This article functions as a break from your daily bombardment of messages about doom and gloom. The COVID-19 virus outbreak has caused a peculiar shift in European business activity. Traditionally, our North American contacts would be hesitant about the quiet summer months (July/August/September) in some industries.
For 2020, the summer will be completely different
With a probability bordering on certainty, the dramatic effects of the virus outbreak will have worn off in three months or so (based on what we see in China) and business will restart. This is also reflected in some trade shows and business events having been rescheduled to take place in July, August and September.
In times of crisis, businesses suffer because they are forced to react to conditions that change on an almost daily basis. It is crucial to continue to try to own and control the momentum, instead of being thrown around.
We have collected a few pointers that will allow you to look past the horizon and help you not only safeguard continuity, but also lay a solid foundation for future growth of your business.
1. Promote bottom-up creativity
Rapid directional changes are made top-down, especially in times of need. However, the creativity required to adapt to fast changing conditions within the own work space or sphere of influence will come from your workers, staff in the manufacturing process, the people who ship your product.
2. Be aware of hype cycles
News organizations often focus on what’s new rather than the big picture, and they sometimes don’t distinguish between hard facts, soft facts, and speculation. Yesterday’s news is likely to frame how your organization thinks about the crisis today. When exposed to fast changing information, be it a new technology or an emerging crisis, we have a systematic tendency initially to overlook weak signals, then to overreact to emerging issues before we eventually take a more calibrated view. As you absorb the latest news, think critically about the source of the information before acting on it.
3. Prepare for pent-up demand
Companies that act now can minimize the worst effects and emerge from the crisis stronger. If you cut back too far today, you might not be positioned the right way to capitalize on the post-crisis recovery. Many industries will show a slingshot curve of demand which means that over the summer you want to be ready.
4. Engage with you top wish list now
Assess market conditions and longer-term implications, define your company's desired end state once the crisis has passed, and determine where to invest to gain market share if you can. Determine if you want to grow into new verticals or territories and lay the ground work for this. A lot can be done over these next few months, finding out who you need to be talking to and positioning the resources so that you are ready to engage. Our most recent experience has learned that many large OEM are far more approachable. Buyers are working from home, there is no travel and bee-hive of activity. This is the perfect time to pre-position what you have to offer.
5. Invest in that strategy!
Be ready to move quickly when opportunities present themselves. Consider the potential shifts in Chinese market conditions after the epidemic, because these times present a perfect window of opportunity to keep track of your competitions’ movements more closely. They might not be as forward-planning as you and this can create chances in new verticals or geographical areas. Some of the themes that have already surfaced are; Should we be so dependable of a few mega factories? The final push for online shopping /blow for brick-and-mortar retail? Also companies will not travel as much as we have seen.
Going abroad: a warmer welcome awaits you this summer
One global lesson that has emerged from this crisis, is the desire and necessity for people to work together. The selfless efforts and positive approaches will hopefully extend into the period that comes next. You will be welcomed abroad differently compared to last year. It will be like meeting a friend that you lost touch with. The people you will meet at a trade show will be more appreciative of you being there. This is invisible momentum that can prove to be very valuable.
This summer can provide you with the first opportunity to show commitment to the international market space. We have collected some trade events that have been rescheduled to the summer months and just after that:
Trade shows in Europe this summer
- Interzoo|The international pet industry's leading exhibition, TBD
- Hannover Messe| World's Leading Trade Fair for Industrial Technology, 13-17 July 2020
- VitaFoods | Leading buying and sourcing event for the global nutraceutical industry, 1-3 September 2020
- Automechanika | Is the world's leading trade fair for the automotive service industry, 8-12 September
- Analytica | World's Leading Trade Fair for Laboratory technology, analysis, biotechnology and analytica conference, 19-22 October 2020
- Automatica | The Leading Exhibition for Smart Automation and Robotics, 8-11 December 2020
Trade Shows in the USA this summer
- Interphex | 15-17 July 2020
- OTC| postponed to August/September date to be confirmed
- IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition | Electrical Engineering, Energy, 13 - 15 October 2020
We would like to hear from you!
EuroDev can not only support you at one of these events, but also help you conduct business development activities. By clicking on the image below, you can schedule a call with us:
EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing. EuroDev is home to 75 professionals from 24 nationalities, covering a total of 21 languages between them.