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Greater focus on preparatory work generated more business

Participating in a trade fair in association with the brand “Sweden” is for many companies a gateway to new international industry contacts or even new markets. With greater focus on preparatory work before the fair “Arab Health” in Dubai, Business Sweden managed to substantially improve the outcome for the participating companies.

Health care is one of the key sectors in the Middle East and the annual Health care fair Arab Health in Dubai is the second largest in the industry globally. This year’s fair, held in February, attracted over 130,000 visitors to the fair's 4,000 exhibiting companies from 163 countries. Participation in such a large trade fair is vital to reach relevant exposure to the company’s products or services and may in the best case scenario also generate important contracts.

- Business Sweden has been participating in Arab Health for the past five years. This year, we wanted to try a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on a presence in the Swedish pavilion at the fair, we developed an offer where we in advance offered a variety of relevant services to prepare the companies as much as possible, says Nebe Al Mayahi, Project Manager at Business Sweden's office in Dubai. 

- Based on each company's needs and ambition, we put together an individual plan for how each company could prepare in advance to the fair in order to maximize their participation. For example, many companies wanted to get help with finding relevant partners and distributors, which they later got to meet on site at the fair.  

Among the various "service modules" that Business Sweden offers, the companies are presented with (at least), three modules of choice of which participation at the fair counts as one. The concept has become very popular and has resulted in both more business and shorter start-up periods for the companies. 

One of the companies that participated in the fair was Bioservo Technologies:

- My experience is that the most important thing is what happens before and after the fair.

And that is what this approach takes into account, says Mattias Jämtin, Sales Director at Bioservo Technologies.

- The concept gave a completely different sense of a whole package offer, not only participation at a trade show. For a small company like ours, it was also a very cost-effective package, as many of the services are partially funded for small and medium sized enterprises. We got great value for the amount of money we spent.

Bioservo Technologies chose to include participation at the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Summit, a convention of businessmen and women, scientists, ambassadors and government representatives, as another module of their package. These enabled Bioservo to, among other things, meet and establish contact with the Swedish ambassador in Qatar, something that was very useful when launching their products in the country.
 
- The last months we have carried out product launches in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iran. This is a direct result of our participation at Arab Health, and thanks to the work made before and after the fair. We are now also discussing research cooperation in Qatar.

- Since the fair, we have continued sales support from Business Sweden. For example, one of their consultants is now workings as our representative in the region. If successful, we would be interested in using the same approach in other markets in the future.