As an English-speaking country in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), Australia is in a great position for global enterprises to connect with markets and business partners in China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and other growing economic centres. A full 70 per cent of the world can reach Sydney by plane in 11 hours or less, as Business Events Sydney noted at the 2013 International Advisory Board meeting.

In addition to hosting a number of important trade shows and exhibitions, Australia is also an increasingly popular destination for tourists – a trend the government and tourism industry are trying to further develop.

With the government’s recent success negotiating a number of free trade agreements with countries in the region, there’s been more interest in the potential for Australian companies to advance their operations through these avenues. However, gaining access to Asian consumers through trade show networking or tourism is just the first step in truly capitalising on great opportunities for growth in these markets. But what can they do to better engage consumers and build lasting business relationships?

Engaging with Asia in Australia 

The government, tourism industry and marketing events sector are all taking steps to encourage greater travel from Asia into Australia. In December, Travel Blog and News tweeted about new measures to boost Chinese visitors.

The post refers to a commitment from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to maintain Australia’s Approved Destination Status – a designation that enables Chinese nationals to visit the country in tour groups.

With a surge in tourists from China – and other APAC nations – Australian businesses and event coordinators may want to examine ways to connect with this key market demographic. This could include tailoring brand activations to travellers’ preferences, appealing to them on a cultural level or reaching out to them as tourists. For example, Proj-X was recently involved in Visa’s “Travel Everywhere” marketing activation, which provided bicycles to Chinese Visa cardholders who were in Sydney over the Chinese New Year.

China’s middle class included 200 million consumers in 2012.

Connecting with APAC customers

In addition to a boom in tourism, organisations may also find ample opportunity to connect with potential business partners from China. Business Events Sydney noted that 1,000 organisations that run meetings are headquartered in Asia, and because of Australia’s location in proximity to the rest of the world, it makes sense to host international exhibitions and trade shows here. Sydney, for instance, has hosted events like Perfect China, the Rotary International Conference and the World Congress of Parks.

For that reason, exhibiting in Australia can be a great way to develop business relationships and attain sales leads with prospective clients from China’s growing markets. McKinsey​ & Company revealed that China’s middle class included about 200 million consumers in 2012, and consumer demand from the demographic was set to double within a decade. To excel in these markets, however, organisations must have a strong understanding of their audiences.

As Tourism Research Australia explained in its report on how the industry can better engage Australian markets, business leaders need to develop a stronger cultural understanding of China and other target markets in the APAC region. The organisation emphasised that China is not a homogenous market – let alone all of Asia – so doing adequate market research, learning languages, knowing the upcoming holidays and understanding social media practices on a more nuanced level can make a big difference in reaching the right people.

Creating a strong trade show display for an international exhibition involves additional considerations if you're heading overseas.Exhibiting or networking overseas could open the door to APAC markets.

Taking business overseas 

International business experts frequently emphasise the value of going overseas if enterprises are looking to build a presence in a foreign economy. Forming a strong partnership with companies in the target locale is often the key to learning the ins and outs of the consumer base, distribution channels and marketing best practices.

For enterprises just getting started with exporting to Asia-Pacific nations, the Austrade website provides some great resources. Business leaders can also turn to Austrade for training and advice, as well as to seek opportunities such as joining a government-led trade mission overseas.

When companies decide to participate in a trade show in Asia or hold their own marketing events, they’ll need to take global exhibition strategies into consideration. From exchange rates to differences in labour practices, carrying out these activities in a foreign land can be tricky, but success could open the door to incredible prospects in a rapidly expanding market.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]