You may have heard a lot of different reasons to set up a trade show booth at a business exhibition. From building your client base to strengthening your marketing strategy to finding ways to engage new customers, the benefits of exhibiting at trade shows are endless. But there’s one crucial benefit you might not have considered before: The potential to reach an entirely new client base overseas. You might be a huge local or even national success, but if you haven’t been able to expand your reach and tap into the overseas market, you could be missing out on a lot of business. Because foreign clients or investors often want to see a product or service up front, they come to trade shows to do their research, creating the perfect opportunity for you to shine in person. If you’re using a trade show to expand your business globally, here are a few tips for success.
Hire a Great Interpreter
If you’re serious about making a great impression and attracting global business to your brand, you don’t want to show up unprepared. Not only will it help you to figure out what overseas market or markets you’re looking to tap into before, you’ll be able to know what kind of additional communication help you need in the form of an interpreter or two. You’re at a trade show to make an impression on potential partners, so being able to speak their language, literally and figuratively, will help get you in the game. Give yourself plenty of time to hire the right interpreter before the show: Make sure you hire someone who has plenty of business clients, is used to the trade show environment, and has navigated global deals before. Even though your interpreter will serve as your mouthpiece, they’ll need to have the kind of business acumen you need to actually close deals and continue a relationship with important overseas investors and partners.
Do Your Research
While every business owner should have a detailed game plan ready before a trade show, complete with goals and promotion tactics, research is perhaps the most important part of the process if you’re looking to snag global interest. The best strategy is to go after a specific client or two and cater your pitch to their companies and their needs. This requires a lot of research not only about the companies themselves but about the way trade works in their respective countries. Know about any potential trade laws or barriers before even approaching the conversation. The more informed you are about the logistics of a partnership or merger, the better able you’ll be to negotiate and make it happen. Knowing a brand’s history is also important, not just in terms of impressing a CEO or investor, but for figuring out how your business can provide a unique benefit to their brand should a partnership or deal occur.
Have Your Evidence Ready
This goes without saying, but when it comes to promoting your brand, adhering to a “show don’t tell” philosophy will serve you well, especially in a trade show environment. Don’t forget to show global partners what you’re all about by giving them a taste of what you do. Whether you’re prepared to give a demo or show a prospective client how you’ve been able to use your services successfully to help another brand or partner, you have to be able to show how your business has been able to visibly create inroads in your field and help clients achieve goals. When it comes to impressing foreign clients, the less you have to explain, the better. That’s why it always pays to have growth charts and detailed reports on hand to instantly prove that your business has what it takes to succeed globally.
Have a Media Kit on Hand
In addition to having a set of professional, beautifully-designed business cards on hands for new clients, you should come to a trade show fully prepared to discuss your vision for the company. This should be part of your strategy going into the show: What do you hope to achieve, and how do hope the trade show will help you realize long-term expansion goals? If you have a media kit or press clippings on hand, you’ll be able to draw in bigger clients without creating a specialized sales pitch. While it’s always good to know as much as you can about the international party you’re pursuing, you should have numbers on hand that speak for your business’s potential to create jobs and helps foreign economies thrive.