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MAY 2013 |

Jean Liggett and Catherine Proctor are directors of Properties of the World, a Lon- don based property investment company. They specialise in luxury spa properties in Hungary.



Hubertus (Zammi) Cardoso is the Gen- eral Manager of Kilimanjaro golf development ltd, based (as the name might suggest) on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Which event did you attend? The St Petersburg International Property Show Why did you choose to attend this particular event? We sell, amongst other things, luxury spa properties - the Saloc Luxury International Resort & Spa. At the moment we are selling a lot in Thailand and South East Asia but we thought that the Russian market should also be interested in our product.

Did you attend as a visitor or exhibitor? We exhibited. What were you trying to achieve by being there? We wanted to test the market in two different ways: seeing whether there was a demand from Russian end user buyers and seeing whether there was an interest in selling our products amongst Russian estate agents. Jean was pursuing the end user angle, Catherine focused on the agents. However, there was a secondary and almost equally important reason to be there. This was to get to know a little about Russia and the Russian market.

Bright lights | The city of St Petersburg

Which event did you attend? A Place in the Sun Live.

Why did you choose to attend this particular show? Its reputation and target audience seemed to make it a good choice for a fi rst event.

Did you attend as a visitor or exhibitor? We went as exhibitors. This was our fi rst ever exhibition. What were you trying to achieve by being there? We had several objectives. We wanted to generate enquiries from buyers, we wanted to fi nd potential investors in the project and we wanted to generate interest from the media: to make them aware of our product and our brand. In part, that meant educating them all about Tanzania and the high quality of our project. For this our stand and our visuals were both important. How did you measure success or failure? By the numbers. Was the event a success? Yes. We generated a lot of interest. People seemed surprised by the obvious quality of our project: by the wow factor. They were also surprised by how inexpensive it was - especially if they had seen other projects in Kenya. Ours was less than half the price for better facilities. The investors could sense the opportunity for a profi t! We were less successful in fi nding investors but I guess that was the nature of the show. We had a fantastic reaction from the press.

How did you measure success or failure?

Instinct, backed up by looking at the numbers. In the end we will judge how successful we were by the number of sales we can trace to the show and the number of agents we recruit from the show. As far as getting a fl avour of the market is concerned the event was a huge success. It changed our attitude to Russia in many ways. It’s fair to say we came away impressed with things such as service levels and the seriousness of buyers that we did not really expect to impress us when we set off to St Petersburg. Was the event a success?

In terms of learning about Russia, a defi nite “Yes”. We gained the confi dence to do business in Russia.

In terms of sales, the jury is out. We think it will probably take more work to educate the Russian audience about the opportunities presented by investment properties. Most seemed interested in holiday homes by the sea - either in the glitzy south of France or in Bulgaria, depending upon their budget. Were the organisers helpful? Extremely. Nothing was too much trouble. For example, they produced replacement graphics panels at the last possible minute. Was the event well organised? Yes. It was an eye opener. At least as good as what we would expect in the UK or US.

What do you think you did well at the event?

Our stand had focus and was visually striking. People stopped to look at it. I think this was because we focused on one product and had one strong theme to the stand. Many others were very bitty. What could you have done better?

I could have visited more stands and we should have had our wall panels translated. All our materials were in Russian but, when we had to have the graphics printed at the last minute, there simply wasn’t enough time to get the translation done. I also think that, in future, we would be better paying a little more for a corner stand. Would you attend again? Yes.

How much do you think it cost you (travel, hotels, stand etc)? Probably about $15,000.

Stunning | Hole number 3 of Kilimanjaro golf Why?

Basically, our project - its setting, its quality and its price - speak for themselves, but I am sure my wife Melanie, who was running the event, contributed a lot to the success. We also had some really high quality photographs and other materials. Were the organisers helpful? Yes, very. Was the event well organised? Yes.

What do you think you did well at the event? We love and live our product and that comes through strongly. Our visuals also grabbed attention - plus we were the only product of our type, which I guess helped a lot.

What could you have done better? I am not sure. Would you attend again? Yes. In fact, on the strength of this show we want to attend other, similar exhibitions.

If you attended only as a visitor, would you exhibit at this event? Not applicable

How much do you think it cost you (travel, hotels, stand etc)? I’d guess about $5,000.

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