Embrace Expo Globalization

Recently Expo featured an interview with Jason Stookey, vice president of sales for the National Association of Broadcasters, on its collaboration with a Brazilian show—helping to bring some of its exhibitors offshore in a NAB-branded pavilion as well as contribute conference content to that expo. They are also contributing content and speakers with another show in Dubai.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG has pavilions and joint ventures in other countries with like-industry expos. So does Hanley Wood. ABC Kids Expo has branded pavilions in two offshore shows.

So what’s the trend? I’m calling it Expo Globalization 2.0.

While many U.S.–based expos want international exposure, for the most part they are not willing to take the huge financial risk to go abroad. That’s where creative partnering comes in. By working with non-competitive expos in other countries, it allows U.S. organizers a chance to dip into the international waters with minimal cost.

Having a branded pavilion in a same-industry show in another part of the world gives your show a chance to:

• Brand internationally. You may think EVERYONE on the plant knows your show, but do they? Could someone in China pinpoint where Chicago, Las Vegas or New Orleans is on a map? Could everyone in your organization pinpoint Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou?

Having a pavilion allows you sell your show to potential exhibitors, promote to potential buyers and make news. Having a pavilion is newsworthy to more than just the “folks back home.” It’s noteworthy to international press too!

Provide “value-added” choices for your own exhibitors. By selling your own exhibitors into a branded pavilion, you keep control of the entire process—from sales to execution and being on site bonding with them. Talk about relationship-building potential! (Of course, you have to make sure that it’s a great experience, but that’s a whole other subject…)

If you are sharing speakers and content with other organizers around the world, it shows your organization’s willingness to be about the good of the global industry and not just being in it for the money (even if you are!). It gains oodles of good will. It will help drive attendance and exhibitors to your show. You gain worldwide exposure—and it doesn’t have to cost much!

Expo Globalization 2.0. Embrace it. Your show and industry will benefit! (If you aren’t sure how, contact me!)

Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.

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