From the Branded Program: Keys to Trade Show Success

In this instalment, learn how to maximize your Trade Show reimbursement.

By John Eppinger, Branded Program Coordinator, Food Export-Northeast

Many companies utilize their Branded Program funds to receive reimbursement for participating in eligible domestic and international trade shows. With the new year of trade shows starting soon, now is a great time for a refresher on how to ensure that your trade show-related expenses get reimbursed. 

Below is a success guide to help verify that your expenses will be eligible: 

Take Pictures of Everything at the Booth 

  • This includes the booth, promotional literature, posters, give away items, etc. Take a photo of anything that you may submit reimbursement. 
  • For international shows a US Origin Statement must be visible on anything that you submit reimbursement for. This includes, but is not limited to the booth itself, sell sheets, posters, and give away items. 

Rent Equipment/Furniture 

  • We understand certain equipment is necessary when exhibiting at trade shows. It is crucial that this equipment/furniture be rented as opposed to purchased out right. Examples of rented equipment that is eligible for reimbursement are: a refrigerator display, chairs, a microwave oven to serve samples, etc. If purchased instead of rented, the expenses will not be reimbursed.  

Keep Invoices/Receipts 

  • No matter how big or small, we highly encourage you to keep all invoices/receipts associated with your trade show-related purchases. It’s easy to forget and toss a receipt in the trash or delete an email with important order information on it. But to guarantee you have all documentation required, we recommend saving everything related to the expense. It is always better to have too much rather than too little.  

Send Pre-Travel Notifications 

  • The cost of traveling to and from eligible international trade shows is reimbursable in the branded program. In order for your travel to be reimbursed, the local FAS post must be notified via email of the travelers, the dates of stay, and the event. That email can be sent directly by the traveler, or you can contact the Branded team of the plan and they can send the pre-travel notification on your behalf. 
  • FAS has a network of 100 offices that cover 180 countries. Their International Offices Directory is available on their website.

Ask Questions 

  • The Branded team i always available to answer any questions you may have about eligibility. When in doubt, it is always best to double check with us! 
  • The Branded Program Exporter Manual is an essential resource for all participants. It is full of great information that will help you become a Branded Program expert.