Bazaars and trade shows are now the favorite launching pad used by entrepreneurs in introducing new products, getting business leads, and generating sales, and with good reason.
For Ian Guzman of Tin Square, participating in bazaars is her way to extend the reach of her clothing store. Meanwhile, the owners of Kitchen Couture, reveals that in months of participating in bazaars during the holiday season, the four partners managed to break even on their initial investment.
Another notable story is footwear producer Cora Coligado\\\'s, who got her first big break when she displayed the Ai-She sandals and shoes at a bazaar organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Calamba, Laguna.
Coligado told Entrepreneur.com.ph that her designs and products were noticed by trade buyers and big retailers in that bazaar, paving the way for the entry of Ai-She in Metro Manila malls.
And during these tough economic times when entrepreneurs need to go to the consumers to bring in the needed sales rather than just sit in their stores and wait for buyers to come, Coligado said they go to as far as Baguio and Cebu to participate in bazaars and trade shows.
"To make up for the lower sales in our stores, we participate once a month in bazaars," she said.
Not all bazaars are created equal
Lizette dela Cruz, program manager of Trade Information Marketing & Exhibitions Inc., said if an entrepreneur aims to give exposure and break grounds for her product, she must join an expo or a trade show. But she stressed that the entrepreneur must be discerning in choosing a show to participate in.
"It should have focus and must promote the significance and importance of the product; its selling qualities and potentials in the market, and its long-term value after sales. It must give the entrepreneur the opportunity to explore the possibilities, and at the same time promote the product to its target market," she said.