Two Women Industry Veterans Launch International Exhibitor Representation Program
For exhibiting companies unable to participate in overseas trade shows due to travel restrictions, help is on the way. Launched in early October, the International Exhibitor Representation Program enables exhibitors to continue selling and/or break into targeted markets at trade shows all over the world, even if they can’t be there in person.
Depending on the show, IERP functions as a remote booth or pavilion, using its network of in-country exhibition professionals filling in for exhibitor teams that are unable to travel to show sites, said Diane Bjorklund, founder of Chicago-based Eventful Management Group. She’s the founder of IERP along with Stephanie Selesnick, president of Las Vegas-based International Trade Information, Inc.
“Although people can’t travel, products and equipment can,” Bjorklund said. IERP works with exhibitors to ensure their booths represent their company’s brand and products professionally, returning sales leads within one week of a show’s close. Additionally, the IERP saves show organizers’ revenue, so instead of cancelling, exhibitors are able to keep their booths and/or pavilions with a professional presence at the show.
The program offers four levels and price points ranging from simple staffing for show days to turn-key packages that include pre-show promotion and appointment setting, booth construction and professional staffing. Assigned booth staff are trained pre-show by company representatives to understand their products and goals for exhibiting in a particular show. Non-U.S. companies wanting to exhibit in shows overseas can also take advantage of the program.
The investment for participating in IERP is comparable with the cost of purchasing and furnishing a booth, air travel, ground transportation, hotel and per diem expenses, said Selesnick.
“As the pandemic went on, Diane and I discussed how we could help stem the tide of lost revenue to show organizers and help international exhibitors and pavilions unable to get here still have a presence at U.S. shows,” Selesnick said. “As shows began opening in China, then Germany, we thought about expanding the model to the whole world, using our global networks.”
After testing the idea out with some show organizers and making the recommended modifications, the IERP was born. So far, the new program has received a lot of interest and enthusiasm.
“We want show organizers to look upon us a resource for both their sales team and exhibitors – and ultimately attendees who want to buy from all over the world,” Selesnick said. “We look at it as a win-win-win for everyone involved: Organizers keep the revenue from their international clients; sellers unable to get to show sites can still connect with buyers at the physical show site; [and] our exhibition friends and colleagues who have lost jobs [are] able to work for a few days.”