International expansion starting with a trade show
If international expansion is part of your business plan you need to at least test the market in a foreign country. A first step could be a presence on a trade show in order to find possible partners and even first customers.
As having your own booth on an international trade show is very expensive most companies test the waters by participating in a government sponsored country booth.
However… there are draw backs:
- You have no control over the location of the country booth
- You probably have no control over the placement on the booth
- In most cases the format of the messaging is standardized in order to give a uniform look to the booth
- On a trade show People look for solutions or information, not countries
- People strolling along are less interested as the booth isn’t focused: different solutions for different markets
- Addressing passengers directly is difficult as they are probably not looking for your solution
- You have no brand awareness
What is needed:
- Clear and short messaging about:
o The problem you solve
o The solution provided
o The context/industry
- Messaging in the local language as even English is often a hurdle
- Logo’s of references that are relevant to the country. Well known logo’s draw attention and build trust.
- Speaking the local language helps, even if you just try
The main goal is:
- Collecting contacts (business cards) from both possible partners and probable customers
- Getting an impression if your solution can have customers in this country.
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