Attending an international trade show as an exhibitor for the first time is overwhelming- particularly when you are going to a foreign country for that purpose. There are many arrangements that have to be done and missing out anything can put your company’s reputation at stake and incur significant loses. When you have so much to take care of, getting over-stressed is natural.
This post is a comprehensive guide to organizing every detail you need to take care of to pull off your first international trade show successfully.
- Create a timeline
Long before you are on your way to the foreign country for the trade show exhibition, start planning your timeline to make sure that you do not miss out any detail. Manage your events and dates beforehand to ensure they do not clash with each other. The timeline involves everything from the date to collect the travel paperwork to shipping the exhibition essentials to the venue and fixing your appointments and plans at the destination. Also, have a legit backup plan for making sure your exhibition is smoothly handled.
“Time-zone changes alone will wreak havoc on your timeline if you don’t plan for related delays,” Holly Seese, global marketing communication manager for Celanese Corp. in Dallas says. “It automatically builds time into approval processes, for example, because if you send an e-mail in the afternoon, you’ll probably have to wait until the next day for a response.”
- Organize your documents
The passport and visa are necessary requirements for travelling to a foreign country regardless of the purpose. Depending on the season, it can take up to 10 months to make a passport. If you have a tight schedule, hire a company for this purpose who can expedite the procedures for a certain amount of additional fees. If you are going to a trade show in a foreign country for the first time, it is likely that you have to apply for a passport and once it is generated, you can apply for the visa. Many countries also ask for the letter of invitation which you are likely to receive from the organizers. Lastly, make sure you have additional IDs along with you and pre-book your hotels and air travels.
- Carry or ship the required items
A lot of items are required for the exhibition and you have to make sure that you do not miss even the minor items to execute a successful exhibition. You may be able to find these items in the destination location but when you have taken care of all the items beforehand, you can stay calm and relaxed throughout the presentation which is very important. The following checklist includes the items which you will have to ship to the destination and carry along with you, as per your requirements.
- Booth set-up
- Flexes, displays, portable signs and stands
- Business card collector
- Sign-up sheets to connect with prospective clients
- Pamphlets or any kind of content explaining, in a nutshell, the goals of your company
- Giveaway goodies to engage the visitors, ensuring they remember your booth from the trade show
- Accessories with the company logo and name for branding- it can be anything from the tablecloth for the display area or pens
- Extra pens and notepads at hand to collect visitor details and their testimonials
- Power strips, extension cords and other gadgets to fuel your exhibition
- Hard copy of important documents
It is wiser to ship the items that have to be transferred at the earliest so that it reaches the destination before you arrive. If you do not have enough time, consider air freight for shipping the items like the display stands, flexes, screens etc. however, do not expect them to arrive overnight and keeping this in mind, you must plan the shipping accordingly.
As Angela Delatore, director of international services for Milwaukee-based Derse Inc says in this blog,
“Airfreight typically takes three to five working days to Europe and a few more to Asia. It’s not as precise as overnight or expedited services are domestically, so you need to build that extra time into your schedule.”
- Consider the deadlines
There will be deadlines to booking the floor space, setting up the booth and ordering different services you may need for successfully organizing your first trade show abroad. Depending on the destination country the promptness of the deadlines and services will vary, and this is something you will learn with experience. It is best to be prepared for the worst scenarios to make sure you can tackle any situation that arises.
Trade show exhibitions are very significant in boosting your company’s lead generation if you know how to make the most of them. The above mentioned are certain tips which will help you out to smoothly plan the exhibition. If you are attending any trade show as an exhibitor, you can simply rent the displays. Exhibit Express offers varied choices from which you can choose the best options suitable for your requirements.