Looking to find overseas buyers? Some products, because of their nature, are difficult to sell unless potential overseas partners have an opportunity to examine the items in person and engage with product representatives. Why not do what thousands of U.S. companies are already doing? Diversify your international selling strategy by either presenting your products at major foreign trade shows, or by meeting with foreign buyers at U.S. trade shows. The U.S. Commercial Service has many services to enhance your trade show experience. Interested? Learn more by viewing Trade Shows, the third of five videos in the Finding Foreign Buyers set.
Last Published: 3/13/2018

International Business Trade Shows 

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Export Trade Show Programs

Develop new trade leads, partnering opportunities, and sales in your international selling strategies by leveraging U.S. Department of Commerce assistance at domestic and worldwide export trade shows. Below are examples of how to find international buyers through popular trade event programs:

International Buyer Program

  • The International Buyer Program (IBP) supports major domestic trade shows featuring U.S. products and services with high export potential. U.S. Commercial Service trade experts located at U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide recruit prospective foreign buyers to attend selected trade shows, and match them with U.S. exhibitors. 
  • Along with networking opportunities, participating U.S. companies benefit from hands-on export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services by Commerce’s country and industry experts.
  • Each year, the IBP selects and promotes about 30 U.S. trade shows that attract an average of 13,000 foreign buyers. The result is hundreds of millions of dollars in new business for U.S. exhibitors in a variety of leading industrial sectors.  

Certified Trade Fairs

  • Trade fairs are “shop windows” where thousands of companies from many countries display their goods and services. The fairs serve as a marketplace where buyers and sellers can meet with mutual convenience. 
  • Many trade fairs are certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The certified show/U.S. pavilion represents a U.S. Department of Commerce endorsement, ensuring a high-quality, multifaceted opportunity for American companies to successfully market overseas.
  • At the U.S.-themed pavilion, U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals assist American businesses by facilitating access to foreign buyers, agents, and industry representatives. Services include pre-show industry/country market briefings, one-on-one export counseling, onsite promotion, and more. Each year, the U.S. Department of Commerce certifies some 100 events in more than 23 countries in a variety of industry sectors.

Catalog Shows

  • Overseas catalog shows offer a convenient, affordable way to stimulate interest in your firm's products and services from the comfort of your office. U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists located in international markets will translate your company profile into the local language, display your marketing materials, collect sales leads from interested local buyers, and then assist you as you follow up with the local contacts.
Discover Global Markets is the U.S. Department of Commerce’s flagship event for U.S. exporters. Organized by the U.S. Commercial Service, the annual event series focuses on different industry sector and overseas market opportunities:
  • Network with U.S. trade officials, leading private sector experts, and like-minded U.S. businesses active in overseas markets.
  • Meet one-on-one with U.S. Commercial Diplomats, and potential buyers/partners visiting from abroad.
  • Participate in panel discussions on the latest industry trends.
  • Identify new and emerging markets of opportunity ahead of your competition
  • Learn about U.S. export programs designed to cut your time to market.


Get Help                                                                              

Export.gov, the U.S. federal government’s export portal, links to many resources, including the following: 
  • Webinars provide insight on how to maximize participation in international trade shows.
  • The U.S. Commercial Service, trade magazines and associations are good resources for information on major trade shows companies to successfully market overseas.

Trade Events