Globalization is here to stay. I’ve known that a while, but it really hit home for me last week at the ABC Kids Expo in Louisville, Ky.
And I realized, in a way I never had before, that if you aren’t already part of globalization, your competition will be—or already is.
Think about what we eat and what we wear. How much of it is completely made or grown in the United States? (How many different fruits and vegetables can you purchase out of season at your local grocery store? Better yet, look at the label on what you are wearing at this moment!) Now let’s take that a step further to look at our business—expos, events and conferences.
On the opening morning of ABC Kids Expo, I was helping out by playing “Vanna White,” directing people in the registration line to open counters. While I wouldn’t want that particular job forever, it was great fun for a few hours.
I had the chance to speak with people from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Canada, Ukraine, Italy, South Africa, Australia, China, India and many other countries.
Taking the opportunity, I asked them what made them get on (multiple) planes to come to Louisville for the show. Their reasons should sound pretty familiar:
• To see new (mostly U.S.) products and brands
• To buy new products
• To discover new trends
• And to network
Innovation and quality are what people come to the U.S. to buy. Regardless of whether you are part of a “national” or an “international” show, don’t think your industry sector isn’t global. It is.
Is your show, conference or event offering globally recognized innovation and quality? If not, why not?
Stephanie S. Selesnick, CEM, is President of International Trade Information, Inc.,and a longtime global exhibition industry specialists helping U.S. show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and clone shows overseas. You can follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.