As well as the plethora of local exhibitions and trade shows, it is important to spread the word about your company internationally. Before making the transition to foreign tradeshows, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared:
First of all, don’t assume that everyone speaks English. Make an effort to learn the language, or at least some basic words and phrases that will prove beneficial. This looks polite more than anything and international peers will respect your effort.
Take your time to learn international greetings. In the USA and UK we shake hands but in other countries such as Asia, body contact should be completely avoided. This will help you come across as respectful and culturally aware. First impressions are key.
2) Understand the Significance of Colours and Numbers
This follows on from learning about a country’s etiquette. Many colours and numbers hold varying significance for different cultures. For instance in China the colour green should be avoided on packaging. It has negative connotations of adultery.
The Chinese also associate the number ‘4’ with death. Avoid this on your packaging and displays. For Japan and other Eastern cultures, white is associated with death so do your research. Where possible ensure that goods are packaged in different amounts to avoid causing offence.
3) Go Portable
There are now many quality exhibition stands that are both durable and portable. You want a stand that is easy to assemble and clear away so you can move from one venue to another efficiently.
Portable displays are also much easier to transport than large, fixed displays. This will reduce and hopefully prevent damage in transit. Any damage caused can easily be removed from the display to keep you looking tidy and professional.
4) Manage and Maintain Your Marketing
Even international exhibitions will require a certain amount of preview marketing. Target the appropriate social media platforms and maintain your posts. Where possible live blog and live Tweet your event using the appropriate ‘hash tags’ and key words.
It is also a good idea to research what marketing methods hold the most authority in that specific country. For instance, some places may limit social networking so you will need to revert to more traditional methods.
Make sure any printed marketing such as business cards and flyers are printed in two languages. That way your international peers and potential clients will be able to see exactly what you have on offer. Just make sure any translations are accurate as this could end up in mis-communicated messages or offence.
As you would on home soil, keep up with your networking. Your business may be new to the host country and it may take a few visits before you achieve what you have set out to. Use social media and the Internet to keep in touch with fellow exhibitors or clients you have met abroad.
Preparation is key with any exhibition, both here in the UK and abroad. Make sure you have done all of the background research and leg work to ensure a smooth transition and an effective exhibition.