There are thousands of trade shows, industry conferences, and specialty events around the globe. Trade shows are by far the leading marketplace when it comes to introducing products and services to a global business audience. Buyers from all around the world are spending their hard-earned Euros, Dollars, etc to create new business opportunities and making on-site purchasing decisions. It is your responsibility to reach out to these business leads and bring them to your trade show booth.
It is important that your trade show team and management discuss the following questions to ensure a successful trade show strategy.
- How will you integrate the trade show with your corporate business plan and marketing activities?
- Why would domestic and international buyers purchase your products and services?
- How can you create traffic to your booth and what how can social media support pre-show marketing?
- Do you understand the demographics of the trade show?
- Have you clearly identified your buyers?
- How can you identify and connect with various attendee groups?
- Do you know other exhibitors who might be interested in creating sales opportunities with you?
- Is your competition participating in trade shows and what is their approach and message?
- Do you really know your competitors? Is your team aware of their business approach, strengths and weaknesses?
- How will your team interact with domestic and international buyers who come to your booth? Are they prepared to communicate with them accordingly?
- Is your team able to adjust to cross-cultural differences?
- What are the results management is expecting from you and your team as a result of the trade show?
- Who will be in charge of following up on leads and when will your team follow up?
There are plenty of resources for your company to ensure that your trade show is successful. You can connect with industry associations, trade show organizers, one of the departments of commerce, or trade show consulting companies like Global CIF.
It is easy to assume that your local business practices can be transferred and implemented overseas. Stop right there and save your money for the airline ticket. To be successful in global markets requires patience, commitment, plenty of business trips, and creating strong business and personal relationships. You should always look for local partners and avoid doing everything yourself. Your Asian business partners work long hours and you should make sure that you are available in the evenings when you are back in your country. Building a large network in different business segments is tempting. To build a strong connection with a small number of contacts might be the better approach. Trust and patience are expected. It is not very likely that you will sign a deal during your first visit. It is very likely that plans change on the fly. To be willing to adapt to change and be prepared for delays in business activities will help you to avoid frustration. Interested in learning more about successful international business activities?
International markets offer plenty of opportunities to expand and positioning your products and services in a global marketplace. It is very important that your company is providing your sales and marketing team with the right tools to do business in these markets. Coaching your teams will help them to be business and culturally sensitive, and often avoiding a serious faux pas that will end that hard earned business relationship right then and there.
Here are some tips you should communicate and implement when looking at new market. By the way, these intercultural tips and comments definitely apply to the domestic markets as well.
- Make sure that you are serious about your commitment and presenting yourself accordingly. The business world will not appreciate your lack of being serious.
- The best way to gain and win respect is through your accomplishments and actual results. In many cultures, the title is the initial door opener, and after you are “in” you need to show what you are all about.
- It is critical that you are on time for meetings. If you are running late, you need to call and provide timely updates about your time of arrival. About every 15 minutes is adequate.
- Business values and procedures in your country are not necessarily the same in the country of your international business contact. Educate yourself about their country specific business values prior to meeting.
- 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.
- Business cards and correct networking skills will start a lot of valuable conversations. Have plenty of business cards with you. It will be helpful to understand the “business card” customs of the country.
- By the way; a business card has two sides. You should use the back of the business card as well.
- In many countries it is not acceptable for you to be on a “first name” basis with clients. You need to understand the appropriate approach. It is always wise to be very respectful and take a careful approach. Learning about the corporate hierarchy is critical.
- In many cultures it is important to pay a lot of attention to the title of your counterparts and their management. Pay close attention to their internal interaction. This will help you to understand their corporate structure and who is who.
- When you meet with clients from around the world, there will be different ways of learning about each other. Do not be surprised or offended when the questions seem to be rather personal.
- Make sure that you ask about the dress code for meetings and business events. There are cultural differences you need to be aware of and take into consideration. It is always better to overdress.
There are plenty of resources available for your company to ensure that your team and management is prepared for the step in the global marketplace.
Global CIF has been selected as the show management company to support the organizers, Hannover Fairs U.S.A. and Newcom Business Media Inc. in Toronto, with the trade shows launch at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. The first event will take place in Hall B of the GWCC and start with over 350,000 net square feet of exhibit space. The organizers are expecting over 350 international exhibitors, meeting with 10,000+ buyers from around the world.
Global CIF has been appointed the trade show management company for the American Coatings SHOW & Conference. The American Coatings SHOW & Conference is the leading North American industry show and conference for the paint and costings industry, offering innovative features to provide immediate business opportunities, a complete portfolio for the production of high-grade, competitive coatings, paints, sealants, construction chemicals and adhesives.