Our Guide on Exhibiting Overseas

Welcome to “Our Guide on Exhibiting Overseas,” your resource for navigating international exhibitions. This blog helps exhibitors tackle the unique challenges and benefits of showcasing their products or services abroad. We provide a helpful checklist and tips to ensure you’re prepared before, during, and after the show.

From crossing borders to bridging language gaps, our guide covers it all:

  • WHO to speak to and how to make those crucial connections
  • WHAT actions to take at the show to maximise your impact
  • WHERE to steer clear of common pitfalls
  • WHEN to plan, travel, sell, and celebrate for optimal results

Embark on your international exhibiting journey with confidence and success.

Before the Show – Top 10 Tips

Deciding to showcase your products and services at an international trade show is a strategic move to expand into new markets. Here are ten essential tips to ensure your success:

  1. Think Long-Term
    • Anticipate future demand in the new market. Ensure your objectives are clear and that you have the capacity to meet increased demand if the show is successful.
  2. Verify Your Booking Details
    • Confirm your stand size and specifications. A misunderstanding between 4 square meters and 4 meters squared can lead to significant issues on the day of the show.
  3. Design an Effective Stand
    • Tailor your stand to resonate with the local culture. Ensure there’s ample storage and consider local tastes for your hospitality offerings.
  4. Apply for Grants and Support
    • Look into financial assistance options, such as those from trade organisations. Apply well in advance, typically at least eight weeks before the show.
  5. Learn Local Etiquette
    • Understand local customs and basic language phrases. Proper etiquette can help avoid miscommunications and foster better business relationships.
  6. Book Travel and Accommodation Early
    • Secure your travel and lodging early to get the best options. Consider alternatives like Airbnb for more comfort and potential cost savings.
  7. Allow Time for Adjustment
    • Plan for your team to arrive well before the event starts. This allows them to acclimate to the new time zone and environment, ensuring they’re fresh and ready.
  8. Prepare Your Marketing Materials
    • Decide on the materials you’ll hand out, such as brochures or USB drives, and ensure they’re in the local language. Have up-to-date business cards with local translations if necessary.
  9. Check Passports and Visas
    • Verify the visa requirements for your destination and ensure all passports are valid. Some countries have specific entry regulations, so check these well in advance.
  10. Triple-Check Logistics
    • Pay attention to details like time zones, currency exchange rates, local working days, and tax regulations. Proper logistical planning will help you navigate any challenges smoothly.

At the Show – 8 Steps to Success

You’ve made it to the international trade show! Now, let’s ensure you make the most of this opportunity. Here are eight steps to guide you to success:

  1. Polish Your Stand
    • Once you arrive, make sure your stand is visually appealing and fully functional. If anything is lacking, speak with the show organisers and onsite suppliers for last-minute enhancements. Check out competitors for ideas on attracting more visitors.
  2. Professional Presence
    • Ensure your staff is well-rested and knows the objectives and local customs. Every interaction, from handshakes to business card exchanges, should follow local etiquette. Stay approachable and focused—no phone distractions.
  3. Maximise Show Marketing
    • Use the show’s marketing tools, like websites, apps, and newsletters. Announce something noteworthy, such as a new product, to draw attention. Provide a compelling reason for visitors to seek out your stand.
  4. Collect and Manage Data
    • Keep track of visitors and their interests using badge scanners or digital forms. Gather social media details for follow-ups. Have a system to qualify and prioritise leads, focusing on the most promising ones.
  5. Update Pricing Information
    • Ensure all prices are accurate and presented in the local currency, reflecting current exchange rates. Incorrect pricing can lead to financial losses.
  6. Optimise After-Hours Time
    • Use time away from the show floor effectively. Host client dinners or allow your team to unwind and recharge. Plan at least one social event to maintain morale and energy levels.
  7. Eat Wisely
    • While local cuisine is tempting, stick to familiar and reputable food to avoid health issues. Avoid strong-smelling foods and consume alcohol in moderation, respecting local customs. Keep plenty of water available to stay hydrated.
  8. Plan for Future Shows
    • If the show is successful, consider re-booking for next year. This secures your spot and might get you early-bird discounts from the organisers.

After the Show – 3 Steps to finish up!

You’ve wrapped up your exhibition, but the work doesn’t stop there. Follow these three essential steps to ensure you fully capitalise on your efforts:

  1. Follow Up on Leads
    • Don’t let valuable connections go cold. Reach out to every lead you collected during the exhibition. Prompt follow-up is key to converting these leads into customers and maximising your return on investment.
  2. Review and Reflect
    • Conduct a detailed performance review of your exhibition experience. Analyse what went well and identify areas for improvement. Gathering feedback from your team and assessing your results will help you refine your approach for future events.
  3. Plan Ahead
    • Begin preparations for your next exhibition immediately. Whether it’s rebooking for the same event or gearing up for a new one, early planning enhances your chances of success. Outline your objectives, refine your strategy, and organise logistics well in advance.

Successfully navigating an international trade show involves meticulous preparation, dynamic engagement during the event, and strategic follow-up afterwards. Each step—from ensuring your stand is perfect upon arrival to reviewing your performance after the event—contributes to your overall success. Embrace these strategies to not only meet but exceed your exhibition goals, ensuring a strong return on investment and paving the way for future opportunities.

Exhibitions are a powerful platform to showcase your products, connect with potential customers, and expand into new markets. With the right approach, you can make every trade show a significant milestone in your business journey. Happy exhibiting!