Exhibiting Abroad – Hints & Tips

Facts & Figures to consider

Exhibiting over seas is the perfect way to test out new markets. It gives you the chance to widen your customer base and start trading from a national to an international level.

With many European shows happening biennially, they attract enormous crowds from all over the world. Ambiente in Germany, for example, hosts 4500 exhibitors, while CIAACE in China has over 28,000 exhibitors and attracts just over 200,000 visitors. (To put this into perspective, The Pharmacy Show at the NEC last year only had 364 exhibitors and 6,100 visitors – a fraction in comparison!)

There are over 55 venues worldwide that boast over 100,000 square metres of space, with NEC and Excel being just two of them. In a survey by the UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), 15 countries have increased their indoor capacity by at least 50,000 square metres since 2006, and they’re still growing; proof that the Exhibition Industry isn’t just growing in the UK, it’s growing all over the world, and there’s never been a better time or opportunity to get involved.


The Basics

So you’ve chosen an exhibition you want to go to, now to go about organising it. Here are some of the tips we’ve accumulated from our many years experience with over seas exhibitions to help you get your project underway:

Book in advance – Book flights, hotels, ferry crossings and any transfers as far in advance as possible, to avoid escalating costs nearer to the show. If you’ve shipped your stand to the venue and are flying out to build it, think about where you’re going to store all the empty transit cases once the stand has been set up – storage at the venues can be very expensive, so look into local storage solutions well in advance.
Budget – Allow some money for an extras you might need, such as motorway tolls, or paying for electrics on site.
Research – Customs and traditions vary from country to country, so make sure you and your staff are aware of the culuture and it’s religion; what may be polite in one country could be seen as being very offensive to another. You don’t want to lose potential leads for appearing rude because you didn’t bow, or introducing yourself with your first name instead of surname. It’s also essential to read the Show’s Exhibition Manual so you know of any regulations well in advance.
Language – Consider hiring a local translator to help you get over the language barrier, while learning a few basic phrases yourself. Think about literature and giveaways too – would it be more productive to print in 2 languages instead of just 1?
Electrics – Check that all electrical components will work in any given country. Voltage varies between countries; USA, Canada and Japan use 120v, whereas the UK & Europe is between 220-240v.
Always Pre-Build – Nothing’s worse than getting to an event and finding out there is a major problem with your stand – especially if your thousands of miles from home. We always fully pre-build our stands – whether we are building the stand for our client or they are self-installing themselves – to ensure everything is just as the client wants and there are no ‘wait-we-didn’t-order-that’ moments on site.

To buy or rent?

There are many things to consider when it comes to whether you should buy or rent your exhibition stand. This all depends what your exhibiting plan is – if you’re ‘testing the waters’ to see if international exhibiting is for you, renting will be your best option. But if you’ve already got several other shows lined up, buying your stand will be the most cost-effective solution. For more information, read our blog post on buying or renting.

“Will I be in safe hands?”

We’ve got over 12 years exhibiting experience, and have designed and installed stands in places like Hannover, Frankfurt and Bahrain for clients including as Honeywell Analytics, Towers Watson and Dulux Paints. Our Project Managers and Sales Team have got the experience and the knowledge to help guide you through the whole process to ensure you achieve the best you can from your experience.

If you’re thinking about exhibiting abroad, why not give our sales team a call on 01202 650333 or email designteam@quadrant2design.com to get your free design proposal and discuss your ideas.