Participating in trade shows around the world is a great opportunity to expand your business. It is important to understand the business culture. Click here to look at important intercultural information.
Participating in a country or industry pavilion is a great way to enter new markets, using a turn-key exhibitor package, and present your company, products, and services in a top location.
Question: What are the services offered in a country and industry pavilion?
Answer: When companies are ready to expand and testing the global marketplace, they are looking for a turn-key trade show package. Industry and country pavilions will provide exactly that kind of exhibitor package. The pavilions are in top locations in the hall, allowing the exhibitors to take advantage of prime spots in the trade show. The organizers include the exhibit space, furniture, electrical, management assistance, and last minute onsite orders in their turn-key package. Additional services often include access to a lounge area to host your buyers, serving refreshments, as well as lunch and snacks, beverages, and access to meeting rooms. The staff is multi-lingual, very familiar with the city, providing important advice where to have dinner with your clients. All in all, participating in a pavilion is the way to go when you are looking at participating in an international trade show.
Exhibitors who are participating in an international trade show for the first time have even more questions about the event, business culture, and buyer interaction. Find some answer here at the Q&A.
Question: We heard that there are trade show turn-key packages at some of the European show.
Answer: There are two different options for exhibitors who want to go with a turn-key package. Option 1 is to contact the onsite general contractor and order the package from the exhibitor manual. Option 2 is a participation in a country pavilion, usually organized by an industry association or independent show organizer. These turn-key packages often include prime location in the halls, food and beverages, lounge areas, hospitality, multi-lingual staff, and onsite assistance by the organizers. Both options will work well.
Question: We are invited to attend a business dinner overseas and are not sure how to avoid business and cultural mistakes.
Answer: This is indeed an important topic. You are invited to a business function or dinner. Now what? How do you handle the menu and when do you order? When it gets to when to place your order, just wait until you see what your hosts has ordered. Then stay one price level below their meal. Don’t order the steak when they go for the salad. Depending on the country you will do business in, it is always wise to stay away from drinking alcohol. When your host or business partner order drinks, it is ok to order one too. Stay with one drink for the night. You might be in situation where they are testing your social behaviors. Stay under the radar.
International trade shows are very different, presenting many different business, cultural, and corporate challenges to exhibitors and buyers from all over the world.
Question: How do we measure the effectiveness of our social media campaigns for trade shows?
Answer: We are very involved in social media marketing for trade shows. We actually teach workshops about that topic. We recommend that companies start their marketing campaigns as soon as they have the booth number. Set goals about buyers groups, who you want to connect with, and ask buyers about their social media interaction. Find out if they decided to visit you because they saw your information and news on social media.
Question: What is trade show drayage?
Answer: Trade show “drayage” is an expense that you cannot avoid at all. Therefore, it is critical that you include trade show drayage as a line item in your trade show budget. The easiest way to describe drayage is by stating that it is “material handling”. Many exhibitors, who do not include drayage as an expense in their budget, are facing a sticker shock when they see the invoice on the last day of the trade show. Drayage is charged for moving all of your trade show items and the booth from the loading dock or freight carrier to your booth location. It includes unloading all of your shipped items once they arrive at the loading dock, moving them to your booth location, followed by handling and removing the empty shipping items from your booth to a storage location. At the end of the trade shows, drayage includes, returning the empties to your booth and loading all trade show items and the booth on the truck of the freight forwarder.
To summarize drayage from the perspective of an exhibitor; "Drayage is a very expensive way to get your freight from point A to point B, and there is nothing we can do about it."
Question: We will participate in a trade show in Dubai. The organizer is offering a country pavilion for first timers. Is that a good idea?
Answer: We highly recommend that first time exhibitors join an industry pavilion at an overseas trade show. The pavilion will offer you turn-key packages, onsite management for your last minute questions, and pavilions always have additional services included. Some organizers are providing multi-lingual hostesses, food and beverages, meeting rooms, and access to a lounge. Industry associations often sponsor pavilions and have their local representatives at the event.
Every year there are thousands of trade shows and event taking place all over the USA. Companies are looking for answers to their important exhibitor and buyer questions. We are here to provide your company with these answers.
Question: Do you have a recommendation for trade show giveaways?
Answer: I think that it is important to differentiate your company and booth from the rest of the crowd. Everybody can put the candy, chocolate, and popcorn machine in their booth. My recommendation is to have giveaways your buyers will keep and not dump when they get to their hotel room. Spend money on meaningful gifts, and always have VIP gifts available. I still have a coffee mug that an exhibitor gave me several years ago. One thing is very important! When you are exhibiting at trade show overseas, as well as meeting with international buyers, make sure you have checked the gift giving policy and business culture of the country before you present a gift. You have to know what is acceptable in their culture and business world!
Question: How can we plan a tradeshow in Italy when we do not know a stand builder in Milano, Italy?
Answer: Contact the USA or local office of the trade show organizer. Their
team can assist you and connect you with one of the local stand construction companies. Keep in mind that you will pay 19% taxed on services in Europe. You can request reimbursement after the show. There are agencies that can help with the filing .
Trade Show Talk