If you are thinking on exhibit at Moscow, don't miss this interview with Eugene from Orange Models. She advice us how to choose the correct hostess agency and explain hos it is working on trade fairs sector.
How to select a hostess agency?
Unfortunately, there is no some universal recipe to select the best agency in the world. And there is no such agency also. There is only one agency – agency, which suits to your project and can solve project's tasks effectively.
First of all converse with your colleagues, who had a projects like yours. They had solved many tasks for finding an agency, and had received some satisfying result. So if they are satisfied with the work of the agency they had hired – contact it first.
Find websites of the agencies. Yes, it's not so easy for Russia, but try it anyway. Pay attention to the information actuality there: news, projects, portfolio. If the agency works actively, it usually tells about projects and achievements with pleasure. Then contact with agencies you interested in, check the efficiency and quality of their response and additional demands, if they exist.
Plan in advance the cooperation with agency from another region. Otherwise, it's a huge risk if you come and meet models right before the project. In this case you can stay without hostess and interpreters. If you can't hold a castings in advance, ask the managers to recommend suitable models for your project. In our agency we are glad to provide customer with conversation with the models via phone or skype. In that way customer can check model's language level and how comfortably he feels communicating with her . Also in my opinion, it plays huge role there if an agency demonstrates clear work requirements and payments for the customer.
What does a hostess bring to a trade show stand?
In my opinion, the main task of a hostess is to do all her best for customer to hold his project with maximum efficiency. When she works on front desk she welcomes visitors and answers the common questions: 'What's the company on this stand?', 'What's this company produce?', 'Where's the company situated?', 'Does it have branch in Russia?', 'Are here some free souvenirs?' etc. And right that time the company official can hold a serious negotiations with promising clients, converse with a colleagues, have a visits to another exhibition stands without distraction.
More important for foreign exhibitors in Russia is hostess who speaks their language, can translate negotiations and helps in communication. Most visitors in Russian exhibitions don't speak English or another foreign language. If the customer have no managers who speak Russian, that case the hostess who speaks their language is just a need. The hostess helps to solve some problems with the stand, if they appear.
Right hostess can make a tea or coffee for stand assistants and visitors. She gives an advices in some local traditions, if this is needed. She points some interesting places in the city you can see after the exhibition, where you can have good dinner or have a fun at night club in spare time – if the you are interesting in this. Well, unlikely she will join you in this trip – this is not accepted in our company - and also girl must be fresh and pretty next day on her workplace.
In short – hostess is competent and qualified helper, but not the decoration.
Three tips you would give to the entrepreneur when he/she has to choose a hostesses agency.
Specify your goals on the exhibition for yourself, for the agency and, of course, for stand assistants. Then discuss with the agency your goals and tasks, assure the understanding. If you see this doesn't happen – turn to another agency.
Make a plan of work specifications: terms, tasks, substitutions, etc. And certainly the cost of the project. If the agency often changes the requirements and costs of the work – turn to another agency.
Just listen to yourself and choose the agency you preferred through negotiations.
Which basic knowledge do you think a hostess needs to work on an exhibition? (languages, specific knowledges...)
For work on an exhibition a model must match the tasks she is needed there for. For example, if a model must distribute booklets and converse with exhibition visitors, she doesn't need foreign language skills, even if the customer doesn't speak Russian. This case, the only one supervisor model with basic foreign language skills would be enough. If the model has task to show a clothes (if the customer is a textile company), she must have suitable figure and patience for this. Because, there is often cool in the exhibition pavilions in winter.
Such model will not combine the functions of interpreter.
If it themes about the regular hostess work on a stand of foreign company where nobody speaks Russian, that case a model needs to have good foreign language skills, education, life experience and spacious mind - this very helps to understand company production and market specifics. From personal abilities the most important are sociability, friendliness and charm. About the specific professional knowledges – for example, there are girls with the engineering education in our agency. The customers rarely require models to have a specialized eduction, but they are always glad to see engineers, chemists or technologists on their stands.
Not so many models speak English in Russia. And there are less who speak another foreign languages. If you want the model who speaks English on your stand, I recommend to discuss with the agency what language level will be needed for the project. Often a good conversational level is enough for the customer, so the education of international interpreter just doesn't necessary. And the payment differs twice. The models who speak German, Italian, French, Spanish are much more rare. But we have them. Of course, their payments usually are higher.
Which is, on your own opinion, the most difficult part of working on a trade show? And the advantages?
Exhibition is always short term project. So, time is a difficulty and an advantage. On the one hand, if all advertising materials hangs somewhere on a customs office, the client risks to stay without any handout on the exhibition. I recommend to put some advertising materials into your luggage just to have an insurance. And come to the exhibition a couple of days before to control the stand preparedness. There will be no time to fix anything during trade show.
Sometimes our foreign customers comes to Russia at first time and they wonder very much: is the exhibition not so famous or visitors here are always so few? And we spend a lot of time to explain that trade shows in Moscow are not comparable with the exhibitions in Hong Kong or Düsseldorf.
On the other hand, right on exhibition stand you can meet your potential clients personally and have many important negotiations. First it will give you a possibility to see who are your partners and how they do their business and, of course, to converse in informal atmosphere – this can be needed.
Which has been the most memorable event you've been working for?
Every project is remarkable on its own. Someone had a bright national character, others were large-scale. Sometimes we had been providing not only a model work, but also a creating of suits and uniforms, a work of stylists and makeup artists. Once, our 30 persons team had been working hard for about 14 days. Someone were very demanding, but had remained glad. And some were highly separate. Once, our customer entrusted us to work without his representation not only in the exhibition, but in whole country. Despite the fact that all of exhibition events are very similar to each other, we can remember each of them for our six years activity on this field.
How important is to know the language and the culture of the country you’re exhibiting in?
Well, I can't say this is not important. Exhibition is some kind of universal event. It's very important to introduce your company and production with dignity, regardless of the country you are exhibiting in. There are some nuances in advertising methods and assistant's work. But this nuances become understandable while negotiating with an agency. Of course, there are some specifics in approach to business, but this is just inescapable part of negotiations between exhibitor and his potential client. And about language difficulties: unfortunately, they are quite often in Russia.
Cyrillic letters are everywhere here, and information in Latin letters is very few. And translated information is much more rare. That's why hostess interpreter on a stand greatly facilitates the conversation. She speaks English well, so you can even just chat her.
Which are, in your opinion, the TOP 5 of trade shows in your city and why?
There is a specific exhibition, if not two, for each business niche. So, it's very hard to point only 5 trade shows in so different fields. The most colorful trade shows, as for me, are, of course, Moscow International Automobile Salon and Moscow international Aviation and Space Salon. But they hardly will be interesting to food producers or metalworking companies. They are mostly bright shows for wide range of people.
I can mark from serious business exhibitions such as:
- MIOGE (Oil & Gas),
- ProdExpo (food),
- CTT (construction technologies),
- Metall-Expo, Russia Power,
These exhibitions represent most demanded and developed business niches in Russia.
Can you tell us about any anecdote or last minute problem that took place in a trade show?
We always try to meet with smile and optimism all problems and situations, so I can't remember something one only. There were one casting: the customer was choosing models for a long time. Finally he chose three models, invited them for final castings to select only two of them. As a result he hired not two, but four models! He just couldn't choose from them – he preferred all of them. And the most strange customer's request: to lend him the model's uniform with the logo of his own company. We was surprised. And apologized that we had no such uniform with logo of his company or some other.