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David Welzman’s business is in selling. He knows how to bring in the crowds, how to get them buying and grab their interest. But when Welzman started his business in Australia, he quickly realised that Aussies weren’t the best bet.

Every time you attend a trade show, you’re prepared for the massive crowds and the hundreds of stands vying for your attention. David Welzman saw the potential in the trade show market for a new business. “My business is a trade show marketing Infotainer. Companies exhibiting at trade shows hire me to build crowds outside their stand, communicate the company sales message and literally get customers lining up to talk business with sales reps. I am known as the trade show Infotainer or trade show magician.”

However when Welzman started his business, he began to realise that perhaps he was trying to hit the wrong market. “I started targeting Australian exhibitors, but the mistake was to focus on marketing to an industry so underdeveloped there was no channel to market to them. As a one-man business, the only option was to cold call. Organisers were not interested in my services despite offering them for free, so they could at least see it in action. It was mind boggling how futile it was but I kept trying.”

Focussing all of his marketing attention on Australian audiences was proving more and more fruitless, but Welzman was determined. “I was told that there was no market for an infotainer in Australia but, being stubborn, I thought ‘there is a trade show on every day.’ If I did manage to hit a marketing strategy that worked I would have cornered the market. Unfortunately I never did come across that strategy in Australia.”

Realising that the Australian market wasn’t about to do him any favours, Welzman looked overseas. “When I started working overseas and saw the tremendous difference in how people exhibit in Dubai, the UK and the USA, I realised my mistake. I could also buy exhibitor lists that could list everything down to size of stand and visitor numbers, which helped me target my ideal customer. As soon as I worked the first trade show in the USA I knew instantly that Australia wasn’t the best market for trade shows.”

Despite being Australian and wanting to get started in Australia, Welzman had to change his business plan to market instead to overseas customers. “It was an eye-opener. I started to buy more lists and developed a more effective email marketing strategy with an online training site. I somewhat gave up on marketing to Australian exhibitors altogether.

“I now market to the USA, UK and Dubai and I have never been more successful. They fly me over, give me accommodation and pay me more that I would ever get in Australia. They know how to exhibit and it is great – I actually find it easy to market to overseas exhibitors, they understand and want what I offer.”

In order that other businesses could learn from his mistakes, Welzman and Dynamic Business have come up with these three tips:

1: If your business is failing, it might be due to its location. For me, I moved it to another country.
2: You must take action. Procrastination does nothing to solve the problem, it only enhances the problem. But make an educated decision – look at your business from all angles and all locations and then take action.
3: Do your research. Before you start marketing your business, make sure you know where and who your target market really is.

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Rhiannon Sawyer

Rhiannon Sawyer

[NB: Rhiannon Sawyer no longer works for Dynamic Business]. Rhiannon Sawyer is the editor for Dynamic Business online. She also looks after online content for Dynamic Export. She loves writing business profiles and is fascinated by the growing world of homegrown online businesses and how so many people can make money in their pyjamas.

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