Trainee at fair: our own online booking system and a huge organisational workload
Lisa and Klara from the Sales Team are starting their research investigations themed around the BrauBeviale 2014. They aim to find out how a trade fair is put in place – and what tasks the sales people have to handle when preparing for a fair. Their mentor Johannes Templer from the international sales organisation is the first port of call. Lisa and Klara investigate: how do you begin to plan a trade fair? How do you coordinate staff, accommodation and transportation? What else has to be organised?
During the conversations with our mentor Johannes Templer, one of the first things we (Lisa and Klara) realised was this: anyone who thinks that for organising a fair it suffices to draw up a master plan just once, and then use this to plan all subsequent fairs is making a big mistake! Because every fair is different. Preparations begin several months before a fair is held, and have to factor in a multitude of different considerations, depending on which particular fair is involved. It’s now less than two months to the Brau – so the preparations are in full swing.
But how exactly do you start planning for a trade fair? Well, it kicks off with a meeting attended by Sales, Engineering and Corporate Communications, in which the expectations and requirements of all departments involved are discussed. How large do we want the stand to be? Which exhibits will be showcased? What is currently in demand on the market? What innovations do we intend to unveil? Then the people from Engineering and Marketing discuss what machines are currently under construction and could be exhibited at the fair. With the client’s permission, of course.
How many of the sales staff will be on duty at the fair?
The stress is only just beginning for our mentor Johannes Templer, who works in the international sales organisation. As we have learned there’s more than enough to do! The first thing to be clarified is how many staff from Sales and the subsidiaries will be attending the fair. It’s not as easy you might think to ascertain the precise number such a long time beforehand. At a kick-off meeting with the assistants of the individual sales regions and key accounts, our mentor Johannes provides an initial overview of subjects themed around the fair, and the specific organisational steps involved.
The assistants then, in close liaison with him, the managing directors of the subsidiaries and the Regional Managers, plan who from what region will be attending the fair and when. The exhibitors’ IDs have to be quantified and ordered well in advance, you see. Despite all the advance planning: it’s still not quite certain even today how many colleagues will be attending the Brau 2014, and this will, of course, also be governed by the feedback from our clients. At the last Brau, for instance, there were approximately 150 Krones sales staff.
Our own online booking system, transportation, customer events: there’s lots to do
Our sales colleagues from all over the world also have to have somewhere to stay. This is why Krones makes foresighted provision, and books blocks of rooms in Nuremberg, with the aid of the data determined and on the basis of empirical figures.
One thing we found particularly interesting: the hotel rooms, both for staff and for clients, are booked using an online platform set up specifically for Krones by our travel service provider DERTOURISTIK/ Tradefairs. The sales staff can then use this portal for booking, reserving and cancelling rooms for themselves or their clients independently.
But that’s a long way from being everything! Shuttle buses and vehicles still have to be organised and provided for the journey from Nuremberg to the fair and back. Then the data of all staff on the stand team have to be entered in the fair’s system: telephone numbers, languages, the countries and clients that the colleague concerned handles, etc. These data help our colleagues at the stand’s information desk: because when clients arrive, the colleague responsible for them can be notified immediately. The give-aways for clients, too, are specified at the informational events held beforehand.
In addition, what’s called the Fair Information Paper, with a brief description of all exhibits and keynote issues, has to be prepared. This is then distributed to all sales staff before the fair begins, so that each of them gets an overview of what’s on the stand. But because there are rather a lot of exhibits, shortly before the fair begins staff are given a tour of the stand, during which the exhibits are once again explained in detail. But the watchword for now is this: get all the preparations finished so that the Brau 2014 will be a brilliantly successful experience for everyone!