Business English for
Trade Shows & Expos
Learning Business English for Trade Shows & Expos will come in handy whether you’re gearing up for the biggest Expo of all time, Expo2020 Dubai, or you need a little help with communicating in English at trade shows or exposition events.
Business English for Trade Shows & Expos refers to specific business English vocabulary for effective communication at such events. One particular event comes to mind this year, the long awaited Expo2020 Dubai, which starts on 1st October.
Some interesting facts for you:
• The first World Expo or Great Exhibition was in London in 1851.
• Dubai won the bid to host Expo on 27th November, 2013 and will be the first city to hold Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region.
• More than 200 participants from more than 190 countries are expected to attend Expo 2020 Dubai.
• The event was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however it kept the name ‘Expo 2020 Dubai’
• Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future
• The next World Expo will be staged by Japan in 2025. Japan’s focus for their Expo is designing a future society.
Business English used at trade shows & expos covers many scenarios, one of which is asking questions to people you haven’t met before.
Here are some useful questions to ask about you and your company:
1. What is the name of your company?
2. Where is your Head Office?
3. What is the size of your company?
4. In which countries do you operate?
5. What are your main products/services?
6. Who are your most important markets?
7. Who are your main competitors?
8. What is your position in the company?
9. What are your main responsibilities?
10. Are you/Is your department/Is your company currently working on any special projects?
Useful Business English Vocabulary for Trade Shows & Expos:
Expo / Exposition: A national or global event that is designed to exhibit fundamental solutions to life situations.
Expos usually have a topic or theme and are full of product demos and interaction with visitors. These public events gather thousands of people locally and internationally. Expos can be both large and small and is where businesses showcase their products.
Trade Show/Trade Fair: An event where businesses in a similar industry gather to display and demonstrate all their new products and services. Most trade shows focus on a particular industry, such as aviation, computers, tourism, smartphones, automobiles, etc. They are usually held in large conference or convention centres. Examples of top trade shows are The American International Toy Fair, CES (Consumer Electronics Show), InfoComm, ‘POWER-GEN International, Mobile World Congress (MWC), Geneva International Motor Show and Pure London.
Exhibition Booth: A structure or display used to exhibit products, a brand or a message at a trade show or an exposition. The word stand is used in European and British English.
“Our booth looked very professional at the trade fair.”
To circulate: To move around the different areas of a trade fair/exposition.
“Our colleagues were circulating all the time to find out the latest news about all the companies present at the trade fair.”
Aisle: The space between booths where people walk.
“The aisles at the trade fair we attended were really narrow, so it got very crowded.”
Freebies: Products or merchandise that are offered as free gifts.
“Some visitors are only looking for freebies and aren’t really interested in the products or services.”
Assembly: The process of setting up a booth/stand.
“We needed a team of four for the assembly of our booth.”
Floor Plan: A map of the trade fair where one can see the size and location of all the booths.
“Make sure you have a copy of the floor plan, especially on the first day, so that you can find your way around and not get lost.”
Linear Display: A booth that’s generally arranged in a straight line and has other booths on its right and left, leaving only one side exposed to the aisle.
“We decided a linear display would be a good idea to get maximum visibility.”
Island booth: An Island Booth is any size booth exposed to aisles on all four sides.
Podium: A platform on which people can stand to be seen by an audience.
“There were guest speakers making announcements on the podium in the central area of the fair.”
Portable Exhibit or Pop-up booth: A booth that can be reused at other trade fairs as it can be set up and dismantled and transported easily.
“We went for a portable exhibit because we were attending several trade fairs in a short period of time.”
Exhibition coordinator: The person responsible for the organisation and logistics of a trade fair or exhibition.
The Exhibition Coordinator is responsible for coordinating multiple projects within the Exhibitions Department.
Exhibit Directory: A list which shows all the participating exhibitors and their locations in the trade show or exposition.
“The exhibit directory had to be reprinted as there were several cancellations.”
Leaflets: A leaflet is an informative or promotional printed publication that is made of a single sheet of paper, folded into parts such as bi-folds and tri-folds. Leaflets are generally used to inform and educate the general public.
“Our leaflets were very professionally designed.”
Brochures: A booklet with detailed information about a product or service, used as promotional or advertising material. A brochure contains multiple pages.
“Our brochures were appreciated by customers and business partners alike.”
Contacts: People who can give you useful information that can help you in your business.
“Trade fairs are great opportunities to find new customers and contacts.”
Networking: Meeting and interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.
“I’m hoping to do some networking at the trade show to build some good contacts and potential clients.”