Exhibiting at an International Trade Show

You have developed an excellent trade show exhibit that you have taken to many shows in the United States; your efforts have been a success and now you want to branch out and take your product or service abroad.  There are many things you have to consider when taking your exhibit to another country; you can’t just ship it, set it up and expect to have the same success you have at home.  There are items like promotional office products that you need to think about and identify if they’ll work correctly in your international location.

You may need to modify or significantly re-work your trade show exhibit to make sure it conveys you product message effectively in another country.  For starters, shipping internationally can be extremely expensive; therefore, it may be wise to research booth rentals in the country where you are exhibiting.  This may be more cost effective than shipping your booth, and with customs in other countries, a rented booth may be a better choice anyway.

Your marketing materials will often have to be rewritten in another language; translations can be complicated so it would be wise to hire a professional interpreter to make sure you are expressing your message correctly.  Hiring a translator that is native to the country you will be exhibiting in will help you understand social customs and keep you from committing offensive etiquette errors.  Work with a design expert who has an understanding of how the colors, design and graphics of your exhibit will appeal to your audience; there are many cultural differences in how colors and symbols are perceived.

When exhibiting overseas, research how business is conducted and how decisions are made in the host country.  You don’t want to do something like offer promotional calculators when they’d never be used by those at your show.  It is prudent to be aware of proper business etiquette, how the sales process works and how business relationships are formed.  Also, make sure your power, lighting and other equipment is adaptable, and that you have all the necessary equipment to make your booth work internationally.

Exhibiting at an international trade show can expand your customer base and open a whole new world of potential customers; however it takes prior planning.  Working with experts will make sure your graphics, logo and promotional materials convey the image you want to project.  Being aware of and respecting cultural differences will lead to long-lasting international relationships that will serve your company well in the future.