Trade show marketing starts the minute you reserve your booth space. Next is to create a detailed timeline and assign responsibilities to each of the team members. Also, you need to work on social media marketing campaigns, finetune the networking skills of the team, make travel arrangements, coordinate shipping of the onsite materials, prepare a trade show box with office supplies and basic cleaning supplies, and complete the booth design that you started the day after signing up for the show.
Here are seven important reasons to be there. 1) exploring new markets, 2) access to committed buyers, 3) onsite purchasing decisions, 4) meet face to face with existing and potential accounts, 5) educational opportunities, 6) excellent and large networking evets, 7) unlimited national and global exposure.
I am glad you asked this important question. Exhibiting overseas is an excellent opportunity to expand your international reach, meet with buyers from over 100 countries at a three- to five-day trade show, and immediately expose your company and products to a high-profile audience. There are some ways to participate that will make it somewhat easier for companies like yours.
The very best first step is to participate in a USA Pavilion. The pavilions are located in a top location in the hall, usually near or very close to one of the main entrances, and includes the exhibit space, booth construction, furniture, lights and electrical outlets, drayage of your freight, several exhibitor badges, and show directly listings. In addition to these services, you will have access to the exhibitor lounge, receive assistance from multi-lingual hostesses, food and beverages, internet access, and the organizer usually has an industry reception.
As you can see, there is a very comprehensive service package included. Many of the USA Pavilions are endorsed by associations and supported by government entities like the U.S. Department of Commerce or U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The marketing support and buyer matchmaking by the organizers are important advantages to participating in the USA Pavilion. International Buyers and exhibitors want to see what is new and important in the US market
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, face 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."
Contact the 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% tax on services in Europe. You can request reimbursement after the show. There are agencies that can help with the filing.
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 participation in a country pavilion, usually organized by an industry association or independent show organizer.
These turn-key packages often include a prime location in the halls, food and beverages, lounge areas, hospitality, multilingual staff, and onsite assistance from the organizers. Both options will work well.
When companies are ready to expand and test 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 on 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.
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 shows 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!
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 is time to place your order, just wait until you see what your hosts have ordered. Then stay at 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 orders drinks, it is ok to order one too. Stay with one drink for the night. You might be in a situation where they are testing your social behaviors. Stay under the radar.
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 provide 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.
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 buyer’s 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..
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