Upon first inspection, there may not seem to be many differences between attending exhibitions in the UK and doing the same in the United States. The exhibition halls may generally be larger and designed on a grander scale, but otherwise, on the surface, everything else would appear to be a carbon copy of the UK or European experience. However, appearances can often be deceptive, and there are a number of extra considerations to be taken into account when planning to exhibit across the Atlantic.
1. Exhibition Stand Design Quality
It may come as a surprise to some exhibitors to learn that the general standard of exhibition stand design and build available in the United States is fairly low, especially when compared to that available from UK companies. Although there are some high-quality builds to be found in the US, it would probably be wiser for any company looking to exhibit there to award their stand design to a UK contractor. Of course, this then means additional planning is required to ship all of the stand components across to the exhibition location, but the extra logistical steps and costs involved are more favourable than working from an inferior stand.
2. Union Rules
Many of the states in the US still have strict union rules in force which every exhibitor needs to be aware of. These regulations can often restrict the amount of work you can offer to non-unionised staff. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to the construction of your stand prior to the exhibition. It may be worth going for a more simply designed stand when attending US exhibitions to minimise the amount of labour required to construct it. This is because a proportion of the workforce is actually unskilled due to labour regulations stipulating that everyone should have the same opportunity to find work.
3. Target Audience
There are subtle differences in the type of audience attending trade show exhibitions in the United States and those which do so in the UK and the rest of Europe. Subtle marketing strategies tend not to work quite so well in the US. The overall message needs to be loud, clear and somewhat obvious. US exhibition audiences generally like exhibitors to tell them about the unique selling points of their products or service and have it sold to them in an engaging manner. As such, anyone planning on exhibiting in the States should prepare their marketing spiel well in advance and be capable of adapting that spiel to suit various audiences, such as general consumers, distributors, retailers or potential business partners.
Although a number of differences exist between the exhibition market in the United States and that which exists in the UK and Europe, the end goal remains the same: namely, for a business to increase its profit margin. As the United States remains one of the most lucrative business markets in the world, the exhibition circuit there remains a highly desirable one in which to gain a foothold.
At EXD, we design and build bespoke and portable exhibition stands for exhibitors and organisers across the globe. To discuss your requirements, call 02476 368474, email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via our contact page.