The African continent has the largest number of French speaking people in the world. There are nearly 115 million French speaking people in 31 francophone countries. This represents a huge potential marketplace for the exhibition industry. At the upcoming UFI Open Seminar and Expo Summit in Africa, Sylvie Fourn, Managing Director of the Industry and Environment Division for Reed Expositions, France will address the audience with her presentation called, “The Choices of Cooperation and Partnerships with Franco Phonic African Show Organizers.”
I asked had an opportunity to ask her a few questions in advance of her presentation.
Barry: What should Franco Phonic organizers look for from potential partners?
Sylvie: In my experience the key to a successful partnership are having a global outlook, being open-minded and operating with integrity, honesty and a willingness to learn, share and grow together.
It requires more time to work in association with another company or partner to launch a new show more time. You have to take into consideration that the local partner will think and act according to their culture and experience.
If you want to be safe, successful and happy, you need to be mentally prepared to enter into an association with foreign partners knowing that working together is complicated but the results are significantly more productive for the future of each partner. That’s why I always prefer a clever and well educated partner that I can rely on, who has looked at developing his company and is interested in cooperating with a French partner.
Barry: Does it make sense for exhibitions in Franco Phonic markets to focus on certain industries rather than others? If yes, which industries would you say provide the most opportunity?
Sylvie: In North Africa as everywhere in the world, a trade show is only one tool, among many that answer the needs of a market. The best shows and the great opportunities for successful shows are the industries/markets such as Agriculture, Food Industry (products, equipment and machines), Building and Civil Engineering, Environment (water and waste publics services), Catering and Accommodation, Chain Stores, Industry (equipment, machines and sub-contracting), Logistics, Medical and Automotive.
Most of the successful shows we’ve launched were dedicated to these markets and our defined priorities: present the foreign technologies and products to the local purchasers, create business and technical partnership between the foreign producers and local distributors or investors and bring technical contents and best practices to the professional attendees.
If Africa is a place you have considered then the conference, which falls on March 15 – 17 is worth your consideration.