Maybe you made a New Year's resolution to increase your global business in 2015; perhaps you simply want to hone your exhibition and trade show strategies for your overseas events. Either way, knowing how to leverage your international opportunities in the most effective way can constitute a significant competitive advantage for your company.
The trick to excelling on the global stage is understanding the nuances of the local area where you're participating in an event. Whether launching a new product or showcasing your offerings in a fresh market, an insider's perspective of the region will help you both reach your audience and make sure you can pull together the pieces of your display or presentation on time.
Here are five key considerations to keep in mind when you're making arrangements for an overseas event:
1. Foreign currency exchange
You'll be dealing with costs in a different currency, which could have a significant effect on what you're able to accomplish within your budget.
In addition to products and services having differing values, you may also be affected by fluctuations in the currency market, as exchange rates rise and fall over time.
2. Country-specific tax regulations
On a similar note, you'll want a clear understanding of how taxation works in the country you're planning to work in.
Not only can this impact your budget, it can also influence your overall return on investment as sales taxes take a toll on your bottom line. The way GST works in Australia may lead you to expect one profit margin, whereas taxation in another location could lead to very different results.
3. Cultural and workforce differences
Ideally, your overseas activities will involve some of the local workforce and suppliers, which is why it's important for your exhibition strategy to take into consideration regional characteristics.
Companies with experience working within these settings can anticipate and adapt to variations in culture and behaviour that could otherwise complicate build or production activities. For instance, workers in some countries may not be willing to adhere to early timetables, and some cultures may require extra vigilance to ensure instructions are carried through as expected.
4. Availability of materials and resources
What works brilliantly in one country might not be the best approach in another. Some materials will be far more affordable in particular regions than in others, which means your displays may need to leverage slightly different resources and production methods to achieve a similar result.
Event solution providers that know the lay of the land can identify the strategies most advantageous in each region. Ultimately, the goal is to create a display or presentation that makes the most of the local resources while also conveying a consistent message in line with your brand's image.
5. Climate conditions
Mother Nature is a fickle force. But it's not only the unexpected disasters that you have to watch out for in other countries – you should also be aware of how regular climate and environmental conditions could influence your display.
From humidity to heat, the surrounding atmosphere will influence your display plans. Additionally, factors such as poor availability of electricity, rat infestations that chew wires and lacklustre access to mobile networks can throw a wrench in the works if you're neither prepared nor adaptable.
Preparation and contingency plans
For all of these factors, due diligence in research and flexibility are the name of the game. At Proj-X, we build on our vast international experience, supported by multilingual staff, to anticipate as many complexities and challenges as possible.
Even with a strategic approach, however, there are almost always some surprises that require quick thinking, agility and a commitment to stay the course until the job is complete.
The end results are rewarding as these projects come together virtually anywhere. All the world's a stage, after all – and with some careful planning, the spotlight is yours to take.