If you’re a tech company, and that includes companies that make hardware or software or use apps as part of their product offer, your product is pretty much just as viable in Brazil as it is in Holland or South Africa. But, finding markets and consumer outlets in those places for an early stage or small company has historically been very difficult without accidently crossing paths at home trade shows.
Those days may be over with the innovative approach taken by a company I met recently called toLocal. In speaking with these folks, I learned that they are the ultimate in the new share economy. They have already contracted for floor space at all the major consumer electronic shows around the world. They are then selling access to those spaces via a membership program for vendors.
For less than the cost of floor space at any one show, your membership entitles your Company to a presence in all 13 shows. Not just a presence either, but, a trained person to talk to the people who stop by, the outreach of toLocal to attract the attendees, and best of all, post show, all the contact info from the people who expressed an interest in your product(s).
If you want to go yourself, no problem, just pay your own way. Want other support? There are packages you can take part in to elevate your product(s) above the crowd.
I would have signed up for this in a heartbeat when I had my business in the CE market. The cost of being “seen” the first time in a new show is outrageous. Start with floor space, add hotels, transportation, lodging, whatever display you’re going to actually put in the show and that gets you in. But, you still don’t know anyone, which is half the value of a show, getting all the people you already know to see your latest things.
Now instead, share a booth, with fantastic merchandising and well trained staff and let the work be done while you stay home. Get 5 leads or 50 leads, it’s all plus activity for little investment. And at the end, you can contact these folks to convert them into retail or distributor distribution points in a new country. In 24 months (2 cycles) any brand can be global, in my opinion, with real activity going on everywhere.
You’ll need a really effective back office, global distribution team even sooner than you thought. Fortunately I know where that is, too. I love these new business models.
Contact Victor Kao at 206.218.8890 or go to www.toLocal.com to see what they are doing.
If you know of any of these kind of leading edge “share” or outsource style businesses, please let me know. I’ll happily write about them.