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Our top tips for exhibiting overseas

So, you have conquered the UK, is the next step to take your products and exhibit them overseas? This can be an extremely daunting (and costly) venture, and for a lot of people a step out of their comfort zone. But a step that can reap rewards.

For this very reason, we have put together a small guide full of advice about how to prepare and what to consider before exhibiting in mainland Europe.

Despite the uncertainty that Brexit has brought, Europe still remains a huge market for many businesses within the UK, being able to showcase your products/services within Europe remains a hugely positive move.

The first thing to remember when planning to exhibit overseas is that you need more of everything. You need to dedicate longer to planning it, you need more time to bring it all together, and you need more money as there are more costs involved, not just larger costs. Give yourself plenty of time, and ensure you have the funds to cover the additional unforeseen costs.

You should spend some time selecting the exhibition you want to attend, it is well worth going to them the previous year to see for yourself what is what, ‘time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted!’ Once you have decided on the right one for you, be precise as to the location you want. It is important you secure your place as early as possible.

Next, you need to decide what materials you will be using to present with. Will you do it yourself to save some money or entrust it all to an experienced agency? If you plan to use something yourself like a portable stand, it is likely this will need to be shipped. If you do need to ship anything, it is essential you book this well in advance so as to ensure your display and products arrive on time.

After arranging transport for your materials, next you need to arrange transport for you and your team! Book your flights, car hire, hotels, obtain any relevant visas and check your passports are all in date. Doing this early will avoid any last-minute stress nearer the time.

Once all that is sorted, now is the time to do some basic research the country. It is a good idea to know about both the city and the culture over there, also it is well worth looking at the news in the country you are visiting in the weeks running up to the event, summarise this and issue to your team, common interest and common knowledge goes along way with visitors to the exhibition. It is a good idea to have some knowledge of what to expect.

Please note, exhibition venues rules can also be very different to the venues we have here in England, so it is worth researching the venue you will be exhibiting at.

Another thing to consider is ensuring your mobile phone will work abroad! There is nothing more frustrating than landing in a foreign country, and realising your phone is not set up to work. To avoid this, make sure you get in touch with your service provider and ask them to check it is set up to work in the relevant country and are there any additional charges that will be levied.

Consider language, employing local agents if you don’t have them already and the possible use of ‘meeters and greeters’ that can speak the local language, it all helps to create opportunity.

And one last top tip from us – make sure you always carry a bit of local cash with you as well as your bank cards. You never know when some cash may come in handy, so it is always worth being prepared.

There is a lot to consider and prepare for when taking your exhibition overseas. This is just a few tips to get you on your way. Here at Henson Franklyn, we have over 25 years of experience in exhibiting, and we are more than happy to share our knowledge with you. If you have any questions at all about exhibiting either here in the UK, or in Europe, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01427 718178. We look forward to hearing from you.