04 Jun 9 Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors Going Overseas
You probably already know the answer to this question, but we must ask… Should your trade show strategy be the same in the U.S. as your strategy internationally? A lot of companies make the mistake thinking that they are fine being the same. However, that could not be farther from the truth. International trade show marketing is a whole new ball game. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to help you revamp your marketing strategy for overseas if you decide to take that step.
1. Do Your Research
This is a big step for almost anything new you try. That’s why it is extra important to make sure you invest in a lot of research before you plan your marketing campaign for international waters. What may work well in America, may do poorly in another country. Find out what is different about the country you will be exhibiting in and make adjustments based on the data you collect.
2. Don’t Do It Alone
You should not be flying solo on this one. Search for experts who don’t mind helping you through such a journey. Especially ones who are familiar with the event or venue. It’s great to turn to the exhibit partner you will be working with overseas. Ask about the rules and regulations required for the design and what visiting exhibitors really need to know about when growing accustomed to exhibiting in a different region.
Please note that things are usually a lot smaller overseas or more oddly shaped. You won’t find your typical 10×10 space for your display. Expect it to be something your not use to and with meter sizes. This isn’t a huge deal, but make sure you at least look into it.
3. Rethink Your Design
This is the same idea with the marketing campaign. You’re not going to be able to use the same marketing tactics for foreign consumers as you do for American ones. Therefore, it is just as important to consider your design for your booth display. It may be appealing to those in the U.S but will it be as appealing to foreigners?
4. Make Sure There’s A Need
In other words, is there a strong need for your product or service in another country? Do you see a lot of potential with people from other countries falling in love with it too? If you are not so sure about this, do some testing before you go, along with added research. You don’t want to waste your time and money sharing your business to people who don’t have any interest in learning about it.
5. Be Aware of Cultural Differences
Before you go overseas for anything, it is necessary to learn about the culture you are about to dive into, especially if you are going for business. You don’t want to offend any potential customers and have no idea how or why you even are offending them? Certain things that may be a simple greeting to us, could be a turnoff in other cultures.
It is also good to research another culture so you will have great intros for getting conversations going. Plus it shows that you respect the country that you are in and care about the people’s needs. Not knowing enough about an unknown culture could severely affect any future deals, as well as the company’s image.
Tip: While doing your research, look especially into communication practices and different protocols, as well as how they prefer to be greeted, how formal a business setting is, and so on.
6. Ask For Help
To prevent any language barriers or confusion, considered hiring an experienced native to be your “reception person.” Specifically, one who is good at translating, and may speak several different languages. This is especially helpful for any pre-show briefing or speeches your company may be holding at the show. Not only is it easier for you, but it could easily increase your potential likeability as well.
7. Not Everyone Speaks the Same Language
Therefore, it is a great idea to print business cards in the common foreign language too. Most people who attend trade shows probably already speak English, but this shows that you are prepared and that you are respectful to the place you are visiting. It also shows how serious you are about doing business in that particular country.
Do the same thing with any marketing material too. It’s important to remember that some English words may not mean the same thing as they do overseas. With that said, it’s smart to print a few materials in another language in case people have trouble understanding anything.
8. Be Prepared
Bring some of your own gear in case it is not provided at the event. For example, create a few show badges that explain to visitors and exhibitors who you are. Do this for all of your booth staff. It prevents any miscommunication, and if the show does not provide any name tags or badges, at least you’ll have something of your own to use. Which will also make you stand out, in a good way!
9. Dress to Impress
Along with researching cultural practices, and language, look into preferred clothing as well. Casual may not be appropriate at a trade show overseas. Maybe a more formal attire is expected. Ask your expert contact for advice on this subject. We all know how important first impressions are!