Messe Düsseldorf North America - Trade Show Daily

Advice to New Exhibitors at MEDICA 2014 from a Newbie

Posted by Robert Self on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 @ 13:43 PM

So, you’ve made the cut. Your application was turned in. Your acceptance letter has come back. You set forth all those last minute booth design details. You coordinated the logistics. And it’s official. You’re going to MEDICA. And you’re hoping you’re totally prepared as a first-time exhibitor.

Well, don’t fret. As a newbie to the game myself, I can commiserate with the overwhelming feelings the trade shows as large as MEDICA can present. But I have a few tips and tricks to help ease your mind. And for those who’ve even attended for 20+ years, you might find this refreshing!

1. Ask for Help.

It is true that you are travelling to Düsseldorf, Germany, where the German people speak German. But if you’ve never been abroad before, I can tell you it is far more common than you think for people to speak English – both inside the fairgrounds and out! If you are lost, confused, or just want general directions to the nearest bar that sells Alt Bier, ask a friendly Messe Düsseldorf employee. They should be pretty easy to spot as they tend to wear uniforms with the Messe Düsseldorf orange ties or scarfs. They will also be carrying a nice name badge upon their outfit like this:

Namenschild

2. Dress to Impress.

European trade shows do tend to be more formal than we are often used to in the States. It will not be uncommon for you to see even attendees at the show dressed to the nines. However, on this note I must add that comfortable shoes are a must. You may be very used to standing a lot at other trade shows, but the Messe Düsseldorf Fairgrounds are large enough for you to consider skimping on your workout regimen for a month (that’s including the Thanksgiving season, folks)! Wear professional shoes, but practice breaking them in first.

3. Bring enough Business Cards to Fill your Suitcase

Okay. Checking another entire bag may be a bit drastic. But it isn’t as common yet to see lead retrieval systems in Germany (for many many many cultural and legal reasons). European business still values face-to-face communication and handing over a business card is sort of like your receipt from that interaction. And you will be interacting. A lot.

4. Punctuality is Key.

American culture has trained us to set meetings and arrive “fashionably late,” meaning roughly 5 minutes past the set time. Germans are more culturally attuned to “on time is late.” So make sure you’re prepared. Know where you’re going, and even review a map of the city or map of the trains ahead of time. On that same note, it is best advised that you don’t pack up your booth early. It is more professional and formal to stay until the very last minute.

5. Relax and Enjoy it!

You’re here on business, sure! But the planning that it takes to exhibit at a show is usually harder than being present. I’m not going to advocate the motto of “90% of success is just showing up”, but I will advise you take a deep breath, smile for the attendees, and enjoy yourself abroad. In fact, with one MEDICA show under your belt, you deserve to pat yourself on the back, because now you’ll be über prepared for 2015!

Speaking of which: Make sure to keep those eyes peeled for the open registration announcement for MEDICA 2015 around early December!

If you have any other questions, comments, or concerns – get in touch with us at [email protected]. We’re happy to help. I also advise you follow us on Twitter @mdnachicago where we post helpful tips often!

Contact us!
Website: www.mdna.com
Phone: (312) 781-5180
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mdnachicago

Topics: Germany, MEDICA, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, Experience

REFOCUS ON BRAZIL: TRADESHOW SHIPPING AND CUSTOMS

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

...or Howta SendYerStuff to Brazil


HOSPITALAR 2012 is just around the corner, and everything is shaping up for another exciting and more successful trade show than ever.  The largest medical industry event of South America is on track to feature over 1,250 exhibitors and is expected to draw over 85,000 trade visitors.

Clearly exciting things are happening in the Brazilian healthcare market, and US exporters are taking notice!

                               

 

 Hospitalar 007 450                                                          

At this year’s show alone, the number of US-based direct exhibitors has increased by 36% compared to last year, and in fact the North American Pavilion – produced and organized by Messe Duesseldorf North America – is 56% larger than in 2011. 

But despite these impressive results, many companies from overseas who participate at this, or any trade shows in Brazil, get caught in a Brazilian shipping and customs quagmire that can turn a company’s best laid trade show plans upside down.

Hence: A few words about Howta SendYerStuff to Brazil.

describe the image   Brazilian customs clearance procedures for incoming and outgoing freight shipments for trade shows within Brazil are very detailed and time-consuming, and the authorities are rigid and exceptionally rigorous in the enforcement of the prevailing Brazilian customs regulations.

Standard Brazilian cargo handling, transfer, and storage charges, along with compulsory Brazilian customs bonding fees, taxes, and other sometimes unforeseen cargo handling expenses often may be viewed as high by overseas exhibitors.  In some cases, the cost of shipping alone can far exceed the cost of the exhibit space itself!
 

Standard Brazilian cargo handling, transfer, and storage charges, along with compulsory Brazilian customs bonding fees, taxes, and other sometimes unforeseen cargo handling expenses often may be viewed as high by overseas exhibitors.  In some cases, the cost of shipping alone can far exceed the cost of the exhibit space itself!

To ensure that each international exhibitor’s requirements are handled expertly and as smoothly as possible, Brazilian show management companies appoint a locally-based customs broker to handle ALL in-coming and out-going shipments to and from their trade fairs.

Far in advance of the trade show, at least three months or more, it is highly recommend that the overseas exhibitor start working with its locally-based freight forwarder of choice to review its shipping options, paperwork requirements, and of course to secure cost estimates.  It is particularly important to select a freight forwarder that has experience in shipping to Brazil, or better yet a freight forwarder that specializes specifically in international trade show shipping.

Simply selecting an international freight forwarder based upon the lowest price quotation, or attempting to send show materials with an international courier service in order to save a few dollars can be risky and result in a shipment not arriving at the booth in time for the show!

Furthermore, all export documentation must meet exact requirements, and all shipments must be pre-authorized by Brazilian customs authorities before they can be shipped out of the United States to Brazil.  Items for temporary import and items that will be given away and/or consumed during the exhibition must be packed and precisely documented separately, and sent in separate crates.

Messe Duesseldorf North America has been the official marketing and sales office for HOSPITALAR for more than a decade and can coach U.S. companies in all aspects of their trade fair planning for this important event!


Topics: exhibiting, medical trade show, medical trade fair, International Trade Shows, Brazil, Hospitalar, Trade Show Planning, Shipping

The Top Ten of 2011

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Wed, Dec 7, 2011 @ 11:42 AM

describe the image        Well, here we are – December already.  I don’t know about you, but the past year has disappeared faster than anticipated.  And I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet.  I think a heretofore snowless Chicago has made it feel like an extended autumn…at least that’s what that bowl of still uneaten Halloween candy sitting on top of the refrigerator makes me think.

Overall, it was a busy year for us at Messe Duesseldorf.  Several of our industry-leading events were held in Germany this year:  boot Düsseldorf, EuroShop, interpack, GIFA-METEC-THERMPROCESS-NEWCAST, MEDICA, COMPAMED … and drupa and wire / Tube are just around the corner in 2012.

These events of the past year have made me reflect about a combination of commonly asked questions and exhibitor pitfalls I’ve observed.  I’ve boiled them down to the Top 10 - hopefully without offense to David Letterman and Worldwide Pants!

Cue the drum roll...
                   describe the image
                                   Sorry Dave!

# 10     European electricity is supplied at 220/230 V.  In the U.S. we operate at 110/120 V.  So if you plug in your own stuff without a step-down transformer, don’t be surprised if it reacts like a sparkler on the Fourth of July.

# 9       Entrance passes / name badges for our shows in Germany are not linked to a lead retrieval system, at least not yet anyway.  They’re used primarily for entry to the fairgrounds, secondly as a means of identification, and thirdly…

# 8       Entrance passes / name badges are also tickets to ride the public transportation network.  Some shows’ tickets are only valid within the city of Duesseldorf (VRR), other shows are valid beyond the city’s borders (VRS).  But make sure in advance that you know which zones are covered for your specific show in order to avoid an awkward very public discussion with a German conductor in front of a train car full people.

# 7       Yes, there’s wireless internet access at the fairgrounds, and we have a highly-rated official supplier.  However I’ve learned anecdotally that there are other reputable German wireless companies who provide competitive service (and sometimes temporary trial offers) that can be booked online. I’m just sayin’, that’s all.

# 6       Europeans don’t do “Pop-Up” display stands like we do at shows in the U.S.  If you plan to ship your Pop-Up to the show, you should still plan to order a modular system stand package (walls, carpet, electricity, basic furnishings) and then assemble the pop-up within the booth.  Remember, system stands in Germany are customary – without one you’ll probably stand out for the wrong reasons.

# 5       Bring ALL of your documentation and order confirmations with you to the show!  Nothing says wild goose chase more than not knowing which service provider is building your booth, supplying your booth furnishings, or which freight forwarding company was used to send your freight to Duesseldorf.

# 4 
      Make sure your bills are paid in full before you head over to Germany and avoid the walk of shame to the cashier counter in the service center because your electricity hasn’t been turned on.  Messe Düsseldorf North America is here to assist you in deciphering your invoices and to make sure that nothing falls thru the cracks.  And don’t be alarmed, we’ll be happy to remind you in good time before the show starts of any open balances!

# 3       Listings in the show’s catalogue are not necessarily free.  Unlike trade shows in the U.S., most of our events in Germany allow you to only have an alphabetical listing in the show catalogue and single index listing at the back of the directory.  Anything else you usually have to pay for – that’s just how the catalogue’s publisher rolls.

# 2       Social media has come into increased prominence especially within the past year.  Acquaint yourself with the available technologies – and know the show’s Twitter handle.  Promote your company before, during, and after the show.  Take advantage in advance of the promotional exhibitor materials.   Face it – this is the way things are going and just sitting in your booth hoping everyone will just come to visit is probably not going to cut the mustard, unless Jennifer Aniston is sitting there with you for some reason.          describe the image
Gratuitous picture of TV & Film Star, Jennifer Aniston.

#1
       Pay attention to deadlines!  We know that all this registration and ordering is essentially an administrative task, easily pushed to the back burner. But missing a deadline can mean the difference between getting or not getting a booth in a show, or having to pay a surcharge for a booth order.

Sometimes things at trade shows can go awry for any number of reasons, but always keep in mind that our number one priority is to make sure that you get the assistance that you need as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to make sure that the pieces are put in place so that you have the best trade show possible!  Remember, we’re here to help!

Enjoy the holidays!

Topics: MEDICA, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, International Trade Shows, Exhibitor Badges, Compamed, interpack, Social Media, exhibit booth, drupa, Top 10

A Season for "Dibs" - Register Now for MEDICA 2011

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 @ 10:25 AM

Perhaps many of you heard this past week that Chicago had a little bit of snow.  Actually, a LOT of snow, now tallied as the third largest snowstorm in the city’s history.  Not only did we end up with about 2 feet of the white stuff, we dealt with 60+ mile per hour wind gusts, thunder and lightning, and snow drifts six feet high in some places.  But Chicago is generally prepared and has snow removal down to a science, and for the most part within 24 hours things have returned more or less to normal.

But on the side streets, it will usually take a couple of days before a snow plow will pay a visit and shove mounds of packed snow up against the vehicles parked along the curb.

Now anyone who lives in our fair city is familiar with the concept of “dibs”.  This tradition goes back years, and some of our grizzled old-timers will gather wide-eyed children around the fireplace and tell tales about how it even precedes the great blizzard of '67.

dibs3Photo:  Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune


Essentially, before a side street is plowed, or even afterwards, the residents shovel out their own parking spots on the street and then save them by routinely placing lawn furniture, buckets, two-by-fours, stools, saw horses (or whatever expendable junk they happen to have on hand) in the valuable space they have just dug out. That means the space now belongs to the excavator.  If you park in a saved spot, you may run some unfortunate risks that could eventually involve your car insurance company.  
Hence:  DIBS.

At many of our trade shows that occur on a frequent basis, especially an annual show like MEDICA for example, an informal variation of dibs also exists.  The number of companies that return to the show from year to year is high, and there is a relatively brief registration window in which companies can submit their exhibit space applications.  Often the amount of space that is requested at MEDICA far exceeds the amount of space available at the convention center.

Returning exhibitors who submit their applications before the deadline often will get priority consideration for the same space that they had during the previous show, followed then by new-to-show exhibitors who also submitted their applications before the registration deadline.  Many times, exhibitors will request an enlargement of their space, or a move to another location if possible.  But of course with 4,000+ exhibitors at MEDICA it all depends on who has returned and who is getting their space back.  Usually the best way to increase the chances of upsizing or relocating is by expressing flexibility about preferred booth dimensions, configuration, or location.

Under all circumstances, Messe Duesseldorf works diligently to try and accommodate everyone’s special requests and space requirements in a fair and equitable manner.

Registration for MEDICA 2011 is now open and runs until March 1, 2011, but it is strongly encouraged that you submit your completed registration forms well in advance of the deadline.  To request your exhibitor registration materials, simply contact us or visit the show’s website, www.medica-tradefair.com, and get your dibs on a booth at the world’s largest and leading medical industry trade fair!

Topics: Germany, MEDICA, medical equipment, medical supplies, trade show, Messe, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, medical trade show, medical trade fair, trade fair, Trade Show Planning, City of Düsseldorf, Chicago, Booth Assignments, Dibs, Snow

Happy New Year and Hello Tax Code Changes!

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 09:15 AM

describe the image

  Tax rules in the Federal Republic of Germany have until now required that companies that participate at our trade shows be subject to the country’s 19% value-added tax (VAT), based on the fact that the goods and services provided were of German origin.  That is to say, VAT was charged by Messe Duesseldorf because of the location that the services were rendered.


The thought process was thus:  A foreign company that participates at a trade show in Duesseldorf must pay the VAT for its exhibit space and/or space-bundled services, then afterward process a refund either itself or by working with a reputable VAT Reclamation Agency.

An expensive proposition to be sure.  Exhibitors have had to front an additional 19% on top of their trade show participation costs for the past four years.  This was always a bit of a hard pill to swallow, especially for American companies used to state and local sales taxes ranging between 0% (Delaware, New Hampshire, Montana, Oregon) and 9% (Tennessee).

Now comes some welcome news:  German tax authorities have announced that effective January 1, 2011 VAT on trade show packages will now be based upon the location where the recipient (i.e. exhibitor) is based and not on the location where the services were rendered.

In a nutshell:  US-based exhibitors no longer have to pay an additional 19% on their invoices issued by Messe Duesseldorf.

As an exception, however, visitor entrance tickets will still include VAT, as will most "a la carte" orders undertaken directly with independent trade show suppliers and vendors. Further information about this can be found on the website of the Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission.

For exhibitors based in Germany, the calculation of the VAT and their tax obligations and procedures remains unchanged.

Don’t consider this tax advice, rather a description of the changes underway.  Be sure to consult your tax advisor for specific information how these changes may affect your organization!

Topics: Announcements, Germany, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, Euro, Value Added Tax

4½ Football Fields

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 @ 15:26 PM

2010 is stacking up to be a good year for U.S. companies seeking export markets and participating at Messe Duesseldorf’s trade shows not just in Duesseldorf, but at the company’s satellite trade fairs in other markets, from Brazil and Australia to China, India, Russia and Singapore!

A total of 987 U.S. companies have participated in, or will participate, in our worldwide roster of trade shows in 2010, occupying over 250,000 square feet of net exhibit space – enough to completely fill nearly four and half US-football fields end to end and side to side!

Leading the pack this year, as always, is the renowned MEDICA and COMPAMED trade fairs this November in Duesseldorf.  The show will feature over 420 US-based exhibitors (a 5% increase over 2009), not mentioning the numerous others who participate in the show via European or offices based elsewhere in the world.  Add in 48 companies from Canada and 10 from Mexico at MEDICA and COMPAMED, and the show is the largest contingent of North-American based exhibitors at a medical industry event outside of the western hemisphere!

Other events in Duesseldorf, # 1 worldwide for their respective industries that have occurred this year, included wire/Tube (120 US exhibitors), glasstec (58) and the upcoming K trade fair later this month (112), just to name a few.

Saddled with a sluggish economic recovery at home, exports have proven to be an important way to grow business and stay competitive with growing international competition.  Kudos to these US companies that are actively embracing export market opportunities!

We’ve been showing the way for nearly 30 years!

Since 1982, Messe Düsseldorf North America has been a resource for US companies seeking new international market opportunities.  We have served as an international like to innumerable U.S. companies over the years, assisting with everything necessary to exhibit at or visit one of the trade shows organized by the Messe Düsseldorf group of companies around the world.

For nearly 30 years, MDNA has brought market partners together to ensure that exhibitors and visitors find customers or providers of service and merchandise they are looking for.

Topics: Announcements, Germany, MEDICA, medical, medical components, medical equipment, medical supplies, trade show, Messe, international, Messe Duesseldorf, international business, glass, glass show, exhibiting, K 2010, glasstec, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, medical trade show, medical trade fair, international medical trade fair, Exports, International Trade, International Trade Shows

Enhance your Booth. Enhance your Trade Show Experience.

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Sep 3, 2010 @ 10:23 AM

We’ve all seen them, perhaps been one of them in fact:  that sad little booth with almost nothing in it.  Perhaps a few brochures set out on a draped table, the empty boxes tucked beneath or stuck back in the corner.  Maybe even the booth representative isn’t there, perhaps walking the show floor.

The investment of time and money has been made to get the space and get to the show, but it appears nevertheless that the company is operating on a shoe-string budget, and it shows - even if it really might not be.

There are many reasons why companies choose to participate in a trade show, but the bottom line is that you’re looking to put your best foot forward and make the biggest splash that you can.  First impressions count.

At our trade shows in Düsseldorf, instead of pipe-and-drape schemes, we offer booth construction packages – known as system stands.  They come with the basic elements and you do the rest!  Even in the US Pavilions that we organize, the same procedure applies.

Take a basic package and turn it into something special, something that reflects your company’s corporate image, and something that reflects your marketing strategy.  Some things you can do to give your booth that extra “oomph” include:

  • Affix graphics to the walls
  • Have your company logo placed on the sign above your booth
  • Order a video monitor to play a looping company DVD
  • Get a free-standing literature rack for easy access to your company brochures
  • Green it up!  Get a plant or two.
  • Display cases brighten up your booth and make it easier to view your product samples
  • Bring multiple product samples and brochures
  • Have some “give-aways” available, even perhaps just a few for VIP visitors
describe the image describe the image
Go from this... ...to that!

Just a few simple upgrades can make all the difference in the results of your trade fair participation.

Messe Düsseldorf North American can advise you on your booth options and prevailing trends in booth design.  Let us know how we can assist you in making your participation at one of our trade shows the best it can be!

Topics: Germany, MEDICA, trade show, Messe, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, medical trade show, medical trade fair, international medical trade fair, International Trade Shows, North American Pavilion, Trade Show Planning, exhibit booth, stand construction, Stand Design, U.S. Pavilion, booth construction, display booth, show, show collection

It’s a Big Deal in Chicago

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

ChicagoRecently the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation that fundamentally changes labor rules and regulations at Chicago’s McCormick Place and Navy Pier Convention Centers.

The move came after Chicago had already lost several conventions over the past year, and several trade shows had threatened to leave and seek alternative convention venues elsewhere in the U.S. that offered more flexibility and affordability.


Some key “exhibitor-friendly” reforms in the legislation include labor rules that reduce work sizes and require less overtime pay, expanded exhibitor rights (allowing customers to do more of their own setup and dismantling), and permitting show organizers to select outside electrical and food & beverage vendors.

And now the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau has announced an anticipated $1 billion in new spending from trade show commitments coming to town!

The International Housewares Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Cardiology, the American Wind Energy Association, Lions Club International and the Society for Neuroscience have announced plans to return to the city, and newcomers Ace Hardware, Lego KidsFest and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have announced they will now hold their events here too!

Messe Duesseldorf North America has been a proud member of Chicago’s business community for the past 20 years, serving as a marketing, sales, and point-of-service office for U.S.-based exporters seeking international trade show opportunities.  It’s no coincidence that when our corporate team selected Chicago for its U.S. operations base, proximity to McCormick Place and the major U.S. trade shows held here was a key factor.  Every year our company participates in various capacities at important events staged at this convenient, world-leading convention facility.


We applaud these reforms that were designed to retain and continue attracting important events that are immanently vital to economic growth in Chicago and the State of Illinois.

Topics: trade show, exhibiting, trade show organizer, Chicago, McCormick Place

System Stand or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Booth

Posted by Ryan Klemm on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 @ 11:41 AM

You know as surely as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano every spring and the Chicago Cubs don't make it to the World Series in the fall (sigh), a common discussion that arises every year has to do with a company's approach to its booth setup options at our trade shows in Düsseldorf.

The space has been reserved, flights have been booked, and hotels have been selected. Now it's time to start thinking about how you'd like to present your company's public face at the show.

So you say you have a nifty pop-up display that unfolds out a plastic case? That's a good start. Just need some carpet and maybe an information counter and a bar stool or two to complete the ensemble, right? Looks just fine at the U.S. trade shows, why not in Düsseldorf?

You might want to think twice.

After all, you've made this huge investment to participate at this European trade show, and you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward. But in reality what looks fine against a backdrop of pipe and drape in the U.S. might in reality stand out for entirely different reasons at a German trade show.

In a nutshell: Europeans don't do "pop-up" like companies from North America do. Hence, you don't see much of it over there. In fact, the European approach to exhibiting trends more elaborate and more formal than here. The prevalent view is that the booth is by virtue and extension of the company - the place of business for the week, conducted in as formal a business setting as the show floor permits.

That said, the generally accepted minimum standard of booth design is that referred to by Messe Düsseldorf as a "system stand". Priced by the square meter, these elemental stands consist of panel walls, carpet, table and chairs, company sign above the booth, spot lights and an electrical outlet. This simple concept allows the exhibitor to save on shipping costs (keep the pop-up at home and just send over some graphics) and still decorate and setup shop as you like.

And if you really, really dig your pop-up stand and still want to use it, by all means send it on over and set it up within the confines of your system stand!

Messe Düsseldorf North America can advise you on your booth options and prevailing trends in booth design. Let us know how we can assist you in making your participation at one of our shows the best it can be!


Topics: trade show, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, Messe Düsseldorf, exhibit booth, stand construction, booth construction, display booth

Background Music

Posted by Daniela Knoll on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 @ 14:13 PM

A word of advice to anyone considering playing background music in their stand:  DON'T FORGET YOUR GEMA LICENCE!

GEMA is the Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights (translated from German: Gesellschaft für Musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) and plays counterpart to ASCAP here in the United States. GEMA licenses the right to perform and playback songs and musical works created and owned by the songwriters, composers, lyricists who are members of GEMA and affiliated foreign entities.

 

Officials from GEMA are present at German trade shows in order to enforce these rules. Companies should be aware that getting caught playing back protected media without a license leaves them subject to some very hefty fines!

So if you want to add some background music at your stand, licensing is usually very simple. Just keep the following in mind to avoid an unpleasant encounter with GEMA officials:

  1. Fill out form 4C34 in your trade show exhibitor manual. . This is how you apply for your GEMA license. GEMA invoices the exhibitor for royalties. The amount payable depends on type of reproduction and also the size of the stand.
  2. Be sure to have the GEMA license with you at your stand in case if agents stop by to check.

Topics: Germany, trade show, Messe, international, Messe Duesseldorf, exhibiting, Düsseldorf, trade fair, ASCAP, background music, GEMA, Music, show