Natacha Martin, Product and Business Development Manager at beon. Worldwide explains how is her daily work and she reflects on the importance of networking experiences and the presence in international fairs.
Tell us something about your daily activity.
When you are part of the business development there is no a typical work day. This is what makes my role so exciting. Every day is different and never boring.
After opening the office of beon. France and since March, mi work consist of get the office rolling, visit clients both in France and abroad, attend forums and meetings to represent beon., participate in networking activities, visit the convention bureaus and national institutions, and to build relationships with international industry media.
Every day I check my contact list and look for new profiles in LinkedIn. With this routine, I organize my calendar to have appointments with meetings. I have to make a lot of calls before arranging an appointment, especially with people I have never are people that I have never met.
Another important part of my work is to attend industry fairs and forums all over the world. For example, two days ago I was at the Iberian Mice Forum in Tenerife, a meeting with local suppliers. I am also trying to get to know the other buyers and build relationships with them so that whenever they have to organize events, they contact us. I sometimes feel like a 007 agent trying to find the right professionals and companies, and finding as much information about them as possible. This also interests me a lot.
I also attend industry meetings or fairs to know about latest trends and then inform my colleagues who might be interested in some new ideas for events. It is always interesting to know what people are doing, see the market trends and keep yourself updated with everything, this part is really important.
What is the value of networking sessions when presenting or positioning a brand?
Nowadays networking sessions are essential. But for people to attend this type of events, organizers must offer something else, so participants see how important is to make that business trip or schedule some time in their agendas.
In a world increasingly immersed in the virtual environment, people give great importance to closer ways of connection. Sometimes, clients get in touch with you because they knew you somewhere and remember having a good chat and common values. So more than publicizing our brand we endeavor in getting know by these audiences. You may have the best company in the world, but if you do not ‘connect’ with your client, they will not seek to have further relation with you.
How important is brand presence in MICE, trade or exhibition fairs?
Participating in trade fairs help us to showcase our solutions and therefore promote our brand. You are in a place where buyers want to discover a destination, new suppliers, or a DMC for their future events. And we can offer all that, anywhere.
Nowadays, there are a lot of fairs and forums we could attend and it is necessary to choose carefully the ones that may be more interesting for us. Big meetings such as IBTM and IMEX are not the best for our visibility, due to their huge format. This is why we prefer smaller fairs, offering more networking possibilities and experiences.
Forums offer a more personal approach with the client, so the possibility of establishing a close relationship is multiplied by 5 because thanks to trips, dinners, cocktails, etc., there are more possibilities to connect and meet people in a relaxed atmosphere. Instead of communicating through technology and current phone lines, you can participate in authentic conversation in real time and add a more personal, caring touch to your image. The close interaction forums offer, allows you to establish a more direct and effective relationship with your client.
Explaining face-to-face what we do, increases the client’s awareness of the company. A contact and knowledge that can be maintained if the relationship with that client continues. Thus, fairs are important as long as there is a follow-up after the event.
At the international level, what is the added value of beon.?
At that level, beon. added value is the full control of all the internal production chain. We do not need to outsource services, and therefore we are capable of reproduce any event in any place of the world with our own skills and capacity. In other words, we control the whole process from A to Z, in all kinds of events.