How to avoid the pitfalls of exhibiting internationally

Top 6 things to consider when taking your stand abroad

Thinking of exhibiting overseas? Or perhaps you’ve already booked your space? Fantastic – time to get prepared.

Exhibiting abroad can be great for your business. The many benefits – from reaching a wider audience and developing brand awareness, to increasing sales or entering new markets – easily outweigh the pitfalls, but you still must take time to actively avoid them.

In this blog, we’ll talk you through how to make the most of your overseas exhibition by avoiding the most common pitfalls.

1 Failing to plan is planning to fail

Exhibiting in the UK takes a lot of planning, let alone heading overseas. When it comes to visiting and exhibiting at an international exhibition, planning must begin many, many months in advance.

When considering factors such as travel, transporting the stand, country guidelines and laws, extra costs, and language barriers (to name a few), the to-do list stacks up. 

However, you don’t have to do it alone. Be Exhibitions can take on that load for you.

BigFaFa, Amsterdam

2 Shipping

Organising international shipping should not be overlooked as an easy task. The size and weight of your stand, as well as the destination will affect the cost, vehicle, and means of transport.

When it comes to transporting your stand to and from the country, it’s often cheaper to send it by boat than it is by plane – but this takes longer.

Delays are also a real possibility and should be considered in advance.

What3words, Vegas,USA

3 Extra costs (did someone say drayage?)

Extra costs can creep up on you if you’re not careful. In fact, they’re often unavoidable. But preparing for these as best you can is key. In some countries, exhibiting simply costs more than at home. For example, it costs 5X more to exhibit in the USA than it does in Europe.

One thing you may not be aware of in the states is drayage – the cost of having your stand moved from the delivery vehicle at the venue to your exhibition space. Don’t forget this one as it can catch you out!

It’s worth noting that a few countries do not accept cash for show services, so keeping a debit or credit card nearby is also a good idea to ensure you’re not caught short.

Researching the cheapest means of travel and accommodation for employees should also be done in advance to save on last minute costs. As a general rule, if something is left to the last minute, it is likely to cost more.

4 Consider the language barrier

Does the country you’re exhibiting in speak English? It may be that a second language needs to be considered on your stand.

Perhaps altering your signage to be more accessible to visitors is something – whether that be adding translations or minimising the amount of written wording used. In the same vein, having your flyers, business cards, pamphlets and promotional merchandise printed in English as well as the language of the country you’re exhibiting in will let all visitors know what your brand is all about.

Having a staff member or partner who speaks the local language is also crucial to ensure that no visitors get ignored. It also doesn’t hurt to learn appropriate greetings before your visit.

Micro Nav, Switzerland

5 Get to know the country and the culture

Different countries have different exhibiting rules and regulations that businesses need to be aware of before they arrive to exhibit. To avoid arriving and running into issues, research should be done well in advance and before making solid arrangements.

The culture is also key. Depending on where you’re exhibiting will depend on the way in which business is conducted and the stands are operated. For example, in some countries it may be customary to slightly bow your head rather than shake hands.

6 Leave nothing behind

When attending an exhibition in the UK, extra baggage is not usually an issue, as you can pop it in the back of a car or courier it to the venue. Therefore, the items you remember at the last minute can be thrown in the car before you head off. However, this is not the case when heading abroad. Those last-minute items – extension cords, name badges, promotional items – need to be thought about in advance and a checklist created. Of course, some items can be bought by your team, but this could end up being extra hassle, extra cost and time consuming to arrange.

The Cube, Madrid. This cube did a European tour!

Go international with Be Exhibitions

Exhibiting at international shows is a valuable experience that can help boost brand exposure and sales to a level that may otherwise be impossible in the UK alone. With new markets to tap in to, shipping your stand overseas is worth the extra effort.

If you’d like to avoid the pitfalls altogether and let someone else keep you organised, give us a call.

Contact us today.