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Rock Your Trade Show: Inspiring interviews with Industry Insiders, Executive Leaders, Marketers and Influencers who share their insights, challenges and lessons learned so you can rock Your next trade show.

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Jul 31, 2017

Planning to exhibit at an international trade show?  There are a lot of details for global exhibiting and it can be hard to know where to start.  Don Schmid, Lead Global Trade Shows at Pfizer and President of HCEA (Healthcare Convention & Exhibitor Association) shares his wealth of knowledge about exhibiting both in the U.S. and globally. After working 21 years at Chrysler he moved into a new industry working first at GE Healthcare and now after a recent merger is with Pfizer.  Don shares his experiences in this interview and offers key strategies every exhibitor can use for their trade show program. 

4 Global Conference Power Tips

  1. Act Global-Live Local. When looking to exhibit outside of the U.S., it is really important to know local rules and regulations.  Don shared an example of how the Italian Ministry of health requires a 60 day notice before allowing a symposia and it is not flexible. Missing deadlines in a country can be very expensive and in some cases require the event to be re-scheduled.
  2. Understand Privacy Rules: In 2018 a new privacy law GDPR is going into effect in Europe that will change how companies can collect leads at trade shows.
  3. Stay Up to Date: Laws change in different countries and it is important to keep up to date on things like VAT tax, if you are in healthcare restrictions for HCP’s and other industry specific rules.
  4. US Based ROI Goals May Not Apply: Some countries don’t allow lead capture at all, so the traditional thinking of lead capture as an ROI indicator should be adjusted for the culture and country of the global conference. Once you know the local rules it is easier to establish the goals for the conference.  It may be more about conversations and access in a face-to-face environment and less about quantity of badge scans. 

In addition to discussing global trade shows, Don shared the power of joining, volunteering and engaging with an industry association like HCEA (Healthcare Convention and Exhibitor Association)

5 Reasons to Join an Industry Association:

  1. Build Your Personal Network: Mergers are all around us. Making connections when  you don’t need them is critical to being fluid in times of change
  2. Experiential Learning: Volunteering is one of the best ways to quickly build transferrable skills to your career.
  3. Gain Recognition: Getting involved with a committee and moving into a board role allows your employer to see the value you add to an organization.
  4. Education and Trends: Think about getting a CTSM or CME certification so that you can stay on top of industry trends.
  5. Increase Career Options: Once you have built a network, gained skills and are viewed as an industry expert through education the options for career transitions become broader.

If you are in Healthcare-the HCEA Connect conference is coming up in Chicago August 13-16 is a great place to start.

Favorite Resources:

International Trade Shows by Larry Kulchawik

Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull

Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley

You can find Don Schmid on LinkedIn and contact him if you have a question.

Have a question about how to exhibit globally?  Reach out to me, I love hearing from.  Be sure to visit Rock Your Trade Show for the latest episodes, trends and insider tips!

 Credits: A big thanks to Christy Haussler and Team Podcast for editing this episode!