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International Exhibiting Tips For Your Trade Show Exhibits

If you’re planning on attending an international event with your trade show exhibits, it requires a lot more preparation than a domestic event. To help ensure that the expo goes off without a hitch, brush up on a few tips that are designed to make the entire experience a more pleasant one.

Make Sure Your Staffers Have Passports

Your staff members will need passports, especially if they’ve never been out of the country. Make sure to give yourself enough time for everyone to apply for and receive their passports. It’s a good idea to apply for a passport at least six months in advance because things like another government shutdown can delay the process, plus this gives you the chance to correct any errors that may happen. If your employees already have valid passports, have them check the date to make sure it will still be valid during your travel periods. If you get delayed and it’s about to expire, you could have a major problem on your hands.

Apply For An ATA Carnet

Customs fees can be incredibly high, depending on which country you’re visiting, and it doesn’t seem right that you should have to pay customs fees on something that you’re taking back after the event is over. Many countries agree and allow exhibitors to apply for something called an ATA Carnet. An ATA Carnet acts like a merchandise passport and excludes companies from customs fees and Value Added Tax. In some countries, VAT is calculated at nearly 20%, which means it can add a lot to your costs.

How Will You Ship Your Trade Show Exhibits?

If you’re exhibiting across the country, it’s possible to arrange to ship displays yourself, if necessary, by just loading them up in a truck and taking off. However, shipping your trade show exhibits across an ocean requires a little more thought. Before you attend an event, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to get your exhibit from point A to point B and you have two feasible options — air and sea. Sending your shipment over an ocean freighter is less expensive, but it can take up to four to six weeks for your items to arrive. Sending them by air is a more expensive, but quicker process since you won’t need to worry about your shipment being delayed by storms brewing in the ocean.

In addition to deciding how you’re going to ship your exhibit, you’ll also need to worry about when it will arrive. If your display gets into the country too early, you could face hefty storage fees. However, wait too long and your display could be delayed by customs inspections. This can mean a major balancing act and many companies aren’t comfortable with setting the timeline all alone. The best thing you can do is to contact the company that created your trade show exhibits and ask for advice. Major companies will be experienced in coordinating shipments and can help you throughout the entire process.

When you’re exhibiting abroad with your trade show exhibits, a professional and knowledgeable display company can help you every step of the way. Contact one today and you can help reduce the stress that’s commonly found when exhibiting overseas.

Companies looking for trade show exhibits in Chicago have a resource in Tradetec Skyline ( The company offers a number of different types of innovative exhibits that are ideal for any expo. To browse a gallery of displays, please visit

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