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BEST PRACTICE: Exhibiting overseas

Any company looking for new ways to extend its brand or access overseas markets has a whole range of options. One route that has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the move towards experiential marketing, is live events; in particular, exhibitions.

Whilst striking out into the great unknown of an overseas event can be fraught with danger and unexpected obstacles, it can also offer fantastic opportunities and open new markets with incredible speed.

Assisting companies with their overseas exhibiting activities is a speciality for Stratford on Avon based event management company Mayridge. The company has helped hundreds of companies over the years, including many blue chip organisations, in places as diverse as Boston, Dubai, Sydney, Shanghai and Berlin.

Thorough research and a great deal of planning right at the start of the campaign is essential. There is red tape such as import licences, local laws and health and safety legislation, compulsory venue services and eccentricities of local suppliers all to be taken into consideration, so it's vital that you are organised and well-informed before you even think about taking one step out of the country.

For companies organising their own international event such as a road show or a corporate hospitality day, the venue is key to its success. It's easy to assume that exhibiting overseas is the same as exhibiting in the UK but in a foreign language, nothing could be further from the truth. Every country and in some cases every city will have its own culture and idiosyncrasies, not just in terms of the way exhibitions work but also in terms of how they are run and put together. Understanding the detail about the location where you are exhibiting is essential for success. Key action points to consider when looking at overseas exhibiting include:

- Obvious and hidden costs