Sunday, December 16, 2012

Preparing for International Presence at Trade Shows

The 2012 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago reported that there were over 100,200 registrations, with visitors from 112 countries. The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas also boasted an attendance record of over 156,000 with an international attendance percentage of 22%. With an international presence like this, many U.S. businesses are becoming better prepared to provide their marketing materials in a foreign language. PLG’s Manager of Business Development, Eric Mora, is often surprised by the high turnout of foreign visitors. “When I’m walking around at trade shows, I hear so many different languages being spoken. Walk past one group, and they’re speaking Chinese; another, Spanish; another, Polish” Eric says.

One aspect of preparation for these shows that is often overlooked is translation of company literature in anticipation of the high volume of international visitors. With the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this January, many of the clients that we met last year have already been contacting PLG to prepare for the show.  Below is the most common type of materials that are translated before upcoming trade shows: 

  1. Bilingual Business cards – Have one side of your business card in English and the other in another language. Most common languages include Japanese, Arabic, Chinese Korean, Spanish and French. 
  2. Brochures – Translate your brochures to have out at your booth. If costs are a concern, you may want to only translate important or key information or brochures for your top products. 
  3. Slideshows or other sales materials – If you have a slideshow or other digital presentation at your booth, you may also want to translate that too.  Give your guests the option to receive a copy of the presentation as well, either through a CD or through e-mail. 
  4. Interpreting – If you are hoping to discuss business with a specific market or client, you may want to have an interpreter available with you.

By preparing for the international visitors at whichever trade show you will be attending you are showing that your company has a global presence interested in selling internationally. By presenting information in their native language, your customers will be able to absorb the message that you are trying to send. You may also have potential buyers out there that are going to go with you instead of one of your competitors because you have your materials translated when they do not.

Eric Mora has received some feedback from clients in regards to the benefits of translating company material.  “I actually had a client tell me that if they translate their software program into Arabic, they would have several buyers lined up who would act immediately if it’s available” Eric said. Being prepared could mean the difference between solidifying a sale and having the client walk away.

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