasing number of advertisers have changed their behaviours, to the point that printed classifieds are now proposed as accessory to the web. This is also irreversible; what matters is that we are aware of it, and do not fight rearguard battles against the windmills.
It was a pleasantly warm night, and I was revolving these thoughts in my mind, walking towards my car in the huge car park of the fair grounds. Stuck onto the car window, I found a piece of paper as large as a business card, with a red hand-drawn heart and the lettering “Lorena 3287923***”.
Creative marketing!

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