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Exhibition market Iran: ngn and fairtrade  develop exhibition portal  in Farsi         


The German trade show specialist fairtrade focuses on events in North- and Subsahara Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In Iran fairtrade has been organising its shows iran agrofood since 1994 and iran telecom innovations since 2000. fairtrade and the technology specialist ngn – new generation network GmbH - have cooperated on developing exhibition portals since 2013. The announcement of extending the cooperation until 2019 goes hand in hand with big news as the exhibition portals from next year on will also be made available in Farsi, the language spoken in Iran and surrounding countries.

Iran has become a very attractive exhibition market. Numerous exhibition organisers have reacted by establishing their own new events in the Islamic Republic. However, most of these companies are not willing to adapt to the linguistic and cultural differences of the country, says fairtrade. Exhibition- and online services are usually available in English and other western languages, but only very few can be found in Farsi. Thus, the offer will mainly appeal to international companies and global players, whereas local companies often struggle with this one-sided focus, the exhibition organizer pointed out. 

The fact that almost none of the fair organizers work on this issue is partly understandable: Not only the need of linguistic skills, but also the necessary technological upgrade causes a whole bunch of investments. The Farsi characters for example are completely different to all major internationally used languages like English, French, Spanish, etc.  And to top it all, texts in Farsi are read from right to left, so on the one hand the content of a website has to be flipped around and on the other hand, the entire user navigation has to be adjusted to it. To address international and local exhibitors equally, the Farsi content has to be combined with the other languages. Therefore, search-engines for example need to be re-programmed to make the connection possible.

However, developing Farsi online services is no doubt a wise step as the number of local exhibitors and visitors is steadily increasing. Now, ngn - new generation network - and fairtrade decided to intensify their cooperation to make a digital connection between international and local trade show participants possible. ngn - new generation network - will upgrade their state-of-the-art online portal for exhibitors and visitors with a Farsi version. Additionally, a customer service for Iranian exhibitors in their mother tongue shall be brought to life. Doris Beckmann, Managing Director at ngn - new generation network: "Our goal is always to meet the demand of our customers in their native language and to make their preparation for the fair as comfortable as possible. We work in an ambitious multicultural editorial team, which will soon welcome new colleagues with Farsi as their mother tongue”  

Also Paul Maerz, Exhibition Director at fairtrade, is passionate about the project: "Thanks to our geographical focus we got to know the circumstances in Iran quite well. We know how important it is to make an approach towards our local exhibitors. We have over 70,000 visitors at our events. Especially our visitors will benefit from information in Farsi and the guidance it provides. We are looking forward to working on this project with a partner like ngn, because they are not only convincing with excellent skills, but also with an international team.”