Businesses exhibiting at international tradeshows

How to Prepare your Business for International Trade Shows

The digital revolution has led many businesses to turn their back on the tried and tested offline marketing techniques they once relied on in favour of online campaigns. While spending on newspaper and magazine advertisements, brochures and events has fallen, the amount earmarked for social media, pay-per-click, SEO and email marketing has soared. But offline marketing is still a contender.

For companies looking to go global, international trade shows can be an excellent way to raise your profile and create brand awareness in a new market. One of the key benefits of trade shows is that they are usually industry-specific, so you can exhibit your wares directly to your target market. The result can be new leads and direct sales opportunities.

But getting ready for the big day requires a lot of work, particularly when you’re going to be exhibiting to some of the industry’s leading lights. Here’s how we think you should prepare.

1. Localise display stands

As soon as your place at the tradeshow is confirmed, you need to think about getting assets like display stands, banners and brochures ready. You don’t need us to tell you that turning up with your straplines and core messages in the wrong language is probably not going to get you very far. Where possible, you need to localise your display stand to meet the preferences of your target market. This includes the translation of everything from audiovisual content to messages displayed on video walls, LCD screens and any other tech you have for the event.

Digital content should also be translated and localised ready for the show. Interactive tablets are often used by exhibitors at international trade shows to help customers learn more about the products and services on offer. Language options should be provided so the audience can access content in a way that suits them.

2. Get print materials on point

The next job is to make sure any take-away information you have is translated and localised for international customers. It doesn’t have to be quite as big a job as it may sound. For example, it could be that you give out your business card as a way for interested parties to get in touch. In that case, it’s useful to have your job title translated and ensure contact information is presented in the right way. Don’t assume that customers will know how to add the correct country code to your phone number to get in touch.

3. Communicating in person

Your display stand and print materials will now look the part, but when interested customers ask you about the products and services on offer, you could have a problem. Thinking about how you will communicate face-to-face with international customers before an event of this kind is essential.

If you have speakers of the target language in your team then make sure you take them along. If you don’t then the fact that so many people speak at least a little English and your marketing materials have been translated will certainly help, but at least learn a few greetings and key phrases in the target language to show that you’ve made the effort.

If you operate in a technical industry, it could also be worthwhile hiring an interpreter for the day with specific experience in your sector. Their knowledge of the key concepts and terminology in the local language could be invaluable.

4. Before and after the event

Before the big day, you should think about how you’re going to promote your appearance at the event and book meetings ahead of the show. Creating a localised landing page on your website that targets event specific keywords could be a good start. It should include details of the event, the location of your stand and a booking form, all translated into the target language of course. Social media updates and email marketing campaigns can also be used to engage customers before the show.

Your final consideration is how you’ll follow up with any new contacts you make at the show. Will you use email to follow up with leads, in which case, will you need a translator? Perhaps a phone call would be more appropriate, and if so, will you need a telephone interpreter so you can discuss the customers’ requirements?

Get all the help you need

At Linguistica International, our professional translation, transcreation and telephone interpreting services will get you ready for international trade shows. Just call 02392 987 765 or email for expert assistance from our team.