Technology and increased opportunities for affordable travel have made it easier than ever to sell products all over the world. One way to break into or expand within the international market is to display at a major international trade show. While many of the biggest shows take place in the US, there are also some influential shows in other places such as the IFA Electronics Trade Show in Berlin, Germany and the Indian International Trade Show in Dehli, India.
There are a lot of things to take into account when you are preparing to exhibit in another country. Here are a few things to remember when it comes to strutting your stuff on the world stage.
1) Make a plan while staying flexible.
You might be a pro when it comes to trade shows stateside, but be ready for things to be different when you are in a completely new place. Check publications from the organization hosting the exhibition, and if you have questions, call their customer service number (don’t forget about differences in time zones). If possible, talk to someone from your home country that has displayed at the same show before about what they found to be different. And remember, even if you have done your homework, there will always be a few surprises along the way.
2) Be prepared for technological differences.
Don’t forget that other countries have different outlets than what you are used to, requiring different plugs. To protect your equipment (and to be able to use it in the first place), check on the type of plugs and electrical currents that exist where you are going. You can usually buy adapters in airports, but if you give yourself enough advanced-shopping time (or ask around your network), you can often save a bundle.
3) Invest in easy-to-transport displays.
You can get a quality trade show display that’s relatively lightweight to save on shipping costs. If you do decide to use your own displays, it’s a good idea to ship your equipment ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about the airline company losing your displays. Be aware that shipping out of the country can take up to 30 days, and check on any holidays or political conditions (strikes, for example) that will be occurring around the time that you will be shipping your materials.
Going beyond your comfort zone can be uncomfortable but also extremely exciting and great for business. Bon voyage!