The success of Turkey as a rising economic power of the world is a blend of different phenomenon, which ranges from the political stability of the country, its structural reforms and policies, to its access to the leading world markets, as well as the emerging markets of the Muslim world. The past ten years has seen a boom in the economic growth, social and infrastructure development in the country. Turkey has been most successful in tapping its tourism potential as well as its growing consumer market that has lured millions of investors from around the world.
The Marmara Fairs Organization is one such leading company that has supported the growth of Turkey’s share in the foreign markets over the course of past 15 years. They have been organizing the ISAF Expo since the year 2000. The purpose of this exhibition is to provide an opportunity to the Turkish security, emergency and search rescue product manufacturers and solution providers, to exhibit and sell their products to the targeted foreign markets. This year, our team was invited to attend the ISAF Expo and share its experience with our readers.
Anticipated with excitement and keeping the beat of the industry, ISAF welcomed a rich spectrum of visitors from around the globe, once again this year. For four days the event introduced different segments from all the corners of the world, and created a unique platform for the exhibitors. This year the event attracted an even greater attention in the industry with 21,888 visitors and 319 exhibitors, and it not only expanded in terms of the number of attending countries, built stands and area, but also mirrored the security systems industry of Turkey for the year 2014.
ISAF Expo covered five specialties this year, namely Security, IT Security, Fire & Rescue, Safety & Health and Smart Home solutions. The most interesting aspect of this fair is that many of the companies that exhibit in ISAF, launch their new products through this event; and more importantly, over the course of years, new businesses that participated in the ISAF exhibition few years ago with small revenues, are today generating huge sales, multiplying their overall turnovers at an exponential rate. This is evident of the fact that this event plays an important role in signifying their presence to the local and international buyers.
Our representative interviewed the GM of the Marmara Fairs organization on a few aspects of the exhibition. Mr. Feridun Bayram told us that the company was founded in 1999 and the first show it held was the ISAF expo and that it was the best-known and most known show of the company. To a question about the expo event’s intended market, Mr. Bayram replied that they have already tapped the European market with delegations coming from former Yugoslavia, Azerbaijan and Georgia etcetera, and West-Asian markets like Iran, Iraq and Syria. The focus is now on the Middle-Eastern market as this is where the actual liquid buying power is. Mr. Bayram told us that the ISAF visits other countries also and when asked about the possibility of their visiting Pakistan, he said the ISAF was definitely interested in visiting Pakistan next year to participate in the IDEAS expo.
Our team also took the liberty of interviewing some of the exhibitors. One such exhibitor was a businessman named Mr. Aslan Duzenli who confirmed the claims made by Marmara.“Business does in fact have a very good response due to participation in ISAF Expo”, he told us. We asked him specifically how he benefitted from participating in the ISAF Expo and he stated that he not only recovers the investment he makes on the stall, he also manages to close several sales with foreign customers each year.
Another exhibitor company Tansa, with a considerably impressive portfolio, was kind enough to offer us Turkish sweets and coffee when we visited their stall. Their sales executive Ms. Kubra Bodur shared all information regarding her company products and also told us that their sales in the foreign markets have been boosted by participation in ISAF.
Similarly, all of the exhibitors that we had brief interactions with expressed the fact that ISAF Expo is indeed attaining its targets by giving the exhibitors a chance to directly interact with foreign clientele.
By any means, we did not skip the interviews of prospective buyers and delegations that had been invited on a special “buyer program”, where the marketing firm of this event AntExpo had made arrangements for foreign media and foreign buyer delegations interested in the event to have a decent stay in Istanbul in prestigious hotels.
We interviewed a buyer delegation from the Middle East, led by Mr. Haider Al Monis and asked him if he was satisfied by the prior arrangements and whether the products on display at the exhibition were up to his expectations. He highly appreciated the efforts made by AntExpo to make his team’s travel to Istanbul very convenient. Moreover, he endorsed the products being exhibited as high quality and standardized as per European standards and also expressed positive views about very good business prospects for Turkish products in the Middle-Eastern market.
In our opinion, the event overall was a major success for the targeted industry, from manufacturers who had their products up for exhibition, to event organizers and buyers. We hope that the ISAF expo will thrive similarly in the future to support and offer avenues to increase the growth of the industry, the potential customers and target audience.