Having a new market place for brand expansion can be a good opportunity for a business. Usually, companies take this opportunity by investing to participate in a trade show. Exhibiting in one’s country is far more different from exhibiting overseas. The challenges faced by international exhibitors can discourage them enough to not go ahead with participation.
But what are these challenges?
Let us have a quick look
- Language barrier
- Difficulty in understanding the business culture and processes
- Import of trade show booth and the logistics/shipping charges
- Trade show and the city of exhibit rules and regulations
- Incidental costs
Companies are apprehensive about exhibiting internationally but, once they learn that the rewards can overshadow these challenges they strive to perform better at foreign trade show events.
A trade show event and its business relationships require trust, and that’s the grimmest fragment of exhibiting internationally. Hence, you would need two things, first – a trade show booth building company that not only builds your Orlando rental exhibits that solidify your marketing and branding goals but also knows all the facets of building a trade show booth for international exposure. And second – a few tips to start with.
Here’s the tips for international exhibitors:
1. Prioritize and make a calendar
The very first thing that you would need as an international exhibitor is a calendar to be able to efficiently manage your important dates. You will need to maintain a timeline for your travel related works like getting your paperwork done, time zone changes, construction of a booth, or shipping your existing booth overseas.
Visas can take up to 3-4 weeks or more so starting with that first is a good idea. Moreover, many countries require an invitation from their end which implies that you are invited to be a participant for a show there. This letter of invitation is usually issued by the show organizer and if not it can be obtained from an exhibition house that you have partnered for your show. Lastly, you will need to book air tickets and a hotel for accommodation before prices shoot up. Last-minute booking can add up to your estimated budget. You can do all these in an organized way with a calendar, you will have everything in place, be it your important dates or schedules.
2. Shipping or Renting
This is one of the trickiest parts of exhibiting abroad. Deciding to go ahead with shipping your existing booth or getting a customization rental booth in the show hosting country is difficult. If you have a booth that is already designed then you would want to check if that fits into standard booth requirement to exhibit abroad and then ship it.
Shipping your booth overseas would take longer. Airfreight can take up to 7 days whereas shipping it via sea would take up a month or so. There is a lot of logistics involved in both, unloading at the dock or the airport of your country, clearing customs, loading onto a freight or container, shipping to the port or dock of another place, unloading it again, and getting it into a truck or a carrier and finally reaching you at the venue.
All these could take more time than what it takes in your home country. And if you decide to get your turnkey trade show rental booth in the city itself you would need to pick a trusted trade show booth builder, an exhibition stands manufacturing company that understands your requirement for the booth. Again, the coordination with these companies would take longer because of the difference in time zone.
You may be mailing the vendor in the morning but the other person may not be in the office at that time, you will have to wait till another day when the person responds. If you are not going to need any of your trade show booth items back at your office and if your booth fits the standard design requirement then you can go ahead with shipping your booth. But, if this is the first time that you are taking your business overseas with an international trade show then you may want to go with a rental trade show booth.
An additional factor that affects the decision to ship your booth or get a one on rent is the cost of shipping and the cost for customizing a rental booth, you may want either that fits your pocket.
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3. Currency market and Budgeting
When you make your to-do list you need to add this one to it. Understanding how the money exchange can add up to your cost of the trade shows is essential. To manage currency exchange turbulence, you can opt to purchase an equivalent amount of that currency when the market is favorable for you to buy and keep it in your account. Or you can prepay for the rental trade show display & exhibit, you can get an advantage from paying in advance.
If your currency exchange rate falls against the currency of the country you are going to pay then, there are fewer chances of you incurring any loss from it. And while calculating the budget you should be considering these currency fluctuations. There could be other factors that can lead to additional cost, for instance, a trade show fairground may not be occupied with air conditioners or maybe you would need an additional utility like water supply.
You should keep a little extra amount calculated in your budget for these unexpected costs too. Another two factors while considering your budget would be the design and logistics cost of your booth. Always make sure you partner with an exhibition house that gives you all-inclusive pricing and doesn’t charge you an extra fee for additional labor overtime or hidden material charges.
4. Prepare your team
Once you have accomplished everything on your calendar and the only thing left is to board that plane to fly, you think you are all done? Off beam! There is still a lot to manage. Training your team for the presentation isn’t the only prep you need when you are exhibiting abroad. The last task you would need to do before arriving at your show is preparing your staff for the travel and the presentation.
Ask your team to check the routes to the venue well in advance, look for the transportation options available, and double-check the hotel details. If your team does not know the language spoken in that country, you would need a translator. Even if the team knows the language, the translator can come handy to let you know other details like the dress code and the greeting style.
Moreover, every place has a cultural variance, get your team on the same page as the locals. You would not want to sound or seem rude in case you are not aware of the culture. If you have a day in spare interact with the locals before the show so you have an idea about the ethos.
From calculating your budget to managing every dollar spent on your trade show display rental, from dealing with several timelines to creating your calendar, sailing through these is never really smooth. But, following the mentioned tips will aid you to run a suave trade show event.