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U.S. vs. Canada: Is there a difference when exhibiting?

It’s been asked to me a few times – I have a show in Canada, what do I do? My typical response is, well, you run it just like you would run a show in the U.S. Yes, we all know that Canada is a different country, yet sometimes we forget our neighbors to the north are actually a different country! And … since they are a different country, there are different things to keep in mind when exhibiting there.

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  1. Currency – yes, they are on the dollar too, but it’s the Canadian Dollar and not the USD. When budgeting and checking your show service forms, make sure to see what currency you are being billed in. While both currencies stay fairly close in value, if you have a large amount of services, the slight difference can add up and affect your budget!
  2. Keep in mind if you are shipping your booth or even just product and literature from the U.S. to Canada, you still have to ship through customs. You will need to pay customs charges, fill out customs paperwork and you will need to allow for extra delivery time.
  3. Speaking of customs – you too need to pass through customs if traveling there. Don’t forget your passport or passport/border card. On the way back into the U.S., you will most likely pass through customs in Canada and land in a domestic terminal in the U.S. Therefore, allow extra time when heading to the airport.
  4. Yes, you still pay drayage in Canada. This, unfortunately, doesn’t change.
  5. When checking booth size, often you’ll still find them in feet. However, it’s best to do a double check of feet vs. meters.
  6. Canada has both English and French as official languages. About 95 percent of the people in Quebec actually use French as their first or second language.

Working in Canada overall is very similar to working in the U.S. Even with customs, many people in the U.S. elect to ship their properties instead of building locally. However, if you do have a tight budget, finding a local exhibit house to help you out is definitely an option. You’ll also notice that, generally speaking, you’ll see the same general contractors in the U.S. doing shows in Canada too. Unions are also common in Canada, though sometimes not quite as strict as some that you find in the U.S.

If you’ve never been to Canada, definitely take advantage of the trip. From Vancouver to Montreal to Toronto to Edmonton, and beyond, there are so many sites to see and activities to do. Just like the U.S., every part of the country offers something special and unique!

 

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Posted in Canada, World
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