Exhibiting abroad is one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to recognize the best foreign markets for your products/services. International trade fairs and shows offer opportunities for multilateral contacts and business offers. You are allowed by them to check your product’s export suitability; explore the strength and scope of your rivals;, and gain contact with potential suppliers, in-country distributors, and customers before making any sizable financial commitments.
However, to effectively trade internationally, top management must invest in developing foreign markets. More than 2,000 shows are organized worldwide each year, and approximately 150 of the events have significant global appeal. Most are held in the major trade show centers in America, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The following A-Z guidelines will take the worries and panic out of your overseas exhibiting projects: Ask questions and thoroughly research overseas shows to find the ones that attract your target market. A good starting place is the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (FSC), part of the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce. Other sources of information include banks, trade associations, foreign embassies and consulates, bi-national chambers of commerce and the Internet.
Book space early. Allocation for space is a “first-come, first-served” basis. Applications for space need to be submitted as early as possible 12-18 months prior to the event. Reservations are created with the show organizer or their international representative. A lot of the large shows, especially the German ones, have global sales offices.
Coordinate shipping plans. Most international industry events have an officially specified freight forwarder who’s acquainted with all the relevant details. They shall deal with the invoicing, request licenses and declarations, prepare packing list, issue expenses of lading, handle insurance, and prepare all necessary records. A duty charge is not normally assessed on equipment, unless it is destined to stay in the united states after the show ends. An international carnet facilitates importation and movement of samples and professional equipment between countries.
Determine that your product complies with international specialized and safety specifications. Germany, specifically, has stringent laws regarding testing products to comply with applicable specifications extremely. Overseas companies are allowed to exhibit products at German trade fairs before their products have been inspected. Formal qualification of required is necessary to legally sell your products in Germany. Certain types of products are subject to specific basic safety rules and specialized requirements also. It is advisable to use a local consultant to help you through the compliance process.
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Establish a realistic budget. Costs of abroad shows vary widely, depending on a host of factors, for example, location, exchange rates, the year time of. Furthermore to your display, shipping, promotional and staff costs, also take into consideration, import duties and export regulations. As a safety net, add 25% to your allowance to cover unexpected costs, exchange, and tipping rate fluctuations.
Familiarize yourself with overseas union insurance policies. Strong unions exist in the U.K., France, and Italy. Understand and appreciate the guidelines and treat everyone with respect. Offering to buy your union labor lunch time, or a beverage, as well as tipping, often really helps to minimize pilfering, loss, and damage. Whenever using contractors, always have someone who can speak the language and present logistical instructions.
Arrive at least a week prior to the show to iron out any kinks. Become familiar with pricing. Your business representatives should be prepared to negotiate and consent to terms at the show. They also need to be completely conversant with tariffs, the European Community Value Added Tax (VAT) and other taxes implications, and importation and delivery methods. When quoting prices, most buyers expect prices quoted c.i.f. For a little fee, local freight forwarders will assist and prepare c.i.f.
Have preparations for credit and payment. You should make arrangements with a bank or investment company that has international banking affiliations to assist in your banking needs. Discuss plans for the transfer of funds, words of credit and bills of exchange. Potential representatives or customers will expect a credit check. Individual profiles on overseas companies are available through the World Traders Data Reports, available for a small fee from the US Commercial Service.