How to Have a Successful Show in Japan

Japanese culture has a profound impact on decision-making and ultimately business relationships.

We’ve gathered some tips below, to make sure you make the best first impression possible at CPhI Japan.

1. Prepare Your Stand

  • Translate: print any graphics, posters, business cards and brochures with Japanese translations so that potential clients can understand your offering. Should you require translations for promotional collateral, please contact Mr Fujita at Yakubo. Tel: +81-3-5832-9384 | Email: [email protected]
  • Keep it simple: Japanese clients will prefer a clean and pared-back aesthetic, so try not to clutter your stand with unnecessary objects or fussy graphics.
  • Hire an Interpreter: an interpreter will translate your words into Japanese and introduce your product and services to potential Japanese clients. To hire, please go to Exhibitor Manual form ‘C-13 Interpreters’ or contact Mr Saito at Office Soleil – our official interpreter service:Tel: +81-3-6408-9265 | Email: [email protected]
  • Language stickers & signs: when you pick up your exhibitor pass at the registration desk, you can ask for language stickers for your badge and language signs for your stand to let your visitors know which languages you speak.


2. Cultural Tips & Etiquette

  • Enjoy the onsite restaurants: snacking or eating meals at your stand is considered rude. The venue has countless restaurants, lounges and resting areas where you can enjoy a bite when hunger strikes!
  • Do a digital detox: don’t spend all the time at your stand glued to your laptop or phone. Try to project a professional ready-to-talk image that will attract Japanese visitors to your booth.
  • Be punctual: the Japanese appreciate punctuality. You should make sure you’re on time – or even a few minutes early – to meet potential Japanese clients.
  • Follow the dress code: the Japanese pay close attention to detail and have a sophisticated business attire. From October through April, businessmen tend to wear a navy, charcoal or black suit with a subdued tie. Don’t make the mistake of teaming a black suit with a black tie though, as this is Japanese funeral attire.
  • Stock up on business cards: the Japanese make an art of business card giving so this is something you should take seriously. Firstly, ensure that yours are printed on both sides with English on one and the Japanese translation on the other. Never flick or slide your business card across a table as this implies you have no respect for the company you represent. When offering your card, do so with both hands and accept them in the same manner saying, ‘thank you’. Place all business cards inside a card carrier. Do not fold them, fidget with them or make notes on them as this signals disrespect. Make sure you remember to take all the cards you’ve received away from each meeting as to leave one behind may cause offense.

For extra tips, read our article about Business Etiquette in Japan.


3. Promote Your Stand

  • Reach out to clients and potential clients before the show: Japanese companies are very structured and must report travels well in advance. They are also less likely to visit a stand of a company they have never heard of before, so getting in touch ahead of time ensures you’ll get visitors to your stand.
  • Don’t forget to use our free marketing tools (email headers, logos, banners and digital invites) to invite your clients to the show!
  • Make sure your company information shown on our online Exhibitor List is clear and informative. You can edit your company profile in your Exhibitor Manual.
  • You can purchase digital and in-show advertisements such as banners, speaking slots at seminars and more.
  • Please contact Irene Nunziante: [email protected] or your account manager for more information.