Three Tips for Exhibiting at International Tradeshows

Exhibiting at an international trade show can be much different than exhibiting in your own country. It’s important to let go of your usual trade show expectations, be flexible, and allow yourself enough time to get everything shipped and through customs.

Exhibiting abroad involves more time, extra planning, and higher travel costs.

Read our helpful tips for attending a trade show abroad…

1. Create a timeline
Remember, when you exhibit abroad, you need to make sure you provide enough time to have everything shipped overseas, which will take longer than shipping something within the U.S. You will also need to remember to allow yourself enough time to obtain a passport and travel visa if you don’t already have one, plan how long your flight will take, and plan how long it will take to fill out any international paperwork.

And don’t forget about the time difference!!!


2. Make exhibit arrangements with ATA Carnets
An ATA Carnet is an international customs and temporary export-import document that is used to clear customs without paying customs duties and import taxes. Most merchandise that is being shipped overseas for a trade show can be listed on a Carnet and carnets are accepts in 87 countries and territories. By listing the merchandise that will return to the U.S. on an ATA Carnet, you can greatly reduce the costs associated with exhibiting at a trade show and also eliminate the need to post a bond or cash with foreign customs, which may take 6-24 months to be returned.

Click here to see 87 countries and territories that accept carnets.

Or as an alternative, you can also find a local supplier or trade show house. Many international exhibit builders produce stands that will be used at nearby venues, and this could save you money on shipping things overseas. Make sure to research local trade show houses in the country where you’ll be exhibiting and compare pricing.


3. Understand all other costs associated with exhibiting overseas
There are also other hidden costs that associated with exhibiting abroad. In order to avoid over-paying:

  • Contact the Intermediaries: Find out from the trade show organizer, shipping company or freight forwarder how foreign import duties and taxes are handled for each overseas event.
  • Determine the Correct Temporary Import Method for the Event: Review the itinerary, travel, and shipping requirements to determine the best temporary import option for each event.
  • Make Preparations: Contact the event freight forwarder and/or an ATA Carnet Specialist to finalize the temporary import documentation at least 2 weeks in advance of shipping a trade show exhibit and other equipment out of the U.S.


Make sure to check out these costs before-hand to avoid a huge cost added on to the cost of your event!!!

We hope you found this post helpful. Feel free to contact Expand to see how we can help you with your international tradeshow needs.

Click here for More Expand Tips for Exhibitors >>

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