Post-Lockdown Investment & Trade Promotion Practices – A Shift Towards Virtualization

by Alexander Bothmann, Senior Consultant
April 22, 2020

Since February 2020, most of the international industrial trade shows and promotional events have been canceled or postponed.

It is not clear for the foreseeable future whether trade shows will be able to fulfill their core functions as information platforms and as industry gathering points for business development. Even when we gradually emerge from the global lockdown, social distancing will still be necessary to curb future outbreaks of COVID-19. It is uncertain whether business development events can be carried out as planned in autumn 2020 and well into 2021. Trade show organizers are likely to be faced with unprecedented challenges such as possible remaining travel restrictions, social distancing requirements and strict hygiene regulations. Cancellation of major trade shows is possible. Germany, the world’s leading location for industry trade shows, will be significantly impacted.

Trade shows and other business development events have always been an important platform for face-to-face meetings for the purpose of initiating and advancing business.

Trade Promotion Agencies enable SME exporters to participate in trade shows in order to promote international sales of their products and services. Physical participation in trade shows facilitates exporters to engage in direct conversations and to maintain contact with their trading partners.

Investment Promotion Agencies have effectively used trade shows to introduce and promote their locations to an international audience and to meet with FDI prospects.

Today, these tried and tested business practices need to be revised and adapted. The restrictions and economic consequences caused by the pandemic are a global challenge. We are all in this together.

Despite of the pandemic, there will continue to be a need for exchange between buyers and sellers and EDOs and FDI prospects. New technologies can help by replacing in-person conversations with virtual meetings. We observe good acceptance among companies of all industries and sizes regarding the use of virtual meeting tools in order to communicate with trade and investment promotion agencies worldwide.

As a leading investment and trade promotion consultancy, PM&P is prepared for the changes in how business is conducted. Our service offer includes the possibility to conduct virtually initially planned trade show visits, business matchmaking and FDI prospect meetings.

PM&P delivers virtually FDI lead generation and trade promotion services.

PM&P provides virtual matchmaking services to trade promotion agencies. PM&P enables exporters to conduct originally planned face-to-face meetings with potential partners from overseas via video conferencing. Together with trade promotion agencies and the companies that they service, we can identify suitable trading partners. PM&P will draw up a short-list of possible trade partners according to the matchmaking criteria that we are provided. We will arrange virtual meetings. We offer this service in all European countries and in North America.

PM&P provides virtual matchmaking services to economic development organizations (EDOs). This service enables EDOs to virtually promote their locations to FDI prospects in Europe. We will relocate originally planned overseas face-to-face meetings with FDI prospects at trade shows into a virtual meeting room. As a result of the pandemic, decision makers across industry sectors understand the need to adjust the way they need to conduct business including the geographical realignment of supply chains. During the coming months, C-level executives and their corporate planning departments will be open to learn about the locational advantages of your state, region, city or municipality. PM&P will help you to put your location on the radar screens of FDI prospects, so that your location will be considered for future corporate investments.

PM&P helps economic development organizations to realign their location strategy. The corona pandemic will change and shift global supply chains. The strategic focus on specific industry sectors is likely to change. EDOs should be prepared to take advantage of potential new opportunities for their locations and adapt their strategic target industry sectors to reflect these changes. PM&P can support the realignment of your investment promotion strategy.

Alexander Bothmann

Senior Consultant