Here are a few exhibiting and special event tips for those companies exhibiting in India for the first time:
What’s a stall?
A stall is another word for exhibit. In the U.S. it is typically referred to as an exhibit, in Europe and the rest of the world the term “stand” is used more frequently. Here in India, it’s commonly referred to as a stall or stand.
What are the electrical requirements?
Typical electrical sockets require three round pins; the voltage is 240. You may need to bring adapters and transformers for larger pieces of equipment – although the EP&M India team can provide transformers and stabilizers as required.
Cell phones – will mine work?
This question is best answered by your mobile phone service provider. Even if your provider does offer international calling, you should be aware that not all local service carriers do. Therefore, it’s best to research this thoroughly based on where you will be visiting to ensure the service you need to do business.
What are the exhibit hall conditions and venue resources?
India’s exhibition industry is evolving and improving, however, conditions vary from venue to venue. It is safe to assume that the conditions will not be what American and European exhibitors are used to. Once you know where you will be exhibiting, the EP&M India team can provide a detailed report on the venue. Frequently, our team checks out a stand (exhibit) site and reports back on anything amiss, such as columns not identified on floor plans or other impediments exhibitors are not expecting.
Are prices all-inclusive or are there additional taxes?
Since 2005, sales tax was replaced with a VAT (Value Added Tax) in India. As of May 2016, the exceptions are Andaman, Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Island. EP&M India provides a comprehensive – all inclusive – budget for each project.
Do I need shots to visit?
The answer is entirely dependent upon where you are traveling from. Please refer to your home country’s rules and regulations on health concerns and immunizations, as well as passport and Visa questions.
What is the labor like?
Unlike American exhibition venues, there are no labor unions setting rates and services at each venue. Therefore, labor rates vary. Additionally, unskilled labor will not likely speak English or European languages, so it’s important to work with an exhibit house that can take care of this for you. Our EP&M team provides labor and supervision for install and dismantle, as well as technical support for AV.
Does anyone speak English?
International business is generally conducted in English. It is perfectly acceptable to have all exhibit materials, including graphics and handouts, in English.
I’ve heard traffic is a nightmare: Is that true?
Everything you’ve heard is true. For an accurate understanding, search “driving in India” on YouTube. We recommend you hire a car and driver for your entire stay (arranged through a reputable source).
We use the expression “Indian time” for a reason – time is fluid for native Indians. In fact, whereas outside India the train time posted is the departure time, in India it’s the arrival time. If you are invited for dinner at 7 p.m. and you show up at 7 p.m., you are at least two hours early.
The air quality is frequently poor: Be prepared if you have respiratory problems or allergies.
There are overwhelming crowds of poor and homeless people. Some may find Westerners a curiosity and ask for a photo.
Follow smart personal safety practices – especially in crowds at major tourist attractions. Do not show cash, electronics, etc. and watch out for pickpockets.
Women should dress appropriately, avoiding short skirts and low-cut tops.
Exhibitors typically offer snacks, nuts, cookies and soft drinks for visitors to the stall (exhibit) – it can be simple or elaborate, depending on the size of the booth. You can usually bring food in from the outside.
It’s not unusual for a business dinner to start at 9 p.m. – generally, dinner in restaurants is served after 7 p.m.
Due to the large Muslim population, alcohol may not be a part of entertaining at all times.