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Autopromotec’s gradual internationalization strategy continues, not only with the aim of encouraging more exhibitors and visitors from abroad, but also of increasing  the value of the event for all stakeholders

Severino Savini

THROUGHOUT 2012, Autopromotec, the most specialized international exhibition of automotive equipment and products for the aftermarket, once again sent its representatives to what are considered to be the most significant markets to continue a dialogue that had a strong start many years ago. For the past several editions it has applied a gradual internationalization strategy aimed not only at encouraging more exhibitors and visitors from abroad, but also at increasing the value of the event for all stakeholders.
The result of this approach was a 9% increase in exhibitors in 2011 compared to 2009 and 11% more visitors, with regard to the data for international operators. In general, the aim of the international missions for promoting Autopromotec is to meet interested parties at local level – from the main trade associations to regional exhibition organizers, promotion bodies and, of course, the principal representatives of the specialized press – to increase awareness about the event and the entire automotive aftermarket by means of an integrated approach. Guided by this approach, in June the Autopromotec delegation had a series of meetings in South America’s two major countries, Brazil and Argentina, where event manager Emanuele Vicentini and local consultants and partners made new contacts, investigated opportunities for joint promotion actions and promoted Autopromotec 2013 as next year’s main European event with an ever-increasing international platform for all operators in the sector, including those from overseas. In Brazil and Argentina, the actions were completed by meetings with the most important specialized media that has supported Autopromotec for many years and in some cases has been a permanent guest at several of the events.

Meetings in San Paolo and Curitiba
The promotional mission to Brazil was part of an agreement signed by Promotec, Emilia Romagna Region and BolognaFiere to promote the event in countries that will host the next world football championships and the Olympics, as well as in China and Turkey, strategic countries for the automotive sector and the aftermarket specifically. The strategic meetings involved Sindirepa (Sindicato da Industria de Reparacao de Veiculos and Accessorios do Estado do San Paolo), which has Brazil’s most important network of workshops in terms of car traffic, ARESP (Associacao das Empresas Reformadoras de Pneus do Estado de Sao Paulo) and Sindibor (Sindicato da Industria de Artefatos de Borracha no Estado de Sao Paulo), the two tyre associations and supporters of Pneushow and Expobor, which are very important at local level and dedicated specifically to the tyre and rubber sector that has been strong in Brazil ever since resin has been extracted from the trees in this luxuriant country. There were no direct meetings in San Paolo with trade associations in the components and spare parts sector, but good relationships have already been established with them and they will be invited to visit Autopromotec 2013.
Another key aspect of the mission was meetings to discuss the possible mutual exchange of visibility with exhibition bodies that are active in the automotive field. Specifically, the sector’s main players with relevant events for the entire South American area, such as Reed Exhibitions in San Paolo, the organizers of Automec and Automec Pesado. In Curitiba, one of Brazil’s automotive districts, there was a meeting with Diretriz, the coordinator of various exhibitions in the aftermarket sector at regional level from Belo Horizonte to Porto Alegre. Without forgetting the fairs in the tyre segment, mentioned above.

Southwards to Buenos Aires and Cordoba
In Argentina, promotional actions go further back in time thanks to an agreement with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Buenos Aires, which directly supports the promotion of Autopromotec throughout Argentina. Because of this collaboration, meetings were arranged with important local associations and promotion entities in the territory. With regard to the associations, certainly worthy of note are the meetings with Grupo Proa (a group manufacturing car parts), which has undertaken to ensure that the exhibition is included in the official calendar of fairs promoted by the Argentine government, and Afydrem (the association of car spares manufacturers) with which Autopromotec assessed the organization of buyer participation in the Fair. Following the success of the mission to Bologna in 2011, the Federación Argentina de Nuematicos (the association of tyre retreaders)  demonstrated its intention to send an even bigger group of operators to find out about all the new products exhibited at next year’s Fair. Again thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, there were meetings with some of Argentina’s promotion entities, such as Agenzia Pro Cordoba, which promotes firms in the Province of Cordoba, and a number of firms connected to it, and Exportar, an entity for the economic and commercial promotion of the country, which expressed interest in including Autopromotec in the fairs promoted by the government.
It is obvious why these countries are strategic for the automotive aftermarket and an assessment of the potential economic value of the meetings should be strong encouragement to attend Autopromotec in 2013. Moreover, the entire operation had even more sense because it emphasized that the Fair has pursued this strategy for many years.

An estimated balance sheet for Autopromotec 2013
The exploratory mission last June came two years after a similar mission in the spring of 2010; this second mission provided the occasion for re-establishing various collaborations and beginning new ones. Thanks to the mission of two years ago, it was possible to assess the potential growth of awareness about Autopromotec in the two South American countries. Two delegations of professional operators visited Autopromotec and took part in numerous meetings with excellent results. These operations will be repeated and expanded in 2013.
Obviously, a distinction should be made between the two countries, beginning with different backgrounds that represent different economic-financial profiles. At this stage, there are no agreements of any kind with Brazil, but numerous promotional actions were carried out through the media and associations and these will contribute to bringing operators to the Fair.
In Argentina, however, thanks to the work of the Chamber of Commerce relationships with local institutions are ongoing and meetings aimed at finding long-term agreements and strengthening those that already exist. The country has always had a tendency to be a roller coaster in business markets, but it is an important market with historical relationships with Italian industry.
The mission had a positive outcome in that it achieved its aim of strengthening  awareness about the Fair, but it was also a source of interesting ideas for future cooperation on developing specific initiatives for exhibitors and visitors from both countries.
With this in mind and to facilitate visits by individuals as well as delegations of buyers, Autopromotec will be organizing travel packages for South American visitors that will include business meetings during the Fair. It has also set the commercial machine in motion to encourage participation by local exhibiters. Based on the premise of the latest mission, this should lead to the creation of “Country Areas” two editions further on; they would be similar to those of other  international automotive aftermarket fairs, with a firm eye on quality production with strong potential. Visitors to Autopromotec from Brazil and Argentina will make the Fair more interesting and international. At the same time, they will receive essential information about new products and take part in tours of Motor Valley, a tourist attraction that celebrates Emilia’s motor sports.
Anyone looking forward to an even more international and complete Autopromotec 2013 will certainly not be disappointed!

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