Exhibiting at international trade shows can be daunting. A new environment with a different audience can make your normally confident presentation style all of a sudden feel not as good as you remember it being. However, there is really nothing to fear.

Adapting to an international stage may feel intimidating, but if you get a few things in place pre-show, you’ll find it is just as easy as attending an exhibition back home. Plan and start your marketing strategy early to gain long-term success but also understand the exhibition and its workings too. You may have got an in-demand product and got the exhibition stand design that makes you stand out but failure to get a grip on things like etiquette, customs and payment types could all derail your hard work. In this week’s blog, we look at how and why you should promote your brand at a foreign exhibition as well as how to make those sales with a few key tips.

Why exhibit your business abroad?

There are a few reasons you may want to consider promoting your business abroad. Aside from the chance to experience life in another country for a little while, you could get the chance to vastly change the results of your business for the better.

Exhibiting abroad allows you to:

  • Understand a new market and the competition in it
  • Find new customers
  • Showcase your brand to a new audience
  • Network with others that can help you expand your business

Promoting your brand at an international exhibition

Before getting yourself booked into an exhibition that you feel could work for you, consider the pros and cons. Is it cost-effective? Do you need a visa? What is the market like for your product there? If after questions like this, you still feel it could be viable, consider finding a supplier who has experience in international exhibition stand design. Certain countries may have certain regulations that you must adhere to or have strict rules on what items can come in or out of it.

By speaking with an expert in International events like Nomadic you can also find what type of event stand will be best for you. Portable pop-up display stands for example are a fantastic option for exhibiting abroad as they are compact and easy to transport. Before you delve into your stand design there will be a few other things to consider to ensure your attendance at an international exhibition works for you.

1: Your lead generation strategy at international events

The right trade show marketing strategy can lead to businesses capturing consistent and fresh lead data that’s also incredibly measurable when it comes to calculating ROI.

Before attending your exhibition Implement an exhibition lead generation strategy. It will help you target better leads and then convert your event leads into sales. However, to carry that strategy to an international stage you will need to consider whether your sales team can communicate in a foreign language. In addition, an understanding of some local customs may come in useful.

In some cases, outsourcing to an agency with access to experienced international stand staff could help you solve that problem.

2: Pick a team great team

If you don’t have the right team internally, outsourcing to an agency that has access to international, experienced trade show staff may be the best option. This can help to enhance your lead generation strategy and save you money at the same time. If you find a good agency they will have a pool of exhibition staff, saving your business on transport costs, accommodation and much more.

Don’t underestimate having access to experts who are also able to communicate in local languages and have knowledge of the local area, as well as having vast experience in trade events.  Choosing a team that complements your overall trade show strategy is a great way to achieve success.  It may be that you have a combination of your staff and local agency staff to improve the visitor experience.

3: Keep things simple for success at an international event

For your first attempt, keep things simple. Of course, you need a great looking display stand so that you stand out from the crowd, and you need to draw attention but when you are exhibiting internationally your staff are an important part of your lead generation.  Keep your focus on these two areas first to ensure you attract the right audience, make them feel comfortable and then reap the rewards when you build relationships that’ll bring you long-term growth.

Top tips for exhibitions abroad

You have your sales technique nailed and your team are briefed but there are a few more things you may want to consider to make your foreign exhibition a success.

1: Understand local customs and etiquette

In some countries, there are specific rules you should be aware of. What may seem normal to you, may be frowned upon in the country you are exhibiting in. For example, when it comes to networking, handing a business card over with your left hand in some parts of the Middle East is a definite no-no and in large parts of Asia, you should hand it with both hands. Language barriers can sometimes mean hand gestures are used but this is also something worth researching before you head abroad. A thumbs up in Turkey is seen as rude as is the OK symbol. Understanding the local customs will help give you a much more comfortable experience at the event. Remember, people buy into people and if a prospect sees you have taken time to understand their traditions and customs, you may be closer to the sale than you think!

2: Learn some of the language

Nobody is expecting you to be fluent you may have bought on a team that speaks the language. Regardless of this, you should endeavour to learn a few key phrases yourself. The difference this can make can be astounding and the effort will be greatly appreciated. This is where you should also consider your display stand and any brochures or leaflets you have. Are they created in the correct language? Have they been proofed to ensure the correct words have been used? There would be nothing worse than failing to get your message across due to poor translation.

3: Check the payment methods that are accepted

This may seem fairly obvious in some respects but there are some places where cards are not as widely used as you’d expect. Despite credit and debit card holders being in their millions, some nations see more people using digital cash vouchers. Check what currency and payment methods are commonly used in the country before you go plugging in the card machine!

4: Check the dress code for an international event

Some events are a lot more laid back than others but that doesn’t necessarily mean a hoodie and jeans will help you fit in and secure a deal. Check with the event hosts whether there is a specific dress code and ensure what you do decide to wear doesn’t cause offence or breach any local rules.

5: Consider your exhibition stand type

Exhibiting abroad can mean a lot of equipment to transport and as a result a lot of expense. Do you rent a display stand from an exhibition stand designer in the host nation and save a little cash? Or do you instead bring over the stand you had built in the UK by your already trusted supplier?  Local contractors will be able to help with more of the local knowledge, have information specific to the venue and understand any local laws. They just may not speak English that well and this could lead to communication issues when designing, delivering and building the stand.

Instead, you could consider a company that has a global network ensuring that you can get your stand just how you like it without any complications. Nomadic can facilitate international exhibition stand design allowing you to have the same service you may expect at home, but abroad. With a dedicated exhibition management team ready to assist, we make it easy for you to stand out on a global scale with your exhibition display stands

Contact our team today so you are ready for your next international event!