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  • Writer's pictureLarry Kulchawik

Gathering Knowledge at Trade Association Meetings

I had recently made a presentation for members of the International Trade Association in Chicago. The purpose of my part of the presentation was to paint an overview of the industry and to share thoughts on trade show differences, tactics, and challenges when exhibiting overseas. I also wanted to promote my new book- “Trade Shows from One Country to the Next”. The book outlines the venues, top events, restrictions, rules, exhibit design styles, and most importantly the cultural differences in doing trade show business globally. The theme of the book - there is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is only a different way is very true in most cases. But when it comes to picking a show to exhibit in, or shipping your exhibit and product internationally, there surely is a better way. After presenting an overview of the global trade show industry and exhibiting internationally, I shared the stage with two special trade show experts who represented very specific niche components when planning to exhibit overseaspicking the right show, and the movement of freight. Both tips will save big money and aggravation when used properly. The skills required for exhibiting and managing a show here in the States are much different when doing an event overseas.

Two valuable resources when planning to exhibit globally are headquartered right here in the heart of Chicago - Hanover Fairs-USA and Boomerang Carnets.

Selecting the right shows to attend, and shipping your product, can be costly if not executed smartly.

Mr. Lloyd Guiang, Director of Marketing from Hannover Fairs USA, Inc., represented one of the world's largest and most active trade fair organizers.

Hannover Fairs USA's primary goal is to assist American companies in their pursuit of global business - utilizing various trade show platforms, primarily focused in technology industries.

HFUSA's primary responsibilities include marketing and sales activities in the United States for all Deutsche Messe events throughout the world. HFUSA also organizes turnkey-group-exhibit marketing programs at events in Hannover, Germany, as well as at other Deutsche Messe events in China, India, Dubai, South America, and Turkey. Their strategy is to reach out to potential exhibitors with representatives stationed in a regional office to offer direct services and advice. This approach has proven to be extremely valuable to help encourage and guide US companies to exhibit globally with confidence. Check their website at

Another knowledgable presenter, was Leslie Levy August, Sr. VP at Boomerang Carnets. What a strange word-Carnet! A Carnet, or ATA Carnet, is an international customs and temporary export-import document. It is used to clear customs in 85 countries and territories without paying duties and import taxes on merchandise that will be re-exported within 12 months. Carnets are also known as Merchandise Passports or Passports for Goods. “Without a temporary import strategy, exhibitors will probably pay more to exhibit overseas. Pinpointing these costs can be challenging without some basic knowledge about temporary imports. The cost of duties and taxes to the exhibitor may not be transparent since they can be buried in the fees paid to intermediaries such as shipping companies, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and trade show organizers. From this starting point, and armed with basic knowledge of temporary import methods, any international exhibitor can avoid paying import duties and taxes to help increase your trade show ROI”, says Leslie August- Sr VP at Boomerang Carnets. Leslie has recently written an excellent white paper on the topic entitled-How to Avoid Hidden Costs when shipping abroad. For further information about this article go to

Exhibiting overseas can be rewarding, but also can be costly without watching your step. Find partners to help guide you and to trust, and you will be on your way to success.

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