Sharwood's exports to 50 markets. Overseas sales amount to £5m a year making up 10% of annual sales. It has been attending trade fairs in one guise or another for 20 years. Sarah Wheeldon, European business manager, says they are still a vital part of business strategy and that it's vital even for a big company not to overlook smaller, local fairs. She says Tavola in Belgium and the Ethnic Food Fair in Paris were "really beneficial". "Because they're so focused, the contacts you make are really useful." But it's essential to evaluate the sort of people who are going to be at a show before jumping in, she says. Sharwood's exhibits as part of FFB's pavilion which is a useful enticement even for an established brand. "It depends what stage of a lifecycle you're in as to whether fairs are most useful for making contacts or for holding hands with existing customers. "We export to 50 countries, and for us shows are a really useful way of keeping in touch with our clients." {{MANAGEMENT FEATURE }}