The Cebu City Chamber of Commerce invited us bloggers to a products showcase held by Kotra (Korean Trade-investment Promotion Agency) in Mövenpick Hotel and Resort. I don’t usually go to events like these but, this time, I decided to go because:
1) I’ve never been to Mövenpick Hotel in Lapu Lapu and I’ve promised myself that I would take each opportunity to explore more;
2) I wanted to see what the Koreans have to offer to Filipino businesses and to Filipino consumers; and
3) Well, why not?
So, off we went. I met up with fellow media colleagues at the SM Travelers Lounge since a car would pick us up from there to the hotel.
Apparently, Kotra serves as the agent that will promote communications between Korean companies and Filipino investors. The Korean companies are showcasing their products in the convention and any interested investor or business owner may communicate with Kotra and Kotra will facilitate the communication process between the Filipinos and the Koreans. The primary purpose of the convention is to encourage Filipinos to try out their products and to encourage them to conduct businesses with these Korean companies.
Unfortunately, the convention seems more interested in communicating with the businessmen themselves than with the media partners that could help promote the event. This is quite detrimental to their goal of reaching more Filipino investors because Filipinos would like to know what these businesses and their products could offer. Since Filipinos are generally hesitant in purchasing products that are unfamiliar, it is expected that investors may also be hesitant in investing if the Filipinos themselves (their target market) are hesitant in purchasing unfamiliar products. Most of the products have never been introduced in the Philippines before, so they are definitely unfamiliar to most Filipinos, the very same Filipinos who prefer brand loyalty over consumption of new materials.
As such, dismissing the media outlet (even if invited) is a bad move. The media serves as a marketing tool and if information over the products are limited to the pamphlets handed out at the Convention, then there’s not much these media partners could do to actually promote the products themselves.
For one, product samples are quite limited. Hence, reviews over product use cannot be properly executed and consumers wouldn’t be properly informed over what these products could do or whether they’re even effective in the first place.
I still managed to bag a few samples, though, and I intend on making a review on each of them. It is a shame, though, that I couldn’t try out some of the products displayed at the event because samples are VERY limited and they’re quite concerned over the display.
On a positive note, the Korean representatives tried their best to accommodate all our questions regarding the products and their use, including information on sampling and testing.
They handed out sample forms so that we’d send them a proper review of their products.
The convention also offered us food and drinks, so it’s not so bad.
Overall, the convention was very formal and there isn’t much room for discussion since it’s very straightforward. The products are there on display and you already have an idea as to which company is offering it.
It’s such a shame that we couldn’t even properly see some of the products because some of them are just on display and most of them have no samples. We wouldn’t be able to know if a certain product’s claims of effectivity are true and it’s a shame because most of them are quite interesting.
We ended with a good chat over a few cups of coffee and tea. The convention was good, but time is short. I didn’t even get to go around the hotel. 😐 Overall, it was satisfactory but it could still be improved.
I look forward to participating in more trade conventions like these in the future.
Also, I excited to try out the few samples they managed to give us so I’m looking forward to that.
Best of love,