It is not really advisable
to take a German exhibition stand to India without making adjustments. However,
you should not be overcautious when entering a new market. Six tips will make
life easier for you.
Rudra Kanta Dutta
Director Holtmann India Desk
Present yourself adequately
Your stand size should reflect the importance of your company. If your company is a market leader in Europe, a 20 square metre stand will not suffice for an adequate presence in India. Exhibitors benefit from favourable rates in India –stand rents there are 20 to 30 per cent lower than in Europe.
Adjust design and materials
Stand designs in India are rather similar to those in Germany. Straight, clean lines dominate. In India it is also advisable to add a few surprising elements, if you want to stand out from the competition. But you need to be careful when choosing materials. Plywood, which is almost an inevitable choice for many stands in Europe, looks cheap and old-fashioned to Indian visitors.
Clarify locational issues
More and more centres for international fairs in India are now very well equipped, air-conditioned and easy to reach. However, the exhibitor needs to be aware of specific constraints in hall design – which may have an impact on your stand. It is normally not possible to suspend ceiling danglers, as most halls have no fixation points. If you fail to take account of such details, you may face expensive last-minute design adjustments.
Plan your time effectively
At German fairs exhibitors normally have five days or more for setting up their stands, while in India the set-up period is only two to three days. This requires a well-organised project management and more staff on site. Indian companies often plan their trade fair appearances at much shorter notice. Stand builders often work round the clock in shifts using pre-fabricated elements to work as swiftly as required. Hence, it makes sense for German companies to ask for regular updates on the project status.
Take advantage of local contacts
It is important to have a network of local partners with experience and testimonials from European exhibitors. This will ensure that exhibitors have the right personnel and that construction elements and stand furnishings are delivered on time.
Have it built on site
In general, there is no need to ship your stand. It is normally much cheaper to have it built on site. Only your exhibits need to be shipped or flown to India. In exceptional cases this is also advisable for particularly elaborate models or stand design components that need to be absolutely uniform world-wide.
The Langenhagen-based fair specialist Holtmann has launched an India Desk for German companies who want to exhibit in India. It also supports Indian exhibitors and implements their stands in Germany – such as the Indian pavilion at Hannover Messe 2015.
This article was published in TFI issue 5/2015
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