non-financial development institution
major organizer of congress and exhibition events
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Expert opinion
03.06.2019
Alexander Svinin: Secrets to effective work at forums
Economic forums — a party or work?

I saw several posts in my feed following the Sochi forum on the topic of «why do we need economic forums — everyone just hangs out and nobody does anything» and decided to describe the experience of the #UdmurtiaTeam at such events.

How and why we took part in the forum in Sochi:

1. We always clearly split up the audience at all economic venues by occupation and possible client groups for us. At the Sochi forum, 70% of the participants are representatives of the regional and national authorities and development institutions. A client group for B2G sales by #MadeinUdmurtia companies. So our portfolio at the forum this year only includes those who can offer something to our colleagues from other regions or solutions that need to be promoted at the national level.

2. Our KPIs are born at each venue based on the target audience. For Sochi this year, the first key indicator was RUB 5 billion in preliminary contracts for the supply of products from the republic to other regions, while the second was the presentation of Udmurtia’s experience in reforming the economy in key segments for us (tourism, export, infrastructure, and the development of municipalities) at sessions and also at the stand.

3. Based on the KPIs, we build a list of meetings/agreements/sessions/negotiations — a kind of sales plan in which one part consists of a specific list of sales, and the second is comprised of potential buyers and markets. The KPIs are cascaded to each member of our delegation from the head to the stand operator. This year we held 126 sales meetings with potential buyers of our enterprises’ products, and 12 deputy governors on economics visited the republic’s stand. Our enterprises essentially set the specifications for the sales plan.

4. The stand must attract and retain the audience and convey the republic’s basic values. This year, 2,500 forum participants visited our stand and 983 of them took part in interactive sessions dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s birthday. The idea of the stand is to show off our enterprises and their products through people who are the primary capital of the Republic. So two-thirds of the space is for the presentation of companies and their employees. #BusinessPeople is the stand’s main hashtag.

I will share some areas that we need to develop in the future so that you don’t get the feeling that everything is perfect:

1. Further support of leads acquired at the Forum. Each of the 126 meetings should lead to a more detailed meeting following the Forum. In previous years, we did not systematize leads and, as a result, we missed out on some opportunities. This year we are finally launching a business CRM system in the republic. Since 1 March, the entire scope of our work, starting with the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, has gone there and will be monitored.

2. «Agreements here and now». This year, we immediately tried to reach agreements on business missions to the regions where our enterprises have great sales potential and agree on dates right away. The first visit is to the Belgorod Region, and then to the Irkutsk Region and Khanty-Mansiysk by the end of March. We have to move very fast to keep up and make sure interest in us does not fade.

For the Sochi forum this year, the first key indicator was RUB 5 billion in preliminary contracts for the supply of products from the republic to other regions

3. Even deeper sales targeting. Studying the markets of other regions, current suppliers, our competitors, and our advantages over them. There should be a presentation for each sales meeting with a clear focus on the exact person with whom we are meeting. The St. Petersburg forum is coming up, but it will be a completely different story, once again, base on the target audience at the platform

The main theme of the Udmurt Republic’s stand at the Russian Investment Forum 2019 was the 100th anniversary of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s birth


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