What you should know about International Exhibiting

International Exhibiting

Archex being a Canadian based company, the question of what actually determines and defines international exhibiting always arises.

It is obvious and apparent that exhibiting in Europe, Asia or any other overseas countries is definitely considered international.

But the question remains – Is exhibiting in the United States considered international?

There is also the reverse side of the coin where any exhibitor coming from overseas into Canada or the US is in for some real sticker shock experiences.

For all intents and purposes, we will consider international exhibiting doing so anyplace that the rules and typical services related to a tradeshow are different than domestically.

What will you, as an exhibitor see when it comes to international exhibiting and how will it affect you?

CANADA Exhibiting in USA

  • Dollar exchange rate to be taken into account making virtually everything higher in bottom line cost.
  • Much higher net pricing on show services including material handling, electrical, internet etc.
  • Much more stringent Union rules when dealing with services and show floor labour.
  • Far more hoops to jump through when it comes to approvals for such items as hanging signs, electrical cords etc.
  • Transport Marshalling Yards are much more prevalent and can affect move in and move out.
  • Advance Warehouses for transport are common. There is a premium charge for Materials Handling but freight arrival is more predictable.
  • Most exhibit transport shipment from Canada into the US are subject to Customs and Duties based on the declared value of the exhibit & client samples.
  • In almost all cases there will be an Official Contractor or Official Decorator assigned to the show by the Show Management. This Official is typically a central point of contact for service ordering.

OVERSEAS Exhibiting in USA

  • Dollar exchange rate to be taken into account which varies by country.
  • Unexpected costs such as material handling, electrical fees are not included in space rental.
  • Flooring is much different. Raised floors are not standard and carpet is much plusher and more expensive.
  • Electrical service is 110V and equipment must be converted from 220v to 110v.
  • Labor Unions are common and can result in much higher costs.
  • Booth spaces are measured in imperial with 10’ increments being the norm.
  • Height restrictions are typically 8’ as opposed to 3m high.
  • Furniture selection is very basic and not European in style.


  • Far fewer restrictions on what your team can and cannot do for setup.
  • Labor Unions are virtually nonexistent although some duties require local assistance and ordering.
  • Electrical is typically 220v and North American equipment requires conversion.
  • Many exhibits are built directly onsite with minimal prefab work done prior to show. This style is referred to a “Build & Burn”.
  • Installation times are extended in terms of days.
  • Flooring is typically raised floors but fabric carpet can be used. Local carpet is closer to a velour than typical North American carpet.
  • In many parts of Europe there are material restrictions related to fire proofing and flame retardancy.
  • Height restrictions are typically 3 meters as opposed to 8′ in North America.
  • Booth spaces are measured and assigned in metric increments of 3m wide being standard which is equivalent to just under 10′.
  • Single source points of contact such as Official Decorators are not as common and exhibitors will be required to deal with multiple levels of contact ranging from show management to local and state government contacts.

In summary, exhibiting either domestically or internationally can vary to a great degree in terms of the details you need to be aware of and pay attention too.

Whenever or wherever you plan to exhibit your best source of information, Archex, your preferred International Trade Show Exhibits provider, whom should be well versed on the ins and outs.