Discover upcoming trade shows and trade events taking place throughout 2018 that are geared towards manufacturing growth and expansion. Also, learn how to reduce your export marketing and international expansion costs by leveraging government grants.
Do you plan to exhibit at international trade shows in 2018? Trade shows and other export expansion events provide an opportunity to grow your business in new markets and drive higher global revenues. They diversify your client base, and can serve as a launching point for sustained international success. The world’s leading businesses use trade shows as an opportunity to build brand awareness and drive sales in underdeveloped, high-potential markets.
Canadian manufacturers are fortunate when it comes to participating in export trade shows, since government funding is available to offset up to 50% of trade show expenses. Top export development grants include CanExport and Export Market Access (EMA). These programs are vital to being proactive with export market development, since they can strategically reduce the costs of booth rental, travel and accommodation, and even the translation of marketing materials.
To help you get started with government funding-assisted trade show participation, we’ve pooled together top export resources and trade shows within this article.
How to Find and Evaluate Export Trade Shows
Manufacturers should begin the process of finding and evaluating trade shows by determining their ultimate objective of export expansion projects. Is brand exposure the main objective? Establishing contacts to support new sales? Understanding what outcome you’re wanting to achieve will shape the selection of events you wish to attend.
Once you’ve identified the main reason for driving your international expansion, it becomes easier to search for and identify top trade shows. We recommend using databases and trade show resources (such as the following) to guide your event discovery efforts:
Government of Canada or Ontario Trade Calendar
- Exporter Education: The provincial and federal governments will occasionally lead exporter education events, such as the popular New Exporters to Border States (NEBS) program that helps clarify what’s needed to being exporting abroad. These sessions are an excellent way to align your business for exporting success. Search the Government of Ontario’s exporter education directory. Search the Government of Canada’s exporter education directory.
- Trade Event Directory: Includes trade missions and trade shows providing an opportunity for Canadian businesses to exhibit and make connections to foreign business executives. Search the Government of Ontario’s event directory. Search the Government of Canada’s event directory.
10times: Global Trade Shows and Conferences
As a leading directory for trade shows and conferences, 10times provides excellent insight into global growth opportunities your business. Users can search for top export marketing opportunities within a few seconds, providing excellent visibility into the full range of events you may wish to participate in.
Website visitors can search for trade shows and conferences by city, country, industry, or event name to gain greater insight into those events most important to their business’ success.
10times also maintains tailored lists of the 100 top trade shows in a particular country or industry segment. For example, businesses can easily search for the top 100 American trade shows, and the top 100 manufacturing and fabrication trade shows.
Events in America: The #1 Trade Show Site in the United States
Events in America is one of the most comprehensive databases of professional events and trade shows in the United States, and also lists many Canadian-based trade shows too.
Business leaders can use the site to quickly look up trade shows by name, industry, or keyword (such as technology). This reveals an extensive listing of trade shows and events that are targeted towards Canada’s top trading partner, and helps to remain focused on the events most likely to spur your success south of the border.
One of the greatest benefits of using Events in America is that it saves much of the time needed to evaluate the market potential for USA-based trade shows. Instead of having to search for past attendee and exhibitor counts, Events in America lists these (for most events) which helps to identify large, well-known events, and prioritize these over smaller, niche-based economic events.
Top Trade Shows for Canadian Businesses in 2018
Although we advise performing your own research into top exporting events, we’ve used the three resources listed above to curate a tailored selection of international trade shows worth participating in during the first and second quarter of 2018. Consider the following trade shows when developing your business’ 2018 exporting plans.
International Manufacturing Trade Shows in 2018
Manufacturing trade shows are an excellent way to boost competitiveness in foreign markets. Some of the largest and most important trade shows happening in 2018 include:
- Eurasia Glass Fair: March 7-10, 2018
(Istanbul, Turkey) The Eurasia Glass Fair brings together leading manufacturers and decision makers of the industrial glass products, glass production technologies, tampered glass, glass production machinery, glass processing machinery, tempered glass, flat glass, and laminated glass industries.
Attendees: 61,129 Exhibitors: 585 Ratio: 104.5 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- Natural Products Expo West: March 9-11, 2018
(Anaheim, CA, United States of America) Natural Products Expo West is the world's largest natural, organic and healthy products event. It’s the preeminent show for spotting trends in the food and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, attended by industry pioneers and a new generation of innovators shaping the future of healthy products.
Attendees: 80,000 Exhibitors: 3,100 Ratio: 25.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- South by Southwest (SXSW): March 11-14, 2018
(Austin, TX, United States of America) South by Southwest (SXSW) is an annual conglomerate of interactive media, technology, film, and music festivals and conferences. Its trade show component highlights the integrations and overlaps between SXSW’s converging industries, hosting a diverse range of forward-thinking exhibitors ranging from promising startups to established industry leaders.
Attendees: 74,519 Exhibitors: 300 Ratio: 248.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- WIN Eurasia: March 15-18, 2018
(Istanbul, Turkey) WIN Eurasia will provide exhibitors and visitors the unique opportunity to showcase and experience the entire manufacturing industry. From sheet metal processing to metal forming technologies, automation services to electric and electronic equipment, and hydraulic & pneumatic services to intralogistics, WIN EURASIA 2018 will be bringing all the ecosystem needed for the future’s factories.
Attendees: 100,899 Exhibitors: 1,716 Ratio: 58.8 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- Cosmopack: March 15-18, 2018
(Bologna, Italy) Cosmopack is the leading international event focused on packaging design, contract manufacturing, raw materials, machinery and all services for the cosmetic industry. The creative content and innovative products exhibited make this fair a unique event.
Attendees: 250,000 Exhibitors: 2,510 Ratio: 99.6 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- Interzum Guangzhou: March 28-31, 2018
(Guangzhou, China) Interzum Guangzhou is Asia's largest and most influential furniture production and woodworking trade fair. The event is a sourcing platform for the furniture production industry; if you wish to sell into the Asian market, then this is an excellent opportunity to make new contacts and develop and refine your expansion strategy.
Attendees: 83,356 Exhibitors: 1,396 Ratio: 59.7 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- Hannover Messe: April 23-27, 2018
(Hannover, Germany) Hannover Messe is the world’s leading industrial show. It combines five trade fairs to provide a comprehensive look at industrial innovation areas, including energy, research and technology, and industrial supply. Get to know groundbreaking technologies, benefit from valuable synergies, and launch new projects – all in one place.
Attendees: 225,000 Exhibitors: 6,500 Ratio: 34.6 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
- Mecanica International Trade Fair for Mechanics and Manufacturing Systems: May 8-12, 2018
(São Paulo, Brazil) The International Trade Fair for Mechanics and Integrated Manufacturing Systems is one of the biggest global machinery and equipment trade fairs. It presents the entire spectrum of innovations in the machinery and tooling sector, and will be one of the year's most important and crucial meeting place for industrial equipment buyers and sellers.
Attendees: 76,500 Exhibitors: 2,100 Ratio: 36.4 Attendees/Exhibitor (Approximate Values)
Canadian Government Funding for Trade Shows in 2018
Accessing government funding for trade shows is essential to maximize your export marketing efforts. By applying for government grants, companies can reduce trade show costs such as travel, lodging, booth rental, and marketing material translation. When used strategically, these funds can greatly improve the impact of your next trade show.
CanExport: Canadian Government Grants for Exporting
One of the funding programs your business may be able to use is CanExport. CanExport is a Canadian government grant designed to support the export marketing and international expansion activities of up to 1,000 businesses per year.
- Amount: Up to 50% of eligible expenses or $10,000-99,999 in cost matching funds per year.
- Projects: Marketing activities in export markets not sold to in the last 24 months, including one trade show, translation costs, marketing, market research, & related costs.
- Timeline: One project open at any one time. Can apply for funding year-round.
- Eligibility: 1+ years incorporated, 1-250 people on payroll, $200k-50M in annual, taxed revenues, and not in the food industry.
Export Market Access (EMA): Ontario Government Grants for Exporting
Similar to CanExport, Export Market Access (EMA) provides government grants for trade show participation. However, only Ontario-based business can apply and there are other subtle differences, including a smaller potential contribution and higher number of trade shows that can be included per application.
- Amount: Max of $30k non-repayable or 50% of project. Can include up to three trade shows per application.
- Projects: Participating in foreign tradeshows, developing marketing materials for new markets, and receiving product certifications to sell goods in international countries.
- Timeline: Must allow 30 business days for approval prior to first payment of booth rental or air fare expenses. Can apply year-round.
- Eligibility: Ontario-based company with 5-500 people on payroll, >$500k in revenues and 2 years incorporated.
Apply for Trade Show Funding in Advance of Trade Shows
When applying for government funding, businesses must keep in mind that it can take up to a month or longer to prepare a detailed application that fully and accurately demonstrates your business’ strategic exporting opportunity.
Furthermore, review of these applications can take several weeks to several months. After this time, a business may be formally approved for funding, and can begin making project spends. To receive Canadian government funding for trade shows in early 2018, it’s recommended that businesses begin the research and application process as soon as possible.
To learn more about funding and get started with the application process, please contact Mentor Works.