Is your company going through an international expansion? Are you finding new opportunities to participate in in a foreign trade show like in Germany or France, or maybe somewhere farther like the United States or Chile, or somewhere exotic like Japan or India?
All the methods and techiques of trade show marketing that you have been using for national trade shows are no different from those for international exhibitions. However, do take note of the following points that can help you improve your presence and results of your participation in a foreign trade show.
– The preparation and the training of the staff at your stand are key. In addition to the technical and commerical profile, it is important that the staff is fluent in the language of the foreign country as well as having knowledge of exterior trade.
– The presence of a qualified native staff in the stand is especially recommended to ensure an optimal communication process with the visitors, and to facilitate the orientation of behaviour and the treatment of sales characteristics related to the area.
– The communication style and elements must be adapted to each country (mailings, advertising, stand signages, dress code, etc…) All and each of these details communicate who you are, what you do and what you offer.
– The technical or promotional graphic material must be translated into the language of the foreign country or at least into English, the universal language for doing foreign business, (brochures, catalogues, technical manuals, business cards, etc..).
– Before, during and after the trade show, do maintain contact with the local sales office or representative in the city in which the trade show is being held. Usually, you can access the ICEX (Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior,3), Chambers of Commerce or autonomous government like COPCA in Catallonia. They can help you in many aspects like getting a list of potential buyers, availability of market studies, hiring of auxiliary staff for the stand, etc…
– Currently, numerous foreign trade shows have representatives in Spain, from private sales delegations to the different Chambers of Commerce established in Spain. These entities, apart from its promotional activity, are a great help to obtain information on the trade shows, facilitate the hiring of the stand and to solve any problem related to the participation of the exhibiting companies.
– Lastly, to do business in a foreign country requires time and money. In general, it is normal that a company participates in a few occasion in a trade show before it can get some significant results. The first participation gives the initial contact with the market in a direct and interactive way: characteristics of the clients and consumers, consumption behaviours and patterns, competitors’ and buyers’ profiles, market dimension, communication style or the search of a representative or distributor for your product.
Each country, including region, has its own way to conduct business and it usually require certain time for each of them to materialise.
As a conclusion, the success of international markets can be achieved with an appropriate planning, a firm belief and a long-term commitment, and in this way, the participation in international trade shows is one of the most efficient instruments to achieve it.
Contributed by: Fernando Le Monnier, Director of Gag Events and President of APMF (Asoc. Profesional de Marketing Ferial)