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Tips for Exhibiting at International Trade Shows

Courtesy of the Iowa Economic Development Authority


Julie Nickel is senior relationship development manager at Messe Frankfurt, Germany with 13 years’ experience. Here are a few of her tips – especially if you are new to exhibiting at international trade shows.


  • If new to a specific market, plan to exhibit at least 3 times to gain awareness and acceptance.


  • Talk to event organizer: is it an order taking show or for visiting? Whichever scan badges and get name cards. Find out which hall best suits your company.


  • When ordering space be sure you use square meters, not feet.


  • Order any and all free options.


  • Get Messe logo for immediate follow-up emails either at the show or that evening.


  • Check because some distributors exhibit as well.


  • You can order large back-lit POP for the halls.


  • If the trade show offers match-making services, be aware that some contact may not show. Follow up with them anyway.


  • The show may offer fixed walls, but most do not extend all the way to floor. Order other things. Electricity is different for each country, so be sure you are ordering the right voltage.


  • You may need to hire an interpreter for some foreign shows.


  • Use product demonstrations, or video to get better understanding of your product.


  • Follow up consistently – plan 3 years out for potential distributors who show promise.


  • Vaccinations may be needed. Some countries require quarantine.


  • Have a supply of masks and hand sanitizers available.


  • In years past, some exhibitors would send 20 employees, now, in the pandemic, you may only see 5 people in a stand, but they are generally decision-makers.


  • Because many shows are smaller, some prime booth locations may open up and be available. Take the opportunity to get a better booth location, if possible.

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