Vifa Expo 2019: A newbie’s notebook | Viet Trang Craft17 Jan 2020
Have you ever feel lost in your first days at work and don’t know what to do? As a new intern, I’m pretty sure we have all “been there, done that”. I have felt the same way but in Viet Trang, it is different. If you’re thinking of taking a chance with Viet Trang and need a few starter tips, let me help you to save your time by sharing my work experiences with all these inspiring people here, starting from my first days at work in VIFA-EXPO 2019.
A little bit about myself: My name is Xuan Nha. Currently, I’m studying International Business Economics at the Foreign Trade University. I have been working at Viet Trang for 9 months, and the memoirs about my first days at work are truly memorable as that was also the time VIFA-EXPO took place.
1. The First Impressions at VIFA-EXPO
For those who don’t know, here is some basic information about Viet Trang’s annual trade fair. Started from 2008 with the first name VIFA, the fair’s objective is to become the best-specialized fair for promoting and exporting furniture, home décor products and handicraft from Vietnam. In 2014, in cooperation with the EXPO fair, the two fair consolidated into one named VIFA-EXPO. Experiencing 12 editions with the participation of over 500 exhibitors, VIFA-EXPO gradually became the biggest furniture fair in Vietnam and now is one of the leading furniture fairs in ASEAN.
In 2019, VIFA- EXPO took place from March 6 to March 9. I remember it was the first week of March, the weather back then was hot and steamy. On the first days, we made a lot of preparation for the fair, from the transportation of sample products at the company’s showroom to the arrangement of products at the exhibition booth, as well as learning necessary information needed for the welcome of guests. After the preparation, I had a few walks around the fair. Although it was an international trade fair, I realized the atmosphere was quite friendly and close because of its open space architect design. Moreover, it brought me a total picture of all the decoration trends, all the hottest designs and all the information needed about an international furniture trade fair. As there was fierce competition between suppliers, similar designs of handicraft items were unavoidable.
2. Newbie’s Notebook
It is said that VIFA-EXPO is a perfect destination of the importers, wholesalers, reporters and anyone who has a keen interest in the handicraft industry specifically and the furniture industry in general. They offer a wide variety of handicraft products, but more than that, they give you a better definition of handicraft products: authentic handicrafts can be essential for your busy urban lives. Nowadays, handicrafts aren’t just ornaments for you to put around the house. They are useful and practically served from home interiors such as woven storage basket, farmhouse poufs to daily usage as hats, handbags and so on.
During the fairs, all the new employees and I were impressed with the bustling pace of the exhibition. Our main tasks were to meet and greet the customers. We introduced to them about our woven seagrass products from baskets, rugs, poufs, shared with them our meaningful business story and talked to them about our strengths in production and export and so on. From my perspective, direct contact would help me have a better understanding of the specific needs and demands for each type of customer. It was a great experience as I had the chance to meet numerous foreign businessmen/ businesswomen, learned about their working style and to see they shared the same passion in sustainable and eco-friendly products with Viet Trang.
After four fair days, I realized things were done differently in Viet Trang comparing to other suppliers at VIFA-EXPO. Firstly, as the traditional weaving handicraft is skillfully added with contemporary pattern design, the products now have a more unique and modern look. Secondly, instead of trying to show all the designs, Viet Trang hit the highlight as showing mostly the latest collection products only- The Studio- with a concept layout that is based on natural beauty, traditional artistry combine with modern simplicity. The booth decoration is widely praised by our customers. As a business receptionist, we all felt more confident in communicating with customers. Thirdly, Viet Trang brings a different brand image than other suppliers: completely eco-friendly as there is no use of chemical dying, good product story and meaningful business philosophy. Thanks to this feature, we attracted many buyers who are interested in producing and selling sustainable products.
3. Key Lessons
Looking back now, the main feelings that remained in me on the fair days are both excitement and nervousness. As a new intern, I was nervous and most of the time, I wasn’t sure I was doing things correctly. Thanks to the friendly guidance and conscientious help of Viet Trang’s senior employees, I gained more confidence and complete the given tasks. Moreover, this is the first time I participated in a trade fair as an employee (not a participant), so I was quite excited to discover many new things from a different aspect. I understood more about how a trade fair was organized as well as the procedures and policies included. I gradually and comprehended what the buyers wanted to see or know, and how could I attract them. But most importantly, I understood more thoroughly about Viet Trang product lines. They are more than just regular eco-friendly natural handicrafts: they are the reminder of past generations about our ancestor cultures and Vietnamese traditional craftsmanships. Since then, this has always been my key takeaway every time I look at our beautiful products.