Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Have you been wondering if exhibiting at a tradeshow is the best use of your company’s marketing dollars? In these tough financial times, many businesses are posing this question, especially when it comes to exhibiting at overseas tradeshows. While expanding into lucrative new markets has the potential to skyrocket your business into unprecedented growth, there are costs to consider: materials, flights, other travel-related expenses. Will it be worth it?
The answer is yes—with the proper planning. When organized correctly, an overseas tradeshow exhibition can catapult your sales and net huge increases in your overseas market share. What you must remember when exhibiting at tradeshows, particularly overseas, is the importance of catering to the specific needs of the local customer base.
Translationz works with many clients who frequently exhibit at overseas tradeshows. Through our work with these effective exhibitors, we have identified some key strategies they use when exhibiting overseas in non-English-speaking countries. These strategies will set you apart from your competition. We offer them to you here in a timeline leading progressively closer to the tradeshow. One crucial element to maximizing the returns on your overseas tradeshow investment is planning ahead.
One Year Out: Do Your Homework
You will generate the greatest return on your tradeshow investment by beginning your planning a year in advance. Visit potential tradeshows as an attendee first before committing to being an exhibitor. By first visiting a tradeshow, you will have the opportunity to meet other attendees, ask questions of the organizers, check out your competitors’ products and sales techniques, and learn more about the attendees by monitoring tradeshow traffic.
By seeing a tradeshow firsthand, you can best assess its potential value to your business and decide if that particular tradeshow will be worth participating in or not. The small cost of being an attendee is the single best investment you can make when it comes to planning on participating in a tradeshow. The fact is, there are hundreds of tradeshows; your goal is to identify those which are the best fit for your company and which hold the highest potential for exponential sales growth. Being an attendee is money well spent in order to gather information and ascertain whether participating in a particular tradeshow will be advantageous for your company.
And don’t forget the benefits of attending workshops and seminars, as well. Workshop presentations are a great way to get your name out to new customers and make them familiar with you and your product. Participate in workshops and analyse the offerings, taking particular note of which workshops draw the biggest crowds. All of your research will pay off should you decide to exhibit and present at a workshop or seminar in the following year.
Six Months Out: Globalize Your Social Media
Six months is the perfect amount of lead time for promoting an upcoming tradeshow exhibition. Promoting the event in your native language as well as the country’s local language is vital. Broadcast your product to your Facebook and Twitter followers well in advance, and keep them informed about your upcoming tradeshow attendance—in their native language. Encourage your best customers and your raving fans to share news about your event. Authentic word of the mouth gives you credibility and is the best form of publicity. By communicating in your followers’ native language, you can reach literally millions more potential customers.
Three to Six Months Out: Prepare Your Materials
Be memorable. When exhibiting in non-English-speaking countries, it is crucial to make every effort to reach out to your potential customers in their native language. There is nothing more important than making a connection with people who are interested in your products and services, and one easy way is by translating your materials, such as pamphlets, business cards, and brochures, into the local language. This gesture shows great respect, and speaks volumes about a company’s commitment to its customers through its efforts to communicate in the native language.
Attendees will not remember your product or service if you are also partaking in the same drab marketing campaigns as the next guy. Let’s hope that your competitors are passing out the logo-stamped pens and notepads allowing you to focus on making genuine, memorable connections. Nothing makes a better impression—or makes a company outshine its competitors more—than showing the respect of reaching out in the local language.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”-Nelson Mandela
Attracting Positive Attention
Be unconventional. With multiple competitors often located in the same tradeshow, it is crucial for businesses to find a way to stand out. Having an amazing stand design is an excellent way to attract attention, so consider investing in over-the-top exhibits and high-quality product displays in order to attract visitors. Be a bit eccentric and construct a giant pineapple or interactive art work, a display that compels attendees to stop and evaluate what you have to offer. If your exhibit involves a multimedia display, make sure to record the audio in the local language and to include local-language subtitles in your videos.
One Month Out: Secure Your Bilingual Staff and Interpreting Equipment
Hire bilingual help to communicate with prospective non-English-speaking customers. Many customers visiting your booth will not be fluent in English, so having an interpreter available at international events is imperative for communicating your message. It is a simple fact that companies which offer interpreting services have an enormous advantage over their competitors who do not.
When delivering presentations at seminars or workshops, it is important to provide your audience with access to interpreting equipment; presentations are useless if the participants can’t understand what is being said. Interpreting equipment gives people the option of using headsets to listen to the speech in their local language. The interpreter is positioned at the back of the room during the seminar or workshop; the presenter speaks at the front of the room and, through the use of the interpreting equipment, simultaneously into participants’ headsets. This investment in communication will pay for itself many times over.
Implement these key elements when planning your next tradeshow exhibition and you will outshine your competition in leaps and bounds. Call or email Translationz for help with translation services, social media translations, on-site interpreters, or interpreting equipment. Or, drop us a line and let us know if these tips were helpful to you and your company.
Lastly, be creative and have a great time. Life is too short to play it safe.
Karen Hodgson, CEO of Translationz