B2B trade missions can be a great way to get exposure to a new market. One of the key metrics for a successful meeting is booking meetings for B2B trade missions. Here are a few things to consider when planning for a B2B mission to maximize successful meetings.
Focus on your niche
In the market you are coming from you could own the market and be successful across multiple verticals and industries. Your new target geography may require you to focus on a target vertical or a niche. In your new market, look for the vertical where your solution is a particularly good fit and would result in quicker wins. You can’t be everything to everyone when you start in a new market. If you have success in a niche, it can help lead to more sales. You become more comfortable with the use cases and terminology. Prospects will recognize your early customers which helps to build trust.
Understand your competitors
A new geography can mean new competitors. Do some preliminary research to understand where your strengths and weaknesses may be. This will help overcome objections and should lead you to the right verticals and niches.
A B2B trade mission can be valuable, but it is also expensive in terms of money and time. These are two valuable resources for growing organizations. Being prepared means having a plan and starting early with preparation. This means understanding how your trade organization can help, defining your targets, having email value props ready, and much more.
Leverage local connections
Typically trade commissions or other government organizations help to coordinate these B2B trade missions. Make sure you are leveraging their local network of contacts. You may also be able to leverage local expat communities. As an example, Enterprise Ireland has a great network of local Irish expats and sometimes can coordinate events with local expat business organizations.
Find a local partner
Local partners, like Venture Accelerator Partners, can provide a bigger network and the additional effort to reach it. They work in the market leveraging their in-market knowledge. They can also work in local hours. This may sound trivial but consider the time difference between continental Europe and Vancouver is 9 hours. The work day would barely overlap.
Be ready to commit to the market
Before committing to a B2B trade mission understand what the next steps could be. There will likely be the need for some short, medium, and long-term commitment. Much could be done remotely from your home geography, but likely it will mean more trips to Canada. It could mean hires or deploying team members from head office. All of these things take up time and money, so understand and plan for your commitment.
VA Partners has helped with trade missions and market research for organizations based in Ireland, Finland, Colombia, and even other cities in North America looking to grow in Toronto. If you would like to talk about how VA Partners can help with your Canadian B2B Trade Mission please contact me.