Statistics released this week from North America have given a fascinating insight into the way the exhibition industry in the USA has begun to globalise. An annual forum in which 117 top exhibition executives participate in a survey and provide their predictions for the future market shows that Europe is a particular hotspot for exhibition attendees who wish to take their display to a global market. The survey stated that around 46% of events organisers are beginning to approach taking their events out of the country, with 10% of them deciding to bring their exhibition to the UK. A third of those surveyed stated that they would wish to take a display to another country at some point in the future, as businesses start to set their sights higher than simply being successful in their homeland.
The statistics show an interesting trend for internationalisation among US companies, and many of these businesses consider the UK an important market to crack. This means that, over the next few years, UK exhibitions will see a steady increase in participants hailing from North America, and perhaps other business hubs around the world such as Dubai and Hong Kong, looking to stake a claim for business in Great Britain. In total 42% of businesses in America now claim to take a stand such as a banner stand or roller banner exhibition stand overseas. The knock-on effect of this is that many UK businesses might start to lose their spots at exhibitions and trade fairs, and will face much higher levels of competition in the fight to present prospective clients or partners with the best deal.
Anyone who manages a business will testify that they are no stranger to competition, and the competitive nature of an exhibition environment can bring out the best in many companies. But many small-to-medium sized UK businesses will need to up their game to perform alongside companies who are doing so well that they feel ready to crack the market in another country or on another continent entirely. Marketing budgets may need to be increased to accommodate new exhibition stands and equipment, whilst staff may need to undergo top-up training courses or team-building sessions to really bring their customer service and interpersonal skills to the fore.
In keeping with the trend, it is also predicted that UK businesses, who feel ready to expand, will start to look at taking their own displays overseas and tapping into new markets. Their exhibitions will need to be top-class to compete with those on the continent or in the States, and a whole raft of new banner stands or exhibition materials would surely be necessary to ensure that the process of internationalization and introducing a brand to a global market is a successful one.