CBME Turkey International İstanbul Children Baby Maternity Industry Expo that is the most influential “baby and children products exhibition” will be held in Istanbul Expo Centre on 13 – 16 January 2021 for the 39th time. CBME Turkey and İstanbul Kids Fashion’s Exhibition Director Hatice Dinçer has answered our questions before the exhibition where Spring – Summer 2021 collections for the children aged between 0 – 16 in baby and children fashion will be exhibited. Stating their efforts to have the industry enter 2021 with a fresh and value-added beginning with CBME Turkey, provided information on the Informa AllSecure Health and Safety standards taken at a maximum level due to the pandemic.
1- First of all, we would like to thank you Miss Dincer for making this interview with our magazine. Pandemic has affected all industries worldwide. Could you assess how the exhibition industry and CBME Turkey – İstanbul Kids Fashion have been particularly affected by it?
The exhibition industry is very large. According to the joint study by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and Oxford Economics, the global exhibition industry employs approximately 3 million people worldwide and generates an economic value of 325 billion dollars. According to 2018 figures, more than 30 thousand exhibitions are organized worldwide. It is estimated that the financial losses arising from the inability to hold these exhibitions will 100 billion dollars. Pursuant to the decisions required to be taken to protect public health, 99 exhibitions were able to be held in January – September 2020 according to The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) 2020 exhibition calendar in Turkey. Exhibitions included in the plan and postponed to this period are expected to be held as of September.
According to the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM)’s data, there are 70,000 exporting companies employing 3.1 million people in Turkey. A great number of these companies carry out their exports through business agreements signed within the scope of exhibitions. Therefore, although 2020 caused losses for many sectors, we believe that it will not take a long time for the exhibition industry to recover. This is because trade fairs have played an important role in world trade from past to present. All industries were required to stop manufacturing except those that would meet our basic requirements during the pandemic process. Countries count on trade to recover their heavily damaged economies. We anticipate that there will be a great increase in exports and imports worldwide in this period.
First of all, our exhibitors and visitors are very important and valuable to us. Therefore, we put this notion in the center of our exhibitions to ensure that they participate in CBME Turkey feeling safe. We have developed Informa AllSecure security standards that will provide the highest level of hygiene and security in order to hold our exhibition in a safe and controlled environment for everyone.
Of course, our exhibitions will be carried out in the first place according to the recommendations of the government and state authority, as well as according to the fairground or local regulations. Moreover, the comprehensive “Informa AllSecure 10 Main Rules” prepared with great care will be followed in our fairground. Our standards consist of three main titles: ‘Cleaning and Hygiene’, ‘Physical Distancing’, and ‘Detection and Protection’. In this context, we will carry out improved cleaning in our fairground, including our parking lots.
A thorough cleaning will be carried out before, during, and after CBME Turkey and İstanbul Kids Fashion, and we will work with the fairground authorities to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and cleaning. For the health and safety of exhibitors and visitors during the exhibition, non-stop sterilization will be conducted with a focus on the frequently touched areas such as door handles, toilets, and eating and drinking areas. We know how important personal hygiene is to keep you safe. For such purposes, we will have additional handwashing locations and hand disinfection stations in our fairground. We will make announcements and communicate encouraging messages for all exhibitors and visitors to use these areas regularly.
We all know very well how important it is to maintain social distance to overcome this process. Beginning from the entrance to the exhibition, our exhibitors and visitors will be met with the first measure we take to ensure the physical distance with contactless registration. Of course, as before, we will have the option of online registration. We ask our exhibiting companies to wear face masks at the entrance for their safety. If government and health authorities advise exhibitors and staff to use other personal protection equipment such as gloves and eye masks, this rule will be applied in our fairground. We want our exhibitors and visitors to know that we take every measure for them to experience CBME Turkey and İstanbul Kids Fashion safely.
Exhibitions are common meeting environments that physically bring us together and thus enable us to have the most efficient trading experience. In order to continue experiencing the same experience in a healthy and safe manner, we recommend CBME Turkey exhibitors and visitors to use digital alternatives instead of printed material such as business cards and brochures. We also take special measures for the food and beverage stations located in our fairground at the İstanbul Expo Centre. Our exhibition team will work with the fairground authorities to implement the highest food safety standards, and self-service buffets will be minimized, and pre-packaged food options will be offered. Floor signs and relevant instructions will be provided in order to maintain the social distancing rules for the possibility of a line-up.
In addition to the safety and hygiene measures, we have executed several digital innovations from which the visitors and exhibitors will benefit highly in the exhibitions of CBME that will be held on 13 – 16 January 2021 and İstanbul Kids Fashion to be held on 2-5 June 2021. We believe that we provide valuable opportunities to take the industry to the next step in 2020 that started off at a challenging note and to meet and maintain connections with the target audience throughout the year with the digital products of CBME Turkey that is the most influential “baby and children products” exhibition in the region.
Brand visibility is one of the core values of an exhibition. The key to success for companies that are sensitive to market changes and have-the-ability to adapt lies in benefitting from digital product options in this period. As the CBME Turkey team, we have developed new digital solutions with great enthusiasm where our exhibiting companies can introduce their brand for 365 without a cease in an effective manner and seize sales opportunities. Thus, the CBME Turkey exhibition will last for 365 days, not 4.
We bring together our manufacturing brands online with a database of 100,000 babies and children product buyers from 175 different countries, mainly from the Middle East, North Africa, Russia-CIS, and Eastern Europe regions. Thanks to our new digital platforms, our exhibiting companies are now able to maintain their communication with their current customers, who are present in our data consisting of qualified commercial buyers not only during the exhibition, but throughout the year, and they can gain new customers and upgrade their brand image. Our visitors on the other hand can have the opportunity to learn more about our exhibiting brands and find the products they are looking for faster.
5-It is a fact that the digital world has peaked during the pandemic period. Could you provide details regarding your innovations in this field?
First of all; we prepared the industry’s only online “Brand Book“. You can access our Brand Book through the main menus of our websites www.cbmeturkey.comand www.istanbulkidsfashion.com. Our user-friendly websites have been renewed and developed for more effective use of the industry in this process according to the trends of the season. Thanks to our websites with an average of 250,000 visits annually, manufacturing companies can get together with potential buyers and easily increase their brand awareness. Moreover, with the “advanced exhibitor list” application, the infrastructure of which has been completed with our renewed websites, potential buyers will be able to send direct messages to manufacturers and receive information about their products and create B2B appointments for the exhibitions.
In digital terms, we launched the application of Social Media Video Advertisement (IG TV) packages through our @cbmeturkey @istanbulkidsfashion Instagram and Facebook accounts, which are actively followed by the baby and child products industry professionals all over the world, and put the marketing trend of the future to service for our exhibitors. In addition to these, have put into service our CBME Turkey Mobile application prepared in English – Turkish. By subscribing, the industry can keep this large amount of big data at hand and make their brand visible in every field.
The manufacturing companies can exclusively reach the baby and children products, buyers, via the e-bulletin “Trend Newsletter” where the news regarding the industry are shared, which is sent separately in English and Turkish to the database of CBME Turkey and İstanbul Kids Fashion exhibitions each month and the “Online Showcase” e-bulletin delivered monthly to the same comprehensive data where they can find the opportunity to be the featuring company of the month.
6- Virtual exhibitions have frequently been on the agenda in this period. What do you think about this?
To talk about the subject exclusively for İstanbul Kids Fashion and CBME Turkey, we believe that the virtual exhibitions are not convenient for the textile industry, in particular. Purchasers want to see the clothes, to touch the fabrics, the accessories used, to see their texture, and how they look in the clothes. Considering that the products used in the baby and children’s products industry should be more sensitive in terms of not containing harmful substances, it is anticipated that face-to-face exhibitions will be maintained in this industry in particular. Virtual exhibitions may be one of the marketing options in some industries, but we expect the virtual exhibitions to play a supportive role by organizing supplementary virtual exhibitions at the same time as the exhibitions we organize rather than organizing virtual exhibitions only.
7- Thank you for your detailed and sincere answers Miss Dincer. Is there any further information you would like to add to the sector?
We include in our portfolio the children and baby products exhibitions CBME China, CBME India, and CBME Indonesia within Informa Markets, the world’s largest exhibition organizer, as well as international prestigious “fashion” exhibitions such as the Children’s Club and Magic held in the US. Therefore, we organize our exhibitions by assuring our exhibitors and visitors to be the greatest in the world. Our team in Turkey reflects our vast experience and strength in this field in every area. We lead the trends of the industry by organizing CBME Turkey and İstanbul Kids Fashion twice a year in January and June continuously for approximately 40 years.
On the other hand, as you know very well, a country’s sustainable growth depends on the increase of its export share in the existing markets and its ability to access new markets. As exhibition organizers, we work in line with the target countries of our exhibitors, bring the buyers to our exhibitions and assist our exhibitors, who offer world-class products and services, to become players of the international market. In this context, we, as Informa Markets, are proud to be the world’s largest exhibition organizer with more than 500 exhibitions organized and 11,000 employees in 15 main sectors globally. We are highly motivated while we continue to work to have the industry enter into 2021 with a value-added beginning with CBME Turkey within the framework of our previous plans after the pandemic.