Are you an international exhibitor who is exhibiting in the USA for the first time? Anxious about how the trade show market works here and how your brand will be received? Want to be fully prepared? Then you should know the roadblocks you might stumble upon. Read more to know the challenges that are most commonly faced by international and first time exhibitors when they build a trade show booth in the USA.
Whatever you can control in your home country you have taken care of: booth design, giving your trade show booth graphics on time, ordering for show services, sending out invites to your customers, booking of hotel, flights, and meetings for the show. However, anxiety is normal when you are exhibiting in a new geography for the first few times.
Below is a small checklist that can reduce anxiety:
- Language Barriers: Foreign countries have foreign languages and many-a-times there are language barriers at a trade show booth. An easy way of preparing for this beforehand is to hire a hostess for the booth that speaks at least 2 of the local languages of that region. Also, go a step ahead, check the hostess’s background to see if she has any education or work experience in your industry. If yes, then this is an added benefit as she will be able to understand customer requirements to some extent. This way she can interpret for you wherever it is essential.
- Manning the Information Counter: Typically, while exhibiting for the first few years, 8-10 people travel from any company for a show. Many-a-times, all of them are busy with meetings and hence there is no one at the information counter. A hostess is hired, however, she doesn’t have a clue about who handles what and potential leads or face-to-face meetings are lost in the process. To solve this challenge, you need to:
- Have your visiting cards printed with photos on them. That way the hostess can associate a name and photo quickly.
- Handover a chart to the hostess explaining in brief which team member handles which kind of query. This will help her understand and direct the guests to the correct person.
- Fines from the Show Organizers: This point is not so pleasant and is often faced by companies exhibiting in other countries. They do not know the rules of the show and hence, post-show, they get fined for small or big things. Most common of the lot are:
- Leaving waste material on the aisles: Exhibitors often carry their marketing collaterals in cartons and once they are done they leave the cartons on the aisles. The organizing committee takes photos of these and fines the exhibitor once the show is over. To overcome this and other probable fines, ensure that you act consciously. Do not dirty space on your exhibition booth or the aisles surrounding it.
- Not following show rules like common wall height regulations: Generally when a wall is common between 2 or more booths, it is mandatory to cover the backside of the wall, if it is exposed, in white color. This rule is put in place so that the person whose booth is shorter does not suffer by having an exposed or unfinished wall facing inside their booth. You should ensure that your agency properly covers any exposed back wall with white paint, or white fabric so that your co-exhibitor is not bothered by your trade show setup or design in any way.
Keeping small things in mind can go a long way in making your show a successful one. Be prepared in advance, and think on the spot when it is required. Remember each challenge can be addressed with some presence of mind and initiative from your side. If you have any queries then contact us and in the meantime, Happy Exhibiting!