This year we (Ngakkan Nyaagu – NGNY) had our first tradeshow booth at the Supply Nation Connect event. For those of you who have not heard of the Supply Nation Connect Event, it is an opportunity for Indigenous businesses to showcase their products and services to government and corporate buyers who are seeking to procure these from Supply Nation Certified and registered businesses. If you are an Indigenous business that has a product or service that you believe government and corporate Australia could benefit from, then please visit the Supply Nation website to determine your eligibility (https://ngny.com.au/supply-nation).
It took us (NGNY) 5 years before we decided that it was the right time for us to invest in a Supply Nation Connect event tradeshow booth. Why did it take us this long to decide to invest in a tradeshow booth? Well we thought that as a business that it was important that we set ourselves up getting a track record of work under our belts and building up a portfolio of work. In one sense you could say that we put a restriction on ourselves to put NGNY forward as a business that could deliver on government and enterprise projects. Besides, we had already been doing a bit of work with government and enterprise without the need to have a tradeshow booth and our real driver was, and still is, to ensure that we are also contributing and working with and giving back to our community whilst being a commercially viable business.
2019 was the year that we decided it was time to get a booth, and we feel that this year was the year that we were comfortable as a business to do this, it was the year that people not only had an awareness of our brand but had a better understanding of what we do and the track record to show people the work that we have already done. It was great to have people come past our booth and see that they are frequent users or visitors of websites that we have built, like Haus of Dizzy or IndigenousX. It really validated that it was and is important to share our work with the world. So you will see us do a lot more of this over the coming weeks and months about websites, apps and designs that we have done in the past and also the work that we promoting at the time of release.
The Supply Nation Connect event tradeshow has been held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Sydney for several years now and is an awesome venue to bring so many sellers and buyers together. This years tradeshow saw over 80 Indigenous businesses showcase their products and services, and a couple of hundred possible buyers representing corporate Australia and government.
From our perspective, we view this as an opportunity to engage both buyers and Indigenous businesses. We have a long track record working with Indigenous businesses and organisations and we feel that we are well positioned to support other Indigenous businesses with their website and app requirements. We also like to connect with other Indigenous businesses so we can see how we can support each other and even grow our Indigenous supply chain.
I would say that whilst my feedback on the Supply Nation Connect event and tradeshow are overall positive, I think that it would be beneficial if the tradeshow went over a 2x day period. Having an extra day allows Indigenous businesses the opportunity to also interact with each other, build relationships and find possible new opportunities. I can say that collectively, we were only able to have about fifteen meaningful conversations with Indigenous business owners during the tradeshow event.
Our tips to assist in enhancing your Supply Nation Connect event tradeshow:
– Make contact with Supply Nation before the connect event and build up a relationship with them and get advice on how you can best navigate your way around the Connect event. This relationship direct with Supply Nation itself is of significant value that you can initiate and nurture going forward.
– Consider whether you think it is right to invest in a tradeshow booth or to be a supplier that is floating around meeting with potential buyers. You may consider this if you are a relatively new business and you want to discover whether the Connect event may be an investment for you to make next year.
– Download the Supply Nation Connect event app (this app is provided to registered attendees of the event).
– Create a target list of government and corporate buyers that you would like to consider a good target to approach.
– Consider whether there are Indigenous businesses who might be your target customers as well, or even supply chain partners.