Congratulations on taking your business global! International exhibiting calls for excellent planning and time management skills. Here are a few suggestions for a successful show:
- Determine your costs clearly: Creating your budget for an international tradeshow can be a bit overwhelming the first time. Having a clear idea of what you intend to accomplish with your booth helps define costs. A first-time exhibitor, for example, might be looking to establish company presence, promote a specific message or distinguish their brand from the competition. Your goals will impact the exhibit design, staffing and promotional activities, which are your major expenses. Shipping, show services (for setup and dismantling as well as any specialized help), travel and entertainment are other important aspects to include in your budget worksheet. Remember to factor in currency exchange rates and hidden costs such as taxes. You will also want to carry some cash with you, in case you cannot use your corporate credit card. Trade show gurus say that multiplying the amount of money you plan to spend on your display space by three will give you a rough estimate.
- Create a timeline and to-do list: From setting objectives and planning your exhibit to overseeing promotional campaigns, selecting staff for your booth, ensuring all necessary travel documentation is in place and organizing shipping—there are so many deadlines to manage. Strategy and budget are the first considerations. Based on these, you can select your booth design and exhibits. Take care to determine how you will ship all these materials (as well as the time it will take to transport goods) as it is easier to change plans now than just before the show. Next, register for your booth space and familiarize yourself with exhibit requirements. Identify and order promotional materials (and giveaways) three to six months ahead. Remember to account for time zone differences when working with vendors and trade show personnel oversees. Start training staff who will attend the booth and firm up travel arrangements at least one month before the show. Confirm shipping dates a week or two in advance and check off everything on your to-do list.
- Build your booth and brand messaging: Should you purchase or rent your exhibit? Many businesses opt for rentals because of lower upfront costs and greater flexibility. However, purchased ones have many benefits, including total customization and lower costs long term. If you are planning on participating in multiple trade shows every year, customization might be ideal. A fully customized exhibit gives you complete design control. It can be built to reflect both your brand messaging as well as your trade show goals. Any small tweaks or changes that need to be made before the next exhibition can be done easily. Before finalizing the design, check on foreign code requirements regarding height restrictions and fire safety. This information is typically available in your exhibitor manual. Working across times zones and language barriers are common problems in dealing with international vendors. Working with an established local company might be less stressful, especially if this is your first international trade show. At Best Displays & Graphics, we offer full-service solutions, including exhibit design, shipping and storage. We can ship anywhere in the world.
- Train and motivate your trade show team: Trained staff is the difference between a successful show and an expensive failure. Choose experienced and motivated employees with a positive attitude. Familiarize your team with corporate and exhibition objectives. Provide them with product overviews and show specials, attendee profiles (including any VIP guests) and competitive product reviews. In addition to discussing positive and negative body language, educate them about local customs. Knowing how to greet guests and responding appropriately to social cues will give you an edge over competitors that are less prepared. If you do not have staff who can converse fluently in the local language, consider hiring interpreters.
Best Displays & Graphics offers turnkey services to meet your specific international exhibiting needs and budget. From creative show booth design to attractive banner stands and pop up displays, you can count on us to make your business stand out. Businesses across North America rely on our Toronto company to make a lasting impression on their customers.
Call 905-940-BEST (2378) for our international exhibiting services or come in to our showroom at 7676 Woodbine Ave #10 in Markham, Ontario to see our award-winning work.