International Trade Show Planning Guide

International Trade Show

While international travel may be a bit of an undertaking, it’s certainly evolved in leaps and bounds to make border crossing business trips a more frequent reality. If your business is ready to take on a global market, connect with overseas operations, or just spread the word, you need an international business trip. Make the most out of your trip by exhibiting at an international trade show and we’ve got the tips to make your international trade show a complete success.


Everything is timing, and timing is everything. A few basic items to check off of your list:

  • Know exactly when the trade show will be held and where
  • What day and time you need to arrive to start setting up
  • What services will be available to you at the show
  • If possible, arrive one day early to familiarize yourself with the area. If you can’t, at least leave one to two hours earlier than required so if you end up in traffic or get lost
  • If arriving one day early, how far are you from the exhibition space and is transportation available

Your trade show booth is your face to the world, quite literally. How do you want to represent your company? Modern, classic, rustic, bright and vibrant – there are a lot of options, but you need to decide which one suits the branding you have for your business and how that translates to your international market.


It’s also important when shipping your booth and its contents to the international destination that you ensure you know exactly how long it will take so you can plan for plenty of time for your materials to arrive. Nothing is worse than arriving at the trade show only to learn that your trade show display, product or marketing materials are stuck on a ship, or locked in customs and won’t arrive until after the trade show has ended. Yikes! Gather a few estimates and double check with the receiving location what dates and times shipments will be accepted, and if you can receive confirmation of your trade show materials’ arrival.

Budgets and Money

Staying on a budget is necessary if you want your trade show to be a success. Don’t forget to take foreign exchange rates into account and to change out your currency.  Ask yourself these questions when preparing your budget:

  • How much will the trade show booth cost?
  • How much to design, ship, and set up the trade show display?
  • What about airline, hotel, food, and transportation around the city

You need to know the answers to these questions, and probably others as they come up, to decide what budget will best suit your needs. Then stick to it!

International Requirements & Considerations

It’s important to check all requirements for the country to which you will travel. Do you and your international trade show staff have the necessary passports, shots, visas, etc.? Where will you all be staying? How much will it cost? Does everyone have their tickets? What are the customs of the area? Learning the customs of that country can go a long way to making solid connections and meeting prospects and customers. Take some of your travel time and learn some basics of the local language and train your staff in the language and customs so they aren’t left unaware and you can communicate effectively with the trade show attendees. Consider downloading Google Translate or other translation software for help.

If you and your staff have any downtime, you might want to use it to enjoy the country you’re in and get to know the people. This may even give you a chance to get to know your international personas and hone your brand messaging and sales techniques.

Back-up Plan

When something can go wrong, it usually does. There’s no harm in having a backup plan for an international trade show exhibition. Plan B, Plan C… even Plan F or G if necessary. Just make sure that you plan for as many possible outcomes as you and your staff can think of so that you aren’t left stunned and helpless if something doesn’t go according to plan.

When working with your team back home, consider the time zone difference back home. While you’re at the trade show and there’s an emergency, who can you ask for assistance? Make sure you set something up with your team so that one or more can be on-call, whatever the time, and have access to the office if necessary.

Trade shows can be extremely beneficial to a business and should be considered in your marketing plans. If you’d like more information on how to have the best trade show booth, or tips on how to have a great trade show, all you have to do is contact us today!

1 Comment

  1. If you have any documents regarding this International Trade Show Planning Guide.Kindly post here to save for future reference.



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