If you are an international business looking for new markets, the UK is an excellent destination for expanding your reach. With the second largest population in Europe (66 million as of 2017) and the fifth largest economy in the world by GDP, Britain is a market that cannot be ignored.
Britain’s decision to exit the European Union has sent shockwaves through the business world, particularly in the exhibition industry, shown by the recent survey where 50% of EVCOM members expected lower profitability for their businesses. However, on the flip side of this the UK’s departure from the EU means there is the potential for new international businesses to expand into a marketplace looking for fresh business deals and suppliers, should the trade relationship with the rest of the EU become strained.
Britain’s place as one of the European hubs for exhibitions and trade shows is supposedly under threat, but it’s not all doom and gloom: Britain is still a great place for business events, with UK exhibitions attracting 13 million visitors each year and 20% of those attendees coming from outside the UK.
Here’s a few reasons why the UK is still a great place for businesses to attend or exhibit at trade events:
English is now undoubtedly the global business language allowing for easier trade across countries and continents. Whilst there are obvious benefits for American exhibitors in the UK, many international companies will also have fluent English sales reps allowing for better interactions with attendees and other exhibitors.
The popularity of the English language means that dealing with British event organisers and contractors can be easier than exhibiting in other countries.
Britain has some excellent transport links to its major cities, with many reasonably priced flights from mainland Europe, the USA and further afield.
Although (don’t forget!) British people drive on the left, due to the relatively small size of the country and high population density, getting around via public transport is quick and straightforward.
The main exhibition centres in the country are the NEC in Birmingham and Excel and Olympia in London, with each of these venues easily accessible by public transport. With trains taking just 1-2 hours running between these two cities, you will find it easy to exhibit at multiple events if required.
The UK has some truly world-class venues, mainly centred around the two biggest cities: London and Birmingham, although there are many top venues that are made accessible by the fact that Britain is a relatively small country compared to other expo hubs such as the US, France and Germany.
Although the NEC and Excel have the most prestigious trade events, industry-specific exhibitions can be very much spread out all over the country.
To find a trade show for your business, take a look at our UK exhibition calendar which list all of the biggest and best shows in the country.
Exhibitions such as Spring Fair International & The London Boat Show attract a global audience to the UK’s shores. With a reputation for attracting the best businesses from around the world, Britain’s trade events are the main reason businesses choose to exhibit in the country.
These events are organised by some top-quality professional event organisers who are on hand to provide all the information you need leading up the event. There is also a booming event services industry which can be found online or through the event organiser, ranging from services like drayage to exhibition stand design and build.
With Britain ranking as one of the easiest countries in the world for doing business and with the pound currently at its lowest rate for over 30 years, trading with British companies is as easy and even more profitable than it has ever been for international businesses.
A Great Place to Visit
Whilst the main objective of a trade show is to attract new business, it is also a great bonding exercise for you and your sales team. Taking a few days off to see the iconic landmarks around the country such as Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace or Edinburgh Castle is a great way to get to know more of this historic and fast-moving country.
Many of the country’s top attractions won’t break the bank either with most of its world-famous art galleries and museums completely free to enter. Many people miss out on the countryside during their visit to Britain, with quaint English villages that will take you back in time set in national parks such as The Lake District or The Cotswolds.
If you are an international business looking to expand your reach there are several things to consider when exhibiting in the UK such as delivery costs, health and safety regulations and even the different terminology used in Britain.
Despite this, the benefits of exhibiting at a trade show in Britain far outweigh the negatives due to the country’s largely affluent customer base, ambitious and wide-ranging trade events with the added benefit of language benefits of doing business in an English-speaking country.