International Trade Shows
It is quite self-evident: as a provider of translation services we work with companies that operate internationally.
Many of our customers which focus on specific markets overseas or look for international exposure, exhibit on international trade shows. If they take part in trade shows regularly, it’s especially important for them to issue new marketing material and up-to-date brochures and catalogues for those exhibitions.
Exhibiting in a trade show takes a lot of effort and preparation. You check the deadlines for the fair, register on time, take care that your stand is ready on a timely manner, get your brochures to the printer ahead of time, among so many other tasks.
During the preparations you should also be thinking about scheduling the marketing material for translation on time.
Multilingual Trade Show Material
We have been experiencing an increasing demand of translations of brochures, press releases and other commercial messages when a big trade show approaches, especially into the language of the country in which the trade show takes place. For example, we see peaks in the demand for German, English, French and Chinese in the months where many trade shows are scheduled, such as September, November, February and May.
Is it necessary to get your marketing material translated? In which languages does it need to be available? That depends on the trade show, the visitors and your goals. Is the focus centred on one regional market? Then it will probably be enough having the material available in only that language. If we are talking, on the other hand, about an international trade show intended to attract professionals of a particular industry from around the world, it will make sense to at least have the documents available in English.
We’ve noticed that companies that do not attend trade shows frequently tend to think about translating their materials at a very late stage when setting up the campaign plan. Very often the final draft is scheduled to be ready on the week before the fair starts, so as to be able to send it to the printer on time. And as a result, the translation of the documents ends up being squeezed in the days between the completion of that final draft and the date set up for printing, leaving a mere few days left to produce the multilingual versions.
Each provider of translation services tries hard to meet these very tight deadlines, while, in fact, the time needed to translate a text is comparable to the time needed to write the original. Marketing materials require texts that aren’t translated literally, word-for-word, but which read as if they were originally written in that language. The effect you want to achieve in the message you communicate is the same in both original as in translated text. The quality of the translation will benefit from a proper briefing and enough time to translate the text, and from an additional review with a creative eye set on the target group. In reality, what very often happens, is that the brochure, which needed three weeks to be written, now has to be translated within three days.
Make sure the translator has freed their schedule to be at your company’s disposal!
Don’t leave the translation step for the last minute. Announce the translation jobs ahead of time and deliver the materials to the translation professional on the announced date. Only in this way you can make sure that the translator is available on the planned day and is not working on a translation for the same trade show for a competitor. Do you have multiple documents to be translated? Why wait? You can send the available texts as soon as they are final to the translation agency so they can start working already on the available material.
As a provider of translation services we try to accommodate to the tight deadlines while delivering optimal quality. However, we might be forced to refuse an assignment if we can’t guarantee quality you are used to by the required deadline.
Make sure that your business cards are “international-ready” before you visit a foreign trade show. Are all the company details there, including your country name? Does the phone number include the country code? Does it make sense to translate your business card into Chinese?
Have you made the decision to make your promotion material and banners available in more languages? Having them proofread by a native speaker is a wise move. After all, it is so easy to make a typo or a small translation mistake, influencing your company’s message and image.
Trade Show Month September
Many international trade shows take place in September. That is certainly the case in Europe and in Germany in particular.