Courting International Visitors at Trade Shows

Up to 60% of trade show attendees live or work within 200 miles of the venue, but the rest come from far and wide, including other countries. If you’re interested in enticing international customers to your brand, a trade show exhibit that appeals to stateside and foreign buyers is the way to go.

Perfect Sales Opportunity

Trade shows, expos and conventions offer great benefits: new international leads, more suppliers, networking, wider exposure, and an opportunity to check out what the competition is up to. What better way to achieve in a short time what would otherwise take months? To reap the rewards, though, takes some careful planning, including choosing the right show, creating a globally appealing exhibition, and promoting your presence.

If you’ve decided to diversify your selling strategy through partnerships with international companies, meeting with foreign buyers at U.S. trade shows, here are some tips on how to appeal to them.

Know Your Audience

Attendees from other countries tend to be more senior- level employees than those based in the U.S. That’s good news, because it means you’re dealing with people who can conduct meaningful business at the trade show.

As you think about which displays might work best for international visitors, keep in mind that overseas tradeshows are, for the most part, more popular and better attended than those in the U.S. Exhibitors in other countries have learned they must give their booths that “extra something” if they want to attract high levels of foot traffic and interaction.

Keep It Simple 

...but make it shine! One large display piece that can be seen from across the show floor can have a much greater impact than many small ones.

  • For an eye-catching display backdrop, use a wall package. The three fabric banners can be used as one 15-foot display or separated to accommodate a smaller space. These vibrant pop-up panels are lightweight, portable, and easy for one person to set up. They make it easy to showcase your products and services in a universally -understood language – graphics.  
  • For more variety or smaller spaces, a budget booth package comes with a 3-panel curved trade show booth, podium banner wrap, a narrow base stand, and two display lights that draw attention to your images and brand message.
  • International buyers love interactive displays. Nothing is more eye-catching than a row of iPads that lets people visiting your booth experience your product and/or service. Even a 30-second spot is enough to grab a prospect’s attention and get them asking questions.

Dedicate one or more iPads to your brand’s website and email sign-up. Multiple iPad holders are perfect for showcasing company information, videos of your product or service in action, testimonials, and more. It’s a great way to seamlessly incorporate technology into your booth and offer international visitors an entertaining look at what you do. Mount the stands on your podium, or display them on a table covered with a fitted, custom printed table throw.

Keep It Fun

Tricks of the trade show like contests, demos, charging stations, raffles, giveaways, and drawings can also draw international traffic to your booth. Feather flags, with their impressive graphics, are one of the best ways to attract attention to promotional events. Because these flags are lightweight and easy to transport and set up, details about your attendee-focused activities can be displayed with brilliant coloring and photo-quality clarity.

Need more info about attracting international visitors to your trade show booth? The government funded International Buyer Program (IBP) offers networking opportunities and advice to a wide variety of industries on how to do just that.