Are you thinking of exhibiting in Iran or have you already booked an exhibition stand? Than this article can be of help!
Iran has long been closed-off from the rest of the world. Therefore, Iran is relatively unknown for foreign exhibitors to participate in trade-shows and exhibitions.
However, times are changing rapidly. Foreign sanctions are ending and entrance to Iran has become a lot easier now visa policies are more relaxing. That is why more and more exhibitors are finding their way to Iran to promote their company and products and expand their markets.
Some background and historical info about country and people
Welcome to what could be the friendliest country on earth. For those prepared to look beyond the headlines, they will find a fascinating land filled with the history and culture of some of the world’s greatest civilizations, as well as overwhelming hospitality that is completely at odds with many people’s perceptions of the country.
Iran’s greatest attraction could just be its people. The Iranians, a nation made up of different ethnic groups and influenced over thousands of years by east and west occupiers, are endlessly welcoming. Offers to sit down for tea is likely to happen everyday, and if you spend any time at all with Iranians, you’ll most likely find yourself invited to share a meal in someone’s home. Say yes whenever you can, and through it experience first-hand, Iranian culture, ancient, sophisticated and delicious food.
We Highly recommend that you extend your business trip to Iran and enjoy the architecture jewel in Islam’s crown. (Iran is top 10 ranking in the number of UNESCO world heritage cultural sites ). If you like winter sports and you are exhibiting during winter make sure to take your gears with you and enjoy the fluffy powder snow. There are about 5 ski resorts around the capital and a couple near Tabriz and Hamadan.
General Political and economic information
The political system in Iran is an Islamic democracy. Compared to most oil-rich countries in the Middle East, Iran has a diversified economy. The country’s urbanized and large middle class has maintained a strong preference for foreign-made products despite restrictions due to U.S. sanctions and a fragile economy.
While the oil and gas sector is the most attractive, Iran’s diversified economy is perfect for companies across industries. In particular, consumer-oriented sectors are counting on Iran’s large (nearly 80 million), young (more than 60% under 30 years old), and urbanized (more than 70%) population to be loyal customers in the future.
Naturally, oil and natural gas are Iran’s most important exports along with other exports including chemicals, plastics and fruits. Iran mainly exports to Taiwan, China, Turkey, South Korea and India. Iran’s main imports are machinery, cereals, iron and steel, and chemicals.
Language spoken in Iran:
Several languages are spoken in different regions of Iran although the predominant language and the national language is Farsi (Persian), which is spoken across the country. Most Business people also speak English or they can offer an English translator to help.
While brochures are definitely accepted in English, it is defiantly an advantage to have some brochures translated and printed in Farsi as well.
Other things to know about exhibiting and doing business in Iran
Dress code: Men are requested to avoid wearing short shorts and extremely short sleeves in public. Women are expected to cover their head and hair with a scarf, while wearing long-sleeve shirts to cover their hands and loose clothing that covers the body.
Handshake: When it comes to hand shaking you might find that there is no direct eye contact and that is part of being polite. When it comes to women wait for them to bring their hand forward as it is not legal to women to hold hand with anyone besides their husband and their family members. While a lot of women don’t follow these rules, they might consider the situation unsafe to shake hands.
Taarof: There is a social behavior in Iran that is called “Taarof”. It could be described as posing false invitations and promising future services or deeds to primarily strangers or distant relatives and expecting them not to take the offer seriously and keep declining it. However, the closer two people get in a relationship, the less Taarof appears in their behavior towards one another. For example a shopkeeper may initially refuse to give a price for an item, suggesting that it is worthless (“ghaabel nadaareh”). T’aarof obliges the customer to insist on paying, possibly several times (three times), before a shopkeeper finally quotes a price and real negotiation can begin.
Weekends: The weekend in Iran are not Saturdays and Sundays they are Thursdays and Fridays. Although some private sectors only have one day off and that is Friday.
Transportation: Taxis in Iran are easily available all over the city. Make sure to use the metered taxies and always ask their rates in the beginning. You can also use Snapp or Tapsi with is exactly like Uber or Lyft.
Food: Food quality in Iran is very good and there are many nice restaurants. Make sure to eat Chelo Kabab which is essentially beef Kabab and rice.
Alcohol is not served in the Iran. It is illegal to serve alcohol in the restaurants. How ever if you do accept to go to the house parties, Alcohol will most likely be served.
Gifts and souvenirs: While you are in Iran you definitely want to shop for some amazing hand crafted letter product, Beautiful hand crafted souvenirs , Pistachios, Caviars and if you are into cooking don’t forget Iran’s world class saffron.
Overview of the largest exhibition and convention centers in Iran:
1. Alborz International exhibitions Company – www.exbiz.org
2. Ardebil International exhibitions Company – www.ardabilfair.ir
3. Bushehr International exhibitions Company – www.bushehr-fair.com
4. Caspian International exhibitions Company – www.caspianieco.com
5. Chaharmahal & bakhtiari International exhibitions CO – www.chbfair.ir
6. Fars International Exhibition Co – www.farsfair.ir
7. Gilan International exhibitions Company – www.rashtfair.com
8. Golestan International exhibitions Company – www.golestanexpo.ir
9. Hamedan International exhibitions Company – www.hamedanfair.ir
10. Ilam International exhibitions Company – www.ilamiec.ir
11. Isfahan International exhibitions Company – www.isfahanfair.ir
12. Kerman International exhibitions Company – www.kermanfair.com
13. Kermanshah International exhibitions Company – www.krfair.ir
14. Khuzestan International exhibitions Company – www.ahvazfair.ir
15. Kish International exhibitions Company – www.kishfair.com
16. Kohgiluyeh & Boyer-Ahmad International Exhibition Co – www.kbfair.ir
17. Kurdistan International exhibitions Company – www.kurdfair.ir
18. Markazi International Exhibition Co – www.arak-fair.com
19. Mashhad International exhibitions Company – www.expo.ir
20. Mazandaran International exhibitions Company – www.caspianexpo.ir
21. North Khorasan International exhibitions Company – www.nkhexpo.ir
22. Qazvin International exhibitions Company – www.qifc.ir
23. Qom International exhibitions Company – www.qomexpo.ir
24. Sahan and Maragheh International exhibitions CO – www.exbiz.org
25. Semnan International exhibitions Company – www.seccima.ir
26. Sistan & Baluchestan International exhibitions Company – www.sbfair.ir
27. South Khorasan International exhibitions Company – www.sk-fair.ir
28. Tabriz International exhibitions Company – www.tabrizfair.ir
29. Yazd International exhibitions Company – www.yazdfair.ir
30. Zahedan International exhibitions Company – www.ariafair.com
How to organize your exhibition stand in Iran?
If you have decided to participate in a trade show or exhibition in Iran you will need to organize a booth which fits your company, product and image. For this you have several options;
1. Find a local stand builder in Iran
2. Bring or ship your own (portable or modular) booth and install it yourself on site
3. Contract a stand builder in your country and let them organize your stand in Iran.
Obviously, all 3 options offer you advantages and disadvantages:
1. Find a local stand builder in Iran
To find a good and reliable stand builder that understand your needs in Iran might by challenging. Communication gaps, a time zone difference and cultural barriers can make designing and developing a successful exhibition stand stressful.
TIP; ask the exhibition organizer to recommend you a stand builder. As the organization wants you to be happy as an exhibitor they will take no risk and give you good references. The downside of this can be however that other exhibitors are asking the same thing. Which results in under capacity of the appointed stand builder, less creativity, slow response and higher prices.
2. Bring or ship your own (portable or modular) exhibition stand install it yourself on site
Probably the safest option is to develop your own portable (or modular) exhibition stand and ship it to the show. There you’ll build it up yourself.
Advantage: you know exactly how your stand will look like. You prebuild and check the booth in your country, ship it in containers or flight cases and build it again on site.
Disadvantage; not every type of booth can be built with portable or modular exhibition stand systems. And even if they could, there might be restrictions and limitations in what your people can build.
Portable displays for smaller stands will most likely work as they are very easy to install, but building a stand out of heavier and more modular stand building systems might be more challenging. Your stand crew is hired to talk to customers, not to install exhibition stands, right?
3. Contract a stand builder in your home country and let them organize your stand in Iran.
Even more relaxing is the option to contract your local exhibition stand supplier or builder and let them organize the booth. They will make the design and do the building. Which means that they will send both the materials and the people to build it (standbuilders) to Iran. You know what you get, you know you will get quality and you know your stand builder won’t let you down.
But it comes at a cost, of course. Shipping large and heavy stand building materials and flying in stand builders to Iran isn’t exactly the cheapest option you have..
Whichever option you choose, if you plan to exhibit in Iran, it all starts with a decent planning and preparation. Our team is here to help you with that if you like, and we will support you with an exhibition stand in Iran according to your demands and budget. Give us a call and we’ll help you out!