Originally published by Fastener + Fixing Issue 81 (May 2013).
Dr. Michele Taddei of Bossong S.p.A. reported: "Two good days, one a little quieter" with the company meeting positive contacts at the show. Arthur Smith of the UK's Northern Precision Fasteners, at the fair support Russian distributor GroundGroup, was effusive about the middle day particularly, rating the fair overall as the most effective Russian fastener event in which his company had participated. GroundGroup's impressive stand was particularly well situated on the cusp of the Fastener Fair and the co-located BLECH Russia event, also staged by Restec Brooks.
Location alongside the established sheet metal event and at the same time as the St. Petersburg Technical Fair was clearly positive for fastener exhibitors generally. Fastener Fair shared two halls with BLECH Russia and there were no restrictions in passing from one specialist area to another, encouraging free flow of visitors to all the exhibitions. Restec Brooks told us 2.693 visitors attended the Fastener Fair over the three days, and 4.387 visited BLECH Russia. The first day of the show was somewhat quieter but this does seem to be characteristic of Russian trade shows with the majority of visitors preferring to arrive on the second day.
Expressing his strong satisfaction with the fair, Peter Beckmann of EuroTec GmbH was particularly impressed by the cross section of the Russian market reflected in the visitor profile. "We have seen fastener users, wholesaler groups, distributors and retailers" he said. Specialising in completely contrasting market sectors, TR Fastenings also reported contact with more than 200 potential new businss associates over the first two days of the fair. Group CEO Jim Barker, who visited the show, was particularly positive about the second day and pleased with the range of contacts the TR team had established.
One factor that almost certainly determined exhibitors' success at the Fastener Fair was whether they had a Russian speaker on stand. The organisers encouraged exhibitors to factor this requirement into their show planning and it was sound advice. Visitors were primarly from the local market and for the main part preferred quite understandably to, and in many cases could only, conduct business in Russian. Turkish manufacturer Bolt was one of many overseas exhibitors that clearly heeded the advice and had a well-designed stand presenting its products and services in Russian. Participation in the Fastener Fais is the first stage in a process to evaluate potential for Bolt in Russia -the company will also exhibit at the AutoMechanika show in Moscow. The Dresselhaus stand was another good example, the German supplier's extensive experience in Russia ensuring it prepared thoroughly to connect with local visitors -stand graphics were presented throughout in Russian, with all literature also available in local language.
Chavesbao and Index, as usual, shared a stand. Index has already some established business in Russia. For Chavesbao, the show was about "testing the water" but first impressions, certainly about the opportunity to establish relationships with Russian companies, were positive. "To begin with it seems hard to break through a certain reserve but once the relationship develops it is clear the Russian people have Latin blood; they love to laugh and joke, and of course to take a drink or two".
The inaugural Fastener Fair Russia attracted 107 exhibiting companies, ranging from major Russian and CIS manufacturers such as MMK Metiz and the Rechitsa Metizny plant, as well as a wide range of domestic distributors and representatives of global fastener and fixing brands. Foreign exhibitors included a strong contingent of Italian producers and distributors, as well as manufacturers from Germany, Spain, Turkey and Israel, as well as India, China and Taiwan. In all twenty countries were represented. The co-located BLECH Russia event presented 127 exhibitors from eighteen countries.