Exhibition Booth, Trade show Booth, Trade show booth design, Exhibition Booth design

8 Key Differences in Trade Shows in the USA and Europe

One of the reasons why brands have a trade show exhibit in international trade shows is to increase their outreach, tap into a new target market and expand their business. 

However, when you are exhibiting internationally, you might find that there are some things about the event that are done differently. This is why to make things easier for you, we have compiled a list to help you prepare for the major differences.

Here are 8 key points of difference in trade shows in Europe and the USA.

  • Name

This may come as a surprise to some, but the names used to describe these events vary depending on where you are exhibiting. While this is not a major difference, people will understand what you mean even if you use another term. 

So, in the US, these events are referred to as trade shows, while in Europe, they are called trade fairs or exhibitions.

  • Registration

While it is common for registrations in the USA to begin as soon as the current trade show ends. Thus, giving the present brands to re-register to set up their trade show booth. In Europe, on the other hand, to set up a trade booth, the registrations for an upcoming trade show take place a year or two before the actual event. 

This difference can make things difficult for the brand and trade show exhibit companies as they have to plan years in advance. Often, it also happens that brands are unable to participate in such shows as they are already fully booked.

  • Floor Plan Layout

You can spend thousands on your trade booth displays but it will all go to waste if you do not pay attention to minute details like measurements. The floor layout in another country will use the metrics they follow.

It is important to understand that the USA and Europe, both follow different metrics to design the trade show stands. While event planners do mention the converted measurements in the exhibitor’s kit. It is important to know the metrics used by the country for the exhibit systems

  • Size of the Show Booth

Depending on the country, the standard size of your show booth will vary. For international trade shows, the conversion is no the challenge, the issue arises when they are not accurate. This is because your trade booth must be within the allotted space. Moreover, this can also affect your exhibit’s design. 

For example, in the US, the smallest booth is a 10×10 booth. While in Europe, the standard measure is a 3mx3m booth. 

  • Pipe and Drape Vs Stands

The standard shape of a trade show exhibit used in the US is a pipe and drape measurement for a linear booth, while island booths come with no drapes. Also, there is a selection of colors to choose from when it comes to corner and inline booths. 

However, in Europe, the standard show booth comes with a hard wall system. Thus, the booth is open only from one side. Moreover, electricity and lighting are not included in the booth fee as international exhibitors are expected to have a rental trade booth, and their display is made to the hard wall system. 

  • Pavillions

Since it is common for like-minded exhibitors in Europe to be exhibiting together in a pavilion to attract attendees. While the USA also has established places for the same, they are lesser in number. This is because, in the latter, competitors prefer exhibiting away from each other. 

  • Payment Methods

One thing many brands overlook while building a trade show exhibit is the payment methods, especially while participating in an international trade show. Apart from the difference in currency and varying prices according to the country, the method of payment also differs. 

While in the US payments might be made through credit cards or make a deposit, the same is not the case for Europe. It is not uncommon to find payments made through cheques with deposits. This is why it is essential to do thorough research on the payment methods and choose the one that suits you the best. 

  • Visa

Another important aspect of exhibiting is traveling. If you are exhibiting internationally, it goes without saying that you will be required to produce some documents, and your visa happens to be the most important one. 

For exhibiting in the US, you need to have a valid visa from the US Embassy. You might also need permission from your country to travel, and in doing so, you might have to ask the organizers for a letter, confirming your presence. 

To avoid any confusion, we recommend visiting the Embassy of the country you are going to exhibit and ask for the required documents. 

We hope this article will be helpful while you are exhibiting outside your country. Setting up a trade show booth is not an easy task, especially if the event is in another country. This is why you need to be extra cautious during the planning stage to prevent any mistakes that may cost you time and money.

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