Last week, the first Iperen Open Days took place in Serbia and Croatia. These one day events are an initiative of our Agronomist Dusan Gajin, in cooperation with local partner Horticentar Adria. A few questions for Dusan, to find out how he came up with this idea and to see how it went.
- Dusan, can you explain the concept of the Iperen Open Days?
The Iperen Open Days are local events, organized in cooperation with our local partners, aimed to introduce the Van Iperen brand and solutions to growers in new markets. The first Iperen Open Days took place last week at different locations in Serbia and Croatia. Together with our local partner Horticentar Adria, these Open Days were focused on growers of open field vegetables and orchards. In May, the next Iperen Open Day is planned with our partner Sjemenarna in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- What is the aim of the Open Days?
The aim is to have a closer connection with our end users, the growers, and to explain them about Van Iperen activities and the use of our products through direct, simple contact. The focus products for these Open Days were our FoliaStim® seaweed range, Iperen IPE® Technology and Iperen Fer Triathlon (HBED chelates). These products were introduced to the growers by me and our local partner, supported with several marketing materials and trial results.
- How did the growers experience the Open Days?
The growers were pleased to discuss about these solutions for their crops, fully customized to their specific local conditions (soil, climate conditions, growing possibilities). This practical, personal approach was well appreciated.
- The Open Days were organized in cooperation with our local partner. How did they support you for the event?
The first step is for us to motivate the distributor to promote Van Iperen. We prepared customized leaflets for Iperen IPE® and FoliaStim® products. These leaflets contained info about the product specifications, dosage and use, as well as trial results. In addition, roll-up and shop banners were made for the event, together with some promotional materials such as caps and pens.
Together with our local partners we looked for the right locations for the events and for a clever way to promote it. For these Open Days, we decided to invite the growers by Viber and WhatsApp invitations in the local language and the distributors also called the growers one by one. This way it really feels like a personal, informal invitation, which is exactly the atmosphere we are trying to create with these events. In fact the word got out so far, that even the competition visited the Open Days, curious to know about the activities of a new player on the local market.
- After these Open Days, what is the next step?
After the collection of data about the growers, our local distributors will follow up with activities and sales. Also, in agreement with retailers, the distributor will print out all pictures of the event and share them with the growers. For us, we will use this experience to further explore the opportunities of organizing such events with our partners all over the world.
- What lessons can we learn for future events like this?
This is one of the ways how to help and support distributors in expanding new markets. Also, it helps us in getting a closer relationship with the distributor by really showing our support in a practical way. Since we had positive feedback from the growers on these first Open Days, I feel it is a very good and effective way to connect with them and growing our brand awareness in these new markets.