Tag Archives: China

5 Top Tips for International Exhibitions

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:

1) International Etiquette

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.

5) Network

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.

If you’re looking for an exhibition stand design that will help your business stand out abroad, look no further than RB Displays. Contact them today to transform your next exhibition.


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Megacities and the Scale of the Future

  by Mike Macartney

Demographic trends in society are pointing towardsmegacities, defined as populations of 10 million or more, as the future for how most people on the planet will live. There are 21 such cities today and they include Cairo, Mexico City, Lagos, Los Angeles, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Manila, Moscow, Tehran, London, Paris, and others, growing every day. Tokyo was at 34 million in 2011. These cities and what supports them are at the core issues of scale and sustainability.

  • How large will these cities grow?
  • How will people in the future supply them with energy, food, water, transportation, jobs, housing, education, health care, and not least of all, entertainment?
  • How will these cities fit into national models – will they become city-states like earlier times in human history?

Scientific groups like the Santa Fe Institute are studying that very sustainability. Other, informal web based groups of people like New Geography are also thinking about what cities and human society will become.

The issue of scale may be the defining issue of the 21st century. The solutions are not simple or even invented yet. For example, it is well known in investment circles that alternative energy does not scale like the Information Age cornerstones of semiconductors, telecommunications, and software. Because of the laws of physics in the universe we live in alternative energy requires large investments in land, labor, and raw materials. These are needed to provide grid energy systems like the current fossil fuel and nuclear powered electrical grids. Innovation in alternative energy is not information or knowledge based. It is execution and implementation based. Even if we think we know how to do it, we still have to get it done. Very large physical scale collection and distribution systems are required to implement alternative energy solutions. Presently, the profit for investment in large-scale energy systems ties to large-scale tax systems. These are linked to government subsidies and government funded infrastructure build-out to solve the scale problem. Will the same go for alternative energy?

The scale needed for alternative energy competes directly with the scale needed for agriculture, housing, environmental preservation, and transportation. One example is the Three Gorges Dam project in China that displaced over 1-million people. Hydroelectric power systems are solar energy systems. The water behind a dam is stored solar energy. Very large amounts of land are required for hydroelectric systems just like for proposed solar, wind, and biomass systems. All the systems require very large solar collectors to operate in a grid power model. Efficiency can never be greater than one. There is no Moore’s Law of exponential growth hidden in the current efficiencies of a few tens-of-a-percent and 100-percent in alternative energy collection components. Are grid power systems the future of alternative energy?

The solutions to the scale problems of megacities with high consumption rates of food, energy, and living space are complex and competing. Complexity is one of the areas of study by scientific think tanks like the Santa Fe Institute and government funded institutions like Harvard University and MIT. How do you think scale will be achieved to support megacities in the future?

About the Author

Mike Macartney

Mike holds a BS and MS in mechanical engineering with emphasis in heat transfer and computational fluid dynamics. As a staff system engineer he developed advanced cooling systems for more than 15 different spacecraft and missiles, ranging from cryogenically cooled sensors and pre-amplifiers to on-orbit problem resolution of failing spacecraft. Mike has managed over 200 proposals for advanced aerospace systems, and terrestrial IT systems and custom code development for corporate customers.

Mike has advised start-up companies and high-tech incubators wishing to “spin-in” technologies from NASA and the National Laboratories as well as helped Russian enterprises do business in Silicon Valley. Mike has been a founder in three start-up companies for enterprise SW and publishing as well as a trade show manager for NASA technology transfer activities, and an executive liaison manager to facilitate business cooperation between aggressive Fortune 500 competitors. Mike has developed reengineered business processes for quality control, proposal development, and lean manufacturing.

He currently operates a small publishing company, Shoot Your Eye Out Publishing


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An Inspiring American Story – The Last of a Dying Breed of Craftsman?

Authors note:  There is something about this guy that just got to me.  This is real Americana.  His prices are fair, and the quality is great, but you have to hear his story.  If you have any Americans in the family, think about them at for Christmas.

Hi, Bill here, Thank you from all of us here at   I started working leather at the age of ten with my grandfather.  I was raised on a dairy farm in Connecticut where my grandfather made all the leather tack, and saddles, not only for the farm, but for all the other farms around us.    After my grandfathers passing, I kept working leather untill i went in the Army.  After my time in the Army, I moved to California where i worked in construction.  I still worked with leather, making tool bags, belts, and holders for other construction workers i worked with.   After having to retire, I found it was hard to find top quality leather products.  I found “so called genuine leather” belts coming in from China, and other places made with a very thin piece of leather on top, and bottom, with cardboard or other things in between.  So I started   I was surprised to find so many looking for real leather belts.  There are now five of us here to serve you.  Our belts are made in the U.S.A. from U.S.A. products by Americans.   Thank you from all of us for keeping American working.    Bill, Allison, Christian, Pat, and Richard.


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Exciting Business Opportunities in Emerging Markets

The global demand for welding equipment is huge. A recent estimate, from ESAB, put revenues for cutting and welding supplies and equipment at $15.5 billion per year. Approximately half of that demand comes from North America and Europe, but the rest is from emerging markets such as China and Asia.  Western demand is plateauing, as the need for infrastructure investment is less pressing, and the troubled economy means that many companies are downscaling their operations.

In contrast, China and Asia’s construction markets are booming, and there are some good opportunities for enterprising businesses to capitalize on the increased demand in these emerging markets.

The increase in demand comes as countries in Asia and other parts of the world look to improve their infrastructure and upgrade their oil, gas, and energy facilities. Metal consumption in Asia (and in particular China) accounts for approximately 70 percent of the weld metal consumed each year, and the Asian construction industry is growing rapidly. These new companies need welding equipment – not just tig and mig welders, but welding positioners, plasma cutters, and consumables too.

Many of the existing companies in the Asian market are working with very basic equipment, and are finding that they need more sophisticated and powerful gear. To them, plasma cutters, welding positioners, cored wires, and submerged arc welding fluxes are the pinnacle of welding technology, and such equipment is in high demand.

Exporting Second Hand Equipment

Few companies have the financial resources or the space to keep old equipment sitting around doing nothing. Today, companies in Europe and America see old equipment as an asset waiting to be liquidated. It should be easy to find plasma cutters for sale, and even “obsolete” welding consumables being sold off in bulk. A few of these old pieces of welding equipment may be bought up by smaller local shops, but in general it’s hard for companies to get rid of equipment because all the other companies in the region are doing the same thing.

This old equipment, assuming it is serviceable, is exactly what emerging Asian markets need. To them, it’s affordable, reliable, and functional.

If exporting equipment is something that interests you, then you’ll need to plan carefully. The equipment itself, even second hand, can be expensive, and it will need carefully inspected before resale. You’ll also need to take into account shipping prices – which can be hefty for bulky and heavy equipment. That’s not to say that there’s no opportunity for profit, just that each purchase will need to be carefully considered.

In the early days, if you don’t have buyers lined up, selling consumables may be a good way to get started. Consumables are, by their very nature, always in demand, and they tend to be easier to handle, although margins may be lower. It’s up to you to use your knowledge of the industry to select the products that will sell best in developing markets, and carve out your own profitable niche in each country.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Westermans; suppliers of Welding Equipment. Having completed a business studies A level in school and then nearly choosing to complete a degree in the subject, business and industry have always interested Amy.


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