Past, Present, and Future Since 1992, Hermes Expo International has made it possible for Ethnic businesses from Greece, South Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean to reach ethnic markets in the United States. Over the years, fully American businesses, along with those from other nations, have come aboard to share the benefits of the Hermes Expo’s successful record in the international market.
But now, Hermes Expo’s demonstrated success has grown even more. With express agreements between both the cities and ports of Thessaloniki — “The Gateway to the Baltics and Europe” — and the key U.S. ports if Philadelphia and Baltimore, Hermes Expo International has far exceeded its early growth projections to become a powerful vehicle for domestic and worldwide businesses.
With the next Expo to be held on March 29 in New York and March 31 – April 1, 2012 at the Taj Mahal Hotel and Resort Grand Exhibition Center in exciting Atlantic City, The Hellenic News of America sought and was granted an exclusive interview with the Expo’s Founder and President, Paul Kotrotsios.
HNA: What’s the Expo all about?
Kotrotsios: Well, it’s not only about fine food, wine-tasting, and exhibiting products and services to link up for mutual benefit. It’s about the dynamic interchange that businesses worldwide share to insure their ongoing success. In the past, we were just looking at niche markets, large ones, sure, but now we’ve grown so much everyone wants to come aboard, especially those who share our vision. We’ve become a force in international trade and sales. It’s a networking forum.
HNA: Why do clients really come?
Kotrotsios: They come because in this platform they promote their businesses, products and services, make money, make connections, and have a good time doing it in Atlantic City. Really, we have so many success stories at the Expo, they can’t resist. In fact, we have over a 65 percent return rate to go along with new clients getting aboard from the US business trying to do business with the Greek American Community of over 2 Million and other Ethnic businesses in the US and the Southeastern Europe and vis a vis.
HNA: What’s your role?
Kotrotsios: I facilitate meetings between exhibitors and sponsors B2B looking to widen their market base, exhibit their products, and, generally, to put the right people and businesses at the same table. They meet. They talk. They have fun. Later on many of them become business partners.
HNA: What’s the best advice you can give to a potential new client?
Kotrotsios: The best advice I can give a potential client is to sign up now, or at least before the deadline in December. Doing this insures effective planning time, of course. But it also insures that the client will receive a 10 percent discount for a booth or an advertisement in Expo brochure. To top it off, he or she will be mentioned in the every Expo publication from then on.
HNA: Any other advice?
Kotrotsios: Everything depends on how well organized the client’s business is. A well thought out presentation works wonders. If the client has these elements, he or she can write their own ticket to success from there. They can get advantage into one of the 5 networking events to show case their products and services and gain.
HNA: What does the Expo mean by widening a businesses’ market base?
Kotrotsios: Aside from linking up with other businesses to open talks that engage or encourage collateral benefits and agreements, it means distribution. If an American business wants to sell their products in Greece, we give them Greece. We give them access. We give them a window of opportunity. We give them a no hassle means to sell their products. If an American business wants to sell their products in the Balkans, we give them the Balkans too. With the Hermes Expo’s streamlined service, it works both ways. American, Greek, Greek-American, Romanian, Canadian, South American and other nations with businesses in their respective countries can market their products as expeditiously as possible in Greece or any of the other nations that have come aboard the Hermes Expo. We’re especially pleased and, actually, very grateful to play a pivotal role in the Greek-American business community because of the Hellenic News of America the Delaware County based bilingual newspaper.
HNA: What is the Expo’s next step?
Kotrotsios: Travel, especially with regards to Greece. We’re looking at this for the next Expo in April 2012. New airline concerns, cruise ships, restaurants, distributing, real estate, jewelery, arts and crafts, national pavilions, financial institutions, Marble and Granite, FoodService, banking, and all the collateral business industries that linkages between these concerns can generate. It’s really exciting when you think of the potential here. Fortunes can be made overnight.
HNA: Could you elaborate further?
Kotrotsios: With the Expo’s in-depth knowledge and cooperation with the local Authorities, we can advise and inform clients of breaking technology, cutting edge state of the art advances in software of all types, for example, and link up businesses with companies that need them. The marketing possibilities for any company involved with us are staggering. Think of all the collateral businesses and profits that will be generated here! It’s just great, and I’m proud that our clients from America and all the new nations who join and us to meet in Atlantic City will benefit from these associations.
HNA: Of course, you’re also referring to companies that want to expand through your “Gateway to the Balkans.”
Kotrotsios: By all means. The Expo stands ready to assist in doing all the legwork and facilitating all the new partnerships, linkages, and new high tech products any new and current business wants. On the other side of the pond, we’re really grateful to the city of Thessaloniki and the Helexpo there. They do great work both with and for us, great business. Do not forget that we played an important role in the business agreement that both Mayors signed, Thessaloniki and Pgiladelphia. Since then many businesses are taking part at the HELEXPO and also business are coming here.
HNA: Is there any last advice you want to give to your clients and sponsors, old and new?
Kotrotsios: Sure. Get Involved! You don’t get to the door just by standing on your feet. www.hermesexpo.com