Munich Trade Show House Exhibit Guide offers practical showing tips and international customs that will help your team operate more smoothly and show your brand better in Europe. Whether you are exhibiting for the first time or you are a veteran European exhibitor, Exhibit Experience offers new products and services worldwide to make your international trade show calendar more manageable and reduces your overall trade show spend. If you have questions on these tips or would like to explore adding Europe to your trade show route, contact a member of our team for more information on our packages, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A flat VAT tax of 19% on permanently imported goods and services exists in Germany, however if you are temporarily importing an exhibit it is refundable through the ATA Carnet program. This refund takes a good amount of time, so be sure that you have a service or trade show exhibit house that understands and follows up on this process.
Air Freight will take roughly one week with ocean freight taking six weeks. Ground transport to Munich will likely also take several days. We use freight forwarders and recommend all exhibitors doing their own showing to as well to ensure that your shipments are not held up in customs. It takes typically a week to clear German customs, which is longer than many in Germany and as an exhibit house, we build in Germany locally rather than ship to avoid these delays.
Germany is on the standard European 220 voltage system with dual pronged plugs. We carry a wide arrange of adaptors for our clients and they are often available in airports and in hardware stores.
There are no labor unions in Munich and there are also no labor pools ready to work when your team arrives, so you need a local exhibit house, or an American exhibit house that manages locally to source labor for your installation and dismantle. Labor rates are daily or flat fee and you will need to have a manager that is bilingual to manage laborers. Keep in mind for your booth design that raised floors are the most common in Europe and you are not able to run electric under carpet at these shows. Go for vinyl.
There is a Green Fee in Germany for the disposal of build and burn exhibits and recycling is widely done for an additional fee. Exhibitors are responsible for the disposal of garbage and emptying of bins is an extra fee through the trade show organizers.
Cell phones will work in roaming mode but in order to work in Germany they must be dualband or quadband. The roaming is usually the cheapest option for the time spent on the floor.
Hospitality and Language
Hospitality is common and varies from full meals and after hours events to smaller exhibits offering snacks and beverages. Pretzels, sausages, and beers and soft drinks are common. Music is strictly regulated and all music will need licensing. The official language on the trade show floor is English, however you will need a German translator and all of your printed business cards and handouts will need to be in German and in English as a sign of respect. Do not skip this measure as your attention to these details will make or break your business.
Greetings and Customs
While English is the common language, some attempt at speaking German will go a long way, even “guten tag” (good day), will suffice. Introductions are started with a handshake, business card exchange, and polite conversation that is non business, then moving into pitching. It is important not to rush your communications and try to keep your hands out of your pockets, it is considered rude. Punctuality is important and remaining even toned is also important, loud speaking, tardiness, and sloppy dressing are considered impolite. Keep your attire formal business in Munich.
Transport and Accommodations
Messe Muenchen is located on the outskirts of Munich and if your accommodations are closer to the city center you will need to orchestrate a transportation plan for your team. Accommodations close to the trade show venues sell out a year in advance, so you need to book a show in Munich as soon as possible. Public transport is efficient and reliable, however, it can be crowded so be prepared.