International Exhibiting Is Complicated — Holt Has You Covered Around The Globe
Exhibiting internationally unlocks a world of new market opportunities, but it’s very different from exhibiting in the US. Holt can help you do it.
Holt has strategic partners all over the world. We have executed hundreds of events in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Global execution and support is a prerequisite for all of our clients.
Holt Experiential is part of a Global Dedicated Network. With representation in 30 countries, our partners understand the nuances of event marketing in their countries. So when you exhibit overseas, Holt has expert partners ready to support you nearby.
Examples of International Exhibiting Holt Clients We Support
Large island booth in Madrid, Spain, with big branding above and ample space for private meetings and hospitality; including rigging and raised floors. We have supported this client for several years across multiple European countries.
For a long-time USA client exhibiting at a major European show, Holt designed and planned an exhibit that we then managed the fabrication through a partner in Europe.
Holt designed and managed local production and installation at three consecutive Battery Japan trade shows in Tokyo, Japan.
Holt provides support in smaller booth spaces across Europe for this client, including trade fairs in Spain, Ireland, and Germany.
A Happy USA Exhibitor Thanks Holt For Successful International Shows
5 Ways To Source Your International Exhibits
1. Recommended Option: Design it here, build it overseas
This is a very popular option that we recommend. You would work with Holt Experiential to design and plan your exhibit, as we understand your brand and are more able to respond to your needs. Then, we work with our vetted and experienced partner in the show region to build (and perhaps store) your exhibit. We will also send a Holt I&D supervisor to the show to ensure your needs are met. This offers the best blend of local service both here and there, exhibit design, and cost containment.
2. Design it overseas, build it overseas
You work directly with an exhibit house in the country of the show. This requires more time finding an international exhibit house that is able to design to your needs and understands the subtleties of your brand and the English language. You also need to find a trusted exhibit house for every country you exhibit at.
3. Design it here, ship it overseas
Best for portable displays in small booths, and a very expensive option for island exhibits. With the high cost of international shipping and the extra hassles of customs and ATA Carnets, this option is less popular. Depending on the country, may be a good option for exhibitors who are testing the waters exhibiting internationally in a small booth space. If wanted, we can also send a Holt I&D supervisor to manage installation and dismantle.
4. Store purchased exhibit overseas
Rather than ship a booth you own around the world, if you have enough shows in an international region, then would store your owned booth there.
5. Rent exhibit overseas
By renting the exhibit, you avoid potentially high storage fees, and gain flexibility. This is a popular choice for exhibitors who want to minimize their efforts needed to exhibit internationally. If this is the best solution for you, our partner-build exhibit can always be a rental exhibit.
Holt Supports You At Popular International Exhibiting Venues
We have helped our clients expand their global reach at shows all around the globe, and can help you make your international shows at these locations easier and more successful:
Easier-to-exhibit-at locations that are closer and/or speak the English language, such as:
- Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver)
- Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey)
- The United Kingdom (London, Birmingham, Manchester)
- Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane)
Huge, industry-leading shows in massive German show halls, such as:
- Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Hannover, Munich
Other popular European trade fair locations, such as:
- Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao)
- Italy (Milan, Bologna, Verona, Parma)
- France (Paris, Lyon)
- Basel, Switzerland
- Warsaw, Poland
- Istanbul, Turkey
Popular Asian exhibition locations, such as:
- China (Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming)
- Seoul Korea
- Tokyo, Japan,
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Middle East exhibition locations, such as:
- United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
- Doha, Qatar
For a list of top worldwide exhibition halls, see here.
20 Big Differences Between Exhibiting Internationally Versus the USA
Exhibiting overseas can be very rewarding, but is also more complex. Here are 20 major differences to consider and plan for.
- Cultural differences between the USA and foreign countries vary but are almost always significant enough to warrant using a different approach to how you engage with attendees.
- Relationship building is more important, causing interactions to last longer, requiring more meeting space and food and beverages for your booth guests.
- Major international shows are more likely to only take place every two, three, or four years.
- There are many overseas convention centers that span multiple halls that are much larger than the largest USA convention centers.
- Peninsula booth spaces that share walls with other exhibitors are more common than in the USA, where larger booth spaces usually have aisles on all four sides.
- Exhibitor goals more likely to emphasize seeking partners and distributors rather than lead generation.
- Booth staffers often need to speak multiple languages when exhibiting in non-English speaking countries.
- Non-English-speaking attendees may compel you to have your booth graphics, marketing collateral, and business cards in the local language.
- Booth staffer attire is expected to be more formal then in the USA in some countries.
- Fewer shows have name badges so staffers can’t scan their badge nor quickly know attendees’ employers or job titles.
- Stronger privacy laws may restrict your access to attendee info for pre-show promotions.
- Many countries are on very different time zones to the USA so communication takes longer to complete.
- Transporting and tracking your exhibit is much more difficult.
- Other countries have different holidays than the USA, which can delay shipping.
- There is an ocean between the USA and almost every other country, so shipping by air is very expensive, which is alleviated by shipping very early by sea.
- Exhibits built overseas are more likely to be used only once and then thrown away.
- Electricity is on a different voltage with different plug shapes, which matters even more when you ship your exhibit and presentation technology, requiring adapters and converters.
- Value of foreign currencies against the dollar are constantly in flux which can affect hitting your budget and how appealing your offerings are.
- Use of an ATA Carnet – essentially a passport for your exhibit – to avoid Value Added Tax when shipping it to many foreign countries if you plan to bring the exhibit back.
- If you take your own USA-based booth staffers to international shows, they will need passports and perhaps visas, which can take months to secure.