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International: Timeline For International Shows

For most international events, it’s realistic to start planning one year in advance of the show. Divide the year into four quarters and accomplish duties by this timeline:

12 Months Out

  • Decide on the approach, such as amount of space needed, type of exhibit, etc.
  • Initiate contact with show management.
  • Reserve space.
  • Choose contractors.
  • Plan budget.
  • Determine financial planning by hedging against currency fluctuation.
  • Make hotel/travel reservations.
  • Reserve special indoor/outdoor advertising spaces.

9 Months Out

  • Design the exhibit structure.
  • Obtain show management approval of exhibit design.
  • Make contact with government officials abroad.
  • Initiate correspondence with known potential or current customer base overseas.

6 Months Out

  • Launch a promotional campaign through advertising, mailings, etc.
  • Confirm travel plans.
  • Forward advance payments for exhibit space and other services required.
  • Review literature and handouts; make any necessary translations.
  • Arrange for translators in the exhibit, if necessary.
  • Place orders for promotional aids from organizers and with service contractors.

3 Months Out

  • Follow up on promotional campaign.
  • Prepare and ship your material.
  • Finalize structural design.
  • Schedule appointments during show days with overseas contacts, if possible.
  • Arrange for hospitality functions on- and/or off-site.
  • Purchase foreign currency for on-site show services and travel expenses.
  • Make arrangements for overseas banking needs, if necessary.

Four Days Out

  • Pack extra copies of shipping documents and show literature in briefcase.
  • Fly to destination city.

Three Days Out

  • Arrive and check into hotel.
  • Make initial inspection of exhibit hall and space.
  • Check with shipping contractor to confirm arrival of all materials shipped.
  • Give instructions to shipping contractor regarding the delivery time of your materials to the stand.
  • Contact all on-site service contractors to confirm general readiness.
  • Contact local representatives of organizers or managers. Let them know where they can reach you.
  • Handle local banking needs, if necessary.
  • Make pre-show visits to local customers.

Two Days Out

  • Check progress of installation.
  • Check with shipping contractor. Confirm delivery of all items.
  • Check availability and functioning of all equipment you ordered.
  • Check availability of all supplies.
  • Finalize all activities and programs.

One Day Out

  • Make final inspection of booth structure, equipment and supplies.
  • Distribute promotional materials to direct distribution centers.
  • Conduct final pre-opening briefing with exhibit staff, interpreters, contractors, etc.

Opening Day

  • Be present as early as you can with a smile!

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