Actions During and After the Overseas Trade Show

Ken MacKenzie

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Arrive early and stay late:

The best arrival time is partially determined by the schedule of press conferences, exhibitor briefings, interviews with prospective representatives, etc. At the very minimum, allow sufficient time to make certain yout stand is in order and your equipment is working.

Keep your exhibit staffed:

Empty booths sell nothing! Give visitors your full attention as they may well be your future customers. Keep your exhibit tidy. Give serious thought to security, both during the day and before leaving at night.

Take a look at other exhibitors

Whether competitors or suppliers of similar products, there is a lot you can learn from other exhibitors. Better display ideas, new product features and possible tie in arrangements are just a few benefits.

Select good overseas representatives:

If possible, it's a good idea to line up a representative before the trade show. The representative can become familiar with your products and your organisation during the exhibition and, of course, will have an opportunity to meet and establish contact with prospective customers who visit your booth.

Quote price, delivery time and your terms:

Many buyers prefer pricing to be on a ‘delivered to them’ basis including all duties, taxes and other charges. The delivery time in your quotation is tied to the terms of sale. The terms and methods used in shipping your products should be discussed with your freight forwarder. Other sales terms as warranty, repairs, replacements and packing may have to be modified to a foreign market.

Make use of business cards:

You may receive many business cards during exhibitions. remember to have an adequate supply of your own cards for distribution. You might also devise a registration card for your booth. Make sure it's in their language.

Use service representatives at the show:

Often, companies that provide service to exporters and importers, such as air and ocean carriers, banks and freight forwarders, exhibit at or attend trade shows. Talk to them about your marketing needs.


More sales are recorded in the months following an exhibition thatn at the exhibition itself. The companies that get the best value for their exhibit dollar are those whose salespeople and representatives follow up on the best sales prospects as soon as possible.

Service your foreign customer:

The quickest way to lose business is to fail to provide service. Once you make a sale, be prepared to provide complete service and fast delivery of spare parts. If you have a local representative, this person should agree to maintain a minimum parts stock and develop a service capacity.

Ken MacKenzie's web site “The Marketing Update" is at: He has had some 30 years experience in small business marketing and public relations and, prior to establishing Ken MacKenzie Communications in 1993, he was a Senior Consultant for over five years with International Public Relations Pty Ltd. He has also consulted to the United States Foreign Commercial Service, based in Sydney Australia. As a Consultant, Ken has managed many accounts including Monier Roofing Limited, NUS International Pty Ltd, MasterFoods of Australia, the Jakarta Promotion Board, the Australian Made Campaign, Boral Roofing, Boral Bricks, Boral Plasterboard, Frontline Business Services and Sydney Point of Sale. In his consulting to the United States Department of Commerce in Sydney, Ken served as Principal Advisor to the United States Trade Centre Director on major U. S. trade event planning and implementation of numerous U. S. Government sponsored trade shows covering many different industry groups.


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