These days it is much more likely that you will doing business on an international level, rather than simply setting your sights on your local community. It is really down to the Internet that there are more opportunities than ever before, but of course it still requires a lot of effort to conduct business in the right way. That is why you need to make a physical presence in certain locations, rather than relying on tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Perhaps one of the best ways to introduce yourself and your company to many people at one time is by exhibiting at a conference.
There are many conferences that take place throughout the year all across the major European cities: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Stockholm… the list continues. Of course as a business attending these events you must spend a fair bit of time doing research and admin tasks. To get you on the right track, here are just a few things that you should consider ahead of your upcoming exhibitions.
Booking travel and accommodation
As soon as you get a stand space booked at your exhibition, get online to organise your travel and accommodation arrangements. Prices can creep up and up, so it makes sense to get things paid for before demand surpasses supply. You will also have the benefit of selecting the seats you want on the plane if this is important to you, as extra legroom seats are quick to disappear.
Getting travel essentials
You will want some useable cash with you when travelling from the UK into mainland Europe, so find the best rates for your Euro exchange. Once you have sorted out your currency, turn your attention to the other items that will make your trip run smoothly. This includes things like travel adapters and toiletries that have contents of less than 100ml. If you want further advice on what you can bring along, check with your airline by looking online.
Overcoming language barriers
With international markets, communication can often be a problem when you arrive at an exhibition. Think about this ahead of time by kitting yourself out with some good translation tools, either via smartphone application, or just a simple phrase book. It can help you to impress contacts if you are truly making an effort to speak to them, even if the sentences don’t flow to a fluent standard.
Having the right kit
A big part of the exhibition will be ensuring that you have the right kit for the day. Spend plenty of time arranging this as your stand will be the first thing people see as they approach you. Either get a local firm to create a custom built stand for you, or rely on the shell scheme stands that many conferences will provide. You’ll need to find some way to stand out, so think creatively about what you could do.
Finally, when you and your team are in a new location, you will need to be extra sensitive to security and safety. Don’t take anything for granted and leave people to walk about by themselves after dark. Most hotels will have a restaurant and a bar which should be ideal for a business trip.