Using Tradeshows to Market a Product

#Using Tradeshows to Market a product

“He just tooked it and said ‘how much?’ If you need more money come and see me” -Musenga Siliwawa, Founder of Spot Agro

Musenga’s attempts to market his advanced fertilizer applicator weren’t met with initial success. Marketing to Zambian farmers with most traditional methods wasn’t effective. Using a tradeshow to exhibit his new product and at the same time allow potential customers to experiment with it was the prudent decision that vastly improved his marketing. Farmers were happy to see the practicality of the apparatus and weighed on its advantages compared to the existing methods used.

“We took advantage of farmer exports; we have the farmers’ export which is an international trade center for farm tech in central Zambia”- Musenga Siliwawa - Founder of Spot Agro
##Personal Interaction
Because tradeshows attract many members from the public with a core aim of learning about new products, Musenga decided this would be an excellent place to educate farmers about his device. Farmers could interact with and ask him questions, creating confidence in his company and product.
“We were at the farmers export store, he tried it out, thought it was unbelievable, each time they apply the fertilizer there’s some question, some problems, they do it themselves.”
-Musenga Siliwawa, Founder of Spot Agro
##Getting Attention
Other than demonstrating the use and performance of his new product, tradeshows also enabled Musenga to catch the attention of the media. He was able to reach out to the public throughout Zambia, attracting even more interest from potential buyers. Musenga’s fertilizer applicator took off after exposure and demonstration in the tradeshow. He not only found many new customers, but developed government interest to use it in improving production amongst farmers.
“The government and ministry of agriculture they have a subsidy program for fertilizer, so they came and wanted to improve efficiency. They took maybe 5K units”
-Musenga Siliwawa, Founder of Spot Agro
##The Benefits of Practical Demonstrations
But a tradeshow could not have been effective without demonstrating to the audience how the new product worked. It is the knowhow of the operational procedures and the ease of use that probably impacted new customers to adopt the new technology. Musenga found that farmers were very practical and wanted to see the product demonstrated to overcome their skepticism.
“Let farmers try the implements out - they like tangible things. If you just explain it they will be skeptical”
-Musenga Siliwawa, Founder of Spot Agro

Once the product became popular through Musenga’s tradeshow demonstrations, it became easier to organize more groups of farmers and reach them out at their areas where similar tradeshows were done. As a result of this strategy, Musenga’s fertilizer applicator has found tremendous success in Zambia.