Why international exhibitions should be an integral part of your exporting strategy – by Melissa Erwin, International Officer at Medilink UK

For over 20 years, the International Team at Medilink UK has supported hundreds of life sciences, healthcare and medical technology companies at exhibitions which serve as global platforms for promoting their medical solutions, products and services to other sector and industry professionals from around the world. After a year of travel restrictions and postponements of physical events, people are longing to get back to the normality of face-to-face interactions and being able to build connections in person. In this blog post, I will explain how trade shows can support the overseas expansion of your business and why they should be an integral part of your exporting strategy.

Usually lasting between three and four days, the exhibitions we are involved in are held throughout the year in different regions, attracting local and global visitors and allowing you to achieve numerous goals simultaneously, for example:

  • seeking new contacts and opportunities for future business
  • strengthening relationships with existing clients and partners
  • finding a local or regional dealer and distributor
  • discussing products and services with end-users
  • raising company profile
  • increasing brand exposure

A single event can attract tens of thousands of delegates, including leading healthcare professionals, distributors and agents. During an exhibition, companies can take part in hundreds of meetings with the contacts they are looking for and network with decision makers in a business-focused environment.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many trade shows have incorporated digital solutions to help attendees connect, despite the travel and distance restrictions. There is a growing popularity of ‘hybrid’ exhibitions, which combine both physical and digital elements, allowing for further networking and promotion opportunities, while maximising your return on investment. This can benefit you beforehand (by doing your research and organising meetings), during the event (conducting these meetings, building those relationships and demonstrating your products or services in person) and afterwards (following up with a stronger chance of replies as the face-to-face relationship has already been established).

Most exhibitions have a conference schedule which can be a great way to share your knowledge and keep up-to-date with latest innovations, trends and topics in specific markets. These conferences often include lectures and presentations from key industry players and experts. Research the agenda and sign up for those that interest you.

A lot of business and networking takes place between exhibitors too, not just exhibitor to visitor, so if you are able to, have a walk around the show, always ensuring that your stand is manned to not miss out on any potential leads. You can also keep an eye on any potential competition this way. Most events have a great filter tool where all exhibitors are listed by country and product sector to do your research in advance. Keep up to date with our future blog posts to find out how to make the most out of your exhibition stand.

These events typically run for eight hours a day, but outside of this time, you can immerse yourself in the culture and learn more about the region to get the most out of your international experience.

The International Team at Medilink UK plans the British pavilion or acts as the UK agent for a range of healthcare trade shows, with some of them being the largest and most reputable across the globe. I hope this blog post has convinced you that international exhibitions can be a valuable addition to your exporting strategy, regardless of whether you are a new or experienced exporter. For further information, our schedule of events for the next year, or to discuss your requirements, please contact: [email protected] / 0114 232 9272.

Keep up-to-date with the announcements of future exhibitions on:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/medilink-noe

Twitter: @MedilinkINT