One of the more anticipated sessions at the upcoming UFI European Conference taking place in Birmingham, UK from May 15-17 is the Glocalization 1: U.S. Players Reaching Out moderated by Gabrielle Weiss, Publisher and Editor, Trade Show Executive, Mary Larkin, Executive Vice President, Diversified Communications, Cassandra Farrington, Co-Founder and CEO, Marijuana Business Daily; President at Anne Holland Ventures Inc. and Dianna Steinbach, Vice President, International Services for ISSA.
I recently had the chance to speak with Gabrielle and Cassandra about their session.
SS: Gabrielle – what inspired you to put this session and panel together?
GW: We did a survey recently for one of our events – Global Direct – to gauge the interest of US organizers about taking their events offshore and found there were quite a few making plans! As a result, we thought it would be interesting to have both new and experienced (to international) show organizers speak with the European Conference delegates about taking their shows abroad from a US perspective.
SS: What surprised you most about the survey results?
GW: The amount of deep interest that people and/or companies had – including a number who have plans for going international – either launching their own shows or are actively investigating the prospect of doing so.
SS: Cassandra, as someone newer to the international arena, what is one piece (or two) of advice you would give to non-US venues and suppliers to attract US exhibition business?
CF: Firstly, venues need to come to industry events where the US people are – and be present and available, to network and create connections so US companies have someone trusted to reach out to in the decision-making process.
Secondly, be ready to be an advisor and/or CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) type resource to help people know how to navigate to get local resources – printing, AV, resources of that nature. As an organizer, I need more than just a venue – I need a whole host of resources to help me put together the event effectively. Third, think about what you can do as a venues can do to make it easier for US organizers to navigate possible languages barriers to find and build those partnerships needed..
SS: What is one piece of advice you would give to US first-timers going abroad?
CF: Use your network to learn what you don’t understand about international events. Come into the process with an open mind and manage your expectations – things are going to be different. Lean on your partners to educate you, but make your own decisions. It’s helpful to identify an experienced friend or two who have been down this road to get good advice on those decisions.
Make sure you catch this session on Thursday, May 16 at 16:30pm.