A Guide for International Clients Exhibiting in Australia...

by Jessica Caggegi, on 23/01/20 2:02 PM

As the exhibition world continues to grow, it has been brought to our attention that more companies are making their way from overseas to attend exhibitions within Australia. It can be a great way to capitalise on your market and extend business globally. With all this excitement also comes the laws, customs and processes that influence your experience. To ensure it is a positive one, Events 720 have put together a guide on key components so that you are clearly informed when preparing for an event within Australia.


Goods and Services Tax (GST)

We find GST can be quite confusing for international clients to understand, especially as most do not have this process within their own country.
The GST is a 10% charge added to goods and services sold or consumed within Australia. In Australia all businesses must collect GST for their transactions and sales, and this includes Exhibition companies. When providing quotations, exhibition builders talk about budgets for stands excluding GST. Any quote provided will essentially have GST added to the bottom of the quote. This is something to keep in mind when deciding on a budget for your trade show. As 10% can become a substantial increase if it has not been considered beforehand.
Below is a link explaining in further detail our GST rules and regulations.



Australia has one of the highest costs of living within the world. Because of this, products do tend to be a lot more expensive to manufacture. An issue that tends to arise a great deal is the cost of labour and whether that be within the factory or onsite. There is a common misconception that products can be manufactured within Australia for a similar price bracket as overseas and this is not the case. International clients can find it a hard pill to swallow when we inform them of generally needing to increase their budget to be equal with costs here.  
Most labour hire is covered by a Fair work award and that is the Joinery and Building Trades Award. This is where items such as penalty rates, overtime rates come into fruition.
In addition, components such as work cover insurance and superannuation also need to be taken into consideration with their wage. As an indication work cover insurance is generally 5.5% of their wage and super is around 9.5%. This means our average labour cost sits between $85 - $100 per hour plus GST.
Below is a link to the Joinery and Building Trades Award which goes into further detail about all their legal entitlements and regulations.

A shortage of onsite labour is becoming quite an extensive issue in Australia and in return this limits who we can allow to work onsite.
If you have any intention of bringing labour from overseas to assist, ensure that all legal regulations are met with the venue, starting with a Visa.


Onsite Requirements

Preparation for onsite requirements is an extensive process. Multiple procedures and protocols need to be followed to allow the stand to be built onsite. Venues and organisers are becoming stricter with these regulations.
As a rule of thumb, the following always needs to be sent through to the venue and organisers for approval.

  • Public Liability (usually a minimum of $20,000,000)
  • OH & S Documentation
  • Stand Plans for Approval
  • Work cover
  • Engineering Plans or Certificates (generally if the stand is double story)
  • Onsite inductions must be undertaken by all staff and crew
  • During Bump In and Out ALL staff and crew MUST wear a high visibility vest as well as enclosed footwear

In addition, consider the below if wanting to serve.

  • Alcohol - Australia has very strict regulations and all servers MUST be certified. Venues must give the all clear as there may be restrictions on the time of day it can be served.
  • Food and Drink - Food or drink served at the show MUST be ordered only through the venue. If you are hoping to offer a consumable item or sample, you MUST retain clear written consent from the venue and organisers prior to the show.

Disposal of your stand is another common trend we see with international clients. Understanding freight is quite expensive, there would be no benefit in returning your booth overseas. Yet there are still certain measures that need to be followed when disposing of your stand after the expo. Generally, a ‘disposal fee’ should be included within your quote if you have asked. Alternately, if this is an after thought please understand there are fees involved in doing this, especially with venues as they do not allow stands to simply be broken down and left at the venue as ‘general waste’ or ‘rubbish’.  

As your exhibition builder we can sort the above out for you, if we know prior.



Something that can often slip our minds is the power plug outlets and how Australia’s do differ from other countries. Australia’s main power source in exhibition halls typically have 220-240V sockets, which means adaptors may be necessary as well as transformers.
Generally, appliances from Asia, Africa and Europe operate on a similar voltage but places such as US, Japan and Canada will need converters to use their devices.
In addition to this, any electronic equipment being used on the stand MUST be tested and tagged to ensure it meets the Australian electrical code of practice.


Understanding rules and regulations within another country can be quite confronting and confusing at the best of times. At Events 720 we want to make the process for our international clients as simple and smooth as possible. The key component in ensuring this is executed is communication. Ensuring everybody is on the same page so things can be clearly highlighted and discussed.
If you’re an international client planning or considering to exhibit within Australia and would like to discuss things further or start the planning process, we’re here to help you! Contact us at

Topics:Event Planningexhibition display standsexhibition displaycostexhibition organisingExpo Venueevent marketing


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