Cultural Differences in Approach to Trade Shows

Differences in how trade show displays are approached vary with the location: in South America, Europe and Asia it is much more common to have what is known in the industry as “build and burn” exhibits, which are exhibits which are fabricated and set up just for the life of the one show. In North America it is more common to have exhibits that are purchased, and then used many times for different shows before they are either re-purposed, or disposed of. In Europe, trade shows have much longer hours, and are more about having longer meetings and actually closing deals than in North America, therefore displays are built more to facilitate longer meetings, including more comfortable seating and hospitality such as food and beverages.

Trade fairs as an investment

Trade fairs often involve a considerable marketing investment by participating companies. Costs include space rental, design and construction of trade show displays, telecommunications and networking, travel, accommodations, and promotional literature and items to give to attendees. In addition, costs are incurred at the show for services such as electrical, booth cleaning, internet services, and drayage (also known as material handling). Consequently, cities often promote trade shows as a means of economic development. Exhibitors attending the event are required to use an exhibitor manual or online exhibitor manual to order their required services and complete any necessary paperwork such as health and safety declarations. Contact us at +27 11 447 4777 for more information about our products and services.

Trade Fairs

A trade fair (trade show or expo) is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent trends and opportunities. Some trade fairs are open to the public, while others may only be attended by company representatives (members of the trade) and members of the press, and so trade shows are classified as either “Public” or “Trade Only”. They are held on a continuing basis in virtually all markets and normally attract companies from around the globe. For example, in the U.S. there are currently over 2500 trade shows held every year, and several online directories have been established to help organizers, attendees, and marketers identify appropriate events.