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5 simple steps for Russian exhibition success


Russia. The world’s largest country’s construction sector hit $182.5 billion of output in 2015. It’s also predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.52% until 2020, showing the sector’s lucrative potential.
If you are considering expanding your business into Russia, exhibiting at industry trade shows like MosBuild is a sure-fire method of finding success – but only if you take some simple steps. Here are five solid pieces of advice to help you with exhibiting at Russian trade shows. Follow them and your already high chances for prosperity will improve drastically. 
1. Understand Russian business culture – There are a few unique quirks that set Russia’s business culture apart from the world. Hierarchy and status is a big part of how Russians do business. The most senior figure will often be the decision maker. Russians tend be transactional, but do place an emphasis trust and face-to-face communication. 
Getting a grasp of how Russians do business will better prepare you for interaction with your visitors. There are multiple guides online on this topic. Give one a read before you head to Russia.
2. Prepare in advance – Benjamin Franklin’s old quote still rings true: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” The earlier you start planning your trip to Russia the better. It is no use if you have booked a stand to find your visa has not come through, or none of your appointments have been confirmed.
It is best to arrange any meetings or appointments you plan on making at a Russian exhibition at least one month in advance. It can take a while to set up meetings in Russia, so the earlier you begin the dialogue, the better. 
Set your team some clear objectives. What do you want to achieve at this show? What can your business offer a Russian businessperson no one else can? Securing a native partner is one of the biggest steps towards creating a successful venture in Russia. Make sure you have a clear agenda established, and the event will run much smoother.
3. Love the local language – Picture the scene. Your stand is eye-popping; your team is drilled on your message and show objectives; brochures look stunning; products are ready for demonstration. But panic! None of your team speaks Russian, none of your literature is in the local language and your signage is distinctly non-bi-lingual. Success seems a dim prospect if this is the case – even if 30% of Russians speak some degree of English.
All of the above can be solved with a few simple measures. Namely, by hiring a translator or interpreter to join you at your stand. Make sure all of your brochures, leaflets and business cards are both in Russian and English. Otherwise, communication will be unnecessarily tough.
4. Harness hospitality for some big wins – Russians are famed for their hospitality worldwide, and always enjoy being made welcome. A little hospitality can go a long way, especially in a business culture reliant on forming trust. The idea is to make your visitors more relaxed, and make your stand more attractive to passers-by.
At your stand, consider offering some refreshments, such as teas, coffees and waters. You might even consider some alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, champagne and, of course, vodka. Have some snacks handy too. Russians are always open to experiencing new cuisines, so why not give them a chance to try some of your homeland’s delicacies? 
Russians also enjoy receiving a good gift (who doesn’t?) – especially if it is a memento and souvenir of your country. If you can work these into promotional materials, then even better. You will be giving a gift and promoting your business at the same time.
5. Speak with the event organisers – When in doubt, get in touch with the exhibition organisers. They will have done and seen it all when it comes to setting up Russian trade shows, and will have years of advice and experience to share.
Exhibition companies want your business to have a great show. As such, if you have any questions or queries on how best to prepare for a Russian exhibition, simply get in touch with the event coordinator. They will be able to give you a run down on all the ins and outs you need to know. 
Succeeding at Russian exhibitions is easy
Simply stick with the above tips and you will find any of the Russian construction, building and interiors shows you attend will be a breeze. Russia is a huge market, with billions of dollars of market potential, and trade shows can put you in front of the right people at the right time. Attend an ITE event and find out for yourself.


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Tanya Aleksankina

International Sales Manager - Interiors sectors


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